The turntable from Teac costs more than the cheapest turntables, but there’s a reason for that. I don’t just mean the design with the silver grey details on a walnut coloured chassis, but also what is housed within the turntable.
It looks a bit more expensive and is better equipped with both built-in turntable amplifier (RIAA) and a USB output. Thus, one does not need any extra equipment to get sound.
Teac TN-350 is easy to set up and among the easiest to use. The pickup from Audio-Technica comes ready mounted on a loose headshell, but the weight and anti-skating must be adjusted before use.
Speaking of headshells, this one attaches to the end of the arm and is easy to take off and put on. This is convenient if you want to replace the stylus, or if you want to upgrade to a better pickup.
Thus, it suits many people and it will probably find lots of new friends out there. It is uncommon to have turntables that look good, sound nice, and that can be used by anyone, to be easily upgradable at the same time.
It is also found in black varnish for those who want a more neutral design.
The sound is not bad at all. Although the pickup is of the cheaper kind, the soundscape hangs together well. There’s a good balance in the sound, but there’s also a bit more diffused focus in the sound here, and the turntable isn’t as rich in the bass dynamics as Rega Planar 1.
The recording of Quiet Winter Night sounds a little flat, and it doesn’t project as many timbres out of the speakers as it does with the test winner. However, the sound has far more fullness and more finely defined bass than the Audio-Technica turntable, but lacks the focus and dynamics of the Rega and NAD turntable.
It’s interesting to think that the Teac turntable would have scored completely differently with a better pickup, like the Ortofon 2M Red. It would jack the price up by a thousand NOK, but would undoubtedly boost the sound significantly.
Teac TN-350 is both an appealing and a well-playing turntable. It not only has the look and feel, but it is also a delight to use. Unfortunately, there seems to be an unfulfilled potential here. This is a slight pity, because with both the RIAA and the USB, you get great value for the Teac turntable, but the sound is not quite on par with the rest.