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A new Thorens era coming?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LakeMountain, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Drumaniac - R

    Drumaniac - R Forum Resident

    Toronto, Ontario
    $4,399.99 for the TD1600 in Canada - over and out for me lol
  2. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    How do you know that Thorens via Fuchs didn't make arrangement with Fink to promote this expensive turntable in such a "spontaneous" way? This special PR is not unusual and the desired effect is exactly what you tend to believe. Hey, the basher is now a convert, he even ditched the mighty Transrotor!
    The fact that he likes TD 124 DD and dislikes TD1600 have nothing in common. How do you know he makes no money on it? Because he swore on his facebook? Maybe you sense the pulse of this hi-end soap opera clique better than me, so I could be wrong, but from my distance this looks like a PR stunt and can't see why are you so upset and insist I accept your opposite impression as a fact. Unless you are Fuchs or Fink personally.
    You didn't answer my question:
    To which standard was the so called pre-production unit made and why? Or, what is a pre-production unit, what's its purpose and why it was made with lower specs in the first place? What I said is that I don't buy the story that the pre-production unit was some dummy for photographing, but a real represent of the standard Yahorng offering. Then Thorens jumped in with stricter demands and they improved it, which I do accept. So, you falsely accuse me of not accepting facts.
    I never said they look like dj decks. I said I want to see the original design cues, not what I see on cheap dj decks, which means elements, not entirety. Who got what wrong, please?
    I don't know what to say... These accusations are borderline crazy. You didn't show any valid evidence to support your claims.
    I addressed 1 and 2 above.
    For 3 I said I'm aware that measurements can vary due to equipment and standards = w&f numbers in tech sheets are not (always) comparable. So I accept that. But I also said they must have certain significance and can not be that easily neglected as the new "trendsetters" wish for. I tend to believe there is a certain weight in a, say, 60 years of tradition in publishing them, which can hardly be a result of pressure from "customers like me" (your words).
    No 4 - I don't understand the accusation, if you could point me to that, please?
    You take things too literally, I must notice.
    Not mixing them, just using the simplified colloquial format.
    Here I can agree partially. Always listen. But don't waste time listening to awful specs and fall on a propaganda they don't matter.
    Is that not true? The one pictured on the Automatic Dual site IS Fehrenbacher.
    Well, no matter that, Thorens is certainly late to the party. It took them 90 years to realize they were wrong to abandon their initial invention. Now it's kinda sad to see they are going back to their roots via a copycat of a design (supposedly) inspired by them.
    I see the audience is throwing tomatoes at us, so I think it's time to leave the stage. :wave:
    Scott222C likes this.
  3. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    Where's a Raphael Mabo when you need one?
  4. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden

    - Fink bought the TD 124 DD for his own money to be used in his own reference system in his home.

    He is a passionate music lover and wants good sound in his home when he relaxes after work.
    He sold his ”made in Germany” high-end Transrotor and replaced it with the TD 124 DD because he felt that the TD124 sounds better.

    He has high demands of a turntable and sound.
    Of course he can’t relax to a substandard player. And you believe he will torture his ears on his free time away from work with something he is not pleased with.

    You see a conspiracy where there is none.

    - The numbers in a tech sheet for w&f is not comparable and I’ve already explained why. I’ve done this several times already. This means that you can’t use them as a tool for comparison between turntables. You have to listen.

    - Many turntable makers don’t publish w&f. Thorens didn’t under the CEO Heinz Rohrer. No one of the new turntables under Heinz Rohrer had w&f numbers in their tech sheet. Four sound reasons. Many high end companies does not publish w&f.

    Informed and educated customers knows that those numbers can’t be used to compare turntables, because every turntable is going to measure differently in different labs. That’s just how things are and nothing you can change.

    - The standard for professional tape machines was 0.1% w&f in the 70’s. Also cutting machines has w&f. This means analogue recordings cut on vinyl records has w&f in themselves. This means there will always be w&f when listening to turntables. If you want to get rid of w&f, get yourself a CD player and listen to digital recordings, mixing and mastering.

    - So you don’t accept that the TD 402 reviewed was a pre-production model. A pre-production model is a model still in development. When you design and make a turntable you make prototypes. Then you make pre-production units to test materials and performance and you adjust things on the way before the product is ready for regular production.

