Pristine Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction in Padauk w/ Signet Tonearm, Extras, $1095 plus shipping

Another Turntable Offering:

Pristine Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction in Padauk w/ Signet XK35 Tonearm, Extras, $1095 plus shipping

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 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.

See our testimonial page.

This Week’s Custom Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction in Padauk w/ Signet XK35 Tonearm, Extras, $1095 plus shipping

The Story

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 Table

What makes this week’s offering EXTRA special is the custom plinth in solid Padauk.  I just love the depth and coloring of this exotic hardwood.  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 2 coats of Teak oil (for UV protection) and 3 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 Bren record weight in the pictures is included.  It looks amazing with the rest of the brushed aluminum.

The Rare Signet XK35 Tonearm

The Signet line was produced by Audio Technica as part of their “luxury” line of tonearms and cartridges, kind of what Lexus is to Toyota today.  The product description states:

In developing the Signet XK35 low mass tonearm, project engineers set for themselves no less a task than that of producing a true state of the art component.

To do so, they recognised, meant overcoming complex problems of low-pass resonance and provision for the high sensitivity and tracking capability needed to take full advantage of the high compliance characteristics of the finest modern phono cartridges.

The results of their efforts is the model XK-35 with Signetrace Planar Pivot Tracking – a tone arm which compensates for groove amplitude variations to keep tracking force at a constant level.

Though there are plenty of high compliant cartridges today available to mate with this very light mass arm, I decided to test it with a vintage Audio Technica AT20SLa, a legendary cartridge with nude shibata diamond.   All I can say is it’s a shame AT/Signet didn’t market this arm more widely. It is right up there with other low mass legends the Grace 707 and Infinity Black Widow.

The arm is 100% functional, but there is one cosmetic issue: the original finger lift broke off.  I used a dremel and a very fine file to remove the remnant, and then I added a black powder-coated fingerlift.  Please take a look at the close-ups. I am really proud of the repair, however, I have reduced the price of this package by $200 to account for the loss of the original part. However, I am positive if you didn’t tell someone looking at the arm, they would never know.

If you purchase this table, we can discuss cartridge options as part of the sale. I have several recommendations.  I am an authorized dealer for Dynavector, Ortofon, and Grado.  If I mount and align your cartridge, it makes set-up in your home incredibly easy, plus you get the piece of mind it’s been done right.  (The AT cartridge shown in photos is not included, but we can talk. 🙂

Arm is tested and 100% functional
Closer view of headshell repair
Another angle of repair
Gorgeous Padauk Grain has five coats of finish!
Custom acrylic dust cover and Bren record weight included!

Reproduction Top Plate
Thorens Original Top Plate (on different table)

The Details

I will carefully pack the table in extra sturdy boxes and bubble wrap.  The dustcover will ship separately, also double boxed. I prefer Fedex Ground. 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.  Any new parts are under full product warranty as I am a dealer.

Read what Ben Folds and others have had to say about buying from Vinyl Nirvana.

Email me if you are interested in purchasing this turntable or another one I have slated for restoration.