Thorens TD-320 MKIII TurnTables

TD-320 MKIII

Belt Drive Turntable

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
David Chen   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 04, 2014]

Not as resolving as more expensive TD2001/3001 but richer and more dynamic than TD160S series. Heavy inert MDF chassis contributes to rich and visceral bass no matter what cartridge I tried. In my estimation works best with lively cartridges. My Sumiko Pearl has never sounded better. Ortofon, Audio Technica and most MCs should also be good matches. My Mk III version has noticeably low background noise compared to Mk II because of RDS/Widia bearing rumored to be in only a few of the best vintage Thorens (TD2001/3001/520, Ambiance). A few caveats: TP90 arm sounds great but cueing device difficult to adjust because of limited adjustment range. Set too high and arm hits bar when lowered and interferes tracing; set too low and insufficient clearance between needle and record. Flimsy armrest prone to breakage. Auto shutoff with plastic sensor plate fussy to adjust - older system on TD1XX tables way more reliable IMO. Electronic drive and component aging means speed adjustment necessary if bought used. In all, a great sounding table that needs lots of adjustment for best performance. Definitely not plug and play.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
winegasman   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 2003]
Strength:

Stability, arm, brilliant semi-automatic functions.

Weakness:

Marketing.

I'll admit up front that I'm no audiophile and that I think that most of the discussions that audiophiles have about their equipment are...well...so much voodoo and mumbo-jumbo. Like all other stereo equipment, the TD-320 is an electronic toy for grown (white) boys. What it does well for ME is provide a warm, engaging sound, especially now that I've added a new Ortofon Super OM20. Can it deliver 97.2% of a Linn Sondek or 98.4% of a Music Hall 5 or 7 -- who knows? This whole business is quite subjective, isn't it? But I do know that I listen closely to recorded music, and I do that a lot, and this turntable keeps me paying attention. It turns the records at a stable speed and keeps the needle in the groove and lets the Ortofon and the amp take over. If your ego requires you to have the most compelling name or the largest price tag in audio equipment, go with your VPI, your Linn Sondek, or the other "audiophile" stuff. Invest your thousands of dollars. For me, and the other folks who are stuck living in the real world, on limited budgets, I recommend this turntable. Without hesitation. It is large and heavy and steady. It has the exact same 12-inch tonearm as its big brother, the TD-620, which often sells for 3 times what I paid for my 320. It has auto-lift and shut-off at the end of each lp, which is a good convenience and which presents no compromise to the sound of the table, since the mechanics of this feature appear to be effectively isolated from the spin and play of the platter and arm.

Similar Products Used: Linn Axis, Rega 3, MMF 5.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Frank Manolas   AudioPhile [Jun 14, 2002]
Strength:

Low noise. Nice design, build like a tank.

Weakness:

Nothing.

Very accurate and stable design, with very "quiet" floor noise. I use with a Dynavector MC-high cartdridge and the Rotel RC-995 preamplifier. I have modified the unit it on December 1999, just replacing the factory cartdridge cables with Van Den Hul MC-D502 halogen-free cables and WBT-type gold plated RCA jacks. After modification, I noticed very improved signal-to-noise ratio and extended frequency responce (yes- Mid-high frequencies improved, and became more crisp and clear!)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ole Kristian   Audiophile [Mar 18, 2000]
Strength:

A high quality build, excellent sounding turntable

Weakness:

May fool someone not to do every effort to place this babe properly.

I have had this player for almost 10 years and I still feel very comfortable with it. It is the only "survivor" for this period. I have postet it under "TD320 mk III" but it is really a TD 321 mk II. That modell is simular to the 320 but is with no automatics nor arm. I have used all this this time a Rega 300 arm modified with a Van der Hul mc d 502 cable. The Rega arm is praised elsewere and I am pleased with it. It nevertheless reduces my choices for suitable cartridges though, nor is it without resounances (not a problem at whatever desible-level I play)
My turntable setup is all manuell but I have a nice little gizmo (from Thorens) that lifts up the arm where ever you want. This weights nothing and is adjustable in height, pop up force and lenght.
The player is belt driven with a spring-damped chassis. This reduces incoming vibrations but it is imperativ to place this turntable correctly. I notice great impact on sound upon placing. My setup is the following:

