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What to expect when your expecting a TD160

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What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby euromut » 11 Sep 2017 19:39

I am waiting for my newly acquired TD160 to arrive. I am just curious what to expect, and what to check over when it arrives. It appears to be in quite good condition. But my experience is mostly with Modern Regas and older Direct Drive Japanese tables.
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 11 Sep 2017 20:44

Assuming that you got an original 160 and not a latee variant......

The 160 is a very basic TT and Thorens got just about everything right on it.
You will love it! :)

First of all, as with any belt driven TT, it may or may on may not need a new belt which are readily available an eBay, etc .

With the 160, be aware that the tracking force is attained via a very light spring that is adjusted by a calibrated wheel.
Just make sure that is working properly by using a separate TF scale.
When working, it is actual pretty accurate.

The AS scale can be a bit difficult to decipher but just know that there are scales for conical vs elliptical stili.... and wet or dry play back.
AS is attained magnetically and works very well when adjusted properly.

Also, the one sore point on these otherwise great Thorens TTs is the RCA plugs. Thorens used plugs which are prone to corrosion and most just replace them with something better. Be aware that the right RCA ground is also the TT ground, so there is no separate ground wire.
There is no need to replace the RCA wires.. just replace the plugs as needed.

Other than that, just routine lubrication is prudent.. particularly for the spindle bearing.

Be aware that the head shell has azimuth adjustment. It is mounted on a relatively tight slip joint and can be "twisted" either way to dial in perfect azimuth adjustment.

BTW, there is a very good Thoren Baerwald arc protractor for theses TTs (160-145- 165... for both the the TP 16 and TP-11 arms) available here in the library and I highly recommend it. The 160 has the TP-16 arm.

There is a wealth of info on the net for refurbishing and lubing these great TTs :)
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby tlscapital » 12 Sep 2017 09:18

On the ground subject/issue I'd recommend two separate outgoing cabling. I did that on mine and since my speakers are silent from silent. A friend just acquired a revised TD160 and his hums a lot. We will do on his TD160 as I did on mine fitting an underneath sub-chassis to chassis ground cabling outgoing to the amp ground terminal.

If there's still some cartridge mass issue happening, we might do the tonearm ground the same with a separate ground cable outgoing to the pre-amp ground terminal. Like said, I did on mine for full satisfaction with the tiniest of soldering work and only 2 more cables outgoing the turntable. Unsophisticated solution :D
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 12 Sep 2017 15:16

I had a 145 (purchased new) and now have a 145. I have never had a a ground (hum) issue that was not solved by a better RCA connection or new RCA plugs.

Like I said, good RCA plugs are essential, not only for the best sound but, for the best ground. :)

In fact, when I first got my 165 a couple of years ago, I had an intermittent hum that was always eliminated by "wiggling" the right RCA plug for a better connection.

Of course, I promptly replaced the RCA plugs and the problem was eliminated permanently . :)

IMO, it does not make sense to add a separate (unneeded) ground wire..... and still have bad RCA plugs that can indeed effect the sound.

If someone is a qualified electrical/ audio engineer who can give a compelling reason why a separate ground wire should be added, I can accept that.
However, adding one just for the erroneous assumption that it would be better for hum is not a good reason . :)

BTW, if someone has modified a TT, perhaps that is causing the hum.....
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby tlscapital » 12 Sep 2017 17:28

JDJX wrote:I had a 145 (purchased new) and now have a 145. I have never had a a ground (hum) issue that was not solved by a better RCA connection or new RCA plugs.

Like I said, good RCA plugs are essential, not only for the best sound but, for the best ground. :)

Of course, I promptly replaced the RCA plugs and the problem was eliminated permanently . :)


Lucky you but me not. I did at one time replace my original SME cable fitted with new RCA's to fantastic audible result but the hum issue was still present. Likely due to the better and better clarity in sound also.

When I first had my "TD146" the top plate was even charged with mass if I did not connect the chassis ground to my amp. As for the hum it was gone only the day I finally did a separate ground for the tonearm.

JDJX wrote:IMO, it does not make sense to add a separate (unneeded) ground wire..... and still have bad RCA plugs that can indeed effect the sound.

If someone is a qualified electrical/ audio engineer who can give a compelling reason why a separate ground wire should be added, I can accept that.
However, adding one just for the erroneous assumption that it would be better for hum is not a good reason . :)

BTW, if someone has modified a TT, perhaps that is causing the hum.....


I am no qualified electro-technician but this did solve my hum issue. Never before had I hear such silence out of my speakers volume to the max. Even with other un-mod turntables on my same system. So I do not know better, but it solved my hum issue in that simple way using only the original ground wire.

My Thorens was bought as a TD160 'Super' but find to be that on the outside only ! With time I learned all about them TD's and it turned out to be a TD146 on the inside. It had been heavily modified, tweaked and pimped a few time before me I discovered through my tweak journey. Now closer to a TD145 with 230V motor...

