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Bought a Thorens...questions, questions...blah blah etc

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  • Bought a Thorens...questions, questions...blah blah etc

    It's a holiday weekend and I know you all love a techie teaser...

    ...so, I bought a Thorens turntable, a TD 280 Mk 2 (yes, I know, 'that's not a proper Thorens', etc...) largely because I'm a Yorkshireman and the price was right - unfortunately (here it comes) it didn't come with a power supply. I thought I had an adaptor that would suffice, but mine only goes up to 12v and the jack wouldn't fit anyway. The sticker on the back advises;

    Umin =16V AC Imax = 150mA 50/60Khz- I have little idea what any of this means.

    Looking online, one wag suggests that I need an adaptor that's 16/17V AC , at least 150mA and preferably 300 or 500 (which seems to me to go against the sticker which says Imax) with either a 5.5 or 6mm jack.

    I'd hoped to go to Maplins tomorrow and get one of these as it seems the right wattage and has a few adaptor jacks but it seems every branch for miles around is out of stock - it'll take at least 3 days to get the order in and I'm already resigned to a wait before I can fire up the Thorens and see if it works.

    What I'd like to know from the VG+ Thorens brains trust is;

    Is this the right adaptor?

    Is it sufficient for the job?

    If not, what do I need? (bearing in mind that I'm a tightarse and trying to keep costs down...)
    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

  • #2
    Managed to find one on the 'bay that's for Pro-ject turntables but claims that it also works with Thorens - I'm hoping this will solve it!
    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

    Comment


    • #3
      That Maplin thing is useless for what you have and may harm the deck.

      You need a transformer with a secondary of 16 volts Alternating Current, rated for 150milli Amps or higher.
      Get a proper transformer (i.e. heavy- ish lump of iron), not a lightweight modern switched-mode Power supply as this will likely introduce electrical noise into the audio.

      You will also need a connector on the end that fits whatever socket the Thorens has. Polarity is not a problem as it is AC. If in doubt post a photo.
      "THIS IS A FINE TAPE AND BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR WHEN THE MUSIC WORLD WAS GOOD AND NOT FOULED UP BY THE LONG HAIR SCURVES WHO JUST BEAT WILDLY ON ANYTHING AND COME UP WITH A LOT OF STUPID NOISE THat only damnfools and liars say they like it"

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      • #4
        Thanks for that ET - Hope you don't think me rude, I was going to reply last night but it seems Leicester City broke the internet! - I thought the Maplin thing looked a bit flimsy - I've invested in the transformer pictured below which I'm hoping will pass muster and I'm awaiting delivery - it may still need an adaptor to plug into the Thorens so Maplin may yet be getting a visit...

        you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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        • #5
          Yes, that ought to be fine.
          "THIS IS A FINE TAPE AND BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR WHEN THE MUSIC WORLD WAS GOOD AND NOT FOULED UP BY THE LONG HAIR SCURVES WHO JUST BEAT WILDLY ON ANYTHING AND COME UP WITH A LOT OF STUPID NOISE THat only damnfools and liars say they like it"

          Comment


          • #6
            I love my Thorens, it sounds great and is a thing of beauty but the belt always either doesn't switch from 33 to 45 properly or if it was previously playing at 45 just pops off the motor wheel, meaning I have to remove the platter. I've tried various belt sizes which have all been guaranteed to be the right one and some work for a few months then it's the same old story.

            It's beginning to drive me a bit mental & has turned into a bit of a barrier for me playing records (45s at least) If I had a spare bunch of cash I'd be tempted to return to direct drive.

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            • #7
              I've had that problem too. There's a screw by the motor pulley which lets you adjust where the belt sits. Often a tinker with that will sort it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Striker View Post
                I love my Thorens, it sounds great and is a thing of beauty but the belt always either doesn't switch from 33 to 45 properly or if it was previously playing at 45 just pops off the motor wheel, meaning I have to remove the platter. I've tried various belt sizes which have all been guaranteed to be the right one and some work for a few months then it's the same old story.

                It's beginning to drive me a bit mental & has turned into a bit of a barrier for me playing records (45s at least) If I had a spare bunch of cash I'd be tempted to return to direct drive.
                Yes, belt drives can be a bit of a pain. Generally if a belt is too slack the it will fall off the pulley; also if the rubber is getting a bit past it (ie. stiff), then it will fall off the pulley far more easily during a speed change.

                I find it a nuisance having to continually ensure the belt is in good condition as they deteriorate whether you use them or not - lose elasticity, stretch, get 'elbows' in 'em if sat on one position for any length of time, crack/split, even turn to goo some cases... giving rise to the mechanical faults you mention or speed fluctuations. I'm more of an idler or direct drive man myself, they are pretty much zero maintenance.
                "THIS IS A FINE TAPE AND BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR WHEN THE MUSIC WORLD WAS GOOD AND NOT FOULED UP BY THE LONG HAIR SCURVES WHO JUST BEAT WILDLY ON ANYTHING AND COME UP WITH A LOT OF STUPID NOISE THat only damnfools and liars say they like it"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Striker View Post
                  I love my Thorens, it sounds great and is a thing of beauty but the belt always either doesn't switch from 33 to 45 properly or if it was previously playing at 45 just pops off the motor wheel, meaning I have to remove the platter. I've tried various belt sizes which have all been guaranteed to be the right one and some work for a few months then it's the same old story.

                  It's beginning to drive me a bit mental & has turned into a bit of a barrier for me playing records (45s at least) If I had a spare bunch of cash I'd be tempted to return to direct drive.
                  Well, I've got it powered up now (although the power supply plug in seems a little 'loose') and so we come to the next problem - exactly as Striker describes it above. It's a very odd design, the way the 'tulip' spindle allows the belt to fall away a bit and the way it then rides up as the power kicks in. I read some advice online which said that the old lubricant stops the clutch (outer ring) mechanism from slipping freely and thus if you grabbed and held it for a few seconds, this would free the clutch and things would improve.

