Erikson Consumer has confirmed the availability of the Thorens TM 1600 high-end reel-to-reel tape machine in Canada.
Designed as a playback device for half track quarter inch tape, the Thorens TM 1600 comes with a plinth very similar to Thorens' new TD 1600 series turntables. The dust cover used on the TM 1600 is the same as on the TD 1600/1601. The base of the TM 1600 is the newly developed compact tape drive from Ballfinger.
To keep the drive as compact as possible, the tape path geometry has been redesigned, with sensors now between the reels instead of traditional placement beneath them. While designed for horizontal operation, the TM 1600 can also be wall-mounted.
The TM 1600 is driven by three electronically commuted disc motors that use rotor angle detection by hall sensor feedback. The capstan motor is an ironless bell-shaped rotor from a German manufacturer. To generate a high signal-to-noise ratio, the head and capstan motor have been positioned far from each other. Although very compact, these motors run quietly while supplying enormous torque with very little variation.
In addition, an external power supply reduces noise even further, while also removing the need for extensive magnetic shielding of the heads.
The Thorens TM 1600 handles reels up to 10.5" with 19 and 38 cm/s. CCIR equalization for most European recordings and NAB for Americas and Asia can be selected.
The tape machine comes with a real time counter with hours/minutes/seconds/hundredth seconds, and there is an edit function with pre-listening for single-handed operation - as typically found in professional studio machines.
The TM 1600, and the new TD1600 series turntables will be presented in May 2019 at the High End show in Munich, after which only 100 individually numbered pieces will be made available. Full availability will come in Summer 2020 in high gloss black or high gloss walnut. Canadian pricing will be announced shortly, but European pricing is currently set at €11,999.00, which roughly translates to about C$18,000.
Photo by Carsten Sander