A new Thorens era coming?

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

  1. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    The fun thing is that it’s more expensive to make, because it needs extra layers of laquer.
  2. La notte

    La notte Member

    Does anyone know if this new TD1500 turntable was designed to accept the Ortofon SPU series of cartridges?
  3. bever70

    bever70 It's not all about The Soundstage

    The DD is not proportioned right imo. Plinth is too shallow and platter is positioned way too close to the left side of the plinth. Aesthetically not a pleasing design at all.
  4. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    The new TP150 is a 2g lighter version of the TP124 and Thorens sells their own version of the Ortofon SPU Synergy for the TP124

    It’s plug-in compatible with the tonearm and 14g vs 16g is not a big deal. The counterweight looks the same as the TP124 that takes cartridges 6 - 30g. SPU is 30g. But Thorens has not published the weight range for the TP150. So for now we can just assume it’s the same as the TP124.

    Starting with 6g means that there will be some cartridges that will not work, like the Hana range or LP Gear Bin-series. My Benz MC Silver is 5,7g so may be on the border including nuts and bolts.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  5. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    I installed a damping rubber based ring on the outside of my aluminum platter of my TD 320. It needs to sit on the lower third of circumference of the platter. This allowed me to replace the rubber mat with various different mats. The Ringmat system turned out to have the best sound!
  6. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    Just learned that Fehrenbacher teamed with Pro-Ject (Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH) and will continue to make the Dual line under new brand name Rekkord and introduce new models. Great news.
    Afais the Dual brand owners own nothing of the original Dual except the name and went for Taiwan Hanpin manufacturing with hopefully tighter QC (good luck with that), while Fehrenbacher owns the Dual manufacturing tradition and spirit. I'd choose the latter over the former any time, Made in Black Forest, Germany.
    Neuer Rekkord: Audio Tuning (u.a. Pro-Ject) übernimmt Teile der Dual-Produktion in St. Georgen - LowBeats (article in German, use Google translate)

    Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH and Fehrenbacher GmbH start exclusive cooperation - HiFi BLOG

    All that "expertise" that it's not viable to keep the production in Germany looks so funny now...
    rischa likes this.
  7. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    The Dual brand owner worked for Schneider when Schneider owned the Dual brand in the early 90’s, and he is a Dual enthusiast. Alfred Langer that has designed and engineered the new Dual turntables is also a Dual enthusiast with a large collection of vintage Dual turntables and he’s also servicing old Dual turntables.

    The man Fehrenbacher has died and Fehrenbacher has a new owner without any previous connection to Dual. The Dual brand owner has more connection to the old Dual than Fehrenbacher’s new owner.

    Fehrenbacher assembled parts from China to lower production costs. They were not 100% Made in Germany. This is true for all their products they made.

    For example, the plinth in the Thorens TD203 was made in China then assembled together in Germany with the motor and tonearm. The TD309 chassi with the springs was made in China then assembled together with the other parts in Germany.

    But the tonearms were made in Germany.
    The acrylic covers were all made in China.

    Heinz Rohrer explained in an interview few years back that it would cost twice as much to have those parts made in Germany which would raise the cost of the turntables making then unsellable.

    Only the TD350 and other more expensive models were fullt made in Germany.

    This is how things are at Fehrenbacher. This of course complicates logistics. Since so many parts was made in Asia already it was more logical to have the complete turntable made in Asia and in one factory that does all the work.

    So very logical that Thorens and Dual moved.

    Now the Fehrenbacher models will use Pro-Ject parts and take advantage of Pro-Jects massmarket production in the Czech republic. Czech has lower production costs than Germany.

    I remember the hostility in this forum against the TD295 because it was made by Pro-Ject to Thorens specifications, but now when Fehrenbacher teams up with Pro-Ject then it’s suddenly perfectly Ok.

    Oh, and Pro-Ject also buys parts from China.

    So - partly made in China and assembled in Germany. That seems perfectly fine for you as long as it is German and Czech workers assembling the Chinese parts together.

    But they can put ”Made in Germany” on the box, it’s fully legal despite so many parts being bought from China.
  8. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    What about the production facilities, workers experience, original model construction schematics...?
    First you say:
    But the examples you give are for Thorens, not Dual models. I want to know which parts were Chinese on the Dual's that looked Dual: CS 355 (et al), CS 505 and higher. If that's some plastic parts, such as dustcover - no big deal. Those new Duals DO NOT look Dual, but Chinese, tweaked to resemble Dual in few details. If they just moved the production in Taiwan and kept the same looks and models, I would've mind that much less than I do now.
    That's because it was (based on) a Pro-ject model. Now the Pro-ject's new line will be based on Dual Fehrenbacher platforms, which are supposedly better, though we shall yet to see the exact outcome and prices. If that Automat line is based at least on the TD 190/148 platform - I like it. Not to mention the cs 505 (and above models) revival.
  9. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    South West, UK.
    A review I read for the TD1601 put it's sound quality at mid range Linn LP12 level. Price wise it costs a fraction of the Linn Akurate which I believe writer was referring to. So these turntables could be good value.
    LakeMountain likes this.
  10. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    The TD 1601 also won the EISA 2020/21 Best Buy award in its category, which is chosen by reviewers from 21 countries, if I am not mistaken.
  11. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    The production facilities at Fehrenbacher uses old tools and machinery, they are outdated. That's why many parts were imported from China. I don't understand why you make so much fuss about it. China, Taiwan etc can produce very high quality at low cost. It seems you have some sort of nationalistic view here. The production of the Dual 505 stopped because the tooling was too old to continue make it. There was too many parts that they couldn't make anymore. And the same is true for other old Fehrenbacher products. So more and more parts has to be imported.

