Sunday, 15 April 2012

Trading Duals for Duals

The Dual turntables have been moving in and out of the house recently. Not having owned one since about 1981 until last summer, I managed to have as many as 4 in my possession lately. That went down to 3 today and will drop to 2 some day soon, perhaps tomorrow.

Last summer I picked up a Dual HS-37 which was a 1214 rim drive table built onto the top of an amplifier in a teak case. Very neat little unit, and in good shape except for worn lettering. Some cleaning and lubing got it working pretty well.

Today I sold that one. It went very nicely both cosmetically and proportionally with the Mini Advent speakers I picked up (also last summer) at the 3 hour per week thrift store on Mayne Island. The young guy who bought it was quite stoked to get a little unit for his apartment, and also needed some speakers so away they went. He did not live far away and we even gave him a drive home.

Dual 1219

One reason I decided to get rid of this one as I had picked up a Dual 1219 locally a week or 2 ago, and after some struggle got it into a usable state. As with the HS-37, the speed selector was stuck but that was familiar by now so was not a big problem. The main thing this time was the switch for changing from Multi-play to Single-play.

The 1219, as many other tables of the day, was capable of being using as a record changer. You could stack up to 5 or 6 discs on the special spindle (which I do not have) and the records would drop and play one at a time, until the entire stack was finished and then the table would shut off. You could also use these as single play units, getting up and changing them every side.

Because of the stack of records the tonearm was designed to be able to adjust to different heights so that the cartridge had the appropriate Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA), or at least roughly so. I mentioned this in the post about the Sony 2400. Unfortunately the flaw in this Dual and some similar models like the 1229 is that there are some easily broken parts in the tonearm base that did exactly that when I tried to force the lever from MP (multi) to SP (single). Dammit!

With these little plastic pieces broken off, the tonearm wants to stay on the higher position for the stack of records, but this would be wrong for my situation so something had to happen.

After quite a bit of analyzing and monkeying about I managed to get it to stay in the SP position. It involved using my usual fall back position, some bike parts that helped out. Actually not bike parts exactly but bike pump parts.

I'll try to get some pics of the area later, but essentially I used part of a rubber grommet from the head of a pump to hold some bearings in place on one shaft, and a piece of thick walled rubber hose to act as a spacer on the base of the tonearm to keep it at the correct height.

So after all that work, and due to the fact that this is a better turntable than the 1214 in the one I sold today I plan to keep this one. One reason I want one of these is it's ability to play 78's. I don't have any yet but some day. I have a spare cartridge holder on the way, so I could install a dedicated 78 rpm cartridge on that.

Also though it gives me an opportunity to use an idler or rim drive table instead of the usual belt or direct drive. And one more thing to collect...


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