How did you end up with a Dual?

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uniqueusername
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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by uniqueusername » 31 Oct 2014 23:26

Bought my first nice table from a local radio station (KBCO) when they did an upgrade in the 80s. It was an SL1100A, had it until last year.

I had other tables along the way including my Sota Sapphire with ET-2 air-bearing arm. I rip my vinyl as a hobby (24/96 transfers).
I have a lot of mono jazz and wanted to try a mono table and cartridge. I settled on the Denon DL-102 mono, then needed a table. I had always thought the Dual tables had a cool vibe and high engineering quality, so started looking. Long story short, I happened on a 1219 on craigslist, ultimately, the woman wanted rid of it (her deceased fathers' table), she gave it to me free! It needed light clean up and lube, and has worked flawless since. I mounted the Denon and it makes a quality mono rip!

http://home.comcast.net/~bh80231/Dual1219/photo3.jpg

I had read more and decided I wanted a 1019. Recently found a 1009, knew nothing about it (until I wrote to Klaus!). Guy was original owner, got the table and 120 LPs for $95. I re-sold the vinyl for $45, so into it for $50. Not sure what I will do with it long term yet.
http://home.comcast.net/~bh80231/Dual1009/IMG_4371.jpg

After this I had speed issues with my Sota. I read about the Phoenix Engineering Falcon PSU Turntable Speed Controller and Roadrunner tachometer. I got to thinking that tach is just a hall effect sensor! Great idea, but too pricy! So, off to ebay, got one for $20, now I have a digital realtime display of my speed. My curiosity was peaked, why don't manufacturers build these into their tables??
http://i59.tinypic.com/t511cm.jpg

Then I found out about the 700 series of Dual, they did do this! So, began my quest for a 701. Went to check one out today actually, but it was way overpriced, had a cracked cover, and issues with start/stop. He was not willing to negotiate enough for me. But, he had a 3-car garage full of gear, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, on rolling racks. I spotted a box that said "Dual 721" on it. Long story short, it works flawlessly, for some reason he was not as high on this one, I got it for $80. So, now I have 3 Dual tables. I hope I am done for a while... ;)

http://home.comcast.net/~bh80231/Dual721/IMG_4544.jpg

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by dualcan » 01 Nov 2014 00:03

Good for you!
Certainly the seller did not know what he had!
The 721 is the finest turntable Dual ever produced in my opinion.
It surpasses the 701 in the tonearm design but keeps the Pabst eds1000 motor which is the finest motor Dual ever employed.
Two things to check. I am wondering why the unit has the start knob over the stop position. Perhaps it is out of alignment? Always start-cycle all post 1006 Dual turntables with the tonearm locked, to reposition all the levers after transport.
Second item is the noise suppressor condenser that I mentioned in the motor guide. It should be changed if (and most likely does) show cracks. See the notes on these condensers in the motor service guide within Serving Dual Turntables sticky for further info on this.
Great turntable and I'm jealous!
Regards,
k

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by vinyl master » 01 Nov 2014 05:21

That is really awesome! You've got three of the nicest examples right there...I've always said that there's nothing wrong in owning more than one turntable...Good as spare back-up tables, too, and all 3 are excellently regarded!

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by Tinkaroo » 01 Nov 2014 10:17

dualcan wrote:Good for you!
Certainly the seller did not know what he had!
The 721 is the finest turntable Dual ever produced in my opinion.
It surpasses the 701 in the tonearm design but keeps the Pabst eds1000 motor which is the finest motor Dual ever employed.
Two things to check. I am wondering why the unit has the start knob over the stop position. Perhaps it is out of alignment? Always start-cycle all post 1006 Dual turntables with the tonearm locked, to reposition all the levers after transport.
Second item is the noise suppressor condenser that I mentioned in the motor guide. It should be changed if (and most likely does) show cracks. See the notes on these condensers in the motor service guide within Serving Dual Turntables sticky for further info on this.
Great turntable and I'm jealous!
Regards,
k
Just to comment on what Klaus said regarding the 721.

Yes it is one of the finest Dual turntables with a superb motor and tonearm and I am happy to own one as well as a 701. The 721 allows you to adjust the tonearm height as well as the speed at which the tonearm lowers. They are both excellent turntables. =D>

When I first got my 721 the start/stop lever was sticking from non use and I needed to free it up.It is supposed to spring back to the center position between start and stop markings after you take your finger off it.

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by J.D. » 01 Nov 2014 18:24

Although this would be a more linear narrative if I were able to say I went from Garrard 301s to an EMT 927, that hasn't quite materialized yet (nor has the small pickup truck to carry the funds to purchase one...)

