The Dual 701 turntable is one of the rarer beasts produced by Dual. Compared to the 1200 series idler drives, there are fewer Dual 701s in existence as production was limited to four years.
Dual 701 Turntable Quality
The Dual 701,direct drive turntable. The Dual 701 is one of the best, if not the best, Dual turntables.
The Dual 701 is very similar to the 721 in build, but uses more metal parts. The Dual 701 is consequently the superior turntable.
The tonearm is mounted in a 4 point low friction gimbal suspension. The Dual tonearms are really quite underrated. They are not at the level of the SME, Grace and Rega arms, but are very good for the price of the Dual as a whole unit. The let down of the Dual arms is their plastic head shell, which isn’t the most secure surface to mount a cartridge to.
The 701, like many other Dual turntables, includes an anti-skate adjustment for both conical and elliptical styli. I tried both with my 1219 and couldn’t tell much of a difference in sound, but a properly set anti-skate should prevent wear on your records. The Dual 701 has a built in strobe, but don’t count on it actually working if bought second hand. On vintage turntables, the strobe always seems to be the first thing to go.
The Dual 701 turntable motor is not the same as the 601’s, which is fortunate, as it is not prone to random changes of speed.
Dual 701 vs 1229/1219
You really cannot go wrong with either the 701 or 1219/1229. The 701 is certainly quieter. However, with a new plinth, the 1219/1229 is very quiet indeed. Big idler wheel turntables need that heavy plinth to prevent rumble. Duals provide little in the way of upgrade paths, so the chance of an upgraded plinth might have some owners jumping out of their seats with excitement. In stock format, I prefer the 701, but when re-plinthed the 1229 or 1219 wins to my ears. I prefer music with a punchy bass and pace, rhythm and timing, which I personally believe idler drives do best of all. Acoustic or classical music will probably suit the 701 better.
Dual 701 Turntable Specifications
- Drive type: direct drive
- Platter weight: 2.9kg
- Wow & Flutter: <0.03%
- Rumble: <50 dB unweighted
- Tonearm: tubular in pivot bearing
Dual 701 Cartridge Choices
As with most Duals, the Shure V15 series will work great. The Shure M97xE is a good modern day alternative. The Ortofon OM series also seems to pair well with the Dual 701.