Thorens, TD-125 MKII

A friend is buying this old turntable in good condition.  He wants to know how this table would compare to a $1000 turntable produced today.  Any weak spots?  What cartridge under $700 would be best?  Pro? Cons?
Inspect the circuit boards.. Make sure everything works.. I've had a couple.. The caps will fail and the stupid motor will start up backwards too.. Thorens use one of two different motors. There is a third but you don't see it very often.

Add a knock kit to the motor if it needs it.. Belt, change the oil, change the gummy puffers in the springs.. Add a dampening kit. Total about 100-150, with new caps for the startup, and a couple other things..

111, 134, 135, 184 (?), 224, 124. Different motor, quite a bit bigger..

When they are serviced, they are as good as any quality TT out there.. Tonearm is optional.. 9 or 10" or a separate perch per tonearm..

126 that really had some issues if you weren't careful.. PC boards and green slime..

Thank you.  I have passed on your experience with this.  He is grateful!

I bought a TD-125 Mk.2 new in '73. It was defective out of the box: bad electronics. I had it in the warranty station I don't know how many times, and finally sold it. Tell your friend to look for a VPI HW-19 Mk.2, 3, or 4. Much better table imo.
An excellent TT - when working!
I went with Soundsmith. Carmen II (medium compliance) MI cart..

Ortofon Black is a real keeper for a MM cart.

Both are right at 700-1,000.00

No SUT needed either..

I’m using an external Decware ZP3 for a phono/tape preamp from a 40 year old Ear and a few Macs with serious tweaked phono stages... I have a Puffin that is a real keeper for the money too.. Great for recording/playback and just so tweakable..

You need a decent phono stage, to go with your cart choice.. Both of these carts work well with either phono stage, ZP3 or the Puffin.

What tonearm does it have?

Mine has an SME 3009 II non-improved, but I have seen TD125's with two different versions of the Thorens TP16 tonearm.

One version has a fairly high effective mass (15+ grams) and the later version is much lower (7-8 grams).

This should be taken into consideration when selecting a cartridge.