Teac LP-R550USB CD Recorder with Cassette Turntable Review
Ever since I got into old music and music players—cassettes, turntable, and CD player—I have had the desire to collect tapes, CDs, and albums. And collecting I did.
But now that I am living on my own, in a one-bedroom crib, I figured I cannot let my collection grow nor bring all of them with me.
So what I did is to take one player with me until the next time I go my parents’ place.
But when I heard of the Teac LP-R550USB CD Recorder with Cassette Turntable, I immediately thought this could definitely replace my current music players!
Teac LP-R550USB CD Recorder with Cassette Turntable
Teac LP-R550USB provides an easy way to digitize cassette tapes and vinyl records through its CD recorder. It also allows AM/FM listening for more music options.
Recommended for: Vinyl record and cassette tapes enthusiasts.
Why We Should Buy One
If you’re into collecting different forms of music storages like me, then you probably also know the hassle of having to keep different players in your room, occupying space that could have been allotted for something else.
An all-in-one music player system like Teac LP-R550USB CD Recorder with Cassette Turntable gets rid of that problem. Instantly.
The Teac LP-R550USB
Teac LP-R550USB is the upgrade to the Teac LP-R500. The looks and functions are generally the same, except that the former has the addition of the USB feature and can record from phono to CD.
This is built for people who love to take a trip down the memory lane once in a while and those who want to preserve these memories from the past.
If you are looking to digitize your analog music with ease, especially from cassette tapes, this product may be the one you are looking for. However, be warned that these product also has its limitations.
For one, the turntable doesn’t play music accurately consistently. So if you are planning to digitize your vinyl albums, try other record players and connect it to your computer directly.
- Has cassette and record player, radio, and cd recorder in one machine.
- Easy to use.
- The built-in stereo speakers are loud and clear enough for a small room (with port for external speakers for a bigger room).
- Has USB functionality for direct connection to computers.
- Has remote control that has almost all the needed buttons.
- The record player’s speed is not always accurate.
- The tonearm seems a bit light to play semi-warped vinyl.
- The remote control is missing the on/off button.
Teac LP-R550USB Features and Benefits
1./ CD Recording
One of its prominent features is the CD recording capability. Whether you are recording from the internal cassette player, turntable, or radio, the CD recorder is ready to do just that with just a few clicks.
To record a vinyl, place the album on the platter and the tonearm right above the beginning of the track you want to record. Then press the record button once, lower the tonearm, and press play.
Once done, simply lift the tonearm and the recording will automatically stop. If you wish to listen to the recording, switch the function to CD and press play. Click the same record and play buttons when recording from cassette or radio.
The one thing that thrilled me about it is that the recording process is relatively easy, without the need for extra wires or cables. This is especially helpful for the beginners or for anyone who is not adept at music player to computer recording.
2./ Cassette Player
Another feature that excited me is its cassette player. Some regard this as a thing of the past, but I know a lot of people like me who still has cassette tapes.
And because this gadget can also record from the internal cassette player, it means you (and me) can digitize our tapes and store it in our cloud storages for longer keeping.
This will also get rid of the pencil or pen we use when rewinding, forwarding, or skipping tracks.
3./ Record Player
Another blast from the past is its record player that can play three speeds. This means that you can play your grandfather’s 78 rpm SP records and let him reminisce and relax.
The auto return feature is a nice addition so that you won’t have to stand up after each album is done playing. If you fall asleep, there’s no problem. Note, however, that 78 RPM records require a different type of stylus.
While our current smart phones have radio feature, I haven’t seen one with AM radio. Amplitude modulation (AM) is another nostalgic feature of this player and will also evoke memories from the past.
5./ Built-in Speakers
Another feature I like is its built-in speakers. Although not the best out there in the market, in can pretty much do its job, especially that it also has bass reflex. This means you can hear almost all frequencies from high to low.
More About the Teac LP-R550USB
- What type of CD does the Teac LP-R550USB accept for recording? Both CD-R and CD-RW work fine with this device as long as they’re Music CDs or labeled Digital Audio. And, of course, they have to be blank (duh!).
- Can you save audio files directly to a flash drive? No. Although this player has the USB function, you cannot rip music and save it directly to your flash drive. You will need a computer to do that.
- Is recording from a microphone possible? No. There are no input sockets in the player aside the AUX.
- How long does the stylus last? The ceramic stylus that comes with the record player lasts about 50 hours. If, however, 78 RPMs are more frequently played, the stylus may wear out sooner.
- Does the record player come with 45 RPM adapter? Yes. The package comes with one adapter.
Teac LP-R550USB Reviews
This product has received mixed reviews, but mostly positive, on Amazon. Most of the positive reviews are about how easy it is to operate the product and how especially useful the cassette player and CD recorder is.
The negative ones are mostly about the performance of the turntable; hence, if you are looking to record your vinyl albums check out the following alternatives.
Teac LP-R550USB Alternatives
If consistency in the outcome of recorded analog music played from a turntable is what you are after, this record player may be your best alternative. It also plays 3 speeds, so you can still borrow your grandpa’s records.
However, note that this requires connection to the computer; hence, you need a software that can do that for you. Audacity is one program for it, and its already included in the package.
Bear in mind though that this is only a record player so it doesn’t have cassette player nor radio. And it needs external speakers, too.
A cheaper but also reliable version you can get is the LP60 from the same company, Audio Technica. Just like the 120, this requires connection to a computer so you may be able to digitize your vinyl albums. It also comes with free Audacity software to help you with the recording.
However, this lacks the ability to play 78 rpm SP records as it can only play two, but reviews say it does a decent job in it. So you can get that going for you, which is nice.
Coming from another manufacturer known for creating record players is Crosley’s Nomad. This record player also has the USB function so you can also connect this to your computer for recording.
And just like the Teac LP-R550USB, it can also play 3 speeds and has built-in speakers. It has that nostalgic look and feel, too. Too bad, Nomad only has the record player and not the cassette and radio tuner.
The Final Verdict
Teac LP-R550USB does a good job at bringing back memories brought about by cassette tapes, vinyl records, and radio tuners. It also makes preserving these memories easier by allowing recording in a few clicks.
However, if you are into reliable, high-quality vinyl preservation, this product may not be the one for you as there have been complaints about its speed consistency. You may choose either the LP120 USB or LP60 USB from Audio Technica or the Nomad from Crosley instead.
What can you say about your Teac LP-R550USB? Let us know in the comments below.