Thorens New Reference

Thorens New Reference

Reference silver Black front

 Fully integrated active vibration isolation by Seismion

The Thorens New Reference is the result of our strive for the perfect rendition of music recordings. The electrical signals in a turntable are created by mechanical vibrations of the stylus of the cartridge while it moves along the grooves of a vinyl record. These vibrations are converted into the sound.

In exactly the same way, all other mechanical vibrations of the turntable are processed and lead to distortion and other unwanted effects. The sources of these vibrations are for example building vibrations, people walking around, the sound waves of the music and self-generated vibrations from the turntable itself. Since it is not possible to distinguish between the actual music vibrations and parasitic disturbances, these must be avoided as much as possible.

The Thorens design team around Helmut Thiele, who is responsible for the construction and design of the new Reference, have taken on this challenge.

With the Thorens New References, for the first time ever a turntable is designed and optimized from scratch together with a fully active vibration isolation system. Thorens teamed up with the German company Seismion, which is internationally renowned for its class-leading active vibration isolators, to create a turntable, that is designed around the vibration isolation system as an integral part of the system. Seismion fully exploited its expertise in active isolation systems used for semiconductor industry, nanotechnology and scientific laboratories, to create a vibration isolation never seen and experienced in turntables before.

The active vibration isolation is based on piezoelectric acceleration sensors with an extremely high sensitivity, and an all-linear electronic control circuit to generate unrivalled low noise- and distortion-free control forces. This sophisticated mechatronic system is based on so called Sky-Hook-Damping and isolates disturbances already below 1 Hz and reduces them to less than 1% (-40 dB) at frequencies of 10 Hz and above. Such a performance is far superior to any other isolation (figure 1). This figure shows the comparison of the active isolation system - Sky-Hook-Damper - and a high-performance Air Spring. Especially at the critical frequencies around the resonance, the active isolation has a performance which is up to 100 times better. At 10 Hz it is still about 17 times stronger isolated than with an Air Spring. Other dampers like rubber mounts are on a much lower performance level and not shown in this comparison.


The overall system is designed in a way that the centre of gravity - COG - is close to the plane of isolation. In this way, the coupling of horizontal vibrations and tilting motions are greatly reduced (figure 2). Furthermore, the chassis itself is made non-resonant by its layered structure of highly damped materials.


The result of the vibration isolation is simply pure music like one has hardly experienced. The effect goes far beyond the simple elimination of foot-fall vibrations. In fact, even tiny vibrations in the range of nano meter down to pico meter are still efficiently isolated, due to the contact-less actuators. The system also follows music with high dynamics between quiet and loud sequences extremely quickly, since the active control forces stabilize the system and lead to an instantaneous settling time of the isolation system. An adaptive levelling system, which keeps the turntable precisely levelled within 20 micro meter completes the active isolation system.

 Drive unit with innovative platter absolute-velocity-damping by Seismion

The other fundamental part of every turntable is the drive unit. The ultimate goal is to realize the perfect and constant rotation speed of the platter. This concerns both the absolute speed and modulations of the speed around the mean value also called wow and flutter.The Thorens New Reference features a high-quality German-made 3-phase synchronous motor, which is driven by three all linear power amplifiers with 120° shifted sine signals. The motor torque is transmitted to the platter by a belt (figure 3). The hydrodynamic bearing is optimized by use of lubrication theory equations. In this context the Sommerfeld-number is used, which describes the thickness of lubrication film and the diameter of the bearing. This number is named after german physicist Arnold Sommerfeld, who conducted several fundamental research in the field of hydrodynamics. A small Sommerfeld-number means the bearing is centered already at very low rotation speeds, which minimizes the wear and ensures minimum out of center errors like eccentricity and whirl. The hydrodynamic bearing is made and hand-finished in Germany.


