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Yamaha YP-800

Yamaha YP-800 Dustcover

 

The Yamaha YP-800 is a manual, 2-speed, direct-drive turntable with a fitted static balance S type tonearm. It uses a 12 pole brushless DC motor. It really has an interesting look to it with the all metal base top and cream colored platter mat.

 

Yamaha YP-800 Open

 

The Yamaha YP-800 truly is a beautiful turntable. Built in the mid 1970's it has a distinct mid century modern look to it.  It was positioned at just below top-of-the line in their turntable lineup and is pretty hard to find, though they do come up for sale occasionally. It ran about 98,000 Yen back in 1976 or around $500 in the U.S.

 

Yamaha YP-800 Tonearm

 

While most turntables have the speed markings for the strobe light etched or painted on the edge of the platter, Yamaha did it a little differently. The markings are located underneath the platter and visible only through what they called the Mirror-Scope, that little window in the top panel near the bottom of the platter.

On the platter sets a notched-ridge turntable mat that provides resistance to negative feedback. It has four rubber sprung shock absorber feet as well, each of which are independently adjustable. The user can ascertain whether the table is level or not with the built in bubble spirit level to the right of the mirror scope.

 

Yamaha YP-800 Headshell

 

The YP-800 weighs around 27 pounds including the heavy 4.4 pound platter. The tonearm uses a one piece diecast gyro Gimbal support. Cueing is hydraulically damped and the anti skate is designed for the lowest possible friction. Some have said the tonearm was made by Grace, perhaps the G-840F. Others have said it was made by Micro Seiki so there is no consensus. Maybe a STAX UA? It measures 242mm with an overhang of 15mm.

 

Yamaha YP-800 Counterweight

 

The Yamaha YP-800 is a solid performer but its performance is probably outweighed by its styling. They don't come up for auction very often. The last one I saw sold for $180 but it had some minor issues. A fully serviced unit in nice condition would sell for well over $200 most likely. The YP-701, YP-801 and later YP-D10 are more popular with audiophiles and sell for much more.

 

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Dual 1249

Dual 1249 Open

 

The Dual 1249 is a belt driven turntable offered by the German company around 1975. It's retail price when introduced was about $280. It is definitely one of the better looking Dual turntables though I have always been fonder of the CS 5000 for some reason. The 1249 is a dual speed, 33 and 45, table with an anti skate mechanism as well as the ability to stack records when using the longer spindle. Of course, over the years the longer stacking spindles tend to disappear.

 

Dual 1249 Dust Cover

 

The Dual 1249 is a very well built turntable. The change mechanism, however, is somewhat complex. Over the years the original grease hardens and the mechanism won't work properly or won't work at all. The old grease can be cleaned off and new grease applied but it isn't the easiest job to do. The original SM-840 motor can also be problematic in that it will suddenly start operating at double speed on occasion. Dual remedied this later with the SM-860 motor. If you do have double speed problems then you'll need to find the SM-860. I've seen them sell for around $50.

 

Dual 1249 Plinth

 

Dual had a recall in the early 1980's regarding the faulty motor so a lot of them were replaced with the SM-860. Not all SM-840's fail so if yours is currently working then it probably will work long term. The Dual 1249 tonearm is a low mass arm with automatic set down. The multi / single VTA lever can also be a problem on the turntables. Don't force your lever if it is stuck. It can break and cause many headaches.

 

Dual 1249 Tonearm

 

The Steurpimpel is another issue that can occur with the 1249 over the years. It's a little complicated so I'll post a link to a long discussion over on VinylEngine. Beside some of the age related mechanical issues the Dual 1249 really is a beautiful turntable. Nearly all vintage turntables are problematic in one way or another after having been around for 30+ years.

 

Dual 1249 Headshell

 

Most Dual turntables are popular with both collectors and vinyl enthusiasts. They are considered higher end mid-fi components and not necessarily top of the line but there are some that would argue that. As mentioned previously their build quality is excellent. If you do find one be sure to have a tech go through it a give it a good cleaning. Once cleaned and adjusted it should perform exceptionally well. A really nice, serviced Dual 1249 will sell for upwards of $400. An unserviced working version will run about $150 to $200.

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