Thorens TD160B MkII

Just picked up this recently, when selecting 45, doesn’t seem to work, and a bit of a grinding noise, after removing various part, looks as thought the mechanism, pulley, drive etc works, so it is probably a new belt needed. The grinding I have isolated the cause, the mechanism that moves the belt, when 45 is selected the top of this is too high and therefore rubs on the underside of the weighted platform, don’t want to take the heavy method of bending it, is there anyway to adjust the height of this?

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The forked lever system which Thorens used to move the belt on the stepped pulley top change speed was not their best effort and can cause issues even when all else is spot on. Many owners just removed the lever mechanism and would change the belt manually. For all that, if it’s fouling on the platter then either the lever itself is bent or, more likely, the platter is riding a bit too low - usually because springs have either stretched, or the suspension is out of adjustment.

The first thing you should do is get hold of a servicing kit with replacement bearing oil and a new belt. Re. the belt, in my experience the original Thorens belts are the only ones guaranteed not to give you problems. Many cheap replacements a way off spec and will never get your deck working properly or sounding right. Best of the replacements was the Thakker belt, and while still not bargain basement, it will save you a bit on the genuine article.

Beyond that, just strip the deck down and then do a careful rebuild. There are a number of sites online that cover the basics here. I would be wary of the many modifications that some do to these decks. They will change it for sure, but not always for the better. The only one that I would do here at first would be to try a different platter mat. Thorens themselves moved to a smooth flat rubber type on the later 160Bs which was much better than the ribbed one.

By the way, what arm and cartridge are you using with it?


Thanks for your quick response, gives me something to look at, new belt is ordered, the lever is not bend, so the platter is probably riding a bit low, which could be down to the suspension, I will look at that, still got a ribbed mat.

As far as arm and cartridge, I believe these are the originals, are is SME and cartridge is ortofon

The pulley should be checked with the platter removed and then replaced upside down.


Some photos might help Forum members to help you further… :thinking:

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this single post of yours has taught me more and helped me more than anything else since I have had the TD145. Thanks very much.


Another clever tip I wouldn’t have thought of by myself. Thanks.


On really close inspection I noticed that the fork at the top of the speed select arm was at an angle this may have been introduced during carriage, and talking to the previous owner, who had it from new, has never played 45rpm, so as it was just touching the underside of the platter, straightened this very carefully and problem has been eliminated, just awaiting new belt.


Good Work.

Would still like to see photos or Arm & Cart… :thinking:

I’m guessing that the SME arm is a 3009 Series II and the Ortofon cartridge is a VMS 20E Mark II.

Well, that’s what I had on my silver TD 160 BC Mark II back in the late 1970s. Nicely made, nice-sounding deck. Ultimately traded it in for my first LP12 in 1979.

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That would be one of my guesses, too…

A sideways question: my TD145 is ok as far as motor and springs are concerned, but the TP16 has issues. Last time I used the TT, when I snapped the arm into its ‘catch’, it made some noise into the speakers and now left channel is silent and only a low, continuous whoosh comes out of the speaker.
Since it looks like the internal wiring is defective, shall I consider

  • Fixing
  • replacing the tonearm
  • changing turntable?


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Have you looked at the Cartridge Leads - between the cart and the arm, in the headshell…?

Perhaps one has come off, or broken…?

sorted, thanks. It was a faux connection
Meanwhile, I have also washed, dried and carefully polished all the sensible mechanic parts, changed the belt, oiled the spindle. It’s ok now. The only Thorens sounding like a rega… :grinning:
(Meaning dry, fast, detailed…)

Good Result…!


It spins a little fast (33.67 or so), but ok for the rest! 45 is almost perfect, but I never play 45s…

I am limited to one pic, so will try one at a time

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another angle

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SME 3009 Series 2 Improved Fixed Head - I think…?

You are not limited by the Naim Forum, to just 1 picture… :thinking: