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Author Topic: Thoren TD 166 mkii project  (Read 8686 times)

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Offline raymonda

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Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« on: February 15, 2014, 04:18:21 PM »
When I was working oon...and then selling the Pioneer.....I mentioned I was on to another project......Well, here it is......Almost done....still come wiring to do...RCA's, ground and AC outlet to install. Most like I get that done in the next two weeks but for now I spinning it and really enjoying it. Combined with a Denon DL110, a Rega 202 arm and new plinth this is the best modded table I've done to date. Granted it is much more than my other projects but it sound special, real special.

Here are some old and new pics for you viewing.

Offline carlbeck

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 05:34:47 PM »
The 166 is a great table, I'm sure with the mods it only sounds better. Nice work!
I know you like, tape for people's approval and stuff, and wave your tapes around like they're your dick...  but even you can't actually think section tapes from philips sound good.  



Mics: Telefunken Elam 260, 61, 62, MBHO KA200, KA500 > Niant PFA's, AKG C34L-MS
Preamps: Grace Lunatec V2, Shure FP24
Decks: Tascam DR-2d, Zoom F8

Old rig: Recording: AKG C34 & AKG CK1X or CK2X > MK46 > 460 > Aeta Mix2000 > Sound Devices 702

Playback: Thorens TD125, Denon DVD-2900> Bel Canto DAC-1 > Audible Illusions 3B > Rogue Atlas >ZU Wax Shotgun> Hyperion 938
ALL TUBES BABY!!!

Offline StuStu

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 06:16:17 PM »
Beautiful!
MK5, MK8, MK41, KM184D, CK77, B3 ---CMD 2U XT, KC5, KCY, AKI---KCY Tinybox, Ugly BB---AETA 4MinX, PMD661 MKII, R-26, M-10, MR-1

mfrench

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 06:34:25 PM »
Looks nice.  I went on a TT renovation/restoration bender a few years ago.  I kept them though; they're my babies.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 10:57:45 PM »
So, now that I have been spinning this table for a few days I have a better idea of how the parts work together...
.and the bottom line is well, very well indeed. It has totally transformed the sound. In it's stock form it was tight sounding, with an upfront and not too deep soundstage. Like I mentioned before....The molded pl10 sounded better. However, that fight is now over....The molded 166 wipes the floor with the pl10. Noise floor is much lower and now the 166 does more what a top end deck should do.

The sound is deep, rich and clean. It is now closing in on my wtrp/Benz......and this is with a cartridge that cost under 100. I'm not sure what contributes the most to the improvement, the plinth or tone arm, since I changed them at the same time. My guess is the plinth to arm ratio is 35 to 65. The rega 202 is a screaming value and allows the denon to resolve at its best. The plinth provides a solid foundation and does not transmit much, if anything to the arm or cartridge. Banging on the plinth with the cartridge in the grooves does not transmit anything. Yes, no thud or knocking sounds. Both are worthy investments and has now turned a 35 year old turntable into a modern day player to be reckoned with at its price range and maybe double.

It's not finished, though, and I'm sure there are more improvements to come......new rca jacks...some rewiring.....damping of the bottom of the tpo plate......and tonearm stub and counterweight replacements. These will occur sometime over the next few weeks but for now I am enjoying the ride. This table is staying with me and I strongly encourage anyone to pick up a 166 or one of its model run and have a go at it.

Here is bit more about the plinth. It's made by some guy in Romania. He uses fir....soft wood. I was a bit reluctant to buy it because it is a soft wood but caved after looking at its construction and value, it comes with a nice dust cover, and, after looking at my custom pine fender cabinet thought....what the heck go for it. Anyway, the construction is good....not excellent....but together with the deck it looks great. It is solid and for what softwood gives up in density to hardwood it makes up in mass, which, I believe allows it to have such good isolation properties. Combined with the Thoren's sprung isolation the plinth has better isolation properties than my wtrp. Does that translate to better sound? In the end I will find out but right now it is very good. I could stop with the upgrades now and be happy but I'm going to push it as far a I can go within reason.

More updates to come after I receive and install the remaining parts.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 09:30:56 AM by raymonda »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 04:01:18 PM »
I just drilled and installed the AC and RCA plugs. I'm still waiting on a DIN plug to rewire. It should be here by the end of the week. I'm cranking out Straits 30th anaversery BIA and man this table has drive and punch. I've hooked it up to my Sutherland and I am digging it. Dr. John's in a sentimental mood literally had me tied to the sweet spot.

