Add Dual 1218/1219/1229 as additional table?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by sunvalleylaw, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hailey, ID
    I have a potentially irrational desire. A Dual turntable with the United Audio slightly upside down pyramid look to the wood base, such as featured in the Marvel movie Captain Marvel toward the end. I use a Kenwood KD-550 as my primary table, and also have a Technics SL-1600 that also works well.

    The only real reason would be to swap in a different look, as both tables work well enough for my mid-fi needs. Would one of those Duals be worth adding, and sound relatively equivalent to what I already have? A step down? They seem to be less money than my Kenny at least.
     
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  2. captouch

    captouch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Duals are mechanically complicated, so if you get one, it’s best to get one that’s been sorted through - ideally, completely disassembled to have the old grease cleaned and relubed. If not, probably a matter of time before something comes up.

    The Duals are idler drives - I thought mine (1229) gave me a different sound than my direct drive Technics SL-1700 - more driving, propulsive. But that was quite a few years ago.

    I still have my 1229 as a secondary table, with a belt drive Marantz TT-15S1 as my main table. But I haven’t tried to use the same cartridge on both tables to compare them.

    I would say if it’s an itch you don’t think will be satisfied until you scratch it- why not, it’ll sound good if working right. But if it’s just of minor interest and not something you really really want, the work to restore it or cost of getting one already restored probably exceeds what you’ll yield from it purely from a sonic standpoint.
     
  3. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hailey, ID
    Good thoughts. I had thought about getting a rescue one, cosmetically intact for the most part, and work at restoring it as a hobby project. But will consider that carefully due to the mechanical aspects. Perhaps not worth it to me to pay the full prices I am seeing for restored/refreshed ones for sale right at this minute. Not sure what you are saying by more driving/propulsive. Can you elaborate?
     
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  4. Francois1968

    Francois1968 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I am using a Dual 704 together with a Rega Planar 8. Totally different tables in all aspects, but both fantastic.
     
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  5. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I’ve owned a restored 1019 and 1219. They are enjoyable to use and idler drive tables have a distinctive character.
     
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  6. Angry_Panda

    Angry_Panda Pipe as shown, slippers not pictured

    Agree with the sentiments above - these are well built capable tables, and will work very well provided someone who knows what they're doing has gone through the unit to make sure the lubrication isn't gummed/hardened. I had one for a bit, and enjoyed it; eventually it went to my sister and brother-in-law, along with a Pioneer integrated, to get them a system of their own.

    The sound of an idler is sometimes referred to as 'bass slam' - it tends to have a punchier sound in the low end. Not exaggerated, but 'faster' - like many audio terms, you may have to hear it a bit in order to make sense of the description.

    The other thing to know up front would be that the arm is pretty low mass, so that will have an effect on which cartridges mate well with it, and adjusting the alignment can be a bit of a struggle if you don't use the Dual standard alignment because of the use of a sled for mounting.
     
  7. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    A few years ago I bought a non-working Dual 1249 in cosmetic mint condition with the intent to bring it back to life. It was a serious challenge as I'd never worked on a Dual and only done rudimentary maintenance on any turntable. That thing spent a lot of time on my workbench, and I learned a lot. Without going into details, it was a challenge, but well worth it once the 1249 was running properly.

    If you find a good looking piece at a good price and are up for a challenge, go for it. Here's mine after the work.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. EddieMann

    EddieMann I used to be a king...

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    I have a 1229 that is my main turntable. I got it for next to nothing and sent it to FixmyDual in Iowa for a full rehab. I have a quality cartridge on it (a Denon DL-160) and think it’s a great turntable. IIRC the rehab was just shy of $300. So, if you can find one really cheap it’s a very nice turntable once you pay to bring it up to speed.
     
  9. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hailey, ID
    I like this answer, and it is in line with the other answers. Doesn’t sound like I “need” one to replace my stuff, but would be fun and worthy when one pops up in good restorable condition. I don’t want to spend like 500 bucks on one that someone else has gone through, as I would not know what had happened in that process. and I can learn about and how to do the process well enough.
     
  10. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    There are plenty of knowledgeable folks on Audiokarma willing to advise as you go. A great winter time project if that’s what you want. Keep us posted if you go for it.
     
