user510's (site owner) Thorens Gallery page.
Above: TD124 chassis # 13943. My remaining TD124 player.
It is now sporting one of Ferruccio's Hoods. (that's a -dust cover- to us Yankees) This time, it is the "Full Hood" which covers not only the turntable chassis but also its base support plinth. The tonearm in use is the Infinity Black Widow arm that I purchased 2nd hand nearly one decade ago from another enthusiast. The cartridge in use is a vintage Shure M91-E. It has mounted to it a Pfanstiehl #761 stylus replacement assembly that features an elliptical diamond tip. Sound quality is better than I had hoped it might be. It is a tad rolled off in the upper frequencies, but with a sense of air and detail overall and there is a seductive warmth to the midrange. Yet it is coherent top to bottom. Its sound allows the music to fill the room with no distracting artifacts. Acoustic instruments are portrayed in rich timbre. Mid-bass and lower bass are fully described and detailed with plenty of weight and force. No bottom end flab. Plenty of detail and weight. All of this is being noted within the context of this particular tonearm. Not all cartridges come across as having weighty bass when mounted to the BW arm. However with this cartridge on it there is plenty of weight. Ironic, perhaps as this tonearm is regarded as being the lightest effective mass tonearm every produced in numbers.
At present I am using an OEM plinth of the type sold by Thorens distributors in North America. It came with TD124 chassis # 7888 which I purchased from its owners' surviving relative some decade ago down in Bend, Oregon. Also in use are a fresh set of mushrooms acquired from Audiosilente a few years back. On an open box plinth such as this one, I prefer to use mushrooms to isolate drive train vibrations from the supporting plinth structure for a quieter background.
The platter mat is more than it might seem to be. Visible up topside is the Herbies mat, just underneath is another mat of materials that serves to further isolate the record from the mechanism that drives it. The combination of the two mats do result in a quieter background compared to just using an oem rubber mat, or just a Herbies mat by itself. I'm keeping the details of this to myself for the time being.
With regards the BW arm: So far I've tried four different cartridges with it. First, I tried the well known ADC XLM-II on it and the match-up was very very good. Beautiful sound if decidedly lacking in bass weight. Then a Sonus Blue cartridge, from the same designer as the ADC. It had very similar if not exactly the same sound qualities. Also I tried briefly the Shure V15Vxmr on it. This worked well, but I must add that this particular Shure V15 isn't my favorite. Amongst other things I feel it to be somewhat laid-back in its presentation or otherwise described as having slow attack transients. However, the M91-E is the best sounding cartridge on this arm I've yet to try. As described in the top paragraph, I like this pairing.
Waiting in the wings is a Pickering UV-15 D2000Q. I'm interested in that one but have found that there aren't any equivalent stylus replacements that feature the same cut on the diamond. Very near in shape to a Shibata diamond, the D2000Q is an interesting proposition. But, alas, available replacement stylii do not feature anything near to this configuration of cut. Perhaps someone will be able to convince Jico in Japan to reproduce a true D2000Q/D4000Q replacement assembly. Until then, it waits in its box. Perhaps I'll find one sometime before I expire of old age....;^]
TD124 sn #13943
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