Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

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scoran
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Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by scoran » 02 Nov 2019 04:02

Long time lurker, infrequent poster. Just picked up two Thorens TD 126 mkII's today. They're in rough shape cosmetically but seem mostly complete mechanically. Both power on and both motors spin and change speeds, so I decided to take a chance and snag them before anyone else came along.

Here's where I need help:

1. There are probably several suppliers for the belts - whose would you recommend, and do you need to pre-stretch them like one VE contributor suggested?

2. One tonearm is a stock Thorens (TP 16 mkII?) and seems to be missing the top piece that says Thorens. Does the arm look complete otherwise?

3. Can anyone identify the make and model of the other tonearm (black) missing its headshell? Does the arm look complete otherwise? Is this tonearm worth keeping, and if so what cartridges would you recommend?

4. What would be your top priorities for mechanical reconditioning of the TD 126 mkII? I've seen a couple lists for the TD 125, but I haven't seen much specific for the TD 126. I'd rather not do a full-on restoration until I get a sense for what these tables can do properly tuned.

Following are images:
https://i.ibb.co/kmJMV3y/TD-126-mkii-tonearm-A.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/j6w9VjF/TD-126-mkii-tonearm-A3.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/qmZXMHy/TD-126-mkii-tonearm-B6.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/6y2TF4F/TD-126-mkii-tonearm-B.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/wSwBpJ2/TD-126-mkii-tonearm-B3.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/k2HMMWZ/TD-126-mkii-tonearm-B5.jpg

Thanks in advance for your help

scoran
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by scoran » 02 Nov 2019 12:46

OK - found that Thorens still makes replacement belts and Vinyl Nirvana sells them, so that's one question answered.

Alec124c41
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by Alec124c41 » 02 Nov 2019 13:27

Your second tonearm is a Sumiko Premier MMT, made by Jelco.
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/sum ... -mmt.shtml
Ilike that arm so much that I have 4 of them. :)

Cheers,
Alec

scoran
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by scoran » 02 Nov 2019 14:53

Alec124c41 wrote:
02 Nov 2019 13:27
Your second tonearm is a Sumiko Premier MMT, made by Jelco.
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/sum ... -mmt.shtml
Ilike that arm so much that I have 4 of them. :)

Cheers,
Alec
Whoa! I've heard good things about both brands. Can you get replacement Sumiko headshells new? Would this arm take a Jelco headshell?

Many thanks, Alec!

markcass
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by markcass » 02 Nov 2019 19:20

Hi

This is a standard headshell fitting and there are many choices out there, from cheap to expensive, sometimes absurdly so IMHO!

A Jelco headshell would be an excellent choice; they made the arm, after all.

Other brands include Audio Technica, Ortofon and Technics (the arm on the famous SL1200 turntable uses this type of headshell).

HTH

Mark

user510
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by user510 » 02 Nov 2019 23:42

scoran wrote:
02 Nov 2019 14:53
Alec124c41 wrote:
02 Nov 2019 13:27
Your second tonearm is a Sumiko Premier MMT, made by Jelco.
https://www.vinylengine.com/library/sum ... -mmt.shtml
Ilike that arm so much that I have 4 of them. :)

Cheers,
Alec
Whoa! I've heard good things about both brands. Can you get replacement Sumiko headshells new? Would this arm take a Jelco headshell?

Many thanks, Alec!
https://www.musicdirect.com/analog-acce ... ell-wtools
My personal favorite headshell for the MMT is the Sumiko Hs-12. Mfd. by Jelco. Not cheap but excellent quality and in my experience sounds excellent with low compliance MC cartridges such as the Denon DL-103R cartridges.
http://usr.audioasylum.com/images/y2013 ... 01_001.JPG
-Steve

scoran
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by scoran » 03 Nov 2019 00:20

user510 wrote:
02 Nov 2019 23:42

https://www.musicdirect.com/analog-acce ... ell-wtools
My personal favorite headshell for the MMT is the Sumiko Hs-12. Mfd. by Jelco. Not cheap but excellent quality and in my experience sounds excellent with low compliance MC cartridges such as the Denon DL-103R cartridges.
http://usr.audioasylum.com/images/y2013 ... 01_001.JPG
-Steve
Steve, thanks for posting about the Sumiko shell. Is the lifter in your pic something extra? The Music Direct link doesn't picture it.

