Changing from my pl600 (silver, DD) but I have shaky hands

I do realize my Pioneer pl600 is the weak in my audio chain. I currently use an ortofon 2m bronze. Considering an upgrade to a Hana mL cartridge. I fear that much more cartridge than that would outstrip my turntable’s ability, at least to be worth the additional cost.

Regarding my hands, I am 49 and have essential tremors (different than Parkinsons). For me to continue with vinyl, I fear that an automatic turntable is what I need

Regarding my other electronics, I have a gold note ds10+ and a ph10. preamp and 211s amp is new audio frontiers. Speakers are the wolf von Langa son, all on a Beaudioful rack


So I feel that the rest of my system is able to handle an analog/turntable upgrade. Given my physical limitations, is there something I am missing? For what it’s worth, I have a spare silver pl600 that is at least parts worthy


I don’t do all vinyl. I stream a lot. But I do enjoy listening to my albums















recent search in another thread turned up a few choices

new thorens td1601, has cue button for lift/down, you would first need to position it over the lead in area manually.

end of play auto lift (perhaps auto shutoff, you would need to clarify that).

hifiheaven has an open box for $3,100, free lifetime technical assistance. if, like cameras etc, open box means initial sales on receipt and makers full warranty, again, clarify that.




Where do you live? I'm in Plainfield, NJ, glad to help you set something up. Perhaps others here live near you and would offer to do that.

These Mitsubishi Linear Tracking Quartz Locked Direct Drive's are fully automatic

start, auto end/return/stop. lift/left/right/down by button control.

Nice, solid, I just set one up for my friend I met here.

Removable headshell is much easier for a friend to mount a cartridge, and have alternate cartridges ready to go.

you might need to keep looking, nice ones come up from time to time, here is one just to show the unit. there are other model numbers like it


In any case, adjustments might need to be made. The manuals are on-line, they are clear to follow, you would need a friend with steady hands and some patience.



here's one seller refurb, different model (earlier?)

MGA, and Diatone are the names when the units were sold in Japan. 120/100v step down transformer may be included/needed (I use one, get a nice one under $100)



I have a few other ideas for you, gotta go to Maine now, momma's 100th bday, lets see what others know about.


@wvl , the Hana is a big mistake. Go get a 2M Black. Then have a large glass of wine, take the stylus out and have at it!

I appreciate the responses, but raising and lowering the tone I’m using a cue lever is not the problem. The problem especially with my shaking hands is moving the tone arm into place on the album. That is why I was looking specifically at either an automatic turntable or just staying with my current turntable. I’d rather not go with an older turntable since that is already what I have currently. For what it is worth the one I have right now I have had since it was purchased new by my father. A one owner turntable

I live in the Birmingham, Alabama area 




Dear @wvl  : How many LPs do you own?


Thank's in advance,

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


Approximately 300 albums. The collection will probably grow. Mainly classical and jazz, but not exclusively 

@mijostyn why would the Hana be a mistake? Not disagreeing with you necessarily, just wondering what you base that on

I switched from 2M Black to Hana ML on Clearaudio table and consider it significant upgrade. Like it much better, more pleasant presentation. At least for me.


@wvl , Lets start off with some things that you can verify. The Ortofon 2M LVB 250 is $1000.00, the Hana ML is $1200.00 and requires an additional step up device or a more expensive phono stage. Now look at a close up picture of both cartridges. The Hana ML base is roughly machined. It has a large aluminum tube cantilever. The far end is squished together and the stylus pressed into a hole. Now look at the 2M LVB. Everything is neat and tidy. The cantilever is boron and 1/3rd the diameter, the naked diamond is glued to the very tip of the cantilever. Which one do you think has the lowest moving mass? The LVB will out track a Hana by a country mile. It will be much more dynamic and have more powerful bass. A good moving magnet or iron cartridge will run circles around any cheap moving coil. Moving coils do not come into their own until you are spending at least 3K on a phono stage and 4K on a cartridge. The best inexpensive moving coil is the Lyra Delos @ 2K but the Lyra Cleos at $3600 is handily worth the upgrade

Now I will be totally politically insensitive. The Hana became so popular because it was cheap. Real men run moving coil cartridges now I can be a real man for cheap. "But, people say they sound great," you say. And, I will tell you that most people have no idea what they are listening to. If they did they would have saved themselves some money and gotten the 2M.  Forgetting about what the Hana sounds like it, is a cheaply constructed device using cheap components and some clever marketing.  @rauliruegas Hey Raul can I have some help here?

