Thorens TD 124 DD Turntable Thorens SPU 124

Thorens SPU 124

Pictured on p45, not only is the bulbous body shape of the SPU 124 (Stereo Pick-Up) entirely reminiscent of the iconic MC launched by Ortofon in 1958, so too has the design of the 'motor' – two fine copper wire coils wound onto a (moving) square former – been retained. New materials and stylus profiles are pressed into service across Ortofon's now very extensive SPU range, but this Thorens variant looks closest in specification to the Synergy model with its higher rated 0.5mV output, achieved by the use of more powerful neodymium magnets.


Tested at a 3.0g downforce (the SPU 124's recommended value is 0.5g lower than that suggested for the SPU Synergy) it achieves 0.475mV (or 475µV, re. 1kHz/5cm/sec) with a 0.4dB channel balance and ~25dB midband separation. Tracking starts to fail at +14dB (re. 315Hz/5cm/sec), just surmounting the 65µm groove pitch – not a bad result bearing in mind the dynamic compliance is very low at ~8cu. Of greater importance, perhaps, is the fine generator symmetry producing very similar response [see inset Graph] and distortion vs. frequency trends when comparing lateral (L+R, black) and vertical (L-R, red) cuts. Ortofon has made strides in reducing the moving mass of the SPU cantilever/diamond but the response almost inevitably lacks the HF extension of 'high tech' MCs, falling by 1dB at 5kHz, –4dB/10kHz and –8dB/20kHz. PM

Thorens GmbH
Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Supplied by: Signature Audio Systems
07738 007776