View Full Version : TT setup help - from the begining

The Vinyl Adventure
04-08-2009, 22:20
i am, as of about 10 mins ago the proud owner of a thorens td160 (see other thread if you wanna see piccys)

i have always been pertrified of messing with my xerxes and have always got other people to make it rock

i now have a deck i am less scared of messing with but i know nothing of what to do, so... in its basic state how do i get the best out of it? i need a little set of scales right? what else?

i know nothing about this so can we start from scratch please ..

04-08-2009, 22:41
HiFi dave, I'm typed out - help please...

Right, assuming the deck hasn't as yet been knurdled, remove the outer platter, headshell and counterweight. use a twist tie to anchor the arm on its rest.


Tilt the deck up and undo the four screwed feet, removing the flimsy base board, which could do with enforcing or replacing.

See if the inner platter is held in by a metal clip, which doubles as an earth point for the sub-chassis. Undo the screw (posidrive no:0), remove the metal clip and replace the screw and earth wire. You can then put the deck level and remove the inner platter once the belt is also removed.

Check the spindle. If it's around 10mm diameter and you can see two bronze bushes in the bearing well, I'd suggest some EP90 gearbox oil, part fill it like an LP12 - too much and you'll have an unholy mess once the spindle is put back - been there and done it loads of times - keep plenty of kitchen towel handy.. If you have a later, mid seventies spindle - around 7mm and with a deep bronze bushing - then a good few drops of the slightly thinner EP80 (as used by Rega) will be fine. By the late seventies, the spindle had reverted back to before, but with tighter tolerances as I remember.

Will this do for tonight? I wrote an article on 160 setup for HiFi Answers many centuries ago and got paid for it too. I don't know if I have the mag somewhere, but Hifi dave (fount of all old publications) may have it somewhere...:)

Looking underneath again, see if yours has the transit screws either side of the sub-chassis. These are mounted on the plinth and there used to be a couple of black felt "cushions" stuck to the wood, which always used to lift and foul the sub-chassis. these felt strips can be safely removed.

The Vinyl Adventure
05-08-2009, 01:28
thankyou for all your help so far dave


as directed i have read a load of stuff here:


and its coresponding links

as i have a very small amout of money to put in to this at the mo. so.. will this:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MAIN-BEARING-OIL-PROTRACTOR-STROBE-KIT-for-Linn-Rega_W0QQitemZ290334518940QQcmdZViewItemQQptZTurnt able_Parts_Accessories?hash=item4399492e9c&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

(is that bearing oil going to be avragely suitable... i can see the advantage of buying a big bottle of ep80 or90 cost wise, its the other stuff that is in that pack that atracts me to it)

and this:


be of use to me as a budget starting point for getting into this tt fiddleing milarky

The Vinyl Adventure
05-08-2009, 01:40
i cant see any " felt "cushions" "?

The Vinyl Adventure
05-08-2009, 01:49
also what should i set the anti skating to based on this:


cheers again.. i am actually learning about this stuff now i have been pointed in the right direction! ... although it has kept me up to 3am reading stuff


05-08-2009, 14:20
Jonny at Audio Origami seems a decent chap and has an excellent reputation. I'm sure his oil is fine. My only query was regarding any possible main bearing play, as late 150 mk2's, 125 mk2's and some 160's had slop in the bearing which knackers any pretense to top sound quality. Take off the outer platter and belt. Place palm on top of inner platter (hold the arm still at the bearing end) and gently try to rock your palm back and forth. If there's play you'll feel it. If not, you're lucky and the AO oil should be fine. (The Thorens Crown bearing oil was EP80 by another name as I remember though). When new, the platter would rotate for ages without the belt fitted.

By the way, if the deck won't go to 45, it's *usually* because the belt has stretched, rather than a fault or mal-adjustment anywhere, assuming the deck hasn't been fiddled with.

As to the bias setting, the 510 should be set roughly to the "dry" elliptical 1.5 setting or thereabouts. Hold the headshell gently and see if the arm bearings have any free-play. If you can feel some (quite usual), then see which bearings it is (horizontal or vertical) by holding the inner "gimbal" and rocking the headshell again. The adjusting screws are easy to get at (the top one is under a removable cover) and a small adjustment can be made *just* until the play disappears, or just before this point - I suggest that no more than 1/16th of a turn should be needed. Make sure that when the arm is balanced, there is totally free movement from centre to rest (the bias is magnetic on this version of the arm I think, so you won't be able to completely clear it - the arm will always want to return to the rest), and also smooth up and dowm motion, if not quite like the precision scales as on an Ittok, SME or probably the Jelco's (I only remember the cheaper Jelco and have never tried the 750).

I could be wrong, but I'm sure that the original headshell was a casting - yours is, as there is chipped paint on the edge (Humbrol "coal black" and "satin black" covers up a multitude of sins :)), but I think the later ones could have been plastic and thus weight saving. As far as I'm concerned, I'd keep the heavy shell, as it will help to absorb any resonances generated by the cartridge.

At this point, I'd suggest not changing the arm. When you're ready, sell on as is and go up a level (Manticore, AR legend or Systemdek or later Heybrook TT2 with cast sub-chassis for belt drive - oh, all right, the "fruitbox" too) and our favourite direct drive, which takes all the twiddling out, as it works first time :D

The Grand Wazoo
06-08-2009, 16:53
Hi Hamish,
I like those TD160's. I bought one for my daughter for Christmas a couple of years ago. It sounds very respectable indeed - As mentioned above, there's lots you can do to it to spiff it up & lots of reasonably cheap products available to help you out. The base board is the first thing you should change, though I think many of these must have already had this simple change made to them already.

Though, not stunning, the arm is not at all bad.

I paid less than 70 for the one I bought but they seem to be reaching 100 quite regularly now. One without a cracked lid is quite rare!

You should pull out the foam from inside the suspension springs if it's still there. Some folk like to fit Linn springs - God knows why.........Glaswegian fairy dust, maybe?

I also seem to remember something about the motor spindle commonly being knocked out of true by clumsy handling of the outer platter. Later ones had a metal post fitted to help prevent this. You should, perhaps check to see if it's running true. If it is - and your's doesn't have that post - then you should take note to be careful!


06-08-2009, 19:14
Linn springs are good for the TD125, as the extra weight of the chassis counteracts the lighter platters. I wouldn't use Linn springs on a 150 or 160, as these springs were better "topped and tailed" than many linn ones in my opinion and the 150/160 sprung weight is lower, so the suspension will bounce at a higher frequency.

Yep, get rid of the sponge without removing the springs (I used a fine long nosed plier for this as it slips in between the coils easily).

Din-dins calls - speak later :)