Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

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Miltoner
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Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Miltoner » 20 Aug 2019 06:04

hi guys, I bought used RP1 two months ago and my dad gave Dual 1246 which works as expected.
which one to keep? is it easy to maintain Dual TT? I heard, need to lubricate on Dual TT and couldn't not find where to lubricate. Can any one help me out here?

vanakaru
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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by vanakaru » 20 Aug 2019 08:19

I may be wrong but from your question I get feeling that you are rather new to turntables. From that point I would keep Rega.
Unless you are planning to be a tweaker of vintage gear in the future forget the lubrication. It involves taking all the clockwork of Dual apart, cleaning and re-lubing with PROPER lubricants(I think there was at least 3 different kinds) with proper amount. If your Dual works don't do anything - specially don't spray anything anywhere.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Pauw » 20 Aug 2019 11:04

Fast forward 20 years......the Dual will be fine if it has had a bit of service, parts will still be there and the knowledge will be still there...........that will then be around 60 years Duals have been fine tables.

The Rega ?

:D

Solist
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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Solist » 20 Aug 2019 12:17

Well just compare them side by side. Its a bit hard to decide that way because the cartridges are different, but worth a go?

I have no idea what the expected lifetime of a RP1 is (the first to go would be the motor), but a maintained Dual will spin for another 50 years.

Check the library, there should be a service manual. There is also a dedicated Dual sub forum on this site.

Woodbrains
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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Woodbrains » 20 Aug 2019 16:30

Hello,

ERM! Rega dates back to 1973 and there are loads of 30+ year Rega turntables still in good working order. I'm not saying the RP1 is a fabulous turntable, but Dual also made some low budget, in fairness cheaply made products. It is all very well saying the Dual will last decades more, where are spares going to come from? Don't get me wrong, I love my vintage stuff, but let us have a bit of perspective here. If I bought a Rega tomorrow, it would last me till the end of my days, so might the Dual, so what is the odds.

If it is all about sound quality and ease of use, get a Rega. If it is about fussing and fettling, get the Dual.

Mike.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by lbls1 » 21 Aug 2019 02:32

The 1246 is far from a being a low end Dual. It is a very fine example of an automatic turntable. If it is in good working order, the 1246 will work flawlessly while maintaining a very wide soundstage.

I am assuming the Dual has more features than the Rega, despite being roughly 40 years older. Also note that one of the excellent traits of a Dual in this genre is the tracking of the tone-arm. The only downside is the age and condition of the Dual. You will have to access this before making a choice.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Mr Pig » 22 Aug 2019 00:23

I'd be very surprised if the Rega did not sound better. Plus it's a lot simpler and fully supported by the manufacturer so a better long term bet.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by nat » 22 Aug 2019 00:27

If the prime consideration of all decisions was what will turn out to be the best in 50 years, that might be a good thing. But I'm not sure that choice of turntables is the specific decision that would benefit most. I can think of many other decisions that might be more consequential...
It seems to me that the question first is, do they both work perfectly? If not, the answer is obvious. Second is: does one sound better than the other, not in terms of what the cartridge does, but in terms of rumble, wow, flutter, and hum? Again, if there is a discernable difference, the answer should be obvious. Third is: do you want an automatic? If so, the answer is the Dual. Otherwise, I suspect that the answer might be the Rega.
The Dual is the midlevel model of a very good changer maker, but made somewhat after their heyday, and the the Rega is the entry level table of a very good no frills manual table maker, also perhaps somewhat after their heyday.
Not sure what Ibis1 means by the tracking of the tone -arm. Dual arms in the top models are a little longer than usual in changers, which should be good (I can't remember if this is true of the 1246, but I don't think it is), but they are made of bits and pieces, which isn't ideal. The RPI arm appears to be based on the excellent one piece casting RB 300 etc arm, but built down to a price - there appear to be various bits and pieces there, also. Alas.
Over time, the Dual will require more attention than the Rega. If parts are needed, the Dual may be in greater supply, but it also has more parts that might be needed.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Issuesman666 » 22 Aug 2019 01:16

Sell both and buy something like a Rega 3 if you like the Rega sound.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by lbls1 » 22 Aug 2019 04:13

nat wrote:
22 Aug 2019 00:27
If the prime consideration of all decisions was what will turn out to be the best in 50 years, that might be a good thing. But I'm not sure that choice of turntables is the specific decision that would benefit most. I can think of many other decisions that might be more consequential...
It seems to me that the question first is, do they both work perfectly? If not, the answer is obvious. Second is: does one sound better than the other, not in terms of what the cartridge does, but in terms of rumble, wow, flutter, and hum? Again, if there is a discernable difference, the answer should be obvious. Third is: do you want an automatic? If so, the answer is the Dual. Otherwise, I suspect that the answer might be the Rega.
The Dual is the midlevel model of a very good changer maker, but made somewhat after their heyday, and the the Rega is the entry level table of a very good no frills manual table maker, also perhaps somewhat after their heyday.
Not sure what Ibis1 means by the tracking of the tone -arm. Dual arms in the top models are a little longer than usual in changers, which should be good (I can't remember if this is true of the 1246, but I don't think it is), but they are made of bits and pieces, which isn't ideal. The RPI arm appears to be based on the excellent one piece casting RB 300 etc arm, but built down to a price - there appear to be various bits and pieces there, also. Alas.
Over time, the Dual will require more attention than the Rega. If parts are needed, the Dual may be in greater supply, but it also has more parts that might be needed.
Check the 1246 in Dual's turntable model description. It was not a mid-level product, but a top level product within its genre. The tone arm tracking of Dual (during this period) was known to be precise with vertical tracking and anti-skate.

