The TEAC TN100 vinyl converter turntable is a good low-cost option for converting your record collection to MP3. The matte black wood cabinet looks great and helps reduce vibration and resonance compared with some of the plastic turntables we tested, such as the Stanton T.55. The TN100 has a small footprint, and the attractive wood finish fits well with most home décor.
The TN100 doesn’t come bundled with conversion software, so we used Audacity to test the conversion quality. Audacity comes bundled with a few other products we reviewed, but because it is free, open-source software, you don’t need a license to download or register it.
The cartridge in the TEAC unit is fixed to a headshell that can’t be removed from the tone arm, so make sure to clean your records before you convert them because once the needle wears down it’s hard to replace. We also suggest using the cueing lever to drop the needle to help avoid twisting or breaking the irreplaceable headshell.
The straight tone arm has an auto-return feature. The auto-return is a good match with a fixed cartridge because as soon you reach the end of the record, the arm will automatically lift the needle, saving it from running continuously in the end grooves and wearing out faster.
You can plug the TN100 into any RCA phono input or 1/8-inch aux input and play 33-, 45- or 78-rpm records. The plastic platter is covered by a neoprene slipmat that, along with the wood cabinet, helps reduce vibration during playback. The feet are rubber, which can also help reduce vibration.
The TEAC TN100 is a compact and affordable USB turntable that performed admirably in our conversion quality test. The cartridge sounded great in our tests, but it’s almost impossible to replace if it wears out or gets damaged. Keep in mind that you’ll have to download a conversion program if you want to use the TN100 to convert your record collection to MP3 because it doesn’t come bundled with one.