As an infant I had a Westinghouse suitcase-style tubed record player. Graduated to molesting parent's Grundig, and auntie's Columbia -- consoles. To mitigate the inevitable damage, a birthday brought me a Singer portable record player, quite the style statement in the swinging sixties era. As adolescence proceeded, an uncle who worked for Philco Radio obtained a Philco-Ford SoundSonic turntable for my needs; it wasn't very good, kind of a claptrap idler & changer, ala BSR or similar, but it was a Component style unit, with a dustcover(!) enviably fitted with the requisite Oiled Walnut Base and very much occupied pride & joy Flagship status in my teenage system. (Proof of my burgeoning fascination with audio was that I figured out how to jack it into the phonostage of my battery singer player, then out to external speakers that were outboard Grundig accessories, for pure playback grandeur. It was all Rubber Soul and Donovan in those days. Having decisively exploded the amp inside the Grundig console by now, (and tossing myself across the room in the effort), I had the only record player in the household. No-one cared.)

College brought another fairly crap but impressive (very low, slim-line & sexy) walnut based table in the form of a B.I.C. belt table. It coerced the listener with black nearly digital silences between the sonics... Belt Drive! This was fine for slamming those Electric Light Orchestras and Roxy Musics of the era, but the genius minds of the Matsushita corp in Japan were already working out my next table, and just in time for the more danceable music on the horizon; my next one was to be a first generation SL-1600 (or 1500, can't recall, had auto-lift at record's end). A very very good sounding table, though, as compared to the lackluster gear of its day, and beautiful build quality. Looked extraterrestrial next to the oiled-walnut brethren of the day before. Milled aluminum ! Talking Heads and Siouxie And The Banshees! Heading into the 80s, extraterrestrial was a plus, and this turned out to be my best choice of table so far.

Following this, the cassette and the mixtape became an intriguing side-road; we were all mobile now, with our Walkman players and foam-eared headphones. Moving to New York City made this an obvious choice for a twenty-something; toss tapes and players into your Danish Schoolbag and go. Mobile stereosystem in a bag! Even then, of course, it was obvious that the 1⅞ inch per second speed of cassette was painfully, horribly inadequate. Along with the Analog Antichrist of the compact disc, the years to follow brought the decline of the Lp and the turntable.

By the early nineties, having early-adopter'd the Cd with the best of them, I was ready to return to some of the delight of Lp collecting-- records now were cheaper than ever, people were casting off the used ones in great numbers and great condition, and the new ones were still available if you knew where to go to look. And if you were after Senegalese world music or Bop Jazz or something, Lp was still the serious format. To get re-involved I bought a Dual 1249 belt table-- with its own Oiled Walnut plinth ! Again.

I'd be lying not to say that the sound of 33.3 Lp wasn't richer, deeper, more present and compelling than the 'advances' of the Eighties. For me and a few others, vinyl came back with a vengeance in the early nineties. I began to read publications like Absolute Sound, Stereophile, and eventually, Listener and Sound Practices... there was a trail of breadcrumbs left by retro-frontiersman audiophiles leading back to the future with LP as a legitimate, proven, sound source for a modern system. The dual was dependable and sounded great, but I had longer-range plans. I wanted Moving Coil, I wanted stepup-transformering, I wanted esoterica.

At first I went with a Rotel/Rega table, one of the many 'Planar' style minimalist decks, and I began to strip down the Dual of all of it's auto features. (Eventually that would become unrecognizable as a Dual, reimagined in a new plinth, new carbon-fiber arm constructed using only the pivot of the Dual arm, but.. another story there). Exporting the Rega Rb3oo to better tables was then, is now, a standard strategy.

We were moving forward to the era of the Arm. (And of the Cartridge! ..up till now it was a lot of Sumiko variations, lots of broken cantilevers on Bluepoint Specials... ) First, though, a dependable High End deck on which to proceed into this most elaborate and expensive of domains.

It was a given in the early nineties that if you were insane enough to even try the Turntable as a source, you had best be using a massive Belt Drive, preferably with lots of separate platform/ outboard/ double-belted/ flywheel monstrosities attached. So in the United States, this most exclusively led to the VPI company, who cleverly had designed their range with all of that extraneosity geared to be modular and added-on whenever the user felt ready enough, or silly enough. For me it was an Aries table, the first one with the really extremely heavy lead-weighted platter. This played host to the Rega RB arm at first, in all kinds of differently constructed armboards; looking back, I learned a lot about arms, cartridges and armboards because of this one modular aspect. It was really easy to construct a new armboard, bonded, cast, forged, layered, whatever, out of a lot of different materials. The Aries would also support a Hadcock and eventually a Graham arm. Should say Graham plus Koetsu was the apogee of this sound model, technicolor and emotive in signal, very quiet and dark in the silences. Almost unnoticeably, not 1oo% in speed stability; this would begin to nag, ever so slightly.

