Arm choices for Thorens TD 150 MKll AB

I am looking to replace the original tonearm on my Thorens TD125. Can anyone suggest an inexpensive arm that will perform better than the stock arm? I am thinking that fairly light arms, such as those that would work on the LP12 would probably be good in this application. Thanks for all of the help.

Marty Kohn
Portland, OR
F9d3c1c4 5c01 4a92 9782 a2556975b971viridian
TD125 or TD150? Either way, there is lots of room on the armboard for most any arm. If you can find a used Hadcock that would be my first choice. Though I haven't heard them, I think the Sumiko MMT or FT3 would also be good choices. I understand the Audioquest PT9 is a descendant of the MMT, and is available for $395 new at elusive disc.
Hi Marty, I posted yesterday but my post seemed to not make it.

Some time ago I used a Mayware on a TD150 (or TD160?). I was using it back to back with a modified RB250 and to my ears the Mayware was head and shoulders better. It really seemed to work well on the Thorens.

The arm is very light and will require you to choose a high compliance cart. They are normally very cheap but there is a NOS one on Audiogon. The guy wants a bit more than I am willing to pay, but I am tempted.

Thanks so much gents. So, a unipivot it shall be, the Mayware and Hadcock seem to be great choices. I really don't mind the MM thing as I have a 14 gram effective mass arm on my other table and that pretty much limits me to MCs on that one. I think I would pass on the Jelco sourced arms, just because I have been there in the past and would like to try something new. Oh, and as ususal I screwed up; it is a TD150 mk11 AB with the standard 13A arm.
Okay, I am looking for an older Mayware Formula 4, Hadcock or Basik, if anyone has one to sell, please contact me.
Would a Rega RB251 Tonearm go well with a Thorens TD 150?

Viridian what tonearm did you end up with on either Thorens TT you had?
This is an interesting story that I will bore you with.

First, I moved the 125 and went for a nicer TD150.

Brian Kearns, who is one of the finest Garrard and Thorens autorities - you can see his systems and essay at The Analog Department - contacted me and had a Mayware. He went to send it to me and found that the plastic support for the cueing and anti-skate was cracked.

No surprise really as this is a chronic problem with Maywares. He uses an SME lll on one of his backup tables and had an extra, so he sent me that one.

Funny enough, I am friends with a gent that does a lot of the machining for the Applied Fidelity turntable line as well as the Saskia turntable, and I am having a new, stainless steel, mount made up for Brian so that he can enjoy the Mayware on one of his Garrard 301s.

As to the Rega, it is a little heavy for the 150, IMHO. Others will disagree. I have seen others switch to the stiffer Linn springs, but this presents other problems. Then again, most of the arms that I was considering are for use with high compliance cartridges, which pretty much means MM. BTW, I have a Rega RB-600 on my Rega P25 and, IMHO, it does not sound anywhere near as good as the SMElll.

Steve has an interesting solution at The Thorens Department, where the springs are replaced with lengths of garden hose. Don't laugh, he is a very discriminating listener as well as running one of the finest sites devoted to analog replay. At any rate, with the hose substituting for the springs, any weight arm can be used without issue, even those, like the Rega that accomodate medium compliance MC cartridges.

I didn't want to go that way, as I really like the sound of a sprung suspension and was looking for a light arm to play MM cartridges anyway. I hope that this helps a touch.
"Steve has an interesting solution at The Thorens Department, where the springs are replaced with lengths of garden hose. Don't laugh,...." Steve here from The Analog Dept. I just felt a need to offer one small edit to the above quote. Not garden hose. Too flimsy. Automotive heater hose is what I used. Much more robust.

-Otherwise, please carry on....

I'd contact Artisan Fidelity and ask them for arm suggestions. Just look at their work modifying and restoring TD125's. Nicest TD125's I have ever seen. They even get rid of the old 125 suspension and go with a non suspended high mass setup.

Hi Viridian

Thanks for sharing. Your story definitely gave me some help and I hope it will help others. I'll be checking the sites you mention for Thorens information. You are right though from looking at various sites yesterday there is a great divide as to whether or not an Rega RB250/251 or other arms are a good match for vintage Thorens tables.

Ever since I saw a pretty sweet Thorens 125 MkII on that show Storage Wars I've been taken in by the older Thorens TTs. I'm starting to do some research now while I'm enjoying my current TT set-up.

Thanks again.
Hi Jeremy72

I didn't see your post when I was responding to Viridian's. The Thorens tables by Artisan Fidelity are VERY nice. I'll give them a shout when I'm ready.
Another low cost option: Jelco.
Last I checked there was an ebay seller pushing nos SA-370H models for ~$300.00

I put together a TD150 using one of these. Very good. The arm is versatile. Medium mass. Could be used with either MM or MC cart of choice. The wiring harness on it looked pretty decent. Add to that a Sumiko HS-12 headshell to complete it.

I did the heater hose mode to my TD150, and mounted an RB250 with no problem. The stock plinth of the TD150 was definitely the weak link.

Steve, thanks so much for the correction; it is greatly appreciated. My apologies for getting it wrong.

And congrats on having the best audio site around.
One thing I've noticed about the TD150 players I've had over here is that they have the lightest/shortest of the Thorens suspension springs in that era. This in comparison to the TD160, its successor and the TD125 which has a very different spring rate. Sorry I can't give precise spring rate data between the three models but when compared side by side, the difference is apparent.

Also, the Td125 uses a much more solid and heavier sub-chassis than does the TD150. So That model should accommodate heavier arms better than will the TD150.

Even the SME 3009 SII improved is a heavier tonearm than is any of those Thorens tonearms. On the Td150, with its suspension designed to carry a TP13/TP13a, any other arm one can think of will likely be heavier than the stock unit.

Mayware formula 4 is amazing. You can add headshell weights to give a bit more kick. Use a top notch arm cable and almost any cartridge will sound fantastic. It is fiddly to set up at first because it is very adjustable.

Linn Akito. I had mine rebuilt by Jon Nilsen at AudioOrigami the bearings were upgraded to Ekos bearings, it was rewired and Input a better cable on. It performs better than an Ittok. Lots of insight and drama.

My TD125 has an RB250 bought from Origin live with the counterweight modified. Then further reworked by audioOrigami. It has silver Kondo fairy-wire foam filling and reworked bearings. I have a Michell VTA adjuster and nut. It works brilliantly.