Cartridge Angst-Help

Ok, I'm upgrading my analog-I have an upgraded thorens 125 mk2...I was made to take a blood oath not to part with it even for an $8k table, by the reputible engineer who added 20 pounds to it-its feeding a wright sound 120pp phono section which will feed an first sound presence delux-to atma-sphere amps and audio physics step sle's...I also run wright 2a3's to ref 3a decappos's-I can't decide which combo I like more-

So i'm looking at ...a shelter 901-an allearts 1cb?- a grado statement-and a koetsu red rose signature-and an Black Urushi all these loads will work would someone who has some experience with these give me some advice.


Low compliance cartridges would not be the best match for the original Thorens arm. If that arm is still on the TT, then I'd recommend a mid-compliance(15cu) cartridge like a Dynavector.
Cannot recommend spending huge amounts of money on a relatively lower priced TT/arm system, so I would recommend a Dyna 20-X for that setup.
Twl is right. If you have the original arm it won't be a good match for a Shelter or other low compliance cartridges. That arm was designed for lighter weight, higher compliance cartridges (as were most arms of that era).

There may be "some" $8K rigs that will outplay a modded TD125. :-) There's more to a good rig than weight. Nevertheless you should be able to get very satisfying music from a well maintained Thorens. You might visit User510's Thorens site, Lot's of good info and Steve has lots of cartridge experience on various Thorens arms.
thanks all-if its of any help the arm on the table is a SME 3009- best,

Aha. I believe that arm has an effective mass of 12.7g, which makes it compatible with a wide array of current cartridges. It's still a bit too light for a Shelter though. Twl and others could recommend specific cartridges that would suit. I'm thinking a mid-range model from Dynavector, Benz, ZYX...

I have some general thoughts FWIW, which I'll attempt to offer with appropriate delicacy. I wouldn't put a very high end cartridge (Shelter 901, Allaerts) on this TT and arm. I'm not saying you wouldn't hear improvements. You certainly would. But you wouldn't get anywhere near what you paid for from the cartridge. In addition, a cartridge as revealing as a Shelter 901 (I have one) or similar will clearly display the limitations of ANY table or arm. I hope you'll understand, if only by comparing their prices, that a Thorens 125Mk2 (even up-weighted) and an SME 3009 are not in the same category as today's top cartridges. The bearings and wiring of a 3009 are not the best, and a TD125Mk2 needs more than some extra mass to become a top level table. The bearing, platter and motor would all need significant upgrades too. Mounting a super revealing cartridge would highlight these shortcomings and might quickly become unsatisfying to listen to. I've done an analog upgrade this way myself. Please trust me when I say it doesn't really work, at least not for very long.

If you're committed to trying this Thorens with high end components I'd upgrade the arm before buying a top cartridge. I don't know which arms would fit, ask User510, but perhaps a higher SME would. An SME IV should be easy to find used. That would suit many top cartridges, and would transfer to quite a few top tables should you decide that's necessary. Again, I don't recommend this approach. But I think it's what I'd do if "compelled".

Just my $.02.
A new SME M2 is a pretty good value even at retail if one cannot find what one wants used. And it can be had in 9, 10, and 12" lengths.

There were a few used Morch arms at good prices on Audiogon. I would think that would go well with the TD125.