Thorens – A Return to the classics – Extending the line with the 900 series

Thorens has been in the music business since 1888. In the beginning it was music boxes, then gramophones and finally in 1956 the TD 124. The TD 124 is what launched Thorens down a path of High End Turntables. While in recent years Thorens has launched a modern series of turntables to attract some of the younger crowd of Vinyl enthusiasts, the core of Thorens is keeping it classic! This year will see a launch of an entirely new series of turntables, the 900 series. The series is an addition to the classic line as it was built of the TD 150/160’s design.

With the German engineers demanding perfection, the 900 series has been in development for two years now. However, this fall the series will come to the North American market.  To celebrate the extension of the classic turntables we want to re-introduce to you our classic series of turntables!

The Modern Classics

While the classic line generally consists of suspended-sub-chassis turntables, these modern classics are fitted with new technology but maintain some of the classic looks and sounds of the vintage Thorens turntables.

thorenstd240turntable

TD 240-2 Automatic Turntable

Timeless Elegance

Thorens most widely sold turntable is the TD 240-2! We all know high-end turntables can be quite difficult to set-up for so Thorens developed the TD 240 to answer the call for those who want a easy set-up but the look and sound of a classic Thorens turntable.

This turntable comes equipped with a TP 19-1 tonearm, AT-95e cartridge and an extremely silent running precision belt drive beneath the platter. The turntable can play all speeds allowing you to enjoy shellac records as well.(requires a special stylus/cartridge)

Upgrading your turntable

We have access to a wide variety of cartridges, from Soundsmith, Ortofon and Grado. This allows us to always upgrade your turntable with some of the best cartridges on the market. We often upgrade the TD 240-2 with either Soundsmith’s Otello or Carmen cartridge. The Carmens well developed mid-range ads to the range of the TD 240-2 making it truly pleasing to the ear!

TD 240

my__record__collection

Photo courtesy of TD 295 owner @my__record__collection on instagram

TD 295 MKIV Semi-Automatic Turntable

An elegant classic

The TD 295 comes with an upgraded tonearm, the TP 41 while remaining with the same pickup cartridge as the TD 240-2 the AT-95. This turntable is semi-automatic as it only has an auto-shut off at the end of the record for those days you fall asleep! With speed of 331/3 and 45 the 295 is a much more classic turntable. Similar to that of the TD 145, the 145 was essentially a TD 160 with auto-shutoff.

The warm wooden colours of the plinth may be freely combined with either classic or contemporary furniture styles in order to have this record player stand out in any room.

TD 295

gradotd206-1

Thorens TD 206

Often overshadowed by it’s big brother the TD 309, the 206 maintains most of the amazing technology of the TD 309 and classic Thorens. The 206 has recently brought on two new finish of Mahogany and Macassar along with the standard high-gloss white, red and black.

Like the 309, the 206 utilizes a high-performance drive which allows you to adjust the belt tension and fine-tune the platter speed. The feet can be adjusted from the top of the deck to ensure levelling.  The TP-90 tonearm is based on the award winning TP-92 tonearm maintaining its ultra-low-friction, high-performance bearing and the innovative zero-stiction anti-bias system.

Upgrading your turntable

The pick-up cartridge for the TD 206 is the AT-95 B. We have, like in the above photo, upgraded for customers to the Grado Statement Platinum cartridge. We also recommend Soundsmith’s Otello or Carmen cartridge for this turntable as they will add greatly to the mid and low ends of the TD 206.

TD 206

The True Classics

The new generation of Sub-Chassis turntables

td350

Thorens TD 350

The TD 350 was Thorens first revival into the days of the legendary suspended chassis turntables. The 350 combines the concepts of a mass platform with its suspended chassis. This allows you to experience the renaissance of an outstanding technology being employed again in combination with the latest engineering knowledge and high-tech materials.

The TD 350 is equipped with the proprietary Thorens IDD (Independent Double Damping) suspension system, which yields an independent dampening of horizontal and vertical oscillations. Together with the 4-kg-platter and low-friction bearing this results in incredible silent running and exceptional sonic stability. The integrated motor control circuitry takes care of highly precise rpm by means of electronic stabilization.

Upgrading your Turntable

The TD 350 can be purchased without a tonearm/cartridge. We offer two standard tonearms, the TP 92 and SME M-2. With the TD 350, there is a wide variety of upgrades you can do to get great performance out of your Thorens deck. The new Zephyr Star cartridge from Soundsmith is a great mid-range cartridge you can add, which has received a spectacular review by Michael Fremer from Analog Planet. Another great addition that is gaining major recognition across the globe is Acoustical Systems Archon Cartridge and it’s extended line.

