The Dual CS 550 vinyl turntable is a simplified (cheaper) version of the German manufacturer's great high-end Dual CS 600 vinyl turntable.
Like its elder sibling, the Dual CS 550 turntable is entirely manual! It comprises a solid MDF base with a distinctive anthracite grey finish. The plinth rests on 3 aluminium feet for optimum isolation from the base on which the turntable sits. They reduce vibration and resonance. It features the same solid aluminium tonearm as the Dual CS 600. The tonearm is paired with a removable carbon headshell. It comes without a cartridge. This tonearm uses a cardan bearing that operates based on the gyroscope principle. This system guarantees zero friction and amazing precision. It adjusts the tracking force with a high-precision torsion spring placed vertically. The anti-skate is adjusted via a dial at the base of the tonearm and it also adjusts the VTA.
We recommend pairing it at least with Ortofon's 2M Blue cartridge. It will also work fine with the great Ortofon 2M Black, and even a great quality MC cartridge.
The platter weighs 1.05 kg and comprises several layers of ground aluminium and is driven by a DC motor via a flat belt. It is electronically controlled. The platter has an acrylic platter mat. The Dual CS 550 record player has two playback speeds and can hence play 33 and 45 RPM records. An aluminium button on the right hand side of the plinth switches the playback speed. The phono cable is not captive and can accommodate a higher-end model (RCA/RCA), though the one that comes as standard is good.
Playback is very similar to Dual's CS 600 vinyl turntable. It exhibits the same range and softness. Naturally, the overall result - especially the level of transparency and definition - are directly dependent on the Hi-Fi cartridge that you pair with Dual's CS 550 vinyl turntable. The bass is deep and precise, with a very analogue timbre. The mids are rich and very authentic, with a very pleasant and musical colouration! The treble is never overbright or harsh.
The German manufacturer strikes again with yet another great turntable! Would recommend! Franck
Principle: manual turntable
Plinth: anti-resonance solid wood
Drive principle: belt drive
Playback speed: 33 1/3 and 45
Tonearm: aluminium with cardan
Platter: aluminium sandwich
Platter mat: felt
Ball bearing: brass
Wow: 0.05 %
External signal-to-noise ratio: 48 dB
Signal-to-noise-ratio: 53 dB
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 22 kHz
Output: RCA + ground, detachable
Dimensions: 430 x 119 x 370 mm
Weight: 7 kg
Power supply: external 12V DC, 150 mA
Finish: Graphite grey