Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

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Tazzybehr
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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 12 Apr 2019 23:17

One thing I'm noting here is I just discovered the pitch control isn't working. The speed the turntable is set at is almost dead on, but when I tried to adjust the pitch, the speed did not respond. Going to have to figure out if this is a dried lubricant issue or something else. Aaah, well it isn't a new turntable, I should have expected a gremlin or two.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 05 May 2019 03:19

tlscapital wrote:
31 Mar 2019 22:50
What sort of connectors does the tonearm cables have ? Din, RCA... Likely if corroded or worn it/they could be replaced. This is a classic replacement that will instantly in many cases bring back the good sound in full.

If ever, a recabling (1 mete max, low capacitance and shielded) can be welcome as well. How about the inner tonearm wiring ? Is it still looking good and in place ? And the what about the cartridge and stylus, what are they ?

Well, I wish I could buy you a beer! I just got the turntable back from my tech, and the cables were cause of 70% of the distortion. The other 30% was due to the fact that my brand new Pfanstiehl replacement stylus for my Shure cartridge I bought from Amazon turned out to be a 78rpm stylus despite being marked on Amazon and the packaging as a 33rpm.

Pitch control simply needed to be unstuck, turntable cartridge weight and position are perfect, and my vinyl now sounds almost as it should have to begin with.

The horns...still not prevalent on that old Humperdinck album, but I'm chalking this up to something another posted noted that certain cartridges play things one way while others play them another way.

At least the bass sounds normal now, instead of being so heavy it was dampening everything else.

Thank you, and to everyone else here that offered up kind advice to a stranger. You all got it right, and now I am happily enjoying the sounds of Tanya Tucker and Queen without gritting my teeth.

:D :D :D :D :D

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by tlscapital » 05 May 2019 08:36

Tazzybehr wrote:
05 May 2019 03:19
Well, I wish I could buy you a beer! I just got the turntable back from my tech, and the cables were cause of 70% of the distortion. The other 30% was due to the fact that my brand new Pfanstiehl replacement stylus for my Shure cartridge I bought from Amazon turned out to be a 78rpm stylus despite being marked on Amazon and the packaging as a 33rpm.
That beer deal I gladly accept :mrgreen: As for the replacement stylus, ask for a refund if it's not too late. In the future I'd say buy such phono parts from specialized dealers only. Who might also be of better advices if ever. And do not spare few pennies buying cheaper generic styluses. Pay them their worth.
Tazzybehr wrote:
05 May 2019 03:19
The horns...still not prevalent on that old Humperdinck album, but I'm chalking this up to something another posted noted that certain cartridges play things one way while others play them another way.

At least the bass sounds normal now, instead of being so heavy it was dampening everything else.
This to me could either be a preamp efficiency deal or the speakers limitation. This either due to the the tweater's build or their 'old' out of shape capacitors . Finally if your ears are use to "older" amplification, modern (digital) amplification don't have the same dynamic curve and tend to "kill" the highs that we value.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by DSJR » 05 May 2019 11:52

The M93E does have a dull balance, but not so dull as to sound totally muffled (turning the 'treble' control up half way is usually enough with most amps to sort-of correct it). Dual's tonearm 'dials' are pretty accurate as a breed and I used to track my 93E (and sibling M75-EJ) at 1.8g or so. Replacing RCA plugs and even the cables won't cure the issue I think.

You have studied the instruction book to help train you to set the arm up? Manuals available to download in the library here and all later Duals are pretty much the same in basic tonearm setup.

What's the amp? Do you haver a tuner or digital source to play through it as comparison? From such a vast difference, it sounds like your tweeters are blown, but obviously if the sound is fine with other sources, it points more to the deck. Cleaning contacts isn't enough to correct a dull sound though.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by mrow2 » 05 May 2019 18:34

Original poster is placing too much trust in the cartridge and stylus and trying to find the cause of dull sound in other parts which pretty much work or they don't, or there's hum, cutout and static when they don't. The amp repair guy made out real well. A little bit of dodgy plating on connectors doesn't make the sound dull. Everything does need to be clean, to be sure, but after that we always go straight to the cartridge, stylus and cables (Dual originals are great). First, the stylus piece needs to be pushed all the way in to the cartridge body. If that's good, then there may be something more unususal to do with the cartridge or stylus. This type of complaint is very rare on a Shure cartridge. There are no new "Shure" replacements, so right away we know that the poster is using one of the $15 to $40 after-market replacements (it's the luck of the draw in my own opinion) and fingers crossed. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes not. It's time to surrender this stylus battle if the sound doesn't improve very soon.