@mijostyn a step up device isn't needed with my PH10. User manual says that .1mV and up. Plenty of boost. Preferring a step up transformer is a different topic 

Dear @wvl  : I agre@mijostyn .


Now, you own only a " few " LPs and if I was you instead that go with the Hana plus a new TT invest all the money to up-grade your digital alternative and you will be sursprised how easy surpass your analog in that price range.


If you insist to follow with analog then instead to buy the Hana you can change the Ortofon Bronze stylus for the Black LVB 250. Cartridge stylus are interchangable between the Bronce and the Black with all the advantages mijos posted.



Your TT is a good one from back in the day, and IMO beat the pants off the Technics 1200 manual models.

If you can have the tonearm/IC wires replaced/upgraded locally (sans shipping) that's where I would start - then look into different cartridges. 


@wvl , The PH 10 is a fine phonostage. If you really want to go moving coil I suggest you go for a Lyra Delos. If you lean towards rock and jazz you probably would be happier with the 2M LVB. To get a moving coil that dynamic you would have to spend a lot more money. 

I am not a big fan of step up transformers. But, that is a different topic.

Delos owner….couple now… know lots of other Delos and Lyra owners….. it would  NOT be on my short list for your needs which include dealing w occasional ( we and you hope ) mishap , retaining the emotional and historical relationship w your current TT and the modest but important to you collection of records…  

Where you did get partially good advice, strongly agree w field or dealer replaced stylus assembly vs. ship to Japan and ?  For the factuality challenged, my Lyra dealer has a few Delos in Japan, has for awhile and the current exchange dead for new is $1,350 and tax.

I can assure you after countless hours listening to various Ortofons, a Bronze is better , way better than the 2 above it….. IF they are not setup perfectly…..

Just my $.02……

PS most nites half the year , i play music with my Dads 1961 amp….. i get your connection….my free advice…don’t let that slip away….

I have one of these SL-J33 Technics Compact Linear Tracking Turntables. Quartz Lock Direct Drive. Programmable.

Hit start, it automatically scans the lp, finds the tracks (corresponding front lights light up).

arm returns to start position, waiting for you to simply press start for entire lp; or press front buttons of desired tracks, then press start, it will play only those tracks.

When finished, it automatically returns to start position.

It uses P mount Cartridges. I replaced mine with a linear contact stylus P mount. One side screw, pull it out, push replacement in, re-fasten side screw. No other adjustments needed, P mount cartridges all are the same weight

You may think it's a lightweight (it surely is and small easy to fit), however, it sounds terrific, in my system, and I loaned it to 3 audiophile friends (while their TT's were in for work), and all 3 were quite surprised by it's sound.

here's a nice one on ebay


Notice the ground: original cord had integral ground wire with the pin end to insert.

The ground wires are typically available on ebay, here's an example, just to see, it might not be the correct end.

I can find the correct one by matching mine if interested.


Sony made several variations of Front Loading Turntables (drawer pops out, place LP, close drawer, press start, auto return.

Also P mount, and advanced stylus shape cartridges are available.

Mine, different model number, has a Shibata I found.

Advantage: you can stack it (allows me to keep more equipment in that system).

Same as the Technics, surprisingly sounds terrific


@dekay that is why I am being so picky with a new turntable or a new refurbished turntable or whatever I decide to go with. I realize not everything can be based on specs, but the specs on my turntable beats the heck out of most other turntables costing a lot more money. And I have the benefit of having a second one that has almost all of the parts if anything went wrong. I just didn't want to completely ignore the thought of there being a better turntable that still was able to handle the issues that I had. And yes I thought it was funny, I only have a "few" albums compared to others 


Very nice looking turntable


Just thinking about what I am capable of doing and what I have issues with..I can raise and lower the tonearm using a cue lever. I just have trouble controlling the lateral movements.


Dear @wvl  : Try to find out the Pioneer PL630  that's not only automatic but and excellent TT with good tonearm. Stay with your Bronze and just up-grade it with the top Black repacement stylus.



@rauliruegas I like what I am reading so far about the 630. I read a link about a complete overhaul. If I knew someone with the skill that I trusted, I would consider that. 

Wow! Would I be willing? Yes. Are other things that should probably be a higher priority? But this gives me something to aim for 

Dear @wvl  I bougth new several years ago and was in my system for to many years to remember and my unit still spining in my brother audio system.

