Thorens TD 160 HD
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User reviews and opinions
|imtiaz||2:09pm on Saturday, October 30th, 2010|
|Storage of 200,000 photos. Web site items Easy To Setup,Easy to use,High Capacity No Power Switch It is a good one if you use it w/ only Windows. But if you want to use both MAC & Windows it gets kinda difficult.|
|pmleite||10:03am on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010|
|This is my third harddrive, the first one was my old 250gb from my Dell before I built my custom, the second is an 80gb my friend gave me. Awsome drive, fast, plenty of space of course ; no problems with it at all none|
|mwnuk||6:45pm on Sunday, May 16th, 2010|
|Somewhat Satisfied After two years, this drive finally went South on me. I wish hard drives were not so short lived. I guess two years is not so bad.|
|cwjbrown||2:03am on Sunday, April 25th, 2010|
|I cloned a 250 GB drive to this one using Seagate Discwizard. Worked perfectly. No problems Quiet, fast, reasonably priced. Incredible difficult to configure. The MioNet web interface is terrible.|
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R E V I E W
ISSUE 16. 2008
The Thorens TD-160 HD Turntable
By Marc Phillips
For many years, I had a bit of a bias against Thorens turntables. I was aware of the meticulous German craftsmanship and robust durability of these machines, but I always felt the sound quality stopped just short of simpler and more affordable designs coming out of the UK. A few months ago, however, I heard a vintage TD160 paired with an extremely modest Shure cartridge, and I found myself utterly surprised at the overall sound quality. I realized that after years of recommending old Duals and AR-XAs for my vinyl-loving but cash-challenged brethren, I should have been steering them toward Thorens instead. The new Thorens TD160 HD, however, is a much more ambitious design than its legendary namesake. Thorens borrowed the TD160 moniker to reflect the fact that this new model has similar dimensions to the first model, which was first introduced in 1972. That model sold for a substantial amount of money even in those days, at least compared to those aforementioned ARs and Duals (remember that the LP-12 arrived a year later for a whopping $360). This new model will set you back close to $5000 with an SME-sourced arm attached to the plinth. A lower cost version with an OEM Rega RB 250 arm is priced at $3500. (continued)
2008 Printed with permission from ToneAudio. All rights reserved.
That same feeling of compactness permeates the new TD-160 HD, when you pick it up. At a shade over 17 lbs., this Thorens is surprisingly light and mobile. The majority of tables in this price range can be downright unwieldy, with separate motor housings, power supplies and lead or acrylic platters that weigh more than a bowling ball. Thorens was able to make the HD so svelte by employing innovative new materials in its construction. The base plate, tonearm platform and feet are all made from Resonance Damping Compound (RDC), a granular non-homogeneous material of high mechanical stability that reduces waves of resonance throughout the chassis. RDC also contributes to the light overall weight of the HD. Technology at Work According to the literature, the HD uses a progressively damped conical suspension and a flexible plastic subchassis to provide the same vibration
control as high-mass designs. Thorens also keeps the outer dimensions of the TD-160 HD compact by placing the motor and electronic speed control inside the plinth.you know, like they used to do in the old days. Even the belt and pulley is completely hidden within the acrylic polymer platter. Thats right, I said acrylic platter and Thorens in the same sentence. This new platter is relatively thin and light as well, and is designed to produce an optimum balance between mass and inertia. You also get two cork mats of differing thicknesses to help with those nagging VTA urges. I found this very handy when switching between standard 140g pressings and 180g audiophile pressings. Since the belt and the pulley are obscured once the platter is in place, Thorens includes a small mounting jig that allows you to pull the belt into place. (continued)
