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Old 16th October 2007, 01:33 PM   #1
Snowdog is offline Snowdog  United Kingdom
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Default My Thorens TD166 MkII

I have a few questions/points for discussion regarding my tt.

A few weeks ago I started using my 166 again after a long time away from vinyl.

1)
Last night, I found that it wouldn't go to 45rpm.

When I removed the platter to see what was happening, I noticed that the metal fork would lift the belt up when I switched speeds but the drive belt was reluctant to slip up on to the larger part of the spindle & complete the adjustment. It would just get stuck on that stepped part of the spindle.

The merest touch with my finger would complete the operation but that's less than practical, every time I want to put a 45 on.

It hasn't had a new drive belt since I bought it. Would it be as straight forward as that? If so, I'll get a replacement from Rolf Kelch.

2)
I've read on here that swapping out the plastic... (apologies, I don't know the names of any of these parts) central platter for a metal one from a TD160 improves the sound quite a bit.

Is this true? If so, it seems like quite a simple thing to do, if I could find the part.

3)
The sound is noticeably louder from the left speaker. I tried adjusting the anti-skating weight which seemed to help but may not be a sensible thing to do.

It hasn't had a new stylus since I bought it either. Should I get my little mirror & the instructions I originally used to set the thing up & go through all that again to see if it helps or should I go straight for a new cartridge & set it up from scratch?

4)
Where might I find a list of compatible cartridges for my tt? (It appears to have an Ortofon VMS10E Mk II on it at the moment.)

I'm no audiophile & I don't have bottomless pots of money but I don't mind making simple affordable changes to keep the thing in good nick!

Any help & advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 16th October 2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: My Thorens TD166 MkII

Quote:
Originally posted by Snowdog
I have a few questions/points for discussion regarding my tt.

A few weeks ago I started using my 166 again after a long time away from vinyl.

1)
Last night, I found that it wouldn't go to 45rpm.

When I removed the platter to see what was happening, I noticed that the metal fork would lift the belt up when I switched speeds but the drive belt was reluctant to slip up on to the larger part of the spindle & complete the adjustment. It would just get stuck on that stepped part of the spindle.

The merest touch with my finger would complete the operation but that's less than practical, every time I want to put a 45 on.

It hasn't had a new drive belt since I bought it. Would it be as straight forward as that? If so, I'll get a replacement from Rolf Kelch.
I'd try the new belt, and a little lubrication on the arm mechanism (a few drops of a light oil) and then working it in might help. If I remember correctly, you can also adjust the motor spindle up and down as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by Snowdog
2)
I've read on here that swapping out the plastic... (apologies, I don't know the names of any of these parts) central platter for a metal one from a TD160 improves the sound quite a bit.
The subplatter on the 160 rings like a bell, the subplatter on the 166 doesn't.
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Old 17th October 2007, 12:02 AM   #3
Snowdog is offline Snowdog  United Kingdom
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Default Re: Re: My Thorens TD166 MkII

Quote:
Originally posted by shallbehealed
The subplatter on the 160 rings like a bell, the subplatter on the 166...
Rings like a brick, I know.
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Old 17th October 2007, 02:02 PM   #4
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The Thorens requires a careful set up.

Start with adjusting the sub-chassis just right. Don't by a new belt, quickly clean it and never touch it again with bare hands. Don't forget to clean the subplatter as well. There are a lot of set up guides for a thorens to be found on the internet (on of the better ones is on www.theanalogdept.com).

After that the thing should change speed, but don't be surprised when it doesn't. You might give the belt a twist, one way or the other makes a difference, but be sure the inside of the belt (yes it has two sides) runs on the sub platter.

Be warned: exchanging the sub platter for a metal one might mean exchanging the springs of the sub chassis as well. The weight difference is not trivial.

I wouldn't be surprised if the plastic one sounds better.

major tweak: buy or make a decent mat. The thorens one is horrible.

Succes, MArco
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Old 17th October 2007, 07:16 PM   #5
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Marco has it all right, but I'm not sure about the plastic platter sounding better.
I'm not a great fan of lubricating tone arms as the oil takes up dust and the net end result will be worse in time.
As for the weaker sound in one channel, it could be anything from the cartridge to the RCA connectors, even your preamp or amp.
A simple ohm meter can tell you a lot.
I leave comments for a suitable cartridge to others.

/Hugo
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Old 17th October 2007, 07:20 PM   #6
Snowdog is offline Snowdog  United Kingdom
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Just to let you know that I really appreciate all the comments & I'm doing my best to take it all on board & try stuff out.
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Old 17th October 2007, 07:25 PM   #7
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Here's some more interesting reading:

http://www.soundfountain.com/amb/td124page.html

/Hugo
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Old 18th October 2007, 07:03 PM   #8
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It is important that you buy an original Thorens belt.Originals are not too tight and do not need much stretching to reach the motor pulley.One of the reasons some belts do not "climb"on the 45rpm pulley diameter is because they are too tight and stretched and instead of going up they simply twist and stay down.Some baby talk will help it to slip more easily.And by all means,check everything else our friends told you to.The arm on the TD166 is a low mass one so you will need a rather high compliance cartridge.Something like an ortofon OM10/OM20,would be ideal.A useful tip,you need M2 screws for some Thorens arms instead of the usual M2.5 or M2.6
You might find a metal inner platter but there is always the possibility that it will not fit right in your bearing,also there are at least two metal inner platters from Thorens,the one used on the TD160 super and the one used on the TD166 special.The 160's has a thicker shaft,and the 166 special's similar to yours,so,if you are looking for one look for the right diameter one,and if you have the chance,try it on your turntable before you buy it.
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Old 19th October 2007, 09:26 AM   #9
Snowdog is offline Snowdog  United Kingdom
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Two belts ordered from Rolf Kelch. Hopefully this will do the trick.

Now to get to work on that sound balance problem.
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Old 19th October 2007, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Netlist

I'm not a great fan of lubricating tone arms as the oil takes up dust and the net end result will be worse in time.
/Hugo
I wasn't proposing lubricating the tonearm, but the belt lift assembly that changes the speed from 33 to 45.
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