the home of the turntable
Reviews Turntables Tonearms Cartridges

Turntable Reviews: 3189

To add a review or rate a turntable, browse for the model and use the review form.



Thorens TD160 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 19 of 19

Thorens TD160

Thorens TD160

8/10 by bartovsky

TD-150 and the TD-160: true classic, suspended beltdrives! Recommended. Need proper set-up and a good MM cart, then they will sing and swing!

10/10 by Harbeth30

I've had mine for decades, put a Rega RB300 arm on it
within the first year and never looked back.
Run anything from a $100-$600 cartridge and they all
sound amazing. Best table for the money by far.

10/10 by STRATMAN71

I've had mine since 1979, fitted with a Mayware Formula IV arm and Mayware 3mc cartridge, and with the super upgrade kit.
Still love it.

8/10 by mannaminne

Quality and simplicity at it´s best I guess :-)

Bought my TD 160 B Mk II with SME III and an Ortofon VMS 20E Mk II back in 1979!
It's just working without any problems still today! Not a single problem so far.

It´s of course not the only turntable that fits in that league or might be even better than the TD 160, but what would such a replacement cost?
Today I´d get my money back several times but why sell something you´re happy with?
I think I´ll stick with this one as long as I will play vinyl!

I've had other turntables such as Luxor (Swedish crap!), Pioneer something (had a cheap'n'easy model) and a Technics something (got it for free...).
I also have a Dual CS-505 (got it for free and repaired it) in use with a Ortofon Super OM 30. The Dual has not the same quality build as the TD 160. The Dual is unnecessary complicated constructed under the hood (lack of simplicity) and bit to much plastic for my taste. The Dual is definitely a good one, but not in the same league as the Thorens!

9/10 by Fritz33

160-Super/Jelco 750DB arm/2M Black cartridge ... I give it a 9 but I'm being pragmatic. Bottom Line: my vinyl has never sounded better. These days I don't even spend time looking at other tables, thinking of a possible upgrade some day. Very satisfied with this setup.

9/10 by asu zoa

10/10 by Spinning Top

It's all been said. The TD160 Super can be made to sound as good (if not better) than a Linn LP12 at a fraction of the cost. I have had both and have kept the Thorens. I think the arm-board arrangement on the TD160 is better than the TD150 or the LP12 with less panel resonance. With a more substantial plinth, decent mat, aluminium arm-board, new springs and upgraded power supply, the sound is state-of-the-art. Very deep solid bass with spacious 3D mid-range and perfect timing. Foot tapping good...

9/10 by djohnfot

An outstanding manual turntable with a very good tonearm (better than many give it credit for). I'd have given it a 10 except for the fact that setting one up for optimum performance is a bit of a pain. When properly set up it's hard to beat. And the TD160, and it's semi-auto twin TD-145, are a modders dream.

8/10 by Snilsen

For the Super - mine has an SME 3009. You should read the reviews about the amount of tweaking carefully. It took me many years to take the time to tune my deck's suspension properly, in part because I just didn't appreciate how the most seemingly senseless changes can change the resulting sound. Get the suspension to bounce straight up and down, however necessary, and easily audible improvements are heard. Stick to the stock mat. Add a weight. I opened up the plinth and let it breath, I'm still contemplating if closing it up with a mess of dampening will help, it'll be easy to test. My hang up with this table is that it really needs all this effort to shine and because of all the effort spent, you 2nd guess when its time to quit tweaking. My other hang up, is with all suspension decks, they are so sensitive to vibrations that they are not usable in rooms with wood flooring.

10/10 by Fenboy

Note there have been several versions of the TD160. The version on the sample image has a fixed TP16 type arm but my slightly later model was an upgrade of the standard TD160 of the day, which in itself was a separate motor unit, being again just the motor unit and called the Super which had a nicer mahogany veneer on heavier plinth and a classy aluminium all black top plate finish rather than the black/silver of the standard TD160.

