Thorens TD-160 Questions

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by captouch, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. captouch

    captouch AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I've had my Thorens for a couple+ years now, and did some of the standard upgrades/mods (heavier birch bottom plate, some dampening of the top plate, new oil in well, etc)

    But there's a couple of things I'm wondering about and would appreciate some input.

    1) Bounce: my platter doesn't currently bounce up and down - it kind of moves in different directions. I've tried in the past to adjust the 3 springs (tension and direction wise), but never can get it quite right. And it seems to change when moving the table, putting on a new head shell, etc). In other words, even if I could get it close to right, I feel like it's prone to changing when moving the table from where I'd work on it to it's wall shelf or when switching headshells. Don't know if it's supposed to be that sensitive to shifting once adjusted.

    My question - how likely is it that I'd benefit from new springs? Wondering if my springs are tired and not as strong as whether that's making it more touchy to adjust right.

    Also, what's the opinions on foam in vs out? I removed my foam, but still have them and can replace them if they're better left in.

    2) I get low level hum that mostly goes away when I turn the motor on. But sometimes persists even with the motor running. I think it's due to the integrated ground wire in the right RCA and the wires just being old. When I fiddle with the right RCA plug going into my phono pre, it can get better or much worse.

    Would you recommend I just put in new RCAs and a separate ground wire to solve this problem once and for all?

    3) Would there be a big benefit to rewiring the tonearm? This is above my pay grade, so I'd have to pay someone to have it done, but if it's a big potential upgrade, I may be willing to do this.

    4) Thoughts on best cart to use on this out of what I have. I have a Stanton 681EEE, Empire E-2000III (came with the table), Grado F1+, Signet (forgot the model, but will look it up when back home). I know the TP-16 I has a heavier effective mass of 16.5g, so that's a factor. I'm open to buying a higher end cart at some point, but only after/if I can get the issues above sorted out first.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
     

     

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  2. Stevedel

    Stevedel Active Member

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    I know that the TD160 gets a bad rap for a heavy tone-arm (TP16). I've been told that it shouldn't be used with a high compliance cartridge. I will disagree. I've used mine with the Shure V-15 type IV, Stanton 681EEE and Empire 999VE with complete satisfaction. I'm currently using an Empire 999VE/X and I think that it will stay right where it is. The arm has about the same specs as the Empire or an old SME 3009 which work just fine. It's all in the bearings.

    One thing though, don't use the arm spring and scale to set the tracking force. Get a good digital scale and set the tracking down-force with the balance counter-weight alone. The tracking force gage on mine was way off.

    I would be very interested in how the 2000/III sounds. I've been sitting on a 2000/I with new Empire stylus for some time now. Just haven't decided which table to put it in.

    Don't be afraid to experiment. With proper cartridge alignment and anti-skate setting you'll know when you hit the "sweetspot".
     
  3. shelly_d

    shelly_d Not An Audiophool

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    The Stanton 681 EEE performed flawlessly in my TD 150 MK II AB, Ive got to believe it will also be a good match for your 160.

    Shelly_D
     
  4. captouch

    captouch AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Bay Area, CA
    Appreciate the feedback so far on #4. Wondering if anyone has any input on 1-3?
     
  5. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Replace the RCAs if they have any faults.
    Did you theanalogdept adjust your suspension? Tricky but you need to get it so that the platter is level and each of the three springs holds its section of the table subchassis in the middle of the range for the subchassis. If you push down at each location there should be similar amount of down before the chassis hit each other. This is harder to do on the 160 than the 125 where the upper chassis is the whole top of the table. On the 160 you only have the platter area and the tonearm area where the suspension can be seen working.
     
  6. GuyK

    GuyK Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,950
    Location:
    Shoreline, Wa
    What has been your procedure for setting the suspension? I have never had problems with mine going out of adjustment just from carrying it from bench to shelf or by swapping a headshell. I suggest reading, and re-reading, the article in this link until everything makes complete sense, and then trying again.

    http://www.theanalogdept.com/susp_tim_bailey.htm

    I don't think the springs are shot. Easy enough to check out. Take the bottom cover off and set the tt on a stand that you can see the underside from. If the springs are completely compressed, then something is wrong. If not, they should be ok.

