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Return of Thorens DNA
Since we proved in 1965 with the TD 150 model that turntables with spring-loaded sub-chassis are viable for the mass market, this principle has been adopted, copied and further developed many times. At Thorens, the design with the three conical springs could be found in many different models. Among the most successful and well-known is the famous Thorens TD 160, which remained in the range for almost 30 years and represents the DNA of our brand like no other turntable. Developing a successor for such a legend is a real challenge, of course, but one that we have gladly accepted. And so today our new sub-chassis turntables TD 1600 and TD 1601 bear witness to the same innovative power, attention to detail and enthusiasm for the best possible analogue music reproduction that already distinguished the TD 160 from its competition 50 years ago.
Already at first glance, the new models’ kinship to their famous ancestor is obvious. As in the past, three preloaded and adjustable conical springs support the heavy sub-chassis. Today, however, these springs stand on the base plate, with the sub-chassis resting on them, and not being hung as in the past. The synchronous motor, which is completely decoupled from the sub-chassis, drives the heavy inner plate and the outer plate, which is made of solid aluminium and fitted exactly on top of it. In the best Thorens tradition we are of course using our special polished belt to drive the platter. The tonearm rests on a special tonearm base. As with the TD 160, this construction serves only one purpose: the record and tonearm are isolated from their surroundings as far as possible during playback, so that no vibrations transmitted from outside interfere with the intricate tracking of the groove. Thus the needle can pick up every nuance of the groove’s flank, and precisely render every precious detail of the music.
The entirely new design of TD 1600 and TD 1601 is inspired by the original construction of the TD 160. But it elevates the principle of the sub-chassis to a whole new level thanks to various technical innovations. For example, the conical springs on which the sub-chassis rests are filled with a resonance-absorbing foam to quickly soothe any vibration. The bearings for the platter and tonearm are mounted on a solid aluminium plate, which provides great stability to the entire construction. The platter bearing itself is braced against the base plate with a thin steel thread via a guide, in exact extension of the axis between motor pulley and platter axle. In this way, even the slightest wobble of the sub-chassis caused by the motor’s driving forces acting on the platter is eliminated. It can only move up and down in a piston-like manner - a direction of motion that does not disturb the tonearm when it senses the intricate musical details in the record groove. Especially when using an MC pick-up, the balanced XLR output, with which both models are equipped, can then bring its advantages to bear.
The beating heart of a turntable is and always will be the motor. This is why we have paid particular attention to the new synchronous motor when we designed TD 1600 and TD 1601. Intelligent electronics control the motor and ensure that the selected platter speed is precisely maintained at all times. In order to be able to provide the motor with sufficient power whenever needed, we have developed an elaborate 16V power supply using a large toroidal transformer; and outsourced it to an external enclosure to get the maximum sound performance out of the new turntables. For the tonearm we equip TD 1600 and TD 1601 with our tried and tested TP92. This classic 9-incher is made from a highly precise and internally dampened aluminium tube. An anti-resonance ring mounted on the outside of the tube in a carefully calculated position additionally quietens the tonearm tube. The TP92 is thus ideally equipped to be fitted with all kinds of high-quality pickups; the scaled counterweight makes it easy to precisely set the required tracking force.
- Stabilized sub chassis on three conical springs
- Polished precision belt
- Two part platter
- Adjustable belt tension
- Electronical controlled motor
- balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) output
- Thorens precision tonearm TP 92 9“