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Is it worth keeping my old Dual 606?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey there, ... I've slowly been converted to an audio junkie.  As such,  I've spent what ( for me ) is a crazy amount of cash on new equipment over the last 6 months or so.  My most recent purchase is a Marantz 6007 AVR being delivered next week.   With that comes a phono input,  so I thought I'd dust off an old turntable my Dad gave me years back,  that I've barely ever touched.  I was doing some reading on cartridges,  and it seems that a worn out one will destroy records ...  I have no idea how old the cartridge is,  or if my Dad replaced it for me when he gave me the turntable 10 years ago...  In any case I did some homework on the needle,  It's a " Orlafon 20 " ...  and costs 175 POUNDS new to replace..  at that price I'm wondering if I should just run it until the sound is distorted ( which might be immediately or many hours in ) and then get a new turntable?  Is it worth keeping the Dual and trying to find a cheaper cartridge?  Or maybe I can keep the cartridge and replace the stylus to great effect?  I'm such a vinyl newb !  Cheers - Thanks!  ( Ps,  after my new Avr,  replacing the AVR I just bought in January,  and my 7 new psb speakers and 2 klipsch subs,  I'm broke as all heck! so the cheapest option is perferable )

 

PPS - I just received my new members message saying I should post in the Introductions sections first,  whoops! Sorry!


Edited by seanspamilton - 7/11/13 at 10:44pm
post #2 of 14

If that Ortofon cartridge costs £175 then it is worth hanging on to it for your dear life. Only high end cartridges go for that sort of price or more.

Cartridges are not so much subjected to age as to usage. I got some unused that are from the 80's and sell for a small fortune on fleebay. I had the good sense to stock up on them when vinyl was being abandoned in the 90's, and I did not want to be left with an expensive TT but not carts.

 

The 606 is a fantastic TT and very much underrated. Your dad knew what he was buying all those years ago, so I would trust his judgement and stick to what you got for now.

post #3 of 14

This site is an excellent resource if you plan on reviving a vintage turntable.

 

http://www.vinylengine.com/

 

Access to user and service manuals and a forum for every manufacturer will help you no end with setting up your system correctly.

 

The cartridge may well be fine but you almost certainly need a new stylus. A replacement for a Ortofon OM20 costs ~£120. So for now you might consider getting a £35 Audio Technica AT95E or a competing product in the same price range. When you get everything up and running you will be better placed to decide if you want to rescue your Dad's old cart or try something else.

post #4 of 14
A decent hi-fi shop will be able to examine your stylus for you and tell you if it is worn or not. I would do this first, to see if you need to spend anything at all...
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your advice guys.  I found a well respected shop downtown that carries a lot of high end audio equipment that has a " Turntable clinic " where you can bring it down for a " Free " tune up.   I suspect though that this tune up consists of them telling me I have to spend X amount of dollars and buy X part to get it up to speed.  Worth a shot I guess.  I've kind of set myself a limit of 150 dollars of repairs / parts,  if they think it needs more then that I'll just sell it for what I can get and put the money to a new turntable.  I'll post what the results are!
 

post #6 of 14

Unless your dad has played the TT for about 1500 hours or the stylus is bent I don't see why you would have to be forking out even a cent on the set up. Get a good vinyl cleaning brush and a couple of beers and settle down to the music.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just an update - I had the Dual up an running for the first time with the new receiver yesterday.  It sounded like absolute crap at first .. but was able to significantly improve the sound today by buying 1. new rca cables to extend it the 5 feet I need ( I know not ideal but best I can do )

2.  extended the ground so it actually grounds on my amp.and 3. purchased a brand new record to try out.  It was sounding pretty good,  with some pops and static - not terrible but good for the most part,  when about 40 minutes into it one of the stereo channels just cut out.  I jiggled the cables,  checked the connections,  no good.  I did insert the good channel in both of my L and Right inputs,  and it played fine out of both,   where the bad channel would play out of neither.  So something went wrong in there - after sitting idle for so many years who know?  I'm still going to take it to the " Turntable Clinic " to see what the guy says - but It's not looking good for my old Dual :(
 

post #8 of 14
Did you check the connections on the cartridge and remove the headshell and clean its contacts?
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post

Did you check the connections on the cartridge and remove the headshell and clean its contacts?

