Newly restored Dual 1219 has exceeded my wildest expectations

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by action pact, Jun 12, 2014.

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  1. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    A couple of months ago I did some good old fashioned horsetrading with a local hifi enthusiast, and as part of the deal ended up with a Dual 1219 in need of some TLC.

    Like most old Dual idler-drive models, it suffered from the usual symptoms of dried, sticky lube. It was stuck in multi-play mode, the speed selector switch was seized up, and the auto functions were extremely sluggish and noisy. The motor also would not shut off at the end of a cycle.

    My mechanical skills are rudimentary at best, but I figured this would be a good opportunity to learn how to sort out a record changer. I dutifully downloaded the official 1219 service manual as well as the DIY guide to servicing a 1219 that's circulating around the web, but I quickly ascertained that, even with these reference guides, I was way out of my league and needed to call in a pro.

    There is a well-known Dual repair tech out in Iowa, but I have had two very dissatisfactory experiences with the work he did on a couple of 1019's (which I have since off-loaded because they were so problematic), so I wasn't about to deal with him again.

    I had been reading about an AudioKarma member in Brooklyn, NY with the handle NoTransistors who is experienced with servicing Dual turntables, and whose work has gotten unanimously positive feedback. I contacted Seth (NoTransistors) and his quoted price for servicing the 1219 was in line with what the other guy charges, and so I made arrangements to drop the 1219 off with him during a visit to NYC.

    This past Sunday I made a return trip to pick up the 1219, and Seth took the time to go over the special challenges he faced with my particular machine, showed me the parts he needed to replace and why he needed to replace them, and then hooked up my 1219 to his stereo and gave me a brief demo.

    He also gave me a tip about using some silicone to fill the hollow areas on the underside of the platter, to reduce resonances. (After I got home, I used some latex caulk instead, and it did make a substantial improvement in the bass definition and imaging, and further cleaned up the background).

    I am happy to report that, unlike my two experiences with the other guy, Seth's work has completely met my expectations. All of the table's functions operate smoothly with no play in the levers, the arm moves perfectly freely with no apparent binding, the platter maintains instant and consistent pitch, and all of the auto functions work perfectly. Mechanical noise is very low and, unlike the two 1019's that the other guy worked on, this 1219 has absolutely zero rumble (which was a relief).

    It's worth pointing out that potential customers will need to be patient with the process. Seth does not work quickly but his work is thorough and complete, with no short-cuts taken. Just don't expect it to be ready in a week.

    After getting the 1219 home and set-up, there was one problem I discovered; even with the pitch adjustment lever all the way to the negative side, the platter ran considerably fast, as verified with a strobe. Uh oh.

    I consulted the service manual on Vinyl Engine and adjusted the height of the motor pulley, but couldn't get the pulley low enough so that the platter would spin at 100% with the pitch control centered. I sent an email to Seth and he immediately diagnosed the likely source of the problem; he told me to pop off the pulley and check for burrs or rust causing the pulley to not be fully adjustable. Sure enough, there was a burr on the pulley's mounting spindle, which I removed with some gentle filing. Voila, problem solved!

    I gotta say, this 1219 has exceeded my wildest expectations. My Thorens TD-124 hasn't been used all week.
    Dang...
     
  2. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

  3. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Yikes... Can a gort please change the thread title from "explanations" to "expectations." How em-bare-assing!
     
  4. JL6161

    JL6161 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    [envious] Oh doggone it, action pact. First you scoop up a fab Thorens TD-124, and now you have the gall to land a super-cool Dual 1219. Stop bogarting the idlers! [/envious] I just got a Luxman PX-100 for a modest work office system, but I'm still considering an eventual Dual or VinylNirvanaTable.
     
    action pact likes this.
  5. sfaxa

    sfaxa Active Member

    I also had a very negative experience with the Dual "tech" in Iowa. Never again.
     
  6. JL6161

    JL6161 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I'm glad you both mentioned this in a timely manner.
     
    simon-wagstaff and action pact like this.
  7. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Thanks. I was under the impression that I was the only one who thought his work was not up to par, most seem to be very happy with his work.

    If anyone would like Seth to work on their Dual, he gave me permission to post his contact info. You can reach him at NoTransistors - at - AOL dot com.
     
  8. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I have less than $200 total invested in this turntable, and it sounds incredibly good... and it's a freakin' record changer, fer gawd's sake!

    BTW, since you mentioned Vinyl Nirvana, I see that Dave has teamed up with a Dual restoration expert and has begun offering some spectacular-looking Dual idler models, with fancy hardwood plinths.