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  11. captouch

    captouch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    If you are mechanically inclined and have the time, it could be a great and fun project. There’s a lot of documentation on the process as well. I know me though, and I’m not mechanically inclined at all and would likely mess up my table,

    When I bought mine, I was told it was restored, but it unfortunately wasn’t. Without taking it apart, I was able to remove enough of the hardened grease that it works fine for now, but I know it would be even more smooth and reliable if done right.

    @Angry_Panda summed up what I meant well about the idler sound. It sounded like it had a lot of impact and slam and energy compared to my direct drive Technics. But that was a first impression the first time I played it. I forgot which cartridge I was using then. I’m using a Shure V15 III now and don’t notice the same thing now, at less compared to my current belt-driven Marantz though.
     
  12. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    My 1219 has been a part of my main system for a long time and I see no reason to change or replace it. Whether you consider it Mid-fi or Hi-fi is relative. I just think it makes music, sound like music, rather than a refined copy of music. As a musician, I can hear the differences between something that sounds "alive" vs. a somewhat processed version. All just my opinion though.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hailey, ID
    I am a musician also, (not a pro though) and I can hear differences. I do like the “feel” of a tube amp, and like varying attack on a guitar for different results with distortion, or adjustments to the guitar volume knob, and enjoy pedals that have that characteristic. So, probably might notice something different. And if I find the right candidate for a decent price, could be worth a fun project. I am not super mechanical, but can clean stuff, lube stuff, and can swap out pickups in guitars, do BASIC set up work, and could build a parts caster without too much worry about it. So figure I can learn how to do this. My tables both have Pickering XV-15’s on them currently. I have an upgrade SME arm for my Kenny table which I intend to end up primary possibly, and may invest in a nicer cart for it. Something like the mid grade Hana. And that table will get upgraded wiring too possibly. And I figure I will do that if I get one of these Duals as well, to that table. And would look for a suitable good but not crazy quality cart for it’s lighter arm.

    As for mid-fi vs. hi-fi, just for fun, will describe my attitude on that. I was defining hi-fi as those folks spending multiple thousands on tables and carts/styli as opposed to my preference for good quality vintage stuff, and that vintage stuff can be black face as far as I am concerned, as long as it was well built and good quality, etc. Stuff like my old Hafler amps, Nak decks, etc. Late 70’s/early 80’s stuff. Tends to be where I roll, except for an old Harman Kardon receiver from the earlier 70’s I have in the living room. I like good sound and shop around for that. But I like bang for the buck also.
     
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  14. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    It sounds like you and I have the same basic approach to gear. Mine was a project table also, which I picked up at a yard sale for $10. I did a lot of research, found manuals online and found a resource for parts, but it turned out I didn't need much in the way of parts. I've had it for maybe 15 years and it's worked perfectly ever since I did the work. I was an electrician in the Navy many years ago so I figured if I could work on a turbine generator the size of a small house, then a turntable shouldn't be that big a deal, lol. I was only somewhat right on that. The mechanism is indeed extremely complicated. So take lots of pictures before disassembly, go slow and really pay attention to what you are doing, and you should be fine. I built a little rack from 2x4's to to support it upside-down when I was working on it. At one point I even started buying old tables and rebuilding them and sold a couple to friends. They still work.

    It was extremely satisfying to have done the project and have it work so well afterwards, but other than removing the old lube (which had the consistency of bubble gum) it didn't need a whole lot of work. I did some other super cheap DIY mods, such as adding rubberized caulk underneath the platter to dampen it and wrapping the tone arm with Teflon tape to reduce resonance. I probably did some other stuff that I learned about while researching it, but it's been so long, I can't remember anything about it. Good luck with the plan, if you choose to do it. As far as carts go, I think you'll find the AT VM540ML to be a great match.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    If you think someday you might have any interest in collecting 78s, a 3-speed Dual is a good choice for those recorded after about 1930. For earlier records, it doesn't have enough speed variability.

