Thorens TD160HD Turntable

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2Channel Distribution Thorens TD 160 HD
Thorens TD160HD Turntable

“I know nothing stays the same…” at least, so sang Carly. But in hi-fi, as in life, there are touchstones, ever-presents, whose constancy both reassures and marks our passage: they may develop or evolve, fade from our affections only to re-emerge later, often reminding us along the way of a reality we’d perhaps chosen to forget. And let’s be honest, wanton disregard for the facts is pretty much a prerequisite for audiophilia nervosa. Which tends to make products that are just downright sensible, that deliver simple, honest performance, sadly unglamorous. But how often do we come back to them, rediscovering the solid qualities that somehow escaped our notice (or didn’t seem quite so important) when we were busy selecting our last flight of sonic fancy?

Thorens supplied my first ever, suspended sub-chassis turntable (at a time when suspended sub-chassis construction was de rigeur if you didn’t want the staff in your local audio store sniggering at you behind your back). That TD160S, complete with an SME 3009 served me well, whilst encouraging a (probably unhealthy) interest in the history of the deck’s development. As a result I also acquired a TD160BC, various TD150s and a couple of AR XAs, all for peanuts on the secondhand market. It was an interesting voyage of discovery, along the path of which I learnt that appearances can be deceptive and newer doesn’t necessarily mean better. But it also taught me considerable respect for Thorens’ engineering and their place in the hi-fi firmament, importers to Europe from its roots in the US, of the structural approach that was to sweep to prominence in the audio equivalent of jihad.

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