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Thorens TD 125 MKII Restoration

L0rdGwyn

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Jan 15, 2018
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Hello!

Just finished a long term project restoring a Thorens TD 125 MKII I picked up at a local used hifi shop, thought maybe people would like to see. For those unfamiliar, this was the follow up to the famous idler drive TD 124. It's a suspended subchassis belt drive turntable with a Wien bridge oscillator speed controller circuit. It is also essentially the consumer version of the EMT 928 professional turntable.

Here is the turntable right after I bought it. As you can see, it was in pretty good shape! The speed controller was wonky however, the headshell was not compatible, and the suspension was not optimal, but functional.

DSCF5898.jpg DSCF5903.jpg DSCF5901.jpg DSCF5907.jpg

Here is the inside before I did any work on it.

IMAG2507.jpg

There is a healthy after market for spare parts, replicas, etc. for the TD 125. I also bought the guts of a nonfunctioning TD 125 to have access to spare parts. Fast forward 2.5 years, here it is after incremental work.

PXL_20230405_142551305.NIGHT-2.jpg PXL_20230407_233739483.NIGHT-2.jpg PXL_20230407_233755713.NIGHT-2.jpg

And the inside.

PXL_20230405_141509631-2 (1).jpg

Here's everything I did to it:
- Replaced the speed controller with a rebuilt circuit using contemporary surface mount components (purchased from a gentleman from the UK, saved me a lot of work!)
- Custom armboard for a Sorane TA-1 tonearm and Hana EL MC cartridge
- 5-pin DIN to dual 3-pin XLR phono cable as the tonearm is wired for balanced operation
- Replaced the motor, pulled from the spare TD 125 I purchased
- Replaced the top plate / suspension springs from the spare, which were in much better shape
- New replica suspension adjustment cups and rubber damping washers
- Replaced the front fascia plate with a replica without the cueing lever (no longer needed as the cueing mechanism is now on the Sorane tonearm)
- New custom made walnut plinth
- Cleaned and polished inside and out

That's about it! Sounds pretty darn good.

Next up, I will be building a tube LCR phono stage using D3a and E55L tubes :) all transformer coupled and using 49% nickel transformers / LCR inductors from Dave Slagle at Intact Audio.
 
Last edited:

Wizard509

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Feb 1, 2023
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Location
Chipley, FL, USA
My only turntable - purchased sometime around the mid-70s - was a TD 125 AB MKII.

I no longer have any vinyl, but would love to have another TD 125 just for the nostalgia.
 

Marnix

New Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Messages
3
Likes
3
Hello!

Just finished a long term project restoring a Thorens TD 125 MKII I picked up at a local used hifi shop, thought maybe people would like to see. For those unfamiliar, this was the follow up to the famous idler drive TD 124. It's a suspended subchassis belt drive turntable with a Wien bridge oscillator speed controller circuit. It is also essentially the consumer version of the EMT 928 professional turntable.

Here is the turntable right after I bought it. As you can see, it was in pretty good shape! The speed controller was wonky however, the headshell was not compatible, and the suspension was not optimal, but functional.

View attachment 277885 View attachment 277884 View attachment 277883 View attachment 277882

Here is the inside before I did any work on it.

View attachment 277886

There is a healthy after market for spare parts, replicas, etc. for the TD 125. I also bought the guts of a nonfunctioning TD 125 to have access to spare parts. Fast forward 2.5 years, here it is after incremental work.

View attachment 277895 View attachment 277890 View attachment 277891

And the inside.

View attachment 277889

Here's everything I did to it:
- Replaced the speed controller with a rebuilt circuit using contemporary surface mount components (purchased from a gentleman from the UK, saved me a lot of work!)
- Custom armboard for a Sorane TA-1 tonearm and Hana EL MC cartridge
- 5-pin DIN to dual 3-pin XLR phono cable as the tonearm is wired for balanced operation
- Replaced the motor, pulled from the spare TD 125 I purchased
- Replaced the top plate / suspension springs from the spare, which were in much better shape
- New replica suspension adjustment cups and rubber damping washers
- Replaced the front fascia plate with a replica without the cueing lever (no longer needed as the cueing mechanism is now on the Sorane tonearm)
- New custom made walnut plinth
- Cleaned and polished inside and out

That's about it! Sounds pretty darn good.

Next up, I will be building a tube LCR phono stage using D3a and E55L tubes :) all transformer coupled and using 49% nickel transformers / LCR inductors from Dave Slagle at Intact Audio.
Love the work you did on the machine.
I'm about to restore mine as well and it definitely needs need dampening washers. Could you tell me where you found yours?
I did find a shop in Italy who replicates these, but shipping is quite expensive.
 
OP
L0rdGwyn

L0rdGwyn

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Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
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Love the work you did on the machine.
I'm about to restore mine as well and it definitely needs need dampening washers. Could you tell me where you found yours?
I did find a shop in Italy who replicates these, but shipping is quite expensive.

I believe I bought them from the same place in Italy. Shipping from Italy is expensive unfortunately.
 

Marnix

New Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
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Yeah, even within EU it's a bit much. The washers I have are very badly deteriorated so I guess I will need to buy these new ones anyhow. Thanks for the reply!
 

Marnix

New Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
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3
Hi All,

So, I finished my rebuild of my TD-125. I found a slab of very nice wood (Spalted Hornbeam).
Hope you like it :).
Also installed the new washers.
Only the cover/hood needs some work. Have to figure out the hinges.

Cheers,

Max
 

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