Thorens TD 202 Turntable Package Phono Onboard

Phono Onboard

Thorens' built-in phono stage has a very narrow 'sweet spot' in terms of its cartridge compatibility – it's a 'get you on the road' solution rather than an ultimate window on the potential of the deck. Gain, at +35dB, is someway short of the +40dB to +50dB expected for a MM phono stage while the input overload margin is not especially generous. Specifically, the deck's RCA outputs reach 1% THD for a cartridge output of just 9mV – that's just +8dB headroom over the 3.5mV (1kHz/5cm/sec) of the supplied AT-95E pick-up. Distortion levels out at ~2% THD for +18dB headroom, equivalent to the most extreme groove modulations likely to be encountered. A 1V output from the deck, driving any line input on your integrated or preamp, will be at 2% THD plus whatever distortion is generated by the AT-95E at the same point. Distortion falls to ~0.03%/1kHz at 200mV output but is 0.17%/20Hz [red trace, inset Graph].


Otherwise, the low gain confers a low –88.5dBV residual noise and a wide 82dB A-wtd S/N ratio, so the TD 202 is nothing if not 'quiet'. The RIAA equalised response shows the midrange boost and circa –0.3dB presence/treble dip common to many budget phono stages [black trace] while Thorens has thoughtfully engineered a subsonic filter (–1.9dB/20Hz to –6dB/9Hz) that will deal with the worst excesses of any warped LPs. PM

Thorens GmbH
Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Supplied by: Signature Audio Systems
07738 007776