Thorens TD 160 Super - anybody else use one? - diyAudio
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Old 9th August 2006, 10:33 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Default Thorens TD 160 Super - anybody else use one?


One day after years of listening to a Dual 505 I thought to myself "I want a good turntable" so I got the paper out and found a listing for a Thorens. The guy was asking $200 AUD. I had never seen a Thorens in the flesh but knew they had a good reputation.

I went to his house which was a mess by the way. He demoed the tt for me and I was sold. This was even though it had a Linn Basik arm with stuffed bearings and he had the shipping screws tightened up. I don't think he even knew the tt had a floating suspension! The arm was so bad that the stylus was leaning into the groove on an angle!!

However the sound was much better than my Dual.

After getting it home and cleaning it up, I took it to my local dealer who is a tt wiz.. He told me that the shaft and bearing were the best he had seen in a long time. It takes over a minute for the shaft to seat right down into the sleeve.

Anyway he fitted it with an RB300 and a Denon DL304 MC cartridge. Let me tell you, when I got that baby home, I was in heaven what a sound!!! I delight in bringing non-HiFi friends around and playing a CD version of an album and then putting a vinyl version on. They are always blown away.

I am running the tt into an Electrocompaniet ELP-1 phono stage and then into my Audio Space/Houston AS8i valve amp.

I think I was fortunate getting the TD160 Super. My understanding is that it is one of their better tt's.

Does anyone else have any experience with this tt? Also what say you in reagard to the match of my cartridge and phono stage??


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Old 9th August 2006, 09:34 PM   #2
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Holger Barske's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Ruhrgebiet
Hi Mark!
Congratulations. A TD160 S in good condition at that price is a steal - it would even have been here in Germany, where we have tons of Thorens TTs selling on Ebay every day.

You are absolutely right, the TD160 S is one of the better models, a very pure and straightforward TT built in the early 80s. It has the big 10mm bearing, a dampened subchassis and a nice MDF frame. This is a very good turntable to be happy with for evermore. The match with the RB300 is a good one, but I can't tell you much about the DL304, my Denon experience is only with several DL103 types (love them all ).
Best regards: Holger
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Old 12th August 2006, 09:49 PM   #3
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hi peeps

i have a td160 super and a td 166...both work very well

the shaft on the td160 is almost the same on a linnlp12 with a tapered end and much thicker than the standard thorns bearing

i got the "henk the fisherman" plinth for the td160s

the plinth weights more than the whole origonal turntable...i supose its the best thing i could have done for it...sounds as good as my lp12 now

best wishes
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Old 17th August 2006, 05:50 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Hi Mark

Yes you have a good Choice (Relation with the price).

I have some infos for you !

Common checklist:

l length of the belt (see table)

l position of the belt during operation (middle of the pulley)

l run out of the motor axle

l noise of the motor (No noise 5 cm over the motor).

l oil level and color

l run test without belt (Platter rundown 33 to 0 = 1 minute in minimum)

l noise of the bearing (no noise, hear 5 cm over the platter)

l revolution and switch off test (with single)

l start up phase within five seconds

l lift up and down must be equable

l small inner platter run out not more than 0,15mm

l outer platter run out not more than 0,25mm

l clearance of the tone arm bearing (horizontally and vertically) as low as possible (smaller than 20mg)

l tracking force

l geometry of the tone arm

l left and right channel

l short circuit to ground


Old Thorens worker
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Old 17th August 2006, 08:56 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Hi Joel,

Thanks for that checklist. I do not understand all of the items though. Below I will address each point as best I can:

1. Length of belt....I do not see a table in your post. The belt I have is a genuine Thorens purchased new approx 5 years ago.

2. Position of belt.... yes it is in the middle of the pulley

3. Run out of motor axle.... what does this mean?????

4. Noise of motor..... no audible noise within 5cm.

5. Oil Level and colour..... Oil replaced 5 years ago with an aviation oil which keeps constant viscosity regardless of operating temperature.

6. Run test without belt... it takes ages to stop, but how can you know the starting RPM without a belt attached????

7. Bearing noise...... none at all

8. Revolution and switch off test....what does this mean???

9. 5 second start up..... do you mean that it should achieve 33rpm in less than 5 seconds?? If so, then it passes easily.

10. Lift up and down.... what do you mean?

11. and 12. Platter run out........ what does this mean??

13. clearance of tonearm bearing......what does this mean?

14. Tracking force..... set to heavy end of cartridge manufacturer's specification.

15. geometry of tone arm.... set by my dealer when he installed arm and cartridge using proper alignment tools

16. left/right channel....... what am i supposed to look for here??

17. Short circuit to ground.... what is this about?

I appreciate your interest Joel. If you would care to elaborate on the points that I need more information on, that would be great.


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Old 17th August 2006, 09:22 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Hi Mark
Very Sorry

I see my text was not right translate

I thinck i must give you better infos

At first test your bearing without Belt, only with the litte platter and with very thin oil like ´sewing Machine oil

so you can really hear that rumble is.

The platter must run slowly and no noise in the room

Hear only 5 cm over the platter.

After take the right Oil (precision fluid N°78 or an alternate JB N°2 "S") and check the platter run down.

Without Belt , with Platter and rubbermatte and a LP let run at 33 and check the time up 33 to zero. (you need a stroboscope disc)
So you can turn with the hand to 33 Speed and let run still the platter stay).

These time must bee one minute (generally 2 min by sintered bearing) and 3 min by brass bearing.

Tell me the lenght of your Belt (side of side reply gefaltet)

The Belt length is very important, I have a table for all Thorens player.

The lenght ist not the same while the pulley diameter have by thorens much variation in the diameter

Tell me


PS: Send me a mail I give you Infos over your player
Old Thorens worker
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Old 18th August 2006, 07:29 AM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Hi Joel,

I am sorry. I struggle to understand your english.

My bearing is quiet as a mouse - no noise at all.

I fail to understand how you can accurately measure a run down from 33 rpm to zero with no belt attached. How do you get the platter to start at 33prm accurately?

I do not know how to measure the belt. Can you explain?

Thanks for your interest.


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Old 18th August 2006, 07:55 AM   #8
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Hi Mark

You need a Stroboscope disc to adjust the speed.

Without belt you can turn the platter with your hand !

After just count the time the platter need to stay.

the belt must bee 2 X 260 mm .(optimal) but new 2 x 255 mm


PS: I know the thorens Bearing make no noise and the motor too
So is all OK
Old Thorens worker
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Old 19th August 2006, 09:26 AM   #9
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Scottish Borders
what is all this talk about the 160s and bigger bearing diameter.

My much older TD150 from 1971 also has a 10mm bearing.
The shaft looks perfect, shame the bushes have worn.

Need to get some new ones inserted and reamed out.
Or is there a better way?
regards Andrew T.
Sent from my desktop computer using a keyboard
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Old 19th August 2006, 10:15 AM   #10
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Hello Andrew

I can help you
I have a Kit for the bearing and spindle.
I can also change the sleeve and the thrustplate.

If you have not clearance you can repair it yourself.

Old Thorens worker
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