Dual 601 Belt-Drive Turntable Service

I’ve just had a classic Dual 601 belt drive turntable on my bench, in for a major service. This deck is owned by the gentleman who originally purchased it all those years ago and looks like it – it’s almost as good as new.

This particular Dual 601 needed recommissioning after an extended period of more than ten years in storage. The automatic tonearm functions were not working correctly and the deck needed a comprehensive grease and lube, plus proper tonearm setup.

I added synthetic oil to the dry main bearing assembly and carefully greased and lubed the key parts of the automated start and stop assembly, plus arm movement actuator. The automated tonearm movements were still not working though and this required further diagnosis. This symptom is very common on the Dual 601, and other Dual turntables featuring an automatic arm return mechanism. I serviced another Dual 601 and discussed the problem here.

The problem turned out to be a small rubber part that had decayed and fallen off its original point of installation. Without this runner part, the tonearm could not be ‘gripped’ by the return mechanism and therefore would not to move. I fashioned a replacement part and now the arm works exactly as it should. I have since used this repair methodology in several other Dual turntable repairs.

The owner was very pleased with the result of this major overhaul of his Dual 601 and a few images outlining some of the steps follow.

German, elegant, well–made, but they are complex and the automatic mechanisms need extensive cleaning and many different types of lubricant


At first it’s hard to figure out what is going on. Many points to lubricate here…


Trouble typically occurs here, often causing the tonearm not to return properly, or at all. In this case a small rubber nipple that causes the arm to return had dissolved into nothing over time. This is a frequent source of trouble with Dual turntables.


This master control cam needs to be carefully checked, and lubricated


3 thoughts on “Dual 601 Belt-Drive Turntable Service”

    1. Hi Ben, thanks for commenting, hum problems have many causes so tracing the source is important. Cartridge issues, wiring problems in either the arm, connectors or lead-out cable, bad ground connections, ground loops between pre and power amp and so on. As I always suggest, if you are local, you could visit with the deck and I can do some troubleshooting for you. If you are not local, it becomes harder for me to help from a distance, unfortunately.

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