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.
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 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.
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.
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.