    My first "good" table was a very, very used Dual 1218. It gave me good service through the years, and I still have it tucked away in a closet somewhere. The mechanical complexity others have mentioned has to do with the changer mechanism; as the grease ages, it sticks up all those cams and levers and whatnot so that they will start endlessly cycling instead of letting the arm start at the outside and play to the end of a record. The other weak point is the cartridge mount, a removable "sled" that mates to the fixed headshell rather than a fully removable headshell a la SME. As they age, the contacts can get corroded or flaky, making for bad connection between your cartridge and the arm.
     
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  16. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    Takes less than 20 seconds to fix. Good for another 2 decades.
     
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  17. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    If it's corrosion, probably. If it's wear or damage to the contacts in the headshell, could be a bigger problem--or not. In all events, the headshell design, unlike that of the drive train, was not what people call "robust." The bigger problem is likely to be getting extra sleds for swapping cartridges, should the owner wish to do so. They at least used to be rather hard to find and expensive when found.

    I'm not dumping on these turntables at all, by the way--far from it. Just suggesting that if someone is looking to buy one, he should go in with his eyes open about their strengths and weaknesses. Nothing in this world is perfect, and old Dual turntables are no exception.
     
  18. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    My favorite subject! I'll encourage you to jump it. I started learning to work on them about a year ago and have had good success so far. Thanks in no small part to several people here on the Hoffman forum. I'm not particularly mechanically inclined but I'm retired. So I have time to mess around with them. I've got three working very well right now, a 1229, 1219 and a 1019. Another, a 1219 I bought from a repair guy about 3 or 4 years ago has developed an issue regarding one channel's volume reduced compared to the other. So that's my next project. Then I have a 1019 and a 1219 I got off of ebay that I haven't touched yet, both, "parts or repair" purchases. Often times servicing is all these Duals need. And as others noted contact issues are what I've dealt with more than anything else, and I expect that is the issue with the 1219 I mentioned earlier. As for sound I think they compare favorably with what is out there currently. I'm really a a "mid-fi" record collector, not an audiophile, so take my comments with that in mind. But a few hundred dollars invested in a idler drive Dual will yield a superior quality TT compared to anything new under $1,000. If you get lucky you can find one at a yard sale or thrift shop for $10-$50 and get it up and running with just a little money and time. If you go the ebay route expect to spend (including shipping $40-$80) anywhere from $150 to $300. One piece of advice I didn't take to begin with (sometimes we have to learn the hard way) is go ahead and plan to replace the cart. Often the carts are still good and you just need to replace the stylus, but go ahead and factor in the cart cost when calculating what you will bid or offer on ebay. If the cart is still in good shape consider that a money saving bonus! Here's a video I did documenting my work on one of the TTs. I've actually got three of four up on you tube including one on taking the motor apart and servicing it. That's been my biggest challenge so far. Good luck and update us on how it goes if you decide to jump down this rabbit hole.
     
  19. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    There's a shop in Scottsdale Az. "Pat's Audio", that makes those sleds so it shouldn't be an issue. I've actually bought sled/cart combinations from him for both a 1219 and a 1019. They fit correctly, no issues there. I've gotten Ortofon Super OM 1o carts pre-mounted for something like $117 and $127. Slightly cheaper than buying the cart, sled, and alignment gauge separately and with the bonus of not having to go through the tedious job of alignment. He sells on ebay and has a website as well. I've been pleased with what I've purchased from him. Besides the cart/sheds I've gotten TT parts and capacitors for my Duals. He machines his own parts in most if not all cases so you aren't buying 50 year old parts. I've tried to email him directly from his website with a couple of questions and he hasn't responded, but any dealings through ebay have been smooth and timely.
    Pats Audio Dual Turntable TK-12 Cartridge Holder for 1019 + Ortofon Super OM 10 | eBay
     
  20. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hailey, ID
    Ok, I think I am interested enough to look around. Unfortunately, (well, not really, it is a very nice place) I live in a small town in the mountains and thrift shopping is not at all like in the cities. So, finding the super inexpensive yard sale items would be a huge stroke of luck. Also, I don’t like to spend time yard sale-ing. I may have a friend who does who might keep an eye out.

