Thorens TD150 Turntable + SME 3009 Combination
Every audiophile knows that high-quality components are designed to give many years of service. However it is not every day that one hears about a turntable / tonearm combination that has lasted for more than FIFTY YEARS!
In early September 2020, we at Unilet Sound & Vision received a very welcome email from a customer who was searching out a replacement drive belt and cartridge for his system.
Upon further investigation, it turned out he purchased the original components – a Thorens TD150 Turntable with SME 3009 Tonearm – right here from the first incarnation of our shop, way back in August 1969 – wow!
It was not only gratifying to hear that these items had been responsible for many DECADES of listening pleasure, but the icing on the cake was an image of the original purchase receipt too.
Right there was evidence of the total payment (£50.81, including tax) for the two components, paid to Unilet Products Ltd, of New Malden, Surrey.
Our email conversation, reproduced below, threw even more light on the subject:
I was getting advice for a new cartridge for my beloved Thorens TD150/SME 3009 combination and ordering a replacement belt, and I mentioned I had probably got the original invoice. So I searched and I did. So I wondered if the original supplier still existed and there you were!!
So I thought you might be interested to see the combination still in use and the original invoice pictures of which are attached. The scrawl on the back of the invoice is, I think the dimensions for the plinth I made for it, on which it still sits.
The turntable belt I replaced was the original and giving no problems, but I thought I would treat it. The guy who sold it to me from Unilet (after a long conversation on the suitability of the Thorens, Garrard 401 or Transcriptors for my requirement – needing to be transported to/from university with minimum fuss) advised me to always give the platter a little assistance to start and stop to minimise belt wear. That worked! The SME did suffer from the dreaded droop and I had to replace the coupling rubbers about 15 years ago. The replacement cartridge for interest was an Ortofon 2M Blue which works brilliantly.
You certainly have my permission to share the photos and story. There are probably more classic turntables and arms than you might think still in use out there, but “one careful owner” examples may be few and far between.
Best wishes to you all.
So, it would seem that hearty congratulations are in order for both Thorens and SME, on the design and manufacture of some excellent components. Not forgetting Mr Palmer himself for providing decades of TLC to his long-serving and no doubt lovely-sounding hi-fi system.
Do you have a similar story?
In stark contrast to the throwaway culture of today, we love to hear stories about great quality products which have stood the test of time – most especially if we were involved in their recommendation or aquisition.
So if you purchased a system or components from us many years ago, please don’t hesitate to give Unilet a call and tell us that your beloved audio/video setup is still going strong.