I bought this as an upgrade to the TD166 I'd had previously as I needed more flexibility of arm choice but in the end was happy to go with a TD160 the dealer had already fitted with an Audio Technica 1120 arm.

This combination was a worthwhile step up in quality above the TD166 and the arm allowed me to experiment with higher quality cartridges including some moving coil.

It has to be said this was a stunning looking deck too. Reviews in its day commented my Super version was only just behind the top decks of the time (Linn & Pink Triangle) and I didn't feel the need to upgrade further so kept it for over 20yrs.

It was only the arrival of our girls, firstly as toddlers and then teens that wanted to play my cherished records, that caused me to sell the TD160 and swap to a fully automated Technics linear tracker.

9/10 by ehtoo

An overall excellent turntable. Unmodified, the performance is satisfying providing sufficient heft to music. The TP16 tonearm, though much maligned is overall not a bad performer but, it's bearings are not precise enough by today's standards and definitely show their age. No one can argue that this in not an attractive turntable.

The performance of the TD160 can be significantly improved following the basic Chadwick mods of damping the motor plate and sub-chassis and swapping out the masonite bottom with a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch Baltic birch plate. You could leave it with those changes and be very happy however, as one reviewer has stated, it is a tweakers dream.

I had my table since the 1970's and completed the mods as described above using EAR Iso-damp to damp the motor plate. The sub-chassis was damped with automotive (rubberized) cork using silicone as an adhesive. The inner platter was treated the same way. The spindle itself was damped by sacrificing the aluminum adapter and gluing in a piece of cork. As attractive the plinth is, it was swapped out in favour of a solid 1 inch thick plinth made from Padauk - a hard wood - which provided increased rigidity. I had rosewood spikes made eliminating the rubber feet. The arm was swapped out and a new solid aluminum arm board was installed.

The TD160 can still be acquired at a reasonable price and as there were a lot of them produced, it is still easy to find. If you are restoring a TD160 the parts are also readily available.

The performance of the table was elevated significantly. My local high-end audio store (who provided and installed the new tone arm) was astounded over the result achieved from the mods and declared it was seriously kicking the butt of a $3,000 TT he had in the shop.

Though it started out in my secondary system of vintage gear, it has now assumed the status of a second TT in my primary system. I would highly recommend this TT to anyone who wants a modestly priced but serious performer.

10/10 by tnsilver

This is a classic landmark turntable, a tweaker`s heaven that will easily out perform many modern turntables as is, in it`s OEM condition. Given little care, some geometry attending and proper settings, and this little, humble, hung-suspension turntable will smoke out turntables ten times it`s price.

Almost nothing beats a properly set TD-160. It`s simple, robust and most importantly, properly designed. It`s secret is in it`s simplicity. The TD-160 accommodates a perfectly designed balance between two heavy Aluminum/Zinc alloy platters, a quiet 2 Watts everlasting motor and a simple, yet very effective spring based sub-chassis suspension system. It all works together to deliver a very charismatic, rhythmic output that doesn`t come short of anything modern in the $1500 range.

Even if the outdated looking TP-16 tonearm can easily fool the novice user, it`s a well designed and executed piece of gear and can out perform many modern `light` carbon fiber tonearms. Even the tonearm can be easily modified to reduce it`s effective mass to an SME 3009 level.

This is a little devil in disguise and you should treat it with respect. No other piece of vintage gear would give you so much for so less.

Be aware though, that a TD-160 will not sound and perform as it should - if you don`t set it up properly. The suspension system setup could be a serious nag for a novice user, but there`s almost endless amount of resources dealing with those issues on the Internet. One more issue may be finding the right cartridge for the TP-16 which is a little `heavy`. Old Shure carts, like the M95ED, vintage Stantons and classic Denons.

The entire series, including the similar TD-150 and the semi`s like the TD-145, and even the more economically constructed TD-165 and TD-166 are more or less equally wonderful.

