General Question

wds2's avatar

Do all turntables/record players need a preamp?

Asked by wds2 (230points) October 2nd, 2012

I’m looking into buying my first turntable. I don’t know too much about turntables (see my other question on the subject). I was just wondering if all turntables need a preamp. Like, for instance would a turntable like, I don’t know, this one have a built in preamp? If not, could you point me to an affordable, quality preamp model or brand? Thanks!

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6 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

Yes that turntable would need to be connected to an amplifier which in turn would be connected to speakers to get any sound out of it if you were using the RCA output. I notice it does have a USB out also so you could then connect it to a computer which in turn would need to be connected to some sort of amplifier/speaker set up (unless you are happy with the shitty old built in speakers in most computers/laptops)

Any turntable worth buying you will need to also buy an amplifier. Also if you can I would get a direct drive and not a belt drive

RareDenver's avatar

Something basic like the Reloop RP-2000 MK3 Direct Drive Turntable will probably last a lifetime of normal usage, it’s an okay copy of the famous Technics 1210 turntables.

wds2's avatar

Thanks, I wasn’t really particularly considering getting that turntable I just had a link for it and thought it looked cool. Any good websites to shop for turntables and stuff?

gasman's avatar

@wds2, the turntable you linked to shows a pair of “line out” rca phono jacks. I would expect a pre-amplified & equalized “amplifier-ready” signal at those jacks. You don’t need a preamp.

dabbler's avatar

@gasman is right about that turntable. It must have a pre-amp in it to provide proper line-out signals.

What you do need somewhere for a turntable is an equalizer that compensates/undoes the intentional skew of the signals pressed into vinyl records.
That means you need a pre-amp with input channels specifically equipped to put the signals back to normal. You either need a turntable that has a pre-amp, like the example you gave, or an amp with “phono” inputs.

majorrich's avatar

Actually depends on the amplifier and the cartridge. The older ceramic cartridges needed a pre-amp to work with modern amplifiers. You would mostly run into these types of turntables when you search for the turntable to play your 78’s on. An option you might consider would be to find a small mixer so you can switch between and set the input level of each turntable.

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