Another Turntable Offering:
Thorens TD-160 Super Reproduction, new SME M2-9 arm, custom cherry plinth, $1995 plus shipping
Why buy a restored vintage Thorens turntable from Vinyl Nirvana?
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 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.
“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 w/Upgraded RB-202] 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
This Week’s TD-160 Super Reproduction:
What makes this week’s offering EXTRA special is the custom plinth in solid 3/4″ cherry. I just love the audacious graining of this 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. Please check out the way the grain matches around the front corners. Attention to detail! 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.) As described above, it is 100% functional.
Please note the cork rubber composite mat and the Bren weight on some of the photos below are NOT included, but are available for $120 total. I have also begun to sell Music Hall Cruise Controls (see pic) with many Thorens. Read more here. Adds $299.
All in all, this table has the looks to match its performance…
The SME M2-9 Tonearm
The SME tonearms have been lauded for their excellence for over 40 years. The M2-9 is their latest arm. (Retail $1595) It incorporates many of the classic SME characteristics, yet belongs solidly in the here and now. It can easily handle cartridges in a multi-thousand dollar range. (All box, packing, and literature is included.)
More detail on the SME M2 Line-up
Overall, this is a stunning table with a serious arm capable of handling cartridges in the $400 to $2000 range with ease. I would be happy to mount any cartridge for the new owner for $30. If I install the cartridge, it makes set-up incredibly easy for set-up. I am a also dealer for Dynavector, Ortofon, and Grado. If you buy the cartridge from me, the installation fee is waived. (If you are interested in mounting your own SME tonearm to your vintage Thorens turntable, visit here for a custom Thorens armboard.)
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.