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I've got a Pioneer PL-300 turntable bought around the mid-80's. It hasn't been used much in years, especially due to a problem with the tone arm lifting up before the end of a record (45 rpm) has finished (there is usually about 1/8" groove material left to go when it does this). Also, the other thing is - if the tone arm does track the record grooves right up until the end (I tried putting a shim underneath both of the rear feet last week, and this helped here - maybe the unit wasn't quite level) there becomes this light 'clicking' sound coming from the tone arm pivot and at the same time the needle starts to jump as if it wants to resist going forward any more - right up until the end of the record. This usually starts around the 1/8" to go area on the record. Has this got anything to do with the auto return mechanism? I've tried adjusting the anti- skate and balance as per the instruction manual, but this doesn't help. Any suggestions please? Sincerely, Michael Carpenter (

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  • Anonymous Jan 02, 2009

    I have the same problem but with the PL-300X, which is basically the same player. The auto-return kicks in with about half an inch of the last groove to go. I would appreciate if someone had a solution for me. 

    / Albin

  • mikey29 Jan 04, 2009

    Sunday, January 4, 2009

    Re: Solution suggested by Rocksteady01

    Many, many thanks for your explanation and solution about the adjustment needed on the Pioneer PL 200 turntable and for taking the the time to provide photos also - this made a lot of difference!

    The mechanism was adjusted this morning and within a quarter of an hour was back to normal, operating as when new. (I could never figure out why with so little use there could be much wrong that needed fixing).

    The unit has been that way for at least five years and Pioneer doesn't carry parts any more, there's just aftermarket. Also, there

    doesn't seem to be many places that repair turntables either nowadays. I can't get over how straightforward it was to put right.

    What made matters worse was after getting some software enabling you to transfer vinyl material directly to your computer hard drive, to copy to CD or MP3, this had to be put on hold due to this problem of the tone arm lifting too soon or the annoying clunking sound on the last few grooves of a record, which ended up on the recording.

    After all that time!

    Thank you very much and a Happy New Year.


    Michael Carpenter

  • kamz123 Sep 15, 2009

    That lever seems to prevent the arm from moving through its range, prevent reassembly. How do I put this back together correctly?


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Hi Mikey. I shure hope you have solved your problem by now, but for everyone else, I woud like to shead some light on this matter. What you need to do is to adjust the auto-return lever that is located between the center of the platter and the tonearm, underneath the plastic cover. To do so, you first need to remove the platter so that can reach the adjustment-screw. 
This is how the lever looks like in my PL-300X and it should look the same for you. I've marked the adjustment-screw that can be reached through a hole under the platter. 
I've got a Pioneer PL-300 - 8416200.jpg

and this is what it looks like with the cover on:

Hope this can solve your or anyone elses problem.  Ciao / Albin

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

  • Stephen Heyse
    Stephen Heyse Feb 25, 2014

    Wonderfully clear and helpful fix. I was having the same problem playing old 78s.


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Thank's Rocksteady01, I had the same problem with my Pioneer PL-300X and I tried to fix it myself with your discription and foto!!! saved me lots of money (to let it repear), and it took me about 2 hours to find out and to try out what's the best moment for return. By turning the adjustment-screw in another position and try when the arm returned I got adventually a good return-position after three times.
When assemblage: pay attention to the 'cut'-system; Be sure that the inside one has the right position.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

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