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Vintage review

Rambler's Top100


After an intensive research in almost all the hi-fi shops in my city I found this wonderful TT. The Thorens TD 124 is one of the best turntables of audio history, with the Garrards 301 and 401. Thorens has been manufacturing excellent turntables during 104 years and the TD 124 is an example of this excellence. In Great Britain this TT is considered a reference due to its quality. Fitted with a good tonearm and cartridge it can beat even newer units. It is so good that the people of Hi-Fi World has included it in their recommended products list and it has been chosen as one of the European audio components of the century by Hi-Fi News and Record review magazine.

The TD 124 belongs to the build-like-a-tank brigade. It is the heaviest thing I've never seen. The platter weigths almost 8 kg. and all the parts have the swiss touch of class. The platter axis is perfectly mechanized. This, plus its weight, allows the platter to spin for a long time with a little impulse. On the platter there's an aluminum cover that acts as a record mat and also as a single adapter. The motor unit is really big. Its movement it's transmitted by means of a belt to an aluminum disc with different diameters that acts as a speed selector. This aluminium disc acts on the idler wheel that transmitters the spin to the platter. This is an interesting combination of belt drive and direct drive transmission. The user could select from 4 different speeds in the TD 124: 16, 33,45 and 78 rpm. This is done mechanically and the selected speed could be adjusted with the help of an stroboscope. The unit could be fitted with any arm just changing the standard arm base with one with the right dimensions.

Now I'm restoring the TD 124. I have just designed a new MDF plinth. I would like to fit in this unit the excellent SME 3012R tonearm and a Rega Elys cartridge (but perhaps in a future I will fit a Shure V15VxMR, better suited to the 3012R).

Ernest Ruiz


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