Nov 082018
 

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.

Classic Turntable Company 301 & 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. 

Artisan Fidelity Statement Thorens TD-124 turntable.

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!

 Posted by at 6:45 pm

  8 Responses to “Today’s Fresh Catch: Woodsong Audio TD-124 Platter Adapter – OMG!”

  1. Hi Jeff, which platter do you have on your TD124? The standard iron platter on your thorens?

    • Hi Mark,

      I’ve got the “Artisan Fidelity austenitic stainless steel precision balanced high mass main platter.”

      You can see all of the details of the Artisan Fidelity Statement / Classic Thorens TD-124 HERE.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Maybe one day you can try the PTP Lenco?

    Regards

    • Hi Juan,

      The only way that could happen is if PTP were to request a review of their Lenco, and if they did, I would certainly be open to it.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

    • Hi Jeffrey,

      Thanks for the great comment, you made me chuckle!

      I don’t consider myself to have “golden ears” but I do find it relatively easy to hear the differences between most things – it comes from lots of practice.

      Retirement sure is wonderful, and you are a smart man to retire as early as you did. I have really been enjoying being retired, and it is a real treat to spend my days doing those things I love to do.

      All the best to you!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  3. I can tell from your use of particular words that you are indeed a golden-eared audiofile. Words like ‘huge, ‘dramatic’, ‘everything’, etc., are a product of your ability to hear subtle differenceses that the rest of us simply cannot–or at least have to work hard at hearing any degree of. On the other hand, I, while having been an audiofile for about 50 years, still have to work hard to hear some differences. For instance, I this year bought a pair of PS Audio BHK300 monoamps that use a pair (each) of 6DJ8/6922 tubes. Over a couple months I received 13 different quads of these tubes, and it took me months of break-in and switching tubes to characterize each set and finally select my favorite*. Some sonic differences I can hear fairly quickly, some take ‘ages’. Beyond the relatively easy ones of extended frequency response and lack of hardness, the most important characteristic to me is transparency, which I define as the sense that there’s nothing but air between me and the two or twenty or hundred musicians playing tor ME. My system, which has taken all of those 50 years to build, achieves that degree of transparency fairly often, I’m happy to report.

    Keep up the good work, sir, and never forget to enjoy your retirement. I was blessed to be able to retire at age 54, and I’ve loved every minute since.

    * The variously branded British-Mullard E188CC (7308) won, and I now have five quads of them.

  4. Hello Jeff,

    Two years ago Jaap Pees (from Hanze Hifi in the Netherlands) demonstrated in 100% the same conditions the sound of the Thorens 124 and the Garrard 301. Both the turntables were in mint condition, used the same cartridge and also had the same arm. I believe an arm from Jelco. Both the turntables sounded great. And yes the sounded not the same, although the differences where not huge. Te be honest. I would more talk about a difference in character. I walked out of the room and talked again with Jaap about the difference between my beloved LP12 and the Thorens. Jaap knows my LP12 very well, he is doing the upgrades for me and the maintenance of my LP 12. He smiled, and asked me: are you satisfied with your LP12. Of course I am. Then don’t change, he said. Ok, fair enough. But for a long time I am wondering what the difference is between these both excellent turntables. I could ask Chris! This morning I skipped to the site of Chris. And…….to my surprise he is a fan also of the Linn LP12, the Thorens and the Garrard. How strange it may sound, it gave me a good sunday-morning feeling. I am very pleased about the type of plinths he is offering for the Linn. The cocobolo wood plinth is just gobsmacking!

    Piet de Vries (from Audiotweaks) is the importer in the Netherlands of SPEC. He is using the SPECAP-UD1 Analog Disc Sheet mat on his SPEC turntable. A very massive turntable! I am wondering how my Linn will sound with this mat. The Linn is very sensitive for the type of mat. Every time I went back to the black cotton mat. I will give it a try with the SPEC Analog Disc Sheet.

    A very big thank for this nice ‘Fresh Catch’.

    With friendly analog greetings,

    Siedy

    • Hi Siedy!

      The Linn LP12 is a great turntable. In fact the LP12 was my first “turntable love affair” after I heard one as a grad student some decades ago. I wanted an LP12 badly but just couldn’t afford it back then, when my main priorities were making sure I had enough to eat and a warm coat for winter!

      Chris’ work is really beautiful, and I’m hoping Chris and I can get together for a little audio fun & games before too long, as it turns out he lives fairly close to me.

      A little sneak peek that’s coming up: Jaap is sending me the TD-124 motor spring kit to try, and the nice folks at SPEC are sending me a mat to use on my TD124, so when it all gets here I’ll follow up with a post on a little Thorens hot-rodding! I don’t know what the result of the SPEC mat will be on your LP12, but I will await your report!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

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