thorens 160

I just bought a thorens 160, which I believe is in good shape, I know more when it arrives this week. It seems that the table is partially disassembled for shipping. What should I do prior to putting it all back together? Any helpful hints are appreciated? jj
Pray. No seriously, gently lower the platter into the bearing and gently spin it without the belt in place. If there is any binding or eccentricity there is a problem, although a modicum of "swim" would probably be acceptable in a moderatly priced table. It should continue turning for a good bit of time. Lay the belt on a white piece of paper. I use gloves as the oils in your skin can have an adverse effect on the rubber. If the belt will not hold a round shape and keeps coming back to oval it has been left in one position too long and should be replaced. Also check it for cracks and other signs of wear. Very gently twist the arm around it's axis, to test for loose bearings, if you encounter any resistance stop. You are just trying to feel if there is any play; too much force here can do damage by brinelling, or flat spotting the bearings, so skip this bit if you are uncertain. A certain amount of looseness or slop in the bearing will be acceptable but any wobbleing or binding is a source of problems. The arm should move freely and easily both in the vertical and horizontal directions. The power cord and arm cable should also be checked for cracks and replaced as needed. Once the platter is in place, check the suspension by gently bouncing the platter. Again, no binding or obstructions should be evident. Good luck. If you have any specific problems please post them in this thread.
You can check this web site.


for more information.

The Thorens is a pretty good turntable. The weakest point is the tonearm. Viridian gives good advice above. I would add that you should use a med-high compliance cartridge with it, since the tonearm bearings are not the greatest. Medium to high compliance cartridges will not stress this weakness in the arm and sound better overall in that package. Vinyl rules!
well the table is here, and somewhere along the line the motor shaft seems to be bent and I get some noise from the belt roaming about on the plastic shaft. Some have said to oil it and it might "straighen up" and spin right. I guess I can live with some noise, as replacing the motor is probably a hassle not to mention expensive. Otherwise it looks good, the arm is OK. I am thinking about putting an SME 3009 arm on it. Any ideas or thoughts are appreciated?
Jon: Are you certain that the shaft is bent? Not to doubt you, but I get the impression that you are new to TT's and I have never seen this happen before.

If it is, then I think that you are correct (a motor replacement is in order).

If you already own a 3009, which model is it? I am using a 3009II on a TD125II with good results. The 3009II (non-improved) has enough mass to work well with a variety of cartridges, which is nice. I would not bother mounting a good arm to the table if the problem you describe is not remedied.

Anyway, the bearing should be cleaned out (I use electrician's alcohol and Q-Tips) and refilled (I use Singer's sewing machine oil, not their multi/purpose oil).

You can also try cleaning the belt, the plastic roller and the platter wall, where the belt rides, (electrician's alcohal again) and then lightly powder the belt with talc (shaking off any excess). If you still hear a slight clicking or rustle from the plastic roller try switching speeds back and forth and if this does not work lift up the platter and lightly tap (or depress) the spindle and the roller assembly (it is spring mounted) as this will sometimes get rid of or reduce the noise.

I am sorry to hear that the table is damaged in some way and do not know the availabilty of replacement motors (if this is what it needs). Why not try asking in the Vinyl Forum @

I often see TD160's go for well under $200 in good "stated" condition and though it is your money, this might be the best way to go (depending on what the problem is). A properly working 160 or 160II with a good arm (such as the 3009II) is still very competative (sound wise) against the new (up to $1K) TT's.

Please keep us updated and do try the Audio Asylum forum.
FWIW there is nothing wrong with the stock 160 tonearm as long as the proper cartridge is used and it functions correctly. IMHO. The tonearm on the 125/126 is even better. I would leave things alone tonearm - wise until you get things sorted out.
audio asylum posts indicate that the motor shafts can be bent and apparently that is why the post was added. Anyway when I turn it on without the platter the shaft is wobbles and the plastic shaft wobbles and the belt noise seems to come from it tracking around. I don't have a SME arm yet, although I would like to install one at some point.
Jon: Yes, looks like this is the case. Any luck on a replacement motor? Also what about the person/party that sold you the TT (are they taking any responsibility for the damage)? Still can't imagine how this type of damage would occur during transit unless the rest of the package and TT was trashed, as this is an internal part that would be well protected unless the seller was lacking enough knowledge/common sense to leave the platter installed when packaging the TT for shipment.

Since you do not yet own an SME and/or other arm to upgrade (then no worry on that issue).
e-mailed thorens today, needle doctor doesn't have that one. fed-ex pinheads showed up today--yep it bent alright--and another one on Monday to look at the box--yep it a box alright, dah maybe shouldn't drop them from the planes, hic, hic. The thing plays ok, and what's a bent motor shaft in the big picture anyway!
Check out the replacement motors at Origin Live. I am considering this for my TD-160mkII. Best of luck Louis