Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

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goatbreath
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Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by goatbreath » 11 Jun 2019 14:17

I used to run my Thorens TD160 B mark 2 with an SME 3 s arm..
This came with a plastic armboard,I still have it..
It didn't sound bad,maybe a bit closed in sounding though..
So I put on a sound supports armboard and a Rega RB202 arm..
At first I put on a Audio Technica AT 95e on this combo..
It wasn't bad but got shouty and bright at times..
I have changed over to a Nagaoka MP110..
Still the same thing going on,plus you can really hear wear on worn vinyl ..
I have experimented with VTA a bit,but still getting this brightness..

My SME 3s is long gone now,but I have a SME 3009 series 2 S2 detachable headshell arm..
I found the bounce is much better with the Rega RB 202,this arm has 3 point fixing and not a big hefty bolt....
I am afraid that the bounce will get a bit lousy with the SME again..
Then again,the 3 s looks like it is a heavier arm than the 2 improved..
Not heavier in effective mass,but heavier in actual weight,
I imagine the Series 3s arm being lower effective mass uses a more massy counterweight set up..

I have a Shure M97xe,but hear that this cartridge on a Rega arm isn't great,
although it is certainly quite rolled off and warm sounding on most of my turntables..

So some of Questions..

1 How good is the bounce with a SME 3009 S2 detachable on a Thorens TD 160 MK2 with Standard Springs..?

2 Has anybody else found that Metal arm boards make Turntables brighter..?
I nearly bought a Technics SL150,but found it suffered from the same shouty brightness problem..
Almost a metallic zing.
My Technics SL110 sounds great,it has a wooden armboard..

3 I take it if the M97xe isn't a great match on the RB250,
it's not going to be much better on the RB 202.. ?

4 Basically is the SME series 2 improved S2 a better match than the Series 3s on the TD 160 mk 2..?

Strangely I find my Hadcock G220 ss arm sounds good on a metal arm board..
Although this is a really thick beast made from a mould by Old George himself,
I had the Hadcock on the TD160 with aforementioned board for a while too..
It is on a Logic DM101 now..Again a big substantial thick bit of metal..

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by Onder014 » 11 Jun 2019 22:10

My SME S3 sounds great with a Shure M97xe (with a Jico Sas stylus) on the original metal SME armboard. The turntable is a TD160MK2 with (new) standard springs.
I experimented with perspex, trespa en wood armboards. All gave a bit different results, but I liked the original metal board. Maybe it is the combination of the arm, shure and......the settings. The SME/Shure/Jico Sas combination appears to be very sensitive for carefully adjusting the bias and the azimuth. For that I make use of an oscilloscope and testrecord.
The investment in hours of tuning is most rewarding.

Regards,
Henk

Btw: before I had a TD125 MK1 with a SME 3009 not improved and the Shure M97xe. I changed it for the TD160 MK2 with a Linn Valhalla power supply.

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by tlscapital » 12 Jun 2019 07:52

Had my SME3009 'Improved' SII with it's original acrylic armboard on my Thorens TD160 'E' and enjoyed that combo for 2 years as is before my tweaks in conversion of the SME into heavy effective mass with detachable headshell.

No bounce issue with the acrylic bounce with my suspension set right. In my quest of "improvements" i wanted to trial a wood armboard (DIY'ed one with beechwood). But this mufle down my sound. Gave it a laker coat; still the same.

Trial an original SME die cast alloy one but with the heavy effective mass increment I did on my SME tonearm, this proved to me too heavy altogether for the suspension and without the bedplate grommets too much ringing as well.

So I kept my less "glamorous" acrylic armboard as it suits better my set-up as it is now. If you'd care to trial both the wood and the alloy armboards for yourself, just PM me. Alloy aboard with SME 'Improved' weight/mass should be fine.

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by goatbreath » 12 Jun 2019 08:42

Thanks TLS Capital,that is good news.. :D :D
That is exactly how I would describe the sound..Ringing..
Are you using the rubber bedplate grommets with the acrylic.?

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by tlscapital » 12 Jun 2019 08:59

Well, during my long and step-by-step journey into my DIY tweaks on both my SME tonearm and Thorens turntable, hopefully most of the time each tweak turned out to be an improvement in groove retrieval, sound clarity and overall definition.

Only few times through my tweaks I got a "draw back"; like with the wood armboard or the alloy one trial. As for my bedplate grommets, I only kept the top ring as they are falling appart... But I got them as in such condition in the first place.

