Monday, February 12, 2007

. . . and so it begins

My recently acquired turntable is home. The turntable pictured above is not mine, but another Thorens TD124 II with an SME 3009 tonearm. I have cleaned the ‘table up a bit. Right now the motor isn't running but there is some vibrations, hopefully it just needs cleaned and lubed. The tonearm is in a fairly dilapidated state. Having it restored may prove a long and costly endeavor. Parts availability for the turntable shouldn't be a problem, but finding someone with the expertise might prove difficult. The tonearm is the opposite story. Someone with the expertise is readily available within my circle of connections, but parts may be a problem. I'm hoping for the restoration project to come in under $500, I've set a ceiling of $700.

The Thorens TD124 has a number of features that make it unique. In additon to offering the common speeds of 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speeds. It also offers is the fairly obscure 78 RPM speed, then something that almost no turntable offers 16 RPM speed. The last speed was used for sales training discs, as well as radio show transcription discs. These adjustments are made using the switch at the bottom left of the unit. On top of the switch is a knob that can be used to fine tune the speed for those with perfect pitch. A built in strobe disc (located under the window in the front middle of the table) assists when tweaking the speed.

Leveling this or any other turntable is of the up most importance for best performance. To assist the user in this task the Thorens offers a built in bubble level (located bottom right) and three threaded posts (one can be seen under the level).

There are two other small, but thoughtful touches on this classic. The first it the lever located on the left of the platter which allow the platter to be raised so the motor does not need to be turned off to switch records. This was done to reduce wear on the motor. The second small detail is the built in 45 RPM adapter built into the center of the platter. When not in use it is flat with the rest of the platter. When needed a simple clockwise twist raises it, when it’s no longer needed a counter clockwise twist lowers it again. No chance of losing this baby!