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A new Thorens era coming?

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

  1. dividebytube

    dividebytube Forum Resident

    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I'm quite happy with my used Thorens TD309 - and that tonearm looks mighty familiar! I wouldn't call the TD309 "the best ever" but I was actually surprised how well it performs with an Ortofon 2M Bronze (versus the stock AT95S that would have come with it). Bass control and depth comes close to what I remember with my old VPI Aries 1 - but that was, of course, on a different and more expensive system - but similar qualities there.

    There is something about suspended turntables that I like - even on a concrete floor with a mass loaded shelf. If need to ever replace my semi-auto Dual CS5000, which has thousands of hours on it, I would look to the TD-1600 (or 1601) to replace both of my turntables.
     
    LakeMountain likes this.
  2. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I am seriously thinking about getting a 1601. I already have the wife's permission - haha! The reviews have been very favorable. And even though they are manufactured in Taiwan (still have some reservations), I consider Taiwan to be superior to mainland china. Just my opinion and politics does play a part. I have been using refurbished vintage 80's Denon turntables (DP-57L & DP-52F) since getting back into vinyl a decade ago. Primarily for nostalgic reasons (previously owned them) but also because they were pretty decent turntables for the period and can still hold there own these days.
    The cost savings for a 1601 including shipping from Thomann in the UK is pretty substantial compared to the authorized dealers over here! But won't it require 230-volt? No big deal I guess other than cost of a voltage step-down transformer. Any other things I should consider before purchasing from the UK or other European dealers? Warranty service?
    Thanks
     
    LakeMountain likes this.
  3. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, as mentioned a couple pages back, the TP-92 arm was developed for the TD 309. It's a nice table, especially for the price they are sometimes seen offered at, be nice if they made one with a more conventional plinth shape like they do with the TD206/209 models below the 309.
     
  4. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Good decision! The 1601 also just won the EISA 2020-21 award for best TT! It is a very prestigious award. Thorens TD 1601 | EISA – Expert Imaging and Sound Association

    The AC frequency in Europe is 50 Hz. Is it 60 Hz in the US? Also the UK has a 3 pin plug, whilst from Europe you get the 2 pin variety, with the ground connections on the sides. Or possibly, a dealer in Europe might be able to order a US version directly from Thorens?
     
  5. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Looks to be universal from the user manual, the power supply can be set to either voltage and the turntable is powered by the DC output, which regenerates the AC voltages for the motor drive ...

    [​IMG]
     
    LakeMountain likes this.
  6. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the information! Universal voltage removes the only operational hangup I had with purchasing from UK. Now I need to verify price in US dollars with the exchange rate and figure out how much the VAT (value added tax) is... I believe that may be a deal killer as it may wipe out any savings associated with purchasing the turntable overseas. Calling them to discuss/order is a PITA with time zone and they have not replied to my email requesting a firm price based on current exchange rate. Anybody else from the states ever order from them?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  7. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I don't think you are purchasing from the UK, Thomann is a German store, regardless of which storefront you elect to use. You can just use the US storefront, it's all the same ... the price is €2,106.90 without VAT or shipping ... https://www.thomannmusic.com/thorens_td_1600_walnut.htm
     
  8. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Oh, okay. I thought I was using the US store but the invoice total is stating the prices shown exclude VAT. I didn't want to place the order and then have crazy additional charges levied for tax, customs, etc.. Shipping is $57 which is quite reasonable, must be shipping out from here in US.
     
  9. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I don't see any indication they have outlets in the US so I would presume it ships from Germany, and may be subject to customs charges at arrival here, kind of depends.
     
  10. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    It was a Swiss company, originally manufacturers of cuckoo clocks and musical boxes, before progressing to Edison style phonographs in 1903.

    I bought my TD 160BC in 1980 and by then they were being made in Germany.

    [​IMG]

    Apart from some sensitive upgrades in 2015 it is as original and in daily use.

    I keep feeling an irrational urge to buy a Linn LP12 Akurate, but there is really no need.

    These old Thorens are a gift that keeps on giving.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    hmm the shipping arrival is also stating two days from now which can't be correct even if it came from a US warehouse. I'm starting to think that ordering from overseas has too many unknowns which could have additional costs and a customs delay with associated damage potential. I can buy one here in the US for $500 more than Thomann's is quoting and they will accept my two Denon turntables as trade-in. Knocks $1000 off my purchase price.
     
  12. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, maybe check with ddarch, he is in NH and ordered one a few weeks ago.
     
  13. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Okay thanks Davey I will!
     
