Dual Model 1249 Automatic Turntable (Equipment Profile, Feb. 1977)

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MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATIONS

Speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 rpm.

Motor: 8-pole synchronous.

Wow & Flutter: 0.06 percent (DIN 45507).

Rumble: -63 dB weighted.

Pitch Control: 6 percent at 33 1/3 rpm.

Tangential Tracking Error: 0.16 deg/cm.

Dimensions: 16.25, (41.3 cm x 6.25 (15.9 cm) x 14 (35.6 cm).

Price: $280.00.

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The Dual Model 1249 could be considered the automatic version of the Model 601 (reviewed in Jan. 1976, pg. 50), to which it bears a certain resemblance. However, the 1249 will take up to six records, either 33 1/3 or 45 rpm, and there is a provision for manual operation. In terms of basic performance the measured figures came quite close to those of the Model 601--which is hardly surprising.

The styling is neat and attractive, in the familiar charcoal and silver combination favored by Dual, and the base has a walnut finish-but black and white versions are also available. The motor is an eight-pole synchronous type, and it drives the heavy flywheel by means of a flat belt-the total weight of the platter and flywheel being 4.25 lbs. Speed changes are effected by a lever which moves the belt up or down on the dual-diameter motor spindle. The two-position speed change switch is at the front, on the left, and concentric with it is a small fine-speed adjustment knob. Strobe markings are cut into the platter rim, and illumination is provided by a neon lamp located on the right. Further over on the right, is a small satin-finished panel with the Start/Stop switch and the Dual logo. Directly behind the switch is a small knob marked 1 and c. (infinity) which can set the mechanism in the continuous play mode. Behind it are the cueing lever and the anti-skating device which is unusually elaborate, consisting of three scales-one for conical styli, one for elliptical, and one for CD-4. The tonearm is aluminum with a low friction, four-point gimbal suspension.

The tracking force adjustment control is mounted on an extension to the right of the pivot, and at the base is a two-position lever which can lift the tonearm up another quarter inch to maintain the 15 degree stylus angle when playing a stack of records. The reference used is the center of the stack-or three records, so the error is quite small--probably less than the divergencies between cartridges. The cue lift adjustment control is placed near the base of the arm.

Like all Dual turntables, the 1249 uses a clip-on cartridge holder instead of a detachable head, and an alignment gauge is supplied with the unit. No trouble was experienced in mounting the cartridge, a Shure V15 MkIII, for optimum tracking, and then the tonearm was balanced in the usual way by adjusting the counterweight at the rear. Tracking force was set to 1.25 grams and the anti-skating control was turned to the same setting. Tonearm resonance, with the Shure, was a 2 dB peak centered on 9.5 Hz.

Measurements

The first test was for wow and flutter, and the measurement came out at a hair under 0.05 percent using the DIN standard. Rumble was -63 dB ARRL weighted, which was excellent. The tonearm tracking error was slightly less than the claimed maximum of 0.4 degrees per inch, and both vertical and horizontal friction were too low to be accurately measured. The speed adjustment gave a range of six percent at 33 1/3 and three percent at 45 rpm. The tracking force dial is calibrated from 0 to 3 grams, and the error there was negligible. The force required to operate the cycling mechanism at the end of the record was quite small-less than 0.3 gram, which should not bother the most fragile cartridge.

Like all dual turntables, the 1249 is a pleasure to use-the automatic mechanism seems foolproof and the phono cartridge is treated very gently. The cue lift control is free from annoying side drift, and all the controls were positive. For manual operation, all you have to do is raise the tonearm and place it over the record, the motor starts automatically, then you use the cue control to lower the arm. At the end of the record, the arm is returned to the rest position. In the automatic operation mode, the spindle is changed and the two-position stylus control is set to Multi. The cycling time is quite low, about 10 seconds from switching on until the stylus lands on the record, and about the same wait between records.

The cables fitted to the 1249 are the low-capacity type; an Audio-Technica CD-4 cartridge was used for a period of time and proved to be very satisfactory. All in all, the Dual 1249 can be recommended to those who want the convenience of a multi-play turntable and the top performance of a single play unit.

(Source: Audio magazine, Feb. 1977; by George W. Tillett)

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