Vintage Dual 1228 Turntable : worth to upgrade cartridge ?

I have from my college days (1977) Dual 1228 with original fitted Shure M95ED cartridge .  It is maintained well , not used for about 20 years in between , but just cleaned , lubricated , resoldered some loose connections , etc and just runs great for me. 
I am not too much into analogue , so not planning to do big time investment into new TT , Phono preamp , but if  can get larger benefit by replacing the Shure M 95 ED with some new cart upto $ 200-300 , I would like to do it . 
My Phono preamp is very low end Cambridge Audio MM 551P . To go with new upgraded cartridge , I may even consider to buy used Phono with budget of $1000 . 
I would appreciate advice form FMs here , where I should spend my money to get most benifit on sound improvement . New cart , new phono ? 

I would say abandon the Dual or sell and start fresh, the Dual was ok back then but your 1200.00 could be spent much wiser, look in the used market and get as much table as you can maybe a Project with their 9 arm with cart and match to a phone stage with some flexibility for the upgrade path later, this will give you an idea of how good things can get and might excite you enough to really go hog wild so know this could cause a fever.

Analog is a case of run with the big dogs or stay at home. It will cost you a minimum of 3K to get into the ball park being discussed here most of the time, and that's just beginning.

If you just want to occasionally hear some of your old records, a new cartridge in that range would be fine. I used a Shure V15 back in the day.

In regard to your question; even if you bought a 1K cartridge, you wouldn't get much improvement in sound with that turntable. There is a formula for how much to spend in regard to TT, tone arm, and cartridge; meaning that all have to be in the same ball park in order to get your money's worth.

Enjoy the music.
Post removed 
Replace the older Shure with a new one. If you are not into analog ,why spend anymore than this ?
Thanks for your responses . The verdict is quite clear about old Dual 1228. I will not do for upgrade of cartridge as not worth it. 
I will consider again if I am wanting to go into this serious business of Analog , and if I decide to go I will put a starting budget of $3000 for a new TT and cartridge , and further $500-1000 down the road for a used phono preamp . But I have to first make up my mind if  its my cup of tea. 
Thank you , ebm, orpheus10 and tooblue . 

will Shure M97XE be a good upgrade over my current Shure M95ED ?  M97XE is only $100 , so I don't mind buying it even if there is noticeable improvement . Will M97XE fit on my Dual 1228 arm ? 

I think the newer M97XE  will be an improvement over the older M95. Yes it will fit the Dual arm. What have you got to lose for  a mere $100 ?
I am with yogiboy. I would replace cartirdge, keep the cambridge phonostage, and save your money. Why spend more until your are convinced on commitment towards vinyl.  I have heard that phono cartridges age with time even if not used. This is first heard as a loss of bass.

The 1228 is by no means the last word in turntables, but it's certainly good enough to get back into the vinyl game. My Dual 1229 is my
personal favorite and gets daily use. 

Get a new Shure, any Audio Technica or Nagaoka cartridge. 
You don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy vinyl playback. Properly set up the 1228 will  blow yhe average  CD player into the weeds. 


I wish to decide for a new cartridge between Shure M97XE and Audio Technica 440 MLb .  With my limited knowledge , I take it that both carts are suitable to be fitted on tone arm of my Dual 1228 without much difficulty. 
I will sure appreciate views from here , especially from yogiboy , mesch, normansizemore . Between the two carts , which one would you suggest?
After new cart , I will test the water for few months  or a year at the most , see if I am drawn into analogue , then   go for a new TT and new phono  
Thanks guys  for all your help. 
I once had a Dual 1219 with a Shure V15 cartridge on it. Was very impressive for its day and $ (1970, bought on Okinawa US Base).  I have not heard either of your choices. Check out the specs and make sure they have synergy with the Cambridge phonostage regarding gain and capacitance. 
Since you already have a Shure on the arm now, I don’t think you would go wrong replacing it with another Shure. I can’t give you a comment on the AT as I don’t know how it will work with the Dual arm.
You can be sure with the Shure!
+1 yogiboy
Would you put on a set of high end Michelin tires on a 1977 Chevrolet Vega?
Makes no sense to spend more than $100 on a cartridge for a 40 year old Dual table !
The Shure is fine.
That Shure M97XE looks exactly like my V15; I think they just changed the name. That brush is highly functional; it enables you to track warped records, and it also prevents "dust bunnies", I'm sure that would work perfectly on a Dual TT.

