I recently bought a TEAC TN-550. Given there’s so little first-hand, in-home information about it, I planned on doing a quick review. 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 wasn’t making a hint of noise. Then I spun the spindle between my fingers, back and forth. Yep! That’s 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 wasn’t 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 don’t have a video of the operating noise, only the troubleshooting version, but it’s a sustained electrical buzz noise that absolutely wrecks the noise floor. Almost like a ground hum, but way higher-pitched. Here’s 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 they’ve 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. Here’s 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) I’m the only one who has reported it, so they don’t see it as a problem requiring their attention. They told me point-blank that their advice is to return my table and purchase a competitor’s. 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 that’s when they told me they had no plans to fix anything and I should look elsewhere. Pretty dumb, if you ask me. What’s 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.