After another member mentioned Thorens this week, I have been spending a lot of time researching the lineage of AR, Thorens, Ariston, Linn, Fons, Systemdek, Manticore etc. (All - well, mostly all - wooden turntables with sprung chassis.)
Nice little trip down memory lane including one I owned for a few years in the 1980s, the Walker CJ55 (with an RB300 arm and a budget AT MC cartridge).
I remember my hifi dealer at the time (Rob Shingles of Chichester Hifi) commenting that the example I bought was the best finished one he'd seen (an untypically dark wood with high gloss finish) and was impressed with it's plumb vertical bounce when he set it up for me. (He probably said that to all of his customers )
At the time I couldn't afford a Linn Sondek or Ariston RD80 or even a Thorens TD 160 (the one I really wanted) so I bought the Walker CJ55 to give the whole suspended sub-chassis 'thing' a go with money I could afford. I remember it had a fabulous sound.
Well, as I said earlier, i've been researching and looking at old reviews and user manuals and company histories and ebay (current and completed listings) and brand specific blogs/fora etc.
More than once this week I have had to explain away big photos of turntables on my screen as 'research' for a WHF question.
Than the odd thing happened. My wife said... "Is that the one we had at the old flat? I liked that one." (She used to sit there, when pregnant, playing a lot of her old Bowie records on it when I was at work.)
It seems, reading between the lines, that the presence of a 'nice' record player would not be out of order (with her at least) but the problem is that I am the de-cluttering fiend and I wanted a minimal system and I like things how they are.
Soooo... given that it would please my wife to have a similar record player to the Walker CJ55 (and I always wanted a Thorens but never got around to it) I might start hunting down a good TD-160 or TD-166. We still have ninety-something LPs in superb condition. I must admit too that the Thorens TD160s do look the part and appeal to some part of me that is stuck in the 1970s. (Maybe i'll get a 1979s Ercol side-board and some flock wallpaper too!) At least I could look at it and enjoy it as an object.
Aristons, the Walker CJ55, Systemdeks or Manticores are not on the list due them being long defunct products from companies that don't exist, whereas zillions of Thorens TD 160/166s of all vintages (from the mid 1970s until now) are 'out there' and it is still possible to get spares and servicing.)
So please 'talk Thorens' to me. (I will not be getting into any modifications/rebuilds so will be looking at getting a 'stock' item in good/working condition from ebay or wherever).