Thorens TD-280 MKIV TurnTables

TD-280 MKIV

Belt drive turntable with auto lift/shutoff at end of play.

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
aglindh   Casual Listener [May 30, 2010]

Bought my TD280mkIV about 10 yrs ago used, for about $200. Better than my old turntables, noticeably so. But I'm no audiophile. But now it's stopped working, motor won't spin, only schematic I can find is for a MKII, electronics seem similar, motor seems to be getting the required voltages, shaft just vibrates, so I assume motor is shot. Not sure it's worth repairing, or if a replacement motor could even be found.
Advice welcome. If you've got a surplus one with good motor you'd like to get rid of, lemme know. Or if you want this one for parts, get in touch. Meanwhile I'll work on my old TD150 which is working, and sure is simple, and may sound better anyway. So what if it's not auto-shutoff.
thanks

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
rolamo   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 23, 2004]
Strength:

Reliability Simple operation Musical and nice sounding

Weakness:

Bland looks

I have the MkII version and it was bought in 1988. This is my first turntable and I'm still enjoying it. I've used it with Ortofon OM10, OM20 and has now replaced the OM20 (standard, not super) with a Denon DL-110. The bass has improved (goes deeper) and I can also hear a new found, and very pleasing, smoothness to the higher frequencies. The Denon rock's - having a tighter and more rhytmmic, more "alive" than the OM20. But the OM20 had a slightly more focused soundstage (better detailing). Overall, the DL-110 is more musical sounding. My Thorens has given me great service since day one. Very reliable! I haven't done anything to it. I just replace cartridge (stylus) and belt now and then, nothing more. So this must be very good value for money! About the belt slip problems that I've read here... When the belt was slipping, I replaced it. Since 1988, I've replaced it three times. The last belt seems to have higher quality than the past ones. (replaced it 3 years ago, still no problem). I use my turntable... hm, about 5 - 7 hours a month.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Boozerocket   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 23, 2003]
Weakness:

I paid way too much for this new. Convex motor pulley.

I actually purchased this turntable about ten years ago.(This is the 280 Exclusiv, I don't know how it differs from other 280's) The obvious design problem of a convex motor pulley caused me to introduce it to my foot after only a few weeks of use. It has been sitting in my attic ever since. I recently hauled this thing out of the cob webs with the intention of making it work or tossing it out. The fix was quite simple. A bottle of CG Electronics' "Belt & Drive Non-Slip" did the trick. You can purchase that at http://www.tubesandmore.com/. Anyways, the turntable had a Shure V15 V-MR that was never even broken in. I plugged it into my system and couldn't have been more pleased. I won't bother with a detailed account of sonic virtues. I realize the good sound is mostly the result of the fine cartridge used. My point of this review is to inform anybody who cares that this turntable can be made to work for less than $10. With the exception of the motor pulley,the build quality is great. I am betting that you can pick these things up dirt cheap. If so, with the use of some non-slip and a good cartridge, you could have a fine turntable for a lot less than anything new. Just for comparison, this turntable with the V15 sounds better than my Music Hall mmf 5 with its stock Goldring. I will not be using the Thorens. I got it up and running for a family member. I will however, be installing a new V15 on my Music Hall.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Jeremy Verity   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 22, 2002]
Strength:

Pros Auto stop system works well. Heavy platter Wooden construction Simple design Fits in well with modern black equipment Sounds OK with OM10 cartridge supplied

Weakness:

Cons Wtach the plastic lifter for cueing, this warps in the sun and will make the needle skip if the lifter touches the arm while playing. Motor seems to run out of torque and cogs at start up, so i need to give the platter a spin to help it start up. (no its not the belt slipping)

Overall an OK turntable but you could do better with and old MKII Rega or even a ecent jap turntable. OM10 sounds a bit enthusiastic in the upper mid range, and lacks finesse, but for what you pay for it you can''t complain.

Similar Products Used: Thorens TD166 Harman Kardon 55c
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
hao pan   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 18, 2002]
Strength:

warm sound and low back ground noise, quiet motor.

