Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

music box
dagfinn
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Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 15 Aug 2019 17:25

Hi all! Here's my new TD 166 Mk2, which I got quite cheap. TP11 with TP62 armtube and an Ortofon VMS20 cart, perhaps.
TD166.jpg
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TD166_internals.jpg
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Original state, very nice inside and a little worn outside. I don't like the metal LDF/metal plinth, so I immedtately after overcleaning moved it to an original black TD 160 MDF plinth.
new_plinth_TD166-MkII.jpg
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I like it in black :). I'll do a little touch up on the plinth, repaint basically. I don't know if sonic properties are better with MDF?
ortofon_VMS.jpg
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Ortofon VMS-series, not sure which.
broken_ortofon.jpg
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A new stylus is coming, trying a Tonar version first. Very difficult to understand the differences between the many 3.rd party stylus replacements. Also a new belt :). I need to find some bearing oil...

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 15 Aug 2019 20:39

I don't know how this Ortofon will sound, so I plan to get a new cart as well. The TP11/TP62 combo is only 7,5g, so it needs a high compliance cart. But what? Ortofon OM series has been suggested as good in this arm, and they are available in many version in Norway, so that is an interesting choice with the many upgrade options available. And maybe I can find better stylus than the reasonable Tonar i have ordered. What else is good in this arm on the budget end of the scale?

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 23 Aug 2019 11:21

One week later, plans change ;). It will be no OM or other yet, but this (probably) F15E MkII cart will have several new styli, an original Ortofon M20E Super and a shibata 3.rd party, perhaps more. The Tonar 1145 sounds very nice, it is Tonar replacement for D20E MkII, compliance of 25(?), 0,8-1,2g. Preload is important to this cart! Regarding the OM, it seems to be a continuation of the VMS design, as is the 2M? I like the cultural heritage aspect of this old 1977 cart, and I may look for a family member, a VMS 30 body, to see if there is a difference.
tp62_mod.jpg
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I've removed the Thorens headshell logo plate, to allow the screws to penetrate freely. I've removed 3mm spacer and lifted the base of the arm to get proper VTA. New belt, new separate ground wire to fix issues. Azimuth is a pain to adjust.
Playing fine at 1g :).

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 26 Aug 2019 18:51

Giving 2M Red a second try, better in this arm and phono stage.
2m_red.jpg
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Not a cart recommended for the TP62. Is there an armtube fitting this arm with a SME connector?

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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 28 Aug 2019 14:59

Since I'm not patient enough to wait for a solution to the TP62 problem to show up, I switched to a TP21 arm, which is much easier to deal with. :lol:
TD_166_TP21.jpg
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armlift.jpg
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hamish909
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by hamish909 » 28 Aug 2019 15:07

I've got the exact same turntable as you, I really appreciate it. I tried the OM 40 but it was far too tall to work properly. I actually settled with the cheap AT 3600 with an elliptical upgrade stylus. Really works well.

I tried a few of the old Stanton range that I had around including a 500 and an 890, they worked well but as an experiment I tried the AT it just worked better with my pre amp etc.

It's a real pain changing cartridges on this deck, I've got a spare arm tube to make it easier but since the install of the AT I haven't bothered.

Mine needed a proper suspension adjustment after shipping, I got there in the end, and there is now absolutely no noise. The tonearm is a bad design in my opinion but still a really decent deck for just over a £120 in the UK.

I may get a better cartridge in the future but at the moment I'm really happy with it.

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 28 Aug 2019 22:48

Yeah, I hear you on the bad tonearm design. Still it does sound good when set up right :). Since I predict...some... changes to cartridges in the future, I just needed something easier. TP21 is easy to set up and sounds good. Well, easy, except for the soldering of the very short and thin and tiny tonearm cables. I also managed to tear the ground wire off the tonearm, and had to solder that. I'm thinking of refitting with new tonearm cables, I think a cleanup of the signal line is in place. I haven't decided on whether I put a 5-pin din connector or to put RCA terminals. 5 pin makes for easier arm switch, and the TP21 will also fit my TD 160, if I should so desire.

