Thorens TD 850 Hot Rod

This is the final version of this table. The stock motor was failing and demonstrated intermittent stability problems. So, after become frustrated and unable to resolve the issue I went with the Ultra Origin Live motor upgrade. It was an easy install and after burn in it settled in nicely. Also, my Glider was due for a refresher, so off to SoundSmith it went for a new ruby cantilever and tip. I just got it back 3 days ago and have been enjoying the heck out of it. While it was off to SS, which was around 7 weeks, good work takes time; I used a Grado Platinum Reference and for a short time Shure M95. Well, although the Grado was nice it pales in comparison to what Peter at SS was able to do to my Glider! Getting it back in my system was nothing short of awesome!

This final version of my newest table is the best I have had to date and at the ripe age of 53 I have engaged the vinyl highway and turntables my entire life. It is not that I am a turntable slut; I tend to stick with something for a while. However, I have dabbled in side projects with the intent to continue to improve my vinyl front end. To that point, this is the best I have had. As it stands, and in combination with the rest of my playback system, this table, motor, arm and cartridge brings resolution, timbre, dynamics and frequency response that I have been working towards.

My Well Temper Record Player was my long term reference until I replaced it with my highly modded Thorens TD 166 mkII, which was a beauty and simply amazing sounding regardless of its vintage. The mods I performed on it simply pushed it beyond my WTRP, so bye, bye to the WTRP. Happenstance brought me the TD 850 and in its stock form, albeit with the Michell Tecnoarm, its low end was a bit more extended and better defined. It also seems to project music from a blacker background, so bye, bye to the modded 166 mk II. Now with the TD 850 mods, Origin Live, and Tecnoarm this table is complete and will hopefully be in my system for well into the future.

For those that don't know, the TD 850 was Thorens re-entry into the turntable market after closing its doors in the late 1990's. It was their top of the line foray and received rave reviews from the audio press. Its production run was 2002-2006, roughly, plus or minus a year or so. If you can find one on the used market snatch it up. You will not be disappointed. However, they do not come up very often so get one when you can.

Finally, the Tecnoarm is fantastic and pushes the Rega arm to its maximum performance level. And, if you ever need a re-tip or cantilever replacement, Peter of SoundSmith is nothing short of amazing. What you will get back from him is work that is second to none, and in many cases will exceed your stock cartridge's original performance.

Pictures available on my VS page

Enjoy. I know I am!
Nice. I had a 166 with a Grace 707 arm once.
The mods I did to the 166 mkii far exceeded what the stock offered. Combined with my glider it served the music well. Some lucky new owner is enjoying it today and he would have to pay much more to get better.

However, as I indicated, the 850 was a bit better. It not surprising since the 850 is really an Acoustic Signature.