German brand Dual was once the biggest turntable manufacturer in Europe and its name was on most music-lovers’ lips throughout the vinyl heydays of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. If you wanted a really good record player that was easy to use and highly affordable, then Dual was on your list. What Hi-Fi? has just reviewed the fourth generation of one of the brand’s classic 1980s decks.
Back in 1983 Dual’s CS 505 was “the go-to budget turntable and was ideal for those who wanted a good, sounding, fuss-free record player,” writes the magazine. While the deck has subsequently been developed over the years and is now in its fourth generation form, the CS 505-4, “the basic building blocks have barely changed. And that’s no bad thing, as the aspects that appealed to us so much back then continue to do so now.”
The CS 505 is built around a rare feature in the world of affordable turntables: a suspended sub-chassis. “The whole top plate, which supports the main bearing that the platter spins on and the arm assembly, is isolated from external vibrations by springs.” It’s also a semi-automatic design in which the arm lifts the cartridge off the record at the end of a side and switches off the motor.
Listening to Nick Cave’s The Boatman’s Call, “the CS 505-4 digs up a fair bit of detail and arranges it into a cohesive whole. Low-level dynamics are rendered with care, so the texture and nuances in Cave’s distinctive voice come through with clarity. The presentation is agile and has a decent amount of precision with a nice sense of flow.”
Overall verdict: “In a market packed with purist, manual offerings, for some people this turntable will make a lot of sense… a good choice for those who value convenience as well as performance.”
Read the full review in the August 2019 issue of What Hi-Fi?