Weakness:

poor arm design, hard to upgrade and the out put interconnect as well.

i bought this TT as used in mint condition in u.k,price paid in slerling and had used it for 2 monthes. i had opened the back of the deck, the number on it says it was made in 1997. Thorens td 280 iv provides a warm sound you expect from a tt,mine fitted with a ortofon ome cartridge, which make background noise a little bit lower comparing with the originall audio technica cartridge. the arm is the weakest link of the thorens, the count weight is poorly made,and it is hard to adjust it to let arm float freely, and the back of the plintch made of laminted wood,which is a crap! a terrible ''bang'' sound when it stops playing. in contrast, the lid is very stable,and the clerning brush is very useful to clear the vinyls,moreover sound is not too bad.i also have a old dual cs 503-1 turntable, i think you can not easily say the sound of the old one definetly better than the new,both of them sound nice depends on your taste of music and listening, but i can easily say my old dual was guality made, and looks gorges. i gave the rating of throens based on a secondhand TT. the other equipment i use with this deck are: sansui as-80 amp 70''s celetion ditton 15 speaker. cable talk cable.

Similar Products Used: why bother?
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Val Naumov   [Jan 27, 1999]

I just couln't to no answer to Glenn D - you're absolutely right about Thorens,but i think it's common rule for most of new products ,including Thorens too.
I got a lot of troubles with this turntable - noizy autostop ( BAMMS!!),
not split surface of the platter , very bad anti-weight , very bad anti-scating,
and so on .I just very warried about my records , some of which are VERY
expensive ( for example , first ablum of "Idle Race" with Jeff Lynne , English
issue, costs about 350 UK Pounds ! ).I even connected with Thorens factory in
Germany ,but there was so late to return the money . At last one of my friends
simply presented old Dual604 to me - and now i can imagine what is REAL
GERMANY QUALITY .But it was manufactured in 1983 ! And works excellent , like
an instrumental mechanics somewhere in laboratory .And need no any cones or
special legs - just spring suspended chassis .From that , my opinion ,dear
Glenn - just try to find any OLD unit -i'm sure it will be much better than
any newone , i can say it seriously 'cos i'm service engineer in Pro-Audio
trading company , and i know what i'm saying . Best wishes and luck .
I even cannot sign one box for Thorens, but must do it.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Craig   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 10, 1999]

The 280MkIV is a serviceable but unspectacular unit with decent sonics once set up. My setup is utilizing a Sumiko Blue Point Special which sounds fine but dosen't match well with the 280 - off the scale for the dial-in tracking force weight which makes setup a royal pain, especially with the poor cartridge head connection. Vinyl enthusiasts of old should not expect the "tank spec" build quality that Thorens used to have, my old TD 145 from the 70's was much better built. Definatly the "weak sister" in my Spectral/Aragon/Dunlavy system.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
franz   Casual Listener [Dec 09, 2001]
Strength:

no problems with his belt-drive

Weakness:

i found none

this turntable works and works and works.....
and it has a good and warm sound.

Similar Products Used: sony
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Glenn D.   an Audiophile [Oct 21, 1998]

After living with my delightful Sony PSX7 for all most twenty years, I was faced with purchasing a new TT when the PSX7 stopped lifting the arm. Being so old, Sony no longer carries the repair parts and it was getting other gremlins. So, based on Thorens reputation and my brother's happiness with his older 124, I bought the Thorens site unseen. What a mistake. Is so lightweight and poorly suspended that it jumps around at the slightest movement. It is built of poor quality materials and weighs next to nothing. In addition, the pivot points for the cover are so poorly designed that the cover cannot be placed down after the TT is started. The arm lift is so flimsy that I am always afraid that I will be either scratching my LP's or running my cartridge stylus/cantilever whenever I move the arm. All-in-all a poorly researched choice by me and an even worse product by Thorens. Will be trading up to a Rega or other reasonable TT as soon as I cash in my change. A most disappointing product.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Roland Mabo   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 16, 1998]

My first, and only, turntable are the sonically pleasing Thorens TD280MkII.It has served me well under many years, and with the choice of p/u to
Ortofon OM20 (from the standard equipped OM10) it became even better.
It has a natural, easy going flow. May not be the utmost in bass extension
or detailing, but when listening - one simply doesn't care about such things. All that matters are the music. This isn't a turntable to play 12" dance mixes on. It excells on vocal based tracks, and acoustics. It even plays my Jean Michel Jarre collection very well.

Build quality is reasonable rather than outstanding. Needs to be placed upon a steady support to give out it's best. Full manual turntables (such as Rega Planer 2) do sound better than this half-automatic, but Thorens has nevertheless suceeded in creating a nice sounding product with nice features.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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