It’s all about sound. The specifications of the motor and the design of the motor control was choosen to meet the sonical demands of Thorens. Also note that the torque was set lower than usual for direct drive motors. The goal was to get a smooth sound, so it sounds like a Thorens should sound like. Again, the motor is not constructed by or bought from Hanpin. The turntable was a collaboration between the engineer Walter Fuchs, the product designer and developer Helmut Thiele - both of them are head of R&D at Thorens - and John Jian, head of R&D at Ya Horng electronics, with additional input and support and control of the project by Günter Kurten, CEO Thorens. It has been awarded “Turntable of the year” in EISA awards, Thorens also won the award last year for the TD1600/1601, and when the TD309 was introduced ten years ago. The tonearm was made in a collaboration between Helmut Thiele and the classic German company EMT, famous for it’s broadcast tonearms and MC cartridges. Stereophile compared the new 124 to the old and found that the new one had better dynamics, a tighter and more rhythmic sound with better control. It’s a modern take on the smooth and airy Thorens sound. Years ago, Thorens released the TD160 HD. It looked quite much like a classic TD160 but with updates in the form of a new acrylic platter and new suspension. It was Thorens first retro model, but it failed on the market. I personally believe this was because it was too analytical and biting in the sound, it was too much of a departure from the classic Thorens sound. One buys a Thorens because it sounds like a Thorens. And a Thorens that sounds like something else is not a Thorens. The new Thorens has a smooth and airy sound, but with better control and handling of fast transients than before. The bass is tighter and better controlled. More punch and slam. Still, there’s a touch of warmt there as a Thorens should have. It’s not a Rega nor Technics and doesn’t pretend to be.