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Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

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Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby airtower » 16 Jul 2012 15:17

Hello everyone! I've wanted to get into vinyl for some time and recently acquired a Dual 1219 via craigslist (for $100 if you're curious). Turns out the seller is an exporter of vintage audio gear to Vietnam, and the guy seemed pretty trustworthy and knowledgeable. Before I purchased, he demoed the unit to me, and to the best of my knowledge it seemed to be in proper working order (auto functions work(ed), sound from both channels, etc).

When I got it home I came to realization that my receiver didn't have a phono input so I had to wait a week for a preamp to come in before I could test it out in my house with my own LP's. I also took this time to replace the cartridge, which was of unknown age with a Shure Mx97e. I balanced the tonearm, applied the required stylus force using the appropriate dial and aligned it using the included protractor.

The first side of the first LP played perfectly, but then some issues began to make themselves apparent.

  • The automatic functions are not working properly at all. When I place the selector to start, the platter starts and the tone arm lifts but only moves over to the pause ledge. It descends to the ledge and then returns home and stops the platter. I have to manually "encourage" it to move over all the way over record and manually line it up and set it down. From there, it will play just fine. This happens 100% of the time. I know there's common issues with the steuyrpimple, but was it just bad luck that it happened to fail on my second play? Before I got the preamp, I was messing around with the controls and may have at one point powered it off before it completed the stop cycle on its own. Is it possible that I powered it off in a state that would cause this issue?
  • I occasionally get repeated bars in the reproduction. It will usually repeat 5 or 6 times before it pushes through and continues play. Based on my albeit limited knowledge of TT's (trying to learn!) it seems this may be due to insufficient stylus force. I don't have a force gauge and I've read the spring in the pressure knob can lose its force over time and become inaccurate. I've only tried increasing the force by about a gram but it doesn't seem to happen any less. Oddly the playback will only repeat (skip back) and never skip forward. This happens on most of my LP's at least once.
  • Occasionally, maybe 10% of the time, when I start a record I will only have sound out of the right channel. Sometimes stopping and restarting the TT will remedy the problem but sometimes not. Usually if I drop and reseat the cartridge holder it will come back with both channels. Could this be a dirty contact issue? The headshell contacts look pretty nasty, but I'm apprehensive about getting in there with chemicals/force to clean them for fear of damaging the tonearm. Is it possible to remove the entire headshell on these tonearms?
  • I seem to be getting audible wow/flutter. This may have been a persistent issue that just took me a few days to notice, but it's definitely there. I haven't removed the platter to inspect the condition of the idler wheel contact surfaces, but I will soon. What exactly am I looking for that would cause wow/flutter?

Other than that, the TT plays great about 80% of the time. I'm considering sending it out to fixmydual or a similar place, but given the cost and complexities of packing for shipping, I'd like to avoid that if possible. I also have considered getting a lube kit, but I'm not skilled in that regard and really wouldn't know what to do with the lubes when I got it. I have the service manual, but it doesn't seem to address the actual process of lubrication and I know if not done properly it can cause more problems than it will solve.

Regardless, I'm still very happy with my purchase!!
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby maspadaro » 16 Jul 2012 15:53

A) Yes the steuyrpimple. if you have to replace it, do a search on this board of how you can DIY, or search 'ebay' for people who manufacture them.
B)Make sure force is correct but also make sure the anti-skating is set properly. You may want to check the disc underneath the anti-skating knob is not broken. Cheap plastic of the era.
C)Pull the cart off and clean both contacts with an eraser. It works wonders. You might want to de-oxit the RCA female plugs too.
D)Pull the platter and make sure the idle wheel mechanism is in good order and that the spindle is secure to the motor. Other posts have mention taking a very fine sanding paper #400 I believe and do a once over the edge of the rubber wheel. We are hoping that it’s not a motor issue, then you need to lube the motor. Check this site for service information about your TT.

These are just simple things to look for. If you have done them then it become trickier to find solutions, but most people on this site can help as long as you post pics or describe in detail what is going on.
Regards,

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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby airtower » 23 Jul 2012 18:00

I finally got some time last weekend to give my turntable a thorough cleaning, albeit it was in remarkably clean condition -- not a spec of dust under the platter.

