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Thorens TD 166 MK II VS Rega RP1

tomos watson

Novice Member
ok so iv had a Thorens TD 166 MK II for about a year. It was my first turntable for my 20th birthday.
This month i'm upgrading my amp and speakers as iv been using a crappy old pioneer sa-420 amp i got for £20 and some old beat up tannoy m 15 speakers that don't sound great.

I'm probably going the get the Marantz PM5004 amp from richer sounds its on sale for £154

And some Q Acoustics 2020i speakers with some stands - i'm not 100 percent decided on speakers yet as i haven't heard them yet but they are in my budget and have read good reviews. around £160 in richer sounds

My question is i got the Thorens used and i'm no expert on turntables and i don't even know if i have the arm set up right with the weight etc
It has a nagaoka mp11 cart on it which came with it.
i replaced the belt to a genuine thorens one but that's all iv done since buying it and i just play it the way it came when i purchased it so i'm not sure if i'm getting the most out of it.

i was wondering when i upgrade my amp and speakers would i be better off buying a brand new Rega RP1 with performance pack and selling my thorens or keeping the thorens and maybe replacing the needle or making adjustments to it or maybe looking into setting the arm properly.

The rega seems a lot simpler to me with regards to setting up the arm and just in general and obviously i would be buying new so wouldn't have any worries that anything needs tweaking or looking at/servicing but i'm guessing the Thorens is a better turntable?

so keep the thorens or sell and get a brand new Rega?
sorry for babbling
any advice would be appreciated
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
You don't seem to have a lot of money, as such, if the Thorens is complete and working, save you money or put it into a better amp and speakers.

I would advise you to look at this thread where I make essentially the same recommendations I would make here -

Advice? | AVForums

For an absolute minimum system the PM5004 and the Q Acoustic 2020i are OK, but I don't see that system satisfying you for long.

The Yamaha AS300 (60w/ch, £189) and the Denon PMA-720 (50w/ch , £175) are better values. Combine that with the Wharfedale Diamond 121 or Diamond 122, and you will have a system that can last you for years to come. Both amps have Turntable/Phono inputs.

Though in the linked thread I recommend several possible amps and speakers. I'm not criticizing the PM5004, it was well reviewed. But I think you can get more for you money.

I would rather see you step up your amp and speakers right now, and deal with a turntable upgrade later.

Still ... your choice.

Steve/bluewizard
 

tomos watson

Novice Member
You don't seem to have a lot of money, as such, if the Thorens is complete and working, save you money or put it into a better amp and speakers.

I would advise you to look at this thread where I make essentially the same recommendations I would make here -

Advice? | AVForums

For an absolute minimum system the PM5004 and the Q Acoustic 2020i are OK, but I don't see that system satisfying you for long.

The Yamaha AS300 (60w/ch, £189) and the Denon PMA-720 (50w/ch , £175) are better values. Combine that with the Wharfedale Diamond 121 or Diamond 122, and you will have a system that can last you for years to come. Both amps have Turntable/Phono inputs.

Though in the linked thread I recommend several possible amps and speakers. I'm not criticizing the PM5004, it was well reviewed. But I think you can get more for you money.

I would rather see you step up your amp and speakers right now, and deal with a turntable upgrade later.

Still ... your choice.

Steve/bluewizard

thanks for the help steve, ill be going to richer sounds soon hopefully so i will ask if i can hear the two amps you mentioned compared to the marantz,
ill have a listen to the 121 speakers too as they are in my budget going by richer sounds prices, only thing slightly off putting is the look of them, i know it's very vain but looks do play a part in my choice.
i like the look of the MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE BX1 and the BX2 you mentioned in the other thread how do they compare to the Wharfedales? I think i heard once they can be harsh?

and are the q acoustics 2020i not great? id heard some good reviews on them
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Q Acoustic 2020i sound great, but they have limited bass response, only down to about 65hz. Though, that's not terrible, but for the same money, you can get better and deeper speakers.

Steve/bluewizard
 

tomos watson

Novice Member
The Q Acoustic 2020i sound great, but they have limited bass response, only down to about 65hz. Though, that's not terrible, but for the same money, you can get better and deeper speakers.

Steve/bluewizard

Ok, how do the MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE BX1 and the BX2 compare to the wharfedale 121's? Is it true they are a bit harsh sounding? The bx2 are in clearance in my local richer sounds for £224, seems a good price.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Monitor Audio BX1 is roughly the equivalent to the Diamond 121. The Monitor Audio BX2 is the equivalent of the Diamond 122.

The Monitor Audio (either one) has a bit deeper bass, actually pretty amazing for a bookshelf speaker. But the rumor is that the Monitor Audio are also a bit crisper, a bit brighter, though not excessively so. The Diamonds are a bit smoother and more balanced. They both have something of a distinct sound, neither is better than the other, they are similarly priced, it is just a matter or which one you prefer.

There is no wrong choice, only the choice that appeals to your more.

If you go to AV Land UK on YouTube, you can find some video reviews -





AV Land doesn't have them but you should be able to find reviews on the BX series.

steve/bluewizard
 

tomos watson

Novice Member
The Monitor Audio BX1 is roughly the equivalent to the Diamond 121. The Monitor Audio BX2 is the equivalent of the Diamond 122.

The Monitor Audio (either one) has a bit deeper bass, actually pretty amazing for a bookshelf speaker. But the rumor is that the Monitor Audio are also a bit crisper, a bit brighter, though not excessively so. The Diamonds are a bit smoother and more balanced. They both have something of a distinct sound, neither is better than the other, they are similarly priced, it is just a matter or which one you prefer.