So, a new cartridge in this case is probably warranted, and should have been done before now. IbIs1 and 62Vauxhall presented reasonable thinking on this. The new stylus will indicate the next step for certain; the sound should be bright, crisp and have good treble and bass. If the poster doesn't want to spend a lot and put a vast amount of study into this he can look at the recently re-engineered Audio-Technica AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge for good, crisp sound. If you wish to spend more, there are more choices. Be aware that cartridges have improved over the years (DSJR will affirm), and that new ones like this can be superior to the older ones. The 1237 can produce fine sound, just like the other Dual models. Try to stick with the original Dual cables and make sure they don't have any weak wires or breaks in them. Yes the connectors should be cleaned, chrome polish works on the plated parts, then isopropyl + Q-tip detailing. New connectors if neatly soldered, will be good. Neutrik are supposed to be good, several ones to choose from. All the common sense stuff, but the brightness and sound quality come mostly from the cartridge.

There is an injection mold alignment gauge available, or Pat's, or it can be done without one; guess you have this coming already?

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by mrow2 » 06 May 2019 00:31

I just took a second look at this thread and in scrolling page to page and up/down I missed the earlier post from tlscapital about the 78 rpm Pfanstiehl stylus. Yes, that would do it. I'd bet the majority of the poor sound came from that and not the cables. The 78 stylus is huge as compared with a decent 33 rpm stylus, I'm kind of surprised it would track. The AT-VM95E is still something to consider but it does seem as the trouble is resolved.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 08 May 2019 21:24

tlscapital wrote:
05 May 2019 08:36
Tazzybehr wrote:
05 May 2019 03:19
Well, I wish I could buy you a beer! I just got the turntable back from my tech, and the cables were cause of 70% of the distortion. The other 30% was due to the fact that my brand new Pfanstiehl replacement stylus for my Shure cartridge I bought from Amazon turned out to be a 78rpm stylus despite being marked on Amazon and the packaging as a 33rpm.
That beer deal I gladly accept :mrgreen: As for the replacement stylus, ask for a refund if it's not too late. In the future I'd say buy such phono parts from specialized dealers only. Who might also be of better advices if ever. And do not spare few pennies buying cheaper generic styluses. Pay them their worth.
Tazzybehr wrote:
05 May 2019 03:19
The horns...still not prevalent on that old Humperdinck album, but I'm chalking this up to something another posted noted that certain cartridges play things one way while others play them another way.

At least the bass sounds normal now, instead of being so heavy it was dampening everything else.
This to me could either be a pre amp efficiency deal or the speakers limitation. This either due to the the tweater's build or their 'old' out of shape capacitors . Finally if your ears are use to "older" amplification, modern (digital) amplification don't have the same dynamic curve and tend to "kill" the highs that we value.
OK, nope, it's not the speakers. I had my old speakers from the stereo that preceded this unit hooked up to this amplifier, and the same tonality was on them as is on these Tannoy's. On my old unit, I had both ceramic and magnetic turntables over the years, that high sharp sound was perfectly balanced with the rest of the instrumentation. It's probably it's pre amp phono stage. In the next year or so I plan to take the receiver back in for a total recap (right now, save for the tuner, everything is working very well, no need at the moment). But I'd never have guessed the RCA jacks could cause that level of distortion. Guess I'm never too old to learn. As for the stylus, it cost me almost 70 bucks (that particular model of Shure cartridge doesn't seem to have much available outside of the Pfanstiehl model. In the future, I will probably do a cartridge upgrade to something that is more for a DJ's turntable, to get things up a notch or two. OH, and the speakers were completely rebuilt by my tech. New foam surrounds and new caps, and he did something to the driver to tighten things up (forgot the explanation). Speakers sound awesome. I was going to buy a set of Bose speakers, but he told me they're not as efficient as they once were, and recommended maybe going with something like Klipsch or older Infinity speakers instead (then I test drove the Tannoy's, and liked what I heard, thus the purchase).