Anyway, the steuyrpimple is intact and in place, however I'm still having automatic issues. I'll need to do some more research on this, since I had assumed the only failure mode was the pimple breaking or disintegrating completely.

I've concluded my stylus force dial is severly out of wack. I had noticed that the stylus wasn't exactly skipping, more as if the tonearm was "binding" and and forcing the stylus to bend inward as the record rotated. At a point it would just kick back a few bars. This led me to believe there was an outward force being applied to the tonearm, ala anti-skate. I still dont have a scale, but I've noticed if I run ~3 grams on the stylus and about 1.5 on the anti-skate I get excellent sound and no skipping. Hopefully that seals that issue up, as I'm not sure I want to tackle a lube job.

I really spent a lot of time going over the headshell and RCA contacts with rubbing alcohol and light sand paper. I still have issues with the left channel cutting in and out though, and I fear it may be a wiring issue inside the tonearm. It will either play all day just fine, or play all day on only channel. Fiddling with the connections seems to have no effect whatsoever. Is it hard to rewire these?

I resurfaced the idler wheel and gave the contact surface inside the platter a good cleaning. It helped, but there's still some audible wow. I can live with it for the time being, but is there anything else one can do to mitigate that?
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby gg383 » 24 Jul 2012 05:55

Get rid of the sandpaper, use a pink pencil eraser which is just slightly abrasive, or a good contact cleaner, with a cotton cloth. You want to shine up and clean the surfaces, not scrape them off!! Deoxit products are good but they are a lil spendy. Glenn.
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby airtower » 24 Jul 2012 13:47

gg383 wrote:Get rid of the sandpaper, use a pink pencil eraser which is just slightly abrasive, or a good contact cleaner, with a cotton cloth. You want to shine up and clean the surfaces, not scrape them off!! Deoxit products are good but they are a lil spendy. Glenn.


I guess my impatience bites again :D I was only lightly caressing the contacts with the paper to avoid tearing them up, but it didn't seem to be making much difference anyway. Last night I spent about 20 minutes in there polishing them up with a good ol' #2 and they look MUCH better. But...still no right channel. As a back story, when I bought the turntable the guy gave me a set of short monster cable RCA interconnects that he had on the unit when he demoed it. I would never buy monster, but they were free so I kept them on there. Turns, out they're bad! Swapped them out with some generic RCA's I had laying around and instantly I have both channels. On the bright side, my entire signal path is squeeky clean now!

Now on to sorting out the pimple and the wow issue...
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby Alec124c41 » 24 Jul 2012 21:00

If you found the Steuerpimpel, wipe off any grease or oil from it and the paddle that moves it.

Cheers,
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby calgarysaurus » 26 Jul 2012 06:09

Your tracking force at 3 grams is way too high for that cartridge. It should be no more than 1.5 grams. I suspect you may have a bad stylus.

WRT the wow and flutter, since treating the idler has improved it somewhat, I suspect a new idler is in order. I got a brand new Dual branded idler for under $30 from Ed Crocket at Vintage Electronics. www.vintagelectronics.com

I have found that every Dual I have restored ultimately required the RCA plugs themselves to be replaced. Further, there are other contact points in the signal path that should be cleaned - specifically, the cartridge holder cartridge connectors, the cartridge holder pins, and the contacts at the end of the tonearm that the cartridge holder pins contact. Use normal electric contact cleaner. Also, there is possibly a signal shutoff underneath near the large cam gear that disconnects signal from the cartridge as the TT performs its automatic functions. It too should be cleaned. Try looking at the points underneath where the RCA cables connect to the tonearm wiring as well. Finally, the contacts at the end of the tonearm that the cartridge holder pins contact can actually slide down out of place and periodically may need to be pushed back into place.

P.S., make sure the cartridge holder cartridge connectors to the cartridge pins are clean and snugly fitting on the cartridge pins.

Good luck!
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby airtower » 26 Jul 2012 14:25

calgarysaurus wrote:Your tracking force at 3 grams is way too high for that cartridge. It should be no more than 1.5 grams. I suspect you may have a bad stylus.

