Thorens TD145, TP16, Stageline N,?

Ok, I am using this Thorens TD 145

with its original TP16 tonearm.
It came with an old AT cartridge that looks exactly like a rega Carbon and floats in the €30 price range I think.

I plan to buy a Stageline N for coherence and convenience and power it from the AUX2 of my SN1.

Now I hope not to disappoint or annoy any serious vinyl user, but my collection of LPs, its average age, its average conditions and my expectations from vinyl reply are such that I don’t want to venture in the dark realm of costly pickups. I plan to spend not more than €100/150. If ever.

Suggestions are welcome. I already know that Richard encourages pairing the Stageline with AT, but I am open to other possibilities. And of course the TP16 (which means a mass of 16 grams I think) is not an ARO so no need to suggest miracle carts.

Thanks for all opinions!

I’m about to pair a Stageline N with a Project Perspective running a Goldring 1042 via a 202/200 DR system in the next few days.
Hope to be in a position to test this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes😊

Thanks very much. I had a Goldring e3 with my previous rega P2 and it worked very well, with an open sound reminiscent of an MC. The same cartridge had serious tracking issues on a Technics SL 1510 (the 70s one), albeit properly setup with tracking force, anti-skating and so on.

I’ll be happy to read your experience,

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It’ll be my first experience of a Naim Phono Stage.
It’s a preloved, but it’s my second system so wasn’t looking for anything exotic…:wink:

I am sure that the issues were in the Technics, not the cartridge. It sounded excellent - for about €100 - on the rega RB220.
BTW, I see that your 1042 is above my intended budget, but I look forward to having your impressions of the Stageline.

Are you a drummer?

Not a particularly good one and purely amateur😉

This was my last kit. A Drum Craft Series 4 with some Alesis Electric pads.

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@MaxBertola i used a Goldring e3 on my jelco 750/LP12 and didn’t have any tracking issues, I thought it was in fact very good and at a good price. I believe there is a e4 now? No idea of price though……


How about a new AT 95…? There are a range of versions, at various price points…


It’s an option I had considered in fact. Thanks for reminding me of it. My friend Chris is a great fan of it.

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I’m sure it was the Technics’s fault… It was a model from the late 70s, cosmetically ok but who knows what the arm’s bearings had to bear… :slight_smile:
It’s an exceptional pickup for the price. And rumor has it that it is in fact a AT95 custom re-made under Goldring’s specs…

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Sorry, I beg to differ. No-one was a drummer. Once a drummer, forever a drummer.

are the drumsticks I bought with my own pocket money when I was 11 years old, after having seen a pic of Ringo in action and suddenly, irremediably decided I’d be a drummer…
It never happened, but at heart I am a sort of ghost drummer.


I had read about the e3 and AT connection, but didn’t really hear the similarities. At the time I had half a dozen identical headshells and had the later (better) red AT 95 to compare but preferred the e3.

The AT 100e was another cheap but good cartridge that worked well with the stage line and didn’t sound too dark I found.

The Stageline is a great phono stage if you match it carefully to the cartridge - Ortofon, Grado or Nagaoka. The Stageline has a very high input capacitance and will sound dull with most other cartridges (eg Audio Technica). Now, ,if you want a rolled-off top end (eg your records are not in the best of shape) the an AT will do the trick!

If you want to stay with AT, there is the option of fitting an elliptical stylus to the body you have, if you sign up to Vinyl Engine there is us information there.
If you don’t mind a search round Facebook, in particular on the Linn pages, I have heard good things about the Rigb AT95e. At £95, it might fit the bill.


I have had a Grado cartridge in the past and I appreciated its full and not too refined sound - it was a cheapish model. I’m attracted by the idea of Nagaoka, a glorious name of my youth, will browse a bit for it. Thanks.


£95 fits the bill, thanks. The precariousness of everything vinyl makes me a little doubtful about spending much more…

Experience, hearsay or theory?
I have an N but have only used it for a Decca so far and with hearing that tops out at 12k find it a good match. I was expecting the ATs to be too but haven’t one to hand having let the 95E go to Oxfam with my father’s Project Debut

A bit of 1 and 3. My NAIM Stageline-N input capacitance was ~470pF. Add~150pF for arm and cable wiring and you’re at 620pF - WAY out of spec for most modern MMs that recommend ~200pF. Here is a frequency response vs input capacitance for a Shure M97xE cartridge (not dissimilar to many current MM cartridges - ignore the falling response between 2k and 10k - a quirk of the Shure’s budgetary move from a laminated core to a solid core):


My experience with the M97xE and the Stageline-N pretty much mirrored this (unbearably dull). I tried an AT VM760SLC which was also very dull. This prompted a switch to a Lejonklou Slipsik (input capacitance ~80pF) and lo and behold - much better.

You can tweak the frequency response with a difference input (loading) resistance also but the vast majority of MM phono stage use the standard input impedance of 47k ohms.


Beyond the budget, but possibly of interest to vinyl addicts. This morning a message popped up on the Facebook LP12 group, @Cymbiosis has been testing a new variant of the Rigb adaptation for AT MM cartridges, the tRigb, with three mounting holes for Linn arms, and the ARO. Complete with mounting bolts in what looks to me like a fetching Troika red.

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