Thorens TD 1500 – New subchassis drive with best price-performance ratio

A subchassis drive in the finest tradition of Thorens GmbH with an exceptionally attractive price-performance ratio is to be available with the new Thorens TD 1500. The company cites the Thorens TD 150 as the model for the new Thorens TD 1500.

Thorens GmbH presents the Thorens TD 1500, in addition to the Thorens TD 403 DD, and thus, according to the manufacturer from Bergisch Gladbach, wants to close the previously existing gap between the Thorens TD 402 DD and Thorens TD 1600 models.

While the Thorens TD 403 DD is a puristically designed direct-drive turntable, the new Thorens TD 1500 is a subchassis turntable that, according to Thorens GmbH, is fully committed to the company’s tradition.

Thorens TD 1500 – Thorens TD 150 as model

It is exciting that Thorens GmbH refers with the new Thorens TD 1500 to a turntable, which came in the year 1965 on the market, with which one speaks of an inconspicuously small turntable, which heralded however according to estimate of the manufacturer a technical revolution in the record player construction.

The Thorens TD 150 was the first mass-produced turntable to use a spring-loaded sub-chassis with an inner platter driven by a ground flat belt.

The new Thorens TD 1500 is now said to feature a subchassis in which the platter and tonearm base are decoupled from the turntable’s motor and frame by three conical springs. Unlike its 1960s forebear, the springs on the new model can be adjusted from above through corresponding holes in the platter, making correct adjustment of the subchassis system much easier, Thorens GmbH promises.

Purely manual turntable

As already mentioned, the new Thorens TD 1500 is to stand completely in the tradition of Thorens GmbH, and thus according to the model Thorens TD 150 likewise as purely manual turntable to be laid out.

However, it is of course possible to manufacture on a completely different level nowadays, relying on new materials and extended measuring possibilities.

This is to be reflected in the new Thorens TD 1500 first and foremost in the precision of the drive, whereby a DC motor with 12 V is used, which has a so-called incremental encoder and thus allows electronic monitoring of the speed. According to the manufacturer, deviations are corrected immediately, for example caused by an overrun broom. Overall, this enables very good synchronization values.

The electronically controlled motor with simple speed switching between 33 1/3 and 45 revolutions per minute drives a platter made of die-cast aluminum and ground via a ground precision belt, which, according to Thorens GmbH, has a virtually massive design. It measures 22 mm in height and weighs 1.4 kg.

Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500
Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500

Thorens TP 150 – Newly developed tonearm

The tonearm, which is used on the new Thorens TD 1500, was developed in optical reference to the legendary Thorens TP 14, but also to the current Thorens TP 124, according to the description of the company from Bergisch Gladbach.

It is a J-shaped tonearm is thus similar to that model, which is installed on the turntables Thorens TD 124 DD as well as Thorens TP 124, this is mentioned for the sake of completeness at this point.

The new Thorens TP 150 is said to have an effective mass of 14g. It can be adjusted in height and also allows the adjustment of the azimuth. In addition, the adjustment of the antiskating here is to be done by a sliding weight in the tonearm base, which is adjusted on a nylon thread guided over a ruby bearing.

These intervention options in all relevant parameters ensure that a wide variety of different pickup systems can be used here. This is also helped by the fact that the Thorens TP 150 has an SME compatible headshell.

Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500
Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500

Ortofon 2M Bronze mounted ex works

Ex factory, however, the new Thorens TD 1500 already comes with a quite very fine cartridge system from the Danish specialist Ortofon A/S. It is an MM cartridge from the Ortofon 2M Series, namely the Ortofon 2M Bronze with Fine Line needle grind.

This cartridge system has a proven track record and is considered a very universal, high-quality MM cartridge, so customers who choose the Thorens TD 1500 are unlikely to be embarrassed by the need to really upgrade anytime soon.

Unbalanced and balanced connections

However, the features Thorens GmbH has given the new Thorens TD 1500 will tempt you to at least consider an upgrade. The drive itself can probably do more than is ultimately in the Ortofon 2M Bronze, and also offers not only a pair of unbalanced RCA jacks on the connection panel, but also XLR connectors for balanced signal routing to appropriate phono preamplifiers.

  • Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500
  • Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500
  • Foto © Thorens GmbH – Thorens TD 1500

A few key data at the end

The new Thorens TD 1500 measures 420 mm in width, 360 mm in depth, and 141 mm in height. The weight of the drive is shown in the data sheet as 7.9 kg.

Customers have the choice here between a frame in high-gloss black or walnut finish, whereby a high-gloss paint finish was also applied here.

The scope of delivery naturally includes the required 12 V DC power supply, a phono cable, as well as a dust cover.

The new Thorens TD 1500 is expected to be in stores before the end of this year, probably in December 2021. Thorens GmbH states €1,999 as a non-binding recommended retail price.

Getting to the point

With the Thorens TD 1500, a subchassis drive is available that is supposed to be completely in the tradition of Thorens GmbH. The company refers here even to a solution, which originates from the 1960er years and at least in principle as model served, namely the Thorens TD 150. However the new Thorens TD 1500 plays naturally on completely different level, whereby also the completely again developed tone arm Thorens TP 150 is to contribute to it. By the way, this is equipped with an Ortofon 2M Bronze ex works, so that the extraordinarily attractive price-performance ratio promised by the manufacturer can definitely be confirmed.

Manufacturer:Thorens GmbH
Distribution:Thorens GmbH
Price:€ 1.999,-
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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