I'll just have to learn to live with the audio change for now, and hope I'm able to get things up to where I like them to be as I go along. For now, the stereo sounds worlds apart from what it was.

Thank you again...everyone.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 08 May 2019 21:34

mrow2 wrote:
06 May 2019 00:31
I just took a second look at this thread and in scrolling page to page and up/down I missed the earlier post from tlscapital about the 78 rpm Pfanstiehl stylus. Yes, that would do it. I'd bet the majority of the poor sound came from that and not the cables. The 78 stylus is huge as compared with a decent 33 rpm stylus, I'm kind of surprised it would track. The AT-VM95E is still something to consider but it does seem as the trouble is resolved.
I have a spare sled from an old Dual 1229 turntable that housed an older Sony cartridge. I put that onto my 1237 and that distortion was still evident, although things sounded "less" compromised. I also put the older stylus that was replaced by that 78rpm cartridge on, that distortion remained. What the new stylus did was to make the vocals less "grainy", decrease the heavy bass and clarify the highs a little bit. That was tested before the audio cables were replaced. When he replaced the RCA jacks and cables with new ones, the sound difference was pronounced and immediate. Even when we put the old stylus back on and swapped the sleds out, it really did change the entire sound. Granted, that 78rpm stylus really didn't sound too great on any cabling. I'm a little cheesed off that Amazon sold me something that was clearly unsuitable for the task. I have a sneaking suspicion whatever third party they use had a bunch of 78's in stock and changed the labels to liquidate them at premium prices. This could have ruined my records. Luckily, I don't listen to anything that is less than clear, so my records didn't go near that turntable until it was playing clearly. But to sum things up, those cables caused the worst part of the distortion in this case. The stylus finished off the less than stellar sound.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 08 May 2019 21:38

Tazzybehr wrote:
08 May 2019 21:24
tlscapital wrote:
05 May 2019 08:36
Tazzybehr wrote:
05 May 2019 03:19
Well, I wish I could buy you a beer! I just got the turntable back from my tech, and the cables were cause of 70% of the distortion. The other 30% was due to the fact that my brand new Pfanstiehl replacement stylus for my Shure cartridge I bought from Amazon turned out to be a 78rpm stylus despite being marked on Amazon and the packaging as a 33rpm.
That beer deal I gladly accept :mrgreen: As for the replacement stylus, ask for a refund if it's not too late. In the future I'd say buy such phono parts from specialized dealers only. Who might also be of better advices if ever. And do not spare few pennies buying cheaper generic styluses. Pay them their worth.
Tazzybehr wrote:
05 May 2019 03:19
The horns...still not prevalent on that old Humperdinck album, but I'm chalking this up to something another posted noted that certain cartridges play things one way while others play them another way.

At least the bass sounds normal now, instead of being so heavy it was dampening everything else.
This to me could either be a pre amp efficiency deal or the speakers limitation. This either due to the the tweater's build or their 'old' out of shape capacitors . Finally if your ears are use to "older" amplification, modern (digital) amplification don't have the same dynamic curve and tend to "kill" the highs that we value.
OK, nope, it's not the speakers. I had my old speakers from the stereo that preceded this unit hooked up to this amplifier, and the same tonality was on them as is on these Tannoy's. On my old unit, I had both ceramic and magnetic turntables over the years, that high sharp sound was perfectly balanced with the rest of the instrumentation. It's probably it's pre amp phono stage. In the next year or so I plan to take the receiver back in for a total recap (right now, save for the tuner, everything is working very well, no need at the moment). But I'd never have guessed the RCA jacks could cause that level of distortion. Guess I'm never too old to learn. As for the stylus, it cost me almost 70 bucks (that particular model of Shure cartridge doesn't seem to have much available outside of the Pfanstiehl model. In the future, I will probably do a cartridge upgrade to something that is more for a DJ's turntable, to get things up a notch or two. OH, and the speakers were completely rebuilt by my tech. New foam surrounds and new caps, and he did something to the driver to tighten things up (forgot the explanation). Speakers sound awesome. I was going to buy a set of Bose speakers, but he told me they're not as efficient as they once were, and recommended maybe going with something like Klipsch or older Infinity speakers instead (then I test drove the Tannoy's, and liked what I heard, thus the purchase).

I'll just have to learn to live with the audio change for now, and hope I'm able to get things up to where I like them to be as I go along. For now, the stereo sounds worlds apart from what it was.