Enjoy the music.
I have owned a number of older Duals (and liked them) and in their day, they were very well respected. Shure cartridges always seemed a nice match. I've used M91ED, M95ED etc. For your purposes, the 97EX is fine or maybe the Ortofon Red
I just ordered a JICO Stylus SHURE N95HE ( Hyper Elliptical ) which will fit onto my current cartridge M95ED , I hope it should give sound improvement. It should arrive within a week.  I will order a new Cart Shure  M97 or AT soon. 
Thanks to you all FMs , for your valuable help to understand this issue and make a decision. I was kind a shaky to start this topic or ask here , but I am happy to note that FMs have been very forthcoming in sharing their experience, knowledge and helping . That's what I like about this community. 


JICO is an excellent stylus. The Audio Technica will have a little more sparkle than the Shure cartridge. If your preamp has tone controls don't be afraid to use them. Adjust to taste and enjoy the music. 

You can always find additional drop out headshells for the Dual so swapping cartridges will be easy. 
Make sure to use the Dual alignment guage when installing your cartridge. It will ensure proper over hang. 

Also a good idea to remove the platter and let some machine oil drip down the platter race and onto the platter bearing set. 

Thanks Norman,
JICO SAS stylus was very expensive for me, so I settled for JICO N95HE.
Thanks for suggesting about spare "headshells" for Dual , I will search for them  on eBay . Sounds worth having them.
Where to get Dual Alignment Gauge , what price ?
I did oil the TT  at places  as per chart in the service manual  . I used 3 in 1  machine . But I will see about putting some oil on bearing if not already done by me. 
 I must have 6 Duals,I ran a 1229 and a 1219 for years,my last cartridge upgrade years ago was a Goldring 1042 or 1022.A couple years ago I installed my Signet AM50 on my Dual and it sounded very poor compared to on my secondary P+E table let alone my Rega.I would plan on replacing the Dual or staying in low price cartridge range.Spare headshells are the way to go,I have about 5 for the P+E and the old Shure V15 sounds good.Duals were good in their day but just can't produce soundfield.

Thats total Hogwash. A properly set up 1229 will blow the skirt of most entry level tables. Mine certainly does and it isn't just my opinion either.  Come listen anytime.  If your P&E table is vintage, it was built by Dual. Dual bought P&E back in 1972, and built their tables until about 1978 when P&E was phased out. 

My Dual 1229 using a Grace 747 sounds better than my grease bearing Garrard 301 using a SME 3009.  Both were infinitely better than my Linn LP12.  


The Dual alignment guage is necessary to properly set up the Dual arm.  It can be done without, but it's a real pain.  You can often find them on eBay. I will see if I have a spare I can lend you. 
Maybe that's why Playpen had such a negative experience with his Duals. 
I remember that my Dual 1228 when purchased from a dealer , it came with the cartridge M95 ED already fitted on it . I have never removed or loosened the mounting screws or tried to remove cart from shell. So chances are  it is fixed properly. So I will download a protractor and then check if cart fitting is ok, then decide further. 
Yesterday I recalibrated or readjusted from scratch the tone arm , counter balance, strobe, and set the tracking force at 1.25 ( from 1.5) , fresh  Shure stylus RS 9E is fitted only week ago ( I had one in spare from the time I bought Dual ) . To my surprise , there was a great improvement in sound , background noise came down ,  which even my wife noticed and told me without even my asking . 
I think Dual is doing great for me for now. I am happy till upgrade bug strikes, but otherwise journey with Dual will happily continue . 
 I have the Dual alignment gauge.Norman I'm glad you find your 1229 to your liking.I tried mats,total contact cleanings,many cartridges on mine,the alignment tool to no avail.I have the ability to finely adjust the VTA on my Rega and P+E 2040 which makes a huge difference.I tried it on my Dual but it is basically up or down for a stack of records.I do like the Duals build quality though,I still have my original 1019 and owners manual I bought in the 1960's.
Yeah, you're right about the tonearm with regards to VTA. Remember I removed my 1229 tonearm and replaced it with a Grace 747.  This gave me the flexiblity I wanted with regard to tonearm adjustments.  It can be done with the Dual via pickup spacers and yes using platter mats but is a pain.  When I used my 1229 arm I left it level with the platter and used an Oracle Platter matt when I needed to drop the tonearm tail down a bit. I liked the Oracle mat so well that I still use it.