    Car makers and other producers of consumer products works in the same way.

    The pre-production unit of the TD 402 was used in the US to show the dealers and distributor what was coming, to educate them about the product and raise interest for it before the final product was shipping. It was never meant to be reviewed.

    Pre-production units are not perfect, they don’t have to be since they are development units. Units still in development.

    - I told you that the new Dual automatics models were going to have a new design. You failed to accept this. Instead you insisted on that they would look like Fehrenbacher.

    I told you that they are not going to be suspended designs. After this you still insisted on that they would have it.

    So you don’t accept facts. The image on the Dual Gmbh isn’t an image of the new automatics. I’ve already told you so and now I tell you again. They haven’t released their new automatic series yet. No official images has been released.

    But they will follow the new Dual design by mr Alfred Langer since they are designed by him.

    I did post a link to a canadian dealer that has released an image a little too early and are already taking orders from it. This image shows a CS 429 with the same solid plinth, tonearm, platter speed control knob as the new CS 418.
    But the control panel has gained two additional buttons.

    Thorens has abandoned idler drive because it would be too costly. They haven’t abandoned belt drives nor direct drives. Thorens invented the direct drive and in the late 70’s and early 80’s they had several direct drives intented for professional use in dance studios etc.

    And no, I’m not upset at all. I simply notice that you don’t know what you are talking about, you refuses to accept facts and you can’t admit that you got it all wrong.

    Those are simply observations of your behavior. Neutral observations and not insults.

    I do of course read things litteraly. I have autism spectrum disorder called Aspberger. Aspberger is not borderline, it’s not a mental illness, and I’m not crazy. Your accusations that I’m crazy is not true.

    It simply means my brain is very specialized and differs from the norm.
    I’m obsessed by facts and information you could say. This is classic Aspberger.
    Stone Turntable and tumbleweed like this.
  5. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    What do you mean? I’m here!
  6. Francois1968

    Francois1968 Forum Resident

    Some Thorens tables are being made by Fehrenbacher, the same manufacturer that does produce Dual turntables. Those tables are definitely not bad turntables, but in my opinion these tables are not of the same
    Those modern German made Dual and Thorens tables are not bad tables at all, BUT they are just not as good as their ancestors from the seventies and early eighties. At least, when it comes to value for money..........Having said that, it's not realistic to expect today's manufacturers to build turntables the way they used to do in the golden age of vinyl. Alfred Fehrenbacher, a former employee from the old Dual company, breathed new life into Dual and he managed to recreate the 505. Other models can not be manufactured anymore since all old machines are gone.......It would take too much money to invest in rebuilding these machines.
    If I were to buy a Thorens or Dual turntable there is no doubt in my mind I would buy a well maintained or refurbished vintage one.
    Tim Irvine likes this.
  7. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    Asperger. Wishing you all the best.
    VintageVibe likes this.
  8. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Asperger, I suppose it is a gift and a burden? Thanks for sharing! And great that you spent your time on such a nice topic!
  9. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    The Thorens TAS1600 is for sale now. Thorens claims that it contains an “AT ART9 engine”, but the specs on their site are identical to the AT OC9 XSL. Also, the bottom plate is identical to the OC9, as eagle-eyed @Davey had noticed!
    The relevant discussion took place here MC Cartridge next step up

    Could be fine, but there is the issue of cost. A new AT ART9 is 1100€ and the AT OC9 XSL is 750€ here. The TAS 1600 sells for 1200€. Apparently the cost difference in the US is even larger. The only visible difference with OC9 is the housing, which also includes two holes on top filled with a special damping material.

    Has anyone heard the new TAS1600? Has Thorens found a magic combination and does it sound better than the ART9 and a lot better than OC9 XSL to justify the extra cost?
  10. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    St.Louis Mo.
    Hey….you have to pay for that fancy red paint, and then the name “Thorens “ is Iconic….you pay for all that! :hide:
    macster, bever70 and LakeMountain like this.
  11. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    If only sound would also be iconic. There is one review of the TAS1600 in the German Stereo mag where they claim that it sounds very similar to the ART9, perhaps even a touch a better?
    Slippers-on likes this.
  12. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    But I’ve never said that Perpetuum Ebner is not made in Germany. So you are reading something that I didn’t wrote and you argue against a belief that I don’t have.

