What is the best way to connect a turntable to speakers?
The moment has come. Your mind has been made up to try vinyl for a while. Congratulations on your accomplishments! However, now there are empty boxes, foam corners, bubble packaging, and other expensive stuff surrounding you. Having vinyl playing around you is the best thing in the world.
- 1 Audiophiles Face a Dilemma: What Should They Do?
- 1.1 Product Description
- 1.2 Turntable
- 1.3 Phono Stage, also known as the preamplifier
- 1.4 Amplification
- 1.5 Speakers
- 1.6 Active speakers and integrated amp on a turntable
- 1.7 Turntable without a built-in preamp or active speakers
- 1.8 Speakers, preamp, and receiver built-in to the turntable
- 1.9 Turntable with a preamplifier, receiver, and passive speakers
- 1.10 A Bluetooth-enabled turntable with a speaker
Audiophiles Face a Dilemma: What Should They Do?
Please take a deep breath before you open your playlist on your iPhone. This guide shows you how to connect record player speakers step-by-step so that you can listen to your music right away!
Here’s a quick tutorial on all those boxes you have (hopefully) unpacked. Here’s a quick review of some terms you need to know as we prepare to connect your speakers.
To connect your turntable to your new stereo system, you will need the following four pieces of technology (or less):
Your listening experience is not complete without a turntable. You’d hear no sound in any speaker if it weren’t for that needle or tonearm tracking each groove and converting it into readable electrical information.
Phono Stage, also known as the preamplifier
Now you can hear the rich sounds on that vinyl record, and Mr. Preamp can make that happen. It translates the audio signal from your record so that an amplifier and speakers can understand it.
Although you will often use a preamp the same way you would use a phono stage (phono amp), there is one key difference. Phono amplifiers equalize the tone of the record to ensure the quality of sound is exactly what it should be. Preamplifiers boost the volume of audio so that the amplifier can read it, and they can also control multiple sources.
Both are essentially the same thing in the context of turntables.
In this capacity, the amp literally (or not so simply) takes the signal from your preamp and boosts it into one which is able to be heard by your speakers. Therefore, it is called that.
Let’s move on to the fun part-the turntable speaker! Are record players required to have speakers? Yes – that is the answer! The speakers that play your vinyl collection are what actually make it sound so great. Active and passive speakers are the two types you need to know about.
An active speaker (or powered speaker) is a relatively simple device. As their name implies, they come with an amplifier built-in, and they only need to be plugged in to function.
Passive speakers must be connected to an amplifier or receiver in order to be powered.
Here are our top picks for the best record player speakers (just in case you are reading this to know what to look for before you start shopping.)
It is the Receiver
A receiver is something you’re probably familiar with. In case you do not have a TV, your receiver is usually your house’s entertainment center. With it, you have access to most, if not all, of the inputs and outputs and can easily switch between them.
Cables for RCA
In addition to the unimpressive-looking cables, they are carrying a lot of responsibility. Through their use, you will be able to connect your various components. How do they define themselves? There are two connectors on each end of this thick black cable.
There is a caveat
These things may not be necessary for you, depending on the record player and the speakers you choose. For convenience, technology, or both, some components are built into each other.
Let’s start by assembling the simplest part first, just in case you’re still shaken by all the unpacking and cords and other things.
You will see receivers interchanged for different setups, and they are simply amplifiers with more functions. You can use whatever you have.
Active speakers and integrated amp on a turntable
It’s basically just a plug-and-play situation. With your turntable having a preamp and your speakers having amps, you’ve made a simple and wise choice-especially if you’re new to vinyl.
As you gain experience with turntables and speakers, you will have ample time to put together a system that suits you perfectly.
In any case, now that you have connected your turntable and speakers (if you haven’t already), the music can begin.
Turntable without a built-in preamp or active speakers
Next, let’s add another piece of equipment.
There is a necessity to use two sets instead of one set of RCA cables for this setup. As nuclear weapons aren’t being decommