the first 60 years
Thorens, founded in 1883, started by manufacturing music boxes and musical works. In the early 20th century, they produced rollers phonographs and gramophones, expanding their product range to include harmonicas and lighters. The introduction of electric motors, magnetic pickups, and advanced tonearms marked significant advancements. Thorens gained worldwide fame in the 1950s with the TD 124 turntable and continued to innovate with the TD 150, TD 125, and TD 160 models. Mergers, restructuring, and the introduction of new series followed, accompanied by challenges in the 1990s. After a change in ownership, Thorens made a comeback in 2018, continuing its legacy of quality and introducing new models that pay homage to the brand’s rich history.
WORLD FAME WITH RECORD PLAYERS
Thorens gained worldwide recognition through its record players. The introduction of the TD 124 model in 1957 propelled the brand to global fame, appealing to professionals and home users alike. Subsequent models, including the TD 135 and TD 184, showcased Thorens’ commitment to quality and innovation. The TD 124 remains highly regarded by vinyl enthusiasts to this day.
THE SPRING-LOADED SUBCHASSIS BECOMES A WORLDWIDE
Thorens revolutionized the turntable industry with its spring-loaded subchassis design, which garnered worldwide acclaim. The introduction of the TD 125 model in 1968, inspired by the smaller TD 150, featured a seven kg spring-loaded subchassis and electronic motor control. The subsequent TD 160 and TD 125 Mk II models continued the legacy of this highly successful design.
The 1980s saw Thorens navigating a changing landscape in the face of CD dominance. The company introduced new models such as the TD 524 studio drive and the TD 147 “Jubilee” and TD 126 “Centennial” anniversary models. The shift to a three-leaf spring subchassis design in the 300 series brought both acceptance and electronic motor control advancements. Thorens maintained its commitment to producing high-quality turntables while exploring new territories in the electronics market.
THE 1990S, END AND RESURRECTION
The 1990s marked a difficult period for Thorens due to the decline of the turntable market. Facing financial difficulties, the company underwent restructuring, closing its equipment factory in Lahr and outsourcing production. However, Thorens found a new lease on life by focusing on proven equipment development and forming partnerships in the electronics and loudspeaker sectors.
THORENS 2001 – 2018
Thorens, under new ownership in 2001, experienced a revival of its legacy. Heinz Rohrer acquired the brand, preserving its reputation for high quality and reliability. The company launched new products, including the innovative 900 series with adjustable air chamber sub-chassis and the design-oriented Acryl Line series. Thorens also achieved success with its electronic line and continued to honor its rich history while introducing new innovations.
THORENS since 2018
Since 2018, Thorens has experienced a renaissance under new ownership. The brand returned to Germany, focusing on recapturing its core values. New models like the TD1600 and TD1601 pay homage to the brand’s past while incorporating modern innovations. Thorens maintains its commitment to quality, engineering, and preserving its esteemed reputation in music reproduction.
north american market
Rutherford Audio Inc.is the official distributor of Thorens in North America. With a commitment to delivering exceptional audio experiences, Rutherford Audio brings the legendary Thorens brand to discerning music enthusiasts across the continent, providing access to a wide range of premium turntables and accessories.