Thorens TD124 mkII
Copyright 2010 Troels Gravesen 

The Thorens TD124 mkII is a classic and ever since I first spotted the TD124 deck on the B&O Beogram 3000 turntable back in the late Sixties, I wanted one.
The TD124 mkII goes fairly high on eBay these days and I recently came across this one from Germany. Seller's pics were rather poor, but what I could see was the motor looking absolutely clean so I took my chances and was prepared to go high on bidding. I got it at a very resonable price and was more than pleased to see this deck being close to mint condition. It actually looks like it hasn't been used very much at all, and may even run the original rubber belt.

Having temporarily installed an SME Series III arm, it now runs smoothly as coming fresh from the box. A dirty 9" SME SII tonearm followed the deck and it took a lot of hours and quite some spare parts to get it up and running. Fully renovated with a SUMIKO headshell and Dynavector DV20X, I think this arm is better than its reputation. However, a new tonearm was on the wishlist and eventually became the Jelko S 750D arm, which I got on eBay (new) for 315, quite a steel I think. See later.

The TD124 has cult status amongst Thorens aficionados and numerous pages on this spinner can be found on the web:
http://www.thorens-td124.dk/,
http://www.soundfountain.com/amb/td124page.html,
http://homepage2.nifty.com/pantone/thorens/index.htm
http://www.schopper.ch/static/services/z_top_audio/Neutrik/Thorens_Uebersicht.html,
- or simply google
"thorens td124" - and you'll be flooded.


Making a plinth


Left: Plinth under construction from two panels of 30 mm MDF, kept apart by three 15 mm spikes. Rubber feet for the bottom panel. The panels will be painted black. New tonearm board will be made from 10-12 mm solid wood. Final tonearm not decided yet.
Right: After first layer of paint. Next is sanding, painting, sanding, painting,........


The paintwork just simply didn't turn out the way I wanted it! Leave spray painting to the pros.
Thus, some hardwood panels were glued and routed for the TD124. Only needs oil or wax. That I can do!


Running!


SME tonearm following TD124 mkII

The SME Series II arm that followed the TD124 mkII deck was one dirty fellow! Looked like it had been placed next to a chain-smoker for decades. The arm was totally dismantled and except for the bearings and balsa wood (in arm tube), all parts were cleaned in a sonicator, submerged in distilled water added detergent and a bit of alcohol. This got it clean.
New coupling rubbers were bought and ideally a new headshell socket was needed too. No headshell followed, thus a Sumiko was bought. Originals go for ~50, too much I think. A new anti-scating weight was bought too, replacing a homemade brass weight that doesn't look too good.


The arm has been rewired with shielded tonearm cable.
These are some tiny cables! Takes extreme care splitting core cable and shield.
Actually I removed two of the cables again and used the screen for ground. Works perfect.
Later I'll replace the original SME connection with two phono sockets like seen here:


Left: SME base with new phono sockets.
Right: Smart, isn't it? Found this on the web. Pencil graphite used to ease azimuth adjustment. Mirror underneath, brilliant!


- new arm and armboard -
Jelko SA 750D


A slant of mahogany was cut, drilled and sanded to make a new armboard for the Jelko.


The TD124 mkII deck

After cleaning the deck and treating the rubber mat with silicone, it looks like this.