The Rega looks like it is absent of a speed pitch, automatic cueing of the tone-arm, and its uncertain whether it has adjustments beyond anti-skate. If others have good testimonials about this model then great; Otherwise it appears to be of a very modest build quality.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Solist » 22 Aug 2019 09:29

One thing I have to ask about the 1246. Is there a replaceable copper plate under the bottom bearing of the motor? Hard to see in the service manual.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Mr Pig » 22 Aug 2019 10:22

nat wrote:
22 Aug 2019 00:27
The RPI arm appears to be based on the excellent one piece casting RB 300 etc arm, but built down to a price..
No, it isn't. I strongly suspect that the RP1 has been designed to give Rega and entry level product to compete with the cheap ProJect decks. The arm is an assembly which looks pretty cheap compared to the cast arms. Other cost cutting includes a thinner main bearing and the plastic platter.

When I first looked at the RP1 I was not impressed but what can I say, it sounds really good! The plastic platter sounds as good as a glass one, I've tried it, and overall the deck is on a par with an early Planer3/RB300. Maybe not quite as good but in the ballpark. There is no doubt about it, Rega know what they are doing and have greatly refined and developed their turntables over the years. They may look similar at first glance but they're not. They are very simple decks but the quality is where it counts.

Having said that, I too would sell both and buy a better Rega, if that works out.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by lbls1 » 23 Aug 2019 01:28

It isn't really an apples to apples comparison between the two. The Dual obviously has an advantage in quality and features, yet is 40 years older than the Rega. The Rega is newer, yet has (to me) questionable quality in its components, and is almost bare in features.

Your best alternative is to compare the Rega to another new turntable with similar features. The Dual is a vintage craft that can serve its audience well if it is in good working order. From experience, it will probably outperform the Rega (that isn't good for Rega), yet you have to consider it is a craft from a different genre; It was made in the seventies, and it is a fully automatic turntable. A comparison to the likes of a Rega really wouldn't be a fair comparison.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by nat » 23 Aug 2019 02:50

Ibis: The last digit in Dual numbers gives the level of the turntable in its range. The usual range of levels in 12 series tables was from 4 to 9. (I think you can find some lower level models in the early iterations, such as the 1211.) To me that means that Dual saw the 1246 as a midlevel table in their range. You can argue that Duals are all good tables, and probably most people would agree with you. Duals were among the better changers, but changers involve some compromises in how they are made to allow for dropping records - ball races rather than single point bearings, and many, many more parts, all of which resonate, and an arm that can't be set for only one record height - yeah, I know that there is a single/multiple record switchable headshell, which is flimsy (many have broken), not rigid, and has springs in it, right where you don't want springs. So I don't see it as a top level table.
The Dual arms are certainly good, but I don't see how having adjustments for tracking force and antiskating distinguish it from many other arms.

Mr Pig - by 'appears to be based on' and 'built down to a price' , I meant that the RP1 arm looks somewhat like the RB 300 and follows its shape and geometry, but is not actually like it, since it is made of bits and pieces . I suspect that the experience of having made the 300 gave Rega some insight into making a much more conventional arm that sounds better than one might expect, and apparently you agree.

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Re: Rega RP1 vs Dual 1246 which one to keep?

Post by Mr Pig » 23 Aug 2019 09:24

nat wrote:
23 Aug 2019 02:50
by 'appears to be based on' and 'built down to a price' , I meant that the RP1 arm looks somewhat like the RB 300..
You weren't very clear about what you said then. You said:
The RPI arm appears to be based on the excellent one piece casting RB 300..
Which suggests it uses the one-piece casting. The RB100/101 isn't 'based on' the RB300 series arms at all really. The defining characteristic of those arms is the tube casting and the RB100 doesn't use it. It's just a straight alloy tube with a plastic headshell pushed in the end.

When you're talking about the quality of the dual, you are largly talking about the quality of parts that don't matter. Sure, it has a lot of automation built in but none of this does anything for the sound quality. In fact it does harm as it's just stuff to resonate and add distortion. Also, the more complexity, the more there is to go wrong and none of this gubbins is in production any more.

If you actively want the automation, fair enough. It is quite nice putting a record on when you go to bed knowing that the turntable will go to sleep as well. For me, the performance was too important and I soon moved to simpler, better sounding turntables and I've never considered going back.

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