Thank you again...everyone.
P.S. I have a good source now through Canuck Audio Mart that supplies either OEM or higher end replacement stylus and cartridges, so I won't have to resort to Amazon again for this one.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 08 May 2019 21:54

mrow2 wrote:
05 May 2019 18:34
Original poster is placing too much trust in the cartridge and stylus and trying to find the cause of dull sound in other parts which pretty much work or they don't, or there's hum, cutout and static when they don't. The amp repair guy made out real well. A little bit of dodgy plating on connectors doesn't make the sound dull. Everything does need to be clean, to be sure, but after that we always go straight to the cartridge, stylus and cables (Dual originals are great). First, the stylus piece needs to be pushed all the way in to the cartridge body. If that's good, then there may be something more unususal to do with the cartridge or stylus. This type of complaint is very rare on a Shure cartridge. There are no new "Shure" replacements, so right away we know that the poster is using one of the $15 to $40 after-market replacements (it's the luck of the draw in my own opinion) and fingers crossed. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes not. It's time to surrender this stylus battle if the sound doesn't improve very soon.

So, a new cartridge in this case is probably warranted, and should have been done before now. IbIs1 and 62Vauxhall presented reasonable thinking on this. The new stylus will indicate the next step for certain; the sound should be bright, crisp and have good treble and bass. If the poster doesn't want to spend a lot and put a vast amount of study into this he can look at the recently re-engineered Audio-Technica AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge for good, crisp sound. If you wish to spend more, there are more choices. Be aware that cartridges have improved over the years (DSJR will affirm), and that new ones like this can be superior to the older ones. The 1237 can produce fine sound, just like the other Dual models. Try to stick with the original Dual cables and make sure they don't have any weak wires or breaks in them. Yes the connectors should be cleaned, chrome polish works on the plated parts, then isopropyl + Q-tip detailing. New connectors if neatly soldered, will be good. Neutrik are supposed to be good, several ones to choose from. All the common sense stuff, but the brightness and sound quality come mostly from the cartridge.

There is an injection mold alignment gauge available, or Pat's, or it can be done without one; guess you have this coming already?
The audio cables were the source of that hum. When I first wrote this thread, I didn't hear the low hum when the turntable was hooked up. It was only when I threw on a set of headphones and didn't have a record playing that I detected that hum. It was just enough to throw off the audio clarity. The tech I hired worked with me on every stage (I wanted to learn) of his work on my amp and the turntable repairs. The cartridge was deemed to be in good working condition, and the stylus, once replaced with the correct (and higher quality) type clarified what little remained of the distortion I was experiencing. The only thing I have left to do now that I've properly adjusted the tone arm weights with a scale I bought (thanks to you very helpful gents) and a chart I found online for my model of cartridge and stylus is to use the azimuth tool I bought (again, thanks for pointing out guys that I should be using one) to ensure the stylus is fit as precisely as I can get it for optimum performance. My azimuth tool isn't the injection mold type. I opted in for the flat measure tool instead on the advice of my tech, as it can be used on any turntable where the molded variety is only good for specific cartridges.
Last edited by Tazzybehr on 08 May 2019 22:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 08 May 2019 22:01

DSJR wrote:
05 May 2019 11:52
The M93E does have a dull balance, but not so dull as to sound totally muffled (turning the 'treble' control up half way is usually enough with most amps to sort-of correct it). Dual's tonearm 'dials' are pretty accurate as a breed and I used to track my 93E (and sibling M75-EJ) at 1.8g or so. Replacing RCA plugs and even the cables won't cure the issue I think.

You have studied the instruction book to help train you to set the arm up? Manuals available to download in the library here and all later Duals are pretty much the same in basic tonearm setup.

What's the amp? Do you haver a tuner or digital source to play through it as comparison? From such a vast difference, it sounds like your tweeters are blown, but obviously if the sound is fine with other sources, it points more to the deck. Cleaning contacts isn't enough to correct a dull sound though.
Sorry, I just now saw this. I have the original manual for this turntable, and have used it to replace my belt, cartridge configuration, etc. The cables were most of the problem. People are all pointing at the cartridge, and yes, it was part of the issue, but not as pronounced as you'd expect. The cables, once replaced with new ones (the older cables had issues, as did the RCA jacks on them) really cleaned up most of my problems. That ground fault noise vanished (it was low, but I could hear it distorting at all levels of volume), and so did all of the overwhelming lows and underwhelming highs in the audio playback. The correct and new stylus balanced out the heavy bass and put most of the high end trebles back to right (mostly). I plan on a total recap of the amp in a year or so, and at that time will buy a new DJ quality cartridge (will spend a few hundred on it) and stylus at the same time. For now, I'm just happy to have music playing that doesn't make me grit my teeth when listening to it.