Together with the innovative active damping technique, the belt-driven approach has several significant advantages:

  1. Unlike Direct Drive systems, the turntable platter is isolated from the drive motor because of the elastic belt. The high inertia of the platter is therefore efficiently utilized and helps to passively remain a constant velocity of the platter. Moreover, any fluctuations from the motor are strongly supressed by the platter/belt second order low-pass characteristics.
  2. A common disadvantage of belt-driven systems is the potential resonance of the platter, which is observed as wow and flutter. The rotational inertia of the platter forms together with the elasticity of the belt an oscillatory system. The resonance frequency is typically about 4 Hz, but depends on the actual parameter values of the system. The orange graph in figure 4 shows a peak around 4 Hz, where all disturbances are strongly amplified. This means that the rotation speed of the platter is no longer constant, but modulated with 4 Hz around the mean velocity. This effect is known as wow, and highly undesired, especially since the human ear is most sensitive to this frequency range. Figure 5 displays the weighting curve as described in DIN 45507 or IEC 386. The maximum of this weighing unfavorably coincides with the typical resonance of the platter / bearing system. Vibrations of the platter are excited mainly by the friction in the platter bearing, by a not perfectly circular platter, by irregularities of the belt and by slip between the belt and platter, which is necessary to transmit the torque from the motor. The orange graph sharply drops of for higher frequencies. This is the desired effect of the platter inertia.



The Thorens New Reference features an innovative and highly effective active damping system by Seismion. The deep knowledge and experience with sky-hook-damping systems featured in the active vibration isolator “Reactio” are used for the all new active damping approach of the platter.

The rotation speed calculation of the platter is based on two ultra-high-precision quartz-oscillators with a long-term stability of max. 3 ppm over 20 years, allowing for a safety cross check and reliable speed control over the life time of the New Reference. In fact, it means that the absolute speed remains within a range of 33.3332 to 33.3334 rotations per minute over 20 years.

The signal of the high-precision rotation encoder, which is mounted on the platter-shaft, is fed into the control electronics, which realize an absolute-velocity-damping of the platter. The effect might be compared to a highly viscous platter bearings, that are commonly used in belt-driven turntables. However, the active damping system designed for the Thorens New Reference has several advantages compared to passive damping techniques realized by viscous platter bearings:

  • The active damping reduces the resonance amplification at 4 Hz, and keeps the sharp drop at higher frequencies, while a highly viscous platter bearing has a negative effect on higher frequencies, since the graph does not drop as sharply, and the inertia effect of the platter is not utilized in the best way
  • The active damping effect can even be increased much further (lower blue line in figure 4) than by passive means, maximum passive viscous damping is shown as dashed orange line in figure 4
  • The platter bearing can be designed to be as friction-free as possible, since the damping is generated actively. As a result this bearing only generates minimal constant braking moment, in contrast to a viscous damped bearing.

Due to the low braking moment the stresses on the motor and belt are significantly lower. Therefore all disturbances are minimized and also lifetime is enhanced. The active damping does not create any constant braking torque, but only dynamic moments to eliminate the modulation frequencies.

As a result, the absolute-velocity-damping system in the Thorens New Reference efficiently absorbs any frequency modulations at the highest level possible.

Lastly, also the active isolation system which is explained in the previous section also contributes to a better Wow and Flutter performance, since it stabilizes the whole sub-chassis on which the platter is placed.

The Thorens New Reference can be equipped with up to 3 tonearm bases and can accommodate tonearms of 9", 10", and 12" inches. In addition to the newly developed TP160 cutting bearing tonearm with a length of 12" inches and continuous silver cabling, the Thiele TA01 tonearm is also used.

The complex kinematics of the Thiele TA01 combines the precise and rigid guidance of a pivoted tonearm with the advantages of a tangential tonearm. This design guides the cartridge with a maximum tracking error angle of 0.036 degrees across the record. The tonearm tube is double-walled and filled with a 2-component gel for optimal damping. The result of this design is a unique spatial resolution, extreme detail, and perfect tonality.

We are very proud to present this worldwide innovation for the 140th anniversary of Thorens during the High-End Show in Munich, says Thorens Owner and Managing Director Gunter Kürten.