Other mods to my Dual were bearing replacement, and removal of all the automatic functions.  I also pulled the motor apart, cleaned an lubed the bearings.  The Dual continous pole motor is a jewel. Silent and powerful.

The 1229 in stock form (properly restored), its a fantastic table. They are worth seeking out and as i

Your PE2040 is a keeper.  I was never a big fan of the PE tonearms, (they too have pull out headshells....yes?), but they are excellent idler drive tables with that wonderful German build quality.

Be sure to keep the bearing race well lubed and the bearing set in an oil bath or grease pit.  (easy mod, does wonders) 

You might try an arm pod and a different tonearm on the PE?  I would imagine that if you tweak a little it will kill the Rega.

Thanks for your input.I gave my 1229 away for parts as it was my fathers table and the auto jammed and he broke the arm and bearings forcing it to move.I have 2  1219's, 3 1019's,  4 P+E 2040's,2 for parts only.I run a Fulton kinetic barrier mat from the 70's which out performs others I have tried.
  What do you think of 1219's?I am thinking of sending my other good P+E in for a go over,just needs some minor work,I bought it over 20 years ago,then a beautiful restored one came up 2 years ago close here and I snapped it up.
 I like your idea of the 1229 Dual mods and doing the same with one of my P+E's.I was shocked when I pulled my P+E out after sitting for close 20 years thinking it was a mediocre table.
 You gave me food for thought and will look into modding one of my P+E's,one of which I think has a bad arm.The build quality is incredible.
 I will have to be on the lookout now for but yet another 1229 when up for sale.I have 2 Technic's,I forget just saw a Dual 1226 I have and a Rotel on the econo rack,crazy,oh and my Rega.

The Dual 1219 is the same table as the 1229.  It just doesnt have the strobe feature, which of course is not necessary.  To realize the performance of any 40+ year old turntable really requires patients and a total tear down and rebuild.  The 1219 is an excellent platform for doing simple mods.  Like your PE, it's a wonderful idler drive table.  I was surprised when I realized that the platter on my 1229 was heavier than the one on my Garrard 301.  When I shut off my Dual, the platter will spin on its own for a good two or three minutes.  That is excellent engineering.
Im sure you can find a service manual for the 2040.  Do a tear down and rebuild of one of them.  Replace the arm.  I personally love the older Grace and SME's tonearms.  They can be found quite reasonble on the used market in 9" sizes that will allow them to fit on the existing turntable deck and plinth.  The SME 3009 is especially elegant and sounds wonderul.  

You think the PE is good now?  Give it tune up, it'll blow your socks off.


I noted with interest your remark that :

"When I shut off my Dual, the platter will spin on its own for a good two or three minutes. That is excellent engineering."

That prompted me to clock my own Dual 1228 platter , it recorded 1 minute 55 seconds ( 1.55 minute) before platter came to halt . What does it indicate in terms of health of bearing , lube , cleaning and engineering in general ? How good or how ordinary ? With this 1.55 minute, do I need to open the thrust bearing and clean , lube it ? Any ideas you guys can throw ? 
Can I upgrade on platter on my Dual ? Any options ? 

Lastly : guys , this thread is turning out really interesting for vintage TT owners giving lots of info on how to bring their vintage TT to perform many steps up the ladder of excellence . Very valuable contributions from all FMs here . 


