Old Thorens TD 145 vs. todays gear

I bought my wife a TD 145 back in 1977 as her first real turntable.

Needless to say i've been through a lot of gear since then but she is adamant about never getting rid of anything that still works...and this does...

...but i was wondering if anyone had any real comparison of that vintage table to any of todays comparable tables.. like the music hall series, or the Rega's

I'm thinking about putting a modern cartridge onto it and bringing it back into service. I have a Lukaschek pp-1 I could use...and i'm driving Wilson sophias with a Krell 400xi.

So i guesss three things:

1) how does this TD 145 compare to current $500-1k tables?

2.) What cartridge would be a good match?

3.) Are there any reasonable tweaks that provide a significant improvement without loss of features (this has the auto arm lift mechanism)
I had a thorens 145, and it certainly beat My Project 2.1. I was using a Denon Dl 160 with it and it sounded great. However, it also sounded very good with the cheaper Shure m97xe, but better with the Denon.
Forgot to mention that adding a 3/4 mdf base instead of the fiberboard was a cheap improvement. I also ordered leveling spikes from parts express. For $30 they are an easy way to level this table. Check out http://www.theanalogdept.com/ for more tweaks. Look in the area for the TD 160. Same table but without auto lift.
Yup thanx for that pointer... since posting this question originally i have been walking through that site... This looks like a fun project...

Guess i'm still looking for some cartridge reco's.. thinking Benz, or other mm options.. Thinking that MC cartridges are probably not a good match.
Clearaudio Maestro Wood. Yes MM is the only way to go with the old TD145. Still own my TD145MKII since new and never been unhappy. Have had a friend bring by each new Music Hall he's gotten and I couldn't see any reason to change.

I use an ultra cheap Pickering X-15 cart with D400 needle between Maestro Wood repairs/replacements. I have no problem whatsoever hearing beautiful music.

Biggest and only upgrade; New ic and power cable. I do use a Target single shelf wall mount stand and this was probably a good cheap accessory. I also ran across a good deal on some really thick maple cutting boards and I placed that under the TT for a little more mass. Other than that I simply enjoy the music.
Look no further............


That pretty much covers it as far as the 145 goes as well.

When you put a new IC on it, did you just rewire to the existing junction point, replace that junction point with something like the Cardas junction box, or rewire back to the headshell connector?

Also on the PC what did you do there?... something simple like wiring in a new belden that you had cut the iec end off of? or something more DIY?
Objective1 : I did the I/C replacement on my TD 160 and couldn't be happier..I turned my table over and removed the old cable as far back as I could ( not going back quite all the way ) and soldered in ( Vampire Wire ) a pair of nice RCAs on the back of my Thorens.Required drill 2 small 3/8" holes and the backside of deck to fit the Female RCA set ..Looks great and works great too..Pretty simple job,took about 1 hour..........
Thorman Thanx...

I'd seen that option but was considering doing the whole tonearm rewire

...and was wondering i read correctly that it is a pretty tedious job since they have apparently adherred (glued?) the tonearm cable inside the arm tube.

Also, getting at the inside of the headshell connector looked like it might be ominous.
March, 01? Guess I'm slow to the draw. Anyway, my cable changes were kept as simple as possible. Since the table isn't really worth much of anything and my objective was not to upgrade the TT for resale, I simply wired the ic and pc as far back as I could without major disassembly.

I know many won't approve of this method, but again, keeping the value of the table in context, I felt totally fine with taking things as far back as possible without major motor and arm disassembly. Made ic just long enough to connect to the phono pre and the same for the pc, just long enough to reach the conditioner.

Ultimately, the 145 is a garbage table, but when tuned up and running, it can give many higher dollar tables a run for their money. Your already going to spend some money on ic's, pc's and carts, so why not keep it all in perspective and spend a little extra on some well cut vinyl. This is where the real magic is - at least in my system.
As someone educated in physics, and who has studied turntable designs quite a lot, I have a lot of respect for the Thorens TD-145 and other similar models from this range.

The TD-145 incorporates a suspended sub-chassis design, which in my view is the best design route to take where it comes to making turntables, so that the base helps to isolate the phono pickup from acoustical vibrations. The platter and tonearm are de-coupled from their surroundings in the most effective, and economical way possible. This way, the vibrations from the speakers, as well as footfalls, are mechanically filtered out.

You can test this hypothesis out very easily yourself. On any direct-drive turntable, place one index finger on the platter, and then knock the turntable base with two knuckles from the other hand. The vibrations are directly transmitted to the platter. Same with a non- supended belt OR idler -drive design. However, with the Thorens design you will not feel the transmitted knock.

From the beginning, phono pickups have been amplifiers of vibration, and thus it makes sense to eliminate vibration at the point of contact, other than from the record groove.

Now, for skipping stability, the suspended chassis design must have a massive enough platter, so that the rotational angular momentum of the platter will contribute to planar stability. If you have ever tried to turn the front forks of a bicycle, where the wheel is spinning suspended in the air, the resistance you feel is from the directional conservation of angular momentum, a basic physics principle. Many cheaper suspended chassis designs went with a lighter weight platter than the Thorens has, and were more prone to skipping. In the TD-145, the balance between platter mass and subchassis suspension was optimal.

I have one of these, with an up-to-date Grado Sonata Platinum cartridge, and I couldn't be happier with the results for a 'vinyl' source in my system.. I also replaced the original tiny rubber feet with 1" adjustable solid brass spike cones, to let me precisely adjust the leveling.

With mine I also performed a conversion (available in old Thorens literature online) to give the tonearm wiring the 'US' grounding scheme, so that it does not hum when plugged in to my receiver the usual way. I also had to repair the phono cable ends, by shearing off the last 1 inch of them and replacing the ends with new switchcraft style rca plugs. Now it works better than new, with even channel balance. It's a job, but the fine-tuned suspension in the original base helps produce a golden tone.

Kelly McKee