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  • Thorens TD-124

    I believe some of you own one, I just acquired one (ser #41,xxx) in a bulk sale of gear. The seller is elderly and wants to rid himself of gear that's been like a noose around the neck most of his audiophile life. who can't relate? he just got back from a dream vacation in Asia and is planning more bucket list trips. again, who can't relate!

    Crazy, because i need more gear like a need a hole in my head it will either go to a more deserving owner or...I'm intrigued because I've never owned an idler and they seem to be so much in vogue. Its in working order and in unmolested cond. I'm thinking refurb, new plinth and maybe changing out the Grace for an SME 3012r and making it the front-end of an all-vintage system along with my Curcio modded ARC SP-3/Marantz 8b/Quad 57s.

    Thoughts on rebuilders in the USA, Schopper...anyone, Bueller?

    TIA

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20190803_115504_resized.jpg Views:	1 Size:	360.7 KB ID:	120555
    Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rob View Post
    I believe some of you own one, I just acquired one (ser #41,xxx) in a bulk sale of gear. The seller is elderly and wants to rid himself of gear that's been like a noose around the neck most of his audiophile life. who can't relate? he just got back from a dream vacation in Asia and is planning more bucket list trips. again, who can't relate!

    Crazy, because i need more gear like a need a hole in my head it will either go to a more deserving owner or...I'm intrigued because I've never owned an idler and they seem to be so much in vogue. Its in working order and in unmolested cond. I'm thinking refurb, new plinth and maybe changing out the Grace for an SME 3012r and making it the front-end of an all-vintage system along with my Curcio modded ARC SP-3/Marantz 8b/Quad 57s.

    Thoughts on rebuilders in the USA, Schopper...anyone, Bueller?

    TIA

    Click image for larger version Name:	20190803_115504_resized.jpg Views:	1 Size:	360.7 KB ID:	120555
    Very nice Rob, If it all becomes too overwhelming for you .... well you know who to call Look forward to your progress on this.
    Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
    Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
    Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
    Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
    Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
    Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you have several choices for rebuild service done in the United States. Three names come to mind at the moment, Jec965 (Jim Campbel), STS turntables and Chris Harban at Woodsong Audio. All of these advertise their service over ebay and are bound by ebay rules if the service is purchased through that venue. Otherwise they can be contacted off ebay for the same service.
      In Europe I can think of at least three service providers including Schopper, Swissonor (both of those in Switzerland) and Hanze Hi-Fi in NL. All of these have considerable expertise with the TD124.

      So far I've heard no negatives about the service providers mentioned in this reply.
      If you would like to peruse a collection of photo documentations of the rebuild process, I have made this available at my website within the TD124 Dept there.

      Of note: The TD124 shares the same essential motor design with the Garrard 301/401 series and you can expect to hear some similarities between the three models as a result. The motor is classified as a 'shaded pole induction motor. It is a design where the motor attempts to synchronize with mains frequency but can not because the 'shaded poles' are designed to allow some slippage. Therefore this motor never locks-in to mains frequency, so to speak. Most people tend to describe the effect as having an 'organic' sense to it. Also these models are known to have a healthy amount of visceral thrust to their presentation.
      Additionally, these models do not necessarily produce lots of rumble. Rather, a healthy specimen will present an apparent quiet background to the music.
      Additionally, the iron platter of the original TD124 design does in fact -attract- the stronger magnets of moving coil cartridges down toward it. However this can be counteracted by setting vtf with a vtf gage that holds the stylus at record level while it is located directly over the iron platter.

      -Steve
      webmaster at The Analog Dept.
      system list:Classe' CAP 151 integrated, Carver TX-11b Tuner, NHT 2.9 Speakers, Thorens TD124 ( plus other Thorens models), Otari MX-5050 BII-2 R2R, Jolida JD100 cd player, ML-9600 digital recorder

      Comment


      • #4
        21 years ago, I did a rather stupid thing. I sold the TD 124 II I inherited from my Dad. 21 years later, I bought one. I am starting building a small second purely analog system around a TD 124 and a Nagra IVs. The mechanics has been fully overhauled. It has an upgraded motor suspension kit. The tonearm base is in graphite. As soon as the new tonearm for my main turntable arrives, I will swap. It may sound a little weird but I am planning to put my SME V on this turntable.





        I might ultimately consider some upgrade from Schopper but time will tell.

        I still need to find the loudspeakers, a good tube amp with an integrated phono stage as well as a reasonably good cartridge.

        Nothing fancy.

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          gorgeous plinth!