    Now when they have teamed up with Pro-Ject, this means that Pro-Ject can produce parts for Fehrenbacher so Fehrenbacher can come out with new models. Maybe Pro-Ject with invest in new machines for Fehrenbacher, I don't know. But I believe Fehrenbacher will be more an assembling unit.

    The new Duals made in Taiwan are new designs. New chassi and plinth etc. But with ideas from the past. They were designed and engineered by Alfred Langer at Dual design centre in Germany. The chassi in the Fehrenbachers was developed when Schneider owned Dual, and the product manager of Schneider and responsible for Dual at Schneider is the very same man that now owns the Dual brand and has moved production to Taiwan. He has more connection with Dual of the old than Fehrenbachers new owner.

    One can always discuss how a Dual should look like, it seems you don't like changes - that any new turntable should look just like the old ones. But Dual has had different designs. Just look at the CS models from the 80's they were more slim and does not look at all like the early 70's chunky Dual turntables. Compare the Dual 701 with the CS 5000, they doesn't look like they are coming from the same maker.
    So I don't understand what you mean with "doesn't look like a Dual". Dual has had different designs in the past.

    I would say that the new Taiwan-models actually looks more like the older 70's Duals, because of their chunkier and thicker plinth.

    Things like plinths and components in the chassis was made in China. I took examples from Thorens, because they were "made" (assembled) by Fehrenbacher and Heinz Rohrer said in an interview a few years back that if all components were made in Germany it would have costed too much. A german made chassi is twice as expensive as an Asian made one, even if it's identical and no loss in quality for the Chinese. So it really doesn't matter from a quality point of view. It's all about cost.

    The Thorens TD295 was not at all based upon a Pro-Ject model.
    The lineage started with the TD280 in the 1980's.
    The TD280 was transformed into the TD290 in the mid 1990's with a Pro-Ject tonearm, a Pro-Ject platter and bigger feet.
    The TD290 was then transformed into the TD295 with a double plinth and still the Pro-Ject tonearm and platter.
    The drive system with subplatter etc was all Thorens and it uses Thorens traditional belt.
    So it's not true that the TD295 was "based upon a Pro-Ject model". It was based upon a Thorens model. It was a Thorens construction, a Thorens design, that used some Pro-Ject parts to get the cost down in the tumbling years in the 90's. It's lineage dates back to the TD280 that was my first turntable.

    So, to sum up this:
    The TD295 is a 290 with a double plinth.
    The TD290 is a 280 with a Pro-Ject tonearm, platter and bigger feets.
    The 280 is the original model, designed and made by Thorens in Germany (but the later versions was made in Thorens Polish factory to cut down costs).

    But there are those that says that the TD280 and other non-suspended turntables are not "real Thorens" just because they don't have suspension. I'm not one of them. The TD280 was a real and classic Thorens, and the same was true for the TD295.

    So if it was wrong for Thorens to get some parts from Pro-Ject, then it must also be wrong that Fehrenbacher now teams up with Pro-Ject. Or do you mean that if Thorens do something then it's automatically wrong and if Fehrenbacher does the same thing then it's automatically right? This simply shows to me that you are not serious.
  12. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    I don't make fuss about parts made in China. I express my dissatisfaction with the fact that new Duals are entirely made in China/Taiwan by the very same factory that gave us all those copycats notorious for all sorts of quality issues. So now I should accept that this factory will change overnight and offer top quality because Dual told them so. They (Hanpin) can't (always) provide consistent quality on their own (copied!) designs, but now with the Dual "new designs" they'll do that without any problem? o_O

    :unhunh: My favorite argument of the proponents of Made in China, Taiwan, Malaysia etc...Just accuse the opposing-party of an -ism and you need no further arguments.

    I can clearly see and feel the Hanpin cues. In my eyes - a modified Hanpin under Dual specs. No Dual recognizable identity which was present with Fehrenbacher, quite washed down, though, but still - you could see the Dual.

    Not the CS 505. And that's what Pro-ject is bringing back among other things (have yet to see it, for now it's just a promise) and I think it's better news than moving Dual to Hanpin.

    He obviously lost that connection, if you ask me, explained above.
    I like changes to better, not to a degree of losing the core identity and recognisability.