New Thorens Turntable TD 1500

In 1965, the Thorens TD 150, an inconspicuous little turntable, came on the market and thus started a technical revolution in record player manufacturing. For the first time, a spring-suspended sub-chassis with an inner platter driven by a flat belt was used in a mass-produced unit. The principle proved to be very successful and found many imitators in the years since.
Even today, more than half a century later, old TD 150 models still enjoy great popularity.
Picking up on this historic milestone, Thorens is introducing a new model in 2021, the TD 1500, which is very much in the tradition of its legendary predecessor but utilizes 21st century technologies.

Like its famous predecessor, the new Thorens TD 1500, which will be operated purely manually, features a sub-chassis that decouples the turntable and tonearm shelf from the motor and frame by means of three conical springs. In contrast to the TD 150, these springs can be adjusted from above through corresponding holes in the platter, which makes correct adjustment much easier. The platter does not have to be removed for this. The platter itself, which weighs 1.4 kg and is 22 mm thick, is made of cast aluminum with a ground edge and turns its rounds in a bearing with a Delrin trust bearing, which guarantees enormously smooth running.

The speed of the DC motor is electronically monitored by an incremental encoder and deviations, e.g. caused by a broom, are automatically corrected. This also enables very good wow and flutter values

As a real unique selling point in its class, the TD 1500 has XLR outputs in addition to the usual pair of RCA jacks, thus enabling true balanced operation with a suitable MC cartridge.

Power is supplied to the drive by a 12V power supply unit.

Newly developed Thorens TP 150 tonearm

The new TP 150 tonearm is similar to the TP 124 used on the new TD 124 DD. It has an effective mass of 14 grams, is adjustable in height and azimuth and is equipped with a standard SME connector, so headshells can easily be switched or other cartridges mounted.

The anti-skating is set by a sliding weight in the base of the arm, which is adjusted on a nylon thread guided over a ruby bearing.

This guarantees the smoothest possible operation. The contact force is set classically on the scaled and two-part counterweight. This allows a wide selection of pickups to be used, from 6 - 30 grams weight.

The new Thorens TD 1500 combines traditional Thorens genes with contemporary modernity and proves a successful transformation of the TD 150 into today's world.

A high-quality and pre-adjusted 2M Bronze pickup from the Danish pickup specialist Ortofon, is also supplied as standard. This proves to be a perfect playing partner due to its naked diamond with Fine Line cut.

The Thorens TD 1500 is available in walnut or black, each in high gloss, from November 2021 in stores. A cover, as well as an RCA cable are included in delivery.
The RRP is incl. cartridge Ortofon 2M Bronze € 1999,--.


Thorens TD 403 DD

New Thorens direct drive turntable TD 403 DD

With the new model TD 403 DD Thorens completes the line of direct drive plug-and-play turntables of the 400 series. Visually a true Thorens, the new TD 403 DD features the same proven smooth-running direct drive as the successful TD 402 DD, but sets itself apart from its smaller brother with a more massive 1.4 kg and 22mm-thick cast aluminum platter and the TP 150 audiophile tonearm also used in the new TD 1500 model. A high-quality and pre-adjusted 2M Blue cartridge from Danish cartridge specialist Ortofon is also supplied as standard. This proves to be an adequate playing partner due to its naked diamond with elliptical stylus.

The purist and audiophile claim of the new model is emphasized by the omission of an auto stop function and integrated phono preamplifier.

The new turntable is powered by a 24V power supply

Newly developed Thorens TP 150 tonearm

The new TP 150 tonearm is also used on the newly introduced Thorens TD 1500 model and is similar to the TP 124 used on the new TD 124 DD. It has an effective mass of 14 grams, is adjustable in height and azimuth and is equipped with a standard SME connector, so headshells can easily be switched or other cartridges mounted.
The anti-skating is set by a sliding weight in the base of the arm, which is adjusted on a nylon thread guided over a ruby bearing.

