Thorens TD 202 Turntable
New TD 202 completes the new series of manual plug and play turntables. Compared with its “smaller” brother TD 201 it comes with a more massive plinth and a AT 95E cartridge.
The integrated phono stage includes an additional analogue/digital converter with USB out. So the record played will be automatically digitized and can easily be recorded on a computer using several kinds of recording software that can be downloaded from the web.
The TD202 looks solid and trustworthy with a beautiful Walnut timber finish aesthetic. Maybe it’s the square aspect of the plinth, the vertical sides to the platter and the straight tube on the arm. There’s a simplicity here that reflects old fashioned values. The design has a slightly 70s retro feel to it.
This is a turntable with its feature set aimed more at a lifestyle audience. Firstly, it features a built-in phono amplifier. The great thing about the phono amp’s inclusion is that it will save you money. If your amplifier doesn’t feature a built-in phono amplifier then you’ll need to buy one. Also, if ripping vinyl to a digital file is important to you then the built-in USB port will be of use, again saving you the trouble of buying an external unit.
This 2-speed, belt-driven design where the speeds can be changed with a swing-type toggle switch placed on the near left of the top of the plinth. There is a straight-line tonearm with the AT-95E cartridge being fine as it stands in terms of its role as the default cartridge for the TD202.
Bass was admirably focused on the TD202, easily discernible by the ear and nicely weighty and full of impact.This Thorens' ability to dig into the dark recesses of the mix will mean that even subtle information will be easily presented to the ear. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable listen.