Why buy a restored vintage Thorens turntable from Vinyl Nirvana?
When you buy a restored turntable from Vinyl Nirvana, the table has undergone a multistep inspection, tuning, and detailing regimen. The work is performed by me, someone who has worked exclusively on belt driven, suspended subchassis turntables such as Thorens, Linn, and AR for over a decade. I know these models intimately, and have developed techniques over my lifetime to restore them to the best condition possible.
In addition, since I have probably the largest selection of parts for these turntables in North America, if it is determined by inspection that something needs to be replaced because it is missing, broken or worn, it happens. Though all of the turntables I sell will be 100% functional, because of their age, cosmetic condition will vary. It is my pledge to you that any and all cosmetic defects will be pointed out in the item description, and whenever it is possible, photographs will be provided. When you buy from me, it is not like eBay where you have to wonder if you are getting what you are really getting. If there is a flaw cosmetically, you will know it is there.
As a potential buyer, you should know I don’t just service these turntables, I love them. Though I have restored hundreds of them, I still find great joy in bringing a vintage turntable back to its glory. Likewise, if the turntable has been customized, I cared deeply that those items are the best possible ones I can source. For example, my custom plinths are built by a finish carpenter with over 30 years of experience, someone who cares as much about their sound construction as their beauty. Likewise, when something is custom painted or powdercoated, I go to a professional company, one of the most highly regarded in New England. Those are just two examples, but I have made it my mission, when I do engage outside specialists, to get people who care about their finished product the same way I do.
Finally, because none of the above will matter if the turntable doesn’t reach you in one piece, I have extensive experience in safely shipping vintage turntables. I know the tricks and the techniques to get your turntable to you without incident. I literally ship over 100 turntables per year, and my success rate is over 99%. In the fractional amount of cases where there is a problem, it is always resolved with your complete satisfaction as my goal. A lot of businesses make that claim; with me you will find it is a way of life. See our testimonial page.
Hands down, the turntable for which I receive the most requests is the Thorens TD-160 Super. Unfortunately, this premium Thorens model was not manufactured in great numbers, so there are just not that many that come to the used market. For those who don’t know, what made the Super model the Super was 1)a beefier plinth and bottom; 2)underside damping; 3)heartier hinges; 4) a cleaner (and sexier) top plate that allowed changing arms without the vestigial cueing lever or armrest holes.
Having worked with a metal sheet fabricator and silk screener last year on the 125 Long Base project, I decided to undertake having high quality replica top plates manufactured. I knew that both companies were up to the task after the truly astounding job they did on the 125LB fascia plate. What you see pictured is the result. The plates are identical in every way except for some instructional printing in the area covered by the platters.
Meeting the other “obligations” for the Super designation were simple. The damping is something I’ve been doing to various tables for years, mostly at the request of customers. The plinths are our own custom plinths, which exceed the quality of the Thorens in terms of being solid wood, not veneer. Finally, the dustcover is set-on style, eliminating the need for hinges altogether.
Performance-wise, having both a genuine Thorens TD-160 Super and my reproduction sitting side by side on my bench, it is easy to argue that this reproduction should actually exceed the performance of a stock TD-160 Super because of the increased mass and density of the solid wood plinths.
The Featured Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction, new Sorane TA-1 tonearm, solid Black Walnut plinth
What makes this week’s offering EXTRA special is the custom plinth in solid 3/4″ black walnut. I just love the classic coloring and grain patterns. As fabulous as this looks in the photos, it is even more so in person. The custom plinth was crafted by a finish carpenter/cabinet maker with over thirty years of experience. It was finished in mulitiple coats of Danish oil finish. As mentioned above, the custom plinth is substantially more dense and heavy than the stock plinth. A 1/2 inch mdf bottom also adds mass.
Cosmetically, this table is a solid 9.5 on a scale of 1-10. With the new plinth, new top plate and new cover, it really is museum quality, with not one single cosmetic flaw to report. (Why not a 10.0? I just don’t feel comfortable listing a vintage table as a 10.0.) Note the new custom acrylic SET ON style dustcover is included. If you’d like to opt for the HINGED style cover, write me a note in check out and I will invoice you $79 separately.
The new 9″ Sorane TA-1 Tonearm
“Reproduced sound is precise and clean, thanks to hand assembly by highly skilled craftsmen.”
Sorane was founded in 1974. Katsuaki Ishiyama-san collected designing and development knowledge for various tonearms manufactured by only handmade and assembled process, with his belief the fine tuning is only available by craftsmen’s precise and sensitive hand. Even after applying modern CNC milling machine at their own plant for basic parts production, their tonearms still rely on craftsmen’s expertise for final assembly, in particular, to have idealized mechanical surface contact with each other, by hand-tuning and hand-adjustment.
The major key to tonearm quality is the sensitivity and stability in retrieving delicate signals, for which the bearings are the determining factor. The TA-l employs a miniature radial bearing for horizontal movement and a miniature pivot bearing for vertical movement. Very high performance is achieved at a reasonable price. The body is constructed from a machine-tooled solid aluminum block. The hand-assembled arm wand satisfies every vital condition necessary for vibration-free and noise-free reproduction..
The 9″ arm is mounted on a Vinyl Nirvana custom machined aluminum armboard with special machined collar.
110/120 volt 60 hz only
Note: Due to the nature and scope of my business, shipping your turntable package can range from 2-10 business days. After your purchase, I will contact you within 24 hours with my best shipping estimate date.
Note: Turntables with sprung subchassis are wonderful in many ways for isolating your turntable from unwanted resonances, however, they are susceptible to footfalls. If this turntable is going in a room with bouncy floors, it will need to go on a wall shelf for proper functioning.
We have over fifteen years experience shipping vintage turntables successfully. All turntables are packed with the utmost concern with them arriving in the same condition you see pictured here.
If the buyer needs it, I can supply up to a half hour hour of help by phone with set up. (At a mutually arranged time.) In general, most buyers don’t need it, but if there IS a problem, I am there. I also have many videos available to hel with various set-up issues.
Your table is guaranteed to look and work as described, or you may return it within ten days of arrival for a full refund, minus return shipping charges and a 15% restocking fee. After ten days, all returns are for merchandise credit only. If you ever have an issue with your purchase, 3 weeks or months or years after the purchase, please contact me and we will resolve the issue in a way we mutually agree upon.
Read what Ben Folds and others have had to say about buying from Vinyl Nirvana.