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by ddarch » 13 Jun 2019 13:24

Just want to take a sec and mention not all metal armboards are made alike. The Sound Supports is two piece, held together with glue. Vinyl Nirvana are one solid piece of CNC machined aluminum. There is no ringing.

Also, if your arm is sagging, maybe it's time to replace the 40-50 year old springs.

D

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by tlscapital » 13 Jun 2019 15:01

ddarch wrote:
13 Jun 2019 13:24
Just want to take a sec and mention not all metal armboards are made alike. The Sound Supports is two piece, held together with glue. Vinyl Nirvana are one solid piece of CNC machined aluminum. There is no ringing.

Also, if your arm is sagging, maybe it's time to replace the 40-50 year old springs.

D
The alloy armoard I have tested is an OEM SME cast alloy one. So one piece. The DIY beechwood armboard I have cut and carved is a one single piece as well. Still the wood muffled my sound (damp) and the alloy brightened my sound (ringing). So I've kept my oroginal SME acrylic armboard who allows my cartridge, tonearm and turntable combo to sing.

My tonearm is not sagging. After I have consecutively enhanced seriously the tonearm effective mass, I had more and more trouble setting up the bounce and level without having uneven tension on the springs. So I went on to purchase OEM Linn NOS springs but those proved too stiff and manage to find Thorens TD150 OEM also NOS springs that did it.

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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by goatbreath » 13 Jun 2019 19:57

D.Darch..I bought some of you cartridge spacers and think they are a fine product.. :D


My experience with a Technics SL150 metal armboard was that there was ringing too..
So I am very wary of metal armboards..
The Springs on my TD160 only acted up a bit with the SME 3s..
Some people seem OK with the ringing on the SL150,
I have saw lots of picture of SL150s with an SME 3009 on it..
So that says to me I must be overly sensitive to the ringing..

As I already have the Acrylic arm base that came with the TD 160,,plus the series 2 improved arm..
I intend to try that first.
I think that is the logical solution..
New springs are a last resort and not a guaranteed fix.

The Suspension on my TD150 MK2 however is a different matter..
Did they ever bounce cleanly with the TP13a on..?
The TP13a arm is not as good a tracker as the SME or Rega either..
This is starting to annoy me..
The Hadcock GH220ss is in another league altogether..
That is on another one of my turntables though..
I have the motor of a TD165 on the TD150 the original was barely working..
Everything still works with the 165 motor,as long as I start it on 45 RPM,
then take the speed down to 33 rpm,if not,the belt slips off and below the pulley on start up....
I really need to put spacers under the motor...
I replaced the main capacitor by the way too...
I am at the point of just considering the TD150 as a spare motor for the TD160..
I have other turntables..

People have saw my TD160 before,I have already done it up to some degree.
I will put it up again though as I think it cosmetically turned out quite nice...
I got my first Thorens turntable in 1992 by the way..
So I know a lot of their quirks myself,,I had to work it out myself,I had no internet help back then..
I remember thinking a TD 160 c was cursed at one point. :lol:
I almost ended up in tears from frustration..
I had to look at the design and think about how it worked,figure it out..
I learned a lot.I'm 51 now.
There are people of a whole older generation than me on here though..
I have learned so much on this site from my elders..
I had to work out myself that the TP16 mk 1 must have originally used spacers,as it came with no catridge....
I remember the stylus sticking at the end of a few 45 rpm singles,
I realised the lifting mechanism was fouling the arm causing the problem..
That seems simple now,back then was a different matter.. :lol:
This was back in the early 90s..
Back then you could get parts though.
Now if your motor goes you are in deep trouble..

The Marine Ply plinth with thick bottom really tightened up the sound..
I had it made for me,but co designed on some ideas..
Recessing the bottom for the ply base which is thick,so that everything would be the same when adjusting the suspension with the base off,just in case there were any anomalies with the wood base thickness..
Plus a wooden block to do a Linn so the tonearm cable doesn't foul the supension..

This is my TD160 in various guises..
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sme 3s.jpg
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Original TD160 mk2.jpg
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goatbreath
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Re: Metal Armboard causing Brightness on a TD160 mkII B..?

Post by goatbreath » 20 Jun 2019 13:39

I done the changeover today..SME 3009 S2 detachable headshell and acrylic armboard..
Roughed in set up only,Not sure of sound quality yet,..
that will take some listening,but that horrible ringing is gone..
Listening to Something Else by Cannonball Adderley.. :)

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