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Restoration of Thorens TD 135 MK I

Thorens TD 135 MK I

Restoration of Thorens TD 135 MK I

The TD 135 MK I was introduced in 1961, utilising the same drive system as its elder brother, the legendary TD 124: E-50 motor, stepped pulley and combination belt/rim drive.

The main difference with the TD 124 was the use of a steel chassis and the absence of an arm board: the BTD 12s tone was built directly into the chassis. The MK I was manufactured without anti-skating compensation. Direct mounting of the tonearm on the chassis produces higher levels of rumble, particularly when used with a modern cartridge.

Happily, the TD 135 model was supplied with a non-magnetic Inca aluminium top platter and automatic end-of-side turnoff.

According to Thorens developer and lab technician Jacques Basset the best E-50 motors were reserved for the TD 124, after which they went into the TD 135 MK I und TD 184.

The TD 135 was neglected for many years, standing in the shadow of the TD 124. But a full restored and upgraded 135 is an outstanding turntable which seriously outperforms many well-regarded high-end tables. We recommend the TD 135 MK I for mono or 78 RPM playback, since it lacks the anti-skating compensation essential for an 8" tonearm.

Ouur restoration takes this table to an elevated level of performance - it won't displace the matchless TD 124, but outdistances many better-known tables. With the right cartridge, audible rumble and mechanical noise are virtually eliminated from the reproduction chain.

Our rebuild includes the same full motor and chassis restoration we perform for the TD 124. Additionally, we replace the tonearm counterweight and replace the stock tonearm cable with a 1.2 meter shielded Swissonor cable with Neutrik plugs. State-of-the-art restoration of the TD 135 requires more time than restoring the TD 124.

Price: CHF 1250.-

Cartridge extra. For mono playback we recommend the General Electric (GE) V II, which is switchable from 33/45 to 78 RPM.

We do not offer chassis repair or repainting service for this model.

Make certain that no parts are missing when you acquire a TD 135, particularly the original headshell. Replacement parts are extremely difficult to come by, and replication is difficult and costly.