TD 350

td550

Thorens TD 550

The reference turntable

“The TD 550 is easily recommended, highly regarded and just about perfect.” – 6 Moons Review

The TD 550 is the flagship turntable of Thorens and rightfully so. It is based on the construction of the TD 350 and continues along the lines of the sub-chassis turntables. It features some of the most beautiful finishes I have ever seen on a turntable. The Makassar finish with a chrome plating is absolutely to die for.

The motor has been upgraded from the TD 350 which allows the motor to start and run very quickly and with precision accuracy. While the TD 350 combined both mass and suspended sub-chassis the TD 550 takes it one step further. Suspension is done by means of 49-strand Bowden wires in the horizontal plane and 12 springs made of extremely flexible spring steel in the vertical plane. The TD 550 gets its mass from not just the massive size but the materials it is made with weighing in at 22kg.

Upgrading your turntable

The TD 550 can come with a number of different combinations. The TD 550 can run both a 9″ and 12″ tonearm allowing for a massive variety of upgrades. With a reference turntable, you generally want a reference tonearm/cartridge. In this case some of our standard suggestions include the Ortofon TA-110, TA-210, TA-2125, and TA 3092. We also usually recommend our Vertere SG-1 which pairs well with the TD 550. Additionally, the best you can get is the AXIOM or AQUILAR tonearms from Acoustical systems, which have been getting top reviews from around the world.

TD 550

Thorens_TD907_web

The Extension of the Classic line with the TD 900 Series (TD 903, 905 and 907)

Built on a legend

Many years ago most of the Thorens documentation and history was lost in a factory fire. So in order to re-construct the TD 150/160 into a modern Thorens, the Thorens engineers dismantled the vintage turntables to get a complete understanding of how these classic turntables functioned. The idea was to stay true to the classic designs while modernizing it with new technology and materials.

Thus the new 900 series was born.

The 900 series was first introduced at Munich in 2015 and was supposed to launch that year. But anyone who has experienced German engineers, knows they will accept nothing less than perfection. The engineers were given full control of the 900 series and they set out with a goal in mind and no one else matters, not marketing, not sales, no one but the engineers. Build the best product and they will come, seems to be the motto of most German engineers. In this case there was no difference in the creation of the 900 series by Thorens.

Eliminating Wobble

The  Thorens 900 series are supported by three conical coil springs with the bearing shaft runs through a foam ring which further dampens the lateral movement. To achieve this, you must  level the turntable via the top of the turntable just as the TD 350. You will receive a bubble level in the box to help you level the turntable. With the coil springs and the foam ring, you have effectively eliminated wobble(side to side movement) and only allow movement up and down.(bounce)

Upgraded Suspension in the 907

The TD 907 is built with a membrane air cushion that is controlled by 10 wholes on the bottom of the turntable. These 10 wholes allow air into the cushion and give you control of the resonance frequency and damping. With all open you have a high resonant frequency with softer damping and you can close the wholes to control the damping and resonant frequency of the turntable. You can see in the below picture the cushion and wholes which you can cover with a mechanical lever.

907bladder

Some Specifications

The 900 series completed its development phase this year and is awaiting final licensing. Here are some of the specifications we can confirm:

Mode of operation: Manual

Drive system: Belt drive (flat belt around sub-platter)

Motor: AC motor with newly developed motor controller. Control board inside the plinth, external power supply. Fine adjustment of speed.

Speeds: 33⅓ and 45 rpm

Speed change: Electronic

Platter: Varies across series: Two part sub aluminum and glass platter or a three part platter with a solid aluminium inner platter, POM coupling disc, solid aluminium outer platter

Finishes: grey Nextel with real-wood wenge front; white high gloss; textured black paint

Dust Cover: Non-hinged dust cover

A Return to the Classics

Thorens has a very long history in the music industry. The company has been around since 1888! In 1956 is when Thorens became known as the High End Turntable company and now they continue that legacy with the 900 series. With the addition of the 903, 905 and 907 Thorens classic line has more than doubled in size! Later down the road as Thorens learns lessons from the new series you will find a new reference, the 909, continuing Thorens dominance of High End Turntables.

If you would like to get an update to when the new 900 series will launch fill out the below form. You can also check out all our Thorens Turntables.