Technics SL-D3

The Technics SL-D3 is a fully automatic, direct drive turntable. It was produced from 1978 until 1980 and retailed for around $170 . The motor is B-FG servo controlled and will run at 33 and 45 rpm. The stock cartridge is an EPC-270C moving magnet.

Here are the basic specs:

  • Type: fully automatic turntable
  • Platter: 312mm aluminium alloy
  • Speeds: 33 and 45rpm
  • Motor: B-FG servo controlled
  • Pitch control: 10%
  • Wow and flutter: 0.03% WRMS
  • Rumble: -75dB
  • Tonearm: static balance, tubular
  • Tracking force adjustment: 0 to 2.5g
  • Effective length: 230mm
  • Cartridge: EPC-270C moving magnet
  • Dimensions: 430 x 130 x 375mm
  • Weight: 7.1kg

Even though the Technics SL-D3 was made as an entry level turntable, its performance is very good. The S-shaped, low mass, Gimbal suspension tonearm is excellent. While the SL-D3 is not Quartz locked, the platter speed is controlled by pulse detection circuitry, which works just as well.

Overall the SL-D3 has few drawbacks given its price range. The dust cover hinges tend to stiffen with age and cause the plastic at the back of the cover to break. The memo-repeat slider can get dirty as well and cause minor problems. But, that just requires a good cleaning to fix. In all the SL-D3 is a very reliable turntable. And, being fully automatic it easy to use.

The Technics SL-D3 sells for about $100 to $250 depending upon condition and, of course, the cartridge it has. This is a great price for an entry level turntable that is reliable and simple to use.

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Dual 1019

The Dual 1019 turntable hit the market in 1965 at a retail price of around $130. It is a fully automatic, idler driven turntable and can play all types of LP’s including 78’s. In fact, it is popular amonst the 78 community due to its high torque motor and heavy 7.5 pound platter. The automatic start/stop system is pretty complex and is completely mechanical.

The 1019 has a nice smoked dust cover and the US models came with the United Audio plinth.

The platter on the 1019 is 10″ as opposed to the larger 12″ platters on the 12xx series turntables. So, most LP’s will hang over the edge of the platter.

The basic specs are:

Drive type: idler drive
Platter: 3.4kg/7.5lbs
Wow and Flutter: +/- 0.1%
Rumble: >59dB
Tonearm: extremely low mass (Dual’s branding)
Cartridges: 1/2″ cartridges weighing 1-16 grams with tracking force of 0-5 grams.

The Dual 1019 has direct dial continuously variable anti-skating compensation, cue and pitch control and elastically damped counterbalance with rapid and fine adjust. It incorporates a friction free dynamically balanced tonearm. The arm tube is thick and rigid and can track as low as 1/2 gram.

The idler system is basically just an idler wheel under the platter. When the motor starts the idler is pushed into contact with the inner rim of the platter causing it to turn via friction. Obviously a supple idler wheel is important in order to minimize possible rumble.

With the Dual 10xx series, hardened grease is a common problem. This can make the tonearm difficult to move or the mechanics underneath seize up. A complete tear down, cleaning and re-lubrication can solve the problem. Just be careful not to run the table when it is seized up or you can damage parts.

The Dual 1019 is a great turntable once restored, especially if you are into 78’s. Some don’t like idler drives while others swear by them so you’ll probably need to listen to one before making up your own mind.

A fully restored Dual 1019 can fetch over $400 while a nice working unit will be around $250-$350.

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