Cartridge for older Thorens TD 165C

Hello vinyl SMEs,

I can't seem to set-up my Shure V-15 VMR well enough to eliminate distortion during quiet passages. Most of my vinyl is almost new by the way. I tried alignment tools and test records to no avail. My guess is that the Shure is not the right cartridge for this TT – too compliant perhaps. I have a Thorens TD-165c in mint condition with the original TP-11 tone arm and TP-60 headshell. According to the Analog Dept., effective mass of the tone arm is 16.5 grams.

I also noticed that resonance with the Shure is a low 6.6 Hz which puts in foot fall territory. This explains the bouncing in the grooves if I walk too closely. It's tracking at 1.25 grams with additional anti-skating and weight for the stabilizer brush.

So, what other cartridges would work with this TT besides the Shure? Preamp is the one tube wonder by Bellari.

I dont think its your cartridge. I seem to remember having a Thorens with a Sure many years ago. (I'm thinking it was a TD 124, but I'm not sure). If footfalls are bothersome, put the turntable on a more stable table. You dont say what kind of distortion you're hearing. Is the turntable going into the appropriate input in your preamp, is the weight accurately measured, many things. It really sounds to me like you just want a new cartridge. IF so get a Benz
I had a Shure V15 MK III on a TD160 MK II, and I tracked it at 2 grams. I had no tracking issues whatsoever, including dancing within three feet of the table (which is on a low table on a raised wood floor).

1.25 grams seems light to me, but maybe the VMR's recommended tracking weight is substantially different than the MK III.
Thanks for the response.

I increased the tracking force to two grams which decreased the distortion to some degree. Shure recommends tracking at 1 gram which makes me think this is not the ideal match to the tone arm. The distortion I hear is similar to what is heard with a dirty stylus. The Shure stylus has been thoroughly cleaned however.

The TD-160 MKII had, I believe, the TP16 II tone arm which is only 7.5 grams in effective mass. That might explain why it was a good match for your setup.

By the way, the Shure sounds just fine in my Dual CS5000. However, there's more audible rumble from this TT. Perhaps I'll try a Benz (less compliant) in the Thorens.
Your mileage may vary; costs nothing to try it. I also thought I "heard" the brush, and didn't like the sound.
TP16 II, yes. Worked great with the V15 III.

Have you researched the cartridge and tonearm databases at

Found something that improved the sound. I replaced the fancy aftermarket turntable mat with the original rubber mat and surprise! Sounds much better. Apparently, the greater thickness of the aftermarket mat negatively affected the VTA.

I still believe this arm is too heavy for the V15 Type V-MR, but, it sound OK for now.