Give your vinyl collection the much-needed attention it deserves with the TEAC TN-550 2-Speed Analog Turntable. This turntable is designed for the audiophile who prefers the golden days of analog listening. The vinyl rotations are done with precision, ensuring that each listening session provides an appropriate speed and pressure to the record. Choose from using two different speeds (45 and 33-1/3 rpm) for whichever your system prefers.
TEAC TN-550 Turntable Features:
- A classic design with uncompromising quality, it's perfect for audiophiles
- Easily change between speeds using the electrical-controlled speed selector
- Focused on the precision of the rotation using new drive system technologies
- Place it on almost any surface using the adjustable feet
The TN-550 is an upper-class turntable designed with the concept of combining high style with excellent performance as an analog turntable. The TN-550 provides virtue of analog sound in the highest standard for audiophiles who have loved it for decades.
The cabinet combines artificial marble with high-density MDF in a two-layer sandwich structure (Dual-material Chassis). In addition to assuring a high feedback margin, this design realizes clear sound by abating the inherent resonant frequencies of different materials by combining them. The power train employs a belt drive with an automatic rotation adjustment mechanism (Platter Rotation Speed Servo System, or "PRS3") designed by TEAC. Changes in the platter rotation speed are immediately detected by an optical sensor and used as feedback for the motor speed. This allows high-precision rotation speed that can compete with heavyweight-class belt drive and direct drive systems, while allowing a sleek and stylish cabinet design.
No compromises, however, the TN-550 have been made in the design of the basic performance of the analog components for matured audiophile.
TEAC TN-550 2-Speed Turntable Highlights:
- 45 and 33-1/3 rpm 2-speed Cogging-free Belt Drive Turntable
- “PRS3” Platter Rotation Sensing Servo System for Precise Rotate Speed
- Sleek Resonance-free Dual Material Compound by Marble Stone and High-density MDF
- Crystal Clear Acrylic Platter with Perimeter Belt Drive
- High-precision Spindle with Anti-static Carbon-coated base
- Height Adjustable Anti-skating Tone-arm with PC-Triple C Wiring
- Universal Head-shell with PC-Triple C Wiring
- Honeycomb-shaped Bottom Case
- MM-type Cartridge by audio-technica (except Canada model)
- Height Adjustable Feet
- Machined Aluminum EP Adapter
TEAC TN-550 2-Speed Turntable Features:
Cogging-free Belt-drive with Platter Rotation Sensing Servo System (PRS3)
- This drive system employs a new PRS3 (Platter Rotation Speed Servo System) that detects insensible changes of the platter rotation speed by a contactless optical sensor settled at the spindle base, and controls motor speed after calculation by an on-board microcomputer. It realizes a Belt-drive mechanism with higher precision that is not outdone by Direct-drive turntables. The TN-550 achieved both sleek design and cogging-free rotation precision that compares to a Direct-drive.
- What is Cogging? Cogging is a phenomenon in which the periodic attraction of the armature and rotor inside the motor is dependent on the rotation angle, resulting in a fine pulsing. For example, if you turn the axle of a motor with your fingers, you'll feel the rotation occurring in steps. This phenomenon is cogging.
- In order to eliminate the cogging on the Direct-drive turntable, it requires a large numbers of poles in a motor, and complex circuits and mechanism to achieve smooth rotation. As a result, the drive unit itself must be huge, and this prevents making the cabinet sleek and elegant.
Electrical-controlled Speed Selector
- The speed selector employs an electronically-controlled speed changing mechanism between 33-1/3 rpm and 45 rpm, which does not require bothersome processes of changing the pulley to another one with different diameter.
- Not only speed selector knob, an EP adapter employs a machined aluminum knob for prestigious feeling.
Clear Acrylic Platter that merges elegance with silence
- The 16mm-thick full-size platter made of acrylic resin with high transparency, shines beautifully, reflecting the surroundings according to the light level suppresses unwanted sympathetic vibrations. Together with the pattern of the artificial marble, it presents a unique elegance.
High-precision Spindle and Anti-static Carbon-coated Base
- By applying carbon coating to the spindle bearing, hardness is increased and electrification is controlled, providing excellent static electricity performance.
Large Torque Motor with a floating structure
- Employing a rubber cushion, a large torque motor is settled to float when attached to the chassis. This suppresses the transmission of vibrations from the motor to the chassis.
- A flat belt is employed to reliably transmit energy to the motor drive. A urethane flat belt that has little stretch is employed to reliably drive the acrylic platter. It is also very quiet and provides excellent durability.
Chassis with Dual Layer structure realizes both weight and style
- The cabinet employs artificial marble with high-density MDF. By combining different materials in a two-layer structure, this design abates their inherent resonant frequencies and realizes a clear sound, allowing the artists voices, which are inscribed in the grooves of the record, to come out vividly.
- The artificial marble not only contributes to the elegant appearance, it is also excellent in terms of weight, allowing the turntable to realize a heaviness of about 9 kg while retaining a slim and stylish form. While it has a rigid structure, it is also able to assure a high feedback margin.
Honeycomb-shaped Bottom Case
- The bottom cover employs a honeycomb pattern that prevents unwanted sympathetic vibrations. The thin bottom cover, which melds into the stylish design, uses a honeycomb structure for the interior to prevent unwanted sympathetic vibrations.
Height Adjustable Feet
- The four machined aluminum feet can have their heights adjusted independently. This allows the turntable to be set up on surfaces that are not flat. In addition, rubber with excellent cushioning is used between where the feet are installed and the body of the unit to suppress the feedback of sound to the cabinet.
