Best Bang-4-Buck Thorens TT???

I'm keeping my eyes open for a semi-automatic TT for a second system. I like the Thorens line, and want to be prepared when the "right models" come up for sale. Will those with experience advise on which Thorens TT's offer the most for the $$$$ and why? Thanks Alot!!!
I had a Thorens TD-126 Mk3 back in the early-to-mid 1980's, and liked it a lot. I think it was either the best, or next to the best, model that Thorens offered at the time. If you can find a used one that's in good shape, it would be an excellent buy.
Many are good. I like the TD125mk2, TD150, TD160 can be had with SME tonearm which is nice.

The TD 125 had a very similar bearing to the EMT 928.

They are old, so be sure to check them out well.
Well, to narrow it down a bit for you, of the decent vintage models there were only a few which offered auto lift and perhaps shut off (can't remember exactly).

TD146 (not certain if there was a II)
TD147 (think their was also a special version)

The 145's had TP16 arms and the others came with something else.

The later inexpensive Thorens decks used a lot of cheesy plastic in the design and sounded like it.

I have been around all but the 147 and they were nice decks (equal in sound quality to all of the TD160's with the exception of the "Super").

I have used Thorens decks for 30 years.
I have a TD145 mkI and a TD125 Mk1. The TD125 is completely manual. I have an rb300 on it. The td145 has the stock thorens arm. I like the sound of both, altough the TD125 is better.

I bought both thorens on ebay. There are usually a couple of each type active. TD145's go for 80-150 depeding on condition and the usual vagaries of ebay. TD126's are more expensive, especially with the later versions. There was a nice MKIII lately that went for over $200. I stopped watching it because I felt tempted. I have been toying with the idea of a dc motor replacement in one of thorens, so why not just get one with a DC motor?

Any semi-automatic Thorens uses a thorens arm. My opinion is to go for a later arm. The original tonearm on the 150 isn't very good. The TD160/TD145 arm, TP16 Mk1, is better but has a fairly high effective mass of 16.5 g. I think that is too high for high compliance moving magnet cartridges that should probably be used with it. So I would look for a later arm with a lower effective mass.

The TD126 is mostly the same as the TD125, but with auto-stop. I haven't heard it, but the TD126 MKIII is considered the best because it has a DC motor. Earlier Mks and the TD160, 145, 150, 125 are all AC motors.

Make sure you ask if the auto-stop works. There is a pretty complex electronics circuit that controls the auto-stop. While you are at it, ask if the motor spindle is bent, if the dust cover still works, and if there is any rust anywhere or if there is any hum. Make sure the end weight is included, and the 45 rpm adapter.

Bent motor spindles are common on Thorens from improper shipping. Always remove the platter for shipping.

Good luck, the hunt is half the fun!

I have a TD147 I purchased new in 1984 with TP 16 MK111 tone arm and TP63 Cartridge wand. I also have a AR-ES1 with a RB300 incognita wired arm which sounds great, but the Torens sounds just about as good to my ears. I don't see alot of TD147's mentioned, but mind seems very good. Good luck, Jim.
I bought a TD-320 on ebay a few months ago, and it's been tremendous. It's heavy, with great suspension, good stock arm, and semi-automatic. I checked with a local audio technician and he recommended the 320 and 520 because (a) they're excellent and (b) they're less in demand than the 120s and 140s. For $199, working superbly upon arrival, I couldn't be more satisfied. Good luck.