THE DUALITY OF DUAL TURNTABLES - THE ONES TO BUY
Dual CS turntables are the ones made in the Black Forest town of St. Georgen. Let us explain the duality of Dual.
Remember Dual? Well, it once was the biggest turntable manufacturer in Europe. The German brand was regularly name-checked by music-lovers’ lips throughout the vinyl heydays of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. If you wanted a terrific record player that was easy to use and very realistically priced, then Dual would have featured on your list. So here’s the good news: if you still want an excellent record player that’s easy to use and very realistically priced, the Dual turntable is back in the UK. Just be sure that you’re getting the ‘right’ one.
Chances are, if you're still with us, you will be asking, “Didn’t I read this somewhere before?” And/or, “Aren’t Dual decks made in China now?” Well, yes and no.
Let's get this sorted.
Back in the 1980s when things weren’t looking so good for vinyl, the original Dual company was bought and sold by several other larger companies over the years. In the process, the brand name and the original turntable models went in slightly different directions. Fast forward to the present day, and now Dual is, well, dual. The Dual brand name is used by two different companies, both still German-owned and based.
Dual DGC GmbH sells mostly imported, Asian-made consumer electronics such as radios, televisions and various portable audio devices, including inexpensive turntables (with models prefixed DT, NR and MTR).
Dual Phono GmbH, meanwhile – creator of the original Dual line of turntables – was acquired by Alfred Fehrenbacher GmbH. The turntables built by this company still produces them using the same production equipment from the original Dual factory, in the Black Forest town of St. Georgen. The high quality, affordable, audiophile turntables carry the original Dual ‘DNA’ and are easily identified by their product name prefix, ‘CS’.
Furthermore, they are also now back in the UK market, thanks to a new agreement with County Durham-based distributor Decent Audio.
Dual ‘CS’: affordably audiophile
The Dual CS range is, reassuringly, a return to what Dual did so brilliantly back in the good old days of vinyl. Here you get German design, German engineering and an excellent balance of quality, ease of use and affordability.
There are currently ten models in the Dual CS range, each of which offers an impressive balance of proven technology, expert craftsmanship and user-friendly convenience.
At the entry-level end of the range, opt for a complete package including tonearm and cartridge, with plug-and-play simplicity and fully automatic functioning. The CS 435-1, for example, offers automatic start and cueing as well as auto stop, returning the tonearm to its rest at the end of playing. Atop the solid wooden chassis is a high-quality aluminium platter with anti-static felt mat. While, below, is a floating sub-chassis that provides isolation from feedback and protects against footfall-induced skipping.
Move up to the middle of the range, and you can opt for semi-automatic functioning, have the flexibility of your own choice of cartridge, and add a built-in phonostage. Here, the CS-505/4 is an all-time classic budget audiophile turntable, now in its fourth generation. The elegant tonearm features a complex Cardan bearing and precise torsion-spring tracking force control. The headshell is detachable, and the tracking and anti-skating are adjustable.
At the upper end of the range, playing is entirely manual. The top model is the CS-600, which features a unique, custom-developed four-point Cardan bearing tonearm. The triple-damped aluminium platter is weighted with two copper damping rings plus an additional internal cast mass damper. The platter rotates on a 10mm-diameter brass and Teflon bearing, driven by a precision flat belt and DC motor with electronic speed control, for supremely smooth running.
All in all, the Dual CS range offers ten highly appealing options for vinyl lovers seeking time-honoured quality and great sound at an affordable price – and with a variety of options for balancing ease of use with flexible features.
The Dual CS range has prices ranging from £299 for the entry-level CS 440, to £1,399 for the range-topping CS 600 (incl. VAT and tonearm). Additionally, the prices for all but the top two models (CS 550 and CS 600) includes the phono cartridge.
For more information, go to Dual.
StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
Get the latest.
Sign up to discover the best news and reviews from StereoNET UK in our FREE Newsletter.
TEAC TN-3B Belt-Drive Turntable Released
Martin Logan Motion Series Hi-Fi and Home Cinema Speakers Refreshed for 2019
Vertere Acoustics PHONO-1 MKII Rocks it DG Style
Affordable Audiophile - Denon PMA-600NE Integrated Amplifier and DCD-600NE CD Player Announced
Russ Andrews Goes 18XL with Latest Kimber Kable Carbon Speaker Cable
CanJam London 2019 Show Report, Gallery and Review
Bowers & Wilkins 603 FLoorstanding Speakers Awarded Speaker of the Year 2019 by EISA
The Gryphon Audio Designs Essence Class A Pre and Power Amplifiers Prices and Specification
Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation UK Launch
Wharfedale Linton Heritage Standmount Speakers Review - More Reimagining Than Remake