Finally, after years of resistance my father relented and allowed a vinyl turntable, a Thorens TD 145, into the house. It was an extraordinary about face. Prompted by Uncle Seamus, who took devilish pleasure in getting my father to part with his money, Dad paid for a Thorens TD 145. The lesser well known but more expensive version of the Thorens TD 160. The Thorens TD 145 incorporates a “luxurious” auto shut off. I’ve had it since.
My Thorens TD 145 rode shotgun on my musical journey from the T-Rex and The Beatles, through punk, jazz, hiphop and beyond. It suffered though a promiscuous phase in my twenties when I salvaged high end, vinyl turntables from the CD deluge.
I had flings with direct drives. There was an on and off thing with a Rega Planer. Did some things with a Pioneer PL-550 that I haven’t done since. There were also meaningless dalliances I don’t recall – a one night stand with a loaner Linn LP-12 I do recall – more about that some other time.
Wonderful turntables all. I came crawling back to theThorens TD 145 with promises that went unkept.
Sadly, my Thorens TD 145 is all that remains from our family home – that, and the head board from a an army officers bed – Irish or English, I can’t say. I know is this – in the fifty years since it came off that bed, it hasn’t found a use. This project began when I decided to honor an almost forgotten dream to re-tune the Thorens TD 145.
That project quickly became something else. It became a homage to the magic of vinyl reproduction, a celebration of twentieth century analogue innovation, and some kind of artistic exploration of my relationship with inscription devices. My intention was to rebuild rather than restore the Thorens TD-145. I want explore what it can be now, in 2019, not to reclaim it but to help it evolve.
I want to re-imagine this machine and renew it for the future. The body of vinyl recordings is one of the twentieth century’s great achievements in art – dwarfs the pyramids. Hearing that work on a contemporary piece of equipment imbues authenticity. Tuning an old record player should command the same rigor and devilish pleasure as the making a work of art. Thanks Dad and thanks Uncle Seamus.