View Full Version : Restoring a Thorens TD124 Mk II SME3009 Shure V15 Type III


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Fox
23-03-08, 12:59 PM
Sadly all burned up

audiogoose
23-03-08, 02:13 PM
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.

Mike Reed
23-03-08, 02:18 PM
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

Tony L
24-03-08, 06:24 PM
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 (http://www.schopper.ch/static/services/z_top_audio/Neutrik/Thorens_Uebersicht_EN.html). 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!

Tony.

cubastreet
24-03-08, 08:54 PM
mmmm..... my favourite looking tt.

joel
24-03-08, 09:02 PM
^^^^
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.

andy831
24-03-08, 11:15 PM
Good decision Fox,

I shall be watching your thread with interest.

Andy

Biggus-Dickkus
25-03-08, 01:41 AM
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 (http://www.schopper.ch/static/services/z_top_audio/Neutrik/Thorens_Uebersicht_EN.html). 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!

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. :)

Patrick Dixon
25-03-08, 02:59 AM
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

Markus S
25-03-08, 03:03 AM
There's a wealth of experience, and parts available, in Germany. Give me a shout if I can be of help.

Tony L
25-03-08, 03:12 AM
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.

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.

Tony.

DSJR
25-03-08, 05:41 AM
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."

joel
25-03-08, 07:20 AM
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.

JMP
25-03-08, 10:38 AM
Hi,

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

Restoring?
- 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
JM

Markus S
25-03-08, 11:11 AM
Here's a thread on a German forum; the pictures may be of interest even to those who don't read German.

http://www.analog-forum.de/wbboard/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=26877

Fox
25-03-08, 12:11 PM
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...

Tony L
25-03-08, 12:49 PM
Here's a thread on a German forum; the pictures may be of interest even to those who don't read German.

http://www.analog-forum.de/wbboard/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=26877

That was all going really well until he painted the deck black and gold plated the 3012. I love the slate plinth, it looks stunning.

Tony.

London Lad
25-03-08, 01:14 PM
The deck in that link makes Fox's deck look in great condition.

audiogoose
25-03-08, 01:28 PM
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.":

http://www.theanalogdept.com/j_giesting.htm

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.

Jerry

Fox
25-03-08, 02:14 PM
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:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2370/2358900402_5ec479fb0c_b.jpg

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

joel
25-03-08, 03:47 PM
Fox,
That looks like an Ortofon cut to me (probably same as EMI). 2cm diameter?

Tony L
25-03-08, 03:52 PM
Worth bolting it on and measuring the pivot to spindle distance - you might just be able to stick the Morch onto it.

Tony.

Fox
26-03-08, 04:07 AM
I don't think I want to mess with the Orbe/Morch to be honest now its singing and has been absolutely reliably sounding every time I switch it on... And I think Patrick is right about packing up the plinth and the SME3009 (or I could send it to J7 @ Audio Origami for a quick re-fettle and bolt it to my Orbe as mine has two-arm capability).

A Hadcock would be a lovely choice -- having owned an old one as a second arm on my Orbe its a fine tonearm. In fact ISTR people were saying Unipivots work best on non sprung TTs.

Re plinths: slate versus solid versus hollow plinth I have been soaking up details and data from Mr Schopper's website and I think I shall initially start with approaching the deck from the Motor, the Plinth and idler silencing.

The motor-update looks like a send it to them job, a few DIY servicing pages detail drilling off the motor end-cap rivets to gain access to the motor (http://www.theanalogdept.com/td124_dept.htm) -- everything looks reasonably DIY-able... plinth wise I could still go the slate route but I saw this:

http://www.schopper.ch/static/services/z_top_audio/Neutrik/pics/TD_2005_a.JPG

Which is Mr Schopper's massy plinth -- a wholly more complex beast presumably for added mass. Would anyone care to comment on how much better this would be and if slate would still be a better choice? I see there are a few DIY plinth designs based on the original cutout but it might be nice to see if I can make one of these. £985 for that is a lot!

When I get the Thorens working as well as it can then I stall start the serious task of seeing which turntable whips who's ass.
(God I reckon I may even end up with Quads and valves at this rate. Jonathan Ribbee will be so smug)

Tony L
26-03-08, 04:51 AM
I think I shall initially start with approaching the deck from the Motor, the Plinth and idler silencing.

Good plan. My impression from a) reading The Whole Internet and b) listening to my completely stock (but very clean) Lenco L70 and Andy H’s 301 / SME in a basic skeletal plinth is that ‘what idlers do’ should be abundantly clear to you. I suspect that the 124 / SME will be a far more obvious example against the Orbe than my L70 is against the Space.

For me the L70 with it’s comedy arm and humble Pickering V15 MM, despite sounding laughably low-fi in certain respects, has a sense of propulsion, urgency and down-right enthusiasm compared to the far more open, refined and detailed Space / Hadcock / DL-110 that made me grin. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Spacedeck, it is certainly the best deck I’ve ever owned, but if I can bring an idler drive deck (the 301) up to compete in the areas the Space does so well without loosing that hard to define idler ‘drive’ then I’ll have a winner. Da Internetz say yes. Time will tell…

Tony.

PS that Schopper plinth is beautiful. If I were going slate I'd try to keep that classic Thorens shape if possible.

Fox
26-03-08, 05:11 AM
Whatever happens I want that shape. Totally.

I think what I hear in the Idler drive "thing" is pretty much the essence of good rhythm. Start/stops in pizzicato are majorly improved on the Orbe which is not something you realise until you hear it. There is a pulse or a drive to the music that forces the foot to tap and nowhere is this more apparent on Orchestral music where the sections all start to have their own pulse and string quartets start to play timing tricks with my ears as the bump and grind of a good Shostakovitch String Q starts to become apparent. Its more delecately portrayed on the Orbe. The problems for me with the TD124 Mk II starts immediately after the initial pulse of the note and it all ends up a bit of a horrid mush. If I can extend that initial pulse and drive into detailing then I have the makings of something that will make the Orbe a bit... well "fuzzy" and thats not saying something lightly as I have never heard anything since getting it to really challenge it -- so a deck from 1960s popping into my life and doing something obviously better is a surprise and a bit humbling.

Basics first. Silence the deck and get it running optimally then address arm and cart.
And that rrrrrrmmmmmmbbbbllllll in the background simply has to go!

More reading needed but its interesting reading Octave Audio's data on where they feels that rumble comes from (http://www.octaveaudio-usa.com/products/motorRestoration/).

Tony L
26-03-08, 05:30 AM
Basics first. Silence the deck and get it running optimally then address arm and cart.
And that rrrrrrmmmmmmbbbbllllll in the background simply has to go!

If you are getting a lot of rumble I’d try a basic re-lube of the motor and give the pulleys, idler and inner platter really good clean with isopropyl or similar, then leave it running overnight on 78. Does the sound of the rumble give any clues as to origin, i.e. is it a constant or a pattern? It might give a clue as to whether it is the motor or drive system. It might prove interesting to take the belt off and try the stylus on the stationary record just to establish how much is structure born motor noise – the rubber grommets that decouple the motor from the chassis might be too old, hard and brittle and a contributing factor, i.e. whilst a 300 quid motor rebuild would be nice it might not be necessary. Certainly neither my L70 or Andy’s 301 rumble badly through the speakers.

Tony.

Fox
26-03-08, 05:46 AM
Removing the belt is a great idea - will do!

I was going to refurb the motor myself (see the link below) as the deck takes 10-20 minutes to get up to accurate speed and then wavers suggesting the oil in the bearing has hardened.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/pantone/thorens/index.htm

(Must knock-up Bub for a stethoscope)

MarkS
26-03-08, 06:02 AM
Removing the belt is a great idea - will do!

I was going to refurb the motor myself (see the link below) as the deck takes 10-20 minutes to get up to accurate speed and then wavers suggesting the oil in the bearing has hardened.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/pantone/thorens/index.htm

(Must knock-up Bub for a stethoscope)

You need one of these
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/AUTOMOTIVE-MECHANICS-STETHOSCOPE-BRAND-NEW-IN-PACK_W0QQitemZ110234350512QQihZ001QQcategoryZ58177 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

audiogoose
26-03-08, 08:47 AM
I agree with Tony on his recommendations to reduce rumble. When I bought my 124, it was very slow in coming up to speed and I found it very worthwhile to disassemble the motor in order to do a really good job of cleaning the rotor, stator and both upper and lower motor bearings. After relubing the bearings and carefully trying to align them, my motor ran like a top and the 124 would come up to speed in about one revolution of the platter, even from a cold start.
Also, be sure the idler wheel is in good condition. If out of round, it could be contributing to rumble. A new belt is definitely a good ideas IMHO.
These are my experiences and getting to where I am, 2 years later, was half the fun.
Jerry

Robert
26-03-08, 03:13 PM
has anyone here tried the Audio Technica AT440mla, or does the Denon 110 reign so supreme that nothing can touch it?



Yes I picked one up to try a couple of years ago (the 'ML') and t is superbly clean and detailed but also very dry and bright. Great in a warm system.

audiogoose
26-03-08, 04:34 PM
Here is a link to an interesting Thorens site:

http://www.thorens-lovers.com/

Fox
27-03-08, 03:28 PM
Thanks that was a fascinating read. And it also led me to a blow by blow restoration of the motor which, after 40 years seems like it needs a strip and clean as it never actually seems to stabilize at any speed. I'm not sure about making my own felt washers though. Hopefully eBay will come up trumps.

I'll be sure to document the process. I'd like to keep it as stock as possible as I am well aware of people improving antiques and I think this deserves to be as unaltered un touched as possible. I have decided to keep the original plinth and the SME 3009. But explore a good tonearm when the deck is fettered and ready for such expenses.

I am thinking about making a solid plinth from ply to emulate the ortofon/schopper design. Hopefully I can get my hands on a design for the solid plinth. Worst case Is to make a tracing from the plinth I already own but first I'd like to get my hands on a good design schematic.

Oh goody I get to join the PFM router-wielding set!

audiogoose
27-03-08, 04:01 PM
Don't know if this is the motor rebuild site you have visited, or not, but just in case it wasn't, here is a link to a good one.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/pantone/thorens/overhaul_1.htm

Jerry

Fox
27-03-08, 04:41 PM
yes that's the one thanks

Markus S
28-03-08, 08:50 AM
That was all going really well until he painted the deck black and gold plated the 3012. I love the slate plinth, it looks stunning.

Tony.

The guy who did the slate plinth and restored the deck is a friend; the paint job was at the request of another guy of his who also provided the bling SME. That guy has the interior to match; it's a wonder he has good enough taste to have asked for the TD 124.

Markus S
02-04-08, 07:14 AM
Possibly of interest:

http://i21.ebayimg.com/04/i/06/bc/3e/ff_1_b.JPG

http://i10.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/b7/ab/0457_1_b.JPG

Seller's store (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Stereo-Lab)

Fox
02-04-08, 09:42 AM
Thanks Markus. I really like the old style plinths, there is something really appealing about them. I do think a pair of Quad 57s would look perfect next to that...

I feel that one's second system should be the antithesis of one's primary system.

Jonathan Ribee
02-04-08, 10:22 AM
(God I reckon I may even end up with Quads and valves at this rate. Jonathan Ribee will be so smug)... ... really like the old style plinths, there is something really appealing about them. I do think a pair of Quad 57s would look perfect next to that... ...I feel that one's second system should be the antithesis of one's primary system.

Don't forget the ducks on the wall. Think Ted's lair in Buffy.

Fox
04-04-08, 02:35 AM
today the motor stopped working. The light for the strobe is on so I suspect now is the time to strip and clean the motor and hope those bearings are ok!

JMP
04-04-08, 03:31 AM
fox,

looks like the decoupling capacitor (located near the stobe light) has gone off.
JMP

Fox
25-05-08, 02:32 PM
Yea verily it does... Just had a look and... and my capacitor sirrah, it oozes thus!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2016/2521603287_1b6c9b03cf.jpg

Well its not bad going for 44 year old capacitor in my father's deck, but it is in dire need of replacing.[adpots stern english gentleman's voice] Ahem, I need a 240V -10° to 70°C 10 nanofarad capacaitor... and none of that colonial slanty-eyed muck either... it has to last another 44 years.

Maplins tomorrow I guess...

Patrick Dixon
25-05-08, 02:54 PM
If it's across the mains you need an X2 or Y2 type

Fox
27-05-08, 12:26 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3169/2527435924_0daf4bbe1d.jpg

Ok. 30p capacitor procured (amazingly Maplins had some!). All in. Still not spinning. I have commandeered that there Martin Clark and he has helped me restore it to correct spinningness by helping me strip the motor, re lube the bushings and correctly get the motor together again... and with some help of a bit of oil to get it all back and running smoothly.

All spinning fine and at what looks like correct speed. Have left on overnight to run in.

Next to get the SME off and the Mørch on this... and I can start re plinthing it.

Fox
28-05-08, 01:44 PM
Am undecided about the plinth.

