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Old 01-21-2009, 09:25 PM
insanescott insanescott is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
What cartridge for my Thorens TD-160?

I have a Thorens TD-160 (I believe an MKI) with the TP-16 MK IV tonearm. The MK IV does not have the removable armwand. I have not purchased a pre-amp as of yet. Can anyone recommend a good cartridge for this model? I've been eyeing the Grado Gold and also the Denon DL-160. I'm looking to spend between $200-$300. Also, I am completely new to turntables and this is my first real table, so if anyone has anything to share please do so, because I still trying to figure everything out. Thanks so much.

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Old 01-21-2009, 10:24 PM
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musichal musichal is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Norman OK
Posts: 5,447
I haven't heard this cartridge myself, but others have recommended the Benz-Micro MC20E2 as a good candidate for a Thorens at about $250. Unfortunately, I'm not quite ready to spend that much myself, but the AKers who recommend it have heard a lot more cartridges than I have, and this would certainly be on my shortlist for that budget. I'm sure they will be along shortly to add to the list.

You might want to provide a bit more info about ancillary equipment.

I found this site very helpful in getting my -165 going in good trim. Suggest you check the spring-posts supporting the sub-chassis, as they are sometimes loose. Worth the trouble to retune the suspension if they are.

Also, here is a thread about some of my recent experiences with my table, some of which you might find helpful, and includes some cart reco's.
Klipsch Forte - Emotiva mini-X a-100 - Lexicon DC-1 - Schiit Modi

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep into our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:45 AM
insanescott insanescott is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Thanks for the help. As of right now all I have is a cheap $10 pre-amp bought from ebay that will soon be upgraded. I am using this because my Pioneer VSX-515 receiver does not have a phono input. I will have to take a look at the Benz-Micro and consider that as a serious option. Also, I thought I should mention that I will be listening mainly to jazz with my table. Thanks again.

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:00 AM
whell's Avatar
whell whell is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Livonia, MI
Posts: 3,592
Your choices with the Thorens are pretty wide open. I'd likely avoid the higher compliance cartridges - a Shure V15 for example. Many cartridge prices have generally gone up as of January 1 of this year, so some popular choices that were in the $200 - 300 range are now in the $300 - 400 range.

You might still be able to find an Audio Technica AT-150MLX in your range, such as this example below:

It would be on the lower end of the compliance range for your tonearm, but I think it would still make a good match.

Another option - and one of our good vendors sells this particular cartridge, would be the Ortofon 2M Blue. Look up Fred Longworth on AK and see if he's got any in stock.


Output voltage at 1000 Hz, 5cm/sec. 5.5 mV

Channel balance at 1 kHz 1.5 dB

Channel separation at 1 kHz 25 dB

Channel separation at 15 kHz 15 dB

Frequency range 20-25,000 Hz

Frequency response 20-20,000 Hz + 2 /-1dB

Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force 80 µm

Compliance, dynamic, lateral 20 µm/mN

Stylus type Nude Elliptical

Stylus tip radius r/R 8/18µm

Tracking force range 1.6 -2.0g (16-20 mN)

Tracking force, recommended 1.8 g (18 mN)

Tracking angle 20°

Internal impedance, DC resistance 1.3 kOhm

Internal inductance 700 mH

Recommended load resistance 47 kOhm

Recommended load capacitance 150-300 pF

Cartridge colour, body/stylus Black/Blue

Cartridge weight 7.2 g

Replacement stylus unit 2M Blue
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:47 PM
insanescott insanescott is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Thanks so much for the suggestions! I will definitely look into your recommended cartridges.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:54 AM
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jmathers jmathers is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,529
Keep in mind the effective mass of the TP16 MKIV is actually less than the regular TP16 arm. The MKIV is 12.5g eff. mass - essentially a medium mass arm. It would be perfect for the AT150 cartridge.

You might want to check out the Denon 160 and the Denon 110 - a bit cheaper than your range and nice bang for the buck.

SE Michigan Audio Club (SMAC):
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