    Check out this gorgeous 1019 that Dave recently sold:

    http://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-tur...rviced-solid-walnut-plinth-475-plus-shipping/
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
    JoelWat, rxcory, ddarch and 1 other person like this.
  9. JL6161

    JL6161 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I know, aren't those purty? Of course, one of the great qualities of Duals is that you can stack 45s on 'em if you can get hold of a stacker spindle. I have an RCA 45 player already, but hooking 50s technology up to one's modern stereo is a byzantine (if doable) process, and you really can't get around the crappy cartridge issue.
     
  10. jeffsab

    jeffsab Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    What cart are you using?
     
  11. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I'm actually in the process of hunting around for an affordable 45 stacker, that seems like a must-have for someone with my sensibilities. A guy on AK has offered to send me a complete - but totally disassembled - stacker, because he can't figure out how to put it back together. I'll make it work.

    '70s Shure M91ED with JICO SAS stylus. I also will be using it with a Shure N78S stylus for 78 duty, and I'll probably get an SC35C conical stylus for mono duty. They are all compatible with the M91ED body.
     
  12. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I found a Dual 1209 and 1218 for super cheap locally and decided I would "service" them myself. It was a steep learning curve to say the least, but somehow got those things to work. The 1209 sounds the best but still has way too much rumble. The 1218 has a broken headshell (the one with the adjustable VTF) that's held together with poster putty. Even in spite of these short comings, these decks sound amazing. They are just musical. I have a Thorens TD150mkii and a Technics 1200, and yes, they have better specs and provide more detail, but they do not have the magic of the Duals. It's gotta be the idler wheel.

    Actionpact, your last comment there makes me want to get a 1219 myself, though I think I want a TD-124 more.
     
  13. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    BTW, I have the Shure 91ed on mine too--very underrated cart. I will also need to get a Jico on that baby.
     
  14. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    The TD-124 isn't about to be going anywhere, but this Dual is bringing something pretty special to the party.

    I love the M91ED. I have two of them.
     
    Parlan likes this.
  15. EasterEverywhere

    EasterEverywhere Forum Resident

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Just got a plinth for my newly restored TD-135.It's winging it's way to me from Moldova as I type.Next up,I get my 2012 $5 Goodwill special Dual 1219 restored by fixmydual.com.

    I thought people hated idlers because they were "noisy".:D
     
  16. EasterEverywhere

    EasterEverywhere Forum Resident

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Really?Send me a PM if you don't want to tell me why in a post.Why is Vinyl Nirvana better?
     
  17. JL6161

    JL6161 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I guess I just want a nostalgic change of pace from my home TTs, which are the predictable modern fancy-pants speed-corrected high-mass things you'd expect (but enjoyably non-fussy). So I thought at the office, where I don't spend too much time or have great listening conditions but plenty of distractions, it'd be good to get a modest, reliable, utilitarian retro-vibe workhorse. It's been about 30 years since I had a table that shut itself off. What a concept.
     
  18. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    PM incoming.
     
  19. RonW

    RonW Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    It's one of the best turntables ever made! Don't be surprised by it just love it and enjoy it...
     
  20. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Well, I don't know if it can truly compare with the 5- and 6-figure tables that Michael Fremer reviews, but within its class it is indeed pretty remarkable. I'll wager that it can compete with anything in at least the under $1500 range, no joke.
     
    RonW likes this.
  21. ddarch

    ddarch Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    To be clear folks, Vinyl Nirvana is not taking on Dual restorations. I was lucky enough to find a semi-retired Dual guy locally who has worked on them for 40 years. He is not interested in more than the 2-3 I'll be giving him monthly. I will continue to list those 1019s/1219s/1229s as they come up, most often installed in the wonderful solid hardwood bases/plinths that Larry Spence offers at a remarkable price for the amazing quality:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-Plin...pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item19ed9b7769
     
    action pact likes this.
  22. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    What I love about what Dave is doing is he takes vintage tables - ones that have proven their worth over many decades - brings them up to modern levels of performance, and then presents them in such a way that they will look terrific alongside more modern components and/0r furnishings, while still maintaining their classic visual appeal. Bravo!
     
    ddarch likes this.
  23. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I have some experience with vintage tables ( having owned about 5 or 6 of them..lol )

    They sound far better than most give them credit for.

    If you read some comments, it is as if tables only were good in the last 10 years or something.
     
    action pact likes this.
  24. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    LOL, this 1219 is the newest table I own!
     
    RonW likes this.
  25. RonW

    RonW Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Absolutely!
     
    action pact likes this.
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