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Sound Advice: Mind the TV size gap and take note of compact CD player

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

Q. Does anyone make a 36-inch or 37-inch TV? I can’t find anything available between 32-inch and 43-inch sets. We have an entertainment center with a 32-inch TV and the space won’t fit anything above 37 inches.

—J.S., Maplewood, Minnesota

A. I have not seen anything available recently between 32 and 40 inches. You will have to stay with a 32-inch TV unless you can find a bezel-less 40-inch set that will fit in your space.

Q. In 2021 you recommended a Hott portable CD player for use in my new car. Mine worked quite well and I am very pleased with it, but it is having trouble holding a charge so I need a replacement. I figured I'd ask if you've come across any other players you similarly like. If not, I'll get another Hott.

—G.L., Oakmont, Pennsylvania

A. I have not found another model or brand I prefer, so if you liked your Hott I would stick with them. If your car can play from USB media (most new cars do) you may want to consider transferring your CDs to flash drives and playing them using the car’s USB port. The TEAC AD-850-SE mentioned below can do this, as can some other CD players.

 

TEAC to the rescue: I only publish a very small fraction of the correspondence I receive, especially when something is asked repeatedly. Three recurring topics I am constantly asked about are FM radio, cassette players, and playing older media like cassettes and CDs in cars. There are always radio fans looking for a way to use the airwaves (rather than a streaming app) to listen to FM on their home stereo system, and surprisingly cassette tape is enjoying something of a renaissance even if it is a small fraction of the vinyl record renaissance. Typically I have to send people to thrift shops or eBay to find used tuners and cassette players, even when they really want a new one.

TEAC (which stands for Tokyo Electric-Acoustic Company) is a proud Japanese audio manufacturer dating back to 1953. You may already be indirectly familiar with TEAC. In the original “Star Wars” film R2-D2’s electronic voice was recorded on TEAC equipment, as was Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” album. TEAC has offered high-quality home audio equipment for decades, largely focusing on the premium segment. They have renewed their focus on the North American market and two of their unique audio components are just what many readers have been looking for.

FM radio fans will be delighted to learn about the TEAC PD-301-X, a compact CD player with built-in FM tuner. It incorporates some of the best CD playback circuitry available, and you can connect an antenna and tune FM as well. The TEAC AD-850-SE combines a CD player, a single cassette deck that plays and records, and a USB port. It can record from CDs and cassettes to USB flash drives, which can then be used in cars, computers and home stereo components with USB playback. The TEAC components are $549.99 each, not inexpensive but great value for the quality and capability they offer.

If I could only have one of them I am not sure which I would choose. I love the appeal of an audiophile-quality CD player with built-in FM, but the flexibility of the AD-850-SE is phenomenal for those who want to be able to play and record different formats with a single device. I will be able to test both soon and will report my findings, but in the meanwhile if either of these components sound like what you are looking for, you can see them at teacusa.com.

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