Dual 701 Review

The Dual 701 is amongst Dual's best turntables. Although not as popular as Thorens belt drives, it can certainly give them a run for their money.


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.

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “Dual 701 Review – King of the Duals?”

  1. Joe Bigliogo says:

    Some corrections are in order. The Dual 701 is a direct drive turntable. I don’t know where you got the idea it was belt drive. It is in fact Dual’s first and best direct drive. Also the platter weight is around 4.5 kg or 10 lbs (including the spindle mounted motor). The rumble figure was rated at 70DB (din b) which was very conservative. In practice this table was much quieter than most of the direct drive tables available then and certainly quieter than the idler wheel Duals. I am not convinced that Idler drive offers any sonic advantage over other drive systems. If idler turntable’s sound good, it’s because they are constructed with rigid, inert, low resonance parts, not because idler drive is the cat’s meow. Otherwise a fair assessment and yes the Dual 701 along with virtually every turntable benefits from mounting in a solid hefty base.

  2. Paul says:

    Of the different Dual tables I have, the 601, 1219 and 1228 seem to be the best. Dual should have installed a strobe light in the 1219. Dual option to produce automatic tables was a bad idea for those of us who continue to own and use them. Seems that they were attempting to please everyone at the time. If Dual tables did not have the cueing arm, I would not have bought additional used tables over the years. Love/hate relationship?

    • Paul says:

      8 months have passed since my first comments. Having spent a lot of time getting to understand the way things work on a number of Dual TT’s over the last 6-8 months, the biggest problems to overcome were the tonearm cuing drop speed and the Steuerpimpel guides that control the automatic functions. Guide replacements can be found at the eBay Dual turntable section. There are 2 different sellers of these Steuerpimpels with differing prices. If your turntable requires the thicker more difficult to find 500000 silicone oil, try calling Norcal hobbies in Union City, Ca. Their phone number is: 510-324-5700

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