Review Article: The Hood; a dust cover for the Thorens TD124,121,134,135 models
Product Description: An acrylic dust cover designed to fit neatly over the Thorens TD124, 121, 134,135 model produced from 1957 to 1967.
Price as tested: with cutout $240 usd free ship,
without cutout $215 usd free ship (not tested in this review)
Seller: Ferruccio in Switzerland
Design Purpose: To shield the turntable against the intrusion of dust as well as protect from physical damage to the record player and its component parts.
Hood with cutout.
Dimensions, external: 16-1/4" Wide, 13-3/8" Deep, 4-11/16" High
Thickness of the acrylic plate: .141" (9/64")
The fit: The internal boundaries of the dustcover hugs the chassis perimeter of the TD124 with a quarter-inch to spare all around. Vertically, the inside upper surface of my sample clears the top of my Graham tonearm by what appears to be one inch or possibly just slightly less. Make that one inch.
Design notes: This dustcover is a lift-off design where the operator lifts the dustcover completely off the turntable and then must place it somewhere safe while playing records with it.
This differs from original equipment dustcovers many of us saw in the 1970's that were equipped with hinges to the back side of the cabinetry that allowed one to easily lift the front end of the dustcover up and backward into a parked position that would hold it stationary while the operator loads and unloads records. Not as convenient as the park-able kind of dustcover, the 'lift-and-remove' method does avoid the dustcover becoming an acoustic reflector of the sort that directs airborne sound waves toward the cartridge/stylus/record groove interface, and in some cases actually causing acoustic feedback of the kind that can lower playback quality. A popular philosophy today suggests that dustcovers only belong on the player when it isn't working. The dustcover on review here aligns with that latter philosophy.
In practice: My sample has the optional cutout for 9 inch tonearms that have counterweight assemblies hanging further out the back than did standard issue tonearms of the day. Today, in fact, almost any 'optional' choice of tonearm would require the cutout to fit this dustcover.
Ferruccio charges more for 'Hoods' that have the cutout due to the added labor and care taken to produce this cut.
Removing and replacing is simple enough. The weight is light. There is nothing tricky about balance. You do need to have a parking place set aside to receive this dust cover. I leave this detail to the individual owner. But it is a requirement. The thing has to park somewhere when you're playing records. For my own purpose I choose not to place the dust cover over the player while a record is in play.
With the dustcover in my hands it feels sturdy enough around the cutout area with no apparent flexing unless one actually applies force to this area. So, with moderate care in handling, it seems sturdy and robust enough for the task. But don't sit on it!
Above photo: Author with Hood in hand.
Above photo: Hood is parked to the right of the TD124 on the audio rack and safely out of the way. I could just as well have put the Hood on the black metal rack to the left. Customize your own parking spot.
Apart from the functional benefits, one more thing seems readily apparent to me -- The Hood dresses up the appearance and impression of this record player quite substantially.
Who makes these dustcovers? Enter one Ferruccio in Switzerland. What I can tell you about Ferruccio is that he really likes Thorens. Over the years he has sent in some photos of some of his restoration projects. Worthy of note is this rare Thorens TD524 direct drive model from 1982 which has been restored according to Ferruccio's direction. Note also the rather nice looking dust cover on this model. He had that made in addition to the custom cabinet work.
He's also sent in photos of his Thorens TD126 mkII and also a TD150 mkII in all original condition. But this TD524 really grabs my attention. A rare and luxurious Thorens direct drive model.
In addition to Thorens models he also collects other makes. Worthy of special note is this Swiss Army Lenco. Below are two thumbnail images of the Lenco. I also have a Lenco Gallery page devoted to this unit. Ferruccio's Lenco
This lenco was eventually sold to a museum in Switzerland.