What We Like
- Rock solid build quality.
- Heavier platter and plinth design.
- Modular tonearm with easy cartridge access.
What We Don’t Like
- Limiting stock cartridge that holds the entire system down.
TD 190-2 is a more robust version of TD 170-1 from Thorens and by far one of the most reliable turntables you can grab under $1000. Let’s take a closer look and see what it has to offer.
Thorens is generally one of the few companies left who appreciate vintage design. By that, we don’t mean tacky 1920s look. Rather, Thorens follows the aesthetic of the late ’80s, which is what a lot of conservative turntable users are looking for.
The chassis of the TD 190-2 doesn’t differ much from its smaller cousin, the TD 170-1. It is simple, robust and overall very clean. Since it has some weight to it, TD-190-2 will sit comfortably on just about any surface. In terms of colors, there aren’t really many choices to ponder on. They offer either black or silver structured enamel finish, which fits the whole vintage look very well.
This is the type of turntable that will fit in your interior design no matter how modern or classic it is. With that said, it’s not all looks. Build quality is impressive, which can be seen the moment you come a bit closer.
One of the things TD series of turntables is known for is their fully automatic nature. In this sense, TD 190-2 is the most robust model Thorens offers. Both the plinth and the platter are much heavier compared to the TD 170-1, meaning that you can listen to various genres of music and not worry about sound issues.
They have kept the electronically controlled DC motor paired with a flat belt drive, thus ensuring smooth operation. The tonearm is a bit more complex as well, being a modular design instead of the standard mono-block. This way you can fit any cartridge you like if the factory one doesn’t suit your taste.
Speaking of cartridges, the one that arrives with the unit is Ortofon OM10. Needless to say, there is a lot to gain by finding a suitable aftermarket alternative. Even though it is fully automatic, TD 190-2 allows for a bit more adjustment in terms of tonearm balance.
When you pop your favorite record on, the first thing you will notice is how good this thing sounds. As soon as the stylus hits the vinyl, you will instantly forget that it’s a mid-range auto turntable. That heavy platter does wonders in terms of smoothness and consistency.
With that said, Ortofon’s OM10 really is the bottleneck of the whole system. It just doesn’t have the range nor the ability to keep up with more intricate records. We would say this gripe is minor, but then again getting a more versatile cartridge increases the price of the whole unit. If you are going to listen to mostly newer prints, you should be fine.
Put on anything that is a couple of decades old and that is when the trouble starts. Even with those shortcomings, Thorens TD 190-2 is still one of the better models in this price range, especially for those who are looking for fully automatic turntables.
Overall, this is a great mid-range turntable that features great build quality, excellent performance but also a couple of issues. It is great for beginners who want a simple unit, as well as more experienced users.