The PL-630 is a very hard to beat in its price range and is builded with Pioneer very high quality levels.

came with a very good magnesium ( self damped. ) headshell. For today standards still competitive and maybe what could be and up-grade is a new TT mat along the Basis Audio reflex clamp, tha's it.

Here a very good picture:

Pioneer PL-630 on

and here more information about:


Pioneer PL-630 (



Thank you. The 630 seems to top my list (of realistic choices), especially if I could find a place to do a refurb.

Dear @wvl  : If you could find a unit in good operation condition you don't need to refurb anything. but if you along the TT want to make an up-date that's other issue.

The original TT/arm performs great and other that a change of TT mat and reflex clamp perhaps what could be fine is to make the internal tonearm rewiring and change the headshell output wires for better ones and that's all but that's me.



I would have sent this privately, but was unable to do so.

Tremors are often a symptom with a hidden cause. Typical hidden causes to ALL health issues include parasites running rampant in one's body. Trust me, I know. Could also be related to long-term use of prescription medications for which investigate liver cleanses





I appreciate your concern, but this is something that has been passed down through my family and I have seen multiple doctors. I have also done a lot of research as well. This is not a new issue for me. But thank you. I am open to things that would work.


wvl OP


for an automatic TT, your existing PL600 TT gets some very favorable reviews, and having a spare for parts, unless something else appeals, it may be best to simply keep it and go for a new cartridge, perhaps MC, perhaps add a SUT if needed to use your existing MM Phono.

9/10 by pdemara


Feb 2013,

In my humble opinion this turntable is a total sleeper...

I think part of the confusion about his unit is that there other low cost Pioneer PL-600 models from other years and hence people get confused. This unit is truly awesome.

It's heavy (25 lbs) has super specs and very quiet operation along with a great list of features. And of course what matters most, it sounds great...


It's actually a full suspension turntable and uses stiff springs with damping foam to minimize resonance...
Seems to like my Sure 97xE cartridge as well as a Grado Gold... The tone arm uses a photo coupler to sense arm location which means no interaction during playback. The unit also has auto start when moving the tone arm and an electronic braking system when you manually move the tone arm away from the record... The automatic motor drive disconnects from the tone arm when playing a record and so there's no playback interaction with the automatic portion of the design.


I guess what impressed me the most is how quiet this table is... Specs say -78 dbm for noise, which is excellent but as we know, specs can be deceiving.

From my listening tests I can confirm this table is very quiets. It's also excellent at vibration control. Having my sub right next the the turntable causes no feedback issues... As well, no skippy skippy when I walk across my hardwood floor... Something I can't do with my Oracle Delphi...


One of the things that caught my eye about this turntable is that it's champagne gold coloured and made from solid metal...No plastic... Pretty much all my other gear is also champagne coloured so this unit looks right at home with my champagne Sony ES gear.

The other great feature is the main buttons seem to be solid and feel like metal. They are also located outside the dust cover which means you can control the turntable without lifting the lid...


The only issue I had with the turntable was it seemed to have a speed stability problem... Every so often the unit would go out of quartz lock... I cured this problem by realizing all the LED lights in my house are quite noisy so I added and EMI/RFI filter power bar...

Problem solved... Perfect speed control now... LOL, they didn't have switching power supplies back in the late 70's so they wouldn't have ever noticed the issue...


If you can find one in good condition at a reasonable price (~$200) I would recommend an audition... I know purists think you can only achieve sonic accuracy with a full manual turntable. In my humble opinion, the Pioneer PL-600 turntable breaks that rule.



Wow! Thank you for posting that review. Maybe it is worthy of a really nice cartridge after all. And a SUT won't be required with my Gold Note ph10 

Another thread, I’ve been finding and posting many interesting TT’s, some are Automatics.

In any case, some of you might enjoy my finds



Mitsubishi Fully Automatic Linear Tracking, very nice condition

needs provided belts installed, perhaps you have someone who could do that, and, mentioned previously, arm adjustments probably needed, instructions are clear, but steady hands needed for that also.



I have a PL-630 and love the unit. I had a local electronics tech in the Dallas area replace all the capacitors/resistors - nothing else was required and I suspect there is a tech that could handle that task for you locally. Shipping the turntable is undesirable, of course, unless it is the only option.

One improvement I would like to make is to replace the original Pioneer phono cables with some higher end/lower capacitance cables. I would love for anyone who has performed this upgrade to tell me exactly how they connected the cables inside the unit. There is a white plastic plug on the cable that slides onto a 4-prong post mounted plug. Do you solder the wires directly to the prongs, or modify the OEM female plug to accept the new wires? Thanks!