Thorens TD 146

I found very little info on the 146. Much more on the 145/147. The tonearm looks a bit different than the 145 arm. I assume this a good performer for the money, going for $300-$600, depending on condition. My guess is it doesn’t reach lofty heights until the tonearm swapped out to a Jelco, SME, ..... I have an opportunity for a very clean one locally.


@dekay Yes the 145 has the autostop and auto lifting feature.

I have one in my storage unit and it is darn near perfect.

I bought a TD146 in, I believe, 1984 and used it for about 25 years. The TP-11 MkII tonearm was a bit different than I was used to seeing on Thorens tables. Instead of a removable headshell, the tonearm on the 146 had a removable wand (TP-63) with integrated headshell and the anti-skating was adjusted by moving a string-suspended weight, instead of a knob-selected setting.

The 146 had an auto-lift and shut-off mechanism which utilized an optical sensor that sensed the faster arm movement in the lead-out groove. This generally worked well unless the record had been stamped off-center. I had two LP's and quite a few of the large-hole 45 RPM singles that were stamped enough off-center that the arm would lift before the last song was finished.

It's likely that there was an adjustment that could have corrected this but it occurred so seldom that I lived with it. 

How limited would my cartridge choices be with the lower mass 146 arm? I assume  the Denon 103, and wood/other versions of the 103, need not apply. The 146 is local to me, and the asking price is $600, but it's apparently minty. I can't help but think about spending around $1200, and the jump in performance that might buy. Something like the Linn that popped up here with the Valhalla PS. It's under $1500, and the arm looks pretty serious. No affiliation with the seller as I digress. (-:


Maybe the "auto shut-off" is the feature I confused with "lift"...

Man - that was a long time ago.

Anyway, I feel that many of the old Thorens belt drives can sound extremely good, but this is taking into consideration condition and setup (which includes properly matching the cartridge to the arm).

I’m a long term Thorens fan and truly enjoy the sound of the TD125II/SME combo I’ve been using the past 20 years.

I preferred my 160/SME combos to the TD121/124 models (used the same SME arms on them), but this was before high mass plinths and other tweaks were considered.

The 121/124 had less detailed/fatter bass and lacked the "reverb/air" quality of the light weight 160’s (most noticeable in the mid’s to the HF’s).

Both of my belt/idler drive decks (121/124) had the crappy pull-out plinths used in console installations and I never though of/considered building something better.


This was in that late 70's/early 80's and I never paid more than $40 for any of the decks (purchased from some local Los Angeles for sale rag that I think had "trader" in the name).

My TD125/SME combo was purchased (Ebay) around 2001 for $200 plus $25 shipping (buy it now ad that I came across in the early morning hours)

I offered the seller more shipping money for quality packing and they replied don't worry about it.

The container received was the size of the container our, new then, wall oven arrived in and it cost a lot more than $25 to ship.

A few days later I received another parcel that contained the dust cover, which I had previously told them that I did not want.

The seller was a HiFi shop on the East coast (DC/Boston area maybe) that was cleaning out it's storage rooms.

Wish I had stocked up on WE 300B's back then.


What model Linn deck/arm (many were paired with low mass arms)?

Off the top of my head AT and Ortofon have current model high compliance offerings and, and hopefully others will chime in with current production choices.

I use an old Grado Silver on my SME 3009 (non-improved) which has an effective mass of around 12-13 and it's fine.

Start by finding the spec's (effective mass) on your TP11 and also positively ID the specific TP11 model via online photos.

Then go from there.