View Full Version : Best Cartridge and Stylus for Thoren TD 160 with TP16


Lloydus
11-10-2013, 11:57 AM
Hi All,

I am just looking to seek the opinion and experience of all Thorens owners as My first propper audio set up is comprised of the following. I am a long standing user of vinyl but this is my first noteworthy deck.

I have a Thorens TD 160 (Mk I) with a TP16 tone arm.
Goodmans Mezzo for Speakers
R-1240 Superscope Amp/Tuner

My budget is fairly low looking around 80.00 mark for a Cartridge and stylus. Anything at the budget end of the market that will sound good and match well with my existing equipment is worth considering. All opinions and observations welcome!

Also I will consider other updgrades in the future, any thoughts on what should be a priority for replacement/upgrade would be appreciated.

Many thanks!

Lloydus

moinau
11-10-2013, 01:59 PM
Welcome to AK,

You could try this one, Ortofon 2M Red, a very nice cart at this price range. Sometime available for 65 from some English, German, or French distributors.

http://www.whathifi.com/review/ortofon-2m-red

http://www.hificorner.co.uk/hi-fi-brands/ortofon/ortofon-2m-red-stylus.html

But, with this cartridge you will need to retro-fit the Thorens head-shell, since the TP-60 head-shell only accept bottom mounted cartridges.The Ortofon 2M is a top mounted cartridge.
Also, retrofitting the TP-60 head-shell will permit you to mount any cartridges of your choices in the future, bottom as well as top.
Another advantage of this procedure is, you will be able to use the more common screw type diameter, like the 2.5mm instead of the 2mm diameter specific only to the Thorens head-shells, like the TP-60 and the TP-50.

This is your head-shell, accepting bottom mounted cartridges only.

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/621660-thorens_tp60_head_shell_w_new_wires_and_some_hardw are_zps7a68a51f.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/621660-thorens_tp60_head_shell_w_new_wires_and_some_hardw are_zps7a68a51f.jpg.html)


Retrofitting your cartridge, follow those steps.


http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/6f791d6e.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/6f791d6e.jpg.html)


http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/d5b1d066.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/d5b1d066.jpg.html)


http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/3c4c5fe7.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/3c4c5fe7.jpg.html)


http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/bd5b1c8a.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/bd5b1c8a.jpg.html)



http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/ca4f342b.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/ca4f342b.jpg.html)


http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/698cbb52.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/698cbb52.jpg.html)



http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/1b2ad1b4.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/1b2ad1b4.jpg.html)


You can follow this AK member's ("the nines") explanations on how to proceed, photos included.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=482956


If you don't want to do this retrofit, you will need different lengths screws and spacers to mount your cartridges.

Screws are available as a kit on different eBay sites.
They usually come in these length,
diameter =2 mm, lengths= 4-8-10-12-16-20-25 mm)

A kit will usually look like this,



http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/30cdccc4.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/30cdccc4.jpg.html)



Or this,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/THORENS-HEADSHELL-CARTRIDGE-SCREWS-D2x-4-8-10-12-16-20-25-/271035661038?pt=US_Record_Player_Turntable_Parts&hash=item3f1afbfaee

the_nines
11-10-2013, 03:10 PM
Welcome to AK,

.....


You can follow this AK member's ("the nines") explanations on how to proceed, photos included.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=482956


If you don't want to do this retrofit, you will need different lengths screws and spacers to mount your cartridges.

Screws are available as a kit on different eBay sites.
They usually come in these length,
diameter =2 mm, lengths= 4-8-10-12-16-20-25 mm)

A kit will usually look like this,



http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab142/moinau/30cdccc4.jpg (http://s858.photobucket.com/user/moinau/media/30cdccc4.jpg.html)



Or this,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/THORENS-HEADSHELL-CARTRIDGE-SCREWS-D2x-4-8-10-12-16-20-25-/271035661038?pt=US_Record_Player_Turntable_Parts&hash=item3f1afbfaee


Thanks for the post, and many thanks for the acknowledgement.

Much appreciated.

:thmbsp:

writethis
11-10-2013, 03:18 PM
I have the same turntable/arm and love the Shure M91ED on it. Eventually I upgraded to a JICO Super Analog Stylus (out of your stated budget I realize) and my system performance got noticeably better.

Also if you've not seen this page of tweaks, you can raise the performance of your TD-160 significantly for not a lot of money.

http://www.theanalogdept.com/thorens_tweaks.htm

Heavier bottom board with cones, DynaMat and spring suspension rebuild are all worth it. Also cleaning out bearing well and relubing. Good luck!

moinau
11-10-2013, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the post, and many thanks for the acknowledgement.

Much appreciated.

:thmbsp:

You're very welcome. After all, you're the only one that I know so far with the best thread on this very subject.:thmbsp:

Soundminded
11-10-2013, 08:35 PM
I'd go for a Shure M97xE. It's about $100 US so it should fit within your budget. I personally prefer moving magnet cartridges over moving coil cartridges. This is an excellent tracking cartridge that will successfully track even the most heavily modulated recordings at very low tracking force. It also has much higher output than most moving coil cartridges. You can read a lot of reviews, it's widely distributed and has been around for a long time. Considering what's on the market today that would be my choice at just about any price.

kevzep
11-10-2013, 08:51 PM
I'd go for a Shure M97xE. It's about $100 US so it should fit within your budget. I personally prefer moving magnet cartridges over moving coil cartridges. This is an excellent tracking cartridge that will successfully track even the most heavily modulated recordings at very low tracking force. It also has much higher output than most moving coil cartridges. You can read a lot of reviews, it's widely distributed and has been around for a long time. Considering what's on the market today that would be my choice at just about any price.

