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Thorens’s TD 170-1 turntables are by far some of the most interesting models to get under $1000. Their simple design, tight tolerances and overall quality engineering make them pretty smooth. Let’s check one out a bit closer.
Going over the exterior design of the TD 170-1 reveals that Thorens aimed for simplicity over all. There are no provocative details, no fluted platters or anything similar. This turntable is all about minimalism at its best. The base is a mono-block design that’s completely squared.
The only thing that disrupts its clean surface is the speed select switch at the bottom left corner, and Thorens logo at the bottom right. What’s really cool is how they have designed the switches. Instead of going with buttons or knobs, Thorens chose to go with actual mechanical lever switches. Whether or not that was the most optimal solution from a performance standpoint is up for discussion.
However, it plays perfectly into the whole analog/old school theme they got going on here. Finally, TD 170-1 features a dust cover that isn’t necessarily meant to be removed, but we are sure that you can just pop off the hinges if you are into that look.
If there are three things you should know about Thorens TD 170-1, it is the following. This is a belt driven turntable with an electronically controlled DC motor. Speeds available are 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM, which allows you to play a whole array of new and old records alike. Lastly, this is a fully automatic turntable.
The good thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about tonearm alignment or balance, making it a great choice for beginners. However, those who want that type of control might be turned off by this design. There is a consolation prize, though.
TD 170-1 comes with no amplifier, so at least you can adjust the performance that way. With that said, Thoresen does offer a version with a built-in amp that goes under the same name. There’s a bit of confusion about this, but it is best to ask the vendor which exact model they have in stock.
When it’s time to play some records, you will be surprised just how accurate TD 170-1 is. The quality of sound is impressive, to say the least. There is absolutely no skipping or similar issues involved, even if you play older records. Pair it up with a decent amplifier and you got yourself an audiophile level setup.
Playing records is as easy as pressing a switch. It being fully automatic definitely makes it attractive in a sense that you can access your favorite music in a matter of seconds. In all honesty, this is a no thrills turntable. There are no flashy bells and whistles on it, but the core performance is absolutely there.
Thorens focused on precision machining and quality control more so than the appearance with this one. There’s something comforting in knowing that there are still brands out there who operate this way. Whether you’re a beginner or an audiophile who’s tired of adjusting every single parameter, TD 170-1 is a great choice to go with.
Thorens has once again given use a simple yet well-made turntable that’s there for our convenience. It offers great tone and solid performance overall. In other words, all most of us expect from a good turntable.