Bergisch Gladbach, Germany | 2020 – Thorens, the world’s oldest Consumer Electronics Company, proudly introduces successors to their legendary 160-Series Turntables. Thorens’ NEW 1600-series combine the ‘160’s DNA with state-of-the-art design, manufacturing and materials technology. The result is a classically beautiful analog component that evokes the iconic 160 but whose performance competes with the finest turntables available today.
Introduced in 1972, the TD160 immediately became the standard against which all other turntables were judged. Suspending the platter, arm and bearing from three springs isolated the record and cartridge from mechanical interference such as footfalls and acoustic feedback, while a straight-tube tonearm with four gimbal bearings provided superior tracking. A belt-drive system isolated the motor from the two-piece, 7-pound platter, further lowering noise. These technologies not only made the TD 160 an icon, but inspired the Linn Sondek LP12, Ariston RD- 11 and many other classic ‘tables.
48 years later, the new TD1600 and TD 1601 embody all the qualities that made the ‘160 the most significant turntable of its generation; however, every detail has been scrutinized, reimagined and elevated to the state-of-the-art. Devotees of “Mid-Century Modern” design will admire the 1600-Series’ minimalist aesthetics. Available in either Walnut or Black gloss, the 1600’s base is complemented by a gorgeous, brushed aluminum plinth and extra-thick, hinged dustcover.
What makes the ‘1600s truly special, however, are its unique mechanicals. That aluminum plinth, for example, is crafted from cutting-edge Alucobond™ which sandwiches aerospace honeycomb material between two layers of aircraft-grade aluminum, for extraordinary strength and stiffness. The 12-volt synchronous motor is encased in a non-resonant housing, damped by a silicone ring and fed by an oversized, outboard Linear Power Supply for the quietest and most accurate performance obtainable. A sealed, maintenance-free bearing assures a lifetime of silent rotation.
Whereas the TD160’s subchassis was hung from three springs attached to its top plate, the ‘1600/1601’s subchassis sits atop three conical steel springs attached to a massive, highly damped base. These springs are fully adjustable to enable fine-tuning and levelling of the subchassis. Most significantly, the new 1600-series eliminates a shortcoming of ALL previous suspended subchassis turntables; namely, the tendency for the chassis to move horizontally (bad) as well as vertically (good). In a brilliant design flourish, a strong, tensioned steel cable connects the subchassis to a metal post which, in turn, is anchored to the base, thereby preventing sub chassis from “Staggering” and allows only vertical movement. Designed for vibration control, three adjustable feet enable the entire system to be precisely leveled and further attenuate vibrational energy.
Fitted to both TD 1600 and TD 1601, Thorens’ TP92 9” Tonearm tube is crafted from eight layers of cold-forged aluminum for maximum strength and vibration control, and includes a fixed damping ring precisely placed at the first bending node to attenuate resonance. An offset counterweight ensures optimal tracking. The result is a highly neutral tonearm which preserves the delicate audio signal.
The fully manual TD 1600 carries an MSRP of $2,999 US, while the semi-automatic TD 1601 ($3,499 US MSRP) adds electrical tonearm lift, “Contactless” auto shut-off and Balanced XLR outputs (in addition to RCA outputs, which are standard on both ‘tables).