Dual 721 turntable - opinions/advice?

I just picked up a Dual 721 for under $20. Seems to run fine. Looking at the strobe, it looks like it is maintaining speed. It has a "supposedly" new AT120E cartridge. Maybe new 20 years ago? Dust cover is thrashed.

I thought I might have someone put new RCA cables on it, a little oil on the bearings, and put my Sumiko Pearl cartridge on it.

• Any advice? Thoughts?
• How does this TT compare to others?
• How does this compare to my Akai AP-Q80 direct drive TT?
• Any ideas where to get a dust cover in decent condition?

Thanks, very clear information.
Since the owner claimed that it "had a new needle", how can I evaluate the condition of the stylus?

My phono stage is a Proton 1100 preamp. It likely doesn't stack up against preamps in the multi-hundred dollar range, but my understanding is that the innards are essentially identical to a NAK of the same class. So, from what I gather, not a bad little pre.

Now what to do with the Sumiko cartridge.

I misspoke. My Proton 1100 is pretty much identical to a NAD 1130.

Is there a thread here to help a newbie evaluate the condition of a stylus?

Just replace it. A new stylus is about $60 for the Audio-Technica. Cheap insurance. There is really no way -- aside from gross mistracking -- for someone without a microscope and experience to effectively evaluate the condition of a stylus. Besides, even if the stylus is fine, the suspension bits may be dried up and damaged. A new stylus unit insures against both possibilities.

Your Proton has a pretty good phono stage. Like NAD stuff, it can sound a bit 'dark.' So, provided your speakers aren't overly bright, I would go with the Audio-Technica AT120E you already have or the Ortofon 2M. Both have detailed enough treble to counteract the preamp's tendencies.
I just came across this thread. Craig your 721 does NOT have the ULM arm, it has the 4 point gimbal. It will accept a 1/2 inch cart from 4.5 to 10 grams. I have a CS-721 late model. You can tell if yours is late or early by the platter. The early only has one strobe band on the platter versus the late model with a seperate band for 33/45 and 50/60 hertz. I have an ortofon 2M blue on mine which is my primary cart but depending on what I'm listening to I'll switch to my V-15iii with a super tracker plus. Don't take this TT lightly as it is very good if its in good working condition. It was duals TOTL when it came out and it also has the EDS-1000 which, according to the "big mag audio folks" is the quietest direct drive motor made. I tried the M97xe from my DUAL 1246 on the 721 and I didn't like it but hey, thats me. I have a Nagaoka MP-150 in route from LP Gear. A bud has this cart on a 701 and he sez its all good.
This was my standard for many years. I owned a 701 then moved to the 721 back in the late 70s. It was a very quiet and reliable table. Some days i do miss that automatic function on the table.