For those who enjoy record players that harken back to the good ol’ days, this announcement should put some spring in your step. Sometime at the end of 2015 Thorens will be releasing a new reference line of sub-chassis turntables known as the TD 900 series. It’s a deliberate tip-of-the-hat to the exceptionally popular TD 150 and TD 160 turntables from the 1970’s and 1980’s; but with some major improvements.
The choice to craft this new line of products came from a realization of what the market wanted. “The demand for a sub-chassis turntables was huge,” says our business partner and CEO of Thorens, Heinz Rohrer. “We couldn’t ignore it. We made a point of taking our time, though, as we wanted to create a new reference range in the process.”
These turntables aren’t just carbon copies of the old classics; they come with some hefty improvements. “We put an enormous amount of effort into modernizing the design,” says Heinz. The Thorens engineers worked tirelessly to perfect the springs and weights to ensure evenly distributed tension. They also made the effort to select the best possible materials: the plinth, base plate, and sub-chassis are all made from a highly rigid, high quality composite of alternating layers of aluminum and polyethylene. In addition, the motor assembly is decoupled with vibrations dampers and POM thermoplastic. All of this combined results in a table more effective at dampening footfall and other vibrations than any previous Thorens suspended sub-chassis tables have in the past.
The TD 903 will be the entry point. Its older brother, the 905, will take up the mid-range. Both feature a TP92 tonearm but the 905 will have a heavier design with more sophisticated dampening traits. The flagship of the series will be the TD 907 with a TP 88 ten-inch tonearm (as opposed to the nine-inch on the other two). It has a far more complex dampening structure, with a conical membrane holding the sub-chassis, and vent holes in the base to adjust dampening levels.
As per usual, this latest innovation marks Thorens’ ability to stay ahead of the game; this time by modernizing and revising an age-old design concept. According to Heinz Rohrer, “The new 900 series is a mark of respect both to our heritage and to lovers of sub-chassis designs.” Seeing as how they’ll likely be the best available turntables in suspended sub-chassis design, this is a big deal. We expect these to be very popular in North America.