I was going to make my own but I simply do not have the time to do a good job of it and found a couple of nice looking ones to keep me in spinning tunes when the Orbe finally leaves.

http://homepage8.seed.net.tw/web@5/comtw888168/TD-124/DSC07945.jpg

or

http://homepage8.seed.net.tw/web@5/comtw888168/TD-124/DSC08188.jpg

Which will define the armboard at the same time (http://homepage19.seed.net.tw/web@5/comtw888168/ebay/TD124-12/TD12409.jpg)

I've got time to do some other dicking about to the machine's undersides but I really am undecided about the choice of colour.

Will choosing timeless black suggest a return to the ways of [cough] M***?

martin clark
28-05-08, 02:41 PM
Aha, intermediate-stage thought that struck me as I oozed southward - why not simply rout a hole in another sheet of polycarbonate and let that fill the now-vacant space on the top of the rack? This would leave free space for Thorensfettlüng from below, too.

skyebridge
28-05-08, 03:27 PM
jmp has given some great advice. my only other thoughts - one of which was touched on by djsr (i think) - are that a 12" sme would be far better if you want to stay with sme, and you would need to get the thorens extension board. that would also open up the use of other arms with higher accuracy than the sme, such as the stax 12" arm. use of an aro sounds intriguing! i have a hadcock mounted on a fons cq-30, and regard that arm/tt combination highly, but only with m/m cartridges. the points made about m/c cartridges not liking heavy metal or digital startup/drive mechanisms are to be taken seriously - one of the bains of my life was running a yamaha d/d t/t with a stax arm and ortofon m/c cartridge, so live and learn!! good luck - fantastic thorens t/t!!! hugh

Fox
06-06-08, 10:13 AM
So, now parts have started trickling in from the four corners of the world. The Mushrooms (delightfully entitled Gummimuffen came over from Hong Kong a few days ago. The Plinth just arrived from Taiwan (via an eBay seller jakehung (http://search.ebay.co.uk/_W0QQsassZjakehung) although I bought off eBay as I wanted a matching armboard blank as well and negotiated a deal) and like a kid I had to show it off to y'all as soon as it arrived.

First to the Mushrooms.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3176/2556505442_27fa129d22.jpg

On the left are the old 40-ish year old suspension grommets as I found them... The ones on the right are new ones bought on eBay. May these last as long. In fact I may just get an extra couple of sets to keep me going until I go deaf!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/2556503538_6c2b4576aa.jpg

And here is a sneak peak of the workmanship with added Gummimuffen to be sure it all fits! (It fits like a glove)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3260/2556501212_644293833c.jpg

Another sneak peak. The wood is just hypnotic to look at. I feel it is a modern take on a classic look -- its slightly wider so I can ask one of the acrylic chaps to make me a dust cover but its still entirely in keeping with the looks of the TD124. The standard of workmanship is extremely high, the wood is very heavy -- this is seriously thick slabbage! And the packaging to get it to me was splendid!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3034/2556498532_4d9681f32c.jpg

I haven't gotten to the other parts of the renovation beyond the motor repair (a strip and a re lube with oil) and the replacement mushrooms. .. but this will give a feeling for how this baby will be when the rest of the underside is brought up to spec and cleaned. The top has already had a clean and a polish. The bearing has already had some new oil (I shall be evacuating the bearing shaft soon to wash out any finings that may have accumulated over the years -- but at present it is pretty clean).

Waiting on a Rosewood Armboard (blank so I can cut for the new tonearm that arrived last week), slate bed to sit it on also, plus a new drive belt and other grommety-things shall arrive next week. Arm already in waiting and the cart... ah as for the cart I have planned something a bit special...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/2555710611_675edacbb9_o.jpg

...take no prisoners...

Spike
06-06-08, 10:53 AM
Hi Fox,

Looking good.

What is the cartridge?

Cheers

Graham

Fox
06-06-08, 10:59 AM
A vintage (19-year old) original Koetsu Urushi which will have its own transformative adventure over in Japan very soon (I hope).

Spike
06-06-08, 11:08 AM
Nice. I must pay you a visit one day.

Cheers

Graham

Patrick Dixon
06-06-08, 11:38 AM
Plinth looks really nice. Do I gather you're going to sit the whole thing on a slate slab?

Tony L
06-06-08, 11:41 AM
Stunning. That is a remarkably cool looking deck.

Tony.

jimb0
06-06-08, 11:46 AM
That is clearly going to be special. Glad you have a plinth with curves!

I must admit I do prefer the look of the 'classic' petite ones but that does look great.

Fox
06-06-08, 11:49 AM
Plinth looks really nice. Do I gather you're going to sit the whole thing on a slate slab?

Sure. Unless there is a really bad reason to do it that way but loads of people seem to like sticking their Thorens decks on heavy mass loaded supports so... Baaaaaah!

(Might be having a rethink about the current stand and having a blocky heavy oak table support made with adjustable feet and a slate topper)

The slate so far is just an old bit I had lying about.

Patrick Dixon
06-06-08, 12:11 PM
Sounds like a decent idea to me - although I'm not sure about that angle iron underneath :-) Surely a class act like this should sit on a mahogany sideboard or something?

Fox
06-06-08, 12:27 PM
My thoughts exactly. Something chunky though. Reclaimed oak perhaps. DIY made or comissioned. Phat legs and wood shelves with slate on top. I'll get to that in a bit. First to get the deck singing.

Patrick Dixon
06-06-08, 01:23 PM
Good plan - it's going to be really nice.

Fox
07-06-08, 12:04 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3147/2556240019_b3ce8dd014.jpg

At this stage i am making sure the whole bearing shaft is nicely lubricated. First by sucking out the old oil with a syringe and a pipe then replacing with new oil and sucking it out after a few hours of spinning. At present its a 10W 40 synthetic -- every nerd has his favorites/hates... 5% slip additive will be added to the final lube -- but that won't happen just yet. The initial draw was the consistency of sludge and a dark brown. 5 flushes and this is much better -- normal in fact. I'll end with a number of swab-outs to remove any trace grime left in the housing.

A sobering thought was the deck spun without power for longer than any deck I've owned with sludge in the bearings, now the thing will just not stop spinning (hence the ingenious outer platter lift I suppose!).

Some people recommend removing the bearing thrust plate on the underside and flushing the entire tunnel with alcohol and repeatedly wiping it by drawing alcohol impregnated wipes through -- good as that method is that's too invasive for me -- I stand a good chance of damaging the gasket. I think this method is slower but gentler.

Tony L
07-06-08, 02:29 AM
Just be careful about oil choice - IIRC the Thorens has plastic bushings, and if they are anything like the white LP12 plastic bushings some types of oil might just penetrate and swell them up to the point they be useless (someone trashed an LP12 bearing here recently). This is just guesswork on my behalf, but it is something I'd want to research had I a beautiful TD-124. I know nothing about oil.

Tony.

joel
07-06-08, 02:42 AM
A vintage (19-year old) original Koetsu Urushi which will have its own transformative adventure over in Japan very soon (I hope).
Aha. A retip / service. Do you have definitive plans?
Congratulations on the simply stunning deck and the beautiful cartridge.

Fox
07-06-08, 01:24 PM
Just be careful about oil choice - IIRC the Thorens has plastic bushings, and if they are anything like the white LP12 plastic bushings some types of oil might just penetrate and swell them up to the point they be useless (someone trashed an LP12 bearing here recently). This is just guesswork on my behalf, but it is something I'd want to research had I a beautiful TD-124. I know nothing about oil.


The TD124 has oil-impregnated (self-lubricating) sintered bronze bushings :)
A good page on TD124 lube here (http://homepage2.nifty.com/pantone/thorens/lubricant.htm) and 10W 40 seems to be suitable.

Aha. A retip / service. Do you have definitive plans?
Congratulations on the simply stunning deck and the beautiful cartridge.

Thanks.

I'll examine it under the microscope when it arrives (so impending nude and hard core Koetsu porn to follow) and decide but after 19 years it'll in all likelihood need more than just a retip and that means Koetsu (whom replace all the innards and keep the outer shell). Buying a Koetsu this way is the most cost-effective way to get on the Koetsu rebuild loop and much cheaper than buying new.

I am glad I have one of these older Urushis... I have never seen this sort of laquer job before.

DSJR
07-06-08, 02:07 PM
I dunno, won't Expert Styli do?

That 124's going to look fabulous. I'm green.......

martin clark
07-06-08, 02:42 PM
That 124's going to look fabulous.You should it close-up; it's utterly unmarked, a real gem.


I'm Not Jealous.




honestly












well maybe a little bit.

joel
07-06-08, 06:02 PM
Buying a Koetsu this way is the most cost-effective way to get on the Koetsu rebuild loop and much cheaper than buying new.

I am glad I have one of these older Urushis... I have never seen this sort of lacquer job before. I think that may be Tsugaru-nuri lacquer. Amazing thing to do on such a small object.

You'll need to be wearing the correct apparel when you use the Koetsu.

http://www.gendaiya.co.jp/sgeta/tugaru/4925-w500.jpg

Fox
09-06-08, 12:15 PM
Cartridge for the Thorens arrived today... I have already shipped it out to be restored ...this poor old thing has been traveling from the USA to me and now its off again!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3193/2565351646_9d9e430635.jpg

I have always enjoyed the little details about these cartridges. A simple sandalwood box with calligraphy.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3115/2564526241_0f7a50f78c.jpg

The older Koetsu Urushi models such as this one have a distinctive pattern -- quite different to the modern ones made from various layers of laquer over an alloy body weighing in at around 10g. The different layers are abraded and polished to reveal a distinctive and unique pattern... Like a wooden body having its own grain structure or a stone body having its own markings, the laquer is unique to every Urushi cartridge..

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3007/2564524809_87b77d6b4c.jpg

An aerial view with a good line of the cantilever which is straight. All Koetsu models are high compliance and a quick home suspension test using a 2g loaded leaf shows the suspension to be working and responsive -- after 19 years the suspension could be rather saggy and even start to perish, but I have a feeling this was broken within 4 years of its life and and languished in a drawer ever since -- we shall see when the report comes back...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3125/2564524513_401a7f409b_b.jpg

The cantilever under a loop with a macro lens + x2 adapter looking down on it. Here is where I breathe a sigh of relief! Here you can clearly see the separation between cantilever and yoke (the Y shape at the end) which is where the diamond is pressed into place and that's a clean gap where it has popped out and not broken the yoke -- meaning a new diamond and stub can go back in easily enough. The cantilevers on this model are Boron incidentally quite ahead of its time...

More later as it happens.

artist
09-06-08, 03:04 PM
Is it going the koetsu ?

Fox
09-06-08, 03:24 PM
I was quoted £235 for an ESco retip or $1550 (£780) from Koetsu SE Asia.

So it's getting checked by Expert first for retip suitability. If it only needs a new diamond pressed in and a bath to clean the coils of muck I'll let ESco do it. Any more work needed (suspension etc) then it goes off to Koetsu.

Patrick Dixon
09-06-08, 03:35 PM
I was quoted £235 for an ESco retip or $1550 (£780) from Koetsu SE Asia.
There is no way you'll hear a difference between it and a decent sub-£200 cartridge - not if you can't hear the difference between a Benchmark DAC and real music :-)

So I suppose it's £180 for the cartridge and £600 for the fancy lacquer then!

Fox
09-06-08, 04:21 PM
So I suppose it's £180 for the cartridge and £600 for the fancy lacquer then!

Thinking about it -- even if that was true I'd not have a problem with it.

Fox
10-06-08, 04:06 AM
Okay, today we flip her over and fiddle about with her bearing thrust plate.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3045/2567509538_85fc20a59c.jpg

With all the flushing and bearing cleaning obviously the gasket at the thrust bearing plate was somehow compromised as small amounts of oil were seen building up around the screws holding the plate on. One of the more popular modifications to these decks is removal of the thrust plate and replacing it with a thicker one -- this allows for far more mechanical stability between the bearing, the dimpled bearing plate and the thrust plate isn't allowed to flex.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3033/2567508688_ea8c2188a2.jpg

With the short screws removed the gasket (with the bearing support stuck to it with oil) and the thrust plate sit next to the new stub end. A 10mm block of brass purchased from a guy who'd machined a load of them in Australia -- he also does them for Garrads. The loop is used to check for fractures in the gasket and to check the shape of the bearing "nest" dimple.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2567507762_ffa6aa6663.jpg

The gasket is more closely examined in light for any light breaks or splits. Its in good shape. Often people replace the gasket with a new piece of plastic sheet cut to form a new seal, but I deemed it good for a few more decades yet!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3267/2567506886_e7612bf2e4.jpg

To assist the gasket I put some red Hermatite on the gasket seal which will create a good bond between the bearing shaft base and the thrust plate. You have to be very careful here as you don't want gasket sealant inside the bearing shaft so favour the outside edge rather then the inner! A tip when putting the gasket back is to twist it a quarter turn so the Hermatite is smeared making a good seal.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3146/2566683053_8b3cca0e7e.jpg

The thrust plate is screwed in. These are supplied longer screws. I'd prefer hex heads as I can ratchet each head to an even torque -- but as the screws were originally pan head I doubt they were torqued to begin with. A final check of the gasket sealant, a clean at the edges for any squished out and a check inside the bearing housing for any contamination and we're good to go! Feel and listen for any sound or clicking and then run her at 78RPM for a half hour.

Oh, and just one more thing...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3256/2566681943_59262a7e00.jpg

The Rosewood arm board arrived today from Taiwan, so its time to get it measured and drilled and the tonearm fitted. Progress.

