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Turntables and records are making a comeback, and many people have vinyl record versions of their favorite albums. But now that they have a turntable for their vinyl records they are wondering if they need a turntable phono preamp. What is a turntable phono preamp?
A turntable phono preamp is an electronic circuit that converts phono signals to line signals so the music coming from the vinyl record is clear. It helps increase the volume of the music coming from the record, and makes sound come out of speakers or stereo systems that are connected to turntables.
Now that you know what turntable phono preamps are, you may be wondering if you need one if you have a turntable and how much they typically cost. Keep reading to find out.
Table of Contents
What is a Turntable Phono Preamp?
Turntable phono preamps are electric circuits that helps boost the output of a vinyl record. They also equalize the output of a turntable so the sound that comes from the turntable is correct and sounds like it should. Some phono preamps are not included in turntables and are part of an external system, but most modern turntables have a phono preamp included in the turntable system. (Source)
Phono preamps make the sound quality of a vinyl record better. They make the record sound more similar to the sound that a CD or tape would produce so people don’t think that the sound that a CD and a vinyl record are really different, although there are differences in the sound that each of them produce.
When a turntable plays a vinyl record, they produce a phono output signal that needs to be converted to a line level signal, otherwise known as an AUX signal, in order for the music to be played through speakers or another sound system. Phono preamps receive the phono output signal and convert it to a line level signal so it can be played, and you can hear the music that you are playing on the turntable. (Source)
Phono preamps also emphasize the high and low frequencies that hide the sound that the turntable needle makes as the vinyl record spins so you can hear the music clearly, without any irritating scratching noise that will make the music less appealing.
A phono preamp is also known as a phono stage. When turntables were used in almost every household, a phono preamp was included in the turntable system so it was easy to use the turntable and no one had to purchase extra parts in order to play their music.
However, as tapes and CDs became popular and people nearly stopped purchasing turntables altogether, companies removed the phono preamp system in order to save money. Now that turntables are making a comeback and people are purchasing turntables to play their vinyl records, companies have put the phono preamp system back into them. However, not all companies put the phono preamp system in turntables, as it is cheaper for them to leave it out. (Source)
Most phono preamps nowadays reduce the amount of hissing and rumbles that are commonly heard when a vinyl record is played. This makes it so the music playing is clear and of a high quality.
Most phono preamps are small and compact so you can keep them stowed away when you aren’t using your turntable. If you have a turntable and need a separate phono preamp, make sure that you purchase one that works for your turntable. Although most phono preamps nowadays work with both moving magnetic (MM) and moving coil (MC) turntable systems, before you purchase one make sure that it works with the turntable system that you have.
Do I Need a Turntable Phono Preamp?
You need a turntable phono preamp if your turntable does not have the system already included in it. If your turntable system has a USB or has a phono preamp system already included, then you don’t need to worry about purchasing a separate phono preamp system.
Separate phono preamps are necessary if the turntable system does not have it included because they make the sound of the vinyl record the turntable is playing louder and clearer than if the phono preamp system was not included, so they are necessary if you want to hear your music clearly while using a turntable system. (Source)
According to Reddit users, you don’t need a separate phono preamp system if your turntable system already has it, as it won’t make much of a difference in the sound quality. When you connect a phono preamp to a turntable system that already has it included, it doesn’t change anything because there is nothing to change, so the sound quality doesn’t improve as it can’t be improved. (Source)
Some turntables and speakers have phono preamps or something similar already included in them. Before you purchase a phono preamp, make sure your turntable or speakers don’t already have the system, as this will make the purchase of a phono preamp system useless.
How Much Do Turntable Phono Preamps Cost?
Turntable phono preamps can cost anywhere from $20 to $500. Most phono preamps can be connected to turntables, but some can’t so you will need to double check before you purchase one if you intend to use it with your turntable.
However, some phono preamps can cost $20,000. These super expensive phono preamps are typically large and used by DJs and other people who work in the music industry.
Luckily for people who don’t want to or can’t spend $20,000 or more on a phono preamp system, most high-quality phono preamp systems only cost between $20 and $200. It is very easy for you to find a phono preamp that is reasonably priced and helps produce a high quality sound.
Most of the time, the more expensive the phono preamp system is, the better quality sound it will produce from your turntable, and the more you will be able to enjoy your vinyl records.
Best Turntable Phono Preamps
Now that you know what turntable phono preamps are and what they do, you may be wondering what the best phono preamps are and how much they cost. Keep reading to find out, and look into purchasing the ones that you are interested in purchasing.
Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for MC and mm Cartridges
The Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for MC and mm Cartridges is one of the best phono preamp machines on the market. It is rated 4.7 stars by consumers, and it costs $129, which is relatively cheap for a quality phono preamp machine.
The Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for MC and mm Cartridges can be used with both MM and MC turntable machines, so you can use them with almost any type of turntable without worrying about whether or not it will work properly. It has a 2-year warranty.
Click here if you would like to purchase the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for MC and mm Cartridges machine.
Pro-Ject Phono Box DC -Black Flexible Phono Preamp
The Pro-Ject Phono Box DC -Black Flexible Phono Preamp is the best turntable phono preamp machine. it is rated 4.8 stars by consumers. The best part about this phono preamp machine is that it only costs $99, which is quite cheap for a quality phono preamp machine.
The Pro-Ject Phono Box DC -Black Flexible Phono Preamp machine has gold-plated sockets that will not become corroded over time, which means you can use this machine for years to come, even if you use it frequently.
The Pro-Ject Phono Box DC -Black Flexible Phono Preamp can be used by MM and MC turntable machines, so you can use your turntable no matter what system it uses. It produces a high-quality sound, so you can enjoy your vinyl records and hear the music clearly.
If you would like to purchase the Pro-Ject Phono Box DC -Black Flexible Phono Preamp, click here.
Rolls Bellari PA550
The Rolls Bellari PA550 is a great phono preamp machine. It is rated 4.7 stars by consumers, and it only costs $129. It is encased in metal, so it is very durable and will not break easily even if it is dropped. This is a very portable machine, so you can take it anywhere you go, or stow it in a small place when you are not using it with your turntable.
The Rolls Bellari PA550 can be used with headphones, so you can use your turntable with your headphones at night when others who live in the area are sleeping and it would otherwise be rude to use your turntable, even if you want to, as it would likely wake them up.
The Rolls Bellari PA550 has rotary bass and treble controls on the front of it so you can customize the equalization of the music that is playing on your turntable. This feature is not available in most phono preamp machines, but it is a great feature because it allows you to customize your vinyl records and how you listen to them.
If you would like to purchase the Rolls Bellari PA550, click here.
Behringer Microphono PP400 Phono Preamp
The Behringer Microphono PP400 Phono Preamp machine is a great phono preamp machine. It is rated 4.5 stars. However, the best part about this phono preamp machine is the price. It only costs $25, and it still helps your turntable produce great sound that you will very much enjoy.
The The Behringer Microphono PP400 Phono Preamp is only 1.25 inches tall and 4 inches deep, which means that it is very compact and can be stored nearly anywhere when you are not using it, and it won’t take up a lot of space while you are using it.
Click here if you would like to purchase the Behringer Microphono PP400 Phono Preamp machine.
Cambridge Audio Phono Preamplifier
The Cambridge Audio Phono Preamplifier is a great phono preamp machine. it is rated 4.7 stars by consumers and costs $179. It comes in a silver color, so it will blend in with many other silver devices that you have in your home.
The Cambridge Audio Phono Preamplifier is one of the larger phono preamps on this list, but it is not large enough to be a hassle or take up too much room in your home. It looks sleek enough to keep out all of the time, even when you are not using your turntable. If weighs 1 pound so it can easily be moved if you need to, but you will likely not have to move it.
The Cambridge Audio Phono Preamplifier will allow you to listen to your vinyl records and hear the music quite clearly, which everyone enjoys. Unfortunately, if only works with MM turntable machines, but as long as you have one it will work wonderfully. It has a 1 year warranty, and it will last for a long time after the warranty expires.
if you would like to purchase the Cambridge Audio Phono Preamplifier, click here.
Now that you know what the best turntable phono preamp machines available are, choose which one is best for you and your turntable, and enjoy the clear music that you will hear coming from your favorite vinyl records. Keep in mind that many turntables that have been made in recent years already have phono preamp systems installed, so you don’t need to purchase an extra one in order to properly enjoy your vinyl records.
Any of these phono preamp machines on this list will work wonderfully, but it is up to you which machine you choose to use. As the machines listed cost a variety of prices, but are all high quality, it is up to you to choose which one fits your budget the best, and which one will work well with your turntable that does not already have a phono preamp system installed or included already. Remember, phono preamp machines aren’t necessary if the turntable already has a phono preamp system included in the turntable’s software or machinery.
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