Thanks again for your kind help.
Dave.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 08 May 2019 23:46

mrow2 wrote:
05 May 2019 18:34
Original poster is placing too much trust in the cartridge and stylus and trying to find the cause of dull sound in other parts which pretty much work or they don't, or there's hum, cutout and static when they don't. The amp repair guy made out real well. A little bit of dodgy plating on connectors doesn't make the sound dull. Everything does need to be clean, to be sure, but after that we always go straight to the cartridge, stylus and cables (Dual originals are great). First, the stylus piece needs to be pushed all the way in to the cartridge body. If that's good, then there may be something more unususal to do with the cartridge or stylus. This type of complaint is very rare on a Shure cartridge. There are no new "Shure" replacements, so right away we know that the poster is using one of the $15 to $40 after-market replacements (it's the luck of the draw in my own opinion) and fingers crossed. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes not. It's time to surrender this stylus battle if the sound doesn't improve very soon.

So, a new cartridge in this case is probably warranted, and should have been done before now. IbIs1 and 62Vauxhall presented reasonable thinking on this. The new stylus will indicate the next step for certain; the sound should be bright, crisp and have good treble and bass. If the poster doesn't want to spend a lot and put a vast amount of study into this he can look at the recently re-engineered Audio-Technica AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge for good, crisp sound. If you wish to spend more, there are more choices. Be aware that cartridges have improved over the years (DSJR will affirm), and that new ones like this can be superior to the older ones. The 1237 can produce fine sound, just like the other Dual models. Try to stick with the original Dual cables and make sure they don't have any weak wires or breaks in them. Yes the connectors should be cleaned, chrome polish works on the plated parts, then isopropyl + Q-tip detailing. New connectors if neatly soldered, will be good. Neutrik are supposed to be good, several ones to choose from. All the common sense stuff, but the brightness and sound quality come mostly from the cartridge.

There is an injection mold alignment gauge available, or Pat's, or it can be done without one; guess you have this coming already?
I just did a very minor adjustment my tech didn't catch with the stylus on the azimuth I purchased (ruler style with magnifier), and my stylus leaned ever so slightly to the left. Adjusted the cartridge screws accordingly, now she's dead center and tracking perfectly.

All of this because of your (all you guys) generosity. I've learned a great deal, and now I have everything dialed in and swinging beautifully.

Thank you all again and again.

DAve.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by mrow2 » 09 May 2019 06:44

Very good, glad it's all doing better. Very much doubt the 78 stylus wrongly packaged or sent was intentional. It was simply a packaging mistake. There's no gain for them to be intentionally doing that in order to dump incorrectly matched product. You also mentioned obtaining a DJ-quality cartridge and stylus down the line. (Automotive metaphor: a large off-road vehicle, the meanest tires and suspension available, but being driven exclusively on nice, smooth road surfaces; and the resulting ride hard as rocks). For a few hundred there definitely are some nice cartridges though.

That first set of cables must have been really bad.

I borrowed this Audio Technica image of their new VM670SP dedicated 78rpm cartridge stylus. 3 mil conical!
Attachments
VM600 series 78rpm stylus.jpg
(40.06 KiB) Downloaded 26 times

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by Tazzybehr » 09 May 2019 11:00

Thanks for the visual aid. I've made a case with the seller. Hopefully I get some of the money back I spent, as I bought a "premium" stylus, or so I thought.

Maybe DJ grade isn't the way to go then I guess... :-)

For now, this will do. At least it plays and sounds like it should. Thanks again.

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Re: Dual 1237 not delivering the best audio

Post by DSJR » 09 May 2019 12:12

The VM95E enjoys an even better performance than the evergreen AT95E did and for many, it's all that's needed (see German Lowbeats review with measurements - you'll need a browser-translator). Better styli available too.