Fox
10-06-08, 06:05 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3011/2566852143_af779846bc.jpg

Unlike the Orbe which came with a predrilled arm board all precision machined from metal and was just a bot-on job (one of the reasons why I liked the Orbe so much), the Thorens needed a custom arm board drilled with a Ø20mm hole along an arc of 212 mm. Fortunately I had a Mørch protractor printed and was able to exactly measure where the 212 and cross-section to the centre line of the arm board was. This is all old skool stuff. Not done this in like 20 years in the days before decks came with precut arm boards to order.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2230/2567676460_f5943076cf.jpg

All measured and so drilling commences. If I screw it up now I screw it up bad. I actually had to buy a 20mm flat bit for this as I was without a sharp enough one which was 40 years old and blunted! Breathe deep... here goes.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/2566854375_f14bcde861.jpg

After that assembling the Mørch UP4 as per instructions. Collet is bolted on underside, pillar mechanism threaded into collet, adjust VTA and nip-up the tiny allen nuts to maintain VTA. This will change when I get the cart obviously. The hardest bit was threading the anti-skate nylon wire through the clock spring used to tension the anti skate bias... phew!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3120/2566855879_cc6a48398e.jpg

Arm rest Ø10mm hole (coo not had one of those for years!) drilled into place 155mm below pivot point of arm. All I need now is a cartridge!

Now for some lunch and tidy up.

sideshowbob
10-06-08, 06:23 AM
Looks fantastic fox. Love that armboard.

-- Ian

London Lad
10-06-08, 06:27 AM
Fox, that set up is looking really cool. The cart will be the crowning glory.

Great write up too.

DSJR
10-06-08, 09:01 AM
I'm so green... Hope it does the business after all this...

ellamoo
10-06-08, 10:34 AM
I'm honoured my ex Morch arm is sitting on this deck - looks a great job.

Re oil - just a thought - but when messing around with these decks late 70's Molyslip was reccomended to me by Tom Fletcher of NAS - don't know whether anyone else has tried this on a 124, I seem to recall it worked rather well?

Fox
10-06-08, 10:41 AM
yes if you look back a page I was going to add the 5% slip additive at the last lube which, now the thicker bearing thrust plate is in (and sealed) I can start to address that tomorrow.

Glad you like the way your ex-tonearm has been implemented.

thanks all

Patrick Dixon
10-06-08, 10:50 AM
I'm sure you must have another cartridge to try - come on, we all want to hear how good it sounds.

I wish my Dad had had something that nice for us to play our records on when we were kids.

Jonathan Ribee
10-06-08, 11:10 AM
Patrick

Stop hassling!

fox-san will retire to a shady glade in his kimono and write haiku exposing the frivolity of modern life whilst the Koetsu is made just so. Thus a perfect zen state for cartridge alignment and contemplative listening will be reached just in time for McPat the postie to bring enameled glory to fox-san's glade.

Without the contemplation, fox-san may listen to the SOUNDS instead of the MUSIC.

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. Don't look at the finger, else you will miss all of the heavenly glory.

Jonathan

(student of fox-do)

Patrick Dixon
10-06-08, 11:20 AM
I think he'd be better off buying a cheap cartridge and sending it to Alex S for the lacquer.

Life's too short to wait for postman McPat.

Fox
10-06-08, 11:51 AM
... but it's not so short as to rush things to an unsatisfactory conclusion. I still have a few things to tidy up.

I've a DL103 and will compare the Koetsu upon its repair/return.

Fox
11-06-08, 05:46 AM
Right. Today I open up the motor and sort out what a clicking noise is... I think I can get it running a bit quieter as well and achieve a longer spin-down time, so today's job is to strip and clean the motor.open up the the motor bearing and disassemble the thrust plate on the motor so see how things are inside.

More later.

Tony L
11-06-08, 05:49 AM
Sounds like fun. Are you going to drill the little rivets out to get at the felt washer etc?

Tony.

Fox
11-06-08, 06:37 AM
Tony... yes

OK I am on the home stretch now (Patrick will be pleased to know). At present it takes 30 seconds to stop spinning. Not bad but I think I can do better. Plus its noisy and needs to stay on speed as the strobe skips backward and no messing with the magnet solves it so I think I need to open it up and look inside. There is a blow by blow account of how to do this listed earlier in this thread I am just showing what I see...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3072/2569642673_66d210b9b8.jpg

First of all the drive belt is shagged and in need of replacement. One is ordered and on its way.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3258/2569641725_661cf6645d.jpg

Motor suspension grommets are on the other hand in fine shape. Absolutely no need to change these! But they do need to be removed in order to get inside.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3113/2570466694_24c80451f4.jpg

Compared to modern decks this motor is a brute -- complete overkill (or is it modern motors are just powerful enough?). This is in lovely shape. Some electric scoring around the drum of the windings but nothing that causes me to worry.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2570466112_0ff7fd85eb.jpg

Closer examination shows the motor bearing is good and unworn. No flattening and shiny and well lubricated -- probably after the initial lubrication Martin and I gave it a few weeks earlier when it stuck... No nasty dried out grunge which makes the next bit seem hopeful.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3261/2570464572_6e0b223ee2.jpg

As the thrust plate is riveted on, the thrust plate needs to be drilled out to examine the insides. This is less scary as it sounds. The rivets are made of soft brass and come out easily.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3040/2570463448_0021da39a8.jpg

The bearing thrust plate assembly separates easily enough to reveal a sintered bronze bushing, a pair of form pads and a spring. The spring is springy, the bushings are clean and not dried with no evidence of caked or dried oil. So far so good.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3004/2569636477_4254d4d899.jpg

Endstop looks good. Clean and no obvious damage. I'll flip it over and use the other side so the fit is good and tight.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3185/2569635179_2632feef5f.jpg

The motor bearing thrust plate is reassembled and screwed in with two stainless steel screws and bolts on the other side. Nice and tight but taking care to not deform the case or the bearing stop housing.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3013/2570460598_40a082da40.jpg

A final re-lube with just a few drops of 20% slip and 10W 40 to top up the foam pads which are still very absorbent. A final check before reassembly for any oil leaks... no Hermatite needed!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/2569633939_f130507f04.jpg

The motor has a cover guard which rattles slightly. This is a source of vibration and may be the click -- no matter how small and no matter how well damped by the rubber motor grommets so I wrapped a little plumbers tape at the point where the plate and the motor meet - there is a washer on the other side and a grommet so this should hold it a bit snugger.

...

(The bushings on the other side of the motor look the same and are accessed in the same way so no need to repeat. Just oil and go...)

All reassembled and the click has disappeared, the deck reaches correct speed in under a revolution -- remarkable! My Orbe never managed that! The strobe tells me it is now no longer catching as the strobe stays still and does not waver or skip backwards (as it had done). There is just a gentle hum from the motor through the stethoscope with no clicks. Spin down is now 1min 30sec from 30sec. I am unsure what needed doing but a general strip and re-lube obviously helped things.

Now to leave for an hour or so at 78RPM and to listen periodically with the stethoscope. If all is good by tomorrow I can bolt on a cart and set it up for playing records again...

Tony L
11-06-08, 08:02 AM
It all looks to be in superb condition, even the felt washer looks good.

Tony.

Fox
11-06-08, 08:04 AM
Indeed! Its just maintenance so far and cosmetic detailing plinth/armboard. However something sorted out the click and the wavering speed though... I can flip between 78 and 33 RPM and it nails the speed every time.

UPDATE: the deck is still running spot on. I think that's the problem sorted. Various ratios of slip/oil were added to other parts of the mech. I've polished the drive wheel and the pully wheel (cleaning a lot of the belt off of it) with this last oil change and the deck is probably about as good as I can get it from a mechanical p.o.v.

Fox
12-06-08, 04:57 AM
Home stretch now...

The replacement drive belt arrived from Malvern Audio (dappletoft) on eBay and the visual difference is quite obvious. Much thicker and matte in finish, the original was probably like this once.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2572896132_10cc9c1314.jpg

It arrived safe and sound with today's post I so took out the old one and put in the new. First of all the replacement is very much thicker and its tighter -- I assume the other one has stretched over the years. Still it fitted without any problem and indeed has made no difference to the speed stability of the deck from a strobe point of view. I'll bag up and keep the old pulley belt with everything else just in case - you never know.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3186/2577645534_13c742d4d9.jpg

One final check of the idler wheel while adding a drop of lube to it reveals it to have no eccentricity and is, without compression (aka "wheel tread") at 79.74mm. I assume it is supposed to be about 80mm so definitely good enough for now.

So everything is ready...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/2572072081_60caeecb66.jpg

...except just one damn thing... It will be a few more weeks before the Koetsu cartridge is back from its own voyage of refurbishment and restoration so I shall be "slumming it" with a Denon DL103, I have been unfortunate with a couple of online orders falling through -- so in the end I ordered from the really nice people at Harrow Audio who will courier one up to me for just £2 extra. So courier willing I shall have vinyl sounds for the weekend! (Quick thumbs up for Richard BTW who was very knowledgeable and helpful).

So the deck is set up in expectation! I even bought a set of £25 digital scales which arrived today from Singapore (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/818-storehouse). I always used to set carts by ear but I'm getting too old for that now and for a Koetsu retip its probably good to nail the tracking force "just so"; and the Denon will benefit from such anal nerdery too. I even have a bag of extra stainless steel cartridge bolts -- just in case.

So, godspeed little DL103. Patrick's waiting!

Fox
13-06-08, 01:23 PM
She sings...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3016/2575444669_2d15552c32.jpg

(I tell you life is a *lot* easier with digital stylus scales...)

S'cuse me I have some listening to do...

Tony L
13-06-08, 01:28 PM
Excellent news - makes my Garrard progress look somewhat lethargic. So what does it sound like?

Tony.

Fox
13-06-08, 02:01 PM
like it was all worth it :D

jimb0
13-06-08, 02:05 PM
Niiice. Envious in the extreme.

Are those scales via ebay? Can you let me know the seller?

Ta,

Jim

Fox
13-06-08, 02:09 PM
click the word Singapore in my earlier post ? Thats his eBay store. A few left at £25 quid inc P&P then they go up to £30.

My oh my, its just like the old days. I see a record sea happening...

jimb0
13-06-08, 02:11 PM
D'oh. I am weak from lack of alchohol, that's my excuse.

Fox
13-06-08, 02:21 PM
There is a slight issue I will deal with later in that the mechanism for the upper platter lift is a bit shallow so I cannot use that mechanism yet -- it isn't high enough but that's just down to adjusting the spikes that raise it.

But right now its making me very very happy... gosh... wow...

Setting Son
14-06-08, 01:05 PM
Nice job, sir. Looks stunning.

JMP
15-06-08, 02:36 AM
Hi,

your 124 looks very nice. You've done a good restoration job. Congrats!
The upper platter lift is easily set up from underneath.

When funds allow, I would really advice you to try to demo the amagnetic platter from Schopper. This upgrade is really huge, especially when using MC carts.

I had the chance to demo one at home on my 124. We put it on, and this was the kind of upgrades that took about 10 sec to know that it will stay!!

Best
JM

Fox
15-06-08, 03:42 AM
Yep did the the platter lift mech last night. I am suspecting all the flipping it over required resetting which has probably never been done in its life before...

I am interested in the Schopper platter but dropping £900+ on a new platter is a bit much for me right now... There's also a CNC machined Brass platter (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3128/2580250376_95f4e6a801_o.jpg) out there I am seriously tempted with (seeing as the TD 124 was prototyped in Brass but moved to Iron for cost reasons and I can get it on Sale or Return).

So I'm selling one of my spare Aluminium platters first in order do a proper comparison. There is a fine line between restoration and alteration and that line is crossed with new platters. I don't want to be over egging the pudding.

Fox
15-06-08, 06:05 AM
Excellent news - makes my Garrard progress look somewhat lethargic. So what does it sound like?

Okay had some time to lisen carefully and let the dust settle. The DL103 is still fresh as a daisy and needs a solid week to get used to but in the meantime here are some thoughts.

Resisting the urge to stay in the safe havens of the BeBop and hard bop period where, frankly you have to really mess things up in order to sound bad... I've been playing a pile of my old Planet Dog records from the mid 90s; such as Banco De Gaia/HIA (not really Planet Dog but still part of the family)/Children of the Bong/Future Loop Foundation... they have aged very well. Also played the 45RPM cut of PiL's Metal Box opener "Albatross". The one thing they all haveion common is there is a really firm grip on the rhythmic aspects of the music (must get to some Afrobeat next -- Tony Allen/Fela & Femi Kuti etc). Nice to hear the tape spinning up on the hiss as the original PiL master is a bit loosely spliced.

Ok have been a bit HiFi nerdy and deliberately trying to catch the Thorens/Mørch/DL103 combo out with deep bass cuts and so far it has the doors and walls rattling with no flub and is actually more in control in the whole frequency spread as well as the Orbe does... especially when things get busy. Quite different presentation -- I do like both but when does the driver of an Jaguar E-type or Aston Martin DB5 care?

Re idler/quasi-idler vs belt drive I can't hear any rumble -- there's a little bit more groove wall noise but its a new cart and hardly noticed it unless I specifically listen for it. Very subtle.

