Thorens TD 150

Thorens TD 150 (1965) and TD 150 Mk. II (from 1969)
– the first suspended Thorens turntables


TD 150 with TP 13 tonearm – no antiskating

TD 150 Mk II with TP 13a – antiskating with threaded weight

AC synchronous motor, belt drive, 33 and 45 rpm, mechanically switched, platter weight 3.4 kg (with subplatter), platter and armbase suspended by three springs, manual operation



My story :

Here's the new text, from June 2013:

I got the TD 150 (first generation, TP 13, see the pictures below) in November 2012 in excellent shape from a collector.

The TD 150 from 1965 was one of the first suspended turntables - the platter and tonearm were "disconnected" from the motor (and its vibrations) by a spring-loaded subchassis.

The tonearm is the TP 13 with headshell TP 50 (the same as for TP 14 and TP 25). No antiskating. And you'll need a scale to adjust the tracking force.

The lift is integrated - the perspex cover has even an opening so that you can close the lid and let the needle down into the groove after that...

The large knob (front left) is simultaneously for ON/OFF and for 33/45. You press the knob down to start the motor and pull it up again to stop. A change between speeds is only possible when the platter turns - when the knob is pulled, you can't turn it.

The price of the TD 150 was 416 Deutsche Mark in 1968, including a cartridge (Stanton 500E), the perspex lid was 33 DM. For comparison: SME 3009 - 378 DM, McIntosh C-26 - 2770 DM.

Here's the older text:
I had two TD 150 Mk. II, and one of them is still in storage. I bought the first one with the original TP 13a tonearm, which is called “Kugelarm” in Germany because of its ball-shaped weights (ball=Kugel).

I didn’t like the arm because I felt that it looked much too old-fashioned for this timeless small turntable. And I didn’t have matching (fine threaded) screws in different lengths, so I had to stick with the one set of quite short screws that came with the turntable and this limited the choice of cartridges too much.

But I sold the arm with the armboard for almost the same amount that I paid for the whole turntable, and I got a Decca London International Unipivot instead.

A new armboard was easy to cut from thin MDF (medium density fibreboard).

This proved to be a fine match, and with the low compliant AKG P25 MD (from Austria) moving magnet cartridge this combo really sang.

Then I got another TD 150 Mk. II without tonearm but with an armboard drilled for the Rega RB 250. As a matter of fact I had one of these, and so I mounted it quickly and installed a Grado Reference Platinum.

But the Grado responded in a way Grados are known for – it hummed.

I had a spare Linn K5 which I equipped with the stylus of an AT 95 E from Audio Technica, and this worked, but not as smooth as the Decca/AKG-combination.

And I never liked the Rega tonearms despite the fact that they are very good for the price you have to pay for them. And it is quite heavy in comparison to the Decca so the suspension had to be adjusted in a way that I had the impression of an unbalanced system.

Because the TD 150 has a quite light plinth I decided to stabilize it with a heavier frame made of MDF which I built just a little bit larger than the original plinth so that the whole turntable (with original plinth) fitted into this new frame. Then I bolted the frame on the original plinth.

BTW both TD 150s came without the cardboard base plate and I always used them this way, I never felt the necessity to build a new one.

I had a SME 3009 R on the TD 150 too, but despite the fact it is also a quite heavy arm like the RB 250 it looked and felt right, especially with the new frame on the Thorens.

With the Empire MC Silver (now Benz MC Silver – high output moving coil cartridge) it sounded really fast and tight.

I sold the first TD 150 Mk II with the Decca tonearm to a friend, the remaining Thorens is stored for another light arm somewhere in the future.

System : Rogers E-20a integrated valve amplifier, Spendor BBC LS 3/5a, phonostages from Creek (OBH-8), Musical Fidelity (X-LP),
Linn (Linto), Brinkmann (Fein) and transformers from Denon (AU-320) and Ortofon (T-10, T-20).
Transformers connected to the Rogers’ integrated phonostage.

> Holger Trass 2003 <