Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

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wgmontgomery
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Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 14 May 2019 03:39

I saw two (Music Hall MMF-5 & Thorens td'316 ii) turntables for sale on CL for ~$225. Just for clarity, the Music Hall is a mmf 5...NOT 5.2 and the Thorens is a mk 2.

Based on description and pic, they are in really good condition. Both have cartridges, but I can't tell what brand/model from pics. I've asked the sellers but haven't received a reply yet.

For the sake of this post let's say that neither has a cartridge; I'll use a Shure V15iii or a (low to mid qualiry) Grado as I already own these. I don't remember which Grado I have, but I remember looking up the model & it was low to mid level in their line.

I have a couple of questions & hope that someone can help:


1st-which one is better? I can probably haggle a bit and get either for around $200.

2nd-do either have real (& not too expensive) upgrade potential? That's a pretty important consideration to me, and I'd probably opt for the lesser t-table if its upgrade potential means that it could become a much better 'table. I could change the tonearms but beyond that???

I already own a lower level (td 105) Thorens that I'll sell to offset the cost of a "new" turntable. I like the Thorens, and it sounds pretty good. I just feel that it's the weak link in my (Parasound, & Dynaudio) system.

Any input will be appreciated & many thanks in advance.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 May 2019 18:16

Music Hall. The arm on the MH will be compatible with a wider range of carts. I think the MM5 was a sweet spot in the Music Hall line, though I'm not the biggest fan of MH TT's generally.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 14 May 2019 18:26

Thanks...I was kind of leaning toward the MH.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by raphaelmabo » 15 May 2019 15:53

MH is a non-suspended design with a double plinth construction, similar to the Thorens TD295. The TD316 has a suspended split-chassi design. Older Thorens had a suspended sub-chassi but the 316 a split chassi. It has the TP28 tonearm with easy antiskate adjustment and knob controlled lift mechanism. It has electronic speed control where the MH is manual. So the TD316 is a more user friendly turntable.

The TP28 is a medium mass tonearm at 12.5g. The MH uses a Pro-Ject 9 tonearm, of which there are many versions. Those tonearms are low mass to medium mass with 8-9.5g depending on version. So a little bit lighter than Thorens.

I haven’t heard the MH5, but Thorens has a neutral, fluid and airy sound. Maybe too smooth for hard rock.

The MH5 is a newer construction, the TD316 is from the 80’s.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by raphaelmabo » 15 May 2019 16:57

Regarding upgrades: The Thorens has a lift mechanism for the tonearm that is controlled by the knob in front of the tonearm, it’s far too much job to change tonearm. It’s not an easy DIY operation. So the TD316 is limited when it comes to upgrades. You can change cartridge and experiment with different mats...

Also note that the Thorens suspension may need adjustment, it’s quite common for such designs.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 15 May 2019 18:06

I appreciate all of the info but decided on a similar, but different, turntable:

A Music Hall 5.1SE with Goldmund 2400 cartridge. It was ~$50 more but seems to be worth the extra money. I certainly HOPE that I made a good decision...

Thanks

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 15 May 2019 18:19

...also, I plan on selling the 105 to offset the price of the MMF5.1SE. I wish that it had auto-return, but it doesn't. I believe that there's a company that makes a device to lift the tonearm at the end of the record and hope to get one if it's not too expensive

Thanks again

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 15 May 2019 18:53

I found a few auto tonearm lifts ranging from ~$45 (Q-Up) to $250 (VPI)
l'll do a search on this site for reviews.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 16 May 2019 10:12

I need to make a correction: the cartridge is a GoldRING 2400 not GoldMUND. The cartridge costs more than what I paid for the turntable, so I hope that I did OK.

I don't know if I'll like the metal platter and may put their acrylic platter on it. I'll certainly try my cork/rubber mat as I'm not really a fan of felt mats.

If anyone has experience with this (Music Hall MMF 5.1SE) turntable I'd appreciate any input on the platter & mat. I'll do a search but thought that I'd mention it anyway.

Thanks to everyone for their advice; it made a difference even though I went with a different turntable. I WAS going to opt for the MMF 5 vs. Thorens 316, but I saw the 5.1SE for a little more than the 5 and bought it. My entry level Thorens is going on CL today.

Thank you again!

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by raphaelmabo » 16 May 2019 11:30

I have the Goldring 2200, same generator and cartridge body as the 2500 but with a simpler stylus. I'm not happy, so it will be interesting to hear what you think about your 2500. I find my 2200 to be too bright and sharp, so I've turned to other cartridges with a smoother, warmer, response.

As for filt mats vs other mats: Standard filt mats are cheap (and flimsy), that's why they come as free. I've never liked them. I have two mats:1. A carbon fibre mat, to reduce static electricity. This is a bit harder and thicker than the standard filt mats that comes with turntables. 2. A cork-rubber mat.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 16 May 2019 12:03

I'll be happy to share my thoughts/feelings on the 2400. I should get the t-table early next week, so I should have an idea as to how it sounds by the end of the week. I believe that it's a moving iron cartridge (?) which I have never used. The Thorens that I have at the moment has a Shure V15 iii MM cartridge on it, so I'm quite interested to hear the Goldring.

I have a cork/rubber mat on the Thorens and plan to use it on the Music Hall. I will spin a few records with the stock mat just to hear what it's like, but I'm fairly certain that the cork/rubber mat will be the permanent one. Until I get an acrylic platter anyway.

I haven't tried a carbon fiber mat, but reducing static electricity would be a MAJOR plus. I may try one...

Thanks! I'll be sure to let you know what I think about the Goldring. I'll add associated equipment to my profile too. A "review" of the Goldring would be kind of useless without knowing what's helping it make music.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by raphaelmabo » 16 May 2019 12:20

Yes, the Goldring 2x00-serie is moving iron, they are actually made by Nagaoka but sound is quite different from Nagaoka's own cartridges - or at least my 2200 is. (Nagaoka's own are Moving Permalloy's, same as moving irong but with permalloy instead of iron). Grado and Soundsmith are also making moving iron designs.

I have the original Tonar antistatic mat, here's the improved version II of it - I haven't tried the II but I'm very happy with my 20 years old version. :)
http://www.vinylvinyl.nl/tonar-nostatic-mat-ii.html

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 16 May 2019 12:29

Thanks...I'll check it out.

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by wgmontgomery » 16 May 2019 12:53

Thanks again for the link. I took a quick look at the site and am very impressed; they seem to have everything!

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Re: Music Hall MMF 5 or Thorens TD-316?

Post by raphaelmabo » 16 May 2019 13:36

Yes, Tonar is a large and well respected supplier of turntable accessories, based in the Netherlands. They also supplies replacement cartridges for older turntables. Here's their company website (but without a webshop, the products are sold through retailers in different countries). So from Tonar I have the antistatic mat, but also their digital stylus gauge - a model that also exist under other brand names but Tonar was the least expensive. :)
http://www.tonar.eu

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