The number of music lovers devoted to vinyl records is growing as the format enjoys a renaissance. Nothing can quite beat the indulgence of placing the stylus on the record and literally getting into the groove. Devotees relish the authenticity of vinyl but when considering purchasing your first turntable – or even when upgrading or adding a new unit to your collection – you of course need to know how to connect it to other essential components in your system, including your amplifier.
Both units are effectively useless without each other but once attached properly, you can look forward to sitting back and enjoying your favourite music with superb sound quality – but this process takes a little more than just simply connecting a cable.
Our team are always on hand to provide expert help with advice when setting up (or choosing) new elements within your sound system but read on for some of our guidance for how to connect a turntable to an amplifier.
First, let’s talk phono stages, or phono pre-amplifiers. In short, these devices connect a record player to the wider sound system, fulfilling two major jobs: amplifying the tiny signal generated by the stylus and re-equalising that signal.
All pieces of equipment ready to go? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to getting them all connected up:
• Correctly identify the cable which goes from your turntable; depending on your specific piece of kit, these may be a captive lead (one which is connected within the turntable itself) or you may have a socket on the back into which you can plug you cables.
You likely will have been connected with the correct cables when purchasing your kit, but if you’re unsure if you have the right ones to hand, simply get in touch with our team.
• Once you have your cables ready to go, you’re ready to connect to the phono stage (also known as a phono pre-amp) which will provide the connection between your record player and amplifier.
If your integrated or pre amp has an inbuilt phono stage, you will find the inputs on the back of your amplifier as normal, so plug the turntable into the dedicated phono stage input on the amp.
If you are using an external phono stage, you should plug the turntable into the phono stage’s input and then use a pair of analogue interconnects of your choice to connect it to the amplifier.
• Check the settings on the phono stage match the recommended cartridge settings and you should be good to go. The experienced vinyl listener may wish to tweak the settings to find what they think sounds best with their specific cartridge/phono stage pairings.
• One of our top tips within this process is to make sure that the cartridge on your turntable is compatible with the phono stage.
There are 3 main cartridge types we offer at Home Media, the traditional Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC) and the newer Optical Cartridge. The MM and MC cartridges produce different voltages so need different levels of signal boosting, whereas the optical cartridges need an equaliser to power the LED light and interpret the signal in in a slightly different way.
Whether you’re a dab hand when it comes to your sound system, or are just getting started on your vinyl journey, it is always useful to have the experts within reach. For help and support with connecting up your equipment, selecting the best possible kit at the outset, and much more, Home Media are ready to assist.
Get in touch with our friendly team instore at our Maidstone HQ, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring on 01622 676703 whenever you’re ready to chat.
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