Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dual 1225 Automatic idler-drive turntable

When I was little I dreamed of having a swank stereo in my swinging bachelor pad when I was older (before I got married, in my bachelor life, of course). As a teen I window-shopped at a local stereo store (CMC Stereo Center, St. Louis, Missouri area) almosrt everyday after school. Those salespeople were so sick of us kids asking questions, nowadays kids know ipods and that's about it. We were excited about the latest Pioneer, Dual, Marantz, and McIntosh offerings as they became available. As a 16-year-old I couldn't afford anything close to what I would have wanted, my job as a part-time dishwasher was pretty inadequate as far as affording an entire stereo component system, let alone a nice Dual TT and a real Marantz receiver.

To find this calibur of gear in a second-hand store would be the coup de grace, as far as stereos go. You could build an entire system around something like that, and you would be the envy of your neighborhood. If you could afford that stuff back then you either had a good job or your parents were rich. Since I could score on neither of those fronts I was relegated to a Western Auto stereo, a plastic POS, with crummy speakers and a built-in turntable. No power to speak of and no speakers to handle power if the receiver had any in the first place! I was so glad to move beyond that when I was first into system-building.

A friend of mine had a Sony all-in-one with a Dual turntable built into the top, so the logical step-up to that was a Dual separate. They sold complete systems for a couple hundred off the individual piece price, so those who ended up getting systems usually bought the package deals to save money. The 1225 was commonly offered with a Pioneer or Marantz receiver, and the price reflected how much power the receiver had or how nice a TT was included. The 1225 was fairly far down on the list but at least it was still a Dual. No horrible BSR or Garrard or Panasonic, although a new company that came out of Panasonic, Technics was starting to bring out some nice new turntable models, with quartz-lock speed controls and s-shaped tonearms. Not to mention nice Shure cartridges and automatic features made these pretty cheap, desireable and plentiful. Nowadays they go for good money and are generally pretty well-regarded in audiophile circles.

Tomorrow we focus on another facet of my musical/audio life and all it has to offer, so keep your tubes hot and your antenna up! See you then!

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