There's plenty of archived info & knowledgable Thorens fans in the Vinyl Asylum.
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You will be hard pressed to find a better TT with arm for $300. Rega type (there are a lot of clones these days) are about your only alternative. I would steer clear of direct drive at this price point, even used.
As for affordable phono I recommend the Rotel RQ-970BX, excellent at only about $200 retail.
Someone here on Audiogon has the Ortofon OM20mm for sale for $100 new, a safe bet. I also saw a Clearaudio Aurum Classic used for about the same.(Im looking for a cartridge also)
Your TD 125 is probably ok if the platter runs true and you dont hear any unusual noise. You might want to put some fresh oil in the bearing someday.
If the Thorens does not have any serious damage, keep it.
It's a much better deck than the new $500-$600 belt drives offered (even with the stock Thorens arm).
Check out the following WWW address for suspension tuning info.
BEFORE you spin any further clean out the main bearing and refill it with fresh oil.
Singer sewing machine oil (the one specifically for sewing machines) is fine/safe to use and it's readily available @ fabric shops.
No prob. Could you tell if it works out? I have a Thorens 125 as well, with a SME 3009 arm attached, but the bearings on the SME are loose, so I'm thinking about replacing it with a Rega RB300 or something similar. I'm just not sure if that's a good combination, so any knowledge would be appreciated.....
Hi, I have a TD-125/II. About a year ago, I installed an Origin Live 250 in place of the stock Thorens arm. In my system, and to my ears (and some friends' ears), the difference was minimal (I also recorded various LP tracks with each setup onto CD-R and heard little to no difference listening to these discs). If you google the 125, you'll find that many people consider the TP-16 tonearm its weak point, while others consider the TP-16 underrated. I am, to my surprise, in the latter camp. I think the OL-250 is a far superior arm than the TP-16, but perhaps not in this particular application.
Hi. About Thorens TD125. Some claim they are rumble free and
have good arms. I found the arm to be well made, but it didn't seem to track all cartridges well. Maybe its tracking adjustments were at fault. Also, at low levels, I swore I
could hear some rumble, not noticeable when music was higher
in levels. And, I found the I could hear wow on sustained
musical passages, on organ music in particular. But, it is
a classic and better than most tables of its vintage. CEM