It just goes to show with a deck designed circa 1955 what a little care and attention can get you. This is definitely a keeper. My deck. Reckon dad would have been proud.

JMP
15-06-08, 07:18 AM
This is definitely a keeper.

Yes this is what I think also. I have my 124 for a few years now, and always came back to it at the end. It is a superbly engineered and built turntable, and once setup, it will run for years.

I would still advice you to find a way to demo the schopper platter. I know it seems expensive as first sight but you can't imagine the improvement when using MC carts.
This platter has been designed by swiss people, with help from one engineer originally working at the Ste-Croix factory.

enjoy your 124 and enjoy music
Best
JM

Fox
30-06-08, 11:25 AM
In the meantime I have been trying the Iron Platter against the Ally one and I much prefer the Iron Platter. Its a lot more solid in the way everything sits in the room -- the only problem is 1. Its not mine and 2: The cartridge needs to be super light when the Iron Platter goes on so obviously the DL103 is being magnetically attracted/pulled towards the platter! What I particularly like is the Iron Platter has better timing than the Ally one, it makes the deck much more the paragon of Flat Earthism that people attribute to the Idler decks.

However the Brass platter (Manufactured by Primetime and sold through on/off HiFi in Germany (and on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Thorens-TD-124-Bronze-Messing-Teller-Ein-MUss_W0QQitemZ290241978376QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 290241978376&_trkparms=72%3A640|39%3A1|65%3A12&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14)) -- many many thanks to Marcus Sauer for being an interpreter) is interesting. It arrived today and I've been mostly playing with it and the Iron platter. Its as heavy as the iron one a lot heavier then the Ally one but its a helluva lot better made! The advent of CNC machining is probably a lot easier to get good tolerances these days and the end result -- after a very quick lash up to the bearing -- is a very different sound to the Ally one, more like the Iron Platter but more Bass and Treble detailing and a bit less peaky in the midrange... If you're used to the Ally deck then it may be a bit "airyer" as a result. Lots more bass detail and the top end is less "etched" than the Ally one. I hadn't noticed these apparent "ringing" effects until I tried an Iron platter. The Ally platter is a step back, but the Brass Platter seems to ameliorate all the worst bits of the Ally sound and get closer to the Iron Platter's tighter grip on everything, bass is a bit flubby in places.

Will report more in a bit as I am off tomorrow to get the bearing properly attached and balanced at a precision machine shop in Carlisle that does this for machinery and bearings and they were quite happy to do it for me in their lunch break.

In the meantime here's some platter porn:

http://www.on-off-hifi.de/bilder/shop/ZPH05680-2.jpg

http://www.on-off-hifi.de/bilder/shop/ZPH05680-3.jpg

http://www.on-off-hifi.de/bilder/shop/ZPH05680-4.jpg

This thing is *heavy*... Its a joy to look at -- a shame its covered by the upper platter.

I am almost at the point where I can stop messing with it now. Lash on the Koetsu Urushi when it arrives and hopefully say job done...

jimb0
30-06-08, 11:35 AM
Very steampunk!

Fox
30-06-08, 02:26 PM
Aye... a shame its covered up... Like the Sole upgrades people are having done to their LP12s, its all hidden from view!!!

Well there are some clear issues the Brass Platter to sort has but it sounds a lot better than the Iron and Ally platter so its a keeper. Surface noise is nonexistent and the Denon DL103 tracks a whole lot better but the groove wall noise is still there (not surprising considering the size and shape of the diamond in use). Speed stability is a lot more there it takes maybe half a second longer to come up to speed but that's no biggie and it never wavers.

The overall effect is its a much tighter and blacker sounding deck. Much better sense of start/stops, spaciousness and all that tosh as well, but its just... well... snappier... I was expecting a lot from this and I think for what it cost me it delivers about what I paid for it. Not a bargain but about right.

Some Banco de Gaia that used to track badly (Maia: Side 3, Lai Lah) are really very much happier and the needle stays in the groove. No shimmers or crackles around the voice samples with the subterranean bass. HIA as well... just transparent and all around me which I had not had for a long time. The grey patch in my vinyl is over.

The worst thing about it is actually functional: The strobe is not visible from the window at the front -- its set too far back!!! So I'll need a strobe platter and stroboscope to add to my TT toy basket.

Lots to listen to tonight but so far so good. Hopefully balancing it tomorrow will not change it too much (I'm only doing it for my paranoiac self and maybe keep the bearing wear to a minimum).

Tony L
30-06-08, 02:48 PM
That is a damn cool looking platter! Is the black rubber ring round the edge the way it contacts the top platter, i.e. not via the little pads of the normal platter?

Tony.

Fox
30-06-08, 03:40 PM
Yep its sort of clicks-into place so it's quite closely coupled to the platter and is very very snug fitting. Its exactly to the dimensions of the other platter relative to the arm and the well it sits in on the Chassis though. I didn't have to alter VTA which was nice.

Patrick Dixon
01-07-08, 01:47 AM
The worst thing about it is actually functional: The strobe is not visible from the window at the front -- its set too far back!!! So I'll need a strobe platter and stroboscope to add to my TT toy basket.

Don't be silly - if you can't set pitch by ear then clearly it doesn't matter.

You can take the Mana out of the man .....

Fox
01-07-08, 09:29 AM
I think I can sort the strobe issue by changing the angle of the mirror. It'll be nice to keep it integrated.

DSJR
03-07-08, 12:53 PM
Didn't you have to slide the mirror from 50 to 60Hz anyway?

God that thing looks cool. I always wanted one and compared to a NAS Hyperspace or Dias (where I suspect it'll be at when you've finished) it's still a heck of a bargain even after all the extras.......

Fox
03-07-08, 01:53 PM
Back from a pile of music -- the floor is awash with LPs... the living room is a mess again.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3059/2634769456_2c62d7aff5_b.jpg


I thought I needed to get the new CNC machined brass platter professionally balanced. That was what everyone told me when I separated the bearing from the cast aluminum platter it originally came with... There is even an often-used picture of a man balancing a Thorens cast platter which is trollied out every time people talk about separating the bearing from the original ally or iron platter and much fear is made if it.

http://www.soundfountain.com/amb/td124plattercentering.jpg

Well...

What was interesting was that after bolting the platter to the bearing and dropping it in place it measured perfectly. Stable on the bubble meter (good to a degree - not good enough) and also the sub platter was at exactly the same height as the old platter bar half a laser dot on my theodolite -- so within mil tolerances (possibly ok -- but don't count on it).

I brought it to a machine balancing company wot balances bearings and equipment for labs and measuring equipment -- and the occasional racing vehicle -- fully expecting my bolt-on job to be well off, the people balancing it said it was actually spot on due to a nice bit of machining... they showed me the bearing mount surface had extra machining with a different feel to the surface which was probably done on a different and more calibrated lathe (all things I had not considered) The whole platter itself was nicely balanced which some castings are not quite so good at... or so I was told...

So, done by hand, I can only hazard a guess the standard of the brass platter surface is as good as the bearing it is mounted to as it needed no alteration whatsoever.

(And with the lid on again... back to listening to music...)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3273/2633949281_3795fcdf3d.jpg

Fox
04-07-08, 03:59 AM
Finishing touches now.

I had a chromed heavy counterweight from my older Mørch tonearm but a Gold Tonearm with only the medium and lightweight counterweights for the new onw. The obvious solution was to get the the counterweight gold plated. Done for me for £30 via Johnny7 at AudioOrigami; The finish is absolutely superb. The match with the other weights is OK. Good but not spot on (this I was warned of when pricing a replacement from Mørch that replacement/newer counterweight will never match an older arm as they are personally matched by eye), also as it will spend its entire life at the back end behind a unipivot shaft I think it'll be more than fine. As a chrome weight on a gold arm it looked well odd!

So thanks J7!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3127/2635439115_2309ba299f_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3143/2635437099_2baf465239_b.jpg

All that remains now is the Koetsu Urushi retip estimate back from ESco. Still no sign and its been quite a bit more than 7 days for the promised report!

starbuck
04-07-08, 05:26 AM
j7 did a very nice job on the weight - looks superb, and I may have to drop him a line about gold plating an arm wand if I can ever source a 12" one for my DP6.

Re. ESco, I waited 4 weeks for an estimate, and am now 4 weeks beyond that waiting for the work to be done - I think they must be very busy!

DSJR
04-07-08, 03:45 PM
Does that Morch have Mayware/Nima bits on the bearing housing? I think we need to be told as noone else used perspex in that area......

Tony L
04-07-08, 04:03 PM
Does that Morch have Mayware/Nima bits on the bearing housing? I think we need to be told as noone else used perspex in that area......

That's nothing new, Mayware used perspex back in the 70s with some variants of the Formula 4!

Tony.

Fox
04-07-08, 04:06 PM
I think the Morch UP4 owes a lot conceptually to the Mayware IV but there are enough differences to make it stand on its own. The swappable arm wand arrangement of the Mørch is very different (although apparently identical diameter tubes). The standard Mørch tries to be invisible to the cart by having no headshell with minimal connection to the cart and a specific resonance range of (Blue Red Yellow dot) tubes to suit your cart best. The Nima is even less similar than the Mayware -- they do look superficially similar but the devil is in the details.

If anyone had worries about the wibbly wobblyness of the Aro and trashing an Übercart, the Mørch is slimmer and lighter still and quite possibly even more wibbly wobbly!

Tony L
06-12-08, 03:31 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3244/3085935029_ac6239e64b_o.jpg

I got one too!

Tony.

London Lad
06-12-08, 03:33 AM
Those turntables have just got that certain indefinable 'something' about them!

Fox
06-12-08, 03:44 AM
oooooh!

I also love them in Black.

How does Hank's Soul Station sound on it then?

spet0114
06-12-08, 04:12 AM
I got one too!

Tony.

Darn it, that's one sexy TT......:)

Tony L
06-12-08, 04:40 AM
How does Hank's Soul Station sound on it then?

It will be quite a while before I find out as I need to do some restoration first. The 3009 is just resting on the armboard - I need to order some little screws from SME. As it stands the 124 slowly gets up to speed and seems stable and quiet as is, and I've already stripped, cleaned & re-lubed the main bearing (which is in immaculate condition), but I want to replace the motor cap, motor suspension, belt and crack the motor open and re-lube the bearings as you have done before going much further. I've just bought it some Christmas presents from Schopper to do this. It's in lovely unmolested condition, I don't think anything has ever been done to it as all the screws look immaculate. I plan to restore it only for the time being, i.e. just get it as close to factory fresh as I possibly can.

I've also got a MkI too, it's not in as nice condition (say VG+, the MkII is a very strong EX bordering on NM), so I can easily compare the alloy and iron platters which will be interesting.

Tony.

jimb0
06-12-08, 04:40 AM
Fox - is yours going through an ADC setup of some sort?

Tony - _very_ nice TT. You have an awesome selection of classic tables now... I like the compactness of the Thorens, what is the going rate for a minter?

Fox
06-12-08, 04:43 AM
Yep. Sounds great this way.

Tony L
06-12-08, 05:03 AM
Tony - _very_ nice TT. You have an awesome selection of classic tables now... I like the compactness of the Thorens, what is the going rate for a minter?

I paid £445 for the deck & armboard (the recent German Stereo-Lab plinth came with the MkI). I felt £445 was a damn good price, there's a couple going through eBay now so it will be interesting to see what the market says, though neither looks as good as this one.

I've bought it as an investment as much as as out of curiosity as what little savings I have in the building society are just losing value now (e.g. interest rates lower than inflation / pound tanking against most major currencies). It might be time to buy a nice guitar or bass too... I've always fancied a 4001...

Tony.

PS the alloy platter has two rows of strobe dots, one is obviously 33.3 / 50Hz, what's the other one? Mine seems stable on 33, but I can't seem to get anything on 45 if that's what the other row is meant to be. I haven't found a MkII manual yet and the platter strobe markings are different between the iron and alloy platters (iron has 4 rows).

spet0114
06-12-08, 07:12 AM
33.3 at 60Hz ?

jimb0
06-12-08, 07:33 AM
There is a tidy looking TD124 mk2 on the bay right now for £695 BIN.

Fox - not wanting to threadjack but have discussed your system set up with ADC elsewhere? I have been mulling a similar idea for a while but figurd that it was the sort of set up that would have the average PFMer in convulsions at the mere thought...

Jim

Tony L
06-12-08, 07:55 AM
There is a tidy looking TD124 mk2 on the bay right now for £695 BIN.

It will be interesting to see if he gets it - condition wise it looks similar to mine. You have to look exceptionally closely at mine to see anything wrong with it, a couple of really light hairlines on the paint, but nothing close to going through to the metal and a little 'crazing' under the platter by the main bearing where I assume a long distant oil spill must have reacted slightly with the paint. I suspect I was the first to have a peep under there for decades as it was utterly filthy!

There seem to be a surprising number of 124/IIs coming to the surface at the moment, that's three on eBay UK at the moment. A disproportionately high number considering how rare the thing is - Thorens only made the II for three years, i.e. there are far less IIs than the original out there.

I'm looking forward to getting mine up and running. I really need to really work on the drive mechanism as it's remarkably low torque at the moment so something is obviously dirty / slipping / gunked up somewhere - it takes ages to reach speed and doesn't take much to slow it down again. I'll wait until my parts arrive before doing anything.

