To Tide Me Over

OK, laugh out loud if you like, but until I can finally get hold of the one turntable (TT from here on) I have been lusting after forever (without success), I needed one to keep the ball rolling around here.

A cursory glance around the demented bits & bytes that are the Internet will place Teac’s new TN-300 squarely in the “Hanpin” school of cheap-sh*t turntables. The “Hanpin” school, by the way, is a derogatory term for any kind of turntable whose parts are manufactured by Hanpin (or are assumed to have originated there), a Chinese manufacturer whose products are often assembled into all kinds of low- and middle-class (“middle-class” is already an unacceptable term for the Hanpin haters) record players.

Sooo …

The other day, had a three-day hiccup resulting in prices seemingly changing every second for the piano-black version of this turntable. It jumped from above 400 Euro to 279Euro, back to 345 and, in the end, up to above 400 Euro. It finally settled at 399 Euro (as I am writing this). Quite the bumpy ride. Needless to say, I jumped on it when it was at the lowest price and within 24 hours, it was delivered free of charge.

Of course I checked before I bought it and once I had waded through the hate posts by people who hadn’t even come close to a model in real life (… and weren’t about to either), I ended up on a forum on which an actual owner of said TT had positive things to say about it (he even posted some videos). What he said satisfied my curiosity and perceived needs and I ordered it. Good that I did, because it’s actually a surprsingly crafty TT, no matter who says what.

It doesn’t even come close to the build-quality of vintage TTs I know and have owned and it is certainly far removed from any (more or less verifiable) high-end approach to spinning platters, but … it’s doing an admirable job in my household.

I bought it for various reasons:

  1. I have many moving boxes filled to the brim with LPs which have been slumbering in the deep recesses of my apartment for ages.
  2. I wanted to transfer some LPs to my PC (using Audacity) instead of asking/paying other people to do that for me.
  3. I needed a decent temporary placeholder for that one elusive TT I still want to add to my setup.
  4. My Marantz PM78 has a (really) crappy phono section, so I was looking for a cheap modern TT which has an integrated phono equalizer/amp.

The Teac TN-300 fit the bill to the proverbial “Teac, especially with its “USB output for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC” and, especially, with its “built-in Phono Equalizer(LINE/PHONO switchable“.

I’m a happy camper. Activating the tone controls on my amp and adding a little “oomph” to the sound brought it extremely close to some vintage TTs I have had previously.

In short, don’t let the TT-Mafia lord it over your purchase decision(s). This one is a keeper. Your mileage may very well vary, especially in a millionaire’s five- and six-figure setup, but in a decent average setup, this TT can be made to sound damn good (without having to put up with constant upgrading, aligning, soldering, fixing, polishing, adjusting … and whatnot … of a vintage TT).

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

  1. deus62,

    just saw your link over on Twitter. I have the TN-300 myself and it’s definitely a more than adequate turntable. I’ve had a ton of vintage players and as you said yourself, there’s often quite a bit of voodoo involved whenever camp A starts battling camp B.



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