Reviews

Analog Turntable TEAC TN-3B-SE – high-end build quality

TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable

The TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable appears to have several attractive features. The large-diameter belt drive design ensures excellent rotational stability, while the lightweight static-balance S-shaped aluminum tonearm is accurate when reading grooves. The turntable also boasts a knife-edge pivot-point tonearm bearing and precision anti-skating and stylus pressure adjustment, which contribute to very accurate motion.

TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable
TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable photo: TEAC

In addition, the high-density plinth with shock-absorbing feet and honeycomb-patterned bottom panel minimize unwanted vibrations, and the die-cast aluminum platter provides excellent speed stability. The built-in switchable phono preamp and gold-plated stereo RCA output with ground terminal are convenient features for users. The turntable also offers both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds, providing versatility in use.

However, the turntable’s signal-to-noise ratio of 67 dB may be considered lower than that of some other turntables on the market. Additionally, while the Audio-Technica AT-VM95E moving magnet cartridge is factory-installed, it may not be suitable for users who prefer a different type of cartridge. Lastly, the turntable’s wow and flutter of 0.2% is not the lowest on the market, which may disappoint audiophiles seeking an even more precise playback experience.

Another issue with the TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable is that its built-in phono preamp may not be of the same quality as a dedicated external preamp. Users who are serious about their audio setup may prefer to use a separate phono preamp instead.

While the turntable has some exceptional features and benefits, it may not be the top choice for audiophiles seeking the highest possible sound quality or those who prioritize flexibility in their audio setup.TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable

Here are a some big advantages of the TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable:

  • The large-diameter belt drive design ensures excellent rotational stability, contributing to accurate playback of vinyl records.
  • The lightweight static-balance S-shaped aluminum tonearm reads grooves accurately, resulting in a high-quality audio experience.
  • The turntable is designed in collaboration with SAEC, a high-end tonearm manufacturer, indicating a commitment to producing a high-quality product.
  • The high-density plinth with shock-absorbing feet and honeycomb-patterned bottom panel minimize unwanted vibrations, reducing interference with the sound quality.
  • The built-in switchable phono preamp and gold-plated stereo RCA output with ground terminal provide convenience for users who prefer an all-in-one solution.
  • The turntable offers both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds, allowing users to play a wide variety of vinyl records.

Pros:

  1. Impeccable design with high-quality finishes.
  2. Detachable RCA cables for convenient setup.
  3. Saec tonearm enhances performance.
  4. Built-in phono stage with the option to turn off.
  5. Versatile upgrade options through cartridge replacement on the pickup.

Cons:

  1. Non-adjustable tonearm height.
  2. All controlling and functional components, including the tonearm, are silver-colored, which, although elegant, might be overwhelming against a white table. The addition of a black felt slip mat helps balance the color palette.

The black belt, covering the aluminum platter’s visible circumference, complements the overall aesthetics. The electronic speed switch for 33 and 45 RPM, located in the upper right corner, also serves as a power switch.

The ‘S’ in TN-3B-SE stands for the distinctive S-shaped tonearm, a collaborative creation of Teac and Saec. This static tonearm, featuring a blade bearing, comes equipped with an Audio-Technica cartridge (AT-VM95E). This thoughtful inclusion simplifies the upgrade process, allowing users to experiment with various cartridges and needles without the hassle of complex configurations. The TN-3B-SE offers a straightforward and clear approach to enhancing sound quality.

The TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable is currently available in 3 color options: glossy black, cherry and white. The glossy black option offers a sleek, modern look that would fit well in many different types of home decor styles, while the matte cherry option provides a more unique, bold look that may appeal to those looking for something different. Both color options are attractive and well-made, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference when choosing which one to purchase. The TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable price: $529.99

TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable
TEAC TN-3B-SE

TEAC TN-3B-SE turntable specs:

Type Belt-drive (External drive)
Motor DC Motor
Rotation Speeds 33-⅓ rpm, 45 rpm
Wow-and-Flutters 0.1% or less
S/N Ratio 67dB (A-weighted, 20kHz LPF)
Turntable (Platter)
Material Aluminum Die-cast
Diameter 30cm
Tone-arm section
Type S-shape, Static-balanced
Effective Length 223mm
Needle Pressure Range 0g to 5.0g
Compatible Cartridge Weight 3.0g to 12.0g
14g to 23g (including Head-shell)
Cartridge section
Type MM-type
Output Voltage 4.0mV (1kHz, 5cm/sec.)
Needle Pressure 1.8 to 2.2g (2.0g recommended)
Weight 6.1g
Head-shell weight 11g (including screws, nuts, and wires)
Compatible Stylus AT-VMN95E * Average stylus life: approx. 300 hours.
Analog Outputs
Connector RCA Pin jack × 1 pair (Gold-plated)
Output Voltage
PHONO 4.0mV (1kHz)
LINE 224mV (–13dBV)
Operating Power AC 100 to 240V, 50/60Hz
Power Consumption 1.5W
Standby Power 0.5W
Overall Dimensions (W×H×D) 420 × 117 × 356 mm /
16.5″ × 4.6″ × 14.0″ (including protrusions)
Weight approx. 5.0kg / 11.0 lbs.
Included Accessories Felt Mat, EP Adapter, Counter Weight, Head-shell (AT-VM95E installed), Platter, Dust Cover, Hinges × 2, RCA Audio cable with GND terminal, AC Adapter (GPE053A-V120050), Owner’s Manual (including Warranty Card)

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