You slip the belt into the interior of the platter, fit the platter carefully onto the spindle, and then slip the jig under the platter and pull the belt out to the drive pulley. Its a fairly quick and painless procedure. When I first assembled the HD, I had actually misplaced the jig but was still able to get the belt and platter in place on the first try. Im not sure if I could do it again, though. I guess it all depends upon whether you feel lucky. Well, do you? The M2 arm that was supplied with the HD is sourced from SME, and closely resembles the M1 arm that was fitted on that short-lived Musical Fidelity turntable a few years ago. I found the arm to be a bit fiddly for my tastes, and surprisingly less substantial than my reference SME V. That may not be an entirely fair comparison, considering that the V retails for nearly as much as the HD and the M2 combined. But the M2 will remind you more of old 3009s and 3012s than the newer SME arms. If I could change one thing about the M2, however, it would be the arm clasp, which contains an additional, tiny release lever for your protection. It reminds me of those automobiles where you have to depress the extra button near the ignition to pull your key out. Some people may need this. I dont. The key feature here is the removable headshell that is identical to the ones used with the current SME 309 arm. Should you have more than one cartridge, this will make it very easy to switch between them. To Clamp or Not to Clamp, That is the Question I used the Thorens TD-160 HD over several months, and with a variety of analog equipment. My reference Koetsu Rosewood Standard cartridge shared duties with the stunningly well-balanced yet affordable Dynavector 17D3. And while I used the Thorens to evaluate three or four phono preamps in the $1000 range (PS Audio, Dynavector, Lehmann, Sutherland), the HD also had a chance to strut its stuff with the much more expensive Audio Research PH-7. I have to admit that it took me a while to warm up to the Thorens charms. Out of the box, I felt that the HD offered a truly big and detailed soundstage, but sacrificed a bit of heft at the low end. I suspected that the HDs low-mass construction may have contributed to this lightweight character, but decided to let everything play for a few weeks before making any hasty conclusions. While staring at the spinning platter on the HD, I felt something else was missing. I finally realized
that this was the first time in many years that I was using a high-quality analog rig without a record clamp. I tried using the clamp from my Michell Orbe SE on the HD, but its intended for use with threaded spindles, so it just plopped loosely on top of the LP. Surprisingly, a bit more deep bass emerged. I then borrowed a SOTA clamp, which has a bit more mass than the Michell clamp and was able to grab onto the Thorens with more authority. That confirmed some suspicions I had about the AC synchronous motor, which is definitely of the lowtorque variety (dragging a dry cleaning brush across an LP actually brought the platter to a complete stop more than once). As it turned out, the use of a really heavy clamp such as the SOTA was too much of a strain on the drive system, affecting the speed. I was surprised that this would occur with the electronic speed control, but it did. Sorry, but I dont think theres an audiophile in the world who would sacrifice speed accuracy, especially when its so obvious, for that last bit of deep bass. With such a low mass design, its no surprise that I found the overall character of the HD to be a little on the lean, exciting side. More than one industry professional has told me that some of the newer Thorens table designs are reminiscent of Linn, but the sound of the HD was much more P9 than LP-12. LP after LP, I found the Thorens to add the same bit of excitement and slightly forward presentation that the folks in Southend-on-Sea have been offering for decades. Thats far from a bad thing, but once again you have to define your sonic priorities before you lay down this kind of money. Master of Information Retrieval With the astonishingly neutral Dynavector 17D3 mounted on the end of the M2, the presentation was a tad too forward on certain recordings, with the sides of the soundstage wrapping around laterally in a slight unrealistic manner. Thats more a function of my room than anything else, but I found it curious that Id never experienced this effect before while using other turntables. Another reservation with this combination was that it was so revealing that I felt that surface noise was accentuated to an uncomfortable degree. The sound of the needle on dead wax was much more audible than Im used to. Switching back to my Koetsu seemed to remedy most of these annoyances and relegate the soundstage into a more relaxed and natural context. In other words, the Thorens prefers a slightly warm cartridge, unless youre a fan of ultra-detailed and forward sound.
