If you’re a vinyl enthusiast, you may be wondering if it’s possible to connect your turntable to an AUX input. The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to know before you start plugging in cables.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of connecting a turntable to an AUX input, including the importance of a phono preamp and the differences between AUX and phono inputs.
So grab your favorite record and let’s dive in!
Can You Connect A Turntable To Aux
Yes, you can connect a turntable to an AUX input, but it’s important to note that not all turntables are created equal. Some turntables come equipped with a built-in phono preamp, while others do not.
If your turntable has a built-in phono preamp, you can simply connect the RCA cables from the turntable to your receiver’s AUX input. However, if your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp, you’ll need to use a standalone phono preamp in order to effectively use your AUX input as a phono input.
The reason for this is that audio signals from turntables are quite low, and when transmitted through the signal pathway to speakers without any form of amplification, you’ll barely hear any sound. Therefore, audio signals from turntables must be preamplified before they reach your receiver. This is where a phono preamp comes in.
Phono connectors come with a built-in phono preamp, but unfortunately, AUX inputs do not. So if you’re using an AUX input as a phono input, you must make sure your turntable has a phono preamp of its own or use a standalone phono preamp.
Understanding AUX Inputs
AUX inputs are commonly found on receivers and other audio devices. These inputs are often labeled as “Auxiliary,” “Line In,” or “Analog In.” They are designed to accept audio signals from external sources such as smartphones, laptops, and other audio devices.
However, when it comes to connecting a turntable to an AUX input, it’s important to understand that not all AUX inputs are created equal. As mentioned earlier, turntables require a phono preamp to boost the low audio signals they produce. Unfortunately, most AUX inputs do not come equipped with a built-in phono preamp.
Therefore, if you plan on using an AUX input as a phono input for your turntable, you’ll need to make sure that your turntable has a built-in phono preamp or use a standalone phono preamp. This will ensure that the audio signal from your turntable is properly amplified before it reaches your receiver or other audio device.
It’s also important to note that some turntables come equipped with a USB output and a built-in phono preamp. This allows you to connect the turntable directly to your computer or other digital device without the need for a standalone phono preamp or receiver.
The Importance Of A Phono Preamp
A phono preamp, also known as a phono stage, is an essential component for any vinyl setup. Its primary function is to amplify the low-level signal produced by a turntable’s cartridge and apply the RIAA equalization curve to the signal. This curve corrects sonic imbalances that occur during the manufacturing process and ensures that the sound quality is not compromised.
Without a phono preamp, the audio signal from a turntable would be too weak to be heard through a standard audio system. Plugging a turntable directly into an AUX input without a phono preamp will result in a thin and tinny sound that lacks depth and volume. This is because AUX inputs do not have the necessary amplification to boost the turntable’s low-level signal.
It’s important to note that not all turntables come with a built-in phono preamp. If your turntable does not have one, you’ll need to invest in a standalone phono preamp to ensure that your vinyl collection can be enjoyed at its best. Standalone phono preamps often contain superior quality circuitry and provide settings and adjustments that can help deliver better sound.
In addition to amplifying the audio signal, a phono preamp also plays a crucial role in reducing noise. When housed within an integrated unit, internal noise can impact the sound quality of the signal being processed by the preamplifier. Using an external phono preamp can help prevent this noise interference and lead to cleaner, clearer sound.
Differences Between AUX And Phono Inputs
Although AUX and phono inputs may look similar, they are designed to receive different types of audio signals. AUX inputs are line-level signal ports, which means they are meant for receiving high-level audio signals. They do not have built-in amplification or EQ, and they are not designed to receive weak signals from turntables.
On the other hand, phono inputs are specifically designed to receive weak signals from turntables. They come with built-in amplification and EQ for boosting and coloring these weak signals. Turntables need a special preamp in order to work, and the phono input has this built-in. You can only plug a record player into a phono input.
If you plug a turntable into an AUX input without a standalone phono preamp or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp, the sound will be very trebly and unpleasant. This is because the audio signal from the turntable is too weak to be properly amplified by the AUX input.
How To Connect Your Turntable To An AUX Input
Connecting your turntable to an AUX input is a straightforward process. Here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Determine if your turntable has a built-in phono preamp: Check your turntable’s manual or specifications to see if it has a built-in phono preamp. If it does, you can skip step 2.
2. Get a standalone phono preamp: If your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp, you’ll need to purchase a standalone phono preamp. Make sure to select one that matches the type of cartridge on your turntable (MM or MC).
3. Connect the turntable to the phono preamp: Connect the RCA cables from your turntable into the “Input” RCA inputs on the phono preamp. Also, connect the ground wire from your turntable to the metal screw on the phono preamp to remove any hum or buzz sounds.
4. Connect the phono preamp to the AUX input: Connect a pair of RCA cables into the “Output” RCA connections on the preamp and connect them to the Aux input on the back of your receiver.
5. Select Aux and start playing: Select Aux on your receiver and start playing music from your turntable.
Troubleshooting Common Issues With AUX Connections.
Even with the right equipment and a basic understanding of how to connect a turntable to an AUX input, there are still some common issues that may arise. If you’re experiencing any of the following problems, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you get your turntable up and running:
1. No sound: If you’re not hearing any sound, make sure that your turntable is properly plugged into the AUX input on your receiver. Also, check that your turntable’s preamp is set to “Line” and not “Phono.” If you’re still not getting any sound, try adjusting the volume on your receiver or checking the connections between your turntable and receiver.
2. Poor sound quality: If you’re experiencing poor sound quality, it could be due to a number of factors. First, check that your turntable’s stylus is clean and free of dust or debris. Additionally, make sure that your turntable’s cartridge is properly aligned and adjusted for optimal sound quality. Finally, check that your receiver’s settings are optimized for phono input.
3. Hum or buzzing noise: If you’re hearing a hum or buzzing noise, this could be caused by a ground loop issue. To fix this, try plugging your turntable and receiver into the same power outlet or using a ground loop isolator.
By following these troubleshooting tips, you’ll be able to connect your turntable to an AUX input with ease and enjoy all the benefits of listening to vinyl records.