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Thorens spins out new turntables to tap into the rise of vinyl

Thorens spins out new turntabl...
The TD 1500 belt-drive turntable is a reimagining of the Thorens TD 150 model from 1965
The TD 1500 belt-drive turntable is a reimagining of the Thorens TD 150 model from 1965
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The TD 1500 belt-drive turntable is a reimagining of the Thorens TD 150 model from 1965
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The TD 1500 belt-drive turntable is a reimagining of the Thorens TD 150 model from 1965
The TD 1500 turntable ships with an Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge
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The TD 1500 turntable ships with an Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge
The TD 1500 turntable features a brand new tonearm, which features a standard SME connector for cartridge mounting flexibility
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The TD 1500 turntable features a brand new tonearm, which features a standard SME connector for cartridge mounting flexibility
The TD 1500 turntable's belt-drive is hidden from view within the weighty aluminum platter
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The TD 1500 turntable's belt-drive is hidden from view within the weighty aluminum platter
The TD 1500's sub-chassis is decoupled from the upper shelf by three adjustable springs
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The TD 1500's sub-chassis is decoupled from the upper shelf by three adjustable springs
The TD 1500 features XLR outputs as well as RCA for connection flexibility
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The TD 1500 features XLR outputs as well as RCA for connection flexibility
The TD 403 DD turntable features a 1.4-kg aluminum platter and 24-V direct-drive motor
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The TD 403 DD turntable features a 1.4-kg aluminum platter and 24-V direct-drive motor
The TD 403 DD turntable sports RCA outputs only
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The TD 403 DD turntable sports RCA outputs only
The TD 403 DD turntable comes supplied with an Ortofon 2m Blue cartridge
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The TD 403 DD turntable comes supplied with an Ortofon 2m Blue cartridge
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For the last few years, music consumption on vinyl has enjoyed a steady rise and after a bit of a dip during COVID-19 lockdowns last year, vinyl records have registered a 94 percent increase in revenue according to the Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report recently released by the Record Industry Association of America – cashing in some US$467 million is sales.

Of course music streaming shadows vinyl sales by a significant margin (accounting for 84 percent of total revenues and ringing in almost $6 billion during the first six months of this year), but if you're looking to join the vinyl resurgence, hi-fi brand Thorens has released a couple of new turntables to get you in a spin.

The TD 1500's sub-chassis is decoupled from the upper shelf by three adjustable springs
The TD 1500's sub-chassis is decoupled from the upper shelf by three adjustable springs

The company views the TD 1500 model as a modern reworking of the Thorens TD 150 turntable introduced in 1965, which was the first mass-produced unit to feature a "spring-suspended sub-chassis with an inner platter driven by a flat belt." The sub-chassis in the new turntable makes use of three adjustable springs to decouple the upper shelf from the motor.

The 1.4-kg (3-lb), 22-mm (0.8-in)-thick cast aluminum platter has access points through to the springs to allow for adjustments to be made without needing to remove it, and turns on a smooth-running Delrin bearing. An incremental encoder electronically monitors the DC motor, and automatically corrects any wow and flutter playback deviations. The drive is powered by a 12-V PSU, and supported playback speeds are 33.3 and 45 rpm.

The TD 1500 turntable ships with an Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge
The TD 1500 turntable ships with an Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge

The turntable comes with a new tonearm that has an effective mass of 14 g (0.5 oz), can be adjusted for height and azimuth, and comes with a standard SME connector to accommodate a variety of cartridges – though the TD 1500 is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge. There's adjustable anti-skating, and contact force can be set on the two-part counterweight.

This model allows for connection to the balanced inputs on a high-end living room hi-fi amplifier via XLR outputs, though RCA ports are also included too. It's available in a high-gloss walnut or black finish, comes supplied with a dust cover and will be available from December for €1,999 (~$2,350).

The TD 403 DD turntable features a 1.4-kg aluminum platter and 24-V direct-drive motor
The TD 403 DD turntable features a 1.4-kg aluminum platter and 24-V direct-drive motor

Thorens has also added a new direct-drive, plug-and-play turntable to its lineup, named the TD 403 DD. It comes with a similarly weighty platter to the TD 1500, and rocks the same tonearm – though this model is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. The motor is powered by a 24-V PSU. Again, walnut and black are your finish options, and sales start in December for a suggested retail price of €1,399 ($1,650).

Product pages: TD 1500, TD 403 DD

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2 comments
2 comments
Steve Hislop
So much money for a belt-driven turntable.
They should´ve taken a look towards the legendary Technics SL´s and go for a direct driven version.
David Purton
Interesting the belt drive costs more than the DD. Still, it worked for Linn and suspended sub chassis is "more traditional" with great decoupling from motor to platter.

Still, I'll hang on to my unmarked td124 s2, which I guess is worth a tidy sum these days. Sounds great too...or I should say "doesn't sound". Very uncoloured, very neutral.