Yeah, I second this suggestion, I had a M97XE on my TD160, it was pretty good actually, and I stuck with it when I moved to my TD125...

But later on when your budget allows, I would upgrade to a Jico SAS stylus, I highly recommend this, it significantly increases perfomance.....

jhtstone
11-10-2013, 09:06 PM
Just a quick post to say thank-you from another Thorens owner. The pictures of the headshell upgrade are very helpful.

kermit z
11-10-2013, 09:32 PM
I have the same turntable/arm and love the Shure M91ED on it. Eventually I upgraded to a JICO Super Analog Stylus (out of your stated budget I realize) and my system performance got noticeably better.

This is what I have on my TD160. Sounds great with the NOS M91ED stylus I got and with the Jico, it's superb

Bubbamike
11-10-2013, 11:35 PM
I'm not an expert and don't pretend to be but everything I've read about the 2M Red says that it is shrill and accentuates sibilants. I've got a Grado Black on mine. I'm not sure how it stacks up compliance wise but it does sound good and tracks everything I've thrown at it. I'll be upgrading the stylus to a 8MZ before to long to improve the sound. Shure carts are a good choice, it's a shame they don't make the better ones anymore.

gadget73
11-11-2013, 07:27 AM
I had an m97xe on my TD160/TP16 and thought it sounded like it had a wet blanket over the speakers. Same complaint some people have with that cartridge, the other half don't know what we're talking about though. Opinions obviously differ on the sound of this cartridge.

I run a Stanton 681EE on mine, an old flat ear model from the late 60s. Sounds great to me, but its getting difficult to find a good Stanton stylus anymore. I'd have a hard time suggesting one just for that reason.

KentTeffeteller
11-11-2013, 08:31 AM
Shure M 97xE, Audio-Technica AT 120 E, Audio-Technica AT 440 MLa, Audio-Technica AT 150 MLx, Ortofon OM series. The 2M is best on lower compliance tonearms than the Thorens arm is.

moinau
11-11-2013, 11:17 AM
Actually any of the 2M Ortofon are well suited with this arm. The OP has a TD-160 MKI, not the MKII. His tone arm is the TP-16 MKI, (not the MKII,) with the TP-60 head-shell. The whole tone-arm as an effective mass of 17.5gm, again well suited for lots of medium compliance MM and MC cartridges. Will he like a 2M Ortofon, in his price range that will be the Red, I don't know.
I have tried high compliance carts with this tone-arm, and they are not well suited with this tone-arm, not entirely bad mind you, but they are better cartridges.

Now which one is best for the OP, only him can tell. I've tried my Shure V15 typeIII on this table, and for me, it was not a good match. This cart was better left on my Dual 704 which has a light tone-arm.

One other thing, reading the Vinyl Engine Database, one has to read it as an average help to match carts with tone-arm, and not as the absolute rule to follow. They are so many factors to consider, and one of them is, your own hearing. :D

moinau
11-11-2013, 12:19 PM
Hi All,

I am just looking to seek the opinion and experience of all Thorens owners as My first propper audio set up is comprised of the following. I am a long standing user of vinyl but this is my first noteworthy deck.

I have a Thorens TD 160 (Mk I) with a TP16 tone arm.
Goodmans Mezzo for Speakers
R-1240 Superscope Amp/Tuner

My budget is fairly low looking around 80.00 mark for a Cartridge and stylus. Anything at the budget end of the market that will sound good and match well with my existing equipment is worth considering. All opinions and observations welcome!

Also I will consider other updgrades in the future, any thoughts on what should be a priority for replacement/upgrade would be appreciated.

Many thanks!

Lloydus


You have a very nice TT with lots of possibility over the years like, different carts, tweaking, different plinths and tone-arm, etc...

Speakers, actually you have very nice British speakers. Try something else in the future when the chance comes along. KEF, AR, KLH, Advent, Klipsch, B&W, Cabasse, Celestion, etc...

Receiver/amp, again, quite a nice little receiver, designed by Marantz. Don't know much about SuperScope except what I've read, which everybody seem to like.
In the future you could give a try with these, Pioneer, Marantz, Sansui, Yamaha, Rotel, and/or Luxman amps/receivers.

jeremyjustic
11-11-2013, 12:34 PM
I really liked my Ortofon 2m red on my td160, m97xe was ok, I liked the red better. I also used a denon dl103 on it and loved it. everyone will tell you it's not the best match for the tp16 arm but I found it to be a great combo. good luck!

Lloydus
11-11-2013, 03:37 PM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks very much everyone for sharing your experience and knowledge. I have much to think about.

That retrofit is well worth thinking about.

I appreciate all the pictures.

I need to read up on some of those improvments, I am fairly new at this. How challenging are the improvements to make and are there any good guides available, is youtube any good for this?

Many thanks,

Lloydus

moinau
11-11-2013, 05:22 PM
Very easy to make small improvement as you become more knowledgeable and more confident.

You can find numerous sites on the net showing you how to fix, improve, find parts and other component if you so choose. The best site to get help, remain this one, AK, although there are other sites which are excellent;
Vinyl Engine, HiFi Engine, The Classic Speaker Pages. The Analog Dept., to name a few...

miles12
11-14-2013, 11:58 AM
shure M91 and M95 are two very good cartridges for the TP16!they are both of the same periode than the TD160 and work very well for rock music...
I use a N25c(spherical 0.7mm stylus) on the M95 especially for worn lp

KentTeffeteller
11-14-2013, 05:24 PM
Both of those two Shures were common on Thorens tonearms and on SME tonearms.