The platter on my 1229 weighs over twice as much as the one on the 1228. (7.5lbs 1229, 3llbs 1228) Therefore the flywheel effect is greater and that's why is spins longer. 

As as long as the bearing set on the 1228 is well oiled or greased, and the platter race is well oiled you're good. 

Even in restored condition the 1228 is simply not a great table.  Current demand is driven more by nostalgia than performance.  All classic Dual TT are well built, and durable.  But they are incapable of top flight performance.  They are not a Garrard, Rek-o-Kut or even a Lenco, nor where they designed to be so.

If your 1228 is in excellent condition, and has been serviced (as you state) then it is worth $200+.  Sell it and add the proceeds to your budget.

$1200-$1400 will buy you a used TT, new cartridge and new phono stage that will be an order of magnitude better than the 1228.   Rega, SOTA, AR, Thorens Tables are all within your budget.  Shure M97 cartridge with JICO stylus, Mid level AT or Goldring or Ortrofon with a new iFi phono stage and you will have a few dollars left for records !

I have significant experience with Dual TT.  I owned a 1229q Empire 2000 EEE combo for 12yrs.  I upgraded to a 721, which was an improvement, then to a Thorens TD318 which was a revelation and a significant upgrade from the 721.  I haven't looked back.   I currently use a AR ES1/ Shure M97he in my computer system, and a Linn LP12 ITTOKK LVII  AT33 MLOCC with Lundahl SUT in my main system; and both wipe the floor with a Dual.  

Thats completely ridiculous. I don't subscribe to audio snobbery as you obvious do. The age and cost of a component says nothing about its performance. 

I used to have a kilo buck LP12, so invested was I that I even bought the service jig so that when my dealer came down to install an upgrade, he didn't have to bring his. In the end and after a decade of upgrades we still couldn't get it to sound as good as a Dual 1229.

Here is what's wrong with the LP12.

 Take time and read it. You'll find like me that many of what he experienced you probably do too. What Linn can do is market. What they can't do is build a turntable that sounds better than an idler driven table. Lenco, Garrard, Dual, Rek O Kut, E. M. T.,  one could go on and on. They're all superior. 

the link on Linn LP12 given by you makes really some hard but very interesting reading for new anolog enthusiast like me . Also it is kind of eye opener demanding more neutral and realistic self assessment, of any audio gear for that matter , in future rather than be simply or solely driven by so called reviews . I did not know of this guy Arthur Salvatore , but he sure has lot to offer to audio community . 
Thanks for bringing up this here. 
 One other thing I did with my Dual and P+E was to clean all the headshell leads with aa toothpick and the tonearm contacts up in the arm first with Deoxit red and again the second time with Deoxit Gold contact conditioner.I used a toothpick to clean the clip leads that go into the cartridge and treat with Gold.I even took the stylus out of one of my cartridges and did the tube that goes into the body.I heard a difference as well as my entire system which I tuneup every few months with the Gold.
 I have just done very similar cleaning only last night on my Dual . I took out the headshell , disconnected the 4 delicate wire leads from cartridge pins , Deoxit with N5 type first then with 100 % solution to clean all 4 pins of cart, and the 4 brass clips of lead wires ( I used thin paint brush to apply it within the tiny holes), left them overnight for chemical actions of corrosion removal. Now  since you mentioned , I will even clean with toothpick . It is kind a difficult to clean the inside surface  of  "clips" which is the real contact area.  Then apply Deoxit Gold with brush. I did not thought of cleaning the " stylus tube", but will sure clean it tonight before reassembling it tomorrow. 
The Linn is a decent turntable, but that is about as far as it goes.  If one listens using a blind A/B, you'll never choose the Linn over a good idler or direct drive table.  There are so many 'reviewers' who used to use Linn as a reference.  Art Dudley for example.  I was so excited when I bought my Linn, then when it was home and set up it was disappointing. My dealer told me to 'let it brake in', months went by, then a year.  Then a cartridge upgrade, tonearm upgrade, bearing upgrade, motor upgrade, power supply upgrade, cables upgrade, plinth upgrade, it was never ending. Within three years time we had literally rebuilt the Linn.   I had a Dual 1219 prior to the Linn, with cheap crummy cables, and it sounded better in soundstage, bass, definition, etc.  It was just a more 'solid' presentation.  To me… and that's what mattered.  I bought the 1229, rebuilt it, replaced the tonearm and am very happy.  I then rebuilt a Garrard 301 and mounted a SME 3009 and it too is wonderful.

