Thorens TD520 vs a restored Thorens TD125

I have been going around looking to buy my first TT, listening to many tables in the last one month. My current inference is that, mid level "modern" TTs (within $5k) dont cut enough for me. May be because they are designed to be revealing, they also end up revealing their own flaws :-). Either they sound thin or slow or sometimes very CD like. The good modern TTs are all in the 10k range (I am talking about the price of the table only).
Interestingly I still like the classic old school TT sound from the likes of Thorens TD125/160, Garrard 301 etc. There is something about their sound which is sweet and "analogue". They do lack detail and micro dynamics of the new age table but still have some rightness to the music. I dont know how to describe this character and what makes them do it.

This is the reason I have taken a step back and again started considering the older TTs. Currently there are two TTs on Audiogon which I am considering,

1. Thorens TD520 (stock with Thorens 12" tonearm)
2. Thorens TD125 MK2 totally restored by Christopher Thornton of Artisan Fidelity with Origin Live tonearm.

I have not heard any of these TTs and being in Singapore doesnt help. I have heard Thorens TTs and like them.

Can someone please post some opinion on which of these would be a better performer sonically ? I know both TD125 and TD520 were reference models of their time but the 520 definitely looks like a bigger performer. I am confused.

BTW, I have another thread running in the Analog section where we are discussing modern TTs to consider. I wanted to keep the classic TT discussion seperate.
In the United States, not that many TD520's found their way into owner's hands. We do know that it is essentially a stretch version of the TD320. And such shares materials and architecture with it. Suspended subchassis made of MDF. Suspension is by leaf spring hanging from a wire.

Here's a link to a photo of a TD520:

I believe they could be had with different veneers. Some in Rosewood. In that trim the model was very impressive to look at. But essentially, you are getting the sonic performance of a TD320 but using a longer tonearm. I'd want to upgrade from the Thorens arm if I had one.... But I don't. Nor have I ever heard one.

Here's an image of a stock-ish TD125 (mk1) with custom tonearm:

The Td125 is better known due to having been in more owners hands.....and is well regarded.

Personally, I'd want to sample the TD520 but with a tonearm upgrade. Also, I wouldn't be afraid to put a good quality MC cartridge on it. But others might prefer the older TD125 which can only be used with 9 inch tonearms. ( unless you can find the extremely rare TD125 LB (LB= long base).

Artisan Fidelity will convert your TD125 to a Long Base that will be able to use 12" arms. Also, they will install those new dc motors and controllers in the 125's if you want. IMO, the TD520 was built at a time when Thorens was falling downhill fast in both quality and sound. Those TD520 plinths are very cheaply made in comparison to the high mass solid maple plinths AF uses. Also, they totally eliminate the old suspension which is another plus. Not too mention they just look plain incredible.

Artisan Fidelity TD125 Long Base or "LB"

The bearings used in the TD125's were tops, much higher quality that those used in Thorens models of the 80's such as the TD520.

I'd go with the AF Long base converted td125, better build and I'm sure better sound than a td520.

good luck