Tony.

The Captain
06-12-08, 08:46 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3273/2633949281_3795fcdf3d.jpg

I missed this tread. fox that is a thing of beauty indeed. Id be surprised if there's a finer tt in the country, if not..

so did we get to read, finally, how yr snazzy jap cart sounds with it?

Robert
06-12-08, 09:00 AM
It will be interesting to see if he gets it - condition wise it looks similar to mine. You have to look exceptionally closely at mine to see anything wrong with it, a couple of really light hairlines on the paint, but nothing close to going through to the metal and a little 'crazing' under the platter by the main bearing where I assume a long distant oil spill must have reacted slightly with the paint. I suspect I was the first to have a peep under there for decades as it was utterly filthy!



I had the pleasure of seeing this deck last week and it is a stunner.
Loved the looks and engineering and I'm looking forward to hearing it once fully fettled.

Tenson
06-12-08, 09:44 AM
I tend to think most turntables are ugly but I really like that, Tony. Especially Fox's with the wood!!

Fox
06-12-08, 09:48 AM
So did we get to read, finally, how yr snazzy jap cart sounds with it?

i'm saving myself for the cart for the new year... Dec>Feb are deep dark months and I get a LOT of listening done then. But so far very happy with the DL103

jimb0
06-12-08, 10:50 AM
The DL103 is excellent - having put one on my Technics I have lost any interest in further tweakage.

P.S Oooo (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VINTAGE-RARE-THORENS-TD-224-MASTERPIECE-TURNTABLE_W0QQitemZ120341115856QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables?has h=item120341115856&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1300|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A13 18) - buy it Tony!

Tony L
06-12-08, 11:16 AM
The DL103 is excellent - having put one on my Technics I have lost any interest in further tweakage.

P.S Oooo (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VINTAGE-RARE-THORENS-TD-224-MASTERPIECE-TURNTABLE_W0QQitemZ120341115856QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables?has h=item120341115856&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1300|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A13 18) - buy it Tony!

I was just looking at that! It is just bewilderingly complex, to the point I can't figure out how it works at all. I suspect the winning bidder will have some fun restoring it to a working condition. It looks to be all there though, but the idlers both seem shot... and as to why it has two of the things is anyone's guess! Here's (http://www.myvintagetv.com/thorens_td224.htm) a site with a vid of a TD-224 doing what only a TD-224 can do.

Tony.

Borellus
06-12-08, 11:54 AM
i'm saving myself for the cart for the new year... Dec>Feb are deep dark months and I get a LOT of listening done then. But so far very happy with the DL103

Resolve crumbling already Fox? I thought this cart was supposed to be an investment :D

Please post thoughts and TT pron piccies if you do set up the Koetsu, your TT setup and the Koetsu are a mouthwatering proposition. I bet the Koetsu will have you spending even more of your hard earned on the black stuff, you may want to buy another flight case.....

Fox
06-12-08, 12:00 PM
Oh completely. It crumbles daily when I look at its little box (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3193/2565351646_9d9e430635_b.jpg) on the bookcase next to the TT. My cold icy heart melts when I stroke it, caress it... its my precioussssss. Minsesssss!

But if you want teh pron, here's some I made when it arrived sans needle...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3115/2564526241_0f7a50f78c_b.jpg

Borellus
06-12-08, 12:07 PM
Ah but now your being a tease, I want something more hard core for the "discerning gentleman" full on Thorens on Morch on Koetsu pron....

Tony L
10-12-08, 03:30 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3285/3096979261_15ae7c1b51_o.jpg

Some progress. I did the complete motor strip, clean and relube last night, I'm just leaving it running for an hour or two now. All seems quiet and fairly cool running.

I managed to do the motor strip-down with the deck flipped over without actually desoldering the complex nest of wires, I just gently moving the frame and coils thingy out of the way whilst I drilled out the rivets on the top bearing. It all went remarkably smoothly and I had just the right size bolts & nuts knocking about too. The felt washers were in decent condition and cleaned up well in some thinners.

I ended up soaking the bushes in thinners for a couple of hours then deep-frying them in a wok of 80W GL-4 oil for 15 minutes as my oven appears to have broken so I couldn't heat them in that. I just followed this general oilite bearing advice:

Re-oiling:after machining of the bearing, or following oil loss during storage, immerse in high quality mineral oil to ISOVG 60 or ISO VG 150 (SAE30 or SAE40) at 80°C to 100°C for 10 to 15 minutes and then cool in cold oil. (source (http://www.ondrives.com/pdf/bearings/oilites_Tech.pdf))

I'm waiting for my Schopper order before fully rebuilding as I'll swap out the rubber motor mounts, belt and most importantly the dubious looking cap. I actually have an upturned biscuit tin lid under the plinth to catch anything it might leak whilst it's running now!

Tony.

The Captain
10-12-08, 04:47 AM
deep frying your washers in a wok! Id love t'have seen the look on the missus face.. :rolleyes:

'I'm.. erm.. shallow frying bits of my record-player'.

'of course you are dear'.

Tony L
10-12-08, 05:17 AM
Unsurprisingly perhaps there is no 'missus'. I also have no idea how long the oven has been broken, it could be years!

Tony.

jimb0
10-12-08, 05:29 AM
Presumably it didn't survive your last bake-off.

/shoots self

audiogoose
10-12-08, 10:56 AM
Tony:
Just got up to date on this thread. I have a 124 II that I restored a couple of years back and use it almost on a daily basis.
A quick question: How much belt noise do you get? I can't seem to get rid of that last trace of noise that I hear with my ear next to the table. It improves a lot when I put a little talc on the belt, but this seems to wear off fairly quickly and the noise returns. Some days, it seems a little louder than others. Go figure. I have always assumed the noise can't be helped, but thought I would ask here for some other opinions.
Overall, my TT comes up to speed (from cold) within one revolution of the platter and is actually about 1% fast for at least 30 minutes, before settling down and being spot on. At turn off, runout is between 3 and 3.5 minutes, depending on ambient temperature. I use a teflon thrust plate at present.
Thanks for any insight.
Jerry

Tony L
10-12-08, 11:55 AM
I'm getting very little noise indeed from the motor, belt or stepped pulley, but the idler itself makes some noise on it's bearing - I'm basing this on running with the platter off. It is noticeably quieter running if you hold the idler away from the step-pulley. I'm waiting for my order to arrive from Schopper (motor grommets, belt, capacitor) before finally rebuilding it, so I've no idea about stability / start up time yet. I think I've done a decent job with rebuilding the motor, it is certainly no noisier than either the Lenco or 301, so I assume I'm in the ballpark. It also runs cooler than both of those.

Tony.

PS on yours how much noise translates to rumble? That's the only thing that matters, i.e. what comes out of the speakers. Have you got the iron or alloy platter?

audiogoose
10-12-08, 01:14 PM
I have the alloy platter, as well as the new grey cast platter that Schopper offers (a little less surface noise).
I don't think it's the idler that is making the noise, because when I pull it away from the stepped pulley, there is no change in the sound.
However, applying the talc will reduce it significantly. I think I may try a new belt to see if that makes a difference. The one I have is 4 years old now. I don't seem to note any rumble, so maybe my expectations are just too high for a table this old.
Bottom line is it sounds fantastic. I once owned a Clearaudio Master Reference (mucho expensive) and the 124 sounds at least as good, for much less outlay.
Jerry

markse
10-12-08, 02:24 PM
Hi Audiogoose, my TD124 MKII is also suffering from belt noise at the moment and I think I am hearing it as increased noise in the silent bits between tracks. What I have noticed is that if I reduce the eddy current braking the noise reduces (with my ear to the turntable) but of course the platter spins too fast. This makes me think it may be that the motor pulley is slightly out of line or plane with the stepped pulley, causing the belt to creep a bit with the added strain of the brake. I can get rid of the noise by using a variac to control the speed rather than the brake but I'm not sure that's such a good idea as the motor looses torque which must affect dynamics, and the neon strobe lamp dims too much. My belt is a quite new Schopper item so should be of good quality but it is quite tight. I also suffered occasionally from the stepped pulley lifting up out of its bearing and rubbing against the little metal finger above it but managed to minimise that by careful alignment of the motor pulley height. I never had that problem with the old belt so think maybe the belt is too tight and stressing things a bit too much- maybe its really for the 60Hz pulley. I need to have a go at stretching it a bit to see if that helps. Actually I think I will write Schopper an email...

Mark

Tony L
10-12-08, 02:33 PM
Ok, I couldn't resist... I've flung it together, plonked it into system #2 and played some Coltrane on it! It now gets up to speed within one revolution (a fricking huge improvement!) and sounds lovely. The drive system makes very little noise that is audible now the platter is in place, just a slight whirring, and no worse than either the 301 or L70, I can't hear any rumble coming through the Heresys plus it is electrically silent (no hum / buzz). Speed seems stable, but it needs the eddy-current brake on full as it wants to go faster, I guess I may end up moving the magnet slightly, but I'll wait until I've tried it with the new belt. Anyway it sounds bloody good! Solid, sure footed and generally substantial. It will be interesting to try it through the main system at some point as my DV phono stage is obviously massively superior to the one built into the PM7200. I'm very happy with it indeed.

I'm surprised you report little difference with the stunningly beautiful Schopper platter, I understood that was meant to be a decent sonic upgrade. I plan to try both the alloy platter and the iron one from the MkI as word on the street seems to be it's better sounding than the alloy one, assuming your cart doesn't stick to it! I'm using a MM (Pickering XV15/625E) so no problem there for the time being, and given that the arm is a 3009 S2 Imp I doubt it will see an MC in the forceable future.

Tony.

Tony L
10-12-08, 02:40 PM
PS Not impressed with the description of the Schopper belt! I hope mine's better! I was certainly expecting an improvement from a tired 41 year old belt, but by saying that it seems to work perfectly as is.

audiogoose
10-12-08, 03:03 PM
I had one belt prior to the one I am using now that I bought off "eBay" from a seller advertising it as equal to the OEM one for the 124.
When I installed it, it was much too tight. Everything was much noisier than what I have now. I think it's really very important to get the right size belt. Too tight pulls the stepped pulley against the side of its bearing well causing a metal-on-metal rubbing sound which can't be good IME.
Too loose, and either the belt falls off at start-up, or you get a slapping sound, which is what I think I may have just a little of. I'm just not sure. It just seems that without the talc, the belt doesn't quite grip the motor pulley and stepped pulley quite tightly enough. So, I may try a new belt.
Tony:
The new Schopper platter has been on my table the last 2 years and I never went back to the old alloy one to see what would be missing. I definitely think there are blacker backgrounds and, as a result, a little more detail. I also think dynamics are improved, but I can't say for sure. Not a night and day difference to me, that's for sure. It sure is better looking. Too bad it can't be seen during operation.

Fox
11-12-08, 05:14 AM
The OEM ebay belts will loosen fairly quickly with use. The 124 gets quite hot under the hood with that motor and I found the slightly tight band loosens up after a day or so of use. I'd love to compare the Schopper Platter with the Brass one (likewise with the not seeing it in operation, bit)... In truth I can't be arsed tearing mine apart any more. I do know its a seriously good sound and was better than with the alloy platter and no desire to go back.

I think I have less surface noise than the Orbe, no rumble that I can hear.

Tony L
11-12-08, 07:05 AM
My Schopper order arrived today. I've now fitted the new capacitor (old one was truly yucky), replaced the motor suspension grommets and belt. The Schopper belt measured just over 16cm flat, i.e. 32cm circumference, which is apparently within range. I remember reading something from Joel Bontreux (an ex-Thorens employee who sells spares) that the range is 320-340mm for a good 50Hz belt. The Schopper belt was about 8mm shorter than the one I took off and certainly didn't feel crazy-tight at all. I'm letting the deck run for a couple of hours to settle down, it seems to be running fine, though being honest I think it was mechanically a little quieter before I started today's fiddling – I suspect the belt just needs to bed in a bit. Anyway it turns Blue Notes nicely:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3260/3099593923_77875d216a_o.jpg

I suspect this is the job done as my aim was only to clean and service it, no more.

I now need to think long and hard about a course of action for the less tidy early MkI I also bought…

Tony.

audiogoose
11-12-08, 08:49 AM
If it sounds as good as it looks, it's one fine turntable.
Enjoy.

John P
11-12-08, 08:52 AM
Tony, that looks lovely. A fine piece of audio engineering.

hifi_dave
11-12-08, 09:54 AM
Tony, that looks the biz. Is it going to take over from the 301 ?

Tony L
11-12-08, 11:02 AM
Tony, that looks the biz. Is it going to take over from the 301 ?

No, physical size dictates it will stay in system #2 (PM7200 / Heresy) as it fits on the wall-shelf whereas the 301 is way, way too big! I have no idea which is ultimately the better deck, though the 301 obviously has the better arm & cart so would win any comparative dem. The 124 makes for an excellent vinyl grading / evaluation deck, so will get a fair bit of use. The SME 3009 / Pickering combo being a far better tool in this respect than the elderly L70 / M3d which preceded it (that had such a big, ballsy sound that it was almost completely oblivious to surface noise, the Pickering is far more typical of a modern mid-range cart plus tracks at less than half the weight!). I'm delighted with both decks - this 124 appearing is entirely independent of the 301, I never looked at it as a replacement. One can't have too many vintage decks!

