Dual CS455-1 Turntable Review

The Dual CS455-1 competes in the same price range as the Pro-ject Xpression and Music Hall MMF 5.1. Does it stack up?

The Dual CS455-1 is a interesting “upper entry level” model from the German giant.

Dual CS455-1 – An Automatic in a Manual’s World

The Dual CS455-1 is in about the same price range as the Rega RP3, Pro-ject Xpression and Music Hall MMF 5.1. The Dual CS455-1 distinguishes itself from these other tables with its automatic functionality. This seems a slightly unusual choice, given as the prevailing attitude amongst audio enthusiasts is that manual operation is superior due to the fewer moving parts and higher degree of cost effectiveness. Automatic mechanisms are often touted as the part of a turntable most likely to break. The Dual CS455-1 is clearly trying to be different from its competitors with its automatic operation, and fair enough too – I think that someone unfamiliar with turntables could not tell a Pro-ject and a Rega apart sometimes. For users with families, the significant other and kids will find the automatic function a great deal easier, which will allow the whole family to enjoy vinyl.

There is little difference in build quality compared to the Dual’s competitors – the Dual CS 455-1 is built out of a solid wooden frame and has a floating sub-chassis – the holy grail of isolation design in turntables. As a result, this turntable really sounds quiet. Historically, Dual’s automatic turntables have had a reputation for being quiet automatics, and the CS455-1 has managed to continue this trend.

Dual seem insistent on promoting the CS455-1 as a turntable capable of playing 78 RPM records. In fact, the 1 at the end of CS455-1 is to denote that very difference from the standard CS455, which is not capable of playing 78 RPM records.

Dual CS455-1 Specifications

  • Drive type: fully automatic belt drive, capable of 33, 45 and 78 RPM.
  • Motor: DC servo
  • Plinth: solid wood, with floating sub-chassis
  • Rumble: 72dB
  • Wow/Flutter: 0.04% WRMS
  • Weight: 5.4kg

Conclusion

Although the Dual CS455-1 impresses with its unique design and excellent isolation, it would be hard for most users to pass up a Pro-ject Xpression instead. The included cartridge on other tables in this price range is better than the Ortofon OMB-10 that comes with the Dual, and they are a little more musical to boot. However, people keen on automatic operation have had their needs catered to with the Dual CS455-1, and most will be happy with the sound quality it provides for the price.

 

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