The bottom line: This is one amazing turntable!

5/10 by anmpr1

Overall my Thorens is built well, however it is a bit finicky to set up. On solid wood raised floors it's a mess, as walking causes the sub-deck to wobble. With concrete slab construction it would probably be better. The suspension can be tightened up, but then you wind up with no suspension. The main platter rings, but this can be easily fixed with damping material. Unfortunately, my example has a disabling fault--loose tonearm bearings in the TP-16 arm--I've seen other examples with the same defect, so I presume that this was a design feature. The arm itself seems to be on the lower mass side, and therefore suitable for a wide range of MM cartridges. So, if you can find an example with good, tight arm bearings, and mostly use higher compliance MM cartridges, and can suitably isolate the deck, it should be OK.

9/10 by capten

just exelent

9/10 by chaskelljr1963

When I started upon my journey to get into Vinyl for the first time, and started doing so after settling onto a Phono Stage (my Adcom GFP-750 does not have one built-in.... and it ended up being a PS Audio GCPH (unmodded)), I started out at looking at Turntables from the following manufacturers (exact Model Numbers to follow):

(01). Music Hall (MMF-5.1)

(02). Project Audio (RPM-5.1)

(03). Rega (P3-24)

And as a last resort (before I waked up and knew better):

(04). Technics (SL-1200 MkII)(when they were still available at sensible prices.... I may have missed out on owning this gem, but I have a gem of my own which I will mention next.... I guess the reason was that I did not want a DJ's Turntable in my Audiophile Rig, and I was hung up about having a Direct-Drive Table in my rig. So much for my ignorance (please forgive me). With some mods done to it, the Technics SL-1200 is a decent and respectable High-End Table... so my ignorant thinking has cause me to lose out on this one.... but my loss is your gain, right??? Well, not exactly).

And then, this thought hit me. Why don't I look at e-Bay and see what they have available as a used vintage table, and thought that a vintage table may be the best thing for me.


If you shop around carefully, you can get a still get a quality table at a sensible price (and only if you're willing to put up the fact that this table maybe 30+ years old). But make sure that you get one that is in decent shape to start out with, that way, if you should have a desire to renovate it and have it modded later on, then a table that is in decent shape to begin with should make renovations and modifications go a LOT smoother.

And then, that's what has brought me to THIS table:

(05). Thorens (TD-160)(this is the one I ended up buying)

My description of this table is everything that Chris-_007 and JaS has said about it, and a lot more.

It has great bones to be an older table, parts are still available (belts to name one.... and other parts are also available as needed.... I recommend getting modified or looked at throughly at a place in New Hampshire (I believe) named Vinyl Nirvana, and speak with Dave when you do.... he's a great guy to talk to when comes to tables, and he knows his stuff).

The Thorens TD-160 checks all of my boxes for what I am looking for in a table for right now, and I am envisioning what it will become once the renovations and modifications are complete. This is probably the ONE AND ONLY table I will EVER buy. EVER!!!!

Currently, I am saving up for a Jelco SA-750D Arm (looking for a 9-Inch Version) and plan to mount either an Ortofon 2M Blue or a Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III on it when it is all said and done.

Stay Tuned For Updates...


7/10 by desertdog

Good basic belt drive turntable, will run for years when serviced as needed. the standard arm supplied is no way up to the same mark as turntable.

10/10 by Chris-_007

Soup these baby's up with the mods and they are fantastic. A far more affordable alternative to a LP12 and modded up will give them a good run for their money. It's great fun modding them up too.

9/10 by Indiansprings

Craigslist special. Stock from the orig. owner. Never had the bottom cover off it. It sounds real good. looks great and is a nice deck.
I am going thru it and giving it a complete overhaul. Going to make it a 10...

7/10 by ocoupy

Du pur classique, une très belle danseuse...

To post a review for the Thorens TD160, please login or register a free account