About the Dual CS 518
An attractive, well-built turntable
An attractive, well-built turntable
I like the Dual CS 518's clean lines and I appreciate the attention to detail that informs its audiophile-friendly design. It features a solid MDF plinth, heavy die-cast aluminum platter, and stabilizing feet that reduce unwanted resonance, so you hear only the music. An ingenious twin-gimbal design with pivot ball-bearings allows the lightweight aluminum tonearm to read a record groove with extreme precision.
The included Ortofon 2M Red cartridge is a real gem — the 2M line is renowned for balanced performance and sonic accuracy. The 'table plays 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm records, and a switchable built-in phono preamp lets you connect to a standard RCA input on your receiver, amp, or powered speakers.
My hands-on experience with the Dual CS 518
I had a fairly small workspace for several years. I got a new desk in 2021 that provided me nearly three times the space, and I hatched a plan to add a turntable listening station, so I can enjoy my best vinyl while I'm working. I had an opportunity to demo the CS 518, so I placed on my desk, along with a Cambridge Duo preamp. I plug my headphones into the Duo's headphone amp, so I can listen privately without disturbing my coworkers.
This 'table has been a real pleasure to use. It may seem like a small thing, but I like the easily-accessible rotary knob for powering up and changing speed. The included cartridge lives up to its billing — my old familiar albums sounded more spacious and detailed with the 2M Red reading the grooves. This was also my first experience iwth the twin-gimbal tonearm design, and there were times when I could tell it was helping the stylus track better on some of my older, slightly warped vinyl treasures.
The CS 518 sits in a sweet spot of strong performance and relatively affordable cost. And it looks darn good on my desk, where it can be seen and admired by my music-loving peers.
About Dual turntables
Dual is a legendary name in consumer electronics. The company started in Germany in 1907, and they introduced their signature "dual-motor" for powering gramophones in 1927. The dual-motor was so popular, it just made sense to call the company Dual from then on. They've been through some changes in the century-plus since the company was founded, but they're still headquartered in Germany, and they've continued to build on their reputation as a first-rate turntable manufacturer.
- straight aluminum tonearm with precision pivot ball-bearing and twin-gimbal design
- includes pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge
- adjustable tracking force and anti-skating
- switchable built-in phono preamplifier
- when switch is set to LINE, turntable must be connected to a standard line input (labeled AUX, CD, or TAPE)
- when switch is set to PHONO, turntable must be connected to an outboard phono preamp or dedicated phono input
- die-cast aluminum platter with resonance-damping rubber mat
- solid MDF plinth construction dampens vibration for quieter performance
- stabilizing feet with integrated elastomer vibration absorber
- low-vibration DC motor
- rotary speed selector (33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm)
- stereo RCA audio output (cable included)
- removable plastic dust cover
- wow and flutter: 0.1%
- channel separation (with included cartridge): 22dB (at 1kHz)
- frequency response (with included cartridge): 20-22,000 Hz
Dimensions and warranty:
- 17-1/8"W x 5-3/4"H x 15-5/16"D (dust cover down)
- weight: 13 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years turntable, 1 year cartridge
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # AAV-CS518BK
What's in the box:
- Turntable (belt and tonearm pre-installed)
- Headshell with cartridge/stylus assembly
- AC power adapter (attached 58" DC cord
- 3 AC plug adapter (US/UK/EU)
- 45RPM adapter
- 40" Stereo RCA cable (attached ground wire)
- Dust cover
- 2 Hinges
- Instruction Manual
- Warranty Card
Dual CS 518 reviews
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More details on the Dual CS 518
Features & specs
|Speeds||33-1/3, 45, 78|
|45 RPM Adapter||Yes|
|Detachable Power Cable||AC power adapter|
|Materials and Construction|
|Tone Arm Shape||Straight|
|Tone Arm Material||Aluminum|
|Tone Arm Lift||Finger, Lever|
|Included Cartridge||Ortofon 2M Red|
|Tracking Weight||1.8 g (18mN)|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||Not given|
|Wow and Flutter||0.1|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Turntable Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Turntable Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Cartridge Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Cartridge Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Manual Belt-Drive with 3 Speeds: The Dual CS 518 turntable is a manual belt-driven turntable that features a precision cut belt for lower wow & flutter (+/-0.1%). It employs a low vibration DC-Servo-Motor with rubber mounting for vibration decoupling. You can choose from 33-1/3, 45 (adapter included), or 78 (requires different cartridge/stylus) RPM speeds.
Note: The drive belt comes fitted around the turntable flange and must be pulled over the drive motor pulley.
Solid MDF Plinth with Elastomer Feet: The Dual CS 518 turntable features a solid MDF plinth with folded MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) construction that is covered in a black vinyl veneer. The solid MDF plinth sits on four elastomer vibration absorber feet to prevent unwanted vibration that could lead to distortion.
Aluminum Die-Cast Platter with Rubber Mat: The CS 518 turntable uses a precise 12" (305mm) aluminum die-cast platter with a heavy 2.5mm thick rubber mat for resonance damping. The platter spins on a solid platter-bearing with a hardened steel spindle in a brass bushing.
Twin-Gimbal Tonearm Design: The Dual CS 518 is equipped with a twin gimbal tonearm design using straight, statically balanced aluminum tonearm with pivot ball-bearings for optimal precision. This tonearm design has the ability to guide even high end pickups with the greatest degree of precision and reliability. The tonearm also features an adjustable tracking force and anti-skating adjustment.
Ortofon 2M Red MM Cartridge: The CS 518 comes with a Ortofon 2M Red MM cartridge featuring a bonded Elliptical diamond stylus. The 2M Red is an "all-purpose" MM cartridge known for its open, dynamic sound. The 2M Red cartridge features Ortofon's trademark split pole pins; an invention which enables moving magnet cartridges to have a flat frequency response. It also incorporates an improved engine to provide optimized sound reproduction and a high level of sonic accuracy.
Note: The Ortofon 2M Red MM cartridge/stylus headshell assembly does not come pre-installed and must be installed on the tonearm prior to operation.
Built-in Phono Preamp: The CS 518 turntable features a built-in phono preamplifier that can be turned On or Off, so it can be connected to either a Phono MM input or Line-Level input on your AV receiver, stereo receiver, or integrated amplifier.
Stereo RCA Output: The Dual CS 518 is outfitted with a set of stereo RCA outputs and comes with a detachable 40" stereo RCA cable to cut the turntable to your AV receiver, stereo receiver, or integrated amplifier.
Dust Cover: A hinged clear plastic cover helps protect the Dual CS 518 turntable from dust and debris. The dust cover can also be removed.
AC Power Adapter: The Dual CS 518 comes with an AC power adapter with an attached 58" cord that will need to be plugged into the back of the turntable and into an AC wall outlet or surge protector/line conditioner (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).