New european "chinese built" turntables

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chgc
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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 04 Feb 2019 09:19

I don’t think it has been the focus of this thread, but I take your points that there are a lot of bad turntables on the market, and that setting up a decent quality one, in good working order is usually fairly straightforward.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 04 Feb 2019 09:44

ravelax wrote:
02 Feb 2019 19:27
I'm happy to learn that there is indeed more to Thorens than just re-branding other products they come across! :)
However, I still think their product line is confusing.
It's not confusing to me.
They have one line of automatic turntables (TD158, 170, 190 and 240) with their own distinct look and features, from the 90's.
They have the 295 from the 90's with an heritage that dates back to the TD280 in the 1980's (my first turntable was a TD280).
They have the 203, 206/209 and 309 that forms part of Thorens new serie, and those shares design elements with each other. They are all designed and developed by the same team.
They have the acrylic series with their own distinct look and features.
They have the high-end mid-market players - the TD350 and 550.
And the new high-end series the TD900-series.

Please note that their newest products are the new serie (203, 206/209, 309) and the 900-serie. The others are older designs. The acrylic serie is an updated of an older acrylic serie, just minor design tweaks in the plinth. So I rate them as being part of the same acrylic series.

And now, they have released a new entry level, budget series of manual turntables with built-in phono pre-amp, something other Thorens products does not have.

They all complement each other, are for different customers.
One would be paying more for the Elac brand compared to, say, the same basic design marketed by Audio Technica (AT-LP3), and it seems to me that the only thing one would really get for that extra money spent, is a different logo on the turntable.
Ah, but they are not the same turntable design!
The AT-LP3 is a fully automatic turntable. The Elac is a manual one. It's not only the plinths that differs, they have different platters (Elac has a thicker platter), different tonearms, different features, different belt drive system. The Elac is based on an upgraded platform, not the AT-LP3 design. Even if they are made in the same factory. Hanpin has several versions. I have no doubt that the Elac-design is the better sounding one, thank's to the differences to plinth, platter and tonearm designs.

However, I don't know if Elac sounds better than the Thorens TD201/202 or the Reloop Turn 3, they are much more close than the AT-LP3.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 04 Feb 2019 09:48

chgc wrote:
04 Feb 2019 02:46
A bigger problem, in my opinion, is that getting a turntable setup and working properly can be complicated (especially a used turntable that’s been in someone’s attic for 30 years).
Most modern turntables comes pre-configured with a cartridge mounted and aligned. The only thing one has to do as a customers is to place the belt and the platter on the turntable, adjusting anti-skate and counter weight, and to remove the packaging materials. Then it's all up and go. :) Takes just a few minutes.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 04 Feb 2019 10:00

raphaelmabo wrote:
04 Feb 2019 09:48

Most modern turntables comes pre-configured with a cartridge mounted and aligned. The only thing one has to do as a customers is to place the belt and the platter on the turntable, adjusting anti-skate and counter weight, and to remove the packaging materials. Then it's all up and go. :) Takes just a few minutes.
The best is when cartridge mounted on is misaligned, platter is wobbled and AS knob is only for decoration. Then you have paid 300 EUR for what?

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 08 Feb 2019 09:51

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
04 Feb 2019 10:00
The best is when cartridge mounted on is misaligned, platter is wobbled and AS knob is only for decoration. Then you have paid 300 EUR for what?
I understand that this is mostly a problem with the inexpensive direct drives.
Now, the tables that I'm mentioning here are 400 - 600 euro.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 08 Feb 2019 09:58

The Thorens TD202 is featured in a test in the german Stereo Magazine. It gets 5 stars för price-performance.
https://www.stereo.de/home/aktuelle-aus ... 6f0308ce32

The TD202 really looks like my first Thorens - the TD280 MkII - but with a different tonearm and a glossy finish.
The buttons and controls are of the same design and placement (almost, the tonearm lift knob on the TD280 is a start/stopp on the TD202 but they look exactly the same, and the speed selector is the same) :) Nice that Thorens respects their heritage.
And it comes with a different rubber mat (and with Thorens logo) than the other players with the same OEM drive engine. :)

But it seems like Elac Miracord 50 has better technical specifications. (the 1% for wow and flutter should be 0.1% according to german online shops that I've surfed on, the TD202 has 0.2%). So they are not the same, they have technical differences and adjustments even if the basic parts are the same.

Now, Thorens has also slimlined their product line. The semi-automatics are no more (the classic TD295 is not listed anymore). So they basically have three lines of turntables:
* Automatic series (full automatic turntables, similar in design but with different performance due to differences in plinth, platters and tonearms).
* Manual series (entry level to mid-market, the Chinese manufactured TD201/202 are the base models/entry models, from TD203 and up it's all Thorens made in Germany).
* Premium line (midmarket to high-end manual turntables.The new TD900-serie, Acrylic serie without suspension and the classic TD350/550 that).

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chargrove » 17 Feb 2019 01:52

chgc wrote:
03 Feb 2019 16:44
I have more turntables than I know what to do with, so I’m not very familiar with the industry’s latest offerings. But I suspect the abundance of cookie cutter belt drives is because the turntable market is a lot smaller than it used to be.

