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 Thorens TD 125 mk11

Like its predecessor the Thorens 150, the 125  is based on its same design principles; being driven by a very small motor and a belt drive system.  It also has the two tier arrangement where the panel that carries the arm board and bearing is isolated from the second panel that carries the motor and other components below. That said, these principles are implemented into the 125 design in a completely different way.

The motor of the 125 derives its alternating current not from the AC mains direct, but from an electronic oscillator/ amplifier, so that the three speed selector Click to enlargeis not a totally mechanical process as in the 150 .  The sliding speed control block when moved to the three marked positions, operates a series of small mechanical devices which in turn moves a slider which is situated on the circuit board.  This switching produces frequency changes to drive the 16 pole synchronous motor for each of the three; 20, 40 and 55 Hz giving 16, 33 and 45 rpm.  

The main bearing for the two section platter is fitted into a strong, one-piece aluminium panel, the right hand Click to enlargeside of which is stepped to the thickness of the arm board, where two short lugs protrude top and bottom with a longer section extending at the centre. These side extensions, each of which have threaded fixing holes are designed to carry the arm board.

Click to enlargeThe stroboscope is fixed to the underside of the inner section of the revolving platter.  When the platter is located into the bearing, it revolves over one of two cut-outs within the aluminium plate, with the purpose ofClick to enlarge this being that it reveals a portion of the revolving stroboscope for the neon lamp which is fixed to the pressed steel panel below it.  This larger cut-out, also provides access to the Click to enlargeadjustments screws that allow the neon unit to be moved to either the 50 or 60 Hz positions. 

It goes without saying that the strobe action would not be visible in this location was it notClick to enlarge for the presence of a small mirror positioned about an inch below a small window on the front panel of the turntable. By peering down at the mirror (which is set at forty five degrees), the reflection of the revolving stroboscope is clearly visible off a second deflector lens, creating a periscope effect.  Any adjustments to speed that may be required can be done by means of a red thumb-wheel situated directly in front of the viewing Clik to enlargewindow.  

The two tier panel arrangement is made up of; the top aluminium section that carries the arm board, main bearing and platter, and the lower pressed steel panel on which the motor, neon lamp, circuit board and other components are fixed to.  This lower steel panel is the chassis and is firmly fixed to the wooden plinth as a rigid fixture, to which the front aluminium fascia panel that houses the controls is also bolted to.   The two panels are Click to enlargeconnected together by three small diameter rods which are threaded at both ends and firmly fixed in position to the underside of the top panel and loosely fixed to the bottom panel with nuts and washers.    The contact points of the rods Click to enlargeare isolated by rubber washers so there is no metal to metal contact between them.  The rods are of such length that they allow a gap to exist between the two sections, which is the required space for three quite large springs to fit.  Each of the springs sits inside plastic adjustable cups that fit into three threaded holes in the bottom steel panel so that the two panels are in fact pushed apart by the springs.  The top panel is therefore 'sprung' and can quite easily be pushed down by the fingers at any point.  

When everything is in place, the plastic cups are used to adjust the level of the top panel so that its position corresponds to the top edges of the level plinth.

The Thorens TD125 mk11 is without doubt a turntable to be reckoned with, (especially when you try and pick it up!) incorporating all the qualities of the 150; it runs very quiet indeed, has excellent specifications, fine speed adjustment and is simple to operate.  The thing that stands out about this turntable is its build quality, a great deal of thought has gone into its design.  Visually too, this turntable looks good with the great 1970's styling. 

I use this table with the SME 3009 series II pick-up arm and the Audio Technica cartridge.  A combination I'm sure most would be more than happy with.