For example it's only after two total dismantlements of it's SME3009 'Improved' S2 tonearm (first conversion into heavy detachable then whole rewiring upgrade) that I discovered it had been previously "worked" on few times. So indeed I am no electrician but I don't find my way to do actually "erroneous". But I hear your point as to a better scientific explanation would be welcome.
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby nezbleu » 12 Sep 2017 20:35

Back to "What to expect":

1. Check that the motor runs, and that it runs quietly. Sometimes they get noisy, making a ticking sound. It's not a big deal but is annoying. Also make sure the motor spindle is true and has no wobble. Clean the pulley with isopropyl alcohol, also clean the surface of the inner platter where the belt makes contact.

2. Clean everything, and check operation of the speed change mechanism and the cuing arm.

3. Clean and lube the main platter bearing. Clean both the spindle itself and the bearing well to remove any old oil, then fill with new clean oil of your choice (ignore most of the arguments about what oil to use).

4. The TP-16 tone arm is very good but sometimes the bearings get loose and "chattery". If you can wiggle the tone arm in any direction the bearings probably should be snugged up a bit. Tighten them until there is no free play, then back off until you can just feel a bit of play, then carefully tighten again just until the play is gone. You want them as loose as possible without play.

5. Level the plinth then check that the platter is also level. Adjust springs as necessary to level platter; it should be about 5 mm above the top plate.

6. Check that the subchassis is bouncing freely without rubbing anywhere, and that it is bouncing straight up and down. Again, adjust as necessary.

7. Despite, or because of, the suspended subchassis, these tables are very sensitive to structure-borne vibration like footfalls on bounce floors, so be careful where you place it. Wall mounting is best.

8. Enjoy!
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 12 Sep 2017 21:28

Good tips from nezbleu...:)

BTW, when you lube the spindle bearing, Thorens recommends that you also lube the motor bearings by wicking a drop or two of oil down both ends of the motor shaft.

In fact on mine, I wick a drop of oil down the top motor bearing every few months and lube the spindle and bottom motor bearing about every 18 months.

Yeah, they are supposed to be lubed for the expected life of the TT.
However, they are now being used way beyond their expected life .
With proper care, they can last for another 40years. :)
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby euromut » 13 Sep 2017 13:28

Thank you all so much for your information. I have a few things to look at. I have already done the main bearing maintenance and adjusted the tone arm pivot bearings (was a little sloppy when I got it). I will likely go through every component to make sure it is in optimal condition, and adjustment. I have new Thakker belt and a tone arm cap on order already. And have an almost new Denon DL-110 cart I think I will be fitting once I get appropriate screws.

Mostly just needs some clean up. I am also trying to find the best way to touch up the scratch on the top plate. I am thinking of buffing it down and blending it in with some satin black in an airbrush.

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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 14 Sep 2017 05:41

Looks nice.:)

The scratch does not look that bad from the pic .

If that was me, before I did anything else with the scratch, I would just uses a black fine point marker to see it the would make it more or less disappear.
Yeah, you can buff it out but that would just make a larger area to repaint and then, the paint may not match well enough, even if it is black.

BTW, you also have some tone arm height adjustment by loosening these two screws.

TP16_4.jpg
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 14 Sep 2017 17:15

BTW, it looks like the plinth could uses a bit of quality Lemon oil polishing.
I use a "dry finish" type of lemon oil. :)

The wood plinth tends to dry out, particularly in low humidity months of winter.

The quality European walnut plinth is part of the beauty of theses TTs. :)
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby euromut » 14 Sep 2017 17:33

Thanks for the reply. That VTA adjust is good to know. I am debating doing an arm rewire. the thick gauge of wire going through the pivot seems to be one of the bigger complaints about the TP16. It would also give me the opportunity to clean and adjust everything in the pivot.

I did a little polishing on the platter. I think I may be sanding it down a little farther to get rid of some pitting that is too deep to get out with polish.

Image

I am also almost sure I am going to have a new plinth built by Larry Spence @
Vintage Analog Restoration, from Bolivian Rosewood. He has been fantastic to deal with.

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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 14 Sep 2017 17:41

Thick gauge wire in the tone arm?

To be honest, that it the very first time that I have ever her of this issue with these TTs.
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby euromut » 14 Sep 2017 17:55

JDJX wrote:Thick gauge wire in the tone arm?

To be honest, that it the very first time that I have ever her of this issue with these TTs.


Maybe I'm overthinking things. I will start with the standard service, before swapping out parts.

My hope is to bring this table up close to the performance level of my Rega RP6. They will both be part of my main listening system.
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby JDJX » 14 Sep 2017 19:12

Maybe I'm overthinking things. I will start with the standard service, before swapping out parts.......


We are are all guilty of that at times.

As far as aesthetics, we all like things that look great but, we must be careful that we don't jump feet first down that rabbit hole. :)

BTW, IMO,the stock plinth is beautiful as it is but, beauty of course is "in the eye of the beholder" :)

One thing that I would recommend if you keep the stock plinth is either to replace the bottom cover with something more unsubstantial or......
What I did to my 165 is I just place a sheet of "Dynomat" {that I already had on hand) to the inside of the stock cover
I then added on more screw midway between each corner.
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Re: What to expect when your expecting a TD160

Postby nezbleu » 14 Sep 2017 20:29

The tonearm wire looks "thick" because it is shielded. It is really very high quality, and very fine, shielded cable, and quite flexible.
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