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Thorens Td 165 - Worth Upgrading?

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Thorens TD 165 - worth upgrading?

Postby Tegum » 01 Jun 2010 19:14

I have dug out an old Thorens TD 165 from my attic. This was given to me by a friend in the late 70's, but I have never used it because it has din out, and my amp has only phono in. Instead I have used my own Pioneer PL-12D.

I have no idea which one is best, but the Thorens seems to be heavier, and my guess is that it is also a better player. But is it worth upgrading it? I wouldn't know how it sounds until I have changed the cable, or bought an adapter. Since it hasn't been used since the late 70's, and probably not used a lot before that either, I hope that it is in good shape. I would probably need to change the belt, but I don't know what else I need to do, and how much it would cost. I would also need someone to change the cable - it looked a bit awkward to do when I opened it.

Any advices?
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Postby goatbreath » 02 Jun 2010 14:11

I've Always soldered on new phono plugs onto the old grey cable.Best not to mess with the capacitance of the whole working system.The tone arm wires headshell wires etc...all work as one system.I've messed with it before and lost the cymbals etc...Some half decent gold plated phono plugs will sort you out.I know other people dont agree but I'd get a proper Thorens belt.Yes get a new one.
Is it better than your PL12d,When properly set up ,YOU BETCHA.I don't know if the suspension will have moved through time.Assume it hasn't for now.A good tip is to try placing it on a lightish coffee table.Suspended decks love them.
Man I want to tell you lots of tips.Is it better than a PL12d.YES.Thre should be loads of info.If you look at the info on the TD160 it should point you in the right direction.

Regards Goatbreath
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Postby goatbreath » 02 Jun 2010 14:15

I didn't notice the start if the post.Has the DIN wire still got 2 sections or is it just 1 run of wire.The Analogue department may tell you the correct capacitance of wire to use.If you have to change to a 2 core wire.At the start of the Thorens Forum.

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Postby Tegum » 03 Jun 2010 13:41

Thank you for your reply. Yes, the DIN cable has two sections.

If you recommend me to just solder on new phono plugs on the old cable, maybe a better solution would be to buy an adapter. I checked up one on eBay. The seller asked about the DIN configuration, which I couldn't answer. Does anyone know this - is it standard? I guess I still need a ground cable. Where should I connect that? Directly to the player, or to the DIN plug shield?

I found the "Thorens Overhaul Guide" and a lot of other tips here, so I have an idea where to start. The player seems to be in very good shape. I don't think that the previous owner used it a lot - he wasn't very interested in music. And it hasn't been used since he gave it to me around 1978-9.
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Postby goatbreath » 03 Jun 2010 16:05

It sounds like a beauty,DIN is earthed.Sometimes you get an extra earth on the black{left cable}directly soldered inside the phono plug.Pity you're in Norway?I actually have an adaptor that does this.It is a real cheap type though.You would get a better and more direct signal if you used phono plugs,my soldering is improving but still nothing remotely like some of the guys on the forum.but I don't know myself how big the difference would be with the adaptor.I think you do lose a fair amount of information..My friends PL12 d came with a 5pin din on it and I stuck phonos on that but one half of the cable is red and one half white.usually it is indicated on the wire that coats the middle hot bit of the wire.If not.You just get a record and a CD and compare what way the plugs go round.Once they are soldered on.Put a bit of tape on one wire to indicate which one is red or black.The phono plugs on the old grey thorens wire usually die so I have had to do this A few times.Duals quite often as well.
The earth on a Thorens suspended,One wire goes from subchassis to under top plate,If you follow the path of that you will find the earth path.

Hope this helps,I hate soldering by the way.So if you can't be Ad I can fully understand,

Regards Goatbreath.
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Postby Tegum » 03 Jun 2010 16:51

Thanks again.

My Pioneer had a DIN cable originally which I changed myself to a Phono cable. But the solder points inside that player was more accessible than the ones in the Thorens. I am generally not very experienced with soldering, and phono plugs are small and difficult to solder, I think. So I would either have someone to do it for me, or I would buy an adapter.

The adapter I found on eBay looked like a high quality one. It was very short, just 10 cm. This is the description:

"Custom built with the legendary professional studio grade Swiss Gotham Audio GAC-1 audio cable, hand precision silver-solder terminated with high quality silver and gold plated PREH din and NEUTRIK/REAN phono connectors. Preh female din will accept twist locking and non-locking din plugs."
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Postby goatbreath » 03 Jun 2010 17:10

The connector sounds very good Quality.I hate soldering myself.Good luck with the Thorens.When one is truly singing they sound really good.

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Postby bubba45 » 05 Jun 2010 13:58

Hi there
Just seen this post and have to agree with Goatbreath about the TD165. I have one I bought 2nd hand as a bit of an upgrade experiment as I`d never owned a Thorens before. It was also a testing ground as a friend wanted me to overhaul his TD160.
I was going to fiddle with it and then sell it on but I`ve kept it as my 2nd deck.
IMHO after upgrading the Td165 is every bit as good as the TD160. Great sound, really great sound from a modest looking deck.
I did a lot of the upgrades recommended for the 160 like damping the underside of the motor top plate, changing / upgrading the external cable, damping the inner edge of the outer platter, building the base board so it is more solid.
These changes do make a huge diference and are well worth it. Standard it`s still a lovely deck and beats a PL12.
A good cartridge for the arm is one of the Nagaoka range - MP11 - MP30. they seem a really good match for both the TP11 or TP16 arms.
Get it going!!!
Good luck!
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Re: Thorens Td 165 - Worth Upgrading?

Postby freelancelot » 19 Mar 2012 20:01

You're needing the TP60 headshell for the TD 165....they're often available on eBay.uk where there are a lot more Thorens decks around. Make sure they come with the right metric screws/bolts to mount carts, and the adjusters/spacers that go between the top of the cart and the inside bottom of the heashell. Those spacers can help with getting VTA right, as the TP11 arm seems to be a little high on the bearing end without using spacers. A Stanton 681eee really works well with this arm/headshell combo, and an 881s or Pickering XSV 3000 are even sweeter.

You can get sorbothane damping strips to apply to surfaces to reduce vibration, and I've used triangles of cork underneath the inner platter as well. There's also a special kit available on eBay.uk and in the us, that offers a plastic disc and special lubricating oil to improve bearing performance, and to raise the platter by a mm or so, which helps with VTA.(Check for the name Joel on the Thorens performance improvement kits, he seems to know his craft). This table made it easy for me to decide to put my auto-stop JVC QL-A7 aside, and previous to hearing the difference I'd thought I had a very solid deck in my system.

Great turntable,and worth upgrading.
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