Why do I need a Phono Preamp for my Turntable?

Turntable MUST NOT connect to an input labelled as “AUX”, “TAPE”, “CD, or “TUNER.” This is because the phono cartridge signal must be amplified and equalised in a unique manner by a device known as a phono preamp. If you connect your turntable/record player to an input with no phono preamp stage, the audio from the phono cartridge will be nearly inaudible, and will lack bass.

The reason this causes confusion, is because in the old days (before CD or MP3) every hi-fi system had an input labelled “PHONO.” This input looks exactly the same as a modern “AUX” input, and therefore many end users connect their turntables into unsuitable inputs.

phono-why

How do you connect a turntable to a hi-fi system that does not have a PHONO input?

If your turntable does not have a built in phono preamp and you’re connecting to a standard “AUX” then an external phono preamp must be added between the turntable and the hi-fi amplifier. It is important to get a good quality phono preamp for the best results and low noise.

Your audio quality is only as strong as the weakest link

As is the case with all audio set-ups the sound quality you end up with is only as good as the weakest point in your signal chain. In the case of vinyl, be sure to invest in a good turntable and cartridge/stylus, to ensure your signal chain gets the best possible start. Shure stock a range of styli and cartridges to suit DJs and audiophiles alike.
View the full DJ & HiFi range on our website, for Dutch and for French.

 

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