Thorens TD 127

Thorens TD 127 (1983/84)
– the 126’s big brother


without tonearm (BC) or with SME 3012 R

16-pole synchronous AC motor,
speed 33, 45 and 78, electronically switched,
electronic regulated motor speed control, pitch +/- 6%, platter weight 3,2 kg


My story :

Now this is a really rare beast - the 126s big brother, built only from 1983 to 1984. It was designed to take 12-inch tonearms like the SME 3012. Like the first two versions of the 126 it was equipped with the 16pole AC motor, not the 72pole DC motor from the 126 Mk. III, the Thorens model which was sold in large numbers during the 80ies.

The picture above was taken from an original Thorens brochure, it shows the TD 127 in standard mahogany plinth with SME 3012 R. Please scroll down to see pictures of my 127.

So how did I get this beauty ?
Well, I’m the moderator of the Analog-Forum (, a forum for “analogue addicts” in German, maintained by the Analog Audio Association (
A member of the Analog-Forum offered a TD 127 BC (without tonearm) for a very reasonable price, and because I’m a lover of Thorens turntables - and especially the ones with 12-inch-tonearm-capability - I definitely could not resist to write him immediately. Luckily he lives only 45 kilometers from my home, so collecting the Thorens was no problem - I can’t imagine what the Postal Service possibly would have done to this gem.

I found the TD 127 to be in great shape, looking almost new. Even the lid looks very good with only a few slight marks from cleaning. The original platter mat is missing, but I’m using a 3mm cork mat instead now with really good results. The bottom cover had been replaced with a REALLY heavy plate made from some sort of artificial stone or concrete.

The guy I bought the TD 127 from had a Lustre 9-inch tonearm in use and therefore had made an extra armboard, so I got the original mahogany armboard drilled for the SME 3012 in pristine condition. He even gave me two more undrilled armboards, made by himself from solid mahogany.

So after I brought the 127 into my listening room in the basement all I had to do was to find a proper place for it - not an easy task because the room is quite small and there are so many turntables standing around (see the pictures below).

But since I wanted to use the TD 127 with a 3012 the way to go was clear - the Garrard 301 would loose his tonearm, at least until the moment I can put my hands on another 12-inch SME (or maybe a nice Fidelity Research - hey, I’m just dreaming ...).

So here it is - the Thorens TD 127 Electronic with SME 3012 Series II (with bronze base from Analog Tube Audio, Germany) and Ortofon SPU Royal N in a Clearaudio headshell. The signal goes through the AN-S2 Low transformer from Audio Note into the phonostage of the Rogers E-20a, feeding LS 3/5a speakers made by Spendor.

So how does it sound ? Well, just the way it looks - breathtakingly good ...

Note: the “hanging” of the top-plate (rear) is corrected of course - the pictures were taken before the final adjustment.

So here are two pictures of my small collection (imagine 2500 records behind the photographers position - no more space for more turntables, I’m afraid).