Tony.

John Caswell
12-12-08, 01:52 AM
Hi all,
For those interested
UKD are the Thorens UK distributors and normally have a good stock of brand new Thorens TD124 and TD150/125/160 drive belts.

John Caswell

UKD - Nick Green
01753 652 669
info@ukd.co.uk

Based in Iver near Heathrow

Jonathan Ribee
27-01-09, 06:28 PM
i'm saving myself for the cart for the new year... Dec>Feb are deep dark months and I get a LOT of listening done then. But so far very happy with the DL103

fox

We're in the deep and dark bits - have you tried it yet dude?

Jonathan

Borellus
28-01-09, 01:19 PM
Oh completely. It crumbles daily when I look at its little box (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3193/2565351646_9d9e430635_b.jpg) on the bookcase next to the TT. My cold icy heart melts when I stroke it, caress it... its my precioussssss. Minsesssss!

But if you want teh pron, here's some I made when it arrived sans needle...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3115/2564526241_0f7a50f78c_b.jpg

Can't you hear it calling to it's master? It's waited so long to return to Mordor "One cart to rule them all and in the BlueNote bind them ..."

:D

aquapiranha
28-01-09, 01:59 PM
Tony, absolutely stunning! what a fantastic job!

Tony L
28-01-09, 03:06 PM
Tony, absolutely stunning! what a fantastic job!

Thanks, I'm really pleased with it. I'll try and take a better pic of it at some point, that one was from a very dull day so I pushed it quite hard in Photoshop and then over-sharpened it, so it looks more than a bit unnatural. The deck actually looks a lot better in real life.

I've still not got round to trying it in the main system yet so I've no idea what it really sounds like, i.e. through a really good phono stage, but it's certainly a nice tool for record grading. I quite often spin vinyl on it. I'll play a whole side when I was really only intending to check a tiny mark or whatever, and then end up flinging a few more on. It's a pleasure to use, a reassuringly firm 'clunk' when you turn it on and the clutch that stops the platter is just great for 45s. They really thought this one through: 4 speeds, built in adapter for 'dinked' 45s, clutch, spirit level etc. A proper record player; a genuinely useful and unpretentious tool for playing records.

Tony.

aquapiranha
28-01-09, 03:53 PM
Well Tony, should you ever decide to sell that deck, you will have a queue longer than that at the launch of the iPhone!

Tony L
29-01-09, 06:18 AM
Well Tony, should you ever decide to sell that deck, you will have a queue longer than that at the launch of the iPhone!

Excellent, not that I plan to sell this one. The light was a bit better today, the sun even came out for a few minutes so I took a couple more pics:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3382/3235784755_cb16658895_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3134/3236629740_5f30c42cd6_o.jpg

Both are pretty accurate with minimal post-processing.

I’ve not introduced my TD-124 MkI to the world yet:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3301/3235806997_5a36e5eaa4_o.jpg

It’s just sitting minding it’s own business upstairs in the record shop for the moment. I can’t decide what to do with it, so I’ve so far done nothing. It’s in decent, though not mint, shape, the fragile top platter has been dropped at some point in it’s 50 year life, it’s not bad, just has a maybe 0.5mm ‘ripple’ in the reflection when it’s rotating, i.e. the rim is not perfect. It’s flat though and the clutch engages / lifts it neatly. There are also a couple of scratches / wear marks on the chassis around the clutch mech. I’d grade it as a VG++ I guess, certainly better than many. Mechanically it’s fine, the main bearing had already been fully restored by ex-Thorens employee and all round 124 guru Joel Boutreux, the plastic inner bushings replaced with bronze (it's a very early MkI). The motor looks ok, I’ll fully strip and clean it at some point. Otherwise it’s a few detail bits, i.e. replacing a few screws with neater ones, replacing the start-up capacitor etc. Either that or just flip it as is on eBay whilst the pound is so low, I really can’t decide.

Tony.

Fox
29-01-09, 06:26 AM
fox
We're in the deep and dark bits - have you tried it yet dude?


Nope not yet. :-D

Tony, just keep it if you are not hurting for the cash right now. These Thorens decks don't seem to be affected by the vagaries of "fashionable hifi" so it will probably appreciate over time. They are such solid, well made beasts and, like you say have that ability to keep you on whole sides at a time... for more hours than you had planned.

bob
29-01-09, 07:02 AM
Thats a beautiful deck you have on the wall bracket Tony, the other one isn't too shabby either lol. What cart is in the finished one? Looks like a Stanton or even a Pickering, if it is that's proper retro hifi.

Ronnie

Tony L
29-01-09, 07:15 AM
Tony, just keep it if you are not hurting for the cash right now. These Thorens decks don't seem to be affected by the vagaries of "fashionable hifi" so it will probably appreciate over time. They are such solid, well made beasts and, like you say have that ability to keep you on whole sides at a time... for more hours than you had planned.

I suspect that's the plan. I just don't need the cash at present so I'll probably just box it up and forget about it along with my two L70s. I'm tempted to try the cast iron sub platter on the MkII though.

Thats a beautiful deck you have on the wall bracket Tony, the other one isn't too shabby either lol. What cart is in the finished one? Looks like a Stanton or even a Pickering, if it is that's proper retro hifi.

It's a Pickering XV15/625E, there's a chap on eBay banging them out NOS for 69 quid with three styluses. It's a perfect match with the 3009 S2 Improved so makes sense. Obviously the deck would take a hugely better arm cart combo, as Fox has done with his, but it's fine for my purpose. I have a very nice 301 in the other room with a M2-10 / AT33PTG for serious listening.

Tony.

Fox
29-01-09, 08:48 AM
Well, one reason why I do not want to move away from the Denon 103 is that at present it ticks all my boxes so while I have a lovely piece of Teh Japanese Uberness waiting, I'm not rushing myself to change a thing -- it may topple the whole house of cards and start what we in the know call "Doing a Jonathan" which involves a perfectly rational and justifiable need for Step Up Traffos, more expensive Phono Stages using Valves and then a Preamp would be needed! Then I could end up completely changing everything, getting back into racks, fabricating Phase 11 stacks of Manalike under everything, ditching the ATCs and getting a pair 300B SETs and Quads -- and I am just not ready for that!

Jonathan Ribee
29-01-09, 09:45 AM
Yeah, OK, OK - one thing just led to another <sniff>, I can give up any time, honest.

Fox
01-02-09, 07:02 PM
Well, you bastard, the full "Doing a Jonathan" just happened... to me... just now... So the Koetsu Urushi goes in in a bit...

Jeez.

Might get a swanky new plinth now as well (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260352769224&indexURL=3&photoDisplayType=2#ebayphotohosting).

http://i.ebayimg.com/24/!BLeQJ8gBGk~$(KGrHgoOKj8EjlLmVnm)BJfee-!K-!~~_3.JPG

Richard Clayderman is where it's at! The most prestigious!

artist
02-02-09, 12:43 AM
Iknew it would happen when you got the koetsu

Jonathan Ribee
02-02-09, 02:44 AM
Flash phoenix uber-deck, flash Koetsu, removing all digital (by the looks of it)

fox - you are my hero. I may have to play Penelope Pitstop to your Mutley.

Fox
02-02-09, 03:06 AM
Yup. Strickly old skool.

Before: Phono>ADC>DAC>ATCs
After: Phono>TVC>ATCs

That's as minimal as I can go. Teh Pr0n follows when all settled.

jimb0
02-02-09, 07:02 AM
That could only get more prestigious with a Sarah Brightman disc spinning atop.

fox is definitely analogue hero of the month. Next logical move = dansette.

Jonathan Ribee
02-02-09, 07:37 AM
I reckon he'll form a skiffle group.

Fox
02-02-09, 08:58 AM
*coff* *splutter* a band I was helping out with had a bit of a "shred" moment -- and when it goes horribly horribly wrong (as it did -- just for a bit) Jazz/Punk/Improv smells just like teen amplified skiffle...

Here's Metallica played on a Ukelele (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=b4V1WQ6Nisg). I could never be as cool as this guy.

jimb0
02-02-09, 10:26 AM
We all need more ukulele in our lives.

Fox
20-02-09, 01:06 PM
WHERE IS MY ****ING URUSHI!
(sorry I'm getting a bit impatient now it's been paid for...)

[time passes... time bloody passes...]

Markus S
20-02-09, 01:11 PM
IT'S WITH ESCO!

Fox
20-02-09, 02:14 PM
but I wantssss it. It's my preciousssss!

artist
20-02-09, 02:36 PM
Have you contacted them

jimb0
20-02-09, 02:58 PM
Group hug! It will all work out... Won't it?

Fox
20-02-09, 03:13 PM
I have visions of me calling them up just as mr hodgson is sticking the diamond in place and the phone going off and politely saying "oh bugger" before picking up the phone. "Ah another few weeks, we just tried as sir called and interrupted.... No I'm afraid not sir... we will have to send another lad off to the mines..."

These men are artisans... Even a jedi must work on his patience sometimes...

Tony L
20-02-09, 03:25 PM
I assume for a cartridge that beautiful and luxurious one would start with a diamond the size of an egg and gently file and polish it down until it is absolutely perfect.

Tony.

John
20-02-09, 03:32 PM
That reminds me I should send my other cartridge off to them to get it rebuilt, I dread the day I have an accident with my current cartridge and have no backup that's ready to go. Anyone know what the current rate is for a rebuild? Perhaps I can take advantage of the current exchange rate.

Borellus
20-02-09, 06:47 PM
Fox,

have you not seen Jurassic Park?

Esco need to capture a diamond that contains a mosquito present at the recording of KOB which dined on the exquisite blood of Miles himself, mid performance, nothing less is worthy of your koetsu, such things take time...

Fox
21-02-09, 05:36 AM
Dude this is an Urushi. For that I want Coltrane, not Miles as it would then come with built-in bub-teeth-grinding additives -- sauce first as the music is extracted from the grooves.

Miles' blood would be for something like a Jade or Onyx, Monk and Parker would be for a Rosewood. Mingus would be a tough one...

jimb0
21-02-09, 06:09 AM
Schitt, Mingus would be a DL103 made of EBONY by Charles himself when he INVENTED stereograms.

Fox
21-02-09, 06:13 AM
chaps I think we have managed to translate the Chuck Norris joke into Audio Nerd-speak.

jimb0
26-02-09, 03:07 AM
Can haz Urushi?

I notice Koetsu actually have a cart hewn from Jade, how fecking Indiana Jones is THAT?

http://www.audio-markt.de/images/neuheiten/news1079.jpg

Fox
26-02-09, 03:20 AM
They also make one from Coralstone (http://www.lptunes.com/v/vspfiles/photos/KOETSUCORALST-2.jpg) for the bargain price of $15,000.00. I'm waiting on one from fossilized wooly mammoth tusk.

Ok. I snapped and risked sending another boy into the mines and called ESco yesterday. The Urushi will be with me next week. Offishul.

Putting out the feelers for another smashed up cheap Koetsu (possibly a Black) to get rebuilt as a stand in for when the Urushi eventually needs to go off for a retip. This photo is of an old Black that I had retipped but which refused to hold the tip, eventually I swapped it for a Koetsu Onyx, that was bested in personal tastes by a Benz MO9 -- close call, Benz did some things better than rthe Onyx, but the Onyx had a way of haunting me after it had gone that the Benz did not have when it was gone.

I'm such a sap.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3401/3310583995_e98590927d_b.jpg

Markus S
26-02-09, 03:28 AM
If you have too much money, you could engage in a bit of oneupmanship and get a Benz LP-S. Supposed to be the bee's knees.

Fox
26-02-09, 03:39 AM
It lacks the mystique of the solitary enlightened Japanese Sensei (Sugano San -- if you please) hand-winding his coils and Urushi lacquering my prescious between calligraphy and pottery and kicking the crap out of 20 ninja assassins whom have entered his mountain compound to come and steal his secrets. ESco are like anthropological artisans catching brief glimpses of the great master's work and restore his creations for shadowy owners in far flung secret bases planning world domination.

ahem...

"For too long 'Mister Bond' I have made do with a Denon DL103, but with the final piece of the jigsaw that you so conveniently delivered into my hands, I can now place this Koetsu diamond into my prototype laser that will simultaneously shoot down every military satellite orbiting the planet and finally rid me of that annoying Fapping sound on Plastikman's Acid house remix of System 7's AlphaWave." Ha Ha... Mwah Hah Ha. Ha Ha Ha. [stops to stroke pussy].

Plus, on a Thorens can there be too much Swissness? I do believe there can...

jimb0
26-02-09, 03:42 AM
Yes, you should seek out some sort of Aztec cartridge if possible.

stevec67
26-02-09, 01:48 PM
Yes, you should seek out some sort of Aztec cartridge if possible.

Are they the ones that are hewn from solid rock, with such precision that no cement or glue is required? Now *that* would be good. Also do they last 2000 years and require blessing with the sacrificial blood of 13 virgins?

Jonathan Ribee
26-02-09, 05:44 PM
Yeah - but they stop working in 2012.

