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Thorens TP16 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 20 of 20

Thorens TP16

Thorens TP16

9/10 by oztayls

The TP-16 is a far better tonearm than some people think. After having an SME 3009 III tonearm on various Thorens models, I have re-installed the original TP16 on my TD160 Mk1 and I've fallen in love with it again. Once properly set up and with the correct cartridge for it, it sounds fantastic. Quite honestly, I can't understand why people rave over the SME 3009 III. Maybe it sounds better on other tts, but as far as I'm concerned, it was quite disappointing and am considering putting it up for sale on evilBay. On another TD160Mk1 I have a Grace 707 and it runs circles around the SME. I have both the TP16 Mk1 and Mk2 Isotrack installed on 160s. The Mk2 (installed on a TD160Mk2) which has the interchangeable tonearm and the lightweight stainless steel slide-off headshell is quite brilliant, albeit a big faff to change a cartridge. Having the arm join nearer to the tonearm weight means the weight of the fitting is at the back of the arm where it's wanted. I'm a big fan of the Ortofon Super OM carts with their removable 2.25g weight in combo with the TP16 arms. Combined with the Isotrack arm, a very low mass tonearm/cartridge combo can be achieved.

For the money they go for, the TP16 arm is awesome value, with the Mk2 Isotrack a nose ahead of the Mk1. Set it up correctly and it's performance will surprise you.

5/10 by tomh

I've owned a Thorens TD160 with the TP16 arm for years. I recently swapped the arm with a straight Jelco arm. It was shocking how much the sound quality of the table improved with the arm swap. Low level detail was revealed that was lost by the prior arm. Additionally, the tonal balance became more consistent with my MMF 9.1 table. At the end of the day, the comparison between 2 arms on the same table with the same cartridge can and does show short comings in the stock Thorens arm. I don't like writing negative reviews in general but I've owned 3 Thorens tables and have never been that impressed by the Thorens tables. With a new arm, I view the Thorens TD160 table much more favorably but now consider the stock TP16 as serviceable at best.

8/10 by young gun

A decent tonearm IF its set up correctly which admittedly takes a fair amount of time but worth the effort once done.

8/10 by lorenvet

The MKIII version is a good arm, if correctly setted. Perhaps not so easy to find a high compliance cartridge to match with, due to the low mass. Better results without the plastic spacer between the cartridge and the shell.

8/10 by svs

Precision stuff,simple and effective.

Good to tweak,remove spring vtf selector and back bias counterweight for instance,use a precision digital scale to set it.

and go on... reducing arm mass...

9/10 by sparkydoo

Requires expert adjustment like the precision instrument it is. The MK2 is as good an arm as you can need. The spring and wire enhanced balance system and magnetic antiskate are brilliant when adjusted correctly. As are the roller bearing arm pivots. Tracks as good as the best arms in the world costing ten times as much in laboratory tests. Most of the information on this arm is in German.

9/10 by xuantrungkts

5/10 by anmpr1

A mixture of good, bad, and ugly. The good: four point gimbal suspension; VTA adjustable, magnetic anti-skating. The bad: loose and wobbly bearings making the 4 point suspension rather moot. The ugly: just try and adjust VTA and you'll experience major frustration as you strain you eyes attempting to locate the little allen screws. Thus upshot of all this is a rather thin sound which may appeal to you, but not to me.

One trick--if you pop off the Thorens badge on the headshell (which is also kind of loose at the fitting where the shell connects to the armtube) you'll find two tracks allowing the use of standard nuts/bolts for your cartridge. You can also better twist the cartridge in the headshell this way, in order to optimize offset.

5/10 by hi_torq

Satisfactory for most purposes, with some good points and also some bad.

Good points are its rugged bearing assembly, contact-free magnetic bias compensation and adjustable height.

Thread-and-spring downforce fine adjustment is intersting (some of the old Garrards used this, only with the thumbwheel on the side, not the top).

Bad points are its sloppy bearings, use of plastic on some parts (particularly the base), and a standard of finish that just isn't up to the standard of its Japanese contemporaries.

It sounds OK, which is not exactly a scientific assessment. I give this 5/10 based on merit alone, but in a value-for-money context it could be higher.

2/10 by oldguide

The description of the platypus as an animal designed by a committee describes the split version of this arm, especially with the TP62 headshell. The split arm was a dumb solution to a major problem, which is why only Thorens ever used it. To show how crazy this arm can be it is the only one I know where the VTA has to be set with a flashlight (to find the Allen screws). If you have the non-auto stop version run, don't walk to find a replacement. If you are buying one, factor a new arm into the price. If you want auto stop you are stuck.

2/10 by chaskelljr1963

I agree with others here.

This arm does NOT do any justice to the Thorens TD-160 that it is installed on.

And you have to be picky about Cartridges as well.

If/When you have an opportunity to upgrade THIS arm on your Thorens TD-160, do so.

If I stick with this arm in the interim, then my Cartridge will be an Ortofon OM10 or OM-20.

Otherwise, I am planning to upgrade the arm on my TD-160. Mines will be replaced with a Jelco SA-750D (which after that, will open up my choices and options as far as Cartridges are concerned), which will then allow me to use better and more expensive Cartridges.


9/10 by tnsilver

It took me weeks before I got the setting right for the TP-16 on my TD-160. Weeks!!! I used an Ortofon DS-1 scale to set the final tracking force instead of trusting the TP-16 dial. Initially, the bearings adjustment was either too tight or too loose - it's hard to get right. Finally, the arm rest came in contact with the wand - just a fraction of a millimeter - but enough to cause miss-tracking near the end of an LP. Once I got all that set correctly... WOW!!! It's superior to many arms I had before and it's not inferior to the SME 3009 II imp. that I purchased out of initial frustration with the TP-16. I use Stanton 681EEE (MM) and Denon DL160 (MC) carts and the TP-16 is a surprisingly amazing tonearm.

1/10 by desertdog

nice to see some folks getting good results. i personaly dont rate it at all. much prefered ortofon arm from same period.

9/10 by Drastic88one

The TP16 is a very good arm, If it's set up correctly ! To do that you need to throw away the instruction manual & use you brain. People who say it's no good, dont know how to set it up!
Dont set tracking weight by the disc (adds drag) set that to 0 & use main weight to adjust tracking. Can be greatly improved if you tweak this arm, needs to be stripped down, (remove tracking weight setting disc & spring, remove mass from headshell, remove headshell locking collar & re-wire arm, convert main counter weight to under slung design, remove fine tracking weight adjuster)

When set up correctly ! it's better than a SME3009 which people often use as a replacement, bad move! (See my Gallery for my tweaked version)

9/10 by Richard Coxon

I have two(long story!)both with Shure M75ED2 cartridges and they both track well and although not the best tonearms in the house produce excellent results

4/10 by mike19455

Poor quality arm, with sloppy build and bearings, obviously built down to a price point. Not really up to the capabilities of the TD160 turntable.

Best replaced at the earliest opportunity.

7/10 by pivot

Tolerable but not spectacular arm.
Pivots can either bind or get loose. Okay, but I don't miss mine.

9/10 by ronzeman

A little high mass by todays arms, but around 1975 I chopped my headshell way back. Works great

8/10 by rwoycieh

9/10 by mnight


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