Thorens TD-203 experiences?

I've been considering changing out my vintage PL 15D II for one of these to get better performance in a more compact footprint.  I'm especially pleased that they've started shipping with the Ortofon 2M Blue in place of the TAS (A-T); I've always been partial to the Ortofon MM sound.  That, along with the recent price reduction has kindled my current attention.

This would not be a rig that would get a lot of use; I keep the old Pioneer for noisier and/or weak recordings that don't benefit from my high end table.  It works well enough, but has never been especially engaging even with a hyper-accurate alignment of a new 2M Red.  I'm also very tight on space in my rack.  The height of the PL 15 is uncomfortable to work with and is not especially attractive.

I've read the reviews and have only seen one or two pop up second hand, so am thinking it offers a good value proposition.  I'd like to hear from current and/or former owners about their experiences, especially adjusting the azimuth, VTA and impressions of overall build quality.  It's my understanding the deck is designed in Germany and made in Asia, so build quality strikes me as a potential concern.

FWIW, I owned a Planar 2 for a long time and got good service out of it.  I had originally considered another one (now that they make them again) or a Pro-Ject Debut as well.  They're both just wide enough to be a fit problem in the space so not feasible.

Look forward to your input!


Showing 1 response by audioguy85

Just picked one up for $579 Rutherford. Comes with the tas 257 mm cartridge, albeit an AT 3600. However, based on the many reviews, the turntable as is sounds phenomenal for the money. That arm alone is almost $500 bucks, so to get it with the cartridge and electronic speed control is a bargain. It originally retailed in the US for $999. I chose the black color as it contrasted nicely with the silver arm. I’ll give it a spin with the tas 257, and maybe throw on a Sumiko Moonstone mm in future. The moonstone is one of the best values out there at $299. The arm is 11 grams (low-medium mass) and the moonstone is of a medium compliance so should fair well compatibility wise. I also think the AT F-7 mc cartridge (also medium compliance) would sound great on this table, but the price mark ups are ridiculous on that cartridge as I believe it was discontinued. It could be had @ $259 at one selling for over $500. The uni-pivot arm is unique at this price point, actually unheard should be a nice table to grow into as money allows with plenty of adjustments available. I really did not need another turntable, but to me, this table is so unique and nicely designed that I could not pass it up at that price. They won't be available forever, so I pounced on it. Should be fun to tinker with it.