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  AR-XA or Thorens 165 vs current tables
I'm wondering how the vintage AR-XA and Thorens 165 measure up to current turntables. You can get one these in good working order for half the price of Rega P2, and about $100 less than a P1.

Let's say you even went so far as the re-lube them, are they still comparable?

Thanks.
Jonpb  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-08-09
  Responses
02-08-09: Viridian
No, not at all. Not ever. Not in your wildest dreams. Now you can mod the XA and have a good table, but the first thing that has to go is the arm, so it doesn't chew through your record collection. By the time you put a Rega arm on it and new springs and reinforce the plinth and mod the sub-platter, you will be an engineer, and broke, but it has been done. See the Vinyl Nirvana site. The 165 was the budget Thorens and is inferior to the 124, 125, 150 MK11 and all the 160s as well. Buy any one of those first, in that approximate order.
Viridian  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


02-09-09: Jonpb
Thanks, that's pretty much what I figured. Btw, I meant to say P3 in the OP. I'm a little stuck, cause the P3 is my choice but at $650 is out of my reach, but the P1 at $350 is ok, but just doesn't seem right.

What do you think of the Rega MDF platter, is that really a good medium? or is the Rega all about the arm?

Jonpb  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


02-09-09: Viridian
Why not the the older Rega, the Planar 3? They sell for around $450.00? Same arm as the P3. The P3 and the Planar3 come with a glass platter standard, not MDF. The plinth is some type of fiberboard, but that is actually a design element, it is supposed to evacuate energy as quickly as possible. The higher you climb in the Rega line, the smaller the plinths get. Less is more. The P9 has a little plinth made of a honeycomb material. There's more than one way to skin a cat, I suppose. Thorens

TD150 MK11 turntables sell for around $250.00 and they can be great as long as the bearing is good and the motor spindle is not bent. The later being a bit of an issue as putting on the platter can cause one to tap the motor spindle bending it. The arm looks like crap, but is actually quite good sounding and a bit on the higher mass side. They sound warmer, richer and a tad slower than the Rega. BTW, I have owned all of the turntables discussed with the exception of the P2, P1 and the one that I recommend below.

Another alternative here, and please, don't scrunch up your face before you consider this, is the Technics SL1200. Please search the forums here and check out the KAB acoustics website. I see 1200s on Craigslist for around $300.00. You must be carefull buying one used though, as DJs like this thing and they can be, well let's just say a bit rough on their gear.

Viridian  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


02-09-09: Narrod
Viridian, my second table is the AR-XB. I agree the arm is the weak link but I have never damaged a record with it.

Wendell

Narrod  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


02-09-09: Viridian
Wendell, I stand corrected. The issue with the AR tables as relates to record damage is the variability in the arm bearings, yours being good, no doubt. My luck was not as good, with both horizontal and vertical friction being excessive on the Art Dudley test. Agreed though, if this was your main turntable, I am sure that you would want to change out the arm for something finer.
Viridian  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


02-09-09: Narrod
Yes, if the AR was my primary table the arm would be replaced.
I do enjoy playing it and it does make music I enjoy.

Narrod  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


03-10-09: Solex
I do not have the experience that most are stating here.

I have and AR-XA with the stock arm and an AT-440Mla. I rewired the arm with Litz wire and dampened the top plate. I also added a SS thrust plate and polished the spindle bearing.

I also have a TD-160b MK II with an Linn Basik LVX arm and a Grado Sonata 1.5mV.

In my opinion the AR-XA equals the TD-160b (but I'm not done modding the TD-160)

Solex  (Answers | This Thread)


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