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Back to new table faq

 In Reply to: What do I need to set up my first Thorens? posted by Brother GD on October 06, 2002 at 22:30:00:

For years I just followed the instructions in my Thorens user manual.  And if you do follow the user manual setup procedure just as Thorens describes it, complete with the TP60 head shell alignment device, you will be somewhere in the alignment ball park and this won't harm your records.


The above picture shows the plastic alignment jig and assorted plastic mounting shims and steel screws.  This comes standard with the TD160 MK 1 when you buy it new.  The user manual shows you how to use it.  The shims and screws can be purchased even now at : [email protected]  The jig is NLA but can be found used occasionally on ebay and when you buy a used TD160 MK 1 from some of the more careful turntable owners still out there.

User manual available for download here: 

However, if you'd like to get more accurate in your alignment geometry and achieve better sound with your TP16 Mk 1 tonearm, try the following:

1) Use a two point protractor that employs the Baerwald alignment theorem. A good example of this can be had when you buy the HFNRR test record. More about the test record later.

2) Get a cheap $20 Shure SFG-2 stylus pressure scale for setting VTF.

3) Print out the cartridge alignment tutorials that are available in the FAQ section at The Audio Asylum. Here:



and here:


Do read some of the articles listed in the turntable FAQ at Audio Asylum. There is a wealth of information there that answer most if not all questions that could possibly be imagined.

4) Do buy the HFNRR test record and use it once you've mounted and aligned your cartridge to the protractor and made preliminary settings for VTF and VTA. The test record will prove more accurate than the scale settings on your TP16 for setting anti-skate. This will also help you diagnose problems with your mounting and current condition of pivot bearings.

5) Review the Alignment FAQ here at The Analog Dept to get familiar with alignment terminology like VTF, VTA, Overhang, Effective Length, Pivot to Spindle distance, azimuth, SRA, etc. 

6) The TD160 also requires occasional tuning and maintenance of the suspended platter/tonearm sub-chassis. There is another tutorial for this here:  http://www.theanalogdept.com/susp_tim_bailey.htm

When sorting out a recently purchased used Thorens, I would most certainly look through the suspension to correct whatever errors exist there. One preliminary check would be to get a ruler and measure from the bottom of the outer platter rim to the top surface of the turntable at three points around the perimeter. If you find the distance to vary more than 1/8 inch, adjustment will be advisable and worth the effort.

7) If you don't live on a solid, concrete floor, get a wall shelf for your Thorens to stand on. The benefits will be obvious.

The TD160 is an old and inexpensive used turntable with very good build quality. When correctly tuned, it can offer extraordinary sound quality far beyond the price you paid, but it is also a turntable that needs to be "in tune" before it can do any of that.