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Thorens tweaking

Discussion in 'classic' started by jimb0, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    I am thinking about picking up a Thorens 160 as an upgrade to my rather knackered Project 1.2. It seems like it would be a gentle intro to 'classic' TT meddling as it should be easily retrofitted with a better tonearm (SME/Rega cutouts readily available on eBay) and rehoused in a nice heavy plinth.

    What 'bang-for-buck tonearm should I be looking at: Rega/Origin 250? SME 3009? For cart I'm thinking Denon 103(r?).

    I'm also considering going the Lenco route but thinking that (to start with, at least) a Thorens deck will be easier to mess with.

  2. Have Fun

    Have Fun pfm Member

    Remember first the 160 plays records without tweaking & all you may need is a new belt & stylus .. otherwise you will never really know the "benefit" of the tweak
  3. margret299

    margret299 pfm Member

    The heavier plinth works well.The motor and bearing tweaks from srm workwell.Any of the o/l arms are good(I think an arm change is a must).It is no longer easy to get rega boards for a 160.Using a combination of the above Mine got close to sonndek performance at a fraction of the price.Best Margret.
  4. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    Good points about listening before tweaking. It will depend what I manage to get hold of in the first place.

    Someone seems to be selling SME and Rega boards on eBay fairly regularly so I don't see that being a problem.
  5. spet0114

    spet0114 REMPI Member

  6. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I had a TD150 with a Linn LVX for a few years, it was superb! TD150s come up on eBay quite a lot and are bargains.
    I fitted a new custom made plinth and damped the chassis with bitumastic pads (halfords). Whilst my LP12 is better I still remember how good the TD150 was. Most opinion believes that the TD150 sounds better than a TD160.

  7. DSJR

    DSJR Between us and them

    The TD150 fits a Linn plinth too. Some Linn dealers may still have a clean but old plinth available cheap. All you need to do is make a wider arm board (or blank up the gap on the right hand side and you have a great sounding deck.

    Some Thorens TD160/125 main bearings from the early seventies have a bit of rock/shake in them - one reason I suspect for the thinner spindle and deeper bushing of mid - late seventies ones. You may need a little EP90 gear oil if so...

    Anyone used a Nima with a 150/160? The old Mayware and Hadcock arm always worked well in olden days. As the Nima is obviously derived from the Mayware *vibe* it would be interesting to try I think.

    So much gets mentioned about the 150/160, what about the 125? I rather like the look of these and appreciate the more solid construction - I believe motor supplies were basically reliable too.
  8. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    Well - won an auction for a 150 on ePay...

    Reading up the consensus seems to be against Rega arms so I will be keeping my eyes open for a Linn arm or maybe an SME.
  9. DSJR

    DSJR Between us and them

    One of the best decks I heard for silly money is a mate's TD150, in an old Linn plinth, with RB300 and a Denon 304. It sounds gorgeous and the 1.25 g tracking force causes little to no audible slowing under load, which anything much over 1.5 grammes will cause due to the very elastic belt...
  10. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    Turns out the 150 is a mark 1 rather than 2 according to the seller (the auction listed it as a mk2). From what I have read the Thorens arm on the mk1 is regarded as inferior to that on the mk2.
  11. df_genius

    df_genius Solder slinger

    I am really chuffed with my TD160, I have added alot of mass and damping to the plnith and damped the sub-chassis as well. I use it with an SME 3009 and DL-103. The results are superb and run my PT Export quite close - much better than you'd expect
  12. Robn

    Robn pfm Member

    I'm pleased how good a TD150 MkII I bought with plinth and lid sounds even with its fairly bizarre mechanically suspect arm and an average Shure cartridge.

    I cleaned and lubricated the main bearing, used sticky bitumous pads on the pressed steel parts and the platter's inner rim, fitted and set up new springs and belt. Whole project less than £120, great sound with potential to improve further with better arm and plinth.
  13. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    Well, I have the 150 in my possession now. Looks in good nick too. First up is working out how to attach it to the mains... A somewhat spindly and unmarked grey cable with bare wire at the end.
  14. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    I had a TD150 with a Linn LV-V many years ago. I convinced myself it wasn't worth changing until I took it along to Eulipion and compared it directly to an LP12 with LV-V, same cartridge. I bought the Linn.
  15. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Do such things go together well ? I thought the Denon was a low compliance cartridge, not really suited for the 3009. From hearsay I thought that many 3009's were partnered with Shure V15-V :confused:
  16. df_genius

    df_genius Solder slinger

    My 3009 and DL-103 track like a train and sound great. I haven't got any test records but I do have some very loud Chemical Brothers pressings and they play no problem. I have replaced the plastic bearing with brass - that would add mass (and makes a big difference to the sound). I don't think the SME is as low mass as people say
  17. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    Well: it's hooked up and playing. The cartridge is some sort of (Decca?) Deram, unknown how old that is. It actually sounds fine - loads less noise than the Pro-ject but a bit nasal.
  18. Have Fun

    Have Fun pfm Member

  19. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    Quick update: picked up a Linn Basik arm from an upstanding PFMer and after some armboard bodging now have an Audio Technica AT110 on the end of it making rather fine noises.
  20. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    The 150 and 160 are great TTs. I prefer the 150 and the oribinal arms are *all right*. I had one with Mayware that was great, a Hadcock would work too.

    They often come with SME 3009, I've never been a great fan.

    I have a mag article on tweaking, and stuff on DIY Lingo type PSU, the sky's the limit with these and I have heard a good one run a Sondek a close second back to back. I heard about one loony who fitted a Naim Aro:confused: but he said it was *fantastic*.

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