Music hall controller on Td145

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mik666
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Music hall controller on Td145

Post by mik666 » 20 Sep 2019 15:38

Hey Awl

Anyone use this controller on their thorens and if so what is their impression - is it worth the $266 some odd bucks. I have a TD145 with the armlift disabled and was wondering if its a worthwhile investment of just more eye-candy rather than ear-candy?
thx!
Mike

StephDale
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by StephDale » 20 Sep 2019 21:55

Mike,

You're asking about the Music Hall Cruise Control 2? If so, that seems to be the same as the Project Speedbox SE 2 here in Europe and it works well with Thorens tables, both the mains and 16v versions.

There are other suitable PSUs, I like the Heed Orbit 2 as much as the Project, but it's 240v only. Of course, there may be a US 110v version too.

You gain the opportunity to easily tweak the player speed (I've never needed to), electronic speed change (which is useful) and improved sound quality if the rest of your kit can resolve the differences.

I'm continually surprised by the difference a decent PSU can make to a turntable; these days I wouldn't run any of my Thorens turntables without an external PSU. Of course YMMV...

Steph

tlscapital
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by tlscapital » 21 Sep 2019 13:15

Yep second that 'StephDale' said. First I got used to my Thorens TD160 'E' as "IS", just as it was acquired. I truly enjoyed and favored it's "airy" sound coming from the big'N'sturdy DD turntables firm believers. The Thorens was fitted with an unbranded belt that need replacement once every 6 month.

This most noticeably due to belt slippage on the pulley by changing the speed. At one time listening to some records I knew so well I noticed that the tempo was off timing trying while to sing along. Then I went into the quest of better belts and their odd claims for 'sound improvement'.

So I've started my long-long tweak journey on a tight budget tonearm and turntable first testing unbranded, then Thakker (said same specs to Thorens OEM) and finally Orin Live belts. Compared them brand new with digital recording of a same song. Every time gaining 2+ seconds on a 2 minutes song at 45 RPM !

And once I got in my external PSU & tachometer combo (my last and most expensive 'improvement'), I once again gained in time (speed accuracy). What I already understood more noticeably with my Origin Live belt is that with better speed accuracy the basses are tighter, more accurate just as they should be...

So it's not the 'belts' per say that 'improve your playback sound', but the fact that it can improve the platter's speed. With speed accuracy the bass takes it's 'right place' on the 'stage' to present then a much better focus on the 'picture'. Even more so with a proper PSU. I would always advise to get such a device.

Mind you, I would first do all that is required anyway. Lube the bearing and make sure the thrust bearing is still in good shape. Then isopropyl clean the belt, pulley and sub-platter's side. Then seek the good belt of your choice in regard of your budget and your weekly millage of use...

The sound improvement you will get will also be most noticeable and hopefully enjoyable if your amplification gear can allow that to "shine" through. If the rest of your phono chain is limited, you will most likely not hear much improvement in your playback sound and find it unworthy of the PSU cost value.

mik666
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by mik666 » 21 Sep 2019 14:51

thx guys- nice insight
i have added the origins live belt to replace my unbranded 5 year old belt and it does sound better, but it sounds a bit faster now too - especially if i play the same record on my Lenco immediately afterwards , not better or worse just a slightly different speed - though i keep wondering if i was imagining it

for under $300 it sounds like a worth-wild thing to try

thx!
m

StephDale
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by StephDale » 21 Sep 2019 15:47

Mike,
I'm not a fan of the Origin Live belt, mine went back. I much preferred the standard, genuine, Thorens belt.

But, again, YMMV...!

Steph

mik666
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by mik666 » 26 Sep 2019 14:28

So I got the Music Hall controller on the 145 - and it is subtle but an improvement over the controller-less setup. I found the table was a bit fast on both 33.3 and 45 settings, With the controller set at 33.1 and 44.9 it was dead nuts with a strobe disc. The sound stage seemed to be wider with the lower end more defined-however i just played a few records as it was getting late for a work night. Michael Schenker's guitar on UFO's phenomenon seemed a little more crunchy (in a good way) and the bass more defined. Bass was really tight and rolled out of Lou Reeds transformer - magical.
Question - have any of you figured a way to by-pass the on switch (in a non-permanent fashion) on the TT so it is tuned on by just activating the controller so you don't have to turn the controller on and then the TT?
thx!
Mike

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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by StephDale » 26 Sep 2019 19:42

If you can get inside the turntable you could solder a jumper wire across the back of the switch to leave it 'on' the whole time, but you're playing with mains electricity, so I wouldn't. Just leave the deck in the 33rpm position if you want to control it through the Music Hall/Project box, or put up with having to flick a switch and press a button. For what it's worth I do it the other way around - leave the Speedbox on all the time and flick the turntable on using the Thorens switch which is so much more tactile.

It's also worth checking your speed/strobe with a record playing. The stylus drag may slow the table down and your 33.3 and 45 settings may well be right; they are in my experience. Of course, it may be that the 60Hz pulleys are slightly less accurate than the 50Hz ones here in Europe, but it would surprise me.

Steph

mik666
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by mik666 » 26 Sep 2019 21:36

StephDale wrote:
26 Sep 2019 19:42

It's also worth checking your speed/strobe with a record playing. The stylus drag may slow the table down and your 33.3 and 45 settings may well be right; they are in my experience. Of course, it may be that the 60Hz pulleys are slightly less accurate than the 50Hz ones here in Europe, but it would surprise me.

Steph

damn that's a good idea Steph - I should of checked that too thx!

mik666
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Re: Music hall controller on Td145

Post by mik666 » 27 Sep 2019 12:11

Yup no change with record / cart running - perhaps the heavy record clamp help contribute to platter mass

sounds great really - well worth the <$300 upgrade

thx all
m

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