This guarantees the smoothest possible operation. The contact force is set classically on the scaled and two-part counterweight. This allows a wide selection of pickups to be used, from 6 - 30 grams weight.

With the new TD 403 DD, Thorens rounds up its range of direct-drive turntables that are practically ready to play right out of the box.

The Thorens TD 403 DD will be available in walnut or black, both in high gloss, from November 2021 in stores. A cover, as well as an RCA cable are included in the scope of delivery.
The RRP including cartridge Ortofon 2M Blue € 1399,--.

TD403 DD

Thorens TD 102 A

THORENS is again expanding its range and is now presenting another fully automatic turntable for all vinyl fans with the all new TD 102 A model.

Thorens TD 102 A

The TD 102 A opens a completely new chapter in the field of fully automatic turntables from THORENS. The newly developed mechanism of the TD 102 A guarantees the lowest possible frictional resistance of all mechanical components.

The unit comes with an also newly developed carbon tonearm, including the preassembled AT VM 95 E cartridge system from Audio Technica, the successor model to the AT 95 E, which has been known and favored by vinyl-friends for many years. The switchable integrated phono preamplifier guarantees full connectivity with all modern audio systems.

20200910 Thorens TD 102 A schwarz 01 72

The TD 102 A is available in surfaces "black high-gloss" or "walnut high-gloss", with care being taken during the development phase to emphasize the typical THORENS design. A high sound quality and a long service life complete the typical properties as you have been used to from THORENS for many years.

20200910 Thorens TD 102 A NB 09 72

RRP: 699,- EUR

EAN: 4260623590739 black high-gloss
EAN: 4260623590722 walnut high-gloss

Available from: January 2021

High resolution pictures can be found in our press area.


With the new TD 124 DD, Thorens is reviving one of the most legendary turntables in the brand’s history. The original concept of the TD 124 has been massively improved upon, using modern approaches, and now offers an unparalleled playback quality.

Thorens TD 124 DD – Tradition Meets Innovation

The original TD 124 was introduced in 1957 and has been used for decades in countless broadcast studios around the world. Ambitious music lovers also quickly discovered the highly precise turntable for themselves; a dedicated fan base has remained loyal to the TD 124 to this day.

Thorens is now building on this tradition with the completely newly developed TD 124 DD and continues it with innovative technologies. The purist design and basic construction are based on the original, but the height-adjustable aluminum chassis now rests on vibration-damping rubber elements. Instead of the original drive with friction wheel and belt, the new TD 124 DD uses a "High Precision" Direct Drive. This provides powerful torque, allows precise speed control, and keeps unwanted vibrations from the drive away from the platter.

Thorens TD 124 DD – Build For The Best Sound

Also new is the tonearm TP 124. It can be precisely adjusted in all parameters to the cartridge of choice and features an innovative anti-skating solution with a ruby bearing and a patented electric tonearm lift to facilitate gentle placement and removal of the stylus.

In addition to the extensive adjustment options, the enclosed headshell provides a great deal of flexibility when it comes to selecting a cartridge. The TD 124 DD also comes with an additional, slightly heavier counterweight that matches the Thorens SPU TD 124 pickup, which is available separately. This is an updated version of another legendary piece of vinyl equipment, the famous Ortofon SPU. Thorens has created the SPU 124 together with Ortofon for the discerning vinyl enthusiast looking for the extraordinary.

Thorens has payed attention to every detail when developing the new TD 124 DD to ensure that it meets the highest aspirations in sound performance. A high-quality external power supply unit ensures interference-free power delivery. In addition to the unbalanced outputs, balanced XLR connectors are also provided, which guarantee optimal signal transmission and thus the best possible sound when connecting the TD 124 DD to a high-end system with an appropriately equipped phono preamplifier.

The Thorens TD 124 DD will be available from September 2020 at a price of €7,990.
The Thorens SPU TD 124 (sold separately) will also be available from September 2020 at a price of €1,990.

TP 124 15.04.2019

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