What Is The Best Dual Turntable? Experts Share Their Top Picks

Are you a vinyl enthusiast looking for the perfect turntable to add to your collection?

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to invest in.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Dual turntables and explore their reputation for reliability and durability.

We’ll also compare them to other popular brands like Rega and Thorens, and discuss the pros and cons of purchasing a second-hand Dual turntable.

Plus, we’ll highlight some of the key features of Dual turntables that make them stand out from the competition.

So, whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or just starting out, read on to discover what makes Dual turntables a top contender for the best turntable on the market.

What Is The Best Dual Turntable

When it comes to Dual turntables, they have a reputation for being reliable and sturdy performers that can last for decades. While they may not be considered high-end in their time, their middle-of-the-road performance is suitable for most buyers.

One thing to note is that Dual turntables are often built using an idler drive system. While they may not be up there with the Garrards or Thorens in the world of idler drives, their mid to upper range products are certainly worthwhile. Additionally, there are a few belt drive and direct drive models in their lineup that are also worth considering.

However, with so many choices available today, it can be challenging to decide which turntable to purchase. One guiding principle to consider is the “suitability factor for the now use.” While Dual turntables were once considered some of the best on the market, there are now many other brands that perform equally or even better than Dual turntables.

Furthermore, Dual turntables are becoming increasingly harder to find, and purchasing a second-hand one may require a lot of time and effort to find the right technical folks to help with repairs. With plenty of new brands around, the quality of vinyl players is only getting better, and the price difference between them is not that great.

Introduction To Dual Turntables

Dual turntables have a rich history dating back to 1900 when the company was founded by brothers Christian and Joseph Steidinger in St. Georgen, Germany. Initially, the company manufactured spring actuators, but in 1935, it changed its name to Dual and began producing spring-driven electric motors.

Over the years, Dual turntables became known for their reliability and sturdy build quality. In 1949, the company introduced the Dual 1000 record changer, which was a game-changer in the industry. In 1973, Dual produced its first automatic turntable, the ‘701’ model, which cemented its reputation as a leading turntable manufacturer.

Despite facing stiff competition from Asian companies in the 1980s and 1990s, Dual continued to produce quality turntables. In 2003, turntables with the Dual logo reappeared on the market, and today, the company is still producing high-quality turntables that are revered for their reliability and sound quality.

One of Dual’s most famous turntables is the Dual 1019, which is considered by many to be one of the best turntables ever made. It features a friction-free dynamically balanced tonearm that tracks as low as half a gram and has direct dial stylus force and anti-skating compensation. The dynamically balanced platter is also one of the heaviest Dual has ever made, weighing in at 7.5 pounds.

Reputation For Reliability And Durability

One of the main reasons why Dual turntables have a reputation for being reliable and durable is due to their ability to serve audiophiles for many years. These turntables are known for exceeding expectations on reliability and being sturdy, which are probably the most attractive selling points of the Dual turntables.

Moreover, Dual turntables are often built using high-quality materials that contribute to their longevity. For instance, the turntable platter is heavy, creating a very reliable stable speed, and the overall construction is solid and robust. This makes them less prone to wear and tear, ensuring they last for decades.

In addition, Dual turntables are designed with precision tracking and quiet operation, which makes them ideal for audiophiles who appreciate high-quality sound. They are also flexible, with options for 3 speeds, single manual play, multi or single fully automatic play.

Lastly, parts for Dual turntables are still accessible from several locations, making repairs and maintenance easy to carry out. Even though dust covers may be hard to find, other essential parts can still be sourced from reputable dealers.

Comparison To Other Popular Brands

When compared to other popular brands, Dual turntables may not be considered high-end. Rega and Thorens turntables are known for their superior performance and quality, and Garrards are considered the top of the line in the world of idler drives. However, Dual turntables are still a reliable and sturdy option for most buyers.

One brand that stands out as a strong competitor to Dual is Denon. Their DP-300F turntable offers a fully automatic system that is compatible with almost every home music system. It also has a preamp that can be turned on or off, making it easy to upgrade and customize to your preferences.

Another brand worth considering is Technics, specifically their SL1200 model. This turntable is known for its high standard of build quality and solid sound quality. It also offers flexibility in positioning and cartridge-matching, allowing for a more personalized experience.

Pros And Cons Of Purchasing A Second-Hand Dual Turntable

If you’re considering purchasing a second-hand Dual turntable, there are some pros and cons to keep in mind.


– Cost: Second-hand Dual turntables can be significantly cheaper than buying a new one. This is especially true for older models that may be harder to find.

– Vintage appeal: There’s something special about owning a piece of vintage audio equipment. A second-hand Dual turntable can add a touch of nostalgia and character to your music setup.

– Quality: As mentioned earlier, Dual turntables have a reputation for being reliable and sturdy performers that can last for decades. If you’re able to find a well-maintained second-hand model, it could be a great investment.


– Condition: When purchasing a second-hand turntable, there’s always the risk that it may be in poor condition or need repairs. This can end up costing you more money in the long run.

– Compatibility: Older Dual turntables may not be compatible with modern audio equipment. For example, they may not have built-in phono preamps, which means you’ll need to purchase one separately.

– Availability: As mentioned earlier, Dual turntables are becoming increasingly harder to find. It may take some time and effort to find the right model in good condition.

Key Features Of Dual Turntables

Despite the challenges in finding a Dual turntable, there are still some key features that make them stand out from the crowd. One of the most notable features is their reliability. Dual turntables are known for their sturdy build and long-lasting performance. They are built to last for decades, and many vintage Dual turntables are still in use today.

Another key feature of Dual turntables is their meticulous design. The Dual 1229, for example, is an automatic turntable that is considered one of the best dual turntables ever made. It was designed with a high standard of reliability and attention to detail. The Dual 601 is another standout model, known for its belt drive system and excellent performance.

Dual turntables also offer a range of cartridge options, including both moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges. MM cartridges are durable and easy to make, while MC cartridges offer extreme accuracy in reading record grooves. Many component preamps offer variable cartridge loading, allowing you to adjust to any cartridge you wish to use.

Finally, Dual turntables offer a range of connectivity options. Many models have built-in preamps or USB outputs that allow you to create digital files on your computer as you play an album. Some also have Bluetooth receivers or transmitters, allowing you to stream music wirelessly through compatible speakers and headphones.

Conclusion: Why Dual Turntables Are A Top Contender

Despite the challenges of finding a Dual turntable and the increasing competition from other brands, there are still good reasons why Dual turntables are a top contender. First and foremost, their reputation for reliability and durability is hard to beat. Dual turntables have been known to last for decades, making them a great investment for any vinyl enthusiast.

Another reason to consider a Dual turntable is their mid to upper range performance. While they may not be the best in the world of idler drives or direct drives, their products are certainly worthwhile. Additionally, their use of low-mass tonearms with their turntables is a unique feature that sets them apart from other brands.

Moreover, the recent reactivation of the company means that Dual’s products are no longer just museum pieces or decorations in trendy cafes. You can now purchase them again in audio stores, which is great news for those who value the quality of their craft and sound.

In conclusion, while there are many other brands that perform equally or even better than Dual turntables, their reputation for reliability and durability, mid to upper range performance, and unique features make them a top contender in the vinyl player market.