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Dallas, Texas, United States
Cline Analog

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thorens TD-316 Rebuild

The TD-316 - Reborn!

I had it in my head that I had to stay on track with the production turntable I'm working on when this great, but damaged TD dropped into my lap.  With my shop now set up and ready to go, and a really beautiful slab of flamed maple in my possession, I got the bug to build!

It came without an arm, and with a giant chunk
of one corner of the plinth missing.

It wasn't difficult to get measurements from the old plinth and transfer them to the blank maple slab.  I did, however spend a good bit of time deciding which surface would be the top, and then which would be the front.  With that part sorted out I cut the slab down to size, and then used my router table and a straight bit to plane the edges.  Then, I drilled out the motor and spindle holes, and sorted out where the electrics would be located.

The maple is still pretty much intact, and gives a good weight and solid feel to the turntable

After that I used my random orbit palm sander to do an 80-120-220-320 sanding on all the surfaces of the plinth to prepare it for its lacquer finish.  For this project I chose a spray gloss lacquer with no staining to reveal the natural beauty of the wood.  After 15 coats of lacquer, with very light buffing using   a 000 steel wool in between each coat, I was ready to finish the build.

Sub-Platter in place.

From there, the only thing left to do was to determine which tonearm to use.  I had recently rewired and refurbished this old Acos/Rega R200, and it seemed like the perfect candidate for the job.  After a few careful and precise measurements, and a little work with the drill press, the arm was in place!

This arm originally came on the Rega Planet turntable from the early 1970's

After some testing, a little work on the grounding, and several hours of just playing time, the rebuilt TD-316 is ready for service.  I just can't decide if I should keep it, or try to sell it.  (Eventually that's the whole point - to make a little side money doing something I really enjoy.)

I added the platter dampening rings, then auditioned it with my
Dynavector 10x5 cartridge and the sound is simply amazing!

You can see two feet in the three-point stance in this shot.  Very stable,
and sonically preferred by many audiophiles.


As the first post to this blog, this will be brief.  As many of you know, I've been working on building turntables for some time now.  The first was successful, if not anything particularly amazing to look at, and now the second turntable is completed!

My first attempt.

As I move forward I'll give you all continuing updates on my projects, and a look around the shop.

The latest - a Thorens TD316 rebuild - more pics to come.

Thanks for taking a minute to check out the Pivot to Spindle!