A nice cheap wall-stative from Rega, firmly attached to the wall. This stative is made for the Planar (three footed.)
In each "feetholder" I have made a sorbothane "bed" and glued it with a black "Sikaflex" (sort of rubber-glue, acetatic) three pyramide spikes. Upon this lies a nicely polished acryl-plate which makes a nice-looking turntable stand.
The preamplifier is Electrocompaniet EC1 mc which has an excellent RIAA with numerous adjustments to the MC cartridges. I have used a Denon 304, Audio Technica OC10 and now a stripped Empire 1000.
The sound of this player is better than any CD player I have ever heard (not that I have heard them all) A possible exception is the Theta Miles which actually reminded my of my player. I have heard and liked the turntables mentioned above. Maybe the Kuzma (a wonderful east-European player) and the Sota (didnt like its look and it was too exspensive) sounded better, but not enough for me to want an upgrade. The Rega Planar 3 was in the same class. I do not think this player contribute too or colour the sound, and is good for all kinds of music. The cartridges however does and is subject to taste. The three I have used :
Denon 304 (1500 hrs) nice sound, quite low output.
AT OC10 (2000+ hrs) a better sounding cartridge than the OC9. A little "CD sounding" though. A bit thin but high resolution.
Empire 1000. I bought this used and stripped and it has served me vell for many years (1000 hrs+) It is a extremely happy combination with the player and the sound is so open, with so many detailes and yet with a natural warm sound.

I really enjoy listen to music on this player. My CD player is quite good (Onkyo DX7911) and on similar recordings non-audiophile friends had problems separating CD from Lp (blind tests with the AT oc10). That was a surprice to them thinking CD was a superior media. Those who could distinguis them alway prefered the turntable.

It is always an extra pleasure to sit down, relax and listen to the LPs. I dont feel like a nostalgic vinyl-lover, just a guy that was lucky getting lots and lots of LPs for practically nothing when everbody else went into the digital domain.

Hope my english was not to "creative" and that you got my point- the Thorens TD321 is a turntable with lots of high-end quality except in pricing.

Ps I couldnt choose 1990 modell but I think it was.

Similar Products Used: Rega Planar 3, Kuzma , Sota Saffire, Microseiki 1000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Poul   Audiophile [Mar 09, 2001]
Strength:

Good value for money

Weakness:

Very poor cable

This turntable is very popular, and has certainly a lot going for it. But only if you tweek it. First of all the tonearm-cable and the interconnect-cable should most defenetly be subtituted with better quality. This gives A LOT. Next you should remove the bottom, and put spikes on the turntable. This will make the bass, much more vividely and powerfull.

With these changes this turntable will give you many hours of great listening. I had mine for 7 year before I replaced it with a truly highend turntable.

The Thorens gives great bass and clean midrange. However the top is a little thin, and not very detailed. (compared to highend products).

The Thorens 320 MK II/III is easy to match with cartridges, and I have used the following cartridges with success:
Ortofon MC20S-II, Audio Technica OC9, OC10 and OC30. Only when I got my self an Ortofon Rohmann (A truly High-end cartridge), the Thorens 320 could'nt give the Rohmann fully gratitute. But all the Audio Technica cartridges are fine macthes to the Thorens.

But giving the Thorens 5 stars is much to much. It is an average product. No more, no less. But do you want a turntable in the midprice area, this is a good choice.

Similar Products Used: Void, Rega, Selac
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Floyd Freeman   Audiophile [Aug 02, 2001]
Strength:

Turntable base provides good resistance vibration. Improves
with Bright Star sand boxes

Weakness:

No rca jacks on outside of unit.

Paid $400.00 for an acrylic platter. This is a must item for
everyone. Apparently the pressure from the needle on the
record put noise down on the aluminum and ring occurs. The
acrylic patter does not ring and feed that noise back to the
needle. There is more dynamics. Much much more clarity.This
is a must buy!!!!!!!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JWG   an Audiophile [Feb 19, 1999]

I replaced my Rega 2 with the Thorens TD 320 MKIII. Extremely fine build quality in the finest German tradition. The table screams precision. I immediately noticed a quieter background when listening to my favorites. Then I noticed more information (musical and otherwise) with greater distances separating the instuments. Michael Fremer's remark about his being the table for you if you prefer classical to rock seems a bit strange. This is a great table for all types of music. And for all the hype the Rega 300 arm generates (And it is a good arm) the TD90 is much more refined and offers two additional adjustments! This is probably one of the most underrated Turntable bargains out there. I found it mail order for just under $700! I've used the new Shure V15 and the Ortofon X5mc with much success. My all time favorite is still the Linn but I got 98% of the way there with spending a 1/3 as much as the basic Linn. Great Buy!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-7 of 7  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com