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For those who still listen to turntables

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by SuperDuck, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Let me preface this by saying I have no experience with turntables whatsoever.

    My dad has a Gerrard turntable from the 70's that he thought was broken. As such, he bought a new one, figuring the Gerrard was shot. Since his stereo is a state of discombobulation, he hasn't used his new one yet.

    Enter me. I fixed the Gerrard, which apparantly just had a broken switch. (Back when "on" was operated by levers and pulleys.) I hooked it up to MY bookshelf system, and got nothing. I figured maybe the stylus was shot, and hooked up the new turntable, a Pro-Ject. (Never heard of 'em.)

    That one didn't work either. There is a very small amount of output, that makes the music barely audible with my stereo volume maxed. Both units have dual RCA plugs that I sent to my Video/Aux channel on my Aiwa shelf system.

    Do turntables need more gain than other units? Or am I missing something completely?
  2. The speakers are powered, right?

    You need to get the output up to speaker level.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Yes Superduck, that's the reason stereos (used to) have a special input for it (phono), some also have a switch for different cartidges IIRC.

    There are special preamps available for situations like yours, check Radio Shack or other stores.

    Something like this:


    And no, you don't need to get the signal to speaker level, you need to get it to line level if you haven't a phono input on your stereo.
  4. Yes, turntables need more gain.
    An AUX input won't work, you need an amplifier (or mixer) with a PHONO input.
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That was quick. I love you guys.

    I suspected as much. I'll run out and see what I can find at (shudder) Radio Schlock and other stores.

    Thanks. :)
  6. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Me and my Guitarist went through the exact same thing. Really soft, etc. Then he just went to Radio Shack and got a 9V Preamp (Has RCA In's and Outs) which doesn't have EQ or anything, it just boosts the signal. Now it works perfect. Good luck man!
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    For those who care, I got a cheapie for $30 online. They don't carry them in Radio Shack anymore- I would have had to order it off of their website. (Which I didn't.)

    So yes, now I am listening to vinyl and loving it. It's actually given me the hankerin' to start improving my sound system. First a tube preamp, then some home brew speakers, and a tube power amplifier... yes... it's all coming together...
  8. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Yes, phonos need gain (a lot of it) and the RIAA EQ curve.

    You would need a stand-alone phono preamp. You might find good used ones. If you can get your hands on a Phoenix Systems one, that was designed by a friend and former boss of mine who had an audio kit business as a side venture. They were great-performing but inexpensive little units.
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I'll definitely look into those. I've also been scoping out Dynaco PAS-2's on eBay- those are supposed to have a really good phono stage.