7 posts / 0 new
Last post
admin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 53 min ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51595
Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

Any advice greatly recieved!

My Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540 sounds very dull - the deck is in great condition and the cartridge little used. I bought a 1977 meridian 101 to use as a phono stage, had it serviced and had a cable made to connect to my Cyrus 6 amplifier.

The base and soundstage is great, but the set up is lacking brightness, and sounds dull. I've read that "upgrade wiring" is available for the SME arm for £200 - the arm was serviced last year, but the rca cables are early 80's...

 

Any advice regarding rewiring the arm? and would a newer phono stage benefit too? - My total budget would be £500

Or should I just sell the lot and buy a new deck and phonostage?! !

 

chebby's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 02/06/2008 - 09:40
Posts: 15899
RE: Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

Why do your options not include a new cartridge?

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

Captain Duff's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 26/07/2012 - 18:09
Posts: 126
RE: Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

I know that the Ortofon 540 has a very good reputation as one of the best MM's in its day, although I've not used it myself. I guess if your phono stage amp allows it you could try a MC cartridge instead, but I'm guessing you are possibly right to focus on the tonearm wiring. The SME has an internal solder joint that can get brittle with age and along with aging wiring and RCA connectors it is all very probably restricting the signal frequencies.

I've not used them myself, but if you are in the UK Audio Origami seem to have a very good reputation for arm re-wires and provide both DIY kits or will do the job for you, so it would be worth having a chat with them perhaps?

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

Check that the Meridian 101 pre is fitted with the right phono stage. They used plug in modules for both MM and MC. If an MC module was installed instead of MM then the sound would be dull, distorted or both. We used to sell these pre-amps back in the 70's and none were ever fitted with MM modules beacuse all were used in high-end systems, usually with Linn LP12 and MC cartridges fitted. It's worth having a look. If you have a multimeter set it to 'ohms' and measure the load resistance across the phono input, it should read 47kOhms or near, if its low, 100-470 Ohms, then the module is MC  and not suited to the Ortofon. The deck and arm, though dated, are still capable devices, better with magnetic cartridges, the Ortofon 2M series work particularly well in this arm, and, if set up properly, the Thorens deck can rival some modern suspended designs. If you decide to go for a new phono stage the Project range are excellent value for money, some cater for both MM and MC as well.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

Thanks for all your advice- as a start, will check if its a mm or mc module!

 

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

Hi - thanks again ... I bought a voltmeter.. Sorry to appear a bit dim.... If i st it to 200 ohms, where do i test on the meridan? Or do i put both "prongs" on the rca lead that feeds to the amp with the preamp switched on??

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Upgrading Thorens TD166bc / SME 3009 / ortofon mm 540

Sorry for late reply, have been on hols. The rca 'flying' phono sockets on the stubby leads, set your meter ohms to about 1000, then connect prongs to inner and outer terminals of each phono socket. If it reads a low value then it's MC - usually 100 to 470 ohms. Or set meter to high setting, say 100kohms. if the reading is now around 47k ohms then it definitely MM.

Log in or register to post comments