Thorens TD-309 Review

An astounding piece of engineering-art.

The Thorens TD-309 sits amongst Thorens range of modern turntables that carry on their impressive legacy with record players.

Thorens TD-309 – One of the sexiest turntables in the world

Ever heard a chef say that people “eat with their eyes” and, therefore, presentation of a meal is important as it will influence the taste experienced? I’m convinced the same is true for sound. A Thorens TD-309 just looks like it will play music well. It is, to my eyes, in the top 5 best looking turntables on the market today. Historically, Thorens have had a penchant for the ‘moderately expensive’ hi-fi, and creating beatiful looking turntables has been their game since the stylish hallmark TD-124. Furthermore, the Thorens TD-309 is certainly a turntable that looks current. It’s unusual base shape and flashy colours will look right at home amongst a set of modern looking equipment. Only the Clearaudio Emotion rivals its modern, sleek exterior. I’ve really got a thing for glossy plinths, which is good since the Thorens TD-309 is available in glossy white, red and black as well as matte black and red.

Thorens TD-309 – plug and playability

What’s great about the Thorens TD-309 is it comes pretty much ready to go out of the box. Other tables in this price range often come without cartridge, or even tonearm – the Thorens TD-309 comes with both. The included cartridge, the AT95e, should be swapped out for something better straight away, but I like that they’ve included a pretty neutral sounding cartridge to at least let first-time turntable owners get some spins in before they move upward to a decently priced moving coil. The tonearm is the TP-92, and is only on the Thorens TD-309.

A seemingly gimmicky thing about the Thorens TD-309 is the included balance weight which is supposed to be placed on the turntable surface near the front edge. I suppose the point of this disc is so if the user wished to change the arm on the turntable, so as to redistribute the weight more evenly. Given that the TP-92 is a nice arm that few, if any, would want to replace, this seems a little pointless. A gimmick or two never hurt anyone, though.

Conclusion

Beautifully designed, the Thorens TD-309 primarily differentiates itself from its competitors with its looks, and it does this astoundingly well.

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