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Restoring a Thorens TD124 Mk II SME3009 Shure V15 Type III

Discussion in 'classic' started by Fox, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    Sadly all burned up
  2. audiogoose

    audiogoose pfm Member

    Nice looking 124 MkII. Somebody will be getting a good deal. Here in the States, this combination of table and arm has been fetching up to $2000.00,
    or more, on ebay.
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    That is just lovely! Takes me right back. This can only appreciate, and be appreciated. I would suggest that HiFi For Sale may be a more appropriate venue though.

    (Un)fortunately I also have an Orbe; also wonderful, but not a classic as is the TD124
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Excellent news that you have decided to keep it, I'm sure it will worry your Orbe. A lot. Just transplant the Morch onto it and pop it in a nicer plinth and you should have a stunningly good deck and a great investment too. There is a useful resource for spares and nice retro plinths here. They have belts, rubber blobs, motor mounts etc etc. Does your 124 have the ferrous or non ferrous lower platter? If the ferrous one I'd be careful if you plan to use the DL110 as that thing has a bloody strong magnet!

  5. cubastreet

    cubastreet Espresso Fiend

    mmmm..... my favourite looking tt.
  6. joel

    joel mojo working

    What Tony says, a Morch or a Hadcock should be very easy to transplant onto there. Beautiful deck, and there is something to be said about keeping it working and in the family.
  7. andy831

    andy831 pfm Member

    Good decision Fox,

    I shall be watching your thread with interest.

  8. Biggus-Dickkus

    Biggus-Dickkus pfm Member

    The Mark I's had the ferrous platter - the Mark II's had the non-ferrous platter so yours should be OK for use with a coil. The 124's are very nicely made turntables however they don't respond as well to "tweaking" like the 301/401. The motors can be noisy but as Tony said, re-plinthing it will make a big improvement. I would try to get a SME 3009-R. These will look period and sound considerably better than the ally version of the 3009 and work really well with coils, especially an SPU. :)
  9. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer

    Given that it's in such good original condition I'd probably keep the plinth and SME/V15 in storage so that it could be reunited as a package in the future. Then I'd put the 124 in a decent plinth with a decent arm and cartridge, and see what it can really do.

    Here's a link for you:- http://www.theanalogdept.com/124_in_slate.htm
  10. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

    There's a wealth of experience, and parts available, in Germany. Give me a shout if I can be of help.
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I did *a lot* of web grazing a couple of weeks ago as for a while I widened my 301 search to include a 124, and apparently the non-ferrous alloy bottom platter was an option on the 124/II, not standard fare. Not all have it by any stretch. It's lighter and general consensus seems to be that it doesn't sound as good a the heavier iron one, though is obviously non-ferrous so has zero issue with MCs. Many folk seem to get by with the iron platter and a MC cart with no issue, I just mentioned the DL110 as it seems to have a bizarrely strong magnet, I can't recall a cart that my allen key stuck to more firmly. The top platter is alloy on both the Mk1 and II so there is a reasonable gap between the iron lower platter and the cart (i.e. upper platter, mat, record) though it is worth setting tracking weight over the playing area as it can impact the reading just a little. It's just worth being aware of, it doesn't seem to be a deal breaker.

  12. DSJR

    DSJR Between us and them

    I should have bought one when I had the chance (£50 for a mk2 in HW plintth/box with SME fixed shell), but the great (!) LP12 had its hold over me and there wasn't the support there is now...

    Treasure this turntable as the legend it is and take the advice regarding new plinth and keeping the SME, which isn't the one that would have been fitted originally. Even the V15 can be made to sound quite sweet in this arm if you know what to do.

    has anyone here tried the Audio Technica AT440mla, or does the Denon 110 reign so supreme that nothing can touch it?

    What a beautiful old turntable. I hope you can get it better than the Orbe, if not quite as "quiet."
  13. joel

    joel mojo working

    The great thing about the SME mounting system is that you can mount a variety of arms pretty easily with it. Mounting a Morch doesn't preclude mounting an SME at some other time. I think the Morch is worth trying. It's a better arm than any vintage SME, and Fox already has one.
  14. JMP

    JMP Member


    I think you are making a very good move in keeping this very nice 124 (and it was your father's!).

    - first, grease and oil. Main bearing can use specific Thorens oil (as sold by schopper) or some gearbox oil (quite thick).
    everything shall run smooth and without noises.

    - secondly, have a heavy plinth done. This is mandatory! Replace your mushroom with new ones.

    - third, if you have the funds, then treat yourself with a new non-magnetic platter from schopper (www.schopper.ch). This is a HUGE upgrade, and when I say huge, I mean huge!
    (Furthermore, your 124 II has the later non-magnetic platter lighter than the original one, which doesn't sound as good.)

    I have put one on my 124 mkI, and this is really night and day! I had the chance to demo one at home, and it stayed!

    - put your Morch on your 124, it sure will work very well, as well as my Aro on my Thorens.....

    The 124 is a wonderfully musical deck, with great potential for upgrades, that are currently being search by schopper and his team.

    Don't hesitate to contact me if you widh to have more infos
  15. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

  16. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    thanks all for the words of encouragement. much to digest and yes I shall be calling round asking questions.

    My first question is as a general rule of thumb what sort of tonearms work best with this? At what point will it start to top out performance wise. Would something like a Uni work or a lightweight Gimballed design like a Morch DP6 or something like a big old SMEV be worth considering? High Mass or low mass? etc?

    Yes I have the Morch UP4 on the Orbe but I was hoping to not dick about with the Orbe if I can at all help it.

    First off I have reading to do so thanks all.

    I have some good leads for slate which I am looking into. Custom made seems to avoid Audiophile prices...
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

  18. London Lad

    London Lad pfm Member

    The deck in that link makes Fox's deck look in great condition.
  19. audiogoose

    audiogoose pfm Member

    In case you want to see what a 124 MkII looks like with a SME V mounted, here is a link to picture of mine from "The Analog Dept.":


    Sounds great with a vandenHul retipped Lyra Lydian cart. Used to use a Benz Ruby 2 with good results, also.
    The plinth is a Schopper replica of the original Ortofon. I have tried a heavy solid plinth as well, and I liked this one the best with the chassis mounted on the rubber mushrooms. Many people disagree, though.

  20. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    so slate vs Schopper console... whats the deal with the slate vs the schopper rebuild of the Ortofon?

    PS in the package I also found this:


    A spare non SME armboard -- presumably with an EMI arm (someone had put Thorens/EMI on the front plinth in rub-on lettering)

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