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Thorens TD 150

Click image to enlargeCompared to the high priced, quality (and large) turntables of the sixties, the launch of the all new TD 150 turntable in 1965 with the distinguishedMotor name of Thorens at just over £20.00 was destined to be a winner. Not only did it look different to its predecessors with its slim, compact, modern look, it was also made in a completely different way. Gone was the idler wheel mechanism, replaced by a simple belt drive system that was driven by a minute multi-pole synchronous induction motor, with a diameter of just 40 mm!  It was this small motor and drive system that enabled the designers to make the 150 so slim and compact.

Fitted on the motor spindle as shown here on the left, is the belt pulley, machined to accommodate two belt positions, 33 rpm and 45 rpm, which works on the derailleur principle, directed by a claw operated by the 33/45 control knob.Click to enlargeThe speed control knob is directly linked to the speed control mechanism which is situated directly below. The speed control mechanism has a twofold existence, as it also operates the on/off micro switch located next to it.

Click to enlarge When the control indicator knob is at  position '0' the supply is cut and the spindle stops rotating.




Click to enlargeThe platter is in two sections, the inner has a diameter of 162 mm around which the belt fits, it also has on its underside a short 50 mm x 10 mm spindle with a captive ball bearing on its tip.

Click to enlargeOn the top surface of its outer edge, there is a small 12 mm x 3 mm step machined out of it, on which the 300 mm outer platter fits onto a less shallow corresponding shelf to its underside. Both sections have three finger lift holes.  Other than the weight of the outer platter resting onto the smaller inner section, no other means of securing the two section together exists.  That said, no more is required.

The main chassis of the unit is also in two steel parts, separated by three rubber damped coil springs.  The top section of these two parts carry the motor, cable connectors, belt claw and arm lift mechanism. Suspended on its underside, is the second section which is made-up of two steel members spot welded together forming a 'T' shape. The longer of the two sections runs from Chassisleft to right with the turntable bearing fitted at the centre and the shorter cross member runs from front to back on the right hand side to which the arm board is fitted. When in place, the top section is screwed to the wooden plinth and the bottom section is suspended on the underside, hence the term 'floating chassis'.  When the platter and pickup arm are in place, the weight imposed by them, pushes down onto the bottom section, effectively separating the two so that the arm board and platter/bearing are completely isolated from the top fixed plate.  The three coil springs can then be adjusted to level-up the bottom section in relation to the fixed top.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlargeThe success of the TD 150, paved the way for the now classic Thorens TD125, with a similar belt drive system to the 150 but more robustly built, with added style.  It has an electronic rather than mechanical motor control and a strobe speed adjustment system.
I have a number of quality turntables, including the TD 150 mk II, which are all in varying degrees of renovation but I have to admit that I do have a liking for the Thorens TD 150, though simple in design, it does exactly what it is intended to do; very well.

Detail of phono connection to the SME 3009 viewed from the Click to enlargeunderside. 

It has been pointed out by a visitor to this page, that the  point at which the cables are fixed could restrict the arm. A point to consider if you are thinking of this type of installation.




TD 150 mk II  Manual

Front cover

Inside Cover



Front cover, click to enlarge

Inside Cover

Operation Summary



Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8



AC Mains Connection

Cartridge Installation and connection

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Page 12

Back Cover



Model:  TD 150

Drive System: Belt

Platter:  In two parts (8lbs)

Speeds: 33 and 45 rpm

Power Supply: 120 and 240 volts AC, (4watts)

Size:       375 mm x 305 mm

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