    I’ve never said that Perpetuum-ebner was made by chinese workers, I don’t understand from where you got the idea that I claimed that Perpetuum-ebner had a chinese workforce.

    I’ve never said that there are no turntables made in Germany at all. But it’s not cost efficient.

    Perpetuum-Ebner is made by Fehrenbacher. Same factory that used to make Thorens and Duals.
    Fehrenbacher has old production tools and it’s therefore limitations to what they can do and at a reasonable cost.

    Perpetuum-Ebner makes mid- to high-end products.

    Dual withdraw their license from Fehrenbacher because Fehrenbacher can’t make the new Duals at a reasonable cost. According to Dr. Alfred Langer, there is no infrastucture and logistics in place for sub 1 000 euro turntables and still earn money on them. It would need investments that Dual has no money for. And Fehrenbacher needs new machinery and tools.

    Thorens has also withdrawn from Fehrenbacher. It’s too expensive to have production there and the products are not price competetive.

    Turntables are low volume products.
    Perpetuum-Ebner is a specialised brand offering midnarket to high-end products. Clearaudio has a similar profile but they also makes electronics. There are also the high end Transrotor, Burmeister, Dr Feickert, Acoustic Signature and a few more. They all have several products aimed at the high end market. And none of them has entry level products for the cost conscious music lover.

    But Dual and Thorens offers products for the budget market and up. They have done it since the 70’s. They don’t have the market position as pure high-end brands.

    Fehrenbacher couldn’t build the new Duals and Thorens for the price that thoose brands were prepared to pay for the production. This would meant that the prices for the new products would have been to high and overpriced. And neither Dual nor Thorens had the money to invest in new production tools for Fehrenbacher.

    Dual and Thorebs are small brands today. They have small volumes and are made a batch at a time, then shipped and then the next batch is made when the previous one has been sold out.
    This is not cost efficient for sub 1 000 euro products.

    So Dual turned to Hanpin in China and Thorens turned to Ya Horng in Taiwan. Those makers produces for many brands so they alwas has a production going on. They can do small batches more cost efficient. And John Jian, head of R&D at Ya Horng is a Thorens enthusiast and has worked in close cooperation with Helmut Thiele and Walter Fuchs that heads the R&D at Thorens in Germany.

    To have one unit in Taiwan that makes everything is also more efficient for logistics than having production facilities in both Germany and Taiwan.

    Thorens has had problems with Fehrenbacher and the logistics in Germany. And they also felt that Fehrenbacher didn’t had the high quality standard as Ya Horng, because Ya Horng has more modern production tools.

    This is hos the world is.

    We can now see that Thorens new products are doing well in the market and Thorens are getting better economics than before, money they are investing in new products. Soon they will release a new turntable released, called TD1500. With a new tonearm design. Suspended subchassi and XLR sockets. With classic Thorens styling.
    Slippers-on and Stone Turntable like this.
  13. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    I pay for the sound that Fuchs and Thiele has designed and engineered. The special spacious and musical Thorens sound.
    Slippers-on likes this.
  14. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Northeast USA
    Cool! Two legacy names reborn: Rek-o-Kut and Thorens.
  15. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    It depends on what you mean by that.
    When Thorens had financial problems in the late 90’s, the Thorens Export (headed by Heinz Rohrer) distribution company was the sole survivor and the Thorens family offered him to continue with releasing new turntables under the brand, which he did. When Heinz Rohrer felt it was time to retire mr Günter Kurten took over and relocated the company back to Germany, with Walter Fuchs head of R&D specialised in engineering and software and with Helmut Thiele also head of R&D with responsibility for design and tonearm development. Both has a long background in the German audio industry. They may be gray haired old men but they still know what they are doing.
  16. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    Then I can assure you that it’s not a Hanpin motor. The motor was developed by Walter Fuchs in collaboration with John Jian head of R&D at Ya Horng Electronics. The motor control is all by Walter Fuchs.

    The tonearm is a collaboration between the german maker EMT, famous for it’s broadcast designs, and Helmut Thiele who has updated their classic design.

    Hanpin has not been involved at all.
    According to reviews including the latest in Stereophile it has a sound quality above the classic TD124’s. If you feel that Hanpins products has equal sonical qualities then be free to believe that.

