Are you looking to connect your turntable to active speakers but feeling overwhelmed by all the technical jargon?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll break down the process step-by-step and provide you with all the information you need to get your turntable up and running with your active speakers.
Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a beginner, this guide will make it easy for you to enjoy your vinyl collection in no time.
So, grab your turntable and let’s get started!
How To Connect Active Speakers To Turntable
Step 1: Check Your Turntable’s Output
Before you start connecting your turntable to active speakers, it’s important to check the output of your turntable. Most turntables have an analog output (RCA connection) that allows you to connect directly to active speakers. However, some turntables require a preamp to boost the signal before it can be connected to active speakers.
Step 2: Check Your Active Speakers’ Input
Active speakers come with different input options, so it’s important to check what type of input your speakers have. The most common inputs are RCA and 3.5mm (mini-jack). Make sure you have the appropriate cables and adapters to connect your turntable to your active speakers.
Step 3: Connect Your Turntable To Active Speakers
Once you’ve checked your turntable’s output and your active speakers’ input, it’s time to connect them. Here are three different ways you can connect your turntable to active speakers:
1. RCA Input on Active Speakers:
Connect the RCA (red and white) plugs from the turntable cable into the corresponding RCA inputs on the active speaker.
2. 3.5mm (Female) Input on Active Speakers:
Connect the RCA (red and white) plugs from the turntable cable to the RCA (female) to 3.5mm (1/8′′) mini-plug (male) adapter cable, making sure to match red plug to red plug and white to white. Then connect the adapter cable’s 3.5mm mini-plug to the active speakers’ Line Level* input.
3. 3.5mm (Male) Input on Active Speakers:
Connect the RCA (red and white) plugs from the turntable cable to an RCA to 3.5mm (1/8′′) mini-plug (female) adapter cable.* Then connect the adapter’s 3.5mm mini-plug to the active speakers’ 3.5mm input cable.
*Note: Some RCA adapters may have red and black plugs instead of red and white plugs. This is fine, just match red to red and white to black.
Step 4: Power On Your Active Speakers
Once you’ve connected your turntable to your active speakers, it’s time to power on your speakers according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 5: Enjoy Your Vinyl Collection
Congratulations! You’ve successfully connected your turntable to active speakers. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your vinyl collection with high-quality sound.
Understanding Active Speakers
Active speakers are a type of speaker that has a built-in amplifier in the speaker cabinet. This means that they don’t require an external amplifier or receiver to operate, and can be connected directly to an audio source such as a turntable. Active speakers are also sometimes referred to as powered speakers.
One of the main advantages of active speakers is that they provide a more accurate and precise sound reproduction compared to passive speakers. This is because each driver (low and high frequencies) has its own dedicated amplifier in an active speaker, whereas a passive speaker relies on an external amplifier to power all drivers. Additionally, the crossover in an active speaker is active and placed before the amplifiers, which allows for more precise frequency amplification.
Active speakers also tend to be more convenient and easy to use compared to passive speakers. They come with different input options such as RCA and 3.5mm, making it easy to connect them to various audio sources. Additionally, they are well-suited for use in small to medium-sized rooms or for portable applications.
It’s important to note that not all powered speakers should be called active speakers. While all active speakers are powered, not all powered speakers have the same signal path as a passive set-up. Some powered speakers have the amplification hidden in one of the speaker enclosures and require a speaker cable link between the master (powered) speaker and the slave (passive) partner.
Preparing Your Turntable
Before connecting your turntable to active speakers, it’s important to prepare it properly. Most turntables come pre-assembled with the dust cover, stylus, and platter in place. However, some turntables may require you to place the platter onto the turntable.
To prepare your turntable, carefully unbox it and set aside the packaging. Place the turntable on a secure and level surface, such as a HiFi stand or sideboard. It’s important to place it level and on something sturdy to prevent movement and vibrations that can affect your music.
If your turntable requires you to place the platter onto the turntable, follow these steps:
1. Carefully place the platter on the turntable.
2. Spin the platter until you can see the belt drive spindle (top left).
3. Place the belt over the spindle.
If your turntable does not have an internal preamp, you will need to get one before connecting it to active speakers. A preamp boosts the signal from the turntable so that it can be received by an amplifier (which, in this case, is inside the active speakers).
Once your turntable is properly prepared and connected to your active speakers, you can start enjoying your vinyl collection with high-quality sound.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Even with careful setup, there may be issues that arise when connecting your turntable to active speakers. Here are some common issues and troubleshooting tips:
1. No Sound:
If you’re not getting any sound from your active speakers, first check that everything is plugged in correctly and that your turntable is turned on. If everything seems to be in order, try adjusting the volume on your turntable or active speakers. If you still have no sound, try connecting a different audio source to your active speakers to see if the issue is with the speakers themselves.
2. Humming or Buzzing Sound:
If you’re hearing a humming or buzzing sound, it could be caused by a ground loop. Try disconnecting all other devices from the power outlet and see if the hum goes away. If not, try using a ground loop isolator.
3. Low Volume:
If the volume from your active speakers is too low, check that the volume on your turntable is turned up and that the active speakers are turned up as well. If this doesn’t help, try adjusting the EQ settings on your turntable or active speakers.
4. Static or Popping Sounds:
Static or popping sounds can be caused by a dirty connection. Try cleaning the RCA plugs and jacks with contact cleaner or rubbing alcohol. If this doesn’t help, it may be an issue with the turntable’s cartridge or stylus, which may need to be replaced.
5. Turntable Not Spinning:
If your turntable isn’t spinning, check that it’s plugged in and turned on. If it still doesn’t spin, check that the belt is properly attached and not worn out. If the belt seems fine, it may be an issue with the motor, which may require professional repair.
By following these troubleshooting tips and taking care to properly connect your turntable to active speakers, you can enjoy high-quality sound from your vinyl collection for years to come.
Enjoying Your Vinyl Collection With Active Speakers
Active speakers are a great way to enjoy your vinyl collection without the need for a receiver or external amplifier. With the right cables and adapters, you can easily connect your turntable to active speakers and enjoy high-quality sound. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your vinyl collection with active speakers:
1. Invest in Quality Cables
While the cables that come with your turntable may be adequate, investing in a better quality cable can improve sound quality and reduce background humming when in standby. Consider purchasing a QED Connect range or other reasonably priced high-quality cables.
2. Check Your Turntable’s Preamp
If your turntable has a preamp bypass, make sure the switch on the back is set to “LINE”. If your turntable doesn’t have a preamp, you’ll need a separate phono stage in between the turntable and your active speakers.
3. Ground Your System
To prevent buzzing or feedback noise, connect a grounding wire from your turntable to the preamp and another from the active speakers to the preamp. If your turntable didn’t come with a grounding wire, you can purchase one online for a low cost.
4. Consider Bluetooth Connectivity
Some turntables on the market are capable of outputting a Bluetooth signal, allowing you to connect wirelessly to active speakers that support Bluetooth connectivity. The Audio-Technica AT-LP60-BT and Pro-Ject’s VT-E are two models with Bluetooth options.
5. Enjoy Your Vinyl Collection
With these tips in mind, you can easily connect your turntable to active speakers and enjoy your vinyl collection with high-quality sound. Whether you’re a minimalist looking for a compact setup or an audiophile seeking the best possible sound, active speakers are a great choice for enjoying your vinyl collection.