    Depends how you see it...Platter, tonearm, dustcover etc are Pro-ject, it's made by Pro-ject, but the belt and doubled plinth idea make it a Thorens? Hm, ok...Curious then what are TD 190, 103A and even 148A? I'd say Fehrenbacher Dual cosmeticised as Thorens, with the latter being the most serious attempt.
    Maybe Pro-ject will invest in renewing the worn Fehrenbacher tooling and not just borrow parts to make Frankenstein designs like TD259. The expectations/promises are that the Fehrenbacher Duals will be revived under the Rekkord brand which I read as they would be made and look the same as before, hopefully with certain improvements, new models aside. We shall see and comment when it happens.
  13. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    OEM makers builds according to their clients specifications. If the client specifies top quality, then the OEM maker will deliver that.

    For example, Yan Horng builds the top quality, award and test winners Thorens TD1600/1601 and TD124 DD.

    Teac TN5BB is another top quality turntable built by OEM maker in Taiwan.

    So, if the client specifies top quality then that is what the OEM maker builds.

    The new Duals are mr Alfred Langers own design. They look like the Dual Primus, handmade in Germany and sells for 8 900 euro and 11 700 USD.
    Primus Maximus - DUAL

    You can also see similarities between the new Duals and the turntables that mr Langer makes in Germany and sells under his own brand name Langer Audio. 100% made in Germany.
    Same plinth design with aluminium platters and the same placement and design of the speed selector knob.
    Langer No. 7 – Langer

    The Langer No.7 is a 6 000 euro turntable.

    And you claim that they are modified Hanpins because you claim that they look like Hanpins.

    Well, you are simply wrong. The new Duals and the turntables he makes and sells under his own name, are fully his own design. The plinth, tonearms etc are his own design. They are not from an OEM makers spare bin.

    Mr Langer has a certain common style to the turntables he designs and engineers. This is his style. Not Hanpin.

    The new CS505 has to use new parts and designs since the machinery and tooling that made the old parts are worned out. And those parts will be designed and made by Pro-Ject.

    The old CS505 didn’t looked like the Dual’s from the early 70’s. Dual has changed their designs several times. When you say that a Dual must ”look like a Dual”, it’s clear to me that you mean the late 80’s Dual’s. Not the ones that came before them.

    I have already explained that the TD295 was the last development in a lineage that goes back to the TD280 from the late 1980’s. The TD280 had four versions (TD280, 280 Mk II, Mk III and IV). The versional changes includes a new motor and other changes.

    The next development was the TD290. It has the same plinth as the TD280, but with chunkier feets and a Pro-Ject sourced tonearm.

    The TD295 is a TD290 with a double plinth. Same tonearm, motor and drive system as the TD290. And the TD290 was a TD280 with a Pro-Ject tonearm and the same motor as the TD280 Mk IV with the belt drive from the TD280 Mk III.

    The TD295 has the same motor, belt drive, semi-automatics and electronics as the TD290 (that had retained those from TD280), but a new double plinth and with the same Pro-Ject sourced tonearm as the TD290.

    You call this a ”Frankentable”, well then the Linn Majik with a Pro-Ject tonearm also must be a ”Frankentable”. And the TD160B with a SME tonearm instead of Thorens own must be a ”Frankentable” too.

    You don’t like the TD295 because it has a few components sourced from Pro-Ject. But you defend that Fehrenbacher now has formed a partnership with Pro-Ject and will make turntables with Pro-Ject sourced components.

    When Thorens does it, then you say it’s bad.
    When Fehrenbacher does the same thing, then you suddenly praises it.

    So you are clearly not a serious person to have a conversation with.

    The 103A and 148A were both engineered and designed by Walter Fuchs and Helmut Thiele from a Schneider-Dual plattform. Fuchs and Thiele is the core team at Thorens R&D. Fuchs is head of engineering. Thiele is head of design and tonearm development.
    They have tweaked and updated the original Schneider-Dual design.

    Fuchs and Thiele were also the masterminds behind the TD309 and the TP92 tonearm that I own and love. And all new Thorens since the mid 2000’s.

    I have full respect for Pro-Ject R&D, but I do prefer the products that Fuchs and Thiele engineers and designs together.

    And mr Alfred ”Dualfred” Langer is no slouch either. I see no reason to believe that the products he designs and engineers are bad products, not even the ones that are made to his specifications, engineering and design in Asia.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  14. Raphael Mabo

    Raphael Mabo Music nerd

    Gnesta, Sweden
    Yes it’s got glowing reviews, and has a more focused sound than vintage Thorens. For me, it has too much vintage styling to be appeal. But sound is modern even if it has old looks.
  15. Howard Lunt

    Howard Lunt Well-Known Member

    I just purchased the TD1600 a few weeks back and been very pleased. I replaced a Rega RP6 with all the groovetracer upgrades. I went with the Ortofon 2M Black LVB. The stylus is just breaking in I believe. I think I’ll go back to a high output MC eventually. I am running it of the McIntosh MA352. The sound is quite remarkable. I was actually considering the MT5 from McIntosh, but the vintage looks of the Thorens appealed to me this time around.
    RiRiIII and VintageVibe like this.

Share This Page