With all the fiddling around with the Vpi, I needed another table, and tried a couple of Luxmans, another Dual, and Technics SL's, (solid as ever) --while pursuing the Aries experiments beyond the Sumikos and reaching upwards into the Benz and Koetsu area. Thousands of words have been committed to pixel by myself alone on the reason to go from Belt backwards to Idler drive, so I'll leave that little epiphany to the side, as obvious -- and say I had another sea-change, in the early Oughts, to Idler Drive, as exampled soley by the Garrard 3/401.

To be precise, only as exampled by the Schedule One grease-bearing 301, a few of which I got and restored, both grey and ivory enamel. These were from an era that hadn't even envisioned Oiled Walnut standalone Component turntables. I was very happy with the Garrard's bottom line of Phonography, which states that playback integrity is based on the ability of the transport to turn that groove with authority, with accurate timing; the Garrards were that, and interesting beasts on their own. They were like world war submarines, all linkage and brass knobs, pressure ferrules and high-resistance torque; they needed warmup and smelled like petro products when warmed; there were necessary siting and plinthing requirements unlike the 'convenience' world envisioned by all the Component Era "Bookshelf" kinds of turntables. They are an appliance much closer to a military drill-press as imagined by Q Branch, than a self-evidently trans-Euro "Audio" design.

Worth noting here is that said Trans-Euro Audio had by then sort of Icon-ized itself, notably in the beautiful Bauhaus-like designs of Dieter Rams for Braun of Germany. This influenced the world, but in trickling down to the markets, injected that kind of "lifestyle audio" bullshit aspect ... Into the field that was just fine with the (let's admit, uglier) design of the Garrard 301, with its industrial Hammerite finish and phenolic-black pointer knobs right out of noir movies. To see that aesthetic as beautiful took some exposure, some insight; to hear the sound as way more driving, weighty and pacey than the other tables took no such period of adjustment.

Back to me: when I moved from the west coast to the east, a couple years back, I packed the final, best, grey 301 and sold off maybe 2/3 of the Lps I owned. I chaufferred the table and some other desirable audio gear across the rockies, while bulk-shipping the remaining (final, very best) six hundred Lps to the new destination.

Once moved, I was reluctant to unpackage all the gear and start building wallshelves, etc to set it all up properly. I needed a turntable to go with the Interim System, though, and thought first of the ever sturdy Technics SL12oo's, then noticed a few nice things about the Philips belt tables (2/302) until -- until it hit home with no small amount of force. I hadn't spent all these years and dollars and effort in getting to idler drive to set it aside now, for the months that I knew might turn to years ... and go with something I now felt and knew in my bones was a lesser, more flawed system. Belt? In 2014? Are you kidding ?

Luckily the same bolt from the blue, along with an Internet to check, carried the nearly-obvious suggestion: Surely Dual, reliable Dual, had built Idler Drives and built them as their Top Of The Line in some distant era; how far wrong could you go with German engineering, built long ago (before costcutters and beancounters ruled, so ignorantly of the engineering losses involved) and pace Garrard and Thorens, weren't quite the Icon cashcows some idlers had become ... Find out the year and the model where all qualities were present, and that should be it ...

And it was so. Armed with years of Garrard 301 work under my belt, I talked an owner of a near mint Dual 1019 into selling his deck for a song and I was off. Now a new Duallist, I have one interesting little observation to make. It's not that this is the criterion that is final, but-- if I'm not mistaken the Platter from a Dual 1019 is heavier or at least as-heavy as the industrial Garrard 301. Inside, not a British Submarine atmosphere,-- more of a Swiss Clock vibe. The Dual is only about two-thirds the size of a standard 12" deck, and it fits on a bookshelf. And it comes in a stylish Oiled Walnut Plinth that you don't have to build first. Do a little minimal relube, add a fat-output moving magnet cartridge*, and party like it's 1965. In idler drive.
As of right now, the Garrard is still boxed up. Okay, boots, start walkin' ..

( *only mention fat-output MM cartridge because those are well matched to the Dual, and so crucial to swinging the millivolts in a tube phonostage, obviously a perfect complement to this kind of table.. haven't gone there with the dual yet myself, but it's a no-brainer.)

