Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

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vinyeer
Netherlands
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Joined: 20 Nov 2019 15:19

Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by vinyeer » 20 Nov 2019 15:31

Hey guys!

I'm new to this forum. Last year i bought a cheap turntable so i would be able to listen to the old records of my parents, but it has turned into a complete vinyl addiction. I really want to upgrade my current turntable, but i know almost nothing about tables. I live in the Netherlands and i believe i have found two good options. The first one is a Thorens TD 160 MK II in pretty good condition. I can choose between a TP62 arm or a TP63 arm with the ortofon om10 or the ortofon VMS E mk II. It is also equiped with a wooden bull matt. The second option is a refurbished Pioneer PL-510 with a new solid wooden plinth and new connectors. I can get either for 250 euro's.

I have a Yamaha RX 300 amplifier and am currently using two entry level tower speakers: the Jamo S426.

I'll include two links for pictures of the advertisements on Marktplaats.

Thorens:
https://www.marktplaats.nl/a/audio-tv-e ... ousPage=lr

Pioneer:
https://www.marktplaats.nl/a/audio-tv-e ... ousPage=lr

Please take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think would be the best option. As stated before, i'm just getting into this hobby so your advice would be really helpful to me.

Thanks in advance,
JP

StephDale
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Great Britain
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by StephDale » 20 Nov 2019 20:57

JP,
I don't know the Pioneer at all, but that TD160 MkII looks to be in good order and has an unusual wood veneer plinth - they usually go for about Eu350. I'm looking for one at the moment, so that's a current guide price.

Steph

bernard1
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France
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by bernard1 » 21 Nov 2019 09:26

Vinyeer, you have to know that the TP62 and even the TP63 Thorens tonearm-headshells are not easy to adjust. And if you want to try different cartridges, spare tonearms are expensive.
At contrary the Pioneer accepts standard so-called SME headshells, very common and easy to swap.
That said, I am the happy owner of a 166 mk2 fitted with a TP62 :D

tlscapital
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Belgium
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by tlscapital » 21 Nov 2019 13:35

bernard1 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 09:26
Vinyeer, you have to know that the TP62 and even the TP63 Thorens tonearm-headshells are not easy to adjust. And if you want to try different cartridges, spare tonearms are expensive.
At contrary the Pioneer accepts standard so-called SME headshells, very common and easy to swap.
That said, I am the happy owner of a 166 mk2 fitted with a TP62 :D
I don't own such a TP16 tonearm fitted with a TP62/3 "cartridge" (on bayonet) so I don't know but why exactly should they prove trickier to adjust a cartridge in alignement than on a "regular" detachable headshell ? Could this be due to the straight tonearm geometry and angular fixed headshell ? Oe even else ?

What is true is that indeed to have such TP62/3 fixed headshell on bayonet as spares to have a number of cartridge replacement ready mounted should prove pricey as not so easy to locate. Then headshell swaps in trial just not possible. Only downside I see with such tonearm/headshell combination.

bernard1
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by bernard1 » 21 Nov 2019 14:50

tlscapital wrote:
21 Nov 2019 13:35
I don't own such a TP16 tonearm fitted with a TP62/3 "cartridge" (on bayonet) so I don't know but why exactly should they prove trickier to adjust a cartridge in alignement than on a "regular" detachable headshell ? Could this be due to the straight tonearm geometry and angular fixed headshell ? Oe even else ?
The reason is that on TP62 (that I know because I have one) there is no access to the cartridges screws from the top, only from the bottom of the headshell. Once you have loosen the screws, the cartridge is totally free in azimuth and offset, and not very tight in angle ! If you have the right template, the one with two axis, I think it may be easy to set but if you have not, all it's all a matter of try and repeat, because when you tighten the screws the cartridge moves ! and it's all a matter of millimeter, as you know. Plus you have to detach the armwand to access the screws so you have all chances to have the cartridge move during this operation.
Once I managed the right alignment on my TP62, I just don't think to try another cartridge.
TP62.JPG
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On the TP63 the screws were, as on the TP62 only accessible from the botom. But some pictures show a TP63 with holes, I don't know if it's a custom modification or an evolution.
TP63.JPG
(61.44 KiB) Downloaded 81 times
Pictures are courtesy from UK Audio Mart and Canuck Audio Mart

tlscapital
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by tlscapital » 21 Nov 2019 15:53

Phew indeed ! Thanks for that explanation. That seems a tedious performance for the sake of hidden bolts on top of the headshell. Most Thorens designe and engineer parts are 'user friendly' but some just escape me...

