Restoration of Thorens TD-125/125 MKII Turntables

Thorens TD-125/125 MKII

 

What does service include?

  • Initial evaluation of motor, platter bearing, and basic tonearm function including bearings
  • Disassemble turntable base from metal chassis
  • Rebuild speed control board replacing all parts that typically fail whether bad or not
  • Rebuild power supply board replacing all parts that typically fail whether bad or not
  • Reset all electronic speed control to factory specs
  • Check strobe functions (strobe bulbs are $35 if need to be replaced)***
  • Remove platters and other items that are removable such as levers, counterweights, cue arm, etc.
  • Vintage SME arms surcharge of $45
  • Clean smaller items in ultrasonic cleaner
  • Clean top plate with appropriate cleansers discovered over years of working on them
  • Clean armboard with appropriate cleaners (if severely damaged, there are replacement options)
  • Detail tonearm and area around motor
  • Remove residue from motor pulley
  • Check motor pulley function, especially the clutch on MKII
  • Lubricate motor, run several hours
  • Clean out platter bearing well
  • Evaluate platter well thrust plate (New thrust plate install is $30)
  • Clean drive platter surface where belt rides of oxidation and staining
  • Clean and polish drive platter bearing shaft
  • Lubricate drive platter bearing and test for quiet and true (Truing the platter, if needed, is additional $45)
  • Clean and polish drive platter edge to satin+ finish
  • Stock TP-16 RCA cables replaced with 1.2m Mogami cable. Other aftermarket cables evaluated and report made to owner with options
  • If nicks or cuts are found in cables, owner is notified of cable options
  • AC plug replaced
  • Clean ground connections
  • Check studs for tight fit (These should be rigid)
  • Replace rubber grommets that isolate stud from chassis. These are likely badly disintegrated.
  • Check springs for excessive wear. In many Thorens TD-125 springs have aged very well and do not need replacement.  Replace if needed.
  • Check corner blocks for cracks. Glue, if needed.***
  • Check all glue points for failure
  • Vacuum underside. If parts are corroded, they are treated with WD-40 to prevent further corrosion
  • Clean and treat rubber mat, if included
  • Clean and treat plinth. (I can sometimes eliminate shallow scratches as part of this process)
  • Clean and polish dust cover, if included.  (One coat polish inside, three coats outside)
  • If parts are highly corroded, owner is notified of replacement options. This rarely happens.
  • Treat lightly corroded internal surfaces with Naval jelly to help prevent worsening
  • Detail all tonearm surfaces
  • Clean headshell terminals, in and out, with de-Oxit
  • Replace TP-60 headshell leads with gold plated leads.
  • Replace belt with new genuine Thorens Logo Belt, $30 value.
  • Clean tonearm female terminals with de-Oxit
  • Check cueing function.  Adjust as necessary. If adjustment is failing, options given.
  • If cartridge is used, evaluate cartridge and report results to owner
  • Mount new cartridge, if needed. Involves conversation with owner
  • Reassemble/reinstall all parts from top plate
  • Align cartridge, setting VTA, tracking angle, offset, and azimuth
  • Adjust/tune suspension to maximize performance**
  • Re-adjust speed control so pitch knob is centered with strobe speed
  • Play test
  • Re-adjust suspension and/or cartridge alignment as needed.
  • Clean/vacuum bottom plate and re-install
  • Install upgrade feet
  • Re-pack turntable for shipment.
  • If you originally used the box rental option, I charge $12 for boxes and bubble for return. 
  • Optional: Rewire vintage SME tonearm, $250 with trade in of old cable
  • Other upgrade options

Note: All replaced (non-electronic) parts are returned to the owner

* I do not agree with substituting separate female RCA connectors, as adding another connection path in audio is almost never a good thing.  The existing path already has three per channel. Additionally, I do NOT replace the RCA plugs on SME tonearm cables unless damaged. You can opt to have the entire arm rewired with Cardas wiring and upgrade RCAs for $250.

**Every Thorens is slightly different in terms of adjustment of the suspension. I have resisted making a Youtube video about suspension adjustment because there are many small factors based on the idiosyncrasies of that table (spring wear, tonearm weight, platter weight (these differed by several ounces), drive platter material, mat weight, cartridge weight, and whether or not a clamp of some kind will be used.  Tuning Thorens’ suspension is something I have done literally hundreds of times over the past 15 years. I know the nuances that lead to the very best performance.

***I do my best to ascertain while your turntable is on my bench as to whether there are any areas where glue is failing. These include wood to wood joints as well as some areas where Thorens used glue on metal, for example the strobe mirror of the TD – 125 models. If there is any appearance of loose glue/joints, I will notify the owner and make a diligent repair. Unfortunately, I cannot look inside of joints, so if by outward appearance everything is solid, and something happens during return shipment, I cannot be held responsible for that damage or repair. If the customer wishes to have me perform the repair, he/she will pay shipping both ways, and we will come to an agreement on the cost of the repair depending on the extent of the work.