This is our review of the TEAC TN300 Turntable
For many audiophiles, having a great-sounding record player that doesn’t break the bank is crucial for their listening setup, and it can be difficult to find a model that meets the high-quality audio demands of audiophiles on a budget.
Here at Set the Record Player, I’ve experienced this struggle myself of not having much luck with more affordable record players. Today that changes: we’ll take a look at the TEAC TN300, a turntable that sounds and costs just as nice as it looks. In this TEAC TN300 review, I’ll go over all of its features, talk about its performance, design, price, and give you a list of pros and cons to provide you with enough information to make a well-informed purchase if you like this model that I highly recommend.
About the Brand
Founded in 1953, TEAC is a Japanese manufacturer that has been providing consumers with electronic tools, storage devices, and more for over 65 years, but have primarily focused on developing products for music and audio. TEAC was created to be a solution for musicians who are on a budget. They strive to provide affordable recording equipment that doesn’t suffer in quality just because the price is lower, and they definitely deliver with this.
Some of their best-rated products are their turntables, and I can see how the TN300 has become a popular option over the years for many audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts.
Design and Connection Ports
The TEAC TN300 is very aesthetically pleasing, with a glossy finish and beautiful color options including black, red, white, cherry, and natural wood. It has a heavy MDF base that prevents the chassis from picking up as many external vibrations that could cause the turntable to skip. A dust cover comes pre-installed to protect
On the backside of the chassis, you’ll find analog right and left RCA outputs, a Phono EQ switch, a USB output port, the DC power input, and the power button. The out-of-the-way aspect of the various ports adds to the sleekness and beauty of this already stunning record player.
Breakdown of The TN300’s Features
The TEAC TN300 is an analog turntable with some digital capabilities that make it flexible enough to use at the center of your setup no matter how big or small it is. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find that the TN300 is a belt-driven turntable that has an Aluminum platter driven by a high-torque DC motor. It features a Neoprene rubber belt, which allows for the turntable to rotate at a stable, accurate rate by decreasing resonance and isolating vibration of the motor to keep it from reaching your amp and speakers.
This rotation accuracy is partly thanks to a stainless steel spindle and a bronze spindle bushing. The metal allows for minimal friction, making for very smooth rotation, adding another layer of confidence that the TN300 will play your records smoothly and without a hitch. It has both 33 and 45 RPM playback capability, so you’re able to play both LPs and EPs.
The TN300 has some pretty nice features that make it easy to incorporate the turntable into analog or digital setups. The built-in phono preamp with Line or Phono options gives you the ability to connect the turntable to just about any sound system. The TN300 allows you to play vinyl with or without the phono EQ, so you can use any amplifier you have and still get superb sounding audio.
If you want to save your vinyl collection digitally, you can use the USB analog to digital output to transfer the audio to your PC. This can be especially helpful for those of you who have especially large vinyl collections you want to archive.
The TN300’s straight tonearm features an AT95E moving-magnet cartridge from Audio Technica, a well-known manufacturer of studio microphones and other audio gear. This MM cartridge combined with the standard, straight tonearm helps ensure that the tracking is highly accurate, and is one of the best cartridges you can find for a lower price point. Unfortunately, over time the cartridge’s performance decreases, but upgrading the cheaper cartridge can fix this issue.
Setup and Playback
Designed for users of all experience levels, the TEAC TN300 is pretty much ready to use right out of the box. Setup is very simple with included instructions so you can change the tracking force and other settings to get the perfect playback response, but for the most part, the factory setup makes the TN300 more or less ready to go. Beginner audiophiles shouldn’t have much of a problem setting up or using the TN300, and experienced audiophiles will find that the process doesn’t take much time at all.
Performance and Price
The TN300’s MM cartridge and straight tonearm provide excellent sound quality and playback accuracy that rival other popular turntable models like the Audio Technica AT-LP3. The sound is slightly warm and rich, giving it a vintage tone that fits right in with the sound of older records. From my personal experience with record players, a warm tonality breathes life into newer records and balances out the crisp, clean sound of more modern productions by adding some lower-mid frequencies to the mix. As far as price goes, in the $300 to $500 range, this is about average for a record player of this caliber.
Pros and Cons
- USB audio transfer
- MDF chassis prevents resonance
- Highly accurate tracking
- Easy to set up and use
- No switchable preamp
- Cartridge eventually holds back sound quality
TEAC TN300 Alternatives
Naturally, there are better models out there at higher price points, and a side by side audio comparison between the TN300 and more expensive turntables will show that difference in quality. However, on a budget, the TN300 provides excellent audio and flexible features that bridge the gap between analog and digital audio.
Overall, the TEAC TN300 is suitable for audiophiles or vinyl collectors of any experience level who are on a budget or who are wanting something cheaper that is flexible and high-quality, but still very easy to use. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to start collecting and listening to vinyl, or to those of you audiophiles who want a cheaper addition to your listening setup that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality or features.
The TEAC TN300 is actually no longer in production, with TEAC moving on to other models, but the TN300 still proves to be a worthy contender in their line.