Dual Turntables

Can anyone tell me the "pick of the litter" from the stable of Dual? I'm interested in trying one of their tables.
I used them years ago so my knowledge is far out of date. Even when they were current it was hard to get the headshell adapter most of them used. Caution, the different models used different ones. I would go by condition as much as model. There is a 1241 currently listed at $99, I would pick that up and get a feel for how they perform, you could lose very little on the transction in any case. I have no connection with this sale, just looks like a reasonable deal.
New Dual or old 'real' Dual that is the question, or?
Follow this link for stats, pics:
http://dual-reference.com., click "Products"
Belt, idler or direct drive? I have had all three. The CS-5000 is a belt drive, a little finicky but sounds o.k. in my second system. Three speeds and nice to look at. Auto lift & off is a welcome feature, the tonearm is pivoted at the level of the platter for reduced wow. -78 db.S/N., removable headshell (graphite, some are VTA adjustable) helps, too. If PRaT is your thing, check out idler or DD. 1219 & 1229's are vintage classics. Dual purists like the earlier 10-- series.
vintage 1039. 1229, 505-, 5000(there are a few more legends as well)...the new the new line is very solid too....no nostalgic price, but the new 505 is as good as anything in its price range.
I had the 1229Q for many years and really liked it.
I had a 1019 for a few years and it did it's thing. It was OK for a post-college turntable, but I wouldn't sell my Rega to get it back.

The best way to find out is to buy a bunch of them, and take them apart. I did exactly that on my journey to becoming a manufacturer, and it is my honest opinion that the 1019 is the pick of the litter. I didn't buy every one of the different models, maybe six or seven. Anyway, the 1019 has the best build level of those I did buy. Its weakness is the spindle bearing because it was made for a stack spindle with the option to use a single play spindle. Anyway, the 1019 lacks the accuracy and dynamics of a really, really high-end deck, but she is a reasonably musical old girl who can deliver a fair amount of enjoyment.

Well built and reliable for the most part. The 1019 is perhaps the best of the bunch.

However, they are dated and yesterday's news.

The new models have little to offer in the context of their contemporaries.
sad but true.
DUAL was a true non-hi-end item in the days before digital and then folded like so many other volume manufacturers, Thorens, comes to mind here.

The Thorens name got 'picked up' again as was DUAL name, but I think Thorens is looking a bit better then DUAL, which seems to battle the affordable lines of Pro-Ject and the likes. Not sure if their comeback will work, but then who knows.

I had some DUAL stereo (speaker fold-up, all in one) like EVERYBODY and his mother had (then living in Germany in the late 60s - early 70s).
They were work-horses but nothing special other then putting a stack of 45s on a pin (worked well though) and just an OK match to most of the other late 'Wirtschaftswunder' HiFi, for everyone to have some sort of vinyl playback. Just a step up from the 'Musiktruhe' = radio set, vinyl (mono), with plastic tone-arm, and furniture piece all in one. Fitting the kidney side tables with 'smoked glass top or mosaic, brass edge trim and thin long conical legs...
Well, that's DUAL for me -- not too inspirational, shame.
Try this site:


and talk with him. He repairs most things Dual and seems to be an expert on those tables. He usually stocks restored ones that are in good shape and can help you find one if you are inclined to still want a Dual.

Good luck,

My picks:

1219 (same as 1229 but with out strobe)
1019 (I use this as a dedicated 78 spinner , and its very good)
3 underrated idlers IMO

CS 5000 is OK (belt drive)

701 is a good DD for the money.

Probably all limited by the Dual arms... but still a good place for a "new to vinyl guy" on a budget to start... or someone who is just getting back and wants to test the waters.
Just bought a 1019 for a couple of euros on ebay. It's described as 'not working.'
Where would be a good place to find information about this turntable, and where (most importantly) should I look for parts?

Thanks - first post.
i have a recently purchased refurbed 721 with an ortofon blue 2M cartridge and upgraded (Dayton Audio) RCA's. I love this table, solid and very very quiet, and the sound is fab.
Dual 1229, or a 1219.... My 1229 has a Grace 747 tone arm, it is the best table I have ever had. Blew the pants off of my $$$$$ Linn LP12. If you need assistance rebuilding one, I can help. I have done six now for friends.
I own 505-2 (belt drive, 1984), 506 (belt drive, 1980), and 1228 (idler drive 1974). Also previously a 515 (belt drive 1986) and 721 (direct drive, 1977).

Avoid the ones with the plastic bases.

505-2 was the giant killer budget table back in the 1980s. Use with an Ortofon OM10 or Nagaoka MP11/110 and you'll have a very nice deck for little money. Older idler drive models sound great too. Our direct drive 721 sounded great but they are hard to get serviced.

Duals are good but a Rega or high quality Japanese direct drive may sound better.
www.fixmydual.com for repairs.