Pioneer PLX-500w turntable modding (page being updated)

Challenges in this project are primarily around the fiddly nature of the tonearm assembly and the pain-in-the-ars'edness of threading very thin wires through the tonearm and assembly. An early on caution, which I shall come back to later, is to ensure that the anti-skating is set to zero before one starts messing with the assembly.


- Tonearm rewire

- Case RCA plugs added

- External ground post added to case

- Internal amp bypass

Small image showing the hands of a person soldering

Tools required

  • Soldering iron
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Cotton thread
  • Phillips head screwdrivers (large and small)
  • Drill
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Tweezers or long nose pliers


  • De-soldering wick
  • Solder heat sink (alligator clips will do)
  • Helping hand
  • Magnifier
Small image of a soldering iron and other soldering kit

What I use*

Distianert Soldering Iron Kit (Amazon)

MMOBIEL Helping Hand (Amazon)

1/8 Inch Desoldering Wick/Braid (Amazon)

TRYBEST Wire Strippers (Amazon)

* Please note that I do not make recommendations. You will need to decide on what tools suit your purpose. I am simply sharing what I use. 

Bottom view of a PLX 500 turntable, highlighting screw and cable holes

Getting started


  • Removed the dust cover.
  • If you have a stylus protector, put it on. I removed the headshell from the tonearm.
  • Engaged the tonearm clip to secure the tonearm.
  • Removed the platter. This required a firm yank.
  • I turned the turntable upside down and used two thick books to support it and allow the tonearm to overhang without touching the surface that I was working on. I have heard suggestions like 'place it on a bean bag'. I have no bean bag.

My Steps:

  1. Undid the casing screws.
  2. Lifted the casing with a little but firm shake.
  3. Fed the RCA interconnect cable through the hole.
  4. Unscrewed the cable clamp.
  5. Unscrewed casing ground spring.
  6. Unscrewed printed circuit board (pcb) - including the little side screw near the USB port.
  7. Unclipped JST connector to remove RCA interconnect cable.
  8. Unclipped pcb power JST connector (on the side of the pcb - this wire connects it to the adjacent pcb).


For info: 

  •  JST = Japan Solderless Terminal
  • RCA = Radio Corporation of America (they introduced this type of audio plug)


.......... to be continued. More steps to follow.


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