Dual is a brand name of audio and video electronics.
In 1907, brothers Christian and Joseph Steidinger began manufacturing clockwork and gramophone parts in the Black Forest town of St. Georgen. In 1927, Gebrüder Steidinger (Steidinger Bros.) adopted the name Dual in reference to the dual-mode power supplies it pioneered. The power supplies allowed gramophones to be powered from mains electricity or with a wind-up mechanism. Soon thereafter, Dual began producing turntables of its own.
After World War II, Dual became the biggest manufacturer of turntables in Europe, with more than 3,000 employees working in several factories. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Dual introduced audio cassette players, VCRs, CD players, and other consumer electronics.
But when Japanese consumer electronics started entering European markets in the 1970s on a large scale, Dual as most other traditional German manufacturers underwent a big crisis: Japanese products usually offered more features at a cheaper price in a much more modern package. Dual went bankrupt in 1982, and was sold to French electronic manufacturer Thomson SA. In 1988, Thomson sold Dual to German manufacturer Schneider Rundfunkwerke AG.
In 1993/4, Dual was finally split off into
- Dual Phono GmbH, i.e. the Dual line of turntables, which were acquired by the German company Alfred Fehrenbacher GmbH, which has continued to produce them in the Black Forest town of St. Georgen. Dual turntables Made in Germany are manufactured on the same traditional product line. They are easy to identify with the manufacturing code beginning with CS xxx.
- Dual DGC GmbH (Germany) sells mostly rebranded consumer electronics made in Far East, including turntables (production code DT xxx). DGC products are exclusively sold in Europe.
- For the American market, after the insolvency of Schneider Rundfunkwerke AG in 2001, TCL Holdings, a Chinese company, purchased the Dual assets and brand, and it began marketing its own products under the name. In 2002, Namsung Electronics, a Korean company, bought the rights to use the name in the Americas and began selling lower-priced (but generally well-reviewed) consumer electronics under the Dual marque. The main product lines are home audio, mobile audio, marine audio and GPS receivers.