  14. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    The other purchase option if thomann falls through (waiting to hear back from ddarch) was HiFi Heaven but after reading many negative reviews I have serious reservations about buying anything from them even if they are $500 cheaper than everyone else here in US. Let alone relying on them to accurately and honestly evaluate my turntable trade-ins. I'm now leaning towards paying the going price from an authorized Thorens online retailer and go ahead and sell the Denons online.
     
    sfrost likes this.
  15. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    I thought the HiFi Heaven price was the same as everyone else, I see B&H has it for the same price, and they are authorized. They have to order it and probably get it shipped from Germany, though.
     
    jesterthejedi likes this.
  16. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    B&H is identical to everyone else's online list price. HiFi advertises it for $500 less and its supposedly in stock for immediate shipment. B&H lists it as a special order with a 7 to 14 business days wait time. Throw on NY 8% sales tax and shipping and it is getting too pricey for me. I may need to reconsider my purchase plans. I'm going to try and call Thomanns tomorrow during their business hours and see if I can get a straight answer on VAT and customs charges.
     
  17. Davey

    Davey Heavy Rotation: Merope "Salos"

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Oh, I thought you were looking at the TD-1600, nevermind, I see now. The TD-1601 seemed ridiculously overpriced just for auto lift, so I didn't even consider it.

    What do you mean a straight answer on VAT? They remove it for non-EU buyers, and they don't really have anything to do with our customs law, though they may be able to advise, but it's up to the shipper and customs at port of entry.

    Anyway, good luck whichever route you go, I think we've probably taken this thread far enough off track now :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  18. Aqualab

    Aqualab Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    yeah you're right - thanks Davey!
     
  19. Black

    Black Member

    Location:
    Colorado
    While Thorens has returned to Germany, a country steeped in record deck production, the manufacture of these decks is being performed in Taiwan.
     
  20. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    However this Taiwanese manufacturer does make quality products, also of their own brand, see post #125 in this thread.
     
  21. Black

    Black Member

    Location:
    Colorado
    Quote of post is from HIFI PLUS
    Thorens TD 1601 suspended semi-automatic turntable
    Equipment+
    by
    Janine Elliot
    | Jun 10, 2020

    Which also is the Absolute Sound
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  22. BlackHills76

    BlackHills76 Active Member

    Location:
    57701
    I just purchased a new TD 103 A which is one of the new models designed by the "new" Thorens since it was purchased by the new owner and moved back to Germany. Although the line-up is a mixture of models coming from different suppliers including Asian companies, this is one of the Made in Germany models. The fully automatic chassis is the Fehrenbacher/Dual CS 4xx like Thorens has used for years on the TD 190-2 and 240-2, but there are a lot of meaningful updates.

    I went with the walnut and the plinth is absolutely gorgeous. I believe this is based on the updated Dual brand CS 465 so it gets the improvements made on that model. New speed control circuitry on the motor, new easy motion tonearm cabling, improved bearings in the tonearm, Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, etc. Of course I live in the US so if you want an automatic based on this turntable the more expensive Thorens is really your only option.

    With the Thorens you do get a few more features like a seperate speed control switch and record size lever. They also have replaced the built in RCA stereo cables with gold RCA and ground jacks. The platter is the same somewhat lightweight version as was used on the TD 190/240, but the electrical cord that was glued in before to improve speed stability and reduce resonance has been replaced by a custom made square rubber piece. The headshell now has connectors and is easily removable. The last thing is a high quality rubber Thorens branded platter mat is included replacing the felt mat. There is also a new higher quality dust cover included.

    I have posted an unboxing video and a review on YouTube. If you search for this model you will find it. I am not sure about posting links on here since I am a new member. I am not a professional YouTuber so go easy on me in the comments. lol

    Last, although the price seems pretty steep for a mid-level table, the quality and sound is excellent. I did swap the 2M red stylus for a blue one. Also right now many places are including the Thorens TAB 1600 absorber base ($250 MSRP) free with a purchase of this table. I think it helps with vibration and has gotten rid of issues with skipping when my big dog decides to jump in the living room when it is playing.

    I am not sure how this compares to improvements made in the other model lines, but overall many changes were made to improve this model. I see they have also introduced the new TD 102 A which slots in under this table, but that one looks to be of Asian manufacture. The TD 148 A slots in above this, but it is quite a bit more expensive and I personally prefer the slim-line plinth. I also feel that heavy glass platter might not be the best match for the lighter built 4xx chassis. I would worry about long term wear and tear pulling and spinning all that weight.

    Anyhow hope this helps anyone who might be considering a new Thorens. I really like fully automatic tables and there are not a lot of choices in the mid to higher segments.
     
    E.Baba, SandAndGlass and LakeMountain like this.
  23. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Nice! Sounds like they did very sensible improvements.

    You can post a link by simply copying the URL and then click on the link (chain link ) symbol in the top row of you reply box and paste the URL.
    I am pasting here the link to the Thorens TD103A site. THORENS TD 103 A
     
    BlackHills76 likes this.
  24. BlackHills76

    BlackHills76 Active Member

    Location:
    57701
    Here is my review of the new TD 103 A if you are interested.
     
    E.Baba, Gasman1003 and gritty like this.
  25. My problem with the TD 103 A is that for the price they are charging, there shouldn’t be that huge mass of ultra cheap looking plastic under the tonearm. It’s always been my problem with this design. :shrug:
     

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