|Headquarters||Bergisch Gladbach Germany (since 2018)|
Gunter Kürten CEO (since May 2018)
Thorens is a formerly Swiss manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. Thorens is historically renowned for the range of phonographs (turntables) the manufacturer produces. In addition to audio playback equipment, Thorens is also a historical manufacturer of harmonicas and has been separately a producer of Swiss-made cigarette lighters, most notably the button actuated "automatic lighter".
In 1883, the Thorens family business was first registered in Sainte-Croix (Ste-Croix), Vaud, Switzerland by Hermann Thorens. An initial producer of musical boxes and clock movements (which they were still producing in the 1950s), as well a cigarette lighters, they started producing Edison-type phonographs in 1903.
In 1928, they produced their first electric (motor-drive) record player, and went on to produce a range of audiophile record players in the 1950s and 1960s which are, even today, regarded as high-end audio equipment, and are much sought-after, for example, the belt-driven and sub-chassis suspended TD 150 which was presented 1965. Its principle is also found in the Linn Sondek LP12. Its successor TD 160 appeared in 1972 and was built nearly without discontinuity for 20 years. With the TD 320 Thorens presented in 1984 changed the springs of the sub-chassis to laminated springs.
Although Thorens embarked on a cost-reduction effort in 1997, the company became insolvent in 1999. A new Suisse Thorens Export Company AG took over the assets and continued trading. The owner of the rights to the name was Heinz Rohrer.
From 1999 the less expensive TD 190/170, later the TD 190/170-1, without sub-chassis was offered, its design is similar to the more expensive Thorens-players.
First 2004 Thorens presented a mass drive player the TD 850.
2012 Thorens got the EISA Award "best product 2011 / 2012" for the TD 309, a sub-chassis player with a three-point-suspension and a turntable made of glass.
In May 2018 Gunter Kürten, who had been manager at Denon- and Elac, became CEO and relocated operations to Germany.
As of 2019, Thorens continues to produce well-regarded turntables for the playback of vinyl and 78rpm gramophone records.
High fidelity is the high-quality reproduction of sound. It is popular with audiophiles and home audio enthusiasts. Ideally, high-fidelity equipment has inaudible noise and distortion, and a flat frequency response within the human hearing range.
A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone or since the 1940s called a record player, or more recently a turntable, is a device for the mechanical and analogue recording and reproduction of sound. The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a "record". To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener's ears through stethoscope-type earphones.
The RCA connector is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals. The name RCA derives from the company Radio Corporation of America, which introduced the design in the 1930s. The connector’s male plug and female jack are called RCA plug and RCA jack.
A laser turntable is a phonograph that plays standard LP records using laser beams as the pickup instead of using a stylus as in conventional turntables. Although these turntables use laser pickups, the same as Compact Disc players, the signal remains in the analog realm and is never digitized.
There are three main types of phonograph turntable drives being manufactured today: the belt-drive, idler-wheel and direct-drive systems; the names are based upon the type of coupling used between the platter of the turntable and the motor. In a belt-drive turntable the motor is located off-center from the platter, either underneath it or entirely outside of it, and is connected to the platter or counter-platter by a drive belt made from elastomeric material.
Linn Products is an engineering company that manufactures hi-fi and audio equipment. Founded by Ivor Tiefenbrun in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1972, the company is best known as the manufacturer of the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable.
A record changer or autochanger is a device that plays several phonograph records in sequence without user intervention. Record changers first appeared in the late 1920s, and were common until the 1980s.
Roksan is a British manufacturer of high fidelity audio products for domestic use, based in Rayleigh, Essex. It is best known for its influential and innovative design for hi-fi equipment, and in particular its Xerxes platform for playing LP records.
RIAA equalization is a specification for the recording and playback of phonograph records, established by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The purposes of the equalization are to permit greater recording times, to improve sound quality, and to reduce the groove damage that would otherwise arise during playback.
Acoustic Research was a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that manufactured high-end audio equipment. The brand is now owned by VOXX. Acoustic Research was known for the AR-3 series of speaker systems, which used the 12 in (300 mm) acoustic suspension woofer of the AR-1 with newly designed dome mid-range speaker and high-frequency drivers. AR's line of acoustic suspension speakers were the first loudspeakers with relatively flat response, extended bass, wide dispersion, small size, and reasonable cost. The AR Turntable remains a highly sought vinyl record player.
The Linn Sondek LP12 is a transcription turntable produced by Glasgow-based Linn Products, manufacturers of hi-fi, home theatre, and multi-room audio systems. Its name is derived from the 12" vinyl LP.
The Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company of Swindon, Wiltshire, was a British company that was famous for producing high-quality gramophone turntables. It was formed by the jewellers Garrard & Co in 1915. The company was sold to Plessey, an electronics conglomerate, in 1960. During the period 1976-1978, Garrard developed demonstrators of the novel video disc technology. Although the team recognised the future potential of this data storage technology, Plessey chose not to invest. After several years in decline, Garrard was sold by Plessey to Gradiente Electronics of Brazil in 1979 and series production was moved to Brazil (Manaus). The remaining Garrard research and development operation in Swindon was reduced to a skeleton operation until completely shut down in 1992. Then, Gradiente licensed the Garrard name to Terence O'Sullivan, who operated as Loricraft Audio, in 1997.
Elektromesstechnik (EMT) is a manufacturer of phonograph turntables and professional audio equipment, including a well-regarded line of artificial reverberation devices beginning with the EMT 140 plate reverb. The company was founded by Wilhelm Franz.
Ortofon is a Danish manufacturer of electronic audio equipment. It is the world's largest producer of magnetic cartridges for phonograph turntables, with 500,000 cartridges sold annually.
Luxman is a brand name of Japanese Luxman Corporation (ラックスマン株式会社) that manufactures luxury audio components. Luxman produces a variety of high-end audio products, including turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players and speakers.
Lenco is a brand of audio and video equipment, originally used by the Swiss turntable manufacturer Lenco AG from the 1940s until the 1980s. The name is now owned by Dutch concern Commaxx International NV.
Carad was a brand of the Ets. G.L. Carpentier, a small Belgian electronics manufacturer located in Kuurne, near Kortrijk. It existed from 1925 to 1975. At the height of its activities around 1970, the company employed about 400 people.
Home audio systems refer to audio consumer electronics designed for home entertainment, such as integrated systems like shelf stereos and music centers, as well as individual components like loudspeakers and surround sound receivers. The evolution of home audio began with Edison's phonograph, transitioning from monaural to stereophonic sound in the 1950s and 60s. The term "hi-fi" emerged, highlighting sound accuracy and minimal distortion. Audio equipment evolved from large wooden cabinets to compact units. The 1970s introduced enhancements like quadraphonic sound and technologies like Dolby Pro Logic. The 1970s and 1980s also saw the rise of component-based stereo systems. Cassette decks became a staple in the 1970s. Integrated systems, termed "music centers" gained popularity in the 1980s. Table systems and compact radio receivers emerged as entertainment devices, with some offering features like cassette players and CD functionalities. Audiophile systems prioritize high-quality music formats and specialized equipment like premium turntables, digital-to-analog converters, and other high-end devices, with some enthusiasts preferring the unique sound characteristics of vinyl records and vacuum tubes. Modern systems often emphasize home cinema applications to enhance the audio experience beyond standard TV speakers.
VisualAudio is a project that retrieves sound from a picture of a phonograph record. It originated from a partnership between the Swiss National Sound Archives and the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg.