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