Thorens Unveils Two New Budget Turntables
Swiss quality without Swiss pricing?
Vinyl has, for the last few years, been having quite a revival. After decades of slumping sales, due to CDs and MP3s, vinyl sales stopped their decline and started to grow. So, it makes sense that more and more companies are trying to get in on the action.
One of those attempting to do so is the legendary turntable brand, Thorens. The Swiss company has revealed two new turntables, the TD 201 and TD 202 - both of which sit below the TD 203. Both have belt-driven decks and feature plug-and-play designs with preconfigured cartridges, and both have integrated switchable phono stages for direct connection to any external phono stage, amp or receiver. The TD 201 and TD 202 each use Thorens's new TP 71 tonearm. The TD 201 has an AT 3600 cartridge attached to its detachable headshell while the TD 202 uses an AT 95E cartridge. Another
nicefeature is that the TD 202 features a USB output and an analogue-to-digitalconverter, which means users can record vinyl albums to a computer.
Thorens was founded in 1883, and in 1928 they produced their first electronic record player. For the last 90 years they have been producing high-end, audiophile equipment. To see such an established company pushing into the sub £500 market should peak the interest of people on a budget.
Vinyl's growth is partly accredited to new, younger, first time buyers who have taken an interest in music. The argument goes that, in a world of streaming, owning a large plastic disk with a cardboard cover actually bestows ownership. However, conflicting data suggests that, in fact, it is middle aged consumers who are driving record sale growth.
Reporting suggests that many younger consumers who buy vinyl, don't actually own a turntable. If this is true, the growth of vinyl won't necessarily equate to an uptick in turntable sales. In light of this, turntable manufacturers may be wary of creating new, budget friendly players.
Nevertheless, it's nice to see that more options are being added to this market. Competition, normally, leads to better prices and options for consumers. Thorens TD 201 will be €449 and TD 202 will be €599. No UK prices have been announced as of yet. The players will be available from the end of November 2018, and come in a high-gloss black.
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