TEAC TN-300 Review
A couple weeks ago I was finally able to try out a TEAC TN-300 analog turntable. This player is relatively new to the market and I hadn’t been able to find a whole lot of information about it. So I decided to do my own in-depth TEAC TN-300 review.
This analog turntable is belt-driven and includes a built in phono pre-amp, but no speakers. The included pre-amp is nothing fancy and I prefer to use my own pre-amp though by simply using the switch to bypass the built in one. Though I admit that there was very little difference between my separate pre-amp and the built in one. They both produced a very warm sound. It gave a wide sound stage with a surprisingly good bass response and mid range punch. The highs and upper-mids were a little lacking though. Very enjoyable, though it lacked a bit of detail.
Keep in mind that just because there is an included pre-amp, you will still need to run the output through an audio receiver or powered speakers to get any real volume. This is the same thing as most AV equipment like a Blue-Ray player, a Playstation, etc…
The table has the standard redwhite RCA output.
It also has a USB port to easily transfer your vinyl to your computer if you so wish. Though you will still need some software installed on your computer to do this. I recommend Audacity as it is free.
The Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge that it comes with is ok, but you can do a lot better. I noticed there was a lot of inner groove distortion and the upper-mids and highs were washed out. The quality of the cartridge didn’t really fit with the higher quality of the rest of the table.
The tonearm is made of aluminum so it is light and rigid. Both excellent qualities that you need from your tonearm to produce the beautiful sound you’re looking for from you vinyl. I usually prefer the look of the S shaped tonearms, but in this case I think the look works with the table. The only thing better would be if it were made of carbon fiber like the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable. Though that may be asking for too much at this price point.
The tonearm is fully manual so you will have to manually place it where you want playback to begin, and return it to rest when you’re done. I don’t really consider this a con though as I wouldn’t expect it to be automatic at this price.
I like the fact that the platter is made from cast aluminum as it provides enough weight to stay stable. The platter is driven by a neoprene rubber belt and seemed to keep a very constant rotation. Changing speed from 33 1/3 to 45 rpm is as easy as turning a knob, which is a huge frustration saver if you listen to a lot of 33 1/3.
The table sits on 4 aluminum feet and between these feet and the cast aluminum platter, I noticed minimal skipping. There is no active isolation suspension though so use common sense. Don’t place it on or too near your speakers and don’t get made if it skips while practicing your wrestling moves.
The overall finish of the player is beautiful. I know that’s entirely subjective, but I really like the look of aluminum against the classy cherry or natural wood finish. Of course it does come in a variety of finishes. The OnOff and speed change knobs are both made of aluminum and look to be of high quality. Everything feels study and well built. No cheap plastic look or feel.
Here is a good video I found showing the operation of the TEAC TN-300:
The TEAC TN-300 is a great table at this price point. Very comparable to the similarly price Pro-Ject Debut Carbon table. The sound quality is virtually the same, but the TEAC’s automatic speed adjust and my personal lookstyle preference put it ahead in my book. In my opinion the TEAC TN-300 is the best vinyl player you can get for around $400.
If you’re looking to break into the analog music world, or need an upgrade, you can’t go wrong with this table.