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14 of the longest-running hi-fi brands still around today
Owned from new and still have the receipt, a Thorens TD160B with SME 3009 II Improved. The arm has been rewired with litz wire, runs a Goldring 1040 Cartridge, has PTFE lube on the knife bearing and Van den Hul, The Thames Hybrid RCA cables to my amp.
The TD160B is highly modified. I built the plinth from 18mm furniture grade MDF and veneered it with a Brazilian redwood being careful to match the grain around the plinth, fitted a 10mm thick MDF base board with 3mm Sorbothane sheet applied to 90% of it and no feet. Sorbothane also covers the sub chassis with the main bearing having thick rubber damping bands fitted and a ceramic disc fitted inside for the spindle to run on. The electric motor has thick rubber damping bands fitted and a brass bush is bonded to the motor housing where the spindle hangs out, this has a small grub screw that lifts the spindle up just a fraction so as to stop noise being transmitted from the spindle rubbing on the motor housing.
The top motor plate that the polished stainless steel cover is bonded to, also has Sorbothane sheet bonded on to it. The three chassis springs have the foam inserts removed.
Having just spent time listening to a Rega P3 and a couple of Amplifiers and then purchased the Musical Fidelity M3si, I can say without doubt that my TD160B clearly out performs the P3 by some margin even though I know the SME arm is at its limit. I am very much considering replacing the SME arm with a Rega 330 with Litz wiring so as to get better control of the Cartridge.
The deck is on an Atacama Celebration stand with double glass shelf that has a 2mm foam layer bonded between the glass. The house floor is large tiles over wet underfloor heating, concrete slab must be a foot thick.
Speakers are at the moment Monitor Audio Bronze 5's that go with my 7.1.4 Atmos system, definition is very good, bass go's deep with the change in pitch being detected clearly as the sound fades away so no loss of detail. Any instrument can be followed with good clarity, instruments can easily be picked out. Sounds fantastic with good instrument placement across the width of the room.
Back in the 80's, JBL was widely held to stand for Just Bloody Loud, though I don't recall ever having heard a pair of JBL speakers, so whether or not that was justified I don't know. There've certainly been a fair few very positive reviews over the years.