Hot: Tonally balanced and easy delivery with provided Audio-Technica starter cartridge. Move up the cartridge stakes and the turntable/tonearm’s attributes are better displayed via a smoother and more authoritative sound, with good bass extension. Spatial detail becomes more obvious, too. Overall, an articulate combination that is both easy to get going and sounds involving from first spin. Three-point suspension does a decent job of isolation from external vibrations.
Cold: Packaged cartridge doesn’t do the system full justice. Quirky shape may not appeal to all.
Encore: Although not “entry-level”, the Thorens TD 309 is packaged and sold ready to go, which will appeal to many who can’t be bothered to fuss around with settings. The suspended design makes it unique for the price range. In all, even with the starter cartridge, enough to get one hooked on vinyl.
Specs: Belt-drive, suspended design / Tonearm: TP-92, with magnetic bias / Cartridge: AT-95B / Electronic speed change (333 ⅓ and 45rpm) / Servo-controlled DC motor / MDF plinth / Aluminium subplatter / Glass platter / External power supply / Dimensions 470 x 125 x 430mm (w/h/d), 6.5 kg / Finish options: Red or black lacquer, or glossy red, black or white.
What others say:TD 309
Techradar: Very good tonal balance from top to bottom, although a little limited dynamically and could do with more pace.
What Hi-Fi: Crisp and precise sound, neat suspension design, electronic speed change … sound lacks a little enthusiasm and forcefulness.