With the vinyl revival, many world are spring to start listening come music the old fashioned way. There is no debating that vinyl is traditionally an very expensive hobby. The Pioneer PL-990, however, isn’t an high-quality turntable.

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Pioneer are well-known for their direct-drive DJ turntables. However when it comes to belt-driven turntables, which are far better if you simply want to hear to music, lock aren’t for this reason well-known. In this evaluation we’ll be taking a look at the Pioneer PL-990 which is your entry-level belt-driven turntable.


Being a straightforward budget turntable for residence listening, the PL-990 doesn’t sports the futuristic and also flashy draft of their DJ line turntables. However, that is look still strays from the minimalist design we normally see in belt-driven turntables. It has actually an old institution design and also far an ext things walking on in ~ its front. In fact, the Pioneer PL-990 has actually been about for a lengthy time v updates every now and also then, however the design has to be left untouched.

Upon taking it out of the box, ns couldn’t help but be reminded of my old VHS player. The architecture comes right from that era and unfortunately ns don’t view it fitting an extremely well in many of today’s residence decor. In mine opinion there room plenty of much better looking document players the are just as affordable together the PL-990. V all the said, architecture is subjective, and I know human being who room fond of the PL-990 design.


The Pioneer PL-990 is an automatic belt-driven turntable. Because that those unaware, a belt-driven turntable is just one that offers a belt to spin the platter.

For listening to music, this is the best kind of mechanism. DJs, who count on being able come spin the documents without damages to the motor, won’t discover much use through this kind of turntable, though.

Being a fully automatic turntable, girlfriend don’t have to worry around raising and also lowering the tonearm manually. The procedure is fully automated, therefore you can just press the play button and let the PL-990 execute its thing. This is not just convenient, yet especially great for those brand-new to vinyl as you won’t threat damaging the stylus or scratching your priceless records. You perform of course additionally have the option to do whatever manually, should you want a more hands-on experience.

The PL-990 has a constructed in preamp that means you have the right to hook it straight to her receiver or speakers relying on what her setup is. Most spending plan turntables have built in preamps, which conserves the hassle of needing come buy a phono preamp.

The PL-990’s cartridge can’t it is in replaced. This is a bit disappointing, yet most spending plan turntables are the same and with great cartridges easily costing more than the price the the PL-990, it more than likely would be much better to upgrade to a new turntable altogether at that point.

As a result of every this, the Pioneer PL-990 is exceptionally easy to acquire started with. It does but lack some attributes that other customer turntables sometimes include, prefer bluetooth connectivity or a USB connection to let girlfriend rip vinyl come MP3.


Being a two-speed document player, the PL-990 can play at one of two people 33 or 45 RPM. It no spin in ~ 78 RPM, however these sort of documents are incredibly uncommon.

Sound-wise, the PL-990 sound pretty much the same as any type of other decent spending plan turntable. The audio is balanced, however misses a the majority of the detail and broad soundstage that vinyl enthusiasts love about their high finish setups.

You need to remember the under the bonnet, a lot of the working components like the stylus are mass-produced and identical to the ones uncovered in the likewise priced turntables indigenous Audio Technica or Denon.

That said, you might do a lot worse. The PL-990, as well as the miscellaneous other turntables the share the same simple parts, space still noticeably ahead that the Crosley C100A or the new turntables that purely exist to decorate her interior.

Pioneer PL-990 vs Audio Technica AT-LP60

It provides a many sense to to compare the PL-990 come the Audio Technica AT-LP60 which is very close in price. This two are arguably the best decent ultra-budget turntable options, as also if you salary $200-$300 opportunities are girlfriend won’t acquire anything lot better, audio wise.

The PL-990 has actually a fairly notable advantage over the AT-LP60 in its capability to readjust pitch and strobe.

Meanwhile, the AT-LP60 is slightly cheaper and also lets you bypass the built-in preamp and also use a different one. However, this is not really a large deal as making use of a various preamp will certainly make very little difference v a turntable that is developed from budget parts.

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Overall the PL-990 is a good entry-level turntable. While i would always recommend those that are an ext serious about getting right into vinyl, there will always be those who are just looking come dip your feet in the civilization of vinyl. If it is the case, and also you don’t even own many records to start with, the PL-990 can be a decent location to gain started.

The AT-LP60 is the most apparent competitor, and the PL-990 is an extremely slightly ahead in regards to features. Design-wise, I prefer the smaller and more minimalist AT-LP60, but many would certainly disagree.