Thorens TD-185 TurnTables


Drive system: Thorens belt drive. Speeds: 33, 45 and 78 rpm. Motor: Regulated DC-motor. Platter: 285 cm / O. 8 kg aluminum. Weight: 5. 5 kg. Tonearm: TP 20 Effective length: 231 mm Effective mass: 16 gr.

User Reviews (1)

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Bob Schappert   Audiophile [Jul 02, 2000]

moderate cost for todays marketplace. Simplicity, semi-automatic, low susceptibility to external mechanical vibration.


No plug in head shell. Was supplied with Audio Technica lo end cart with hard to find exact replacement stylii.

As I was totally upgrading my system after buying several new amps, tape deck & CD Deck ( all nakamichi ) I inquired about Turntables with the dealer I was doing business with. I had been using a Dual CS 5000 for several years for manual play but found it cumbersome to use and the end of record cut off sensor did not want to accomodate the differences in cut off points in different records, especially the longer ones.
the Dealer showed me the Thorens TD 185NR. Although this was a brand new unit he was willing to take a few dollars off the price since there was a very slight bit of cosmetic damage 9 very small nick ) on the front corner of the base. The unit was quipped with a distributor installed 9 I think ) Audio technica Cartridge although the only indication of that was an AT logo on the stylus grip. There were no markings whatsoever on the cartridge itself.

After attempting to locate a surce for exact replacement stylii and cost I decided to change the cartridge. i was dissapointed in the fact that this tone arm did not have a plug in head shell but rather the arm end was held in place by a circular clamp arrangement with no detent for correct allignment if moved.

The tone arm tracking range is up to 3 grams. I customairily track at 2 to 5 grams with a Pickering V15 AT Cartridge equipped with a type DAT2 Stylus ( pickering original, I dont like fake or look a like stylii ). I installed the Pickering Cart and had to borrow an allignment ig from a friend to allign the de=tatchable end of the tone arm. Fortunately I have a near lifetime supply of stylii for this cart.
The DAT2 tracking pressure spec is 2 to 5 grams so I have the tone arm counter balance maxd out at 3 gm as well as the anti-skate.

the belt driven turntable runs quietly & smoothly. Speed was accurate when checked with a strobe disc and monitored for several minutes.

this unit has better isolation from external vibration than other turntables I have used despite the lack of spring suspension.

This is a semi-automatic turntable with end of record reject for the tone arm and automatic shutoff. I don't really care for the fact that I have to use the cuing lever every time I want to play a record but that is how most of them are made today.

I have been well satisfied with the performance of this turntable. I like the longer tone arm compared to that of the Dual units I have used.

My primary choice of vinyl is my lifetime accumilation of 45 RPM Singles that I have accumilated since the mid 1950's so the cartridge, stylii and tracking pressure i have selected to use are not a problem.

If I were a connesuer vinyl collector or lover of serious music I might opt for one of the more elaborite models although for my own personal use I find no shortcommings in the playing performance of the thorens TD 185 NR.

End Review Thorens TD185 NR Turntable 07/00

Similar Products Used: Dual CS 5000, Benjamin Miracord 10 H , Dual 1010, Dual 1019, Garrard AT60
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