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Should I go for a refurbished Dual 1229?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by rischa, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go? Thread Starter

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I've been hankering for a vintage table for a while, with a Thorens TD160 at the top my list for most of that time. However, lately I've been more drawn to the Dual 1229, mainly for its looks and because they're typically more affordable than the TD160.

    Bill at FixMyDual.com has some nice 1229s for $725. This is a few hundred more than I was expecting, so I'm looking for some opinions on whether this is a fair price in 2021. I know the work will be excellent from Bill, but I still don't want to overpay.

    This wouldn’t be my critical-listening deck, more just to have a beautiful vintage table in my system.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go? Thread Starter

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    By the way, here are some pics he sent me of one of the tables he's selling -- hopefully he doesn't mind me posting (free advertising, right?):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Beautiful work, but I wish it had the Dual badge on the front.
     
    LitHum05, Radio and HiFi Guy like this.
  3. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I had a 1229Q back in the day. Probably the only turntable I regret selling.
     
    kt66brooklyn and rischa like this.
  4. t4t3r

    t4t3r Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    Bill is a master with Duals and a truly great resource to have, but IMO decent condition Duals, even 1229s, aren’t that hard to find for $100-200, fully operational. You can spend far less than an additional $500 to refurb yourself if it’s even needed.
     
    lobo and Sedwards like this.
  5. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    I'm not a huge Pro-ject fan but they have a new table for $799 that looks real nice. Comes with a custom Ortofon cartridge based on the 2M series.
     
  6. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go? Thread Starter

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Kind of what my gut was telling me as well.

    That said, I just re-read the email and realized the $725 price includes shipping, which could potentially save me about $150 (a junker 1229 from ebay would cost at least $50 in shipping, then another $50 to get it to Bill, and another $50 to get it back from Bill). Also, the table includes an $80 Ortofon cartridge that I don’t need. So, if I can possibly talk him into leaving the cartridge off, I might be able to save another $75 or so. Between shipping savings and cartridge (if he agrees to sell without), I’m really paying more like $500, which is closer to what I had in mind. (If I had a nickel for every time I’ve justified a purchase this way, lol).
     
    Dennis Metz likes this.
  7. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    What does that have to do with anything?
     
    LitHum05 and timind like this.
  8. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    if i were going vintage it would be a thorens. a local record store uses one for their system and the sound is just so nice every time i hear it playing. infectiously warm and smooth. its one of those unorganized stores where you have to sift through boxes, so i have plenty of hours hearing it and it leaves me wanting more.
     
  9. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    Well, he's looking at $700+ turntables. This is an option. I like vintage gear but I don't think I'd buy a $700 vintage table.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
  11. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Well all I can say us the 160 I got last December for 400 euros and put another 400 into upgrading sounds absolutely fantastic now and personally I think it looks a lot nicer than those Duals, it's given me loads of pleasure.
     
    Blue Devil likes this.
  12. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    I bought a modded Thorens TD-160 from Milmie123 on Ebay in the UK. Have to say I'm delighted with it, but it's going to be way over your budget if you go with him - hard to fault the work though. Mine is a 160 with an RB250 tonearm, I added a Benz Micro Gold cartridge and a Clearaudio phono stage (which turned out to be the problem child of my setup for a while!) and it's an absolute joy. I've added a link to his current offerings on the 'bay...see below:-

    Items for sale by milmie123 | eBay
     
    Blue Devil and rischa like this.
  13. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go? Thread Starter

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I hear ya, but I've decided against a Thorens at this point. My turntable goals are to replace my 2012 RP3 with a vintage deck for fun and looks, and also get a more serious deck for critical listening (yet to be chosen). I realize the Thorens is the better table, but getting one in good working order would cost more than I'd like to spend. I've been watching TD160s on the bay and following Vinyl Nirvana on Instagram for the last 2 or 3 years, and I haven't seen anything in my price range (or that has tempted me to go beyond).
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  14. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go? Thread Starter

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I like the looks of Duals a lot. Definitely an acquired taste, but all the knobs and switches add to their vintage appeal in my opinion. Quirky though for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
    Blue Devil and Technocentral like this.
  15. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Sure it's not bad looking but a bit clunky it's all a matter of taste, I don't know what they sound like all I can say is when set up properly the 160 does my records justice, hope you enjoy your new table.
     
    Blue Devil, Brother_Rael and rischa like this.
  16. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    I've been a big fan of Duals for awhile now. I've heard other tables here and there, but to me Dual's sound more organic than some of the modern offerings. I've had this 1219 for at least 20 years and it gets some play nearly everyday. I got it cheap (like $10) and rebuilt it myself using whatever manuals I could get my hands on. I have quite the collection of manuals now, but since I finished the rebuild, I haven't had to touch it at all except to change the carts. I think I changed the bearing grease some years ago, but it didn't seem to need it. It's super quiet. No rumble or extraneous noises.