I'll save final pictures for when it is complete.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 04:03:38 PM by raymonda »

Offline robeti

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 06:53:20 PM »
Well done! I have a TD160. I've always loved those old Thorens turntables!
mics: schoeps mk41 (matched) | nakamichi cm-300 (JB mod/cp1/cp2/cp3) | nakamichi cm-50 | primo em4052pmi4's | sp-cmc-4u/at-853 4.7k mod (shotguns/h/c/sc/) | ca-11 c/o
power: ca-ubb | ca-9200 | nbob actives > baby nbox 
recorder: roland r-05 
video: panasonic zs100 | panasonic hdc-sd600 | sony hx9v | sony hx50v

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 09:30:31 PM »
The 160 is suppose to be the preferred table in this series run. It has a metal subplatter and came stock with the tp16 arm. Have you done any mods to it or is it stock? If you haven't done anything to it you might consider going the path I've gone. It really has turned a good table into a great one.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 06:26:29 PM by raymonda »

Offline halleyscomet8

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 09:59:46 PM »
i picked up one of these a few months ago. still trying to figure out about it as i am new to the turntable world

my shows on the archive: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/halleyscomet8
And, yes, I know I suck about getting stuff circulated.  ;)

Offline robeti

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 01:14:16 PM »
The 160 is suppose to be the preferred table in this series run. It has a metal subplatter and can stock with the top 16 arm. Have you done any mods to it or is it stock? If you haven't done anything to it you might consider going the path I've gone. It really has turned a good table into a great one.

Yes. I know. TD160 super is great too. TD147 too. Only mod so far: high end interlinks. I'm planning on putting a new plinth on it as well. I like the TP16 arm. Don't think I will replace it.
Here in Europe vintage Thorens turntables are relatively cheap. I've paid about 110 dollar for my TD160.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 12:33:01 PM by robeti »
mics: schoeps mk41 (matched) | nakamichi cm-300 (JB mod/cp1/cp2/cp3) | nakamichi cm-50 | primo em4052pmi4's | sp-cmc-4u/at-853 4.7k mod (shotguns/h/c/sc/) | ca-11 c/o
power: ca-ubb | ca-9200 | nbob actives > baby nbox 
recorder: roland r-05 
video: panasonic zs100 | panasonic hdc-sd600 | sony hx9v | sony hx50v

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 08:41:54 PM »
That 166 is basically what I started with. I paid 275 for one in almost new condition. After selling off the dust cover plinth and tone arm I had roughly 75 into it........of course I then had to buy the same parts but of better quality. Then end results were incredible. It has completely transformed the sound. As well as it should but it just underscores that the basic table has a lot of potential. And using it as a base to build on offers a lot. So, if your not emotionally invested in the table and you like vinyl......go for the mods.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 09:07:02 PM by raymonda »

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 12:48:48 PM »
More beautiful TT work from you, raymonda.  Thanks for sharing the pics and info!

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 09:14:12 PM »
After comparing the wtrp Benz combo with the 166 Denon I decided that I had to hear what the 166 sounds like with the Benz. Well, it sounds great. So much in fact I am seriously considering selling my much beloved wtrp with the Denon. Not that I have to but rather the extra cash would allow me to play with the next project. Anyone interested in the wtrp go to the ys for specifics. The end stub and counterweight should be in by Monday. I'll give it a serious listen and take final shots a post it here.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2014, 10:28:15 PM »
These are the final pictures of the Thorens 166. I still have two more mods to do but they will not alter the final look of the table. They include tonearm rewire and damping under and inside the table. I really like the way it turned out and I am very happy with the sound. I compared Talking Heads, "Naked" in 24/96 to the vinyl version and this table absolutely creamed the 24/96 version. It wasn't even close. Sure, listening the the 24/96 was nice but once I compared it to the vinyl....well, I know what I'll be listening to when I want to get naked! I won't go into the details but all the cliche' apply here.

I also put the Denon on the WTRP to compare and the difference I heard when they were set up the other way still held true. The Denon is a great cartridge but the Benz has a bit more low end authority and refined high end. Not surprising. but what this test did demonstrate was that the Thorens in its modified form competes with the WTRP, which is something I wasn't expecting.

Anyway, here you go.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Thoren TD 166 mkii project
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2014, 10:29:55 PM »
The last few:

 

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