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I've got the same problem. When you put therecord on, spin it from the centre, and it will release the mechanism inside,this is what I do, and it works fine. I think the problem is that there are twoplates under the turntable, and there was grease between them, after a few goesthe grease disappears, causing the problem.
It sounds like you have too much pressure on the tone arm. Check the underside for springs. You might be able to remedy the problem the old fashioned way. Tape a coin onto the top of the tone arm, as far to the rear as possible. This will eliminate some of the downward pressure onto the record.
You are almost certainly correct re "pressure switches"
Pioneer call this part "sheet switch" and it is a circular plastic "sandwich" of multiple contacts and when constant pressure is put on it, it tends to stick together giving the effect you are pressing it when you're not.
The part will cost you about £30.00 + fitting - unless you are confident enough to do it yourself
Does the unit play in vinyl mode if you turn the platter by hand?. If this the case the commom fault in the "sheet switch" which is under the platter and sensors the pressure when you press the platter.
The "sheet switch" and it is a circular plastic "sandwich" of multiple contacts and when constant pressure is put on it (i.e something is sat on it for a long time), it tends to stick together giving the effect you are pressing it when you're not. The part will cost you about £30.00 + fitting - unless you are confident enough to do it yourself
If everything seems ok with the power , there is usally a small microswitch that sends power to the motor when the tone arm is moved to the start of the record.
The switch might be bad or the lever that actuates it (connected to the tone arm) might be sticking. You may have to take the bottom cover off or remove the platter to see it.
Also make sure the belt is looped over the motor shaft. If the motor runs but the belt still doesnt turn, belt might be bad.
I have the same problem with mine! If i
budge the arm by pushing it to the left a bit, it seems to catch. i
think the motor on mine is worn out and cannot get started on its own,
but with help, it will slowly move on its own to the edge of the vinyl
and drop into playing position. If that doesnt work for you, you might need to clean the belt for the arm motor, or buy a new motor.