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Dual MTR-75
p2
p3
p4 sound quality
p5 conclusion
p6 measured performance
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SOUND QUALITY

All internal electronic circuits switch off when the turntable stops rotating, so the deck is absolutely silent when not playing.

As the arm hit the first LP I played, however, I heard a slight drone in the background, coming from the motor, something playing a silent rumble test track at high volume confirmed. It was slight though – and inaudible in normal use. 

   I ran the deck first connected through its phonostage (Line) to an Icon Audio Stereo 30SE amplifier driving Martin Logan ESL-X hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers and all was fine, the Dual having plenty enough output.

   In spite of my reservations over the Audio Technica AT-3600 cartridge, an AT-21 variant (conical stylus, 2gms tracking force) with dual V-magnet and carbon fibre cantilever, it sounded very good. By this I mean smooth and easy, not dull or warm – and with great midband push to horns that would shame any CD player at the price. 

 

 

 

The rear carries a small phono/line slide switch, and USB digital output socket.

 

With classic Rock tracks like Dire Straits So Far Away, from Brothers In Arms, there was strong low-end drive, drums and bass sounding meaty and muscular, just what you hope for from LP. At the same time there was no low-end wallow, due to the warp filter. Whatever I played moved with a sense of speed and dynamic snappiness, 

I constantly went back to this thought: the Dual was every bit as easy to use as a CD player but had a fuller bodied, more natural and musically engaging sound with the Audio Technica, with mild upper treble free of sharpness or spit, or excessive warmth. What you don’t get from a conical stylus is extended treble or forensic detail; it’s all a bit generalised up top, but Audio Technica know their cartridges and the AT-3600 was a good listen (bought separately they cost £21). I see also they say the carbon fibre reinforced cantilever is “capable of standing up to rigorous commercial use” so this is a turntable the family can use! An excellent choice of cartridge then.

 

 

 

A calibrated counterweight and anti-skate dial make set up easy. 

 

Playing an LP with sustained piano notes (Solid Acoustic Reference, No8) piano had a sense of ‘cracked tone’ and temporal indeterminacy. On occasion the MTR-75 sounded a tad drunken after using our Timestep Evo modded Technics SL-1210 Mk2 Direct Drive reference. Piano aficionados may detect this but with most else it will pass unnoticed. The Hanpin manufactured decks from Audio Technica and Reloop manage obviously better here – and that is part of what you get for paying £100 more. 

   With the Goldring 1012GX cartridge fitted, I switched to using the direct (Phono) output, feeding an Icon Audio PS3 valve phono stage. As expected the sound became much better defined and more insightful; the arm does not give the hard defined images on the sound stage, left to right, as a Rega arm for example, or the sense of dynamic impact, but it doesn’t destroy dynamic contrasts or imaging either, which is why I enjoyed listening. 



 

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