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thorens309 22nd May 2006 03:21 PM

thorens 160

I am having an issue with my Thorens 160 (TP-16 arm). I am currently running a AT110E cartridge and it sounds ok on most records however...when I am playing a brand new record I keep getting excessive distortion of vocals when they become loud. This also occurs on jazz albums with loud brass playing.
What would this be related to?

Could it be the stylus? Or could the cartridge be a bust?

Could anyone who has a great cartridge on their Thorens 160 (TP-16 arm) let me know what it is.


dnsey 22nd May 2006 03:27 PM

What's the downforce set at?

AndrewT 23rd May 2006 07:50 AM

could it be a bias problem?
Does it sound worse on one channel?

Have you got and used a test record?

Bobken 23rd May 2006 10:30 AM


The obvious 'common denominator' in your comments if I understand this correctly here, seems to be that this problem only occurs when the *recording* is "loud", as you put it. i.e. "loud vocals" and "loud brass".

I assume this is not the same as when you are playing all music 'loudly', but merely when there are heavily modulated (or 'loud') passages actually on the recordings.

If this assumption is correct, this would immediately suggest to me that there is some overloading somewhere in the chain, and most probably at the pre-amp's input. The output of this cartridge could be a bit high for the pre-amp's input capability, and this could be checked out by reducing the level by way of a simple resistive attenuator between the cartridge and pre-amp.

Ready-made plug-in RCA attenuators are commercially available (at least in the UK) and if there are no other problems at any time when playing records which might suggest a cartridge fault/excessive stylus wear, I would try out this reduction in signal from your cartridge as a first step.

If the problem is due to mistracking on heavily modulated passages, this should improve with slightly higher tracking forces, so it would be worth trying this first.


thorens309 24th May 2006 04:27 PM

Fixed - thanks for the help!
Thanks for the help all,

I check the VTF - aka increased it...with no change in the distortion.

Realigned the cartridge and such with no result.

Then I decided to take a walk to my local hi fi audio shop. Talk to a few people and they thought as I...the cartridge/stylus was the problem - probably degraded or worn out.

I ended up purchasing a new cartridge...and voila...sonic bliss. The cartridge i got was a Nagaoka MP-11 (new stock)...and does this thing match up well with the TP-16 arm! I am astounded with the improvement in sound....I find it to be much more musical than my old AT110E.

Anyway, thanks for your advice and happy spinning.

pred 24th May 2006 07:06 PM

Hi I recently acquired on thorens td 160 and have a question,
I would like to align the cartrige but never did it. Found a lot of info on the net but I seem not to be able to understand how I can move the cartridge in the thorens headshell. So I wanted to ask is it posible (the arm is original tp16 I guess) to move it and how. And if there is a "pictured" procedure somwhere on the net? I never turned my thorens upside down (I will have to do it soon to install beter chinch connectors and power cord) so I am not really sure how it is done.

Thanks in advance,

I have test record and protactor and now how to proceed after (in theory at least :xeye: )

Netlist 24th May 2006 08:20 PM

I believe the TP16 headshell has fixed set screws.
Only the VTA can be adjusted.
Here's a nice page on the subject.


thorens309 24th May 2006 11:33 PM

Headshell adjustment
If you look at the headshell with the cartridge not attached the metal piece the screws for the cartridge attach to is free floating and with a bit of pressure will move forwards or back. Also, lateral adjustment so the cartridge is square can be achieved by leaving the screws untightened (a little bit) and ajusting with a little twist o the cartridge....make sure to not touch the stylus (it is easy to hit it and ruin the cartridge) - when finished adjusting tighten up the screws

I suggest using a protractor to assist with alignment.

Take a look at the Analog Depot online....a great resource it has a whole section about TD 160's.

Good luck.

infinia 25th May 2006 01:33 AM

From you description, most probably worn or damaged stylus. What is the history of the cartridge i.e. high hours and/or known abuse? Been there before myself with a second hand Grado. I kept adjusting alignment not wanting to believe what I feared.

pred 25th May 2006 10:26 AM

Re: Headshell adjustment

Originally posted by thorens309
If you look at the headshell with the cartridge not attached the metal piece the screws for the cartridge attach to is free floating and with a bit of pressure will move forwards or back...
Thanks a lot I will try it as soon as I find some spare time. While we are at it any good cartridge for thorens bellow 200$ mark. I have MM phono preamp (my design).


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