Those of us who were alive back when vinyl was the dominant format got used to seeing lots of interesting and innovative turntable designs because there was big money to be made selling turntables. Today, turntables are a niche market, too small to support many different companies spending lavishly on r and d. That’s why vintage turntables are more interesting than most of todays offerings. (But you all already knew that.)
chgc wrote:
03 Feb 2019 16:44
Today, turntables are a niche market, too small to support many different companies spending lavishly on r and d. That’s why vintage turntables are more interesting than most of todays offerings. (But you all already knew that.)
Hi everybody! Lucky you...you get a new member's first post as a reply LOL. I remember the days of the linear tracking tables and not much more than straight vs curved arms, and the heavy Pioneers and similar contrasted to the onslaught of Japanese tables of lighter weight and smaller footprint. That was my time...when I began to better understand "equipment" in my early teens in the early to mid-80s. The big heavy tables were already history...CDs on the way...cassettes were what everybody I knew preferred (for some reason). I think today's tables are quite stunning and sound (and look) much better than what I had the chance to experience in my youth. My reference point is pro studio work using a Studdert 2-inch master tape recorder/player and 24 track board into Tannoy monitors. A great studio on Lamar in Austin, TX circa 1992...now long gone. If there is a higher threshold for greatness...I haven't heard it. I wish I had a time machine and could experience first hand much of the early to mid-70s classic turntables when they were fresh and new. Alas they haven't invented one yet so I'm here in the now and digging what's out there. Yeah there is some lame and shoddy stuff...sure. There was in the 70s too. And the 80s. But there's some really really nice stuff that sounds amazing and is brand spanking new, harnessing better components and design than was imaginable 40 years ago. I love it...it's beautiful... But niche? Okay, I won't disagree there I suppose, but things are way more interesting in the here and now than in the good old days. Mass produced junk is still just that, but at the same time the means of production are so much more advanced now that quality electronics can be produced in greater quantities and in less time, as well. Not to mention companies like Rega who still build each item by hand, albeit with some pre-manufactured pieces, yet still are not pricing people out of acquiring much better than normal sound equipment made in the UK. If you don't keep your finger on the pulse of current equipment, as you claim, then you are missing out, man. It is the best of times.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 17 Feb 2019 05:43

When I referred to “interesting” turntables, I meant interesting to me (e.g. fancy electronics to control tracking force and damping, clever designs that reduce the footprint to the size of a record sleeve, and so on). And I agree that there are plenty of cool and great sounding turntables being produced today. But, in retrospect, I don’t find today’s market as interesting as it was when vinyl was king and there was more money to spend on innovation, research and development.
No disrespect intended to the many excellent products being produced today, but I’m not aware of any examples of turntables with “better components and design than was imaginable 40 years ago.”

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by chgc » 17 Feb 2019 06:16

Also, I’m new here myself, and not really a hifi connoisseur. I don’t feel the need for electronic tonearm damping, a 50 pound platter, or a depleted uranium plinth. But I get a kick out creative and exotic design.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by T68 » 17 Feb 2019 08:59

They don't make them like they used to do.

Will we ever see a beautifully over engineered Dual again?

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 17 Feb 2019 13:04

T68 wrote:
17 Feb 2019 08:59
They don't make them like they used to do.

Will we ever see a beautifully over engineered Dual again?
It depends on how one sees "beautiful" but Dual CS 600 is the top end of Dual today and has serious looks. But it comes in black and not uncoloured natural wood.
https://www.dual-plattenspieler.eu/en/p ... s-600.html

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by T68 » 17 Feb 2019 14:52

Nice deck! ... but does it even have a steuerpimpel? ;-)

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by raphaelmabo » 17 Feb 2019 15:21

T68 wrote:
17 Feb 2019 14:52
Nice deck! ... but does it even have a steuerpimpel? ;-)
And a "steuerpimpel" is what?

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by pivot » 17 Feb 2019 15:44

An old saying from work not "hobby", "It does not matter who built a thing but to who's specification it is built". In other words, does the company whose name is on the label exercise control over the end result and stand behind the results.

If the parent company does it's job specifying the product AND if the parent company checks the OEM production with reasonable quality control AND if the the parent company offers responsive customer support should an issue arise in the field THEN the product is solid. Made in China or made on the moon should be irrelevant if the company holds up it's end.

The consumer needs to understand that QC and customer support are part of the cost of product. Two products may look similar but the one with better pre and post purchase support will end up costing more BUT may offer better value to the user. The company history and the name on the label should matter.

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Re: New european "chinese built" turntables

Post by Spinner45 » 17 Feb 2019 16:50

pivot wrote:
17 Feb 2019 15:44
An old saying from work not "hobby", "It does not matter who built a thing but to who's specification it is built". In other words, does the company whose name is on the label exercise control over the end result and stand behind the results.

If the parent company does it's job specifying the product AND if the parent company checks the OEM production with reasonable quality control AND if the the parent company offers responsive customer support should an issue arise in the field THEN the product is solid. Made in China or made on the moon should be irrelevant if the company holds up it's end.

The consumer needs to understand that QC and customer support are part of the cost of product. Two products may look similar but the one with better pre and post purchase support will end up costing more BUT may offer better value to the user. The company history and the name on the label should matter.
That last statement normally would be true, as in "back in the day" such companies as RCA Victor, Zenith, Westinghouse, Fisher, Harman Kardon, etc., made products with their reputation in mind.
There was individuality back then, not cloned, cookie-cutter offerings.
But today, those names don't mean crap, because "the name on the label" was bought by outsiders, as was many others, and produce products of questionable generic quality.