If you are wondering how to hook up a turntable to a receiver without phono input, then this article is for you. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about turntable setup and connections.
As the technology evolves constantly, the devices get updated, and so make the connections. For example, let’s take the AV/RCA inputs on the old TVs. Today the new LCD/LED TVs don’t have AV/RCA inputs, and they have been replaced with HDMI ports and cables.
The same goes for Audio devices like turntables, record players, speakers, headphones, and much more.
In general, a receiver will have an in-built preamplifier. If, in case, it doesn’t have one, you can use a receiver without any phono inputs by connecting an external phono preamplifier between your receiver and turntable.
WHAT IS PHONO INPUT?
Phono inputs are connecting ports present on amplifiers or receivers that help in boosting the signals from your turntable. Without the phono input, you will not be able to hook up your turntable with any receiver. Even if you try to connect it to a receiver without a phono input, the signal amplification will be too weak to reproduce the recorded sound.
A receiver might come with various input ports like RCA, AUX, HDMI, and many more. But phono input is quite different from them, and it is the most important input port, especially for connecting a turntable.
If the amplifier or receiver has phono input, it represents that it has an integrated phono preamplifier within it. If that’s the case, it is usually easy and sufficient to connect the turntable (phono output) with the receiver (phono input).
WHY DO YOU NEED A PHONO PREAMP?
A phono preamp can also be an accessory to improve the sound quality of your system. The phono preamp does have two significant functions.
A phono preamplifier is primarily used to amplify the audio signal that comes out of the turntable. The audio signal from the phono cartridge will be weaker than that of the conventional source, and the purpose of the phono preamp is to amplify them to the line level.
The second task of the phono preamplifier is to apply the correction curve or RIAA equalization. The Recording Industry Association of America standardized this curve in the 1950s, which has been used for almost all vinyl recordings ever since. Its purpose is to overcome the physical limits of the LP record.
HOW TO CONNECT TURNTABLE TO RECEIVER WITHOUT PHONO INPUT
So now you know the importance of phono input and phono preamp. Let’s proceed with the connecting process. There are two possible ways to connect the turntable to the receiver.
#1. USING A TURNTABLE WITH A INBUILT PHONO PREAMP
If there is no phono stage integrated on the receiver, but there is one built-in turntable, then connecting the turntable and the receiver without phono input won’t be complicated. You can simply use an RCA or AUX cable to plug the turntable audio signal output into the receiver’s analog input.
Most modern turntables manufactured today have built-in phono preamps, making it easy to connect them directly to the speakers with AUX input ports. This eliminates the need for a separate standalone phono preamp and being picky with receivers. It will be easier to plug your rig into the DI box without any complicated connections and configurations if you are a DJ.
#2. USING AN EXTERNAL PHONO PREAMP/ PHONO INPUT
As mentioned earlier, if your turntable has a built-in preamp, then there is no need to get an external preamplifier. But if both your turntable and receiver don’t come with an in-built phono preamp, then you must use an external preamp stage to connect them. The connection is quite simple; all you need to do is simply follow the below steps.
To make this connection, make sure you have the following requirements,
- Receiver without phono input
- Standalone vacuum tube phono preamp or Transistor base phono preamp
- Two sets of RCA cables.
Step 1: Turn Off The Power
Turn off the power to your turntable, receiver, and preamp.
Step 2: Connect The Turntable And The Phono Preamp
Connect the two audio outputs from the turntable to the inputs of the phono preamp using RCA cables. Plug one end of the cable into the turntable and the other end into your external phono preamp.
Step 3: Ground The Turntable To The Phono Preamp
Connect one end of the ground wire to the turntable and the other end to the phono preamp
Step 4: Connect The Phono Preamp And The Receiver
Take the second set of RCA cables and connect them to the RCA out of the external phono preamp. Now connect the other end of the RCA cable to the receiver. At the receiver’s back, find an unused input like the CD input or the AUX input and plug the RCA cable in them.
That’s all. This is how you hook up turntable to receiver without phono input. The process is pretty easy if you handle it with care.
Does this turntable setup look complicated? Apart from these two methods, there is yet another solution for this. I would recommend you to get record players integrated with speakers. They can perform all of the functions under one system.
It’s really good to know that people still use and listen to music using old school gadgets like turntables and record players despite all the modern music devices. That being said, we have pretty much covered everything you need to know about connecting your turntable to the receiver without phono input. I hope the article is helpful for you.