Yamaha TT-S303
Yamaha TT-S303
Yamaha TT-S303

Yamaha TT-S303: Keep your vinyl collection alive with this record player

Get a completely new experience when listening to music. The Yamaha TT-S303 has been rigorously tested to deliver the most accurate sound possible, so you hear your music the way it was intended. Dizzying simplicity. The device is equipped with a built-in correction amplifier, so it can be connected to the line input of an amplifier without a phono stage, or even directly to an active speaker system!

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If you want to use your amp’s phono preamp, switch the Yamaha TT-S303 to phono output mode for the perfect match with your favorite amp. The nostalgic sound of a vinyl record helps you immerse yourself in the atmosphere of music like nothing else. Yamaha has an impressive legacy in the audio industry and an extensive catalog of hi-fi products that have shaped the way we listen to music in the past. Some products have earned cult and even legendary status in hi-fi circles, recognized for their quality, innovation and signature Yamaha sound. The design of the Yamaha TT-S303 turntable is based on the appearance and aesthetics of classic Hi-Fi equipment. Connect the turntable to a stereo amplifier or AV receiver to enjoy listening to classic and modern vinyl records.

In the box of the Yamaha TT-S303 player there is a table with a tonearm installed on it, a support disk and a plexiglass dust cover are packaged separately. Unpacking, assembling and installing the turntable takes no more than ten minutes. In fact, you need to find a flat surface on which the turntable will be located, put the support disk on the spindle, put a belt on the motor pulley, attach the shell with the head to the tonearm and set the tracking force and anti-skating. All. The most difficult part, concerning the alignment of the needle according to the template in all planes, was completed at the factory. In fact, in this case we can say that installation and preparation for operation of an analog player is often faster than if we were talking about an advanced digital streamer.

However, let’s look at the design in more detail. The support disk is made of aluminum and is made by stamping; the included felt mat, traditionally black, covers almost its entire surface. Switching the rotation speeds here is electronic and is done by pressing the silver key on the top panel of the player. Next to it is a button to start and stop the disk. An interesting detail is that on the bottom there is access to trimming resistors for fine adjustment of the rotation speed. Not the most convenient location, but the fact that this function exists is pleasing.

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The turntable is equipped with a short, straight tonearm on a cardan support with a removable platform for the pickup. The headshell is equipped with an Audio-Technica MM head, which in appearance resembles the very popular AT-3600L model. It is distinguished by the use of a compound needle with a conical sharpening, a carbon fiber needle holder and a sensitivity of 2.5 mV. The height of the tonearm base is not adjustable, but if you use a standard head, this will not be necessary. The effective length of the tonearm is 223 mm, the stylus projection is 19 mm.

Even though the counterweight is calibrated, it is a good idea to use a scale for a final check when setting the downforce. In our case, the error of the method with preliminary balancing of the tonearm and subsequent setting of the clamping level using a counterweight turned out to be negligible, which indicates proper calibration and potentially high quality of the bearings. The wheel at the base of the tonearm is designed to adjust the level of compensation for rolling force (anti-skating).

The electronic part of the player includes, in addition to a motor with a controller, a built-in MM phono preamplifier, which, if desired, can be excluded from the signal chain using the corresponding switch on the rear panel. A pair of RCA connectors are provided for connection to an amplifier (or external phono preamplifier). The anti-vibration plastic legs on which the turntable rests do not provide for height adjustment, so to install the turntable you should choose the surface that is as flat and parallel to the floor as possible.

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The joy of meeting the new model of vinyl player from Yamaha was great. It was only slightly overshadowed by the fact that the design of the junior turntable turned out to be very similar to similar players from other manufacturers that we had heard in recent months. There is nothing wrong with this, however, in order to meet truly original technical solutions of the Japanese company, you will have to wait until you get acquainted with the middle and older models – there really is something to marvel at!

At the same time, the Yamaha TT-S303 itself is a very good turntable; all the necessary attributes of a modern Hi-Fi player are in place. Strict design, ease of setup and operation, excellent workmanship – everything is with it. As for the sound quality, it turned out to be very decent. Every time I never cease to be amazed at how great and exciting even inexpensive turntables can sound when they are set up correctly and, especially, when the right records are installed on them.

Often I have to deal with a situation where people judge the sound quality of a particular vinyl player based on the fact that someone in some salon put under the needle a publication of unknown origin and quality, most often a modern digital release, hastily made in the desire to quickly make money from the vinyl renaissance.

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So – when the right records were fed to the Yamaha TT-S303, be they old original editions or made today with love and understanding, the sound was miraculously good. The turntable presents all genres in the signature Yamaha style – fresh, bright, with good dynamics and drive.

Well, the model with a black lacquered body looks simply stunning! Of course, all the restrictions that are imposed by the use of an inexpensive cartridge and a built-in phono stage can be heard if desired, but there is no desire to do so. For an introduction to the analog world, you couldn’t ask for more, especially since the buyer always has the opportunity to improve the basic model with a different cartridge or an external phono stage.

Characteristics of Yamaha TT-S303

Tonearm control: manual microlift
Tonearm: straight 223.5 mm
Stylus entry (overhang): 19 mm
Support platter: aluminum
Drive type: belt
motor Motor: DC
Disc rotation speeds: 33 1/3, 45 rpm min
Knock coefficient: < 0.2% RMS
Velocity deviation: +/- 2%
Head included: MM Audio-Technica (3.5 g tracking force)
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 67 dB
Output: Phono, Line (switchable)
Output voltage: 2.5 mV/450 mV (Phono/Line)
Power: DC 12 V, 2A
Power consumption: 6 W
Dimensions: 450 x 136 x 368 mm
Weight: 4.8 kg