The latest addition to this Swiss manufacturer's range undeniably builds on the flagship Thorens TD 309 vinyl turntable, sharing many of its design features. For example, the vinyl turntable is made of medium and coated with a striking black, red or white gloss, depending on your chosen model. It also shares the idiosyncratic shape of the TD 309 (4-pointed asymmetrical star shape). However, the 309’s glass platter has been replaced by a lighter aluminium and acrylic sandwich construction, which is still effective at warding off resonance. The 9-inch tonearm is the new aluminium TP90, which is modelled on the TP92, with the two models sharing the same aesthetic and mechanical elements such as the tube, bearings and headshell. The anti-skate system works via magnetic repulsion. The motor is controlled by a DC servo, which enables the user to change between playback speeds (33⅓ and 45 RPM) electronically. Despite using the Tri-Balance system found on the 309, the 209’s three feet have their own distinctive and ingenious damping system based around two vibration isolation bushings. This ensures that the turntable is thoroughly protected from all types of vibrations and mechanical interference.
For the uninitiated, this turntable is almost indistinguishable from its big sister the TD 309. This is because not much has changed, apart from the platter and feet. From the opening bars, you can recognise the signature musicality of Thorens vinyl turntables, and especially of the TD 309. The sound quality is indeed very similar, except for slightly inferior dynamic range and transparency. The timbre is precise and rich, without any harshness. The sound stage is a lot wider and deep and is quite precise if you enjoy classical music. But its overall balance makes it very versatile and it works wonders with a string quartet, jazz trio or a power pop band!
This TD 209 is flawless on many accounts: musicality, design, build (made in Germany!), and user-friendliness. The price is highly reasonable and offers excellent value for money. If you dream of owning a TD 309 but don’t have the budget for it, there is absolutely no shame in opting for the TD 209 instead, which will still do justice to your record collection. Highly recommended!
Diapason d'Or - 2014 Franck
Turntable: Glossy MDF
Drive principle: Belt
Motor: Synchronous with DC servo
Speed: 33,45 rpm, electronic change
Platter: 304 mm aluminium/acrylic
Platter weight: 0.9 kg
Tonearm: Thorens TP 90 with anti-skate magnet
Suspended chassis: Tri-Balanced
Cartridge: AT 95 b
Dimensions: 470 X 430 X 125 mm
Dust cover: Acrylic
Power supply: 12v DC
Weight: 4.2 kg