Dual 1229 Turntable Review – The Engineer’s Turntable

The Dual 1229 turntable is the most sought after Dual turntable. More probably found in antique stores than yard sales or in dustbins, the heavy, extremely well built Dual 1229 has generated strong interest amongst the Dual turntables fandom for years. The 1229 is considered to be the culmination of decades of Dual’s technological innovation.

Unusually, for a high fidelity turntable, the Dual 1229 is fully automatic. The low level of rumble experienced when listening to the 1229 is a real boon for the lazy vinyl listeners. Additionally, the Dual 1229 turntable is capable of playing multiple records at once, so there’s no longer any need to get up off the couch every 5 minutes to change those singles. The automatic feature works smoothly and not having to monitor your spinning vinyl is a pleasure rarely experienced in a turntable that puts out such quality sound.  Some folks modify their Dual 1229 turntable so that it becomes a manual turntable, noting that the moving parts create extra noise. We think this defeats the purpose of the 1229, and there are other turntables around that are build more subtly if that’s your thing.

The Dual 1229’s heavy-as-a-rock platter will keep spinning long after the record has ended and ensures almost no wow or flutter. The tonearm is remarkably long for an automatic turntable, and Dual have managed the potential for tonearm friction by using a Gimbal type bearing. The famed build quality of Dual turntables is on-show in this model, and for this reason there are quite a few second handers floating around the place, especially in Dual’s native Europe. Outside the Northern Hemisphere they pop up relatively rarely but can usually be had for cheap when they do. Given that Dual turntables were not marketed as particularly high end or collectors item turntables, the 1229s are often overlooked as truly excellent turntables. The look and feel of the 1229 is excellent; it has character, as do its siblings in the Dual 1200 series.

In some countries, getting a Dual serviced can be difficult. Idler wheels are relatively rare things these days, and buying replacements can be costly. Duals are popular enough such that any turntable repair shop that deals with Thorens, Linns or Garrards is likely familiar with Duals. Due to build up of lubricant over decades, these turntables will need a good cleaning after purchasing. If getting in to the nitty gritty isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll need some professional help. Doing a quick local search is always worthwhile to ensure someone is nearby should you need help.


Dual 1229 turntable specifications:

  • Drive type: Idler drive
  • Platter: 3.1kg, dynamically balanced, non-magnetic
  • Wow & Flutter: +/- .06%
  • Rumble: 63dB weighted
  • Pitch control variation: 6%
  • Cartridge: accepts all 1/2″ cartridges weighing 1-12 grams, with a tracking force of 1-3 grams

Recommended Cartridges for the Dual 1229:

  • Shure V15 Type III
  • Shure M97XE
  • Stanton 681EEE
  • Ortofon OM10/20/30
  • Denon DL-160

Cartridges to avoid:

  • Grados – excessive hum


This is our favourite of all the Dual turntables, with the brand’s sturdiness and reliability presenting itself as expected. The Dual 1229 turntable is an extremely well-designed machine with remarkably good sonics for an automatic turntable.


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