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Any relationship with Linn & Thorens?


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I picked up a Thorens TD 160 II and am seeing a lot of similarities to the LP12 in the design.  Was there any relationship back then or did they both come up with a good design independently?  Thx

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Nope, there are many turntables of the 70s and 80s that followed a very similar format.

The only "relationship" turntable for the LP12 was with Ariston, which is a very well worn story with factions, court battles, conspiracy theories and possibly one or two facts.

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All suspended TTs can be traced back to the Acoustic Research AR Turntable. I think the TD150 came out after followed by the TD160, and the Ariston RD11 closely (but not coincidentally) followed by the LP12.

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3 hours ago, Lawrence001 said:

All suspended TTs can be traced back to the Acoustic Research AR Turntable. I think the TD150 came out after followed by the TD160, and the Ariston RD11 closely (but not coincidentally) followed by the LP12.

Speaking of the AR turntable  - from a very recent Stereophile post by Michael Fremer: 

I recently got hold of an old AR turntable—a rare TA model, which has two motors, one of them to get the platter spinning in the correct direction. It didn't include a headshell, so I ordered a 3D-printed one on eBay for $50 and to honor the late Len Gregory (aka "The Cartridge Man"). I installed in it the original Cartridge Man Music Maker cartridge that starts life as a Grado moving iron design. This one had been sitting in its red pill box for more than 20 years. I placed a Funk Firm Achromat on top of the bare platter and plugged it into The Vinyl.

Even with overhang unset (because at first I didn't know you could move the armtube to adjust it), the sound produced was laugh-out-loud sweet!

Anyone hearing this and thinking about getting into vinyl would stop thinking and start doing.

link here:  

https://www.stereophile.com/content/analog-corner-313-cyrus-audio-phono-signature-qhw-audio-vinyl-shaknspin-x-quisite-sut-x-20

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If my memory serves me well, when the LP12 first appeared its main rivals seemed to be the Ariston RD11, Fons CQ30 and ERA MK 6. I don’t recall much about the Thorens at the time. I ended up buying a Garrard Zero 100S - well we all make mistakes and paying £75 for a turntable, arm and cartridge was a bit unnecessary as all a TT had to do was go arounds at the right speed without wow or flutter or rumble. Now, where did I put my strain gauge cartridge. 

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I replaced my relatively early LP12 ('77ish) with a TD160S Mk2 and an Ultrcraft Unipivot back in the early 80s and certainly preferred it. I performed all sorts of tweaks on it (as one did back then) - hop-up parts from Switzerland included. I moved on to a Gyrodeck and then a Full spec Orbe but always kept the TD160 (in a box). The Orbe was fantastically revealing -probably as much down to the SME IV  as the TT itself  but one day I pulled out the TD160 again and the Orbe went to the HiFi classified! I finally replaced the Thorens with my current LP12 back in 2000. It was very good - and I really did like the Unipivot (would like another one day  - pity that the AO Uniarm  is no longer  available in its AO form  or I'd have one).

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The Thorens TD150 shared the same weakness as the original AR turntable - the arm.  Thorens changed it in the early 1970s but the replacement arms wasn't much better.  Most folks serious about their Thorens turntable bought the armless version and added an SME, Neat or Acos arm for a really nice setup.  The ultimate Thorens of the 1970s was a TD125 with SME 3009 arm and a Shure V15 cartridge.  Not saying that was the best available but it was good enough for me!

Fast-forward to the 1980s and the battle was over........................

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I’ve seen a very good graphic, a sort of family tree, that shows the Linn, Ariston, Thorens and AR, along with something I’ve never heard of the seemed to have come before even the Acoustic Research.  I think it’s on Vinyl Engine.  

It’s not so much that they were related, or necessarily copied, but we’re clearly adopting that ‘isolation by spring’ concept.  

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10 hours ago, Dasher said:

I really did like the Unipivot (would like another one day)

I had a Nottingham Analogue Space Deck for a good few years. i got fed up with the turntable and its idiosyncrasies, but I really liked its Unipivot Arm. I have no idea if it is practical to fit an Ace Space Arm to the LP12, but if it were then it might be worth a look. I did look at Naim ARO when I went for my current LP12 but preferred the Ekos SE. I thought the ARO uncomfortable to use and the Ekos SE sounded better. The Ace Space Arm had a superb build and I felt very comfortable using it. 
 

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Edited by Nestor Turton
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Had a Thorens TD166 mk 2 that I customised with a Hadcock arm. Gave good service until I bought my LP12. After that my brother had it for years.

Edited by Newton John
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9 hours ago, Newton John said:

Had a Thorens TD166 mk 2 that I customised with a Hadcock arm. Gave good service until I bought my LP12. After that my brother had it for years.

I'd forgotten but I had a Hadcock on mine for a time too. Really  nice but the set-up would wander out for no apparent reason.

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12 minutes ago, Dasher said:

I'd forgotten but I had a Hadcock on mine for a time too. Really  nice but the set-up would wander out for no apparent reason.

I too had a Hadcock (GH228?) or “Haddock” as the dealers used to call them. Can’t remember the set-up wandering, but it did seem to drink the silicone damping fluid. Finally changed it for a Grace G707.

’troll

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On 03/09/2021 at 07:57, Nestor Turton said:

If my memory serves me well, when the LP12 first appeared its main rivals seemed to be the Ariston RD11, Fons CQ30 and ERA MK 6. I don’t recall much about the Thorens at the time. I ended up buying a Garrard Zero 100S - well we all make mistakes and paying £75 for a turntable, arm and cartridge was a bit unnecessary as all a TT had to do was go arounds at the right speed without wow or flutter or rumble. Now, where did I put my strain gauge cartridge. 

image.thumb.jpeg.42bc10eb298fb42194dcafb7dff663f3.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.b3ea83b6aadb5972aac4624c980a15cc.jpeg
 

image.jpeg.aa1a3ca69c0fd012130c819451af7d4a.jpeg

The marketplace apparently was much more geo-fragmented in those days. I remember the ERA (cause I longed to own one, but couldn't afford it from my part-time jobs as a school boy), which was quite exotic in Germany those days. Thorens, a local brand, was much more popular over here, and something to step up from owning a Dual. My girl friend's parents had a Pioneer deck back then, which also sported a suspended design.

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