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by jaguars_fan » 03 Nov 2014 19:34

I picked up a 1237 off of ebay when my Pioneer PL-L800 gave up the ghost. So far I like it for its simplicity.

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by dualcan » 03 Nov 2014 21:29

I have just looked over a realistic lab 400 direct drive from my nephew.
Both service and owners manual are listed in the VE library for which I am thankful!
Luckily it works fine--- The drive and platter is steady, and nothing to complain about.
The arm drive is something else... I have never seen a weirder set-up with switches magnets and reed contacts. The alignment looks like pure hell and to boot, you can not simply start this unit without engaging the auto system.
The arm is a heavy built but tracks nicely. If ever the auto system gives trouble, out it comes!
Looking from the simplicity of a Dual, you just wonder what these engineers where thinking when designing such a convoluted mess.
Perhaps I'm just biased...
Jup, I'm biased,- but nevertheless...
Regards
k

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by rodney7 » 03 Nov 2014 23:09

Was searching for a Shure V15V-P cartridge and the one on an eBay Dual 1218 was worth more than what they were asking for the turntable, so I now own a Dual.

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by vinyl master » 04 Nov 2014 03:09

rodney7 wrote:Was searching for a Shure V15V-P cartridge and the one on an eBay Dual 1218 was worth more than what they were asking for the turntable, so I now own a Dual.
And well you should, too! Personally, I think if you're going to go after one nice cartridge, it needs to come with it's own equally-as-nice turntable...You can get the cartridge at a better price sometimes that way than buying it separately...

And yeah, Klaus, I'm biased, too... :mrgreen: I can't help it! These Dual turntables are quite enjoyable! Compact, efficient, and they work fantastically! With a little grease and some TLC, of course... :wink:

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by DSJR » 04 Nov 2014 09:39

These stories gladden the heart. Please keep 'em coming :D

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by Tinkaroo » 04 Nov 2014 11:50

dualcan wrote:I have just looked over a realistic lab 400 direct drive from my nephew.
Both service and owners manual are listed in the VE library for which I am thankful!
Luckily it works fine--- The drive and platter is steady, and nothing to complain about.
The arm drive is something else... I have never seen a weirder set-up with switches magnets and reed contacts. The alignment looks like pure hell and to boot, you can not simply start this unit without engaging the auto system.
The arm is a heavy built but tracks nicely. If ever the auto system gives trouble, out it comes!
Looking from the simplicity of a Dual, you just wonder what these engineers where thinking when designing such a convoluted mess.
Perhaps I'm just biased...
Jup, I'm biased,- but nevertheless...
Regards
k
That is supposed to be one of their better turntables too! :shock: :oops:

I think you are going to have to work on your nephew to convince him a nice Dual 721 would be a better option. He is lucky to have you to fix the Lab 400 for him or else he might be up the creek or as they say around here "crick"!

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by Tinkaroo » 04 Nov 2014 11:59

I've owned Duals for 40 years now and they have always served me well.

There isn't too much in the way of audio equipment, especially turntables that you can buy that will last as long and still provide excellent performance after all these years. :mrgreen:

It is also nice to have this site and have experts such as Klaus and Don who help guide us through any TLC of keeping them performing as well as the day they were built. =D>

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by uniqueusername » 04 Nov 2014 14:28

Tinkaroo wrote:I've owned Duals for 40 years now and they have always served me well.

There isn't too much in the way of audio equipment, especially turntables that you can buy that will last as long and still provide excellent performance after all these years. :mrgreen:

It is also nice to have this site and have experts such as Klaus and Don who help guide us through any TLC of keeping them performing as well as the day they were built. =D>
Visualize if you will, a LIKE BUTTON!
A big +1 on the experts, Klaus especially has been incredibly patient and willing to help me on numerous occasions!

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by DSJR » 04 Nov 2014 14:46

After the boring reliability (usually!) of the better Japanese direct drive decks, it's a relief to come to Duals, which rightly deserve the TLC we give them. But what happens when you feel a Dual is boringly reliable, great at the prime function and just too 'German efficient?' I know, you get into Garrards and most of them will keep you busy for days, sorting out slight mis-alignments, de-greasing and rebuilding and sometimes getting a spectacularly good sound out of them :lol:

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Re: How did you end up with a Dual?

Post by ludite » 04 Nov 2014 15:40

[quote="DSJR"]After the boring reliability (usually!) of the better Japanese direct drive decks, it's a relief to come to Duals, which rightly deserve the TLC we give them. But what happens when you feel a Dual is boringly reliable, great at the prime function and just too 'German efficient?' (you buy another broken dual dirt cheep & start another project.) :D

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