    Foam in or out? I don't have a solid answer for that. I've found with a SOLID floor, things work better without the foam. With a floor that transmits footfall, then I've had better results keeping the foam in. Or get a wall shelf and take the foam out.

    You mention the hum changing from wiggling the RCA plugs. First thing I'd do is CLEAN them with a little DeOxit and a q-tip. Then clean the jacks on the preamp or receiver the same way. This could be all it takes. That was all I had to do. The cables that came on these things are nothing great and it could be just time to replace them, but start with the easy stuff first. I added a separate ground to mine but I really didn't need to, I just prefer things that way.

    Personally, I don't think there is much benefit to re-wiring this arm unless there is already something wrong with it. If your looking for a substantial upgrade in this area, you'd get more bang for the buck by replacing the arm with something better. The TP-16 really is a decent arm, but there are much better available. Do give the headshell pins the same DeOxit treatment as the RCA plugs. This has been a recurring problem for me.

    That's my 2¢.
     

     

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  7. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    so_eng_04.jpg
    Unlike most every turntable design which adjusts Spring Tension to adjust for various tonearm-assembly weights, the SOTA turntables adjust mass, a far simpler and vastly more predictable method of set-up. The SOTA turntable set-up allows you to vary the mass of the system to compensate for the mass of the arm (much like balancing a tire for your car). By maintaining a constant mass, the unknown variable of tonearm mass has now become a predictable constant. And since the entire system’s mass remains constant, damping and isolation are controlled and predictable. The SOTA suspension follows the physics principle that mass at a stable rest will tend towards stability after excited or moved.

    Because the mass on each spring is constant, the turntable’s setup will not vary with time, and all springs will age at a constant rate. By having the suspension factory-fixed and the mass adjusted to accommodate a wide range of tonearms, the end user is assured that his/her SOTA can be set-up quickly and easily, and will replicate the performance levels achieved in lab and reviewer tests.


    Without the foam in the springs, it would be like driving a car on it's springs only and not having the shocks.struts to dampen the movement.

    A tone arm ground wire can cause the hum when it's connected and is not needed. So try what sounds better, connect or not connected.
     
  8. captouch

    captouch AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Thanks everyone for all the input. I do appreciate it.

    I followed much of the advice above and seemingly have things sorted out. The TT is on a wall shelf, so it should be isolated from the floor. I removed the springs and started over from scratch to try and balance things.

    This except from another AK post by @tnsilver was very helpful is giving me an idea of which spring to start with and which one made the most difference:
    • The left most spring (near the motor) always ends up being compressed the most, almost all the way, and usually requires just minute adjustments for leveling. It mostly controls the initial height of the platter over the motor pulley or safety post.
    • The front spring ends up being anything between about half compressed to almost uncompressed and has the most control over the height of the platter over the deck.
    • The rear spring (near the TA) is the real suspension tuning work horse and requires the most fiddling around with. If you over-compress it just by a fraction of a turn, the suspension loses the bounce and becomes rigid. If it's too loose, the platter starts scraping the safety post or the deck and the leveling goes kaput.
    I usually start with the left spring, elevate the platter over the safety post or pulley, then compress the front spring to elevate the platter over the deck to the same height, and then the fun begins with the rear spring. I just compress and test repeatedly. Compress and test some more. When I start getting the piston like bounce, I put on the drive belt and go on with it. When I finally get the bounce right, I level the platter (mat, test record, clamp, tonearm, headshell, the whole shebang as in real playback time) by tuning the front and left spring. That's just fine tuning. Quarters and Eighths of turns of the nuts. It usually takes me around 20 minutes."

    I deoxited and retensioned the RCAs and the ground hum seems to be gone for now. It all sounds much better than it did, so I'm happy. :rockon::music::thumbsup::banana:

     
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  9. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Amazing what a basic tune up will do to a turntable after 100,000 miles. Seems it was waiting on you. Glad you got in there and 1) learned about your table and 2) got it all sorted for now.
     

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