Dual 1229 Turntable Review – The Engineer’s Turntable - Vita Audio

Dual 1229 Turntable Review – The Engineer’s Turntable

If you are lucky enough to have a Dual 1229 Turntable, you are very fortunate indeed! This turntable is one of the most sought-after pieces of kit for any audiophile.

Today, the Dual 1229 is most often found in antique stores but don’t be surprised if you come across one online or in a secondhand store. You could even find one in a yard sale or dumpster!

The Dual 1229 is heavy and well-built, so it will probably survive just fine anywhere. Because they are so indestructible, you can be certain that the one you find will work.

So if you ever see a Dual 1229, you 100% need to grab it. It is a fantastic turntable that is the culmination of decades of audio innovation. It is a step up from the incredible range of Dual turntables.

Playing Records On A Dual 1229

Unlike other high-fidelity turntables that we have come across, the Dual 1229 has been fully automated. This seems to add a nice low level of rumble to your vinyl that adds another layer of audio interest.

Feeling lazy? We’ve all been there. Thankfully the Dual 1229 can play multiple records at once. No more getting up every 4 minutes to flip over your singles. The turntable is super smooth for easy listening, enhanced only by the knowledge that you can sit back and relax.

You are going to love not needing to keep an eye on your spinning record.

Sound Quality

Another feature of the Dual 1229 in the turntable world is that its automation has not harmed sound quality. 

You can, of course, modify the Dual 1229 if you wanted to. Some people make alterations so that it becomes a manual turntable. This may help with quality as there are fewer moving parts while you play – remember that extra movement will create extra noise. 

That said, part of the charm of the Dual 1229 is that gentle rumble. So if the clean sound is what you are after, why not go for a more appropriate turntable? Loads on the market create minimal background noise – it’ll save you some trouble from turntable modifications, anyway!

Build Quality

Remember when we said that this turntable was well-built? We were not lying. 

The platter is super dense and so will carry on spinning after your record has ended. This means that there is close to zero flutter or wow. The high build quality of this model means that second or even third-hand turntables are still excellent pieces of equipment. 

The tonearm on a Dual is remarkably long for a turntable, especially an automatic one. Even more unusual is the innovation that Dual has put into the 1229 that has allowed the friction from a Gimbal type bearing to be well managed. 

 Dual’s famed quality is wonderfully obvious for the 1229.


The Dual 1229 is certainly worth whatever its price tag is – and this will vary substantially! There are still several of these turntables available, but you do need to know where to look. 

If you are on the hunt, keep in mind that the Dual 1229 was not marketed as a luxury good or as a collector’s choice. As such, they are frequently overlooked and people are sometimes unaware of the treasure that they have.

You are more likely to nab a Dual 1229 from a secondhand shop, yard sale, or a specialist in Europe. This is because Dual is based over there. However, some are available elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you are south of the Equator, you may have more difficulty. Keep your eyes peeled for a Dual 1229 as, when they do pop up, they can be a real bargain.

Getting your Dual serviced poses a different set of challenges. The idler wheel, central to Dual’s design, is becoming increasingly uncommon, so getting hold of parts can be expensive. That said, Dual is a popular brand that produces quality products, so any turntable repair shop should be familiar with them.

Remember that your newly acquired Dual 1229 will be old so probably be clogged up with debris. Make sure that you give yours a thorough cleaning as soon as possible! You may even need to seek professional help.

However, you decide to clean or service your Dual, remember that it will be worth it!

Dual 1229 Specs

Platter: 3.1 kg; non-magnetic; dynamically balanced

Drive type: Idler

Rumble: 63dB weighted

Wow and Flutter: +/- 0.06%

Pitch Control Variation: 6%

Compatible Cartridges: any ½ inch cartridge that weighs 1-12 grams and tracking force 1-3g. Avoid Grados cartridges if possible because this creates a lot of hums.

Final Thoughts

Of all the Dual ranges, the 1229 is our favorite. It is up there with some of the greatest ever produced turntables. For an automatic turntable? It is even better. It really is a nice model and would definitely be a positive addition to an audiophile’s collection.

The 1229 comes with all the build quality, reliability, and sturdiness that you expect from Dual. This means that any secondhand version is going to make for very enjoyable listening. 

We wholeheartedly recommend that you grab a Dual 1229 whenever you can!

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘The Best Wooden Turntables‘.

Jacob Stable
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