Does An Audio Technica Turntable Need A Preamp? Experts Weigh In

If you’re a vinyl enthusiast, you know that setting up your turntable properly is crucial to getting the best possible sound quality. One of the most important components in this setup is the preamp.

But what exactly is a preamp, and does your Audio Technica turntable need one?

In this article, we’ll explore the role of the preamp in your turntable setup and answer some common questions about Audio Technica turntables and preamps.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about the world of turntable preamps!

Does Audio Technica Turntable Need Preamp

The short answer is yes, Audio Technica turntables do need a preamp. However, the type of preamp needed depends on the specific setup you have.

All Audio Technica turntables come equipped with an internal preamp, which can be turned on or off using the PHONO/LINE switch located on the back of the turntable. This switch is used to toggle between two different setups.

If you’re connecting your turntable to a stereo receiver with a dedicated PHONO input, you’ll want to turn off the internal preamp by setting the switch to PHONO. This is because the PHONO input on a stereo receiver already has its own preamp, so there’s no need for the turntable to supply one.

On the other hand, if you’re connecting your turntable to any other input on a stereo receiver or directly to powered speakers, you’ll need to turn on the internal preamp by setting the switch to LINE. This is because these inputs are designed for line-level signals, which require preamplification from the turntable.

It’s worth noting that if you’re using a turntable with Bluetooth functionality, you’ll also need to use the internal preamp as it’s unlikely that the Bluetooth device receiving the signal will have one onboard.

What Is A Preamp And What Does It Do?

A preamp, short for preamplifier, is an audio component that amplifies the signal from a turntable to a higher level so that it can be received by an audio system. It also applies the RIAA equalization curve to the signal, ensuring that the equalization curve has the same shape after amplification as it did before. This means that the sound does not change at all, apart from being amplified.

In simpler terms, a preamp boosts the signal from a turntable and prepares it for playback through an audio system. Without a preamp, the sound from a turntable would be too weak to be heard at a normal volume level.

All Audio Technica turntables come equipped with an internal preamp, which can be turned on or off using the PHONO/LINE switch located on the back of the turntable. This switch allows you to toggle between two different setups depending on your specific audio system setup.

If you’re connecting your turntable to a stereo receiver with a dedicated PHONO input, you’ll want to turn off the internal preamp by setting the switch to PHONO. This is because the PHONO input on a stereo receiver already has its own preamp, so there’s no need for the turntable to supply one.

On the other hand, if you’re connecting your turntable to any other input on a stereo receiver or directly to powered speakers, you’ll need to turn on the internal preamp by setting the switch to LINE. This is because these inputs are designed for line-level signals, which require preamplification from the turntable.

Do Audio Technica Turntables Have Built-in Preamps?

Yes, Audio Technica turntables do have built-in preamps. All of the current models in their line of turntables are equipped with an internal RIAA preamp, which can be turned on or off using the PHONO/LINE switch located on the back of the turntable. The purpose of this switch is to provide the correct equalization for your turntable’s current setup.

It’s important to note that not all turntables have built-in preamps, and some audiophiles prefer to use a separate preamp for better sound quality. However, if you’re using an Audio Technica turntable, you can rest assured that it comes with a built-in preamp.

If you’re unsure whether or not your turntable has a built-in preamp, there’s a simple way to determine this. Connect your turntable to your audio system or speakers and listen for any signs of distortion. If the volume level is high and there are no signs of distortion, then your model likely has a built-in preamp.

Benefits Of Using An External Preamp With Your Audio Technica Turntable

While Audio Technica turntables do come equipped with an internal preamp, some audiophiles prefer to use an external preamp for a variety of reasons. One of the main benefits of using an external preamp is that it allows for more customization and control over the sound. External preamps often have more settings and adjustments, allowing you to fine-tune the sound to your specific preferences.

Another benefit of using an external preamp is that it can improve the overall sound quality. While the internal preamp on an Audio Technica turntable is certainly adequate, it may not be as high-quality as a dedicated external preamp. By using a high-quality external preamp, you can ensure that your vinyl records sound as good as possible.

Finally, using an external preamp can also reduce noise and interference. Since the preamp is separate from the turntable, it’s less likely to pick up any electrical interference or other noise that may be present in your setup. This can result in a cleaner, clearer sound that’s free from any unwanted distortion or noise.

How To Connect An External Preamp To Your Audio Technica Turntable

If you’re looking to upgrade your Audio Technica turntable setup with an external preamp, the process is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. First, you’ll need to purchase an external preamp. There are many options available on the market, so it’s important to choose one that’s compatible with your turntable and receiver/speakers.

2. Once you have your preamp, connect it to your turntable using RCA cables. Plug one end of the RCA cables into the preamp’s output jacks and the other end into the input jacks on your turntable.

3. Next, connect the preamp to your receiver or powered speakers using another set of RCA cables. Plug one end of the RCA cables into the preamp’s input jacks and the other end into the appropriate input on your receiver or speakers.

4. Finally, make sure to ground your turntable by connecting its ground wire (if it has one) to the preamp’s ground post. This will help eliminate any unwanted noise or hum.

With these steps, you should now be able to enjoy improved sound quality and greater flexibility with your Audio Technica turntable setup. Just remember to adjust your PHONO/LINE switch accordingly depending on whether or not you’re using the internal preamp.

Choosing The Right Preamp For Your Audio Technica Turntable

When it comes to choosing the right preamp for your Audio Technica turntable, there are a few things to consider.

First, determine whether you need an external preamp or if the internal preamp is sufficient for your setup. If you’re connecting your turntable to a stereo receiver with a dedicated PHONO input, you likely won’t need an external preamp. However, if you’re connecting your turntable to any other input or directly to powered speakers, you’ll need an external preamp.

One option for an external preamp is the ART DJPRE II Phono Turntable Preamplifier. This preamp is designed to provide a noticeable improvement in sound quality and can be easily connected to your turntable and powered speakers or amplifier. It’s also a good option if you have a receiver that doesn’t have a phono input.

Another option for an external preamp is the Pro-Ject Audio – Phono Box DC – MM/MC Phono preamp. This preamp is designed to work with both moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges and provides high-quality amplification of your turntable’s signal. It also has adjustable gain and impedance settings for fine-tuning your setup.

Ultimately, the right preamp for your Audio Technica turntable will depend on your specific setup and preferences. Consider factors such as sound quality, compatibility with your other audio equipment, and ease of use when making your decision.

Common Misconceptions About Preamps And Turntable Setup

There are a few common misconceptions surrounding preamps and turntable setup that are worth addressing.

Firstly, some people believe that all turntables require an external preamp to function properly. While this may have been the case in the past, many modern turntables, including all Audio Technica models, come with an internal preamp that can be turned on or off as needed.

Another misconception is that all preamps are created equal. In reality, there are many different types of preamps available, and the quality of the preamp can have a significant impact on the sound quality of your turntable setup. Some audiophiles prefer to use a separate, high-quality preamp rather than relying on the internal preamp built into their turntable.

Finally, some people believe that setting up a turntable is a complicated process that requires technical expertise. While it’s true that there are some important considerations to keep in mind when setting up your turntable, such as ensuring proper tracking force and aligning the cartridge correctly, it’s not an overly complex process. With a bit of research and attention to detail, anyone can set up their turntable properly and enjoy high-quality sound.