Electrical Tonearm Raising and Lowering, Auto Shut-Off, One-Touch Speed Selection: Smart Thorens TD 1601 Turntable Features Spring-Loaded Subchassis and Nine-Inch Tonearm
High-end vinyl playback with none of the hassle: That's the idea behind the Thorens TD 1601 semi-automatic turntable, a smart, German-devised component that puts the spotlight on user ease and enchanting audiophile sound. If you hate having to get up from your seat right when an LP is about to end, TD 1601 provides worry-free operation by way of its electrical lift and contactless auto shut-off. Don't ever fret again about any possible stylus damage or not being able to pick up the tonearm before the run-out grooves take their toll. An opto-electronically triggered end switch stops the platter and lifts the arm when the needle reaches the end of the LP. One-touch button operation selects speed, and another one-touch button automatically lowers the tonearm onto your record. What's more, TD 1601 comes with advanced engineering and components to ensure you hear involved, engaging playback. Oh, and it also won the prestigious 2020-2021 EISA Award for Best Turntable.
Inspired by Thorens' iconic TD 160 – a model that became synonymous with the brand and remained in production for nearly three decades – TD 1601 arrives equipped with a stabilized subchassis on three conical springs filled with resonance-absorbing foam, tightened steel thread connector to only permit vertical movement from the subchassis, and a two-part platter with inner belt and thick rubber mat. Boasting XLR outputs for audiophile-quality connectivity in addition to standard RCA outputs, it subscribes to the traditional Thorens philosophy about high-quality music reproduction – a lineage that stretches back for more than 100 years. Such DNA is also obvious in the classical wooden plinth, a gorgeous touch that's both functional and form-fitting.
From a technical perspective, TD 1601 hits all the right notes. Completely decoupled from the sub-chassis, a synchronous motor drives the ‘table's heavy inner plate and solid aluminum outer plate. TD 1601 gets its juice from an elaborate 16V power supply with a large toroidal transformer, all outsourced to an external enclosure. In addition, Thorens' 9-inch TP92 tonearm is comprised of a highly precise and internally dampened aluminum tube. An anti-resonance ring mounted on the outside of the tube in a carefully calculated position lends to black backgrounds. Added isolation from ruinous noise arrives via strategic placement of the tonearm and record, located so that outside vibrations remain minimized and kept from the intricate tracking process.
Going to extra lengths most mass-drive models not dare, TD 1601 makes playing vinyl easy, fun, and addictive. To cover all bases, Thorens even throws in a dust cover. And of course, we include our 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
"It retains the three-point sprung suspension of the TD150 of the 1960s, but brings the company's latest decoupled synchronous motor for speed accuracy, and an electric arm-lift and end of side stop for convenient playback. All this plus a balanced audio output alongside the usual connections, for even lower noise, makes for a turntable that combines heritage with bang-up-to-date sound quality."
– EISA, 2020-2021 Best Turntable Award
"Simply put: the newly reorganized Thorens' attempt to reclaim with the TD 1600/1601 the original TD 160's rich legacy, both mechanically and sonically is a complete success. ...If most of what you listen to is acoustically based jazz and classical and three grand is your target price point, the TD 1600/1601 should be on your radar. You'll appreciate its sonic performance, high build quality and outstanding cosmetics."
– Michael Fremer, Analog Planet
Modern Innovations, Traditional Inspiration
TD 1601 is inspired by the original construction of the TD 160. But it elevates the principle of the subchassis to a whole new level thanks to various technical innovations. For example, the conical springs on which the sub-chassis rests are filled with a resonance-absorbing foam to quickly soothe any vibration. The bearings for the platter and tonearm are mounted on a solid aluminum plate that provides great stability to the entire construction. The platter bearing itself is braced against the base plate with a thin steel thread via a guide, in exact extension of the axis between motor pulley and platter axle. In this way, even the slightest wobble of the sub-chassis caused by the motor's driving forces acting on the platter gets eliminated. It can only move up and down in a piston-like manner – a direction of motion that does not disturb the tonearm when it senses the intricate musical details in the record groove.
Powerful Synchronous Motor, Precision-Based Tonearm
Intelligent electronics control the motor and ensure the selected platter speed is precisely maintained at all times. In order to be able to provide the motor with sufficient power whenever needed, an elaborate 16V power supply using a large toroidal transformer is outsourced to an external enclosure to get maximum sound performance. In addition, the classic 9-inch TP92 tonearm is made from a highly precise and internally dampened aluminum tube. An anti-resonance ring mounted on the outside of the tube in a carefully calculated position further quietens the tonearm tube. TP92 is thus equipped to be fitted with all kinds of high-quality pickups; the scaled counterweight makes it easy to precisely set the required tracking force.
Patented Automatic Tonearm Lowering and Raising
Completely independent of the turntable's other electronics, a miniature motor located directly in the lift gently lowers and raises the tonearm into and out of the groove at the touch of a button. An opto-electronically triggered end switch stops the platter and lifts the arm when the needle has reached the run-out groove. This spares the delicate stylus and the nerves of its owner alike.