Octave Audio

Mission: The deliverance of musical bliss; Vintage audio record player restorations


Company Overview


Octave Audio accepts older and original Thorens TD-124 turntables and completely re-builds them. We are the acknowledged rebuilder and restorer of vintage Thorens 124 turntables, worldwide; as is recognized by Art Dudley and Stereophile Magazine. Each part is sourced from Switzerland and/or Germany and in most instances is 'new old stock' to maintain accurate calibration, originality and provenance. What remains are the main platter, the sub platter and (depending on the nomenclature used) the plinth or top metal part of the original table. All the internal parts are replaced or made modern while still retaining the 'old school' operation, sonic signature, and mechanical style. Original replacement parts or newly manufactured replacement parts engineered to factory specifications are used. All work is performed by skilled technicians. We have elected to not use some inferior aftermarket Swiss parts because of lack of reliability, lower standards, and a high failure rate. If you, the music lover, is wanting a perfectly restored vintage turntable, we would be so very happy to work with you in accomplishing your analog needs.


Should you own an original Thorens TD-124 (Mark I or II) you would deliver the table to us for inspection and to determine what mechanical parts need to be replaced or re-supplied new. This might encompass the table motor, spindle, bearing, idler wheel, belt, springs and rubbers or anything else that might prevent the table from operating optimally and as originally designed. This usually is a one to three-stage re-build. An updating of the mechanicals of a Thorens TD-124 usually ranges in cost from $450.00 to $1,750.00 depending on the overall aesthetic as well as operational and mechanical condition of the turntable (a determination cannot be made until a technician inspects it). This is a labor charge which is in addition to the cost of replacement parts and also includes testing and calibration.


The TD-124 offers unparalleled musical performance. From the point of view of technical specifications, the TD 124 can compete with any modern turntable, but it is above all the Thorens' unmatched ability to convey the heart and soul of music through vinyl reproduction which has established its reputation. As Stereophile Magazine and Art Dudley noted in his recent "Listener column" devoted to the restoration of the TD124, the turntable is a masterpiece of precision engineering in the service of music. Every mechanical and electronic component was designed, engineered and manufactured for a specific purpose - Thorens never used off-the-shelf parts. However, with time - the earliest TD 124 is now half a century old! - even the best-made parts degrade and deteriorate. Realizing the potential of the TD 124 requires a full restoration The Octave Audio Professional restoration, including our replacement motor bearing, restores the turntable to its original performance specifications and even results in some significant improvements - all of which build on the original's specific design philosophy and strengths.


The fundamental problem of the TD 124 was (and remains) the motor - a problem which is, incidentally, common to all other turntables using the E 50 motor. The motor, which was not produced by Thorens but sourced from suppliers, inevitably suffered from technical limitations, namely the quality of the bearing. Cost considerations - at the beginning of the 60's an E 50-type motor cost some 10 euros to manufacture - meant that the motor quality is simply no match for the other elements which define the astonishing overall quality of the TD 124. The original motor bearings were made from tinned bronze. After 40 years, these have become dried and brittle. No simple oiling can solve this problem. Now, after many years of research and experimentation, we can offer a bearing for the E 50 motor which has been designed without cost compromise, to tolerances of 1/1000 mm. We install the bearing and replace all worn parts, after which the motor is run in for two weeks. The motor is then opened once more to remove any loose filings, after which it is precisely calibrated. The motor is replaced in the chassis and run for an additional week under real-world conditions, after which all chassis elements are finely adjusted. The motor restoration results in the following: At 33 RPM proper speed is reached after only one platter rotation Speed stability remains absolutely constant, measurably lower noise and vibration and years of trouble-free turntable use.


We now own a CNC cutting lathe so that all of our machining is done in house to provide perfecting standards, to our un-qualified standards.

The TD 124 is said to "rumble". However, this rumble is not produced by the idler wheel drive mechanism, but where present results from vibrations caused by vibrating, poorly-mounted motors. Our TD 124 service results in measurable performance equal to that of a modern high-end turntable.


The Octave Audio Professional chassis and motor restoration includes the following parts and services: Full motor restoration. MK I models will be automatically converted into MK II motor mounting with our Replacement of the motor suspension damping system for optimal decoupling of the motor from the chassis.


Complete chassis restoration. The chassis is completely disassembled and cleaned of all oil and grease. All parts, fixed and moving, are replaced as necessary, and the chassis is greased and oiled according to original factory specifications, after which the restored motor is reinstalled.


Full restoration of the main platter bearing, including "Noise-Reduction-Kit" Idler wheel noise reduction kit ( and refurbishing of the idler (only very rarely do these require replacing). Step Pulley, New belt manufactured to our strict specifications. Refurbishing of the main AC switch and replacement "switch compressor condenser, strobe lamp, plexiglass window, and Thorens Sticker are replaced.


Extensive endurance run under listening conditions


Even if your Thorens runs well, the complete chassis/motor restoration will improve performance dramatically with a reduction of noise/rumble up to 15 db!


Price for Motor and chassis Restoration: $1,000.00


The restoration does not include shipping cost, replacing the idler wheel mushrooms, repainting the chassis, nor does it include replacing missing parts.


PLEASE NOTE:


We cannot repair replacement Papst motors.‚The chassis must be complete! - we can not replace missing parts. Only complete chassis will be accepted for service.‚ We are frequently asked if the idler wheel is routinely replaced as part of the service. This is only rarely necessary - in 90% of all cases the idler wheel can be successfully restored. However, for customers desiring a new idler wheel, a replacement unit can be supplied and will be separately billed.


As a special service (undertaken only as part of a complete restoration), we are now able to offer complete color restoration of the TD 124 chassis, both Mark I and II models.All parts are removed, bead blasted and/or sonically cleaned, the original paint is completely stripped, all scratches, scuffs, dings etc are professionally repaired and sanded before the chassis is primed an multiple coats of color based on the original Mark I and/or II mixes are applied.In additional to the traditional Mark I beige and Mark II grey custom colors can be applied as well. We personally recommend the original color.


Price original colors: $800.00


Lastly, a customer can add a custom furniture grade wooden plinth (available in heavy gloss black and by special order some hardwood finishes) or a new tone arm mounting board for a specific tone arm and several different tone arms (the Brinkmann 10.5" or 12", the older SME 3009 and 3012R, as well as the newly made Ortofon AS 309 and AS 212 and RS 309 and RS 212 tone arms) and an Ortofon SPU monaural or stereophonic phono cartridge if they would like, Koetsu phono cartridges, and Lehmann Audio phono stages.


Stereophile Recommended Components, 2009, †2010, 2011, 2012, 2013


Octave Audio/modifications for Thorens TD 124 ‚†

Replacement parts for vintage Thorens TD 124 turntables are manufactured in Switzerland by and sold in the US by Octave Audio. A new drive belt ($35), new rubber .mushroomsfor isolating the player from its plinth ($60/set of four), and a fresh bottle of Thorens oil ($25) got Art's turntable up and running. However, the biggest improvements to the 124.s performance came from new rubber grommets for isolating the motor from its surroundings ($50/set of six) and the platter-bearing rebuild kit ($90), complete with new gasket, thrust plate, and bolts. The modifications created a record player that could compete with virtually anything he heard in terms of treble openness and clarity, midrange detail, and bass extension, said Art.