There is no wrong choice, only the choice that appeals to your more.

If you go to AV Land UK on YouTube, you can find some video reviews -





AV Land doesn't have them but you should be able to find reviews on the BX series.

steve/bluewizard


thanks again steve very helpful

2 last questions

would you recommend buying new or maybe going used on ebay to save more money?

and do you think i should upgrade my cart whilst i'm at it or is the nagaoka mp11 ok?

thanks again
tom
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Used is fine ... if you know your equipment ...and... IF you are sure you can trust the seller.

Steve/bluewizard
 

tomos watson

Novice Member
Used is fine ... if you know your equipment ...and... IF you are sure you can trust the seller.

Steve/bluewizard

HI Steve thought i would get back to you

i ended up with the marantz pm6004 and the Monitor audio BX2'S

i set them up today and too start the sound wasn't great and quite muffled so i wasn't sure if i had them wired properly because it sounded a lot better when i listened to them in richer sounds, so i re did it and it seemed slightly better, after about an hour of listening it started to sound better and better. i'm guessing they sounded better in the shop because they had the best speaker cable possible? i'm also listening through my record player where as in the shop it was from the guys ipad or something. they do sound very nice and a step up from my old speakers but maybe not as well as they seemed to sound in richer sounds! i am using some cheap Cambridge audio ultra micro speaker cable would i be better buying some Van damme blue? or would it not change much?

i am happy with the set up but i feel like i'm not getting the full potential from the speakers but maybe im over thinking it.
just to make sure i have the speaker cable bare into the top two gold things on the bx2's + into red and - into black and i have bare cable into the marantz, would banana plugs make any difference?

sorry for all the questions

regards
Tom
 
Tom,

What do you feel they're missing compared to what you heard at the shop?

First thing, they may improve over the next few days/weeks as the speakers loosen up and bed in.

Have you tried playing with the speaker position. Toeing them in/out slightly can make a massive difference to the sound. Also moving them nearer/further from the rear wall may increase/decrease bass if that's lacking.

Buying better speaker cable may improve things ever so slightly but won't make a huge difference. I've had £2.50/m cable and £150/m cable. There definitely is a difference but it's not huge by any means!
 

tomos watson

Novice Member
Tom,

What do you feel they're missing compared to what you heard at the shop?

First thing, they may improve over the next few days/weeks as the speakers loosen up and bed in.

Have you tried playing with the speaker position. Toeing them in/out slightly can make a massive difference to the sound. Also moving them nearer/further from the rear wall may increase/decrease bass if that's lacking.

Buying better speaker cable may improve things ever so slightly but won't make a huge difference. I've had £2.50/m cable and £150/m cable. There definitely is a difference but it's not huge by any means!

hi

well im not too sure i cant put my finger on it

im a newbie to this stuff but to me its lacking maybe the clarity and detail i heard in the shop and also a bit of bass too

the amp is a b stock, it was purchased from quite a well known shop but its a shop that sells b stock stuff that the brands send them at a cheaper price could it be the amp?

it doesn't sound like a huge step up from my last set up which is disappointing as it did in the shop

or maybe its my old stylus, iv never replaced it im quite puzzled

its not that it sounds bad just not as good
 

twoeyedbob

Active Member
not quite sure how you can wire 2 speaker's to an amp 'wrong'..
It may be that there was less/more soft furnishing in the shop.. thereby changing the sound to what you have now..
Your maybe expecting too much.. whether equipment is old or new doesnt really matter .. it was working..
amps and speakers havent really moved on in any way (certainly 2 channel amps anyway) they still do the same thing they always did.. as steve said your best bet is playing with speaker positioning.. dont expect much change with cable.. as long as you arent running bellwire any difference will be unnoticeable after the initial excitement... certainly was with me anyway
 

tomos watson

Novice Member
not quite sure how you can wire 2 speaker's to an amp 'wrong'..
It may be that there was less/more soft furnishing in the shop.. thereby changing the sound to what you have now..
Your maybe expecting too much.. whether equipment is old or new doesnt really matter .. it was working..
amps and speakers havent really moved on in any way (certainly 2 channel amps anyway) they still do the same thing they always did.. as steve said your best bet is playing with speaker positioning.. dont expect much change with cable.. as long as you arent running bellwire any difference will be unnoticeable after the initial excitement... certainly was with me anyway

Ye the richer sounds listening room is a lot smaller and also carpet where as my bedroom is larger and laminate flooring, not sure how much difference that makes! richer sounds have a new deal of the week on the pm6005 at £268 iv decided ill return the b stock pm6004 for a full refund and buy the pm6005 brand new as with the delivery the b stock came to £212 had i seen the richer sounds deal i would never of gone for the b stock one! for an extra £50 i may as well go brand new and a newer model! and for the dac i suppose! i will see if it makes any difference and get back to you all!

also does anyone know how i would connect my iphone to the amp? an ipod dock?

thanks for all the help
 

Quadfan

Novice Member
It is possible to get a conversion plate to mount a Rega RB250 arm on to the TD166, I've got one that has THORENS printed on it. Unfortunately the guy who did mine has retired so I cannot supply a link but it is a worthwhile upgrade to that turntable. As for the cartridge, they are excellent and even better with the Stilton Audio modified body (Gev Jones who fitted my arm had the body 'laying around' in his workshop and asked me if I wanted it but getting the alignment right was a nightmare as the body mount is circular not square as the standard one is, I think that is why he offered me it after he'd fitted my standard one on)
 

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