Having liked the look of the 160's for some time I' m come across a very nice example of one
with a sme 3009.
How do they compare too modern decks sound wise ?
They look very well engineered.
Can't tell you how a 160 sounds but I personally would take a solid vintage deck over a modern entry level TT. - They are eminently tweakable and probably have much more skope for good sound, as long as they have been looked after by the previous owner and as long as the basic engineering is sound..
Most will probably need at least a service including new belt and oil replacement, likely a new stylus and some, like my Garrard, need more than that.
Its a bit a labour of love though and if you are not happy do get your hands dirty, probably not a good choice. Plug and play they are not, fun and nice to look at/use they certainly are.
Dont take my word for it however, I've only just started collecting vinyl.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
My TD160S has lived with me for about 30 years and we're still in love!
Fantastic decks, and you would probably need to spend not far short of £1,000 (minus arm) to get a modern new deck of similar quality. In fact the reborn Thorens current 160 deck is a lot more than that. Of course while Linn got all the (UK) hifi plaudits, the Germans had been using similar sprung-chassis designs quietly for many years before. At the time their only real weakness was the own-brand arms (they weren't bad, just not up there with things like the SME). So a 160s and a SME 3009 - damn near perfect I would say.
Things to be aware of? Well the decks themselves are very easy to diy adjust, level, service and fix. New OEM belts are cheap, while if anything major went wrong a motor swap would be very cheap given all the spares floating around on ebay. They are also easy to tweek (plenty of ready made componants and kits of you do a search, although things like a new better/stiffer bottom base board and feet are very easy to diy from scratch.
As for the 3009 arm you should look out for knife-edge bearing problems, and given their age a re-wire (improved with continuous rather than the original joint) is often a good upgrade (unless you want completely original classic), which is a diy possible but I would rather trust one of the small specialist companies out there to do it.
Thorens 166 BC MkVI turntable, Origin Live Alliance tonearm, Goldring 2200 cartridge; Opera Consonance 120 Linear CD player; Denon DNP-720AE media player; Sugden Mystro amplifier; MS Aviano 8 speakers.
Another lover of the 160 here. Been in the family about 40 years and hasn't missed a beat.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 > HRT II+ DAC • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • MS 10i speakers [on loan]
Also cluttering-up the place: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
You have not bought them yet then?
They look a good used buy at that price. Always assuming I am looking at the same ones you are
Origin Live Aurora Gold+Illustrious Mk2 arm+Zyx R100-02/Stello CDT200+Stello DA220 dac/Tom Evans Groove Anniversary phono amp/Tom Evans Vibe preamp/Linear A power amp/Acoustic Zen Adagios/Chord cables/Oppo 105EU.
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