Displaying items by tag: vinyl - StereoLife Magazine

Over a century of spinning - A history of Dual

Dual is one of the brands highly regarded by audiophiles, vinyl enthusiasts in particular. And there's a good reason for that. The German manufacturer has produced so many outstanding turntables that it's hard to count them all. A well-preserved or restored Dual can be connected to any stereo system, even an expensive one, and not only will it look great, but with an appropriate cartridge, it should also sound so good that new, mid-range turntables will hide under the sofa with shame. Until recently, if you wanted to buy a Dual product, you would have to be patient, search through popular auction services and find a professional who could bring old electronics to factory condition. Fortunately, today Dual's products are not only museum pieces, decorations in trendy cafes, or turntables for connoisseurs who can appreciate the quality of their craft and sound. After the reactivation of the company, you can now purchase them again in audio stores. How did it come about? Is it something more than a short, one-time spurt? And why did so many vinyl fans get goosebumps just hearing that Dual was back in business? To find out, we decided to look at the company's history and find out what makes it so unique.

Dual CS 429

Dual has recently made a spectacular comeback. The legendary turntable manufacturer, which not long ago we used to associate only with vintage gear, suddenly came back into the game. First, a high-end model Primus Maximus was presented to the world, which can be interpreted as a kind of manifesto, a showcase of technical capabilities, and perhaps an announcement of the following models, which will be its simpler and cheaper counterparts. However, if we are looking for a budget turntable, we should instead not look at the devices occupying top positions in the catalog. I know, at first glance, all the inexpensive models available on the market seem similar. Still, it is enough to look at a few key components such as a cartridge, tonearm, drive, and rear panel equipment to already have an idea of which one is built solidly and which one just looks nice in pictures. If you take the time to do this, you will realize that Dual is not only a company with a history dating back to 1900 and an object of sigh for audiophiles who remember the 1970s, but also a company that offers some of the most interesting and best-equipped budget turntables. Will the automatic CS 429 be further proof of this thesis?

Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 & Alva ST

British hi-fi specialist has announced two new additions to its Alva turntable range - Alva TT V2 and Alva ST. Unveiled for the first time at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, the new Alva turntables build on the success of the highly acclaimed and innovative Alva TT - launched in 2019 as the world's first aptX HD Bluetooth turntable - and are backed by over 50 years of Cambridge Audio's expertise and experience in making great hi-fi for music lovers to enjoy.

Steve Shade - MoFi Electronics

During one of the few press conferences organized recently as a classic live meeting, not a video chat, I was particularly interested in a presentation of MoFi Electronics - manufacturer of turntables and accessories related to vinyl records playback, which stormed onto the market a few years ago, almost immediately winning many important awards. For many music lovers, this equipment is already well known but the history of its creation and the people responsible for it are not. I quickly concluded that a meeting in the real world is a perfect opportunity to find out all about it. Steve Shade, the representative of the American company, shared many interesting facts with me during a short conversation over coffee. It was not only a story of MoFi Electronics. During this meeting, I felt like I was listening to the latest news from a world that included other well-known brands - Balanced Audio Technology, Spiral Groove, EAR Yoshino, Harmonic Resolution Systems, and Fender. And that was just the beginning.

Linn Klimax LP12

Linn announces the latest iteration of their flagship turntable. Klimax LP12 now features new Radikal, comprising hyper-accurate speed management technology, a whisper-quiet power supply, and state-of-the-art motor design. Additionally, this turntable scales new heights of fidelity thanks to extensive experimentation in material science - culminating in the breakthrough that is the all-new flagship cartridge, Ekstatik. This marks the conquest of a new summit of performance, at the top of the industry-leading Sondek LP12 range. With the new Klimax LP12, listeners will experience their favorite albums - both cherished classics and those freshly unwrapped - as if it were for the first time.

DS Audio DS003

In 2020 DS Audio launched its new flagship Grand Master phono cartridge, the first model in the company's "third generation of optical cartridges". Now, the brand new DS003 draws on innovations from the Grand Master to update the existing DS 002 model, extending 'third generation' technology to a more affordable price point. Like the Grand Master, the new DS003 features a comprehensively re-designed optical system. Its independent LEDs and photo-detectors for the left and right channels deliver a significant increase in the cartridge's output voltage, from 40 mV to 70 mV.

Dual CS 418

Dual is one of the brands most respected by audiophiles. It has produced so many great turntables that it's hard to count them all and a well-preserved Dual turntable, especially if we are talking about high-end models, is an excellent investment. After a restoration, such a source can be connected to any stereo system, even an expensive one, without complexes. Not only will it look great, but with the correct cartridge, it should also sound so good that owners of new turntables will feel embarrassed. Until recently, Dual's turntables could only be purchased on the second-hand market, but fortunately, the company has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, releasing several interesting and affordable turntables. I was most interested in the CS 418, a classic manual turntable with a built-in phono stage, belt drive, easy-to-use tonearm, and Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. And the price - €499 for a brand new Dual? I had to see what's what.

Josef Zellner - Dual

Dual's beginnings can be traced back to 1900 when brothers Christian and Joseph Steidinger began manufacturing watches and turntable parts. Ten years later, the Gebrüder Steidinger company began manufacturing power supplies to allow turntables to operate using mains electricity. It was not long before Dual started making their turntables. After the war, they became the largest manufacturer of this type of equipment in Europe, employing over 3,000 people in several factories. Later the brand expanded to offer customers complete hi-fi systems with amplifiers, tuners, cassette players, and speakers.

Pro-Ject Debut PRO

Pro-Ject offer high-quality hi-fi products at a reasonable price for discerning music lovers since 1991. They started with turntables because they are the first choice for the most natural and affordable music reproduction. The company's focus has always been on materials and technology. Functionality always dictated the shape and design of their turntables. To this day, Pro-Ject's designs are clean and functional in the spirit of the first Pro-Ject made of the highest quality materials - MDF, steel, aluminum, glass, and carbon. The result is always a simple-looking but high-quality, great-sounding product at a low price.

Naim Solstice Special Edition

Vinyl lovers can now finally enjoy the full Naim Audio experience with the launch of Solstice, the first turntable in the British brand's almost 50-year history. It comes partnered with a next-generation version of the iconic Naim Aro tonearm, an Equinox MC cartridge, Solstice Series Phono Stage, Power Supply, and bespoke accessories set. Naim will create just 500 units of this Solstice Special Edition package. "Solstice Special Edition offers an exceptional all-around experience. If you love the organic, authenticity of vinyl, now you can enjoy it with the musical purity and passion only a Naim system can deliver." - says Naim Audio Research & Development Director, Paul Neville.