Can an old Thorens Table be "Over Dampend" to the point where sound is adversely effected?


I am sure this topic is not new but I would like a new take on it...So the question is: Can one Over Dampen an older suspension chassis Thorens like a 125,145,160,166 etc.? I am only (in this post) regarding the exposed inner wood of the plinth like the base and inner walls. I have heard in some venues that it is easy to over dampen and KILL the dynamics of one of these older tables...Are they referring to more of the damping of the motor, platter, suspension parts etc. basically the metal parts or any damping? What are your thoughts?

Thanks!
Ag insider logo xs@2xrikintpa

I’m with you on this Raul. The "too controlled" sound some characterize the Rock as possessing is imo the lack of table/arm/cartridge resonances. But then I’m a London user, and it benefits more than most other cartridges from the damping!

Geoch, the damping trough actually WAS offered as a separate item by Townshend years ago. It can be added to any table which has it’s platter and armboard attached to the plinth. In other words, it can be added to any non-suspended table, and even suspended designs such as the VPI HW-19. It obviously can not be used on the Linn, Acoustic Research, or any other suspended sub-chassis design where the platter and arm are separated from the plinth by springs. The little tube that is mounted on the arm’s headshell and is immersed in the trough’s damping fluid MUST move in tandem with the structure the arm and platter are mounted to. If that sounds confusing, one look at the design will explain all. And no, my separate trough is NOT for sale!

Dear Raul,
I was not even thinking about "massive turntable platters" at all.
For what it's worth, I was talking about the overall structure in the most general terms.  Re "lead" (the metal, Pb): I think constrained layer damping works very well based on personal experience.  This would lead (the verb "to lead) one to favor a sandwich of disparate materials that do not differ to much in coefficient of energy transfer among them. Beyond this clarification, I don't want to get too involved in this discussion, much less get into an argument with you which can only lead to the accusation that I love distortion.  I think or thought we both favored unsuspended vs suspended turntables.  Anyway, I do.
We all have our opinions and whatever works in our environment and circumstances -- even with the same turntable, may not work for another individual.

I have a Thorens TD160 Super that I bought back in the 80's, and I have worked with it trying numerous damping and other upgrades to get the best playback. Some were, more or less, successful -- at least to my ears, and when it comes down to it, that is all that matters -- how it sounds to you. After all, you are the one who paid for it and listen to it -- not some pompous know-it-all on YouTube, who goes around being paid to tell you what you can, should, or will be hearing. Take them with a pinch of salt and as a basic guideline -- not as the holy grail.

The floating panel upon which the platter's bearing and tonearm arm board are attached already is dampened already; however, the bearing is now surrounded with Sorbothane washers to help stop bearing noise, and the bearing rests upon a small Teflon disk inserted into the bottom of the bearing to help stop friction. The tonearm has an extremely micro thin layer of special material that is between the tonearm base and the arm board to stop the intense arm resonance from hitting the arm board and returning to the stylus. The arm board was custom made of aircraft grade aluminum to accommodate my Signet XK50 tonearm. The motor has had a Sorbothane band put around it to again absorb motor vibration, and there has been applied a lubricated ball-bearing to the motor to lift the motor armature and prevent premature wear (like the spindle bearing and help with any vibration of the motor. The bottom particle board that was under the table was replaced by a very thick, high-quality acrylic board with four tiptoes to help with footfalls and speaker feedback.  The original particle board was covered with felt and used between the new turntable acrylic board and the wall bracket's base supported by spikes upon which the turntable rests as it sits on the heavy metal wall bracket supporting the turntable.

Sorbothane was placed between the wall bracket and the wall, and also surrounds the spikes that support the bracket's base. The sub-platter as well as the main platter has felt glued to the underside to prevent the metal from ringing. An acrylic combination with Sorbothane by SOTA completes the platter's deadness and is topped with a SOTA Clamp to couple the vinyl to the SOTA mat.

The tonearm wire to the phono stage was replaced with Teflon Straightwire. These changes occurred over many years -- not adding everything at one time. As I found something either added or diminished the sound, I went on from there to see what could be further improved. It also allows one to hear what each step accomplishes or does not accomplish to your ear's satisfaction. 

Russmakeartist,

Although some of the materials I have used varies from yours, I concur with your application and too found that it has improved the sound of the 150's and 160's series of tables.