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A Trip Down Vintage Audio Lane

By January 29, 2009

Thorens TD-125 MKII Turntable with Rabco SL-8e Tonearm

I had forgotten how great a phonograph record can sound when played on a good turntable with a linear tracking tonearm and a moving coil cartridge. The photo is a Thorens TD-125 MK II turntable with a Rabco SL-8e Linear Tracking Tonearm that I purchased many years ago, but has been in storage for some time. Thorens turntables are among the best and are still available. The Rabco tonearms are no longer made but are still available used on ebay and perhaps a few vintage audio websites. The Rabco tonearm is somewhat of a Rube Goldberg machine, a device that performs simple tasks in a complex manner. One of its motors lowers the tonearm on the record, another pulls the tonearm laterally across the record via a chain. They are very delicate and can be fussy. After years in storage I managed to recondition it and it works fine. In my opinion a linear tracking tonearm is the best method of playing a record because the cartridge and stylus remain on a constant tangent to the record groove.

January 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm
(1) Ken Lawson says:

There is a whole cottage industry growing around both lps and vintage audio, and some video equipment. Many folks say lp sound better the cds , Thats not even counting the new line of turntable, cassette players and other equipment designed to allow you to transfer your lps and tape to digital formats, and use them on you new digital players. The archivist in me says to record them in the best possible sound quality and then make copy’s as mps from original digital copys.

Ken Lawson

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