I was going to ask about cartridges, so nice to see a rec for the Denon DL-103R. Dave at Vinyl Nirvana posted that he feels the TP-12 mk ii arm on the TD 126 mkii can handle carts in the $500-$2,000 range. Would the same go for the MMT Premier tonearm? Anything you'd recommend between $500-$750 for either arm?

user510
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by user510 » 03 Nov 2019 00:28

The finger lift comes as part of the kit. It mounts with the cartridge and comes off with the cartridge.
The MMT arm punches above its price range. Fortunately you don't have to pay $500 for a DL-103R. They're priced lower than that. You do, however, need to invest in a step up transformer in order to feed its low voltage signal into a 47kohms input at the phono stage.
-Steve

scoran
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by scoran » 03 Nov 2019 04:22

markcass wrote:
02 Nov 2019 19:20
Hi

This is a standard headshell fitting and there are many choices out there, from cheap to expensive, sometimes absurdly so IMHO!

A Jelco headshell would be an excellent choice; they made the arm, after all.

Other brands include Audio Technica, Ortofon and Technics (the arm on the famous SL1200 turntable uses this type of headshell).

HTH

Mark
Thanks, Mark. I'm new to all this with tonearms and cartridges. I bought a Dual 1229 with two pretty good cartridges already mounted to the cartridge holders so I haven't had to align or think about headshells and whether they are standard mount.

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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by tlscapital » 03 Nov 2019 10:57

scoran wrote:
03 Nov 2019 04:22
I'm new to all this with tonearms and cartridges. I bought a Dual 1229 with two pretty good cartridges already mounted to the cartridge holders so I haven't had to align or think about headshells and whether they are standard mount.
There is indeed much more to a turntable than a 'plug'N'play' mp3 player... If it can seem rather complex at first, but once one gets the understanding of the basics, it becomes easier to match, set and adjust it all 'RIGHT'.

Those Thorens TD126 are highly regarded and rightfully so. Only, they are complex machinery inside and trouble shoot issues can prove difficult to sort out and fix if one is not of the tweaker kind. In electronics as well !

Before anything a good cosmetic clean in and out should be welcome. Then isopropyl clean off the bearing and shaft before a re-lube. Then order new belts if you wish (spares are never a waste) but I'd first get use to those on.

It's always wise to only change, upgrade and or add ONE thing at a time to hear how does that impact your playback sessions to your enjoyment or not so much... And get to understand how IT works. Good luck with your TD126's ;)

terry-a
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by terry-a » 03 Nov 2019 15:33

The LP Gear Zupreme is another headshell option. I have a few of these and they're identical to the Jelco. I suspect they're manufactured for LP Gear by Jelco.

scoran
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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by scoran » 03 Nov 2019 16:40

tlscapital wrote:
03 Nov 2019 10:57
Those Thorens TD126 are highly regarded and rightfully so. Only, they are complex machinery inside and trouble shoot issues can prove difficult to sort out and fix if one is not of the tweaker kind. In electronics as well !

Before anything a good cosmetic clean in and out should be welcome. Then isopropyl clean off the bearing and shaft before a re-lube. Then order new belts if you wish (spares are never a waste) but I'd first get use to those on.
Thanks, tslcapital. That confirms what I'd read about the TD126 before getting them.

I ordered new belts (Thorens OEM part), and will do a basic cleaning of surfaces and mechanicals with appropriate solvents. I was lucky to find a replacement OEM plinth for one table that's missing pieces.

Re: electronics, I know a hi-fi repairman who does good work on vintage gear. These tables have been sitting for 35 years according to the original owner, so I think it's best to have a professional test all functions and circuits, re-solder if needed, replace lights, etc.

I feel a lot better about getting these operational, thanks to some great advice and suggested links. We'll see how it goes with the electronics over the next couple of weeks...

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Re: Triage help needed: two Thorens TD 126 mkII turntables

Post by blekenbleu » 04 Dec 2019 13:30

What would be your top priorities for mechanical reconditioning of the TD 126 mkII? I've seen a couple lists for the TD 125, but I haven't seen much specific for the TD 126.
They probably need springs replaced; mine needed springs 10 years ago, but could not find them at the time.
The TD 126 evidently has many mechanical parts in common with TD 125,
and replica springs are now available from Vinyl Nirvana.

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