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Question Keep the P3 or get a cheap Thorens ?

momo72

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2014
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So here I am trying to decide whether to build up an old P3 or go for a vintage Thorens TD166 mkII (£200 no cartridge).

Firstly, I know nothing about the Thorens range. I've seen TD150, TD160, Super, TD166, TD316. Could anyone shed some light over that's best to avoid and what can be considered please? (The Super at around £1K are out of my budget, just to make it clear).

I've been buying bits to make a "nice", I hope, P3. Unused RB220 was found at a good price along with a new E3. Also bought an external rewiring upgrade kit. I really wanted one of those alloy sub-platters but they seem pricey. That'll have to wait... So all in all I will soon have something that should play some records.

Q: is it worth going for the Thorens which is cheap but probably needs a service? Or just forget about it and continue down the P3 route? Which sound the most amazing? (I will over time try and upgrade the cart)

Thanks
 

Al ears

Moderator
Thorens made excellent turntables for the most part and I guess it will depend on how proficient you are yourself at working on turntables.
It could become expensive if you start off with one that is not in great condition to start with.
The Rega will be simpler to work on obviously but you'll end up with a deck with the usual Rega limitations.
To be honest it is often more expensive putting together an old turntable than it is just going out and buying a new one particularly when you consider development over the years and the prices they can be obtained for these days.
If you already have bits for the Rega then it would seem best if you continued down that route.
 
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momo72

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2014
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Thanks Al. It's sometimes difficult to think with one's head rather one's heart.
As a novice, the learning curve on how to work on the TD would probably quite steep (and painful and/or costly). You're probably right.
I did play with the idea of getting a brand new P3 but for now I think I'll build up the old one and try to enjoy that over the few months/years even who knows.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
I have resurrected a few old decks but I think I know what I am doing and what I am getting myself into. As a novice it is not easy because you can often end up with a deck that is actually worse than the old deck was when first released.
There's upgrades and there's not if you know what I mean.
The Rega decks are easy to work on with it not being a turntable with suspension to deal with however not all upgrades for these are really upgrades in a financial sense.
 
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momo72

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2014
25
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TD150/TD124 are classics , TD160 was well under £200 new in its day
P3 if parts are cheap worth a rebuild or just use the donar rega parts & add a party frock from SRM
or get a modern TT like a rega P1/2 or £450 gets a shiny brand new project debut carbon evo

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO Turntable Review | StereoNET United Kingdom
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View attachment 1825
That's a nice TT there. I remember seeing this deck. Not sure where though... :D
Is that some aftermarket upgrade kit (from ebay?)?
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Firstly, I know nothing about the Thorens range. I've seen TD150, TD160, Super, The Super at around £1K are out of my budget
I've had a 160 Super from new and very much like it.
Last time I looked someone was asking £600 for one, I thought they were taking advantage of the demand.
But £1000 :eek: that's excessive.
Wouldn't have thought they'd get that for it, but I suppose if the demand is there......
 
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momo72

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2014
25
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10,545
Quick system update:
- I manage to sell the RP1 for a decent price (nearly covered 100% of below purchase)
- I picked up the TD166 mk2
- Now fitted with cartridge (E3) and sounding quite nice
- Also added a phono stage (Thorens MM-008)
 
Last edited:

ProgDr

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2021
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I spent a lot of money hot-rodding an older Planar 3, added the usual whitebelt, then subplatter, 24v AC motor upgrade, acrylic platter, upgraded counterweight, rewired the arm, added the TPPSU, SRM Isobase (dust magnet), VTA Adjuster and a decent Denon cartridge.
It was a great experiment and loved it until i listened to a friends Thorens TD309 and realised i could have saved a lot of time and money.
I am now the proud owner of a Thorens TD309 with Goldring G2500 cartridge, the Swagman PSU and MM008 preamplifier and very happy with the sound i get.
There is nothing wrong with the Rega, and hot rodding a Rega gives you a better Rega sound but it will always sound like a Rega.
 
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