When less is more...10 reasons to own Thorens

I KNOW my Thorens TD-160 series is not the last word. I've pereviously owned an Oracle Delphi with SAEC arm, and a Rega P25, and can vouch for the superiority of both over the 166, but...

1. I can listen all day to my "simulated stereo" LPs and it STILL sounds good.

2. Fake reverb sounds convincing as intended by the record producers

3. Warp wow and off-center pressings are not usually an issue when motor cogging obscures these faults-- two wrongs DO make a right!

4. Motor, bearing, switches and everything else will stll work fine 20 years from now.

5. Bouncy spring suspension forces you-- the listener to stay put and listen to the entire side of your LP or risk walking across the floor and sending the tonearm and cartridge flying across the record surface.

6. Works great with Grado cartridges!

7. Sounds better than most CDs (*IMO) when comparing the LP to a good digital reissue

8. Easy tonearm upgrade, accepts many cheap used arms (Jelco, Linn, etc)


10. Like a drug, only safer and still legal to own and operate
I just returned to Thorens after a 20 year hiatus. What cartridges did you like in your TD-166mkII? I just purchased the same.

I had a TD-160 in the 70's and loved it!

There is something I can't describe with words that I love about those tables.

I am presently limited to MM or HOMC by my preamp. I have two arm wands, one with an Ortofon OM-30 Super, and one with a Denon DL-160 HOMC. The Ortofon tracks a little better, but the Denon offers a wider soundstage, more detail retrieval, and is smoother from the mids on up.

And you? What pickups do you like in your 166?
I have a Shure M97Xe mounted. I have a new in the box Denon DL-103R that is not mounted yet. I always liked Denon pickups but I received guidance from Vinyl Nirvana that the Denon may not be a good choice on the TD-166MKII arm.

I may need to figure out what will substantially out perform the Shure, be a good match for the arm, and be in trading range of the Denon.

Hififile, I used to have the M97he on my Thorens TD166, but switched to Grado-- a big improvement in my opinion. Even the entry Grados (Black, Green, Red) are quite good, the GOLD offering a smoother, more refined sound and better tracking than the lower priced ones, but neither are as good a tracker as Shure. Grados can hum if placed too close to a big power amp (magnetic field). There is ALWAYS a very low level hum with all Grados, but I've never heard anything that sounds as nice on this table.

Stanton 681EEE sounds great, but I did not like the more expensive 881-- too analytical for me.
indeed! i bought a 166mk2 back in 1996 for $40. took it apart and damped the under platters with dynamat, cleaned it out and all that. it was sounding just a little more luscious than my ciaudio dac. i then switched the cart from a clearaudio wood classic mm to a denon 103 mc. can't believe what i had been missing all those years. i then bought a $2000 new table thinking it would give me more of that analog sound and was soooo disappointed! sounded only slightly more detailed - but not more involving at all!!!! sold that sh** !

im using the 103 in a wood body now - listen to the music baby!