    So while I do like them a lot, $725 seems kinda steep.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Sedwards

    Sedwards Senior Member

    This!

    I pickup up a nice 1219 a few years back off craigslist for cheap - don't remember the price but it was wasn't more than $150. I put about $250 into a rebuild and new idler and it worked beautifully before I sold it to a fellow SHF'er. Only reason why I sold it is because I have too many tables. If I had room on my rack to fit it in, it would still be here! Loved that table!

    https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/dual-1219-vintage-turntable.935207/
     
    lazydawg58, timind and Spin Doctor like this.
  18. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Forum Resident

    I have no desire for any other table other than my Dual. It makes everything sound good. It doesn't have a musical preference, lol.
     
  19. lazydawg58

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

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    I'm no expert but about 4 years ago I took the advise of a TT repair guy. I purchased from him a Dual 1219 for $325 with an added 78s stylus. He had serviced it and had it in good working order. It had a DIY plinth and a make shift cover, otherwise it would have been about $375 -$400. But the bottom line is that he set me up with a TT that will out perform most anything else for the cost and from what I can tell based on what I've read on this forum and other places it would cost 4 times or more that to get a new TT of equal quality. Eventually I found a "for parts" 1219 with the original plinth and cover for $65 and local pickup. So now I have a great functioning, great sounding, great looking TT for under $500. I guess I'm saying, if you can get the price down a bit you will be very happy with that 1229!
     
    LitHum05, Sedwards, rischa and 2 others like this.
  20. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    A few years ago I picked up a 1249 (belt drive) on ebay for less than $100. It was a parts machine and my main reason for buying it was the Shure V15III I could see on the headshell. Spent quite a few nights in my garage working on it and even bought another dual for parts. Once it was up and running, it was a very nice turntable. I had less than $200 in mine. The first turntable I bought out on my own was a Dual, I love their looks.

    As gorgeous as the 1219 Fix My Dual is offering, $700 seems steep to me. But then again, you get what you pay for.

    Here's mine:
    [​IMG]
     
    Sedwards, Spin Doctor, rischa and 2 others like this.
  21. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Ditto that. I've been astonished by how good the deck I bought is and that's in no way hyperbole.
     
    Technocentral and Spin Doctor like this.
  22. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    I had a 1229 for a few years that I bought about 5 years ago, used, from a guy here at SHFM, fully refurbed at the time, $300. It was a nice deck, though connections could sometimes be wonky when I would swap out carts/stylus, I'd get an occasional 60 cycle hum...which apparently was a fairly common issue with this deck from readings I found on the internet.

    After a while, I decided I wanted something new, and I bit for a new Technics SL1210GR, at 8 times the price. :sigh: You only live once. LOL
     
    rischa and timind like this.
  23. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    That's a considerable amount of money, but I don't know offhand what your alternative would be for a Dual that's been repaired and refurbished by a "name" technician. Maybe some other folks can suggest other possible sources?

    IIRC the prices for a serviced model like that from FMD were a lot less a few years ago.

    At over $700 I would probably just save more money and get something else entirely. Then again I'm not a rabid Dual fan like some are.

    Are you absolutely certain you want this? It may be worth it to you in that case. That said, do not expect to get anywhere near that for the turntable if you decide to sell it in a year or two because you changed your mine and wanted something else.

    My 2 cents.
     
    mackat and rischa like this.
  24. Angry_Panda

    Angry_Panda Pipe as shown, slippers not pictured

    Since you're going to be using this as a 'recreational' table, rather than a 'critical listening' table, I say do it. I haven't met Bill personally, but I've seen his work around town a number of times, and he does a great job. These are fun tables, and really sound good when paired with a period cartridge (I had a Shure M91 on the 1218 I had for a while; gave that one to the brother-in-law so he had a real turntable). His refurb should set your mind at ease about having to do anything major for quite some time. If it was me, I'd see if he'd swap the cart for an extra cart sled or two, and an alignment jig.

    If you want to save a few bucks and don't mind the drive, Madison to Des Moines and back again would be a good day's trip, so if he's willing to meet you at his shop, you might be able to get that cost down. (Also, we have many interesting places to eat here, if that's something that interests you.)
     
  25. rischa

    rischa Where'd Dizzy go? Thread Starter

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I've messaged Bill to see if he can bring the price down by leaving off the cartridge and with a stock base instead of his custom work. We'll see what he says.
     
    patient_ot likes this.

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