WRT the wow and flutter, since treating the idler has improved it somewhat, I suspect a new idler is in order. I got a brand new Dual branded idler for under $30 from Ed Crocket at Vintage Electronics. http://www.vintagelectronics.com

I have found that every Dual I have restored ultimately required the RCA plugs themselves to be replaced. Further, there are other contact points in the signal path that should be cleaned - specifically, the cartridge holder cartridge connectors, the cartridge holder pins, and the contacts at the end of the tonearm that the cartridge holder pins contact. Use normal electric contact cleaner. Also, there is possibly a signal shutoff underneath near the large cam gear that disconnects signal from the cartridge as the TT performs its automatic functions. It too should be cleaned. Try looking at the points underneath where the RCA cables connect to the tonearm wiring as well. Finally, the contacts at the end of the tonearm that the cartridge holder pins contact can actually slide down out of place and periodically may need to be pushed back into place.

P.S., make sure the cartridge holder cartridge connectors to the cartridge pins are clean and snugly fitting on the cartridge pins.

Good luck!


I don't have a scale (I know... I need one) but I strongly suspect I'm actually running far less than 3g. The main thing leading me to believe this is that if I run an equal amount of anti-skate (1.5 tracking, 1.5 anti-skate), I get skip-backs. This happened on several factory sealed, brand new LP's so I don't think it's a damaged vinyl issue. It seems to work much better with an indicated 3g of tracking force and 1.5-2g of anti-skate.

My signal issues seemed to be related to the cables and nothing about the turntable specifically, but I may take your advice and go ahead and replace the RCA jacks as a preventative measure. I'll take just about any excuse to break out the soldering iron :D

And big thanks for the link on the idler wheel. At that price, it can't hurt to pick one up and see if it makes a difference.

Another question...would degraded motor lube (or any other lube point in the platter drivetrain) effect wow?
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby kelvinMunson » 26 Jul 2012 15:02

Does it still skip back when you reduce the indicated anti-skate ? Could be that this is too high ?
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby airtower » 26 Jul 2012 15:20

kelvinMunson wrote:Does it still skip back when you reduce the indicated anti-skate ? Could be that this is too high ?


Nope, since my cart requires equal tracking and anti-skate forces and since it's unlikely the anti-skate would ever wear out to force a higher value than indicated I'm left to believe that I'm getting some amount less tracking force than indicated.
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby kelvinMunson » 26 Jul 2012 15:29

Well, things arent always as we believe them to be and since you've recently acquired the deck and dont really know it's history, it would certainly be worth setting it to zero and seeing if it still skips outwards.

After all, you already know that the indicated force may be incorrect. You could start again with zero anti skate and 1.5g VTF. Better still get hold of a gauge and check the VTF.

It's quite common to set the antiskate at less than the tracking force; I set mine to optimum using a test record, as do many others.
Last edited by kelvinMunson on 26 Jul 2012 15:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby airtower » 26 Jul 2012 15:40

kelvinMunson wrote:Well, things arent always as we believe them to be and since you've recently acquired the deck and dont really know it's history, it would certainly be worth setting it to zero and seeing if it still skips outwards.

It's quite common to set the antiskate at less than the tracking force; I set mine to optimum using a test record, as do many others.


I hear you. I have decent stereo balance and no groove skipping with my current values (can't remember them exactly off the top of my head). I don't have a test record, but I've read you can use an LP with a blank side. I happen to have one on order to me right now, so I'll try and use that to verify the anti-skate.

One thing mentioned earlier in this thread was the the anti-skate mechanism may be broken. That's not the case, I visually verified the mechanism is intact and stretches the appropriate spring underneath when the dial value is increased. I'm also witnessing the effects of too much, or too little anti-skate. At zero, the turntable will skip inward 100% of the time.
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby kelvinMunson » 26 Jul 2012 15:56

To set the stylus forces correctly you should set the VTF to 1.5g and then balance the antiskate, ideally with a test record, or you could try your blank disc.

As you have found that at zero the arm skips inwards and at 1.5(indicated) it skips outwards, then somewhere in-between it should balance. That is setting you want, regardless of what the dial reads.
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby kelvinMunson » 26 Jul 2012 18:18

Just noticed another post here with a similar antiskate problem to yours

viewtopic.php?f=37&t=47065
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Re: Dual 1219 Quirks - First TT

Postby Bran Kulez » 17 Aug 2012 05:12

Alec124c41 wrote:,,,If you found the Steuerpimpel, wipe off any grease or oil from it and the paddle that moves it.


sounds like something one should do in private... [-X
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