    So the next step is to decide what I want. And I am no purist, and am not at all opposed to putting these pieces together, even if they were not originally sold this way. One thing I want is the inverted pyramid United Audio base. Aesthetics matter in this project, and I like that base a lot better than the basic rectangle type. Not sure which models that upside down pyramid base came with. Same type base as in this movie clip from Captain Marvel. Featuring one of my favorite records, which I would not ordinarily associate with a Dual TT. But I digress.


    Anyone know which models came with that base? I am thinking I might like the 1219 or 1229 for the larger platter. But does it matter that much? If not, a 1218, which I am told is the model featured in that vid. Which must be available with the base I want. Not really sure I care at all about the record changer part, as I am unlikely to ever use that. But I would want whatever I get to function properly in the end.

    What else should I know as between those models? Or should I consider others?
     
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  21. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    I don't know that I've ever seen one with that base. I know that during most of the time when the Duals were imported into the US they arrived without the plinth and the US importer added the United Audio one we often see. I believe if it's a Dual base it shipped over here with that included.

    Regarding models, the 1219 and the 1229 are the same except the 29 comes has the pitch adjustment strobe light. I think the 1218 is a budget model with some significant differences from the 1219 but someone correct me if I'm incorrect on that.

    The 1019 is a nice TT as well. It's a generation earlier than the 12s, mid 60s to 1970 or so with the 12s built from around 70 to 75. The 1os have a 10 inch platter so obviously there is overhang but honestly I've not noticed any stability issues. It's actually one of my favorites.

    I'm in a small town as well, but some of my best finds are from the small town thrifts and yard sales. When I drive into one of the cities and search, whether it is for records or audio equipment I seldom have much luck. There are just so many more people that know what to look for that things are picked over quickly. Those same people seldom venture out into the surrounding small town shops so that is where I find most of what I look for.

    You might want to try and touch base with some of the used record shops. Sometimes they have equipment for sale. They could also put you in contact with any TT repair guys, usually guys that do it on the side or as a hobby. They might have something or can at least be on the lookout for you.

    Good luck.
     
  22. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hailey, ID
    Interesting on the base. I think I see one or two on eBay that have that base. But by memory not working or sold for parts and potentially otherwise beat up, and with shipping up over a hundred which makes it seem not worth it. But, will go back and study what units I can find for sale or having sold with that base. As said, I could always end up with a serviceable base, and the actual turntable from separate sources and restore them into one unit, perhaps with left over parts. But will want to be a little careful of cost there. Also considering that driving even to Boise and back from Sun Valley, where I live, ends up being the better part of a hundred bucks in fuel. Thinking looking for the right pieces, not beat up but just needing some love with the old grease and lubrication and other restoration items on the table, and whatever cleaning up of finish issues on the base might be the way to go, even if I can’t find it all together.
     
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  23. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    The first turntable I bought back in 74 was a Dual with the United Audio base. Don't remember the model, but it was not an older 1000 series, and not top of the line. Here's what your looking for though:
    Dual United Audio Turntable Base Chassis Case Only Walnut Finish 1218 | eBay

    edit: Not sure about shipping to Idaho. I sold a pair of speakers (with free shipping) to a guy in Idaho about a year ago. I regretted the free shipping when I took the speakers to UPS.
     
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  24. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona desert
    I've ordered three Duals over the last 11 years from Bill who has fixmydual.com. Those models are a 701, 1229, and 1019. The 701 is a terrific direct drive and of course the other two are idlers. I enjoy all three of them.
     
  25. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    I had one of these at one point. It was one that I'd rebuilt and sold to a friend. It had a small platter so the records hung over the sides. I think it was a 1019, the and now I realize the "10" in the model number is the platter size. I dunno why the one in the vid has a full sized platter 12 inch platter. Apparently they had a couple different varieties of the same table. Maybe a USA version and a European version.

    Edit: I just saw the lazydawg explained the differences. Cool. I think the OP might have a tough time finding one with a 12 inch and inverted base, but I guess one possibility is to score a 1019 and put a 12inch platter on it, but I'm not sure it would fit... and looking at the picture again, I'm pretty sure it would not. Either way you want one that has the idler drive.

    As an aside, for whatever reason I've make some nice, cheap scores down here in the Middle of Nowhere, Maryland. Once found a pristine set of Reggae 45's that turned out to be worth a lot of dough. Paid $5 for about 50 records.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022

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