      • #5
        Be aware there is a few models with variety’s one how they look.
        for one i own a later serial number then yours but looks a bit different. My speed controller has a knob on top to adjust the speed. I have seen knobs on the opposite side and varying knobs on speed control.
        mine was rebuilt looks great. But one thing I know of plagues them. Speed accuracy mine now plays to fast at one speed. There are pages of how to fix it lol. When I have time I will post results and why it happens on mine.
        mad for its sound I have a few tables now how and why they sound different is alluding me. How a nail dragging on plastic sounds so damn good does too.
        enjoy it it’s both nostalgia and out past coming back for me. A great journey
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
          Be aware there is a few models with variety’s one how they look.
          for one i own a later serial number then yours but looks a bit different. My speed controller has a knob on top to adjust the speed. I have seen knobs on the opposite side and varying knobs on speed control.
          mine was rebuilt looks great. But one thing I know of plagues them. Speed accuracy mine now plays to fast at one speed. There are pages of how to fix it lol. When I have time I will post results and why it happens on mine.
          mad for its sound I have a few tables now how and why they sound different is alluding me. How a nail dragging on plastic sounds so damn good does too.
          enjoy it it’s both nostalgia and out past coming back for me. A great journey
          There are many different variants within the family of the Thorens TD124. But the Td124 was always the top of the line. After it came the TD134, a lighter, less expensive version using a stamped steel chassis, lighter platter and bearing, no armboard but equipped with an oem Thorens arm and no provision for any other. The TD184, a semi auto version of the TD134. The TD135, similar to the TD134 but a later development. The TD121, using the same chassis as the TD124 but with a lighter platter, no fine pitch control, no strobe, etc.

          All of the TD124 models had fine speed pitch control that used a knob on top of the speed control switcher and had a strobe window. Originally, and throught the production run, the TD124 was equipped with a 9 lb iron platter. Later in the production run of the first version and then on into the mkII version it was optional to order the player with a "non-magnetic" platter. In reality this non-mag platter was really the cast zinc platter from the Td135, with a bearing adapter that allowed it to be used on the standard 14mm TD124 bearing. This so-called non-magnetic platter weighs 5 pounds and has a single strobe pattern for 33-1/3rd rpm only in either 50hz or 60hz patterns. The iron platter strobe pattern featured a strobe pattern for all 4 speeds in both 50 and 60hz frequencies.

          Problems with speed inaccuracy has plagued this line up. Not when new but years later. And in particular when the unit has been left in storage for several years then put back to use without any service. This doesn't mean that issues of speed inaccuracies can't be overcome. Really what it takes is to make certain that the motor has been serviced properly. However it remains that many hobbiests have tried it and continue to have trouble getting the motor to operate as it did when new. It can be a challenge but it can also be carried out successfully by those who have taken the time to learn the correct process. Notice that I mention the motor firstly. However the other drive train components also play into it. A properly operating drive train is vital, but the motor is the key.

          Here's how it should work when properly serviced: On cold startup the strobe window should indicate a stable speed within the first revolution of platter spin-up. Thereafter the strobe window may indicate some speed error for a minute or two, but within that time frame the strobe window should show a steady speed state. If it doesn't do that, your unit requires service.

          -Steve


          webmaster at The Analog Dept.
          system list:Classe' CAP 151 integrated, Carver TX-11b Tuner, NHT 2.9 Speakers, Thorens TD124 ( plus other Thorens models), Otari MX-5050 BII-2 R2R, Jolida JD100 cd player, ML-9600 digital recorder

          Comment


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            Steve, I nominate you as AN's official Thorens TD124 guru lots of good insight.

          • user510
            user510 commented
            Editing a comment
            Guru I am not, but a TD124 nut I am. Enjoy the journey down the rabbit hole with your acquisition. The rewards will be fun.

        • #7
          This is my second TD 124 and I am quite familiar with. This was the TT I was allowed to play when I was a young teenage kid (my Dad purchased it when I was 4 years old). The speed accuracy is perfect compared to the one I got from my Dad which was quite difficult to set.

          Anyway, I ordered an upgraded idler wheel from Audio Silente as well as new rubber top platter supports. I also settled on the cartridge. I am going back to an old love of mine: the Koetsu Black which was pure audio bliss with the SME V.

          Comment


          • #8
            Mine has a sme 3009 mkii non improved so I can use low compliance.
            analog stuff.
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
            sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
            new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
            thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
            thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
            kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
            phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              Mine has a sme 3009 mkii non improved so I can use low compliance.
              I had the same arm on my first TD 124 II.

              Comment


              • #10
                Lol. Cool I guess many of these had arms of the times.
                I have three of them two being mkii and one being mkii improved. I have one on a td125 table.
                analog stuff.
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                Dacs lampi various

                Comment

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