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Monday, March 14, 2011

An Affront to German Engineering, Greasing the motor on a Dual 1019

My Dual 1019 has been squeaking. It is not so bad listening to say, Joan Jett at high volume, but gets a bit annoying with Jimmy Buffet, late at night. You don't notice it at all listening to The Beasts of Bourbon or Radio Birdmen or The Humans. I didn't try any Jazz or Trombone music. It actually improves banjo tunes, but it was an issue I felt should be addressed.
I spent a lot of time researching this issue and actually downloaded a repair manual and instructions for oiling the motor.
When I actually attempted the repair, it was a cold and rainy night and I did not feel like slogging out the shop for tools. So, I was limited to items which I had inadvertently brought home in the pockets of my coveralls.
First I laid out the tools. I had 3/8, 1/4, and the ubiquitous 8 inch Crescent, plus a very large pair of snap ring pliers which would come in handy later on. I could not find my special tube of Delo 400 which I had scored at the Chevron booth at some agshow years ago. But, I did have some gun oil and a pot of high temperature grease. I dug up some alcohol and several q-tips as well. I understand George Dickel leaves a bit of a residue. To improve my concentration I brewed a pot of black coffee.

The first task is to remove the turntable base and also support the turntable in a way that you will not hook your elbow on a cord and have to catch the thing 2" above the floor. It can mess up the tone arm balance, I understand.
The turntable platen is held on with a wire snap ring. You remove the center post and the little silver disk covering the snap ring. Care should be taken when pulling the center disk out of the rubber tabs that hold it on. The platen or platter just lifts straight up after the snap ring is removed.
The platter is quite heavy. I set it down out of the way.
I then used the q-tip and rubbing alcohol to clean all the old grease out of the center of the platter. The old grease can get pretty nasty. Somewhere there is a chart that shows all the lube points and what kind of lube to use but I seem to have miss-placed the chart.
The next step is to get at the bottom of the turntable itself. I put it on edge and leaned it against a bookshelf. Shortly thereafter I knocked it off the table and only caught it inches from the floor.
The motor is held onto the turntable base by three studs with nuts on them. But you can't get at them all from the top without removing the little rubber drive wheel. Especially if your only non-metric tool is an 8" crescent wrench.

I opted to take the motor apart as I was pretty sure it was the bottom bearing that was making the squeak. There are two screws holding the motor together. You should mark the motor halves at this point so you get them back in the right position. It is pretty obvious how they go but it is hard to get the bolts lined up when you are putting it back together.
The instructions I had said the motor halves would come apart easily. After 40 years nothing comes easy. I used my large snap ring pliers. I set them to expand and put the tabs in the motor vents and pried it apart.

You have to do it evenly so as not to get the motor in a bind.
The vents are outlined in red.

When it was apart I could see that the bearing was dry with some old caked grease at the bottom. The bearing is brass. I cleaned everything with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol. I put a tiny bit of grease on the shaft and a liberal amount of oil in the bearing hole. Later I read you shouldn't use grease but it was back together at that point.
Putting the motor halves back was a challenge. I tapped it repeatedly with the palm of my hand. I felt like tapping the admiral also at this point but instead took a sip of coffee. After some effort I was able to get the nuts on the screws and pull the halves together. You have to go evenly of course.
Then I put the turntable back in the base.
Next I put a small about of grease on platen shaft and some oil on the bearings. When you put the platen down you should slowly rotate it so that the small and fragile looking tab that catches the tone arm return does not bend.
I put the snap ring back on and installed the trim piece in the middle. This is touchy as the rubber tabs and a bit stiff. Next is the little knob that centers the record.
I plugged it in and tripped the mechanism. The motor was as quiet as can be!
I tried a record. The noise from the tone arm was horrible.
I had messed up the balance weight and the needle had completely bottomed out. Ooops!
I slid the weight back to the little notch and discovered there is a little set screw on the side that is supposed to hold the weight where you want it. I centered the weight, tightened the screw and then turned the weight back and forth until the tone arm was balanced with the needle at the height of the record. I then set the weight at 1.5 grams and the tracking at 1. It sounded pretty good. Less rumble than previous and no squeak!
If you are trying this on your own I suggest some metric tools and something other than a large crescent wrench. Also, read the manual first, you can get it at (click here)
The other important consideration for the Dual 1019 is to make sure you have a good ground. My other turntables never seemed to really care about the ground but the Dual must be grounded to your amp. Also, the wires going into the tone arm are tiny. Be very careful with them.
Everyone warns you about the Dual headshells. You can see the problems with the contacts there. What you can't see is the RCA contacts under the turntable. The RCA plugs may need to be cleaned under the turntable and if you have no sound on one side, fooling with the plug may help.
Here you have it. The hamfisted audiophile guide to the Dual 1019.

Note: Many people say not to use grease on the 1019. I suggest the free tubes of Delo 400 you can score at auto shows or agricultural shows. Otherwise a light multi-viscosity oil seems to be approved by collectors. Delo 400 is 10-40, I think.
Also, this is not mean to be an example of how you should rebuild your 1019, it is how I did it and it is working just fine. But... I am a hack!


  1. So is this invitation business due to being "outed?"

  2. Gorges, looks like we were a little slow bidding on that Corvette...

    I will have to see if I can improve my banjo sound by incorporating some vintage squeaky 1019 hardware, maybe some bare wires and a deep cycle battery with the proper inverter.

  3. Thanks for the invite. Sorry you got outed. Can we still call you when we get lonely? Wish I could've bid more on the vette.
    Hard to believe you did all that work without a hammer. Between that and duct tape, you can fix most anything.
    I've had mostly direct drive turntables. Usually squirt some 3 in 1 (sp) at the center of the platter and hope for the best.

  4. INteresting, I should really try to do the same on my old turntable. It runs a little slow sometimes and needs a little help to get up to speed. Noisy too. 60 years without maintenance will do that I guess .

  5. "When you put the platen down you should slowly rotate it so that the small and fragile looking tab that catches the tone arm return does not bend."
    I take it you were able to bend it back!

  6. Gorges, Yes...
    Collie, I would have a very good recording if someone had not started banging on something, slightly out of temp, right next to the microphone. Perhaps something squeaky would work as well.
    Bobby, Should you call that number and ask the fellow who yells hello, if he wants to sell his Obama-vette, you will certainly learn some new language... I did need a hammer but I used the crescent wrench...
    Ralph, it was not as difficult as removing the axles on a White tractor. The main thing is to get all the old crusty grease out and relube the brass bushings.
    Muddy, Believe it or not, I saw the tab! However I did know the whole thing off the table once.

  7. Thanks for the great 1019 squeak info. Bought mine in 1965, and have been tolerating the squeak for 10 years.
    Cheapest/easiest solution: 1. Place turntable in cabinet 2. close door

  8. Anonymous, It is really not that hard to fix. Just a matter of cleaning out the old grease. And not dropping the turntable. Or busting any little tabs.

  9. Well, thanks for this helpful guide in refurbising Dual. my sounds so good, that my Decca, eminment tech air bearing arm on a Garrard 401 has had to take a break, and that with a Shure 44 for cartridge. The bass are deeeep from the Dual combo. Cheers

    1. Thanks for the comment. I'm very happy with my Dual. I've had no problems with it since the rebuild.


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