Replacing the “Steuerpimpel” of a Dual 626 record player

My very first (music) record was played on my father’s Dual 626 record player some 35 years ago. This record player is part of my HiFi equipment since a couple of years now. Though I tend to listen to music via streaming services or my own collection of flac files stored on my Synology NAS I still like to play records. And if I do, I really just listen to the music, it will not just run in the background while I’m doing something else. I like the sound and I’m kind of emotionally attached to most of my records. The Dual 626 to my knowledge was built between 1979 and 1981 so my device probably is around 40 years old. It was and still is a very good record player. Some two years ago I got a new needle and everything worked until last year the tonearm would not automatically move to the start position anymore when trying to play a record – and it would not move back once the record ended. Some googling and the issue was found: the “Steuerpimpel” is likely to have vanished after 40 years…

I’m not aware of an English term for “Steuerpimpel” and also on Youtube it’s been called by this German term in English videos. So I will just go with that as well. If you google it you will find quite a lot of hints all pointing to Dual record players. You can find a good description of what a Steuerpimpel is here: https://afishneedsastereo.blogspot.com/2013/06/holy-steuerimpel.html

So that little rubber thingy was probably also the cause of my turntable having issues. Anyway, I found a replacement for the Steuerpimpel on eBay.

To replace it you’ll have to open the device of course – which can be tricky. I found some good howtos on how to open a Dual record player on Youtube, though none specific for the 626. Nevertheless, it worked.

Of course unplug everything first. Then you want to secure the tonearm and carefully remove the turntable. You may even consider removing the needle (I didn’t). Next turn to the back and remove the two screws holding cable mount:

To actually open the device you have to open three screws on top of the player, here one example:

Loosen those three screws (you can’t remove them), pull them up a little and turn the top to the outside like this:

You have to to this with all three screws and then carefully lift it a bit. Took some fiddling around but it worked in the end. Do not try to lift it completely off the chassis because it’s connected with two cables to the chassis. Remove them first:

Removing the cables wasn’t that easy as the blue/brown ones sat really tight. (Take a note of how they were connected!)

Now you’d be ready to remove everything from the chassis. However in order to have access to the mechanical and and electronic parts you’ll have to turn it around. I placed to rolls of paper towels beneath the side where the turntable would sit, being VERY careful not put any pressure on anything near the tonearm or movable parts. The whole setup looked like this then:

But where’s the Steuerpimpel located? It’s at the top left, beneath the black plastic slide:

You will probably find the remains of the old Steuerpimpel within the chassis and you’ll have to remove all of it from the pin it was placed before:

Clean the pin and the area of the black plastic slide where the Steuerpimpel would touch from any remains of the old pimpel. Then place it over the metal pin (you’ll probably need a pair of tweezers). Once it’s in place gently push down the black plastic slide to fasten it:

That’s basically it. Now carefully insert everything back into the chassis in reverse order. Connect all cables as before and fasten the cable mount at the back of the chassis. Then close everything and fasten the three screws on top of the player. Put the turntable back on and connect the record player to a power socket for a small test drive to see if it’s working:

You might want to balance the tonearm again (s. manual which came with the player) but then you’re good to go!