Listening to the 2M Red makes me realize how good the DL-103 is...

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 29 Aug 2019 13:08

Sumiko_Rainier.jpg
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Sumiko Rainier :)

_Vera+_Gerardo
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by _Vera+_Gerardo » 31 Aug 2019 02:12

I've recently taken possession of a 166 mk 2/TP 62/TP 11 with the metal plinth, much like what is pictured in other posts. Because I'd much prefer a wooden plinth, I've contacted Vintage Analog Restoration. I'm wondering if any VE members have had experience with this enterprise. Any advice will be welcomed.

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 31 Aug 2019 08:14

_Vera+_Gerardo wrote:
31 Aug 2019 02:12
I've recently taken possession of a 166 mk 2/TP 62/TP 11 with the metal plinth, much like what is pictured in other posts. Because I'd much prefer a wooden plinth, I've contacted Vintage Analog Restoration. I'm wondering if any VE members have had experience with this enterprise. Any advice will be welcomed.
Hi there :). I can't say I have any experience with them, but it looks very pretty in the pictures.
plinth_vintagedesigns.JPG
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This is basically Thorens design, except for small details; the Thorens has four support blocks for the deck on the sides of the plinth, that also works as dampeners for the top plate. I know this will affect sound, and I believe they are necessary to avoid bending of the top plate. Also the plinth rests on the baseplate in the Thorens design, which has a dampening effect on the sidewalls (I think they call it a low-frequency trap). Here, it looks as if it rests on the corner posts with frame outside baseplate. I have made this design/error myself once, but the rest of my plinth is so dense and heavy it still works.
It may not be a finished plinth in the picture, I would just be aware of details that seems small but will affect sound, and perhaps structural integrity of the deck. Good luck!

dagfinn

_Vera+_Gerardo
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by _Vera+_Gerardo » 02 Sep 2019 06:31

dagfin, Thanks for bringing this detail to my attention. I suppose we can't blame the picture angle for distorting the image. I've been wondering about the baseplate too: Larry, the guy in charge, tells me he uses a 3/4 in (wider than 18 mm) birch wood baseplate. I'm not a structural engineer, but something this thick should stabilize the hell out of the sides of the plinth, no? As a matter of fact, I asked him if he would make a baseplate for the 125 mk ii/SME 3009 I also own.
Then there are those that believe these decks should be used bottomless; that any baseplate has detrimental effects on the sound.
I will bring up the possible bending of the top plate if the support blocks are too high.
Once again, I welcome any and all input.

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 02 Sep 2019 07:04

Yes, it would be nice if others interested in plinth design chimed in :).
TD166_internals.jpg
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Original: The bottom edges of the plinth are made to fit, so that the wall rest on the bottomplate. This, from what I understand traps low frequencies. Without baseplate it'll sound more woolly and loose in the bass. Perhaps other effects?
internal_dampener.jpg
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Home made: Alternative design, corner posts rest on baseplate, walls outside. (Much thicker ply, 30-40mm walls). With support block/dampener.
Last edited by dagfinn on 02 Sep 2019 07:36, edited 2 times in total.

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 02 Sep 2019 07:24

baseplate.jpg
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38mm MDF baseplate for my homemade design. Very easy, very common upgrade.

_Vera+_Gerardo
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by _Vera+_Gerardo » 02 Sep 2019 22:46

I suppose the VAR plinth will sit on the birch base plate much like your homemade design. Any special reason why you chose 38 mm for the MDF baseplate? The black MDF 160 plinth looks elegant.

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens TD 166 Mk2 restore/rebuild

Post by dagfinn » 02 Sep 2019 23:21

Well, MDF is low resonance and very stable, and the thicker plate, the lower the resonance, I suppose. Perhaps a thinner plate could be sufficient. I'm considering it for the 166, where I'll just scale up the Thorens design. Maybe 30mm MDF walls and baseplate. In black as well, keep it black and steel. With a 2M Black cart. I'm dreaming...
First, I'll rewire the whole thing, it has electronic issues that needs attention. So new tonearm cabling, remove the plug, may there are components that needs to be changed, capacitors of something, I don't know yet.

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