Another Turntable Offering:
Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction in Santos Mahogany w/SME 3009 Tonearm, $1795 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-160Super Reproduction in Solid Santos Mahogany w/SME 3009 Tonearm
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 Santos Mahogany. I just love the coloring and grain patterns 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 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 acrylic cover in the pictures is included. However, the Bren weight and cork-rubber composite mat add $125.
The vintage SME 3009 Series II Improved Arm w/ Upgrade Wiring
The SME is an audio classic, coveted by many as THE vintage arm. It is simply one of the best respected and best looking tonearms ever produced. This specific arm is in very good cosmetic condition and functions perfectly. You will see tiny specks of oxidation on the base plate and other areas, but the satin finish tends to hide them in most light. It has a FIXED headshell. As shown, the arm is mated with a cnc milled solid aluminum armboard.
The arm has been rewired with cardas wire from leads to rcas. The wire kit is supple enough so that it does not negatively affect the suspension. The rcas are nice quality ones, made by Art Pop.
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. I also have some vintage cartridges that would mate well with this low mass arm. 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.
I will carefully pack the table in extra sturdy boxes and bubble wrap. The dustcover will ship separately, also double boxed. I prefer UPS. 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.