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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this is the best place to ask this question, but I will give it a shot....


Several years ago I packed up my vintage audio gear and stored it away, primarily to maintain harmony in the household -- i.e., keep the wife happy. Recently I set up a HT system and have an urge to listen to some music again. I have a universal player (Denon 4010) in my HT system and plan to start expanding my meager CD/SACD collection, but in the mean time I am thinking about digging out some of my favorite vinyl records along with the vintage audio gear (Thorens TD 124 MKII, Shure SME 3009 Series II, Shure V15 Type II). This will be married to a Denon 5308.


Assuming my old gear is still in good working order (it was when I last used it), what kind of investment would I have to make in order to replace the vintage equipment with a contemporary turntable, tonearm and cartridge. I know nothing about what is available today except that there is virtually no limit to how much I could spend if my pockets were deep enough. What I really want to know is how much I would have to spend to get something with equivalent performance and quality. For example, the V15 cost $67.50 in 1968. Would a $70 MM-type cartridge today be as good or better?


Ditto for the tonearm and cartridge. I don't remember what I paid for them in 1968, but what would I have to spend today to get something equivalent?


If you find this to be a stupid question, I appologize in advance. However, it would not be my first, and it will not be my last.


Thanks
 

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The real question is: if your old gear is working good why would you even want to replace it? That old stuff is the type of thing "kids" like me are lusting after to find in good second hand condition. Check ebay/audiogon to see what I mean. That gear you have there is hot tamales and is probably worth way more now beat up and used than when brand new. Those TD124's are a popular platform for the DIY crowd to strip, clean, relube, etc. and drop into a heavy DIY plinth. Word is those can be stellar setups.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Hawk88 /forum/post/18264320


(Thorens TD 124 MKII, Shure SME 3009 Series II, Shure V15 Type II). This will be married to a Denon 5308.


Assuming my old gear is still in good working order (it was when I last used it), what kind of investment would I have to make in order to replace the vintage equipment with a contemporary turntable, tonearm and cartridge. I know nothing about what is available today except that there is virtually no limit to how much I could spend if my pockets were deep enough. What I really want to know is how much I would have to spend to get something with equivalent performance and quality. For example, the V15 cost $67.50 in 1968. Would a $70 MM-type cartridge today be as good or better?

The cart may need to be replaced if the suspension has stiffened with age (Shure don't sell replacements any more, but the M97 stylus assembly may fit and work OK for $68 or so. Email Shure and ask.


The Thorens is a highly sought after and respected deck and they sellfor good prices. You would have to spend thousands to better it in the current market. Google and check for yourself. SME arms are great so you are all set there.


Dust it off, set it up and enjoy.
 

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I agree with everyone else. Your electronics should be fine unless you have a desire to explore multichannel and want to have the latest lossless formats. The Thorens TD124 is probably better than any sub $1,000 turntable being made today. The only thing I'd replace is the cartridge solely due to age of the cantilever suspension. It's a shame that Shure stopped making the V15 Type XXX series. I used to have a V15 Type IV and loved it. The M97xE is the closest thing they make these days but there are some other decent MM designs in the $100 price range too. The Stanton 681 EEE moving iron design was a direct competitor to the V15 back in the day and it's still available at ~ $150 online if you want to keep a retro look in your setup. The Stanton has a reputation as a tough little bugger too.
 

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I wouldn't sell the TT ether. But, I would go out and listen to a few High output, MC cartridges and compare them to MM. I would say the cart is the weakest part of the chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the good advice. I was sleeping on this last night and was coming to the same conclusion. I don't anticipate getting heavy into vinyl records -- I just want to listen to some old favorites of mine. If the TD 124 and SME 3009 are still considered respectable by today's standards, then I don't see any point in spending a lot of money to upgrade given the amount of use I will be making of them. I was mainly trying to get a measure of how they stack up against current technology.


I most definitely will be replacing the cartridge. My understanding is that the SME 3009 works best with (requires?) a high compliance cartridge. I was looking at the M97XE specs and do not see any compliance numbers listed, and even if they were, I would not know what is considered low or high. It looks like I need to climb the learning curve a bit and then I may be able to ask some more intelligent questions. I also need to check the specs of the phono inputs for the 5308 to see what would be compatible with it.


I may be back later to ask a question or two. In the mean time, I might also dig out the old Marantz 10B to see if it still works -- I am less optimistic about that since it hasn't had any juice flowing through it in several years.


Thanks again for the help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Hawk88 /forum/post/18269761


My understanding is that the SME 3009 works best with (requires?) a high compliance cartridge. I was looking at the M97XE specs and do not see any compliance numbers listed, and even if they were, I would not know what is considered low or high. It looks like I need to climb the learning curve a bit and then I may be able to ask some more intelligent questions.

There were different versions of the 3009 for high and low compliance carts. Here is the Vinyl Engine database search for the 3009 which might help you ID your model. If you can get the S/N, SME would be able to tell you exactly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Hawk88 /forum/post/18269761


I also need to check the specs of the phono inputs for the 5308 to see what would be compatible with it.

Undoubtedly it's an MM stage, so MM/MI or high output MC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Hawk88 /forum/post/18269761


In the mean time, I might also dig out the old Marantz 10B to see if it still works -- I am less optimistic about that since it hasn't had any juice flowing through it in several years.


Thanks again for the help.

That unit is junk, so please send it to me immediately for safe disposal.

Seriously, it's a fine unit, very highly regarded by many and quite valuable, but it seems can be a PITA to keep working perfectly.
http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/marantz.html


Best bet would likely be to get a tech to give it a thorough going over and alignment, but RF engineers/techs seem to be a dying breed, so maybe try that site for someone or the ARRL.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Hawk88 /forum/post/18269761


Thanks everyone for the good advice. I was sleeping on this last night and was coming to the same conclusion. I don't anticipate getting heavy into vinyl records -- I just want to listen to some old favorites of mine. If the TD 124 and SME 3009 are still considered respectable by today's standards, then I don't see any point in spending a lot of money to upgrade given the amount of use I will be making of them. I was mainly trying to get a measure of how they stack up against current technology.


I most definitely will be replacing the cartridge. My understanding is that the SME 3009 works best with (requires?) a high compliance cartridge. I was looking at the M97XE specs and do not see any compliance numbers listed, and even if they were, I would not know what is considered low or high. It looks like I need to climb the learning curve a bit and then I may be able to ask some more intelligent questions. I also need to check the specs of the phono inputs for the 5308 to see what would be compatible with it.


I may be back later to ask a question or two. In the mean time, I might also dig out the old Marantz 10B to see if it still works -- I am less optimistic about that since it hasn't had any juice flowing through it in several years.


Thanks again for the help.

A 10B, very nice, however I would buy a Variac and bring her up slowly so the caps can reform. Take her up slowly over a few hours and she might reward you with working fine. I would also inspect everything and look for obvious signs of break down.


Good luck, awesome gear!!
 
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