Teac TN-300 Turntable With USB & Built-In Pre-Amp Review
Ranked #3 in Record Players
- Warm, crystal clear sound
- USB and built-in pre-amp
- Classic design and intuitive layout
- Great value for money
- No automatic stop features
- Limited on features
The TN-300, the modest yet powerful offering from Teac is an affordable unit that will keep everyone entertained, from vinyl first timers to experienced audiophiles. Teac decided to strip everything back to the basics, leaving you with a simple yet effective record player. All you need to do is press play, sit back and relax, and enjoy your music the way it was intended.
Introducing the Teac TN-300
The TN-300 from Teac is a rare find in today’s collection of turntables, a design that manages to combine both quality engineering and superior sound performance, all within an affordable price range. The design team at Teac decided to leave out the fancy features and focus their attention on what really counts – sound and usability.
Within the first few minutes of using the TN-300, we all agreed that this idea to focus on the basics was a wise decision and one that puts this turntable firmly on the map.
Designed for Superior Sound Performance
The TN-300 is a fully analog unit with a clean, simplistic design and a crystal clear sound. It’s a no-frills, classic-looking record player that will keep all of you vinyl lovers entertained.
Upon looking at the technical details of the TN-300, we should first point out that it’s a manual belt-drive turntable, capable of playing both 33rpm and 45rpm records. The two speeds can be alternated electronically via the higher of the two knobs on the right-hand side (the lower knob is the on/off switch).
The chassis is built from strong MDF and acts as a sturdy base that limits unwanted vibrations. Controlling everything from below is the high torque motor and neoprene belt which will keep your records at a consistent and stable speed. A high-quality, die-cast aluminum platter will excite the audiophiles out there, proving that the TN-300 has been built with sound quality in mind. Lastly, the straight, static balance tonearm with an anti-skate mechanism offers accurate tracking.
We strongly believe that the focus on sound optimization is the leading factor for the TN-300. All of the components combine together perfectly, producing that dynamic and rich sound that we all expect.
Built-In MM Phono Pre-Amp and USB Connectivity
The first thing you notice when looking at the TN-300 is the simplicity of it all, however, it does come with some useful features that help to broaden its overall capabilities. As you look at the back panel of the unit you will find a handful of input and output options.
Firstly, the built-in MM phono pre-amp is a simple switch that gives you great flexibility, letting you connect the turntable to either of the line, auxiliary or CD inputs of a standard hi-fi system or stereo amplifier.
Secondly, the USB digital output allows you to transfer your music to your PC or laptop (optional recording software is also included). Archiving and playing your favorite vinyl collection on your computer, smartphone or any other digital audio player is a breeze with the TN-300.
High-Performance Audio Technica Cartridge
The award-winning Audio Technica AT95W cartridge is a welcome addition to an already high-spec design, helping to push the sound quality of the TN-300 to the next level. By using these high-end components, Teac has proved to us that they are keeping the vinyl enthusiast in mind and are not just here to make some quick money.
Whilst testing the TN-300 with our own vinyl collections, we couldn’t help but notice the difference in sound quality over other similar priced units. It just goes to show, when you take the time to choose the right combination of components, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Pros and Cons
A summary of the TN-300 can be found below with our own list of pros and cons.
- Quality sound performance – Listen to your vinyl in warm, crystal clear sounds. The AT95W cartridge is a bonus for the TN-300 and boosts the overall sound performance. Plus, cartridges are often required as an extra purchase with most other units – a money saver right there!
- Features – USB connectivity and a built-in pre-amp are on offer, letting you archive and play your collection across various hi-fi systems and digital devices. You can also electronically adjust the speeds between 33rpm and 45rpm.
- Usability – Design has been focused on the usability and performance of the TN-300, doing away with the extra features that some other units have opted for. The simple and intuitive design means that you’ll be spinning records straight out of the box.
- Price – The price you pay for the classic look, high-spec design and simple usability is what makes the TN-300 a popular choice. To the untrained eye, the TN-300 could be mistaken for a record player at a much higher price tag. You’re getting a high-performance record player at an affordable price, so it’s a thumbs-up from us.
- No automatic return – We did notice that the TN-300 is missing one useful feature and that’s the automatic stop function, this is something that many of us find convenient and also helps to prolong the life of the needle itself.
Final Verdict of the TN-300 from Teac
The TN-300 has been designed with vinyl enthusiasts in mind. Many products out there claim to be “all singing and all dancing”, however, the actual sound quality is often overlooked. The TN-300 is different. The design focuses purely on sound performance and usability. I’m sure that you would agree that this is something that all music lovers will appreciate.
However, you shouldn’t be expecting the very best in turntable technology with the TN-300. The price tag can only offer so much quality. You could add some more flexibility with an external switchable pre-amp, and there are alternative cartridges that would improve the overall sound. Both options, of course, will certainly stretch your budget even further.
Overall, this record player from Teac is a quality product straight out of the box. The usability and solid build help to place the TN-300 above most other similar priced units. A great option for casual listeners on a smaller budget and we think it will surprise most of you audiophiles out there as well!
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|Drive Method||Belt Drive|
|Speeds||33, 45 RPM|