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Thread: Zero Distortion: More on restored Thorens 124

  1. #1
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    Zero Distortion: More on restored Thorens 124

    I had liked the Schopper Thorens 124 when I first heard it at Clive’s here, with the FR 64s and Zyx Uni II (I will soon be hearing it again with FR 64s and the AN IO Gold, and the Zyx Uni II with the Brinkmann 10 inch), and was also compared with a top Audiograil restore of the Garrard 301. Clive found this Garrard close to his Shindo 301 so sold off the Shindo. He also preferred it to his Brinkmann Lagrange and SME 30/2. Please read this before proceeding.

    As a follow up, I visited Schopper in Zurich, Swissonor in Geneva, and Hanze Hifi in Zwolle, near Amsterdam. Swissonor made the parts for Schopper, Hanze hifi uses their parts and well-known engineer Jaap Pees does his own restores with these parts. Jaap who restores and owns many vintage TTs including EMT 950, Denons etc. The TD 124 is his favorite, and he also preferes it to the EMT 927.

    1. At Hanze Hifi, I compared 124 to their own restored Garrard 401, using EMT 997 banana arm and TSD 15 cart
    2. At Schopper, there is a compare with a Lenco. Note the traded in Micro Seiki 5000 and the Brinkmann
    3. At Swissonor, I compared the Swissonor TA 10 to the SME 3009 on SPU a90. This arm was also recommended to me by well-known Italian dealer Dmitri as he had found it to be better than the Ikeda 407. Gian now owns one. Schopper does a similar arm himself.

    http://zero-distortion.org/more-on-r...d-thorens-124/
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    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo75 View Post
    (...) The TD 124 is his favorite, and he also prefers it to the EMT 927. (...)
    I must say I can not see any technical reason behind this preference. I know that this is an hobby of preferences, but I try to understand them.

    Did you listen to the Thorens TD124 using the ribbed mat with the aluminum sub-plater supported on the six round hard rubber circles?
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    I must say I can not see any technical reason behind this preference. I know that this is an hobby of preferences, but I try to understand them.

    Did you listen to the Thorens TD124 using the ribbed mat with the aluminum sub-plater supported on the six round hard rubber circles?
    I must agree with Micro on this Ked

    As an owner of a thorens 124 which I modified with swissinor parts, and panzerholz arm board

    Yes it was very good for the money, and had a certain something
    But unless has the grey cast platter and external motor supply

    I am not certain what would be so special over a 927

    As rim drives go the thorens is in the lower torque bracket

    And needs a lot of things optimised to work well, something I found a bit tedious as an owner

    Of course, we all have our preferences and you are entitled to yours, but as a previous owner, I didn’t see / hear it myself
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    Hi I don't know the reason for his preferences. All these tables have people who like them and don't. I know another restorer who has the same preference. Schroeder will largely tend to lean to Commonwealth turntables, and so on. He did mention to me at Munich that the sound of the 927 would depend on the restore (obviously).

    To micro's question, schopper and swissonor have a different platter made of some alloy. Like I mentioned, one TT with the original platter and wood plinth sounded less good than the Garrard. The other soundes better.

    Awsmone yes, torque of 124 is less than lenco. As mentioned, lenco has more drive and slam, 124 more detail, and though it has less drive and slam than lenco, it is sufficiently high.

    My personal preference based on limited listening over this would be good direct drives and uber belts, latter too expensive.

    The Blackstone does most things better than his 124, but I will write on that separately
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

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    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    The only reason for this mysterious preference is that they don’t have any 927s to sell while the 124s are abundant and low cost. A little paint a few simple parts and viola, a sexy looking 124! Don’t get me wrong I like the 124 for what it does but it’s nothing compared to the EMT 927, IMO even a Garrard 401 is a better table specially in these rinky-dink bases I see in your images.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    The only reason for this mysterious preference is that they don’t have any 927s to sell while the 124s are abundant and low cost. A little paint a few simple parts and viola, a sexy looking 124! Don’t get me wrong I like the 124 for what it does but it’s nothing compared to the EMT 927, IMO even a Garrard 401 is a better table specially in these rinky-dink bases I see in you images.

    david
    I have heard a 301 and a 401 next to one now. In both cases I (and one owner of both 301 and the schopper) preferred the 124, though I preferred the 401 to another 124.

    I think plinths do change a lot. The Garrard is good on flow but much lower on resolution, slam, and drive.

    The 124 can be put in many plinths but they all agree that the simple, open from bottom plinth is the best.
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

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    An Italian reviewer, Marco, who owns the EMT 927 and like 50 carts, apparently rated the Blackstone as the next best.

    That makes the Blackstone designer proud, but he personally does not like the 927

    Imo, highest variance in opinion in hifi, quite correctly, should be in analog. It's a wonderful category
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

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    Ked, I’ve heard a handful of idler rebuilds/replinths in the last decade, 301s, 401s, L75s and Rek-O-Cuts (no 124s, mind), and none are as revealing and neutral as my Trans Fi Salvation direct rim drive.
    Indeed Vic the designer spent many years taking apart 301s and L75s to try and better the sound, and I think he succeded.
    But I’m fully aware of the shortcomings of the idler/rim approach which is a naturally higher level of noise/rumble.
    But I also know I can’t easily replicate that idler/rim verveyness and groundedness with belt below a certain price.

  10. #10
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    Please see the quote of an user in my write-up who said he preferred his Garrard to his 124, and after restoration by Loricraft and schopper respectively, preferred the 124 to the Garrard
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

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