Fox
26-02-09, 05:55 PM
Imagine all the cocoa I'd have to drink!

gortnipper
26-02-09, 08:29 PM
"For too long 'Mister Bond' I have made do with a Denon DL103, but with the final piece of the jigsaw that you so conveniently delivered into my hands, I can now place this Koetsu diamond into my prototype laser that will simultaneously shoot down every military satellite orbiting the planet and finally rid me of that annoying Fapping sound on Plastikman's Acid house remix of System 7's AlphaWave." Ha Ha... Mwah Hah Ha. Ha Ha Ha. [stops to stroke pussy].


I went to NASA to do some work once, I want one hewn from the Moon rocks that I held.

That and a modern Holly Goodhead to enjoy with my single malt.

jimb0
27-02-09, 01:04 AM
They should make a cart from a hollowed out diamond filled with printer ink THE MOST EXPENSIVE LIQUID KNOWN TO MAN!

I shall now take my meds and stolidly await further pr0n.

Fox
31-03-09, 04:40 AM
Well, the Urushi arrived. Along with enough putty to last me until it needs to go back for a retip.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3642/3400693675_2b09f4bc86.jpg

I won't be able to hook it up for quite some time as I am not home for a few months (possibly as late as June), but its done and dusted and here with me. Enough time to get a Morch blue dot precision armwand ordered and delivered.

Pete MB&D
31-03-09, 05:25 AM
Hi, Fox

Mamoth tusk green
http://www.dick.biz/dick/product/831092/detail.jsf
or brown
http://www.dick.biz/dick/product/831091/detail.jsf


Pete

Fox
31-03-09, 05:48 AM
that'll work! Now all I need to do is see if I can find a supplier of DL103s and whip up a foo foo storm...

Borellus
01-04-09, 11:03 AM
Fox,

I look forward to some pron and comments once the Morch and koetsu are set up. Plenty of time for you to ponder the most appropriate BlueNote for the occasion...

Fox
11-04-09, 12:48 PM
First batch of Pr0n

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3603/3431592023_25a160f9dc_b.jpg

I am breaking with tradition.... the LP is Keith Hudson Playing it Cool - an old skool Reggae Dancehall/Dub mashup. 8 track recorded Jamaican 70s LP.

London Lad
11-04-09, 12:49 PM
Oowww!

Jonathan Ribee
14-04-09, 08:14 AM
So - - what do you think then? (and more porn please)

martin clark
14-04-09, 08:32 AM
Nice pic

the LP is Keith Hudson Playing it Cool And how is that going down..?

Fox
14-04-09, 09:35 AM
The hudson? It's yet another fine acquisition from soho's vinyl junkies...i.e. one cannot go wrong when the usual guy is serving in the store. Been reissued by the Basic Channel peeps on their reissues label. A fine lp with some hilariously bad splices into the dub versions and in many was as bonkers and far reaching as lee scratch perry. Not as well known, but he deserved his reputation as "the dark magus of dub".

The Urushi?

Moar pr0n following. Its hard to unravel personal feelings from the actual, but after a few days of solid listening, this Urushi retip is still a lovely cart. So far ahead of streaming audio and previous vinyl setups I'm laughing. It's a lot more refined and detailed than the other good carts I've owned like the Benz M09 and a lot more honest than the. Koetsu Onyx both I've heard through my ATCs but only this and the DL103 through the NVA Phono2. Its cool and matter of fact where the Denon was rather more aggressive and blunt.

I like playing loads of different styles close together so I like a good all rounder. Like the 103 It seems to play everything just right but it makes less of a meal of everything, everything is placed just so in the field of listening. The 103 was always a bit indistinct in its lefty-rightedness and quite challenged in front-to-backness.. Bits behind the bits details are so simple to unravel now. Guitar picking on an old Elvis Costello LP really shine through like never before.

The Denon DL103 packs above its weight fer sure, but its pretty lightweight compared to this. I love the way it makes everything I listen to sound different. Tracks like a beaut. Every LP has a different fundamental sound to it but all the usually wheeled-out Koetsu traits apply here. A smoother then exprected top-end and a solid chunky bass.

Signal chain is;

Urushi/Morch standard yellow dot
NVA Phono2 (single psu mode)
NVA P50
ATC SCM100ASLs

I can go hellish loud if I want to but I rather prefer normal listening levels these days.

I bitterly regretted never retoring the bashed up Rosewood and selling it on, but with this I can leave it all behind and move on. As the Ken Kessler review says, "This Koetsu's for keeps".

Jonathan Ribee
14-04-09, 09:49 AM
Excellent news fox-san. And it's rather pretty to boot.

Have you performed the Coltrane test?

Fox
14-04-09, 10:26 AM
Oh yes. Several. But I want to have bub present to indepenently verify by using bood splatter analysis.

Jonathan Ribee
14-04-09, 10:42 AM
:) :)

jimb0
16-04-09, 03:46 PM
Unfettered decadence. Hardly in line with the new austerity, eh?

Setting Son
19-04-09, 11:27 AM
Fox,

Mind me asking what was done to the Urushi and how much it cost?

Ta

Fox
20-04-09, 12:35 AM
Not at all.

Cost was £260 for a new stylus plus green putty cleaning stuff -- the suspension and coils were checked over -- (due to its age) and both were deemed fine. It probably lost its stylus and languished in a drawer for 19 years or so.

Fox
20-04-09, 07:30 AM
Moar Pron (wif Bokeh)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3582/3458686865_fb640e88c7_b.jpg

And on her back... mmmmm

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3598/3459507878_fb6b413fb2_b.jpg

I'd say the job is complete -- for now ;)

Setting Son
20-04-09, 11:07 AM
That is one...um......arousing needle. Enjoy.

Thanks for the info Fox.

jimb0
23-04-09, 04:31 PM
Careful with that there focal length...

I am immune to this pr0n thanks to being lured back into the service of mammon.

Setting Son
04-05-09, 02:39 PM
Spooky (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Koetsu-Urushi_W0QQitemZ300311976435QQcmdZViewItemQQptZTur ntable_Parts_Accessories?hash=item300311976435&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1690%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50#ht_596wt _1031)

Borellus
04-05-09, 03:18 PM
"and used sparingly as a second cartridge with approximately 150 hours use"

Blimey! I wonder what his main cartridge was and what it cost, if this was his cheepo stand by:o

Tony L
03-01-10, 05:40 AM
Just a little thread update and some accompanying pics - I've landed a very tidy period correct pre-Improved 3009 Series II for my TD-124/II:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2770/4232785535_17f82f8836_o.jpg

And in situ on the deck with the same Pickering XV-15 / 625E:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2773/4240656570_aa2b736e85_o.jpg

I'm very happy with this deck, I just love the almost Henry Moore sculptural aesthetics of the thing and it sounds real nice too, though I now clearly have too many SME arms for a normal person (M2-10 on the 301, 3009 Series II on the TD-124 and two S2 Improved sitting around doing nothing). Time to think about hoofing out an S2 Imp...

Tony.

johnfromnorwich
03-01-10, 06:47 AM
Christ! Have you seen the prices people are asking for these on ebay now? It's like the 301/401 all over.

Tony L
03-01-10, 07:11 AM
Christ! Have you seen the prices people are asking for these on ebay now? It's like the 301/401 all over.

I think TD-124s have always been worth a little more, certainly in the UK. It was initially a dearer deck than the 301 / 401 by about 25%, though I guess some of that was import / shipping from Switzerland. They also seem far thinner on the ground here than Garrards. The thing I don't understand at all is why the TD-124/II is so much more common here than the Mk I, the II was only in production from 1966-68 whereas the Mk I was available for a decade or so prior to that. I've seen very few Mk Is go through eBay, though they do turn up in the USA.

Tony.

johnfromnorwich
03-01-10, 10:37 AM
Sure, but I can't help thinking that £2500 is quite a lot of cash for a 40 year old TT and arm.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Thorens-TD124-II-Turntable-SME-3012-Arm-Shure-V15-2_W0QQitemZ180450676239QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Audio TVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables?hash=item2a 03b2ce0f

How much of this is 'long term item value' and how much is opportunistic, transient inflation? Similar trends have pushed Travis Bean guitars and basses in the realms of collector-only buyers*.



* I the case of the latter, EGC has filled the void with some absolutely stunning modern equivalents. How high would prices need to go to make a 21st Century idler viable?

Tony L
03-01-10, 10:47 AM
Sure, but I can't help thinking that £2500 is quite a lot of cash for a 40 year old TT and arm.

I'd say that was high, and certainly no one has hit the buy it now button yet. It looks like a very nice clean 124/II and a very nice 3012, typically around £900 a piece in these pound-devalued times, though a 124/II in similar condition did make £1400 a few months ago. I'd be surprised it went at £2.5k unless the UK pound drops a lot further (the main reason prices seem s high IMO - these decks go out to Japan etc). A true piece of crap MkI went for £495 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Thorens-TD124-MK1-Vintage-High-End-Turntable-TD-124_W0QQitemZ160376787861QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Aud ioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Turntables?hash=item 2557339395#ht_646wt_798) a while back which is just insane - that one looks like a real ringer, what's not missing, scratched or broken is just wrong (e.g. it has a MkII alloy platter)!

Tony.

barrymidd
03-01-10, 05:24 PM
I have a mk2 that I used for about 3 years with a Syrinx PU2 Gold arm and Linn Karma (Supex) cartridge. I have now replaced it with a Roksan TMS/SME5/Transfiguration. The Roksan combo sounds better but not by much and I am convinced that the TD124/Syrinx PU2 combination is a 'Marriage Made In Heaven'!
I stupidly junked the "frying pan" top platter in favour of an acrylic one and now I can't find it, so if anyone has one as a spare please let me know. (The acrylic was a big upgrade though, in terms of sound).
I have been watching the prices on Fleabay and they are through the roof right now. But I haven't sold mine yet which tells you how highly I regard the TD124. This post was really to say how good I think the Syrinx PU2 is with the TD124 as it is not a tonearm that is mentioned often but really should be IMO. It is a bugger to set up though!

Barry

highcut28
05-01-10, 12:52 AM
I have 2 virtually identical 124 II with 3012 II arms.
Here’s one of them with a V15 III that i need to source a stylus for:

http://picasaweb.google.com/drsm282/NewFolder#

As u can see theres lots of work to do and I have just begun to get parts and am getting plinths made.
I must declare that I much prefer the look of the 124 with a 9 “ arm
Tony’s is absolutely gorgeous compact in that Stereolab plinth but that’s quite expensive and theres shipping to Malaysia to consider for 2!! So I am getting plinths made here.

Nice to know Barrymid, thanks, that the PU2 is a great partner.
Why is it so fiddly to set up?
Personally I like the look of the Jelco 750 on the 124.
The glass platter from Planar 2 fits nicely on the 124 instead of the 'frying pan'
Can i expect it to sound better too? oops silly question
btw i know someone with a spare 124 'frying pan'.

Tony L
05-01-10, 03:14 AM
That looks like a really nice 124 / 3012 - I'd just give it a polish, a bit of oil where needed and plonk it in a plinth with something a little more in keeping to the arm like a DL-103 or even better an SPU. I'd not be in any rush to fart about with glass platters etc, Thorens knew what they were doing when they designed the 124, it's a really nice deck as is. The top platter and clutch mechanism is actually a real pleasure to use, especially if you have any 7" or 10" records - it makes getting them off the platter simple.

In fact ergonomically / usage-wise I don't think the 124 has ever been bettered: stoppable top-platter, pop-up dinked 45 adapter, quickly and easily removable arm board (makes swapping arms a 5 minute job), built-in bubble level, levelling thumb-wheels accessible from above etc etc. It's as near perfect a design for a record player as I've ever seen.

Tony.

awl
05-01-10, 05:41 AM
Have to say I'm in total agreement with Tony's post above. highcut28, I think the 3012 arm looks superb on the 124/II & I'd love to try one on my 124, which recently moved home from Tony's to mine.

I figure it's about time to give an update on my 124 and have put some photos online to tell the story:

http://www.anglepd.co.uk/TD124/web1/index.html

I've been building a plinth from sheets of birch ply and although far from done, it's now taking shape and resplendent in its primer finish. I've also dismantled the motor, re-lubed and replaced with a spare set of grommets which Tony kindly supplied. Two interesting things came to light while dismantling: firstly a signature and date of 1961 on the underside of the stepped-pulley and secondly the discovery that the bearing has one continuous sintered bronze bushing which runs the length of the bearing, rather than the usual two. Being one of the earlier 124s I know that this deck originally had nylon bushings, but expected to find these replaced with 2 bronze ones.

This is a long-term project for me and the current weather has brought a halt to the painting process, but I'm hugely impressed with both the design and engineering quality of this turntable.

Andrew

Fox
05-01-10, 05:54 AM
Could you share the layered plinth designs for each level of the cutout? Please?

awl
05-01-10, 07:21 AM
Hi fox, yes I'd be happy to send the drawings. At the moment they only exist as layers in a CAD program and it will take me a little time to extract them as pdfs. The cutouts use a selection of holesaws which I already had and which I find very good to first cut the ply before using a jigsaw. I used a router (and template) to cut the plinth corners and a 1/4" ovolo rounding-over bit to radius the edges. Depending on the arm you use you may also need to modify the arm cutout. If you pm me your e-mail address I'll send the drawings over.