 



No I have no idea how to do that - I was going to let the turntable clinic show me - but it's not open until Thursday.  I hope I didn't damage it in the mean time.

post #10 of 14
The old-style detachable Dual headshells (the ones which release the cartridge mount when you turn the finger-lift - I don't know if the 606 still has one of these) were prone to oxidation and intermittent failure.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post

The old-style detachable Dual headshells (the ones which release the cartridge mount when you turn the finger-lift - I don't know if the 606 still has one of these) were prone to oxidation and intermittent failure.


Bummer.  Well I guess I'll see when I take her in for a look see.   I'll report back.

post #12 of 14
Actually, it's good news. You just need to give the contacts a good clean!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just an update - I took it to the shop,  and surprisingly had a great experience!  It was so good in fact I was compelled to write them a letter - for those interested in my results / experience,  I've posted it below:


 
     I just wanted to write you and tell you how utterly impressed I was with one of your employee's today. 
     I recently bought a nice Marantz with a phono input,  and decided I'd start up a vinyl collection again.  I pulled out my old turntable that my Dad had given me some 10 years ago,  that had been collecting dust in my closet since then.  I did some reading on it ( a 35 year old Dual C606 ) and had read it was worth keeping around.  Anyways it didn't sound too hot when I hooked it up,  and read about your turntable clinic on the Bay & Bloor website.  I made an appointment,  not really expecting much more then either 1.  a kid that would take one look at it and tell me it wasn't worth fixing and I should spend X amount of dollars on the latest greatest turntable,  or 2.  a sales pitch convincing me I had to put X amount money into ostensibly unnecessary premium parts to get it up to snuff otherwise,  see expectation # 1.  I Instead encountered David.
     David invited me back into his little shop,  and proceeded to gently disassemble,  clean,  and tune my vintage player,  all the while slowly explaining in detail the functions of every knob ( anti skating,  balance,  etc ) / and the theory behind it's operation.   He took the time to show me the difference between a proper stylus and an ill fitting one through an audition, and actually drew me a diagram of where low, mid and high frequencies could be found in a record's grooves,  You could just feel the passion for audio oozing out of him as he shook his arm to the bass ( now un-muddied by an older stylus and rubber mat ) and declared " Can you hear how tight that sounds now! " with the enthusiasm of a much younger man.  This repair / demo went on for a full hour - with me trying to soak in all his valuable information.  To top it all off at the end of it,  when I was asking how important the dust cover was ( as I only had a broken one to pull on and off ) - he pulled out a matching original Dual dust cover - that somehow fit - on my near 40 year old player - and told me I could have it - FOR FREE.  The only cost was an inexpensive new stylus and anti static mat - only about 80 dollars in total.  A steal,  WITHOUT the hour spent of tuning and teaching,  never mind the dustcover.  To say the least,  I was floored by my experience - expecting the worst and receiving the best.
     David's passion and enthusiasm for sound,  combined with his genuine concern for his customers happiness,  bears testament to Bay Bloor Radio's  pursuit of excellence. and putting the customer first.   I must say he has set the bar very, VERY high.  As a result, I will (and have already begun to) sing the praises of your store to my friends - and will in the future make your store stop number one for all my audio / video needs.
 
P.S.  What I didn't mention is that my Dad had since passed away,  and this turntable held a special bit of sentimentality for me - I didn't realize how much until I felt the relief that I could continue to enjoy it and didn't need to purchase a new one!
Thanks again,  and well done!

 

 

Unfortunately it seems I'm getting some strange feedback off the inputs of my new " refurbished " Marantz,  not just the phono inputs,  but random HDMI inputs as well - so it looks like I've got to send it back for an exchange.  THAT sucks,  but the upshot is I've got my Dad's old Dual ready to purr !


Edited by seanspamilton - 7/18/13 at 9:51pm
post #14 of 14

Well I did mention that I felt that your dad had made an informed choice when he purchased the turntable. And I am glad to learn that even after all those decades his choice initial decision still holds true today 
 

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