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My Brother uses the Ortofon Bronze with this tonearm and he loves it. He uses a AYON Intgrated tube amp with JBL Century 100's. My other brother uses this same tonearm and has the GRADO Prestige wood body (this IS the cartridge for the TP16, IMO) he has the high output one, but they make a low output as well. His system is all McIntosh and Dynaudio speakers. Also, You can use other methods for alignment, like a GEO disk or something like that.
"This arm isn't good enough to justify spending on the higher priced cartridges"......... I find this is not true If you have upgraded the tables wiring and possibly rewired the TP16 also. This Arm can then be used with the cartridges mentioned and it WILL sound very engaging. DO not use any Nagaoka as they come across very mediocre and bland on this TP16 (Nagaoka makes great carts). THE cartridge for this tone arm IS a GRADO Prestige wood body. (high or low output) Spend the $ on one and you will be amazed at the performance you can achieve with this tone arm.
I used an Ortofon 2M Red with a Thorens TD-145 with TP-16 tonearm, and then tried a AT120E, then upgraded the cartridge using the stylus for AT 440MLb cartridge ( they use the same body) The RED sounded OK, and the AT120 a bit better, but the real change can when switching to the Audio technica 440MLb.
Let me be honest, none of the above cartridges (I believe ) demonstrated their peak potential; it is not the the cartridges, but the lousy tonearm, TP-16. The tracking and anti-skating devices are toys and also inaccurate. I used a Geo-Disc to set up the tonearm which has always been reliable.
Using the standard Thorens headshell is also a joke. Cartridges must be mounted from the bottom up , unless you tear off the tin logo top and attempted to mount it from above, but that is a chore. The ceramic block inside the headshell makes mounting from the bottom up difficult. and also DOES NOT allow for accurate adjustment of VTA or azimuth.
Don't waste any more money on your Thorens, go with the Ortofon 2M RED which is inexpensive, and then sell the package and move to a better table like Merrill "Gem Dandy" turntable, or a Music Hall 7.3 which is -packaged with an Ortofon Bronze. Good Luck