Newly designed Tone-arm with Anti-skating Mechanism
- The static-balanced S-shaped tone-arm features high flexibility. You can adjust the tone-arm height optimally for the shell and cartridge you are using. Also, a high-quality PC-Triple C* conductor cables are employed for the tone-arm cable, so that the phono signal captured by the needle from the delicate vinyl record is transmitted with pure quality.
- What is PC-Triple C? PC-Triple C stands for "Pure Copper-Continuous Crystal Construction" allows signals to flow smoothly by eliminating signal obstructions. With high conductivity and excellent sound characteristics, this new material is expected to become a replacement for PCOCC. (Made in Japan by FCM, a subsidiary of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.)
Gold-plated RCA Pin jacks for Phono Audio Output
- A pair of RCA Pin jacks are employed on the back panel to deliver Phono level output.
MM-type Cartridges by audio-technica (except TN-550-CA)
- An MM-type cartridge equivalent to audio-technica AT100E is already installed at the factory, as the universal type head-shell employs PC-Triple C wiring for pure signal travel.
Detachable Dust Cover
- By removing the dust cover from the unit, you and your guests will enjoy to see how music revives from vinyl record.
TEAC TN-550 2-Speed Turntable Specifications:
- Type: Belt Drive
- Motor: DC Motor
- Speed: 33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm
- Servo System: PRS3 (Platter Rotation Speed Servo System)
- Rotation Speed Variation: +/–0.2%
- Wow and Flutters: 0.1%
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: more than 67dB (A-weighted, 20kHz LPF)
- Platter Material: Acrylic
- Platter Size: Full-size (300mm diameter, 16mm thickness)
- Platter Weight: approx. 1.4kg / 3.1 lbs.
- Type: Static Balanced S-shape Tone-arm (Height Adjustable)
- Effective Arm Length: 223mm
- Over-hang: 18mm
- Tracking Error: less than 3 degrees
- Stylus Pressure Range: 0 to 5g
- Supported Cartridge Weight: 15 to 23g( Headshell)
- Height Adjust Range: approx. 6mm
- Anti-skating Adjustment: Supported
Cartridge section (except TN-550-CA)
- Type: MM-type (equivalent to audio-technica AT100E)
- Output Voltage: 4.5mV (1kHz, 5cm/sec.)
- Stylus Pressure: 1.4g +/–0.4g
- Cartridge Weight: 6.5g +/-0.2g
- Headshell Weight: 10g (incl. Screw, Nuts and Wires)
- Connector: RCA Pin x 1pair (gold-plated)
- Output Voltage: 4.5mV (+/-3dB)
- Power Type: AC 100 to 240V 50/60Hz
- Power Consumption: 1.5W (0.5W at Standby)
- Overall Dimensions: 430 x 131.5 x 355mm / 16.9" x 5.2" x 14.0 (W x H x D, incl. protrusions)
- Weight: approx. 9.0kg / 19.9 lbs.
- Accessories: AC Adapter (GPE053A-120050-Z), EP Adapter, Counter Weight, Head-shell, Cartridge (except. Canada model), Acrylic Platter, Dust Cover, Hinges x 2, Pulley Cover, Flat Belt, Washers x 4, Hex Wrench, RCA Audio Cable with GND terminals, Owner's Manual (incl. Warranty card)
Customer Reviews for TEAC TN-550 2-Speed Analog Turntable
Unfortunately, as soon as I plugged it in and got the platter moving, it was clear something was very wrong. When the platter started moving a high-pitched noise started. 33rpm and 45rpm would produce two different pitches.
At first I thought it was the motor somehow. Nope. When I got the motor moving independent of the spindle, the motor wasnt making a hint of noise.
Then I spun the spindle between my fingers, back and forth. Yep! Thats it. So I figured it was maybe static/grounding and I could pop open the bottom panel and run an extra wire from the spindle cradle. Nope, that wasnt it either.
The problem is actually the fancy optical speed stability sensor. Somewhere along the way, from the optical eye to the tiny sensor circuit board to the connector harness on the main circuit board, this thing is putting a squelch noise into the system. When the sensor harness is disconnected from the main board, the spindle movement makes zero noise. I dont have a video of the operating noise, only the troubleshooting version, but its a sustained electrical buzz noise that absolutely wrecks the noise floor. Almost like a ground hum, but way higher-pitched.
Heres my video showing the problem (sorry this one is long):
I notified TEAC immediately, and returned the first table via Amazon at their cost. TEAC swore theyve never heard of this problem and said a replacement table should fix the issue. Not a chance. The second table I received has exactly the same problem.
Heres my video showing the second table:
The part that bothers me the most is that TEAC went back to research the problem, and when they came back to me they said two things: 1) they have reproduced the optical sensor noise issue in the USA office and in the engineer team offices in Japan, but 2) Im the only one who has reported it, so they dont see it as a problem requiring their attention. They told me point-blank that their advice is to return my table and purchase a competitors.
TEAC has no plans to fix an obvious fatal flaw plaguing their no compromise wannabe-high-end turntable platform that either goes for $900 or $1100 depending on options (i.e. TN-550 or TN-570). I thought people should know. I tried to tell TEAC that I wanted to work with them on a solution before blasting their new product far and wide, but thats when they told me they had no plans to fix anything and I should look elsewhere. Pretty dumb, if you ask me.
Whats particularly unfortunate for them is the table has a lot of promise! The spec sheet and build quality is great for the price only problem is TEAC shot themselves in the foot with a faulty product and dismissing an early customer.
My strong advice is to avoid this turntable until TEAC acknowledges the problem and has it fixed. If you agree and/or this review has at all been helpful to your decision-making, I suggest telling TEAC directly: email@example.com