Responding to rumour and scepticism, Paul Rigby talks to turntable specialists Dual about the company, its inherent business structure and the launch of the new turntable range as well as its battle against fake designs
I recently posted that the German turntable company, Dual, has relaunched in the UK with an initial offering of three new budget models: the entry-level, fully automatic MTR-15 at £125 to the budget MTR-75 with enhanced chassis, belt drive, USB output and Audio Technica cartridge at £250. The £230 MTR-40 is a direct-drive model with variable speed control, styled as a traditional prosumer DJ deck.
After I posted the details of the above, a number of readers exhibited some suspicion and a degree of wariness about the product and the brand itself. Some of these fears stemmed from rumours and a measure of misinformation that has been roaming the Internet.
To help alleviate those fears, I contacted the company and received an explanation in which the company discussed a few points.
Firstly, there has been some general doubt cast on the company’s parentage. Some thoughts pointed towards the company being owned wholly by an Asiatic outfit with the name ‘Dual’ acting as a mere sop and badge but no more. I can confirm that Dual is, in fact, a German company and that, more specifically, Dual’s parent company is Alfred Fehrenbacher GmbH, although Dual Phono GMBH is the actual company name.
The company is divided into two divisions. The first division produces higher quality turntables whose destinations all begin with the letters ‘CS’. They include a range of designs, including the CS 410 and CS 420, with prices ranging from £500-£600.
The second division has been created and launched in an effort to catch the younger and more inexperienced side of the market, to plug into the current, vibrant vinyl renaissance. The prices for these related models are understandably lower (see above), the components are relatively cheaper and these models have all been made in the East. That said, these Dual designs have been manufactured by factories that have been Dual-approved.
As such, Dual is eager to emphasise that the Dual-made turntables from this region are better quality than some of the other competing, low cost, Chinese-created decks that you may have seen from other retail outlets and sporting other brand names.
Dual did mention that it has had some issues with fake Dual turntable designs that have been flooding the Chinese market. Some of those ‘fake’ turntables may have made it to the West but that is my own speculation. It may explain why some users have cast doubt on the general quality of Dual products, though. These ‘fakes’ do have a passing similarity to the genuine article but contain poor quality components.
If you would like to see more details, please access the official Duel website HERE. This site also has a list of official Dual distributors seen HERE that handle a range of markets. Use this list and their attendant websites/phone numbers to avoid buying possible fake Dual decks.