Andrew

Fox
05-01-10, 07:26 AM
thanks. my email is no secret. Fox@vixen.demon.co.uk

pdfs are fine but depending on CAD app I can get these CNC machined at uni.

barrymidd
05-01-10, 07:30 AM
Highcut28. Very interested in the spare top platter. Please give more details (PM me please).

I have to agree that from an engineering point of view the top platter mechanism is elegant. However it is not the last word sonically as a few experiments with various other materials will quickly show. I think the trouble is that it is a bit too "ringey" and lightweight although to a certain extent the original rubber mat damps this out but slugs dynamics at the same time, unfortunately.
I found that 9mm perspex with a thin felt mat (or cork) sounded more dynamic and musical, with more defined bass when I did the experiments myself. More "on its toes " for want of a better way of putting it.
The Syrinx is a bugger to set up because it has a very small "sweet spot" but when you find it OMG! SO much better than you can ever get an old SME to sound and there are other PFM members who will wholeheartedly agree with this - IWCDopple won't mind me mentioning his name in this context.
I am a joiner by trade and made a very effective (and attractive, I think) plinth by layering 9mm MDF and then had the whole thing professionally laminated with Brushed Black Formica.
With the Linn Karma and Syrinx, the sound was right up there with the best turntables money can buy.
Good luck with the project and I am happy to help if I can.
I have some photos but I can't post them on here so send me you email address and I will send them to you that way. This is open to all members who want to see them.
Barry

Tony L
05-01-10, 07:35 AM
Have to say I'm in total agreement with Tony's post above. highcut28, I think the 3012 arm looks superb on the 124/II & I'd love to try one on my 124, which recently moved home from Tony's to mine.

I figure it's about time to give an update on my 124 and have put some photos online to tell the story:

http://www.anglepd.co.uk/TD124/web1/index.html

That looks superb - have you resprayed the 124 or is it the colour-balance of the pic. It looks like it's sporting a MkII grey livery now. The plinth looks superb, I have nothing but respect for people who can do things like that.

Tony.

barrymidd
05-01-10, 07:51 AM
I forgot to say that I can make solid oak armboards for the TD124 and TD125 which are better sonically than the originals and acrylic. They will be blanks so you can mount any arm you like (except 12" as the oak I have is not wide enough). This is not to make money, I will do them for nothing if you want one. Just cover P&P plus £2 for the oak. You will need to varnish/wax/oil them yourself but I found oak improved the sound.

awl
05-01-10, 07:52 AM
No, I wouldn't dare try to respray the metalwork! It must just be the colour-balance of the photos.

awl
05-01-10, 07:56 AM
Barry, I'd be very interested in your offer - I'll PM my details. Andrew

Tony L
05-01-10, 08:02 AM
Oooh, I'd like to try an oak 124 armboard too please, any chance you could SME cut one if I pay a little extra? Such a task is laughably beyond my own woodworking skillset!

Tony.

awl
05-01-10, 11:52 AM
thanks. my email is no secret. Fox@vixen.demon.co.uk

pdfs are fine but depending on CAD app I can get these CNC machined at uni.

Have sent some files. Let me know how you get on with them.

Andrew

jimb0
05-01-10, 02:40 PM
Fox, what happened to your other plinth? Your turntable was maximum pr0n!

Fox
05-01-10, 02:44 PM
Sold it. I'm going for a Massier CLD plinth like this one above, Ortofon style with the slightly outside tapered/conical base. The massive wooden one was too wide for a target wallshelf making a dust cover to cover the whole TT impossible. I want his design because I may machine one out of a solid billet of metal on our CNC milling machines -- see what that will do.

barrymidd
05-01-10, 04:09 PM
Oooh, I'd like to try an oak 124 armboard too please, any chance you could SME cut one if I pay a little extra? Such a task is laughably beyond my own woodworking skillset!

Tony.

The free (well nearly) armboards are proving very popular _ I wonder why???
Tony I can make you one but I will need some sort of template to copy as I don't know the distance or cutout details offhand for the SME (I assume it is for a 3009 and not a more modern one). Perhaps one of the members can help out here?
Barry

Michael J
05-01-10, 04:33 PM
Is this any use?

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9299/3009template.th.jpg (http://img685.imageshack.us/my.php?image=3009template.jpg)

barrymidd
05-01-10, 04:38 PM
Is this any use?

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9299/3009template.th.jpg (http://img685.imageshack.us/my.php?image=3009template.jpg)

It would be but I can't get it to open to a size I can see. I'll have a look myself tomorrow and find a fully detailed drawing from somewhere.

Michael J
05-01-10, 04:43 PM
It's 100dpi. Not big enough? I thought you'd be able to count the pixels from spindle hole to cut-outs easily.

barrymidd
05-01-10, 05:07 PM
It's 100dpi. Not big enough? I thought you'd be able to count the pixels from spindle hole to cut-outs easily.

For some reason it is just a thumbnail when I try to open the link. I am using a Mac which may be a problem? This info is probably all over the web but it can wait till tomorrow. Thanks for the input though - much appreciated. I was kinda hoping someone was going to say they had an old SME cut armboard they could send me. I could then keep it for a template in case anyone else wanted one. Of course they could have a free oak armboard in exchange.

Tony L
05-01-10, 05:12 PM
Yes, it's an old 3009, the pic linked above works here (Mac running Safari), you just need to click the picture a few times. Templates also available on VinylEngine here (http://www.vinylengine.com/library/sme/3009.shtml) - I can email you one if you don't have an account.

Tony.

barrymidd
05-01-10, 05:20 PM
Yes, it's an old 3009, the pic linked above works here (Mac running Safari), you just need to click the picture a few times. Templates also available on VinylEngine here (http://www.vinylengine.com/library/sme/3009.shtml) - I can email you one if you don't have an account.

Tony.

Just tried again and it just won't open for me. I don't have an account at vinylengine so please email me one. I will PM you my private email now.

Michael J
05-01-10, 05:26 PM
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9299/3009template.jpg

barrymidd
05-01-10, 05:51 PM
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9299/3009template.jpg
Yep I can see it now but I don't think I can use it as it may not actually be an accurate size after being uploaded and downloaded. Not all the dimensions I am going to need are on this so I will still need more info.
I will only do the cutouts if you can provide me with an accurate drawing and/or template otherwise I will have no time left to do any paying work! This is much more time consuming than making the blanks - so I am going to charge £5 for this.
Remember I am doing this for nothing so please do your own legwork regarding the cutouts for various arms. Better still send me an old armboard with the right cut out or the one you are currently using and this will make the process much quicker for me.

highcut28
05-01-10, 06:31 PM
Beautiful solid plinth Awl, but i have heard that 124s sound more 'musical' from simpler plinths and perhaps thats why the original ortofon plinth and Ton's Stereolab plinths are really quite simple light hollow designs. Who knows?
I have been scurrying around eBay and came across this
http://picasaweb.google.com/drsm282/ThorensPlinth#
from a chap in Taiwan. USD 290 and USD 150 shipping to Malaysia Ouch! ( and I want 2)
I am looking into getting similar ones made.
Its a wee bit broader and longer than Tony's and Awl's so wont look as compact.
I will prob make a larger one for the 124 with the 3012.

Cheers, Shahrin

Tony L
05-01-10, 06:58 PM
Beautiful solid plinth Awl, but i have heard that 124s sound more 'musical' from simpler plinths and perhaps thats why the original ortofon plinth and Ton's Stereolab plinths are really quite simple light hollow designs. Who knows?

The Stereo Lab plinth is apparently modelled closely on the original Ortofon and is made from 15mm birch plywood so it's pretty lightweight and almost flimsy, though really beautifully executed - the curved conical shape is perfect and must be hard to achieve with thin plywood. I have a feeling rigidly coupling the deck to it may be a disaster as I'd expect the plinth to sing along, though with the rubber mushrooms (mine are Stereo Lab too) it seems fine - I think it should be seen more as a 'stand' than a 'plinth' as really it's just a simple device to hold the deck up. I also like the fact it is very well ventilated so the motor gets plenty of air - these old idler decks can run hot IME. I've no idea how it compares to anything else as this is the only TD-124 I've ever heard!

Tony.

awl
06-01-10, 07:13 AM
Yep I can see it now but I don't think I can use it as it may not actually be an accurate size after being uploaded and downloaded. Not all the dimensions I am going to need are on this so I will still need more info.
I will only do the cutouts if you can provide me with an accurate drawing and/or template otherwise I will have no time left to do any paying work! This is much more time consuming than making the blanks - so I am going to charge £5 for this.
Remember I am doing this for nothing so please do your own legwork regarding the cutouts for various arms. Better still send me an old armboard with the right cut out or the one you are currently using and this will make the process much quicker for me.

Barry, if you'd prefer not to have to make the SME cutout, I'd be happy to offer to do so on one of your blank boards and I could then forward it to Tony. I couldn't promise fast turnaround (my 'workshop' is outdoors and currently being snowed on), but as soon as the weather improves I'd be able to do it. Andrew

awl
06-01-10, 07:19 AM
Beautiful solid plinth Awl, but i have heard that 124s sound more 'musical' from simpler plinths and perhaps thats why the original ortofon plinth and Ton's Stereolab plinths are really quite simple light hollow designs. Who knows?
Cheers, Shahrin

I believe people have had success with the 124 in slate plinths and so my layered ply one should be somewhere between this and a light hollow one. It strikes me that reducing any kind of ring or hollow resonance in a plinth should be a good thing and I've had good results from this approach and design applied to a Lenco idler drive turntable. As you say, 'who knows?', and there's really only one way to find out. I also enjoy the process... Andrew

Tony L
06-01-10, 07:21 AM
Barry, if you'd prefer not to have to make the SME cutout, I'd be happy to offer to do so on one of your blank boards and I could then forward it to Tony. I couldn't promise fast turnaround (my 'workshop' is outdoors and currently being snowed on), but as soon as the weather improves I'd be able to do it. Andrew

I sent Barry the details last night (slot 28mm wide by 70mm long, screw centres 40mm x 60mm, pivot to slot centre 215mm) and he seems happy, but than you very much indeed for the offer. I'm in absolutely no rush here - to be bluntly honest I'm probably far too lazy to swap anything round for a long time now, I just like the idea of having a couple of nice armboards knocking about for any future developments / easy arm swapping (I'm buying a blank too) as I have no plans to ever sell this TD-124.

I believe people have had success with the 124 in slate plinths and so my layered ply one should be somewhere between this and a light hollow one. It strikes me that reducing any kind of ring or hollow resonance in a plinth should be a good thing and I've had good results from this approach and design applied to a Lenco idler drive turntable. As you say, 'who knows?', and there's really only one way to find out. I also enjoy the process... Andrew

Are you planning to rigidly couple it to your plinth, i.e. not use the mushrooms?

Tony.

awl
06-01-10, 07:36 AM
Are you planning to rigidly couple it to your plinth, i.e. not use the mushrooms?

Yes, rigid coupling is the plan as I understand this is believed to give the best results, although doing so effectively disables the levelling function of the thumb wheels. I'm tempted to try both and see / hear which works best. I've also considered making some solid wood (ply again) cylinders to substitute for the rubber mushrooms to see how that sounds. Work has been temporarily halted for bad weather though.

Andrew

Tony L
06-01-10, 07:49 AM
Yes, rigid coupling is the plan as I understand this is believed to give the best results, although doing so effectively disables the levelling function of the thumb wheels. I'm tempted to try both and see / hear which works best. I've also considered making some solid wood (ply again) cylinders to substitute for the rubber mushrooms to see how that sounds. Work has been temporarily halted for bad weather though.

I'll be interested to hear how you get on. My guess is rigid coupling will be the best by some distance. The ply spacers sounds good and may address one of my concerns - by rigidly coupling you are effectively closing off the air-gap between the chassis and plinth. I suspect this plays a part in keeping the motor running temperature in check, I would certainly monitor how hot it runs if you end up using it entirely enclosed.

Tony.

awl
06-01-10, 07:54 AM
A good point and one I hadn't really considered. On the flip side, using spacers would mean that the chasis is rigidly coupled at only four points, rather than the whole way around its edge. This may make the chasis more susceptible to ringing I suppose...

barrymidd
06-01-10, 09:09 AM
A good point and one I hadn't really considered. On the flip side, using spacers would mean that the chasis is rigidly coupled at only four points, rather than the whole way around its edge. This may make the chasis more susceptible to ringing I suppose...

Again, I did this experiment when I built my setup and I found that the sound was much more "alive" (and therefore better to my ears) when the chassis was sprung on the very solid plinth I had made.
This was contrary to my expectations, which were based on the experiments I had done with Garrard 301s and 401s. The Garrards definitely sound best when firmly bolted to the motorboard of a hollow box-like plinth. Solid plinths including the very expensive natural stone ones you see for sale for hundreds of £££ don't work that well with Garrards!
This shows how different in reality the two designs are (Garrard and Thorens I mean) The TD124 likes a really solid plinth but likes to be isolated from it. I found that cone shaped springs damped with foam gave the best sonic results, but these are the things that are subjective and each individual builder should do their own experiments to get the deck to sound the way THEY want it to. What I say above about the plinths is true though.
Barry