I have less than half the cost in the Dual, tonearm, Garrard and tonearm then I had in the Linn and that was with a custom plinth for the Garrrard. I am now going to be tackling a EMT, but that is going to take quite a bit as it's kinda rough and parts are expensive.  I will do some of the work, then have a local shop finish it for me.  It has to be perfect.

Enjoy your Dual, when you can, and only if you feel the need too,  upgrade.  But make sure the upgrade is an actual upgrade in sound, not just in cost.

Playpen, sounds like you've found some good tweaks to make the PE even better!  =)

" Enjoy your Dual, when you can, and only if you feel the need too,  upgrade.  But make sure the upgrade is an actual upgrade in sound, not just in cost."

Yes, I am really enjoying my Dual as of now and find it more and more musical and wish to spend more time listening to it. As it happened , my CD Transport has gone for some repairs for last 3 weeks and that forced me to use Dual TT for consistently longer period. Now looks like I have started to discover the beauty of analog sound. 
My new JICO stylus will be arriving before end of this month and may add to the pleasure of listening. 
Looks  like I am fine with this Dual for the time being . Future upgrade , after a year may be , will surely be, like you wisely advised , " on merit of sound , and not just cost". 
I have one question : despite cleaning of cartridge , stylus , etc, my Dual still makes "thud"  noise ( through speakers )  when the tonearm lifts at the start  and again when stylus sits on the leading groove of the record . During the play of entire record , there is absolutely no issues. "thud" nose is unpleasant (and scary at higher  volume level !) . What could be the problem and how to solve it ? suggestions will be welcome.


There is a black box on underneath the turntable toward the left hand side. The power cord plugs into it.  Unplug the power cord and remove the two screws.  There you will find a capacitor.  Replace it as it is no longer suppressing the engagement of the switch, which is what you are hearing.  That, or turn the volume down before setting the stylus into the groove.

You can do an online search and get the pdf of the 1228 service manual.

Thanks Norman,
I will sure try to replace that capacitor ASAP. I will be very happy if this solves the problem .In the mean time , I am turning the volume down at the start of the play. I have the service manual of 1228 , but could not find solution to my problem . 
I also got my JICO stylus N95HE yesterday , within 4 days from shipment from Japan , and had it installed on my current cartridge Shure M95ED . So far Only briefly listened to it , and for first 15 -20 minutes I did not find any improvement , but for next 1 hour I found it much better , I noticed I never  heard some of my familiar tracks like this before. I think I am going to be very happy with this stylus. 


I only have one Dual cartridge alignment jig left.  If you want to send me your mounted cartridge I would be happy yo align it for you (I'll take photos) and send it right back.  My email is [email protected]

Or, I will loan the jig to you if you promise to send it back.


The JICO is a very good stylus.. You'll be happy with it. Ed Saunders also makes an excellent replacement for the Shure.


Reg replacing the faulty capacitor in power supply side of Dual 1228:
I have not  opened the TT yet as I am traveling . But from search it appears that it is a capacitor of value 0.068 uf / 250 v . In this value there is hardly any availability, or very limited . My question is , can I not use slightly higher value cap of say , 0.1 uf of 250 v or 400v or 630v ? Reg higher voltage it is safe to use, but can I use 0.1 uf in place of 0.068 uf ? I guess , as the cap is in power supply line it should be ok to use slightly higher value of capacitance , only it can help , but cannot harm . In 0.1 uf , there are many options available.
Can anyone confirm if I can use .1 uf in place of .068 uf ?