                  It worked for a little while but still the belt leapt off if you stopped it or particularly if you wanted to switch to 45. I then thought I'd attempt to 'talc' the belt - unfortunately the local shop only had Johnson's Baby Powder which I'm not sure was the best choice as after that it wouldn't stay on at all! I don't know how long it's all been sitting idle so I've ordered a new belt (supposedly the correct 4mm size) from Thakker and some isopropane alcohol to give everything a good cleanup before I have another attempt - I'll keep you posted. Anybody have an idea what it might cost to get it serviced and what that entails?

                  It occurs to me now that this subject isn't perhaps the most music related so if the mods wan't to shift it to the 'NRR' section please feel free. Also I probably picked the wrong week to add a Philips 202 Electronic Turntable (complete with the legendary 'Philips goo') and matching 22 RH 790 Tuner Amp to my collection, but they are things of great beauty, I can't resist a bargain/money pit and they say good things come in threes - probably time to start bothering Ben and his friends on the UK Vintage Radio Repair Forum....anyway, thanks for sharing your experience - here's a bit of vintage hi-fi pron to sustain us all...

                  you can hear colours when they rhyme...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great news - fitted the new drive belt from Thakker to the Thorens TD-280 and it's working just fine now, switching speeds with no dramas and I'm appreciating the way it draws out the full range of sound from the vinyl and separates it with great finesse bringing a very satisfying listening experience. My usually bass heavy system has suddenly been tamed!

                    In other news, I spent Saturday afternoon removing the 'goo' from the Philips 202 using a cunning 3 stage process of bathroom cream cleanser (careful now!), and then acetone on the stubborn bits followed by a thorough clean up with isopropyl alcohol. I can report that the oily tar-like residue is every bit the nightmare that others have reported - take care not to get it anywhere it shouldn't be as it's a right bugger to shift. There's a tiny bit still hiding in the unreachable crannies of the motor pulley, but this shouldn't cause a problem I hope.

                    Fitted a new belt (again from Thakker), played it through the Philips 790 tuner amp and in the absence of some period Philips 'Hi-Fi International' speakers, put it through some 21st century Philips speakers with the 'w00x' bass radiators - the results were way beyond my expectations with a lovely rich deep sound that I had no right to expect from equipment this old. The only issue is that the 'power on' light doesn't work on the tuner amp - not bad for stuff from 1969-71 though, eh? Might seek out those vintage speakers now to complete the look - I'm an extremely happy chicken!
                    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                      . I can report that the oily tar-like residue is every bit the nightmare that others have reported - take care not to get it anywhere it shouldn't be as it's a right bugger to shift. There's a tiny bit still hiding in the unreachable crannies of the motor pulley, but this shouldn't cause a problem I hope.
                      Believe me, it will cause a problem. That tar will end up contaminating the new belt and cause some flutter. Get some toothpicks and go to work on that pulley, you need to get all that crud out. If all else fails the edge of a sheet of paper (perhaps with some alcohol) should coax out the rest.

                      Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to track down the original speakers, They tended to be by far the weakest point in these systems. I also have some 1990s-era Philips 2-way speakers, and they blow most comparable kit from 'back then' out of the water.

                      And well done for getting all that kit up and running!
                      "THIS IS A FINE TAPE AND BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR WHEN THE MUSIC WORLD WAS GOOD AND NOT FOULED UP BY THE LONG HAIR SCURVES WHO JUST BEAT WILDLY ON ANYTHING AND COME UP WITH A LOT OF STUPID NOISE THat only damnfools and liars say they like it"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eclectiktronik View Post
                        well done for getting all that kit up and running!
                        Why, thank you sir - I must admit for my first dabbling with vintage hi-fi I'm very pleased with the results.

                        Originally posted by eclectiktronik View Post
                        That tar will end up contaminating the new belt and cause some flutter. Get some toothpicks and go to work on that pulley, you need to get all that crud out. If all else fails the edge of a sheet of paper (perhaps with some alcohol) should coax out the rest.
                        Yes, it did occur to me that contamination might be an issue - ideally I would have liked to remove the motor pulley and give it a good soak to loosen up the goo, but this would have been getting a bit out of my depth - as it was it was difficult enough to clean without residue dripping down into the works - I tucked a bit of sponge down there to protect them. It is just a very teensy amount trapped in the gaps between the motor pulley components, but I shall follow your sage advice and take some toothpicks to it, Ben. While I had the platter off I also noticed that an exposed spongey bit that I think would be part of the suspension mounting had denatured somewhat (it is 45 years old!), causing the tone arm to sit a little off kilter, but a small piece of folded over J-Cloth wedged in there seemed to fix this, at least for now.

                        Originally posted by eclectiktronik View Post
                        Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to track down the original speakers, They tended to be by far the weakest point in these systems. I also have some 1990s-era Philips 2-way speakers, and they blow most comparable kit from 'back then' out of the water.
                        I take your point, but as this is largely a 'beauty' system, I guess looks matter. I think the turntable and tuner/amp originally came as a package with a reel to reel (which doesn't really interest me) but I can't pin down the speaker type originally supplied. It may have been the 22 RH 496 speakers, but a pair of 426s would suffice for my needs, or perhaps even smaller since there are two sets of speaker outputs, one for 4-8 ohms (currently hosting the 6 ohm w00xs) and the other for 8 ohms.

                        These old speakers do look particularly cool with their 'Hi-Fi International' badges, but also seem to command a fair price - anyway, I'm in no particular hurry, so I can wait for a bargain. Thanks for your help and advice Ben, much appreciated.
                        you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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