Another Turntable Offering:
Custom Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction, new Jelco 750D tonearm, Solid Santos Mahogany Plinth, $1495 plus shipping
Why buy a restored vintage Thorens turntable from Vinyl Nirvana?
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 powercoated, 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 farm out work, 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.
This Week’s Custom Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction
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.
What makes this week’s offering EXTRA special is the custom plinth in solid 3/4″ solid Santos Mahogany. I just love 3D graining of this plinth. We’ve done a lot of turntable in Santos Mahogany, but this is my favorite by far. As gorgeous 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 Tung oil finish. As mentioned above, the custom plinth is substantially more dense and heavy than the stock plinth. A 3/4 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 dustcover is included. All in all, this table has the looks to match its performance.
Lastly, I have also begun to sell Music Hall Cruise Controls (see pic) with many Thorens. Read more here. Adds $299.
The new Jelco 750D Tonearm
I’ve been using Jelco made arms for years: AR, Mission, Audioquest, Sumiko…all were made by Jelco. The 750D is their own branded arm. If you are looking for an arm with easily adjustable VTA and a universal headshell, this is a great performer at a tremendous value. I love the “bronze” and chrome finish. Looks amazing with the overall look of the Super. Some unsponsored reviews
The arm is mounted on a Vinyl Nirvana solid machined aluminum armboard, brushed and anodized. The arm comes with the 90 degree Jelco 502 DIN cable. Very nice cabling.
This table and arm are capable of handling cartridges in the $200 to $800 range with ease. I am an Ortofon, Dynavector, and Grado dealer. If the new owner wants to purchase one from me, installation and alignment is free. Or, if you want to send your own cartridge, mounting and alignment is $30.
New for 2016
I had original Thorens TD-160 Super springs reverse engineered and manufactured by one of the premiere spring makers in the US. Every Super will now have the old springs replaced with this new replacement spring kit.
Likewise, I have sourced damping rings for the platter bearing well and the original Thorens motor. These damping rings help eliminate unwanted resonances from reaching the tonearm and platter shaft. You can read more about the Thorens motor and platter bearing well damping rings here.
Performance Enhancement Package, Adds $120
One of my goals with the Thorens TD-160 Super Package was to pack as much into a custom vintage turntable package at the under $1500 price point. To meet that goal, I left off certain items that definitely enhance the performance but wouldn’t allow me to keep the table at this price. My favorite turntable mat since the discontinuation of the lead mat is this cork-rubber composite one. Nicely quality materials and nicely machined with crisp clean cuts. (Not all cork-rubber mats are created equal!) The Performance Package also included the fabulous Bren record weight in brushed and anodized aluminum. The weight helps to maximize adhesion of the lp to your mat and also flattens slight warps. It looks made for the vintage Thorens tables.
The shipping is not included. This table will be packed like it is a fragile pane of glass. I simply care too much for these tables to just shove them in a box. I will carefully pack the table in extra sturdy boxes. and bubble wrap.
I love introducing someone new to the joys of vinyl, getting someone back into vinyl who left it for the “superiority” of cds, or helping someone else who does appreciate it to “move up.” In that regard, I do what few sellers do…if the buyer needs it, I can supply up to one 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.
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 5% restocking fee. After ten days, all returns are for merchandise credit only.
Read what Ben Folds and others have had to say about buying from Vinyl Nirvana.
“Having been a reviewer for almost fifteen years, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to hundreds of turntables and cartridges and only a handful left enough of an impression to warrant a purchase. So what does a jaded ex-reviewer who crossed over into the world of public relations listen to at home? Only two turntable brands grace my home. VPI and Vinyl Nirvana. My Thorens TD-160 Super [Reproduction] is a stunning piece of work and there are few that can match Dave’s dedication to perfection and customer service. He’s a mensch who goes the extra mile for his customers and it’s hard to imagine buying from anyone but him or the legendary Harry Weisfeld. Yeah, he’s that good.”
Former Staff Writer – Digital Trends, SoundStage, TONEAudio, EnjoytheMusic, BigPictureBigSound & Audio360