If you don’t yet know about Chris Harban’s artisanal audio works at Woodsong Audio, where Chris restores & hot-rods Linn Sondek LP12, Garrard 301/401, Thorens TD-124, and Technics SP10 turntables, and builds stunning wood plinths for them – the “wood” in “Woodsong Audio” – you should really check out Chris’ web page (HERE).
I saw a photo on Facebook of Chris’ beautiful Woodsong Audio Thorens TD-124 that was fitted with a Tenuto gun-metal platter mat, and I was really impressed.
Then after one of my Facebook posts where I was saying that while I love my Artisan Fidelity Statement Thorens TD-124, it didn’t think it was up to the same über level of musical and sonic performance as my hot-rodded Classic Turntable Company 301 with it’s Artisan Fidelity plinth.
I have been speculating about plinths, the mat, and so forth, as to why there was such a difference in the musical & sonic performance between the two turntables.
Chris mentioned to me that he didn’t think it was so much the difference in plinths, as when he compared his high-mass plinth Garrard 301 and his compact plinth Thorens TD-124 that their musical & sonic performance were almost indistinguishable.
Chris suggested I try one of his platter adapters on my Thorens TD-124 so I could try a different mat and see what it did for the Thorens’ musical & sonic performance, so he dropped one in the mail to me, and it arrived today.
In order to remove the mat from a Thorens TD-124, you have to twist and pop up the 45RPM adapter so you can remove the screws that hold it and the mat in place (above), then you can remove the mat.
In the photo below you can see Chris’ adapter on the left, next to the Thorens 45RPM adapter, on the right.
Chris’ adapter is beautifully made, and it is machined from clear anodized aluminum, with a bronze bushing in the center that slides over the Thorens’ spindle.
Once the 3 screws that hold the 45RPM adapter to the platter are removed the mat and adapter just lifts off (above), leaving the outer platter of the Thorens TD-124 exposed.
After removing the stock Thorens TD-124 45RPM adapter and mat I installed Chris’ adapter (above), which comes with three Allen machine screws and an Allen wrench to make life easy. Classy!
I’ve been using the SPEC AP-UD1 Analog Disc Sheet mat on my Classic 301 (you can read more about it HERE).
The SPEC is the best mat I’ve tried so far, so I put it on the Thorens with Chris’ new adapter and gave it a listen with some of the records I was playing earlier today.
The transformation wrought by Chris’ adapter and the SPEC mat was huge, and that simple change put my Thorens TD-124’s musical & sonic performance at a level that is similar to my Classic 301.
It never ceases to amaze me what small tweaks and improvements can do, and Chris’ adapter is a must have for the Thorens TD-124. I was expecting an improvement, but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic improvement in musical & sonic performance, and it’s put me back on my heels a bit.
Everything, and I mean everything of musical & sonic performance, was improved, and not subtly, but dramatically. I’m still marveling as I’m playing a variety of records while writing this.
Since I’ve robbed my CTC 301 of its SPEC mat, I’ll have to figure out something else for a mat for my Thorens when my CTC 301 returns from Ray for it’s maintenance visit, so I’ll be thinking about ideas in the meantime. Once having heard my TD-124 with Chris’ adapter and the SPEC mat there’s no going back to the stock mat!
You definitely want one of these for your Thorens TD-124 – highly recommended!
A big “Thank you!” to Chris Harban at Woodsong for sending me this adapter, it’s been a revelation!
You can reach Chris at Woodsong Audio HERE to find out more.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!