Mind you To have my beloved bakelite (and alloy to DJ out with) Ortofon SPU 'G' type headshell mounted as I want my cartridge in them (height and frontal positioned) I have to have precise tailor made alloy mounting plate !

Once the mounting place arrive all is simple but to have them measured (not all these headshells have treaded mounting spots in the same place I have learn to discover !) and scrutiny well made is really not so simple...

dagfinn
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by dagfinn » 22 Nov 2019 07:07

TD166_mkII-TP11_Schopper_95.jpg
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Here is my TD166 mkII with TP11 and Schopper armtube. Very good solution, but very expensive. Schopper says it's 16 grams, but it's not, it's 15 with screws. The TP11 is 14,4 with screws. Otherwise the Thorens offers many DIY upgrades or modifications.

BruceNeale
New Zealand
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by BruceNeale » 22 Nov 2019 16:15

Hello,

I am a bit of a Thorens Fan, so I would prefer a TD 160, because the Tonearm is good enough for a decent Cartridge.
The Thorens design is well tested & reliable. There is a lot of information about servicing or ugrading the older Thorens models.
A Rega / Moth is tonearm on the Thorens is an easy option if you dont like the Thorens arm.
Many of the related Tonearms of that time can also be fitted on a TD 160: Hadcock, Mayware, Alphason, Syrinx, better Linn, etc.

I believe the Pioneer PL 510 is on at thr lower end of that series PL 520, 530, etc.
I think there may be more Electronics to go wrong here.

best regards,
Bruce

BruceNeale
New Zealand
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BruceNeale

Post by BruceNeale » 22 Nov 2019 19:16

Hello,

Many years ago I bought a new Thorens TD 160S & fitted a Linn Basik LVX tonearm to it & used it happily for some years.
A Systemdek IV & Systemdek IIX Electronic followed.
These were effectively upgraded Thorens TD 150 / TD 160 at the time, along the Linn LP 12 line.
Many of these 3 point suspended turntables have derived from the original AR Turntable.
DIY turntable kits from Origin Live were next.

At some point I managed to find a Garard 301, before the prices went crazy.
This was seriously better in the most basic of Plinths.
Over the years I managed to collect a few Thorens TD 150 & TD 160 with various tonearms for refurbishment, but life has got in the way of that.
The performance of the Garard 301 led me to the Lenco L 75 & L 78 idler drives.
These are all similar age to a Thorens TD 160, so the build quality is similar also.

Lenco L 75 & L 78 are available in Germany for less than 100 EUR, so should be similar in Holland.
In standard format, they should give a similar perforance as the TD 160 & Pioneer, for half the price.
There were a lot of these produced also.
"Stay away from recent ones with USB but similar model numbers.!

To go down the Lenco l 75 route you need to prepared to build your own Plinth & the basic service is more complicated than a TD 160.
They have a 33rpm 45rpm & 78rpm in standard format & easy to change speed'
You can fit any of the previously listed tonearms as well as 12 inch if you want.
You can build any Plinth you want, but material & build quality does count in the end, so good quality ply will be better than MDF.

What I am saying is that an OLD Lenco L 75 IDLER DRIVE will give you similar performace to either of these in standard format, with more scope for DIY improvements later.

best reggards
Bruce Neale

vanakaru
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Re: Thorens td160 MK II or upgraded Pioneer PL 510

Post by vanakaru » 23 Nov 2019 06:02

I have TD160 MkI. When I got it I was rather impressed. My Thorens have heavier arm TP11 and it is difficult to set up as well. I think if you are going to try different cartridges you need to get SME type headshell arm - as in Pioneer PL 510. Everything else is pain and expensive to have multiple shells. Also mentioned Lenco, unless you get L75/78S(or SE that I have) with Jelco arm and SME headshells.

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