I stand by what I posted.....a 1228 (or 1229) is a good, not great table.  Easily bettered by a LINN.  The Dual was not designed to be better than a Thorens 124, or Garrard 301/401, or a Lenco.  It is what it is.  As stated I have extensive experience with Dual tables (and Thorens, and now LINN).

Your experience is different than mine, but your disagreement does not automatically render my experience any less valid than yours.

As for the link you posted, I take AS opinions with a very large helping of salt.

I would encourage the original poster to investigate other tables, and discover what sounds best to HIM.  My wager is that it will not be a DUAL....
Norman,I just a few weeks ago got a Dual 1219 at local auction with original box,all packing,foam,even alignment tool still in box.I just got it working properly.What an incredible find,like going back 50 years ago buying new in box.
I also did some listening on my P+E2040 last night with some startling simple tweeks.I ran my Fulton Kinetic barrier mat and experimented with brass weights on the deck,I put a cheap piece from audio advisor rubber vibration control under a brass balance weight in back by the arm.What an upgrade from so little money.Big increase in sound field height.Again a new found respect for my old P+E .
I bought my 1228 new in the stone age, early 1970s but it sat unused since moving to CDs in the late 80s. Set it up again with my son who's gotten into vinyl, spun 2 albums and it no longer turns. Any thoughts as to whether repairing is worth the cost and if so where in NYC or surroundings I might go. Thank you.
Your TT most likely only needs cleaning , and lubricating. It has set for many years, so some grease is dried up or the lube is lost. So all moving parts need through wiping, cleaning with alcohol and fresh lube or grease . Electrical and RCA contacts also needs cleaning, etc.
You can DIY if have any liking and time for it. In that case there are good videos on You Tubes.
For service : I find ( on google search ) two places in NY area :
1. DJ Fix, 343 Broadway , Brooklyn
2. Analogique Service Lab, 27 W 20th St. # 406.

I have no experience of these shops , but appear worth visiting to try. Better to call them before going if they will take up Dual 1228 for service .

I just had my Dual 1246 cleaned and serviced at Fix my

EXCELLENT service!  Had it back in 1 week and it works like new.

I visited website of . They are prefect, in my opinion, for service of a Dual TT. Charges seem to be reasonable ( $150 - 175  plus shipping ) .They seem to be located in Austin , TX.
Sorry for the late reply, I wasn't able to complete the process and set up my Dual 1228 correctly until just recently. Thank you so much for all your excellent advice Radni and Cliffkhz. I opted to send it to Bill at, where it only needed to be cleaned and lubed, just as you thought. Bill was great, also checked my cartridges and found that one stylus was bad and suggested a nice replacement. He then guided me patiently and kindly in setting it up properly when I hit a roadblock. I have now been listening to my old vinyl for 2 weeks and can't get enough! The sheer musicality on good recordings is amazing, so much so that the rare pops that bothered me eons ago and hastened my switch to digital are barely even noticed now. The very slightly smaller dynamic range of analog and more frequent intermissions' needed to flip the LPs on symphonic works or operas do make listening slightly disjointed, but for most rock, blues, folk and jazz are not issues at all. It is really fantastic to have the wonderful analog sound of vinyl back, all thanks to you and Bill!
I'm glad to hear your happy, Bill sure is knowledgable with Dual.Happy listening!
rwmeditz, I feel happy that your efforts to restore your Dual TT paid off well. My experience has also been similar.
I had replaced the old stylus with a JICO ( Japan) stylus model
N95HE , cost me $96 plus shipping cost $15 , and got it delivered to me in less than 5 days. It sounds amazing! I was , initially, going to change the cartridge, but got some useful advice from this forum to first only change the stylus. And it has worked so well for me. I would suggest to consider to go for such stylus repalcement in future whenever it is right time for you.
BTW, website of JICO is worth visiting :
Enjoy your Dual TT!
Thanks Radni, that's exactly what I did, replaced the stylus with a JICO. Looked into NOS, shocked at the prices, so went with JICO. So grateful for all the helpful advice from the community here.