Christopher Thornton just sent me some beautiful photos of the completed bespoke Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement Long-Base turntable (with a Cocobolo plinth), that I commissioned. Woo hoo!
I told Christopher that for my Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement turntable my main criteria was that I wanted to use a 12-inch tonearm.
Thorens TD124 owners who want to use a 12-inch tonearm traditionally add an optional 12-inch armboard, for which a lobe simply extends over the side of the plinth.
Christopher suggested a more elegant (and better sounding) approach would be to build a special “long-base” plinth that would get the maximum performance out of a 12-inch tonearm when combined with a Thorens TD124 turntable.
Christopher’s long-base plinth is extended by about 3-inches over a plinth designed for a 9-inch tonearm. While the long-base plinth occupies roughly the same physical space as a Thorens TD124 with a 12-inch lobed armboard added, the additional mass of the long-base plinth offers more stable mounting and improved isolation from vibrations, as well as giving a more aesthetically balanced armboard & plinth layout.
Christopher’s plinth design features a mass loaded, constrained layer, damped, Cocobolo and Panzerholz core, with a grain matched Cocobolo armboard, and Stillpoints Ultra SS isolation feet on the bottom of the plinth.
Christopher personally hand selected the Cocobolo lumber that was used for the Thorens TD124 Statement Long-Base plinth.
Christopher used a new “high tech, state-of-art European acrylic urethan clear coat spray finish that enhances the durability and appearance of the wood grain of the Cocobolo plinth.”
Christopher said, “After seeing the initial results with my own eyes, I wanted to implement this amazing, crystal clear, shimmering finish on your personal plinth, which although took a little longer than expected to cure, I am absolutely confident will be well worth the wait.”
The Cocobolo plinth looks beautiful, Christopher!
The tonearm you see in these photos belongs to Christopher, which he mounted for the photo shoot, but I will be using a Thomas Schick 12-inch tonearm on my Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement Long-Base.
The two ports you see on the back left of the Artisan Fidelity Statement Long-Base plinth are positioned to optimize the cable routing for the mounting points of either a 9-inch or 12-inch tonearm, whose cables exit out the bottom of the tonearm (like the Schick). The tonearm used in the photos has tonearm cables that exit from above the plinth level, so the ports are not used.
On the right of the plinth you see the Schurter IEC inlet. Internally Christopher used a shielded OFC copper power cable that connects the Thorens TD124 to Schurter IEC inlet, and a grounding post installed just to the right of it.
Christopher did a superb restoration of the Thorens TD124.
For the restoration, Christopher starts with the stock Swiss TD124 chassis and then refinishes it with the same sort of care and attention that he gives the Cocobolo plinth.
Christopher strips the Thorens TD124 chassis down to the metal and then completely refinishes, restores it, and replaces the Plexiglass strobe window.
Christopher installs an Artisan Fidelity large-bore stainless-steel self-lubricating precision Sapphire main bearing assembly, featuring an advanced synthetic co-polymer thrust pad.
Christopher installs an Artisan Fidelity precision replacement CNC’d idler wheel with a stainless steel hub.
Christopher installs an Artisan Fidelity precision CNC’d austenitic stainless steel high-mass main platter, and a Thorens factory restored TD124 aluminum clutch platter.
Christopher replaces the Thorens TD124 chassis mushrooms with new rubber composite mushrooms exceeding the original factory specifications.
Christopher replaces the Thorens TD124 switch compressor condenser, and the E50 motor is rebuilt using new precision bushings, felt rings, and seals, with a replacement stepped pulley wheel for E50 motor installed.
Christopher also uses a precision replacement belt to replace the original step pulley drive belt.
Chris uses non-magnetic stainless steel chassis screws to secure the Thorens TD124 to the plinth, and non-magnetic stainless steel armboard screws.
Christopher told me, “I listened to your table for several hours straight yesterday, its playback abilities are just so musical, flowing and natural. I cannot wait for you to hear it in person!”
Christopher is preparing an armboard for my 12-inch Thomas Schick tonearm, has a few more final quality checks to do, and then will be packing everything up for shipping. Oh boy!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!