    Now, according to Dr Alfred Langer of Dual Phono who has made his own direct drive engine, there are only two types of motor designs for direct drives. Or two principles. (This from a discussion in a German forum about Dual’s new direct drives). This means that drives using one of them will look similar. This doesn’t mean that they are exactly the same drive.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  17. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    TP92 also got the german Golden Ear award for best tonearm when it was released.
  18. Technocentral

    Technocentral Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    Has anyone on here bought the 1600/1601'a haven't heard anyone saying they have or saying how good or otherwise they are, wonder how many they have sold?
  19. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    The design was choosen because of the sonics. An asymmetrical design is better at dampen stabding waves. And it sits on a 3-point suspension with tonearm balancing on one point and a stabilizer weight diagonally on the other side to make the plinth even so it doesn’t dip where the tonearm is. I find it quite clever.
    A modern classic. I’m sure we will still be talking about in the coming 10 years.
  20. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    They have sold a bunch of them in Europe, Russia and in Asia. Don’t know about the North American market.
    Technocentral likes this.
  21. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    If it's not a Hanpin (or Yahorng?) motor in the new 124DD, why didn't they design a coreless direct drive motor instead, which would be a better option for a turntable? And it certainly looks just like a Hanpin motor.

    On another note, I think they screwed up using an aluminum subplatter instead of an iron one. The old 124s sounded much better with the green-iron subplatter. And the attraction of cartridges to it are completely overblown. You simply compensate for any attraction when setting the tracking weight. When I had my 124, I used it with a Zu Denon 103 and a Kiseki Blue NS and had absolute no issues regarding magnetic attraction. To me, it's a non-issue that somehow grew to mythical levels on the internet.
  22. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    What about TD 103 A and TD 190-2? Are they going to be discontinued soon? Also, you said earlier that the patent for that model expired. Does it mean Fehrenbacher can make them under other brand name and do you know if such thing is in preparation maybe?
  23. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Helmut Thiele has now also started his own brand and he designed a new turntable and tonearm : Thiele TT01 / TA01.
    The tonearm arm design is interesting as it eliminates any tracking errors by a construction that shifts the pivot point whilst tracking!
    Bobsblkwax likes this.
  24. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    Yes a statement product before he retires. He's getting old, but let's hope that he stays healthy and well still for many years to come and with inspiration and with more new ideas, as he has done in the past. His Thorens TP92 tonearm was awarded the German Golden Ear when it was released with the TD309, and his latest project - with Walther Fuchs and the Thorens & Yang Horn team has now received the EISA Award for "Turntable of the year" for the TD124 DD. Last year they got the same award for the TD1600/1601.
  25. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    Fehrenbacher makes the CS455/TD 190 for other brand names, they sell it themselves under their own brand and there's also a local German brand that also sells this turntable under it's own brand. So yes, Fehrenbacher can still make them since the patents has expired.

    Re: the TD103 A. This is a special Thorens update with new wiring, tonearm bearings etc and upgrades. Thorens posted a message dated 30th of June 2021 - this is an un-perfect translation but you hopefully get an idea. :)

    "Dear Thorens customers,
    Lack of material procurement and interrupted supply chains in the logistics industry lead to longer delivery times and decisions on demand. We therefore inform you of another step towards sharpening Thoren's brand profile.
    With the introduction of our fully automatic TD 102 A in the spring, we landed a hit. The volume of the drive ordered exceeds our expectations. The praise for the newly developed mechanics for automatic functions and the seamless integration into the new Thorens design line was a stimulus to modernize the remaining fully automatic machines.
    Therefore we decided to remove the TD 190-2, TD 103 A and TD 148 A drives with immediate effect from the product line and replace them with new models.
    Given the existing delivery times for the mentioned models and the already advanced (production) status for new drivers with the new technology, we have now given the reasons for updating Thoren's range.
    This means that existing models TD 190-2, TD 103 A and TD 148 A will no longer be delivered."

    My understanding is that they sell the TD190, 103 A and 148 A's that are still in stock, but when that stock is empty there will be no more. There are new automatic models on the way.
    So basically, there is a problem with Fehrenbacher, parts supplies and deliveries, and the TD102A has been a success so they decided to continue with that new chassi and automatic-mechanism for new models.

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