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Thorens TD 160 variations

Discussion in 'audio' started by Minio, Mar 26, 2020 at 3:51 PM.

  1. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    Can someone give me heads up on the various options on these decks?
    Is there a top plate without the cueing knob to accommodate a SME 3009, which has its own lift.

    Any help much appreciated.

  2. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    The TD160S had a separate arm board, supplied blank if necessary, and no arm lift. You chose your own arm, usually a 3009 of course. S for "Super".
    The standard TD160 came with a Thorens arm, model escapes me, but different from that used on the TD150 Mk 2 (golf ball) arm.
    There was a TD160B, I think this was a cheaper version. Not sure why it was cheaper.
  3. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I believe TD160BC was Base and Cover...
    TD160S is the one to have. IIRC it was initially a UK only model for the fussy UK audiophile. not sure if that's apocryphal....
  4. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    You'll find new top plates on eBay, albeit at a price...
  5. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    I think it was the second version, with a different bearing (no captive steel ball) on the bottom of the platter spindle. The earliest model of 160 used the same bearing as the 150 (with captive steel ball). I think the spindle was a slightly reduced diameter too. (No doubt the claim would have been "reduced friction", which is likely true but a 150 has very little friction anyway - if you slip off the belt then the platter should spin freely for at least a couple of minutes from 33rpm, mine would go 100+ turns.)

    At some point they stopped machining the platter hub from solid cast zinc too, using a composite plastic/fibre thing instead. - the claim would probably have been "less ringing", again likely true but the complete platter assembly with a rubber mat on top of it isn't the most resonant thing in the world.
  6. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    TD160 came with the TP16 arm, which looked like a Meccano project, but was actually quite decent. Not popular in the UK though, where at the time when these were introduced, the widely advocated 'ideal' was a low-mass arm and lightweight high compliance cartridge set to a really low tracking weight.*

    The TD160B is simply the 'base' model, supplied without arm and sans superfluous cueing knob. Back in the day, the most popular partners were typically the SME 3009 S2, Hadcock GH228 and Infinity Black Widow.

    The S variant had a few suspension tweaks and a heavier plinth, but the 160B was by far the most popular in terms of sales.

    * Of course at pretty much the same time, Japanese audiophiles were using heavyweight arms wih 'blunderbuss' moving coil cartridges tracking at weights which would surely wear out your precious vinyl.

    Oh how we laughed at their primitive ways...
  7. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I have a 160 BC (think it was a MkII) and used it with an SME Series III arm. Mine had the grey plastic (?) inner platter.
  8. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    The original was TD-160C ('C'omplete with base, dust cover and TP-16 tonearm) with TD-160B (later, BC when in MkII guise) as base model with no tonearm or in-built lift mechanism.

    TD-160 Super was a good number of years later, when Thorens AG picked up on Charles Trayhorn's (of Cambrasound, the then UK Thorens distributor) modifications to B/BC.
  9. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

  10. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    I’ve had a standard one since 1982 with the Meccano tonearm. Still using it today. Still very good indeed. I went past Regas and Linns I was demoed and just enjoyed the music.
    At some point I tried an RB300 but reverted to the TP16.
    narabdela likes this.
  11. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    I don't recall any option to order TD-160 Super with tonearm from Thorens.
    I do recall there being pre-drilled arm-boards available for various tonearms, including SME and Thorens own.
    By default, the deck came with a blank, un-drilled board.
  12. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

    From a quick Google search:


    Also look in the Analogue-Classics link -scroll down to TD160 Super and you see the TP16 MkIII tonearm option. :)
  13. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

  14. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Interesting, never clapped eyes on one of these before.
  15. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    Exactly mine!
    krenzler likes this.
  16. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    I had a feeling that pfm would have a lot of expert knowledge on these solid and well engineered handsome turntables. Thanks all.

    I've ordered up a 166 for £299. Looks good in the pics on ebay. Will temporarily replace my Pink until its fixed. Or project. Or sell on. Or just amusement in these boring times.

    May even be a keeper.
  17. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    And there is a 160 HD - from around 2008
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    There was a cheaper version of the TD160, the 165. I had one, it wasn't great. Swapped it with a chap who wanted rid of a Garrard 401 (!) back around 2001. The Garrard I still have, it's a million times better than any Thorens 165. The 160 though is pretty good, I liked mine a lot.
  19. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    The 165, which was a considerably cheapened 160, had this as part of its catalogue of crapness. Shame, the 160 was a very nice deck. The 165 wasn't. The 166 followed, I don't know whether this was a return to the quality of the 160 or maintained the cheapness of the 165. The reviewers of the time didn't much like it, ISTR, the Rega 2 was much preferred. For what that's worth.
  20. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    I remember it well. The flat earth (Rega/Linn/Naim/Nytech/A&R) emporium I regularly went to at the time had a 166 just to prove that the Rega 2 (or 3) was better.

    But another shop almost next door - a five minute walk (the one that sold Quad and McIntosh) did just the opposite and thought Regas were more or less a joke.
    It was a question of who you wanted to believe.
    What else is new?
    Tim Jones likes this.

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