One respect in which the Thorens absolutely shines is its ability to resolve that last bit of information from the groove and arrange it in an organized and meaningful fashion. If a productive listening session means that youve heard new details in familiar recordings, then the Thorens may be the right table for you. On my Sundazed pressing of Wilcos Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, for example, I heard a few guitar riffs that Id never noticed before, particularly on I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. Lesser analog rigs tend to become confused and murky during complex passages. The Thorens, in comparison, is a master logician. An Up to Date Classic Now that its time to pack up the TD-160 HD and send it back to Two Channel Distribution, I have to acknowledge a new and solemn respect for Thorens. Ive been following Art Dudleys adventures in restoring and fine-tuning a vintage TD-124 mk. II, and Im intrigued with his comments about the end result. Ive toyed with the idea with restoring a Garrard 301 for many years, but my experience with the HD and my recent with that old TD160 has whetted my appetite for more things Thorens. Im sorry Ive ignored this legendary company for so long. The Thorens TD-160 HD is a light, compact and easy-to-use premium turntable that doesnt ask too much of its owner. While not quite plug and play, it is startlingly close. While I prefer the warmer, weightier balance that I get from my Michell Orbe SE, I still believe that the HD is a solid performer in its price class, and will make more than a few Thorens fans giddy with excitement.
Second opinion Jeff Dorgay
Perusing Marcs copy and looking back at what Michael Fremer had to say about the M2 arm, I was intrigued to try a bit warmer cartridge than the 17D3 and observe the results. I tried a pair of Grados, the $500 Sonata and the $2500 Statement. While the Statement was a little overkill for this table, the Sonata was a nice match and I suspect that moving up a notch or two in the Grado line, or perhaps going to the Clearaudio Maestro Wood would be the perfect match. One really needs to look at their analog setup as a complete system that needs to work together to provide the sound that you are after. Due to its mechanical construction and choice of materials, a turntable and tonearm combination will have a given sound, but this can be fine tuned somewhat by choice of cartridge and phono preamplifier. Where Marc played it straight, staying on the neutral side, I wanted to see how much romance could be injected into this combination. Quite a lot, actually, so if your system and/or tastes run toward the lush side of musical reproduction, consider a Grado or other cartridge with a known warm tonal balance for the TD160. Its like going from a BMW to a Lexus, still plenty of performance, just a bit comfier ride. The Grado Statement was a particularly good match with the ModWright 9.0SWP providing plenty of dynamics but a little bit more air to the presentation. If you are looking for a great turntable and would like an alternative to the Regas and VPIs that your buddies have, the TD 160HD is a real contender. If it were me, Id restore a vintage one to sit next to the new one on my rack, but Im obsessed! l
The Thorens TD 160HD MSRP: $4899 with SME M-2 tonearm $2899 with RB250 tonearm US Distribution 2 Channel Distribution 1500 South Ninth Street Salina, KS 67401 785-820-2931 www.2channeldistribution.com
2008 Printed with permission from ToneAudio. All rights reserved. ToneAudio Magazine is published 6 times a year at www.tonepublications.com
THORENS TD160HD TURNTABLE
Reviewed by Roy Gregory
There at the beginning, it was Thorens which imported the three-point suspended sub-chassis formula rst seen in the AR XA into Europe, originally in the shape of the TD150 and later the various TD160 models.With the benet of 20/20 hindsight its easy to see it as an obvious move, but lets not forget that this was a market dominated by the new direct drive technology, and not even the most optimistic projection would have predicted the way in which the three-point suspended revolution would sweep all before it in the audiophile arena. Its a format that has all but faded from view, at least at the serious end of the turntable market, but it still has a lot to offer at more affordable price points and never more than now with the emergence of the revitalized TD160HD.Totally reworked to incorporate sophisticated RDC material in critical applications and high-tech industrial isolation grommets in place of coil springs, the new table retains the appearance and compact dimensions of the original but the performance is in another league altogether. Immensely engaging and musically energetic, the basic motor unit is an absolute bargain. But add in the ability to support and do justice to top-ight tonearms, as well as the dramatic improvements that come with attention paid to delivering a clean power supply and youve got a sleeping giant. How far can you push the envelope? Weve been pushing pretty hard and havent got to the edge yet A classic in every sense of the word.
Price: 1250 UK Distributor: UKD (44)(0)www.ukd.co.uk Manufacturer: Thorens Export Co. Ltd. www.thorens.com
T OF THE UC
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