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fjn04 04-15-2012 10:55 PM

Interesting-Nice table Dirtbag! What is the general price range of an
Artisan TD125 II. Alberto- Who built the Plinth for your TD 125 II.

dirtbag 04-15-2012 11:33 PM

I can't remember exactly but I think I paid around $5500 for the complete set-up from Artisan Fidelity. Christopher Thornton is his name. Great guy, table was custom made for me. It's my first real quality turntable and it sounds fantastic. Warm, detailed, and wonderful bass. Check out his website. He has a lot of nice tables he has built. I have my eye on his Garrard 301 version

AndyPandy 04-16-2012 02:04 AM


Originally Posted by DesW (Post 298615)
Yoh,Yes When I lived in Hamburg ....

Des - where haven't you been mate?? The USA, Australia, Europe. Seriously we will have to have catch up over a cuppa sometime and you can tell me all your adventures...amazing life I am sure.

Thanks for sharing.

ronenash 04-16-2012 02:15 AM


Originally Posted by Alberto (Post 298434)
It all depends of what "sound" you want to get from your second turntable. I've gone through at least a dozen in the last 5 years (VPI, Rega, Thorens TD124, TD125, Project, Empire 298 and 598, ...)

The modern tables were too cold and analytical for me, at time I felt like I was listening to a CD. Kudos for accuracy, but they scored low on deliciousness. The rim-drive Thorens TD124 (I had 2 of them) sounded great, but I had rumble issues - even after refurbing them replacing some key parts.

The ones I kept are the Thorens TD125ii with SME 3009ii tonearm and the Empire 398. I made my decision based on sound, they both sounded very warm, relaxed and delicious. They made vinyl sound like vinyl and not CD.

I have no doubt that someone else would have preferred the Rega or VPI with they more precise sound.

That's why I think it's crucial to know ahead of time what kind of experience you want from your second turntable before one can make recommendations.

Hope this helps,


PS Photo of my favorite turntable. Still with me after 6+ years.

Can't agree with you more. I also have a Thorens TD125mk2 with AT 1005mk2 tonearm which I rebuilt with a new chasis and I will not trade it. I also have a VPI Classic 1 but the Thorens is not going anywhare. As you said, the Thorens is less detailed but has this warmth of great vinyl that's hard to resist.

Alberto 04-16-2012 04:11 PM


Originally Posted by fjn04 (Post 298626)
Interesting-Nice table Dirtbag! What is the general price range of an
Artisan TD125 II. Alberto- Who built the Plinth for your TD 125 II.

I forgot the name of the guy who built the plinth. But it was many years ago and he told me he was done with that business. Too bad, because they are gorgeous and the huge mass contributes a lot to the sound IMO.

Believe it or not, I got the Thorens on eBay: $700 with the turntable, SME 3009 tonearm, custom plinth and even a couple of vintage Shure cartridges. I had tables costing 5 times, or more, and I would not trade any of them for it.

The looks sold me on it, but when I discovered that it sounded as good as it looked I stopped looking at turntables.


Whart 04-16-2012 08:13 PM

I remember using most of the TTs mentioned, back in the day. The TD 125Mk II was, in stock incarnation, probably the best; the Garrard 301 looked antiquated by the early 70's and had rumble issues, at least in the condition most of them were in by then. The Empire 598 was built like a bank vault, but the arm seemed very stodgy. I know that the rebuilt Garrard 301s are highly regarded- that Artisan Fidelity redo is gorgeous. Other period tables were the Goldmunds, which were pretty cool in the 80's, and the EMTs, which you see for sale occasionally (not cheap). I still have an old Panasonic SP 10 that I bought new, when the thing was not called 'Technics' yet and was offered in the same brochure as blenders and vacuum cleaners. (*Correction, I think this is the original, not a MkII, I bought in circa 1973?)
I had a Well-Tempered for a long time and it served me well, using a Lyra Parnassus, various Grados and a Van de Hul.
Among more modern tables, the one I had experience with that was reasonably priced used was the Kuzma Reference- not the big XL (which I currently use), but the more conventional looking table that had a wonderful suspension, was easy to set up and sounded great with a modern arm.
On VTA, I hate to admit it, but it does make a difference, although you can drive yourself crazy if you get too carried away. It's not easy to tweak from my TT's position away from the listening seat, but my arm allows easy, resettable VTA adjustments and if you bother, it does make a difference, even on a cartridge that is not terribly critical of VTA.

fjn04 04-17-2012 05:44 PM

I did get some info from Chris Thornton, on the Thorens TD 125. The long base version, which will take a 12" arm is around $2500. The motor upgrades run in the $850-$1000 range. Then, he offers Ortofon and Origin Live arms. One of the Ortofon's are $2100, while the other one is around $2900. A bit more than I wanted to spend, but this hobby has a way of making me rethink these things. I will probably do some kicking around on the ALLNIC website too. I believe David Beetles also does the vintage TT refurbishes.
Dirtbag- I assume you run your SPU direct in to your Monbrison then...?
I didn't notice any SUT listed on your system. Thanks !

dirtbag 04-17-2012 06:49 PM


After paying for the Shindo gear and the Thorens, no money left for an SUT.
Sounds incredible to me, but I am fairly new at this high end stuff.

fjn04 04-17-2012 09:17 PM

Dirtbag- Although I haven't heard an SPU direct in to a Shindo preamp,
I am sure it sounds wonderful. That's certainly what it was designed around.

gortnipper 04-18-2012 01:03 AM


Originally Posted by dirtbag (Post 299378)

After paying for the Shindo gear and the Thorens, no money left for an SUT.
Sounds incredible to me, but I am fairly new at this high end stuff.

I am sure it does! If you do want to try a SUT, try a Bob's Devices Cinemag 1131 Blue. Very nice. I am running it with my Shilabe into a Monbrison right now, and it sounds very, very nice.

It gets a good review in May Stereophile as well. Best of all, Bob is a good guy and his gear is reasonably priced.

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