2-Speed Belt-Drive Suspended Chassis turntable available in mkI form (1975-1976), mkII (1976-1987), mkV (1988-1991) and mkVI (1992 on).
BC models where supplied with a blank tonearm board and no lift/lower device.
Classic suspended sub-chassis deck with clear, stable sound of no particular character. Unlikely to make enemies - TD 166 mkV £240 HiFi Choice 1992
Offers a good arm, a stable motor drive, good environmental isolation and a well balanced performance - What HiFi
Refined and articulate sound with well focused imagery, suitable for good MM or budget MC cartridges - TD 166 VI £270 HiFi Choice 1992
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Thorens Belt Drive Turntables
Thorens TD166 / TD-166 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Thorens.
Simple, but it works. Will take a wide variety of cartridges, just not the ones with a very high compliance.
Compared to its big brother, the TP16, it does anti-skating by means of a little weight on a thread, stylus force is adjustable by moving the counterweight (TP 16 uses a spring-loaded design)the horizontal bearing has no ball bearings and the vertical bearing has a nylon disc that holds the adjustment-screw (to adjust play) as opposed to a brass one on the TP16. Adjusting it is easy and a no-brainer.
Soundwise, to me it's ok; it completely fits the design and the acoustic signature of the turntable, a TD165. I have never used another arm on this table, so I cannot really compare it. The overall sound of the turntable is natural, dynamic and organic. It makes me want to tap my feet; that's always a good sign.
I also have a TD150 with the kugelarm TP13a, which is a nightmare to set up and has inferior vertical bearings (I replaced mine and now it's ok) and compared, the TP11 is super easy to set up and trouble-free. I want to keep the TD150 in its original state so I will not replace the arm, but if there would be a contender, the TP11 would be it. The TP16 is more bulky and I like the TP11's dynamic stylus force design- with the counterweight- more than the TP16's spring design; it's more dynamic. I don't believe in fancy upgrades because they take the basic sonic signature too far away from the original design. Why buy a Thorens and change all components thinkable? Better build one yourself; that saves time im my opinion. Tewaking is ok, but don't go haywire.
I have tweaked the TD150 a bit, and besides some damping and a differend bounce-setup, the TD165 is original too (mine has a resin inner disc with a 10mm spindle). Great machines that will last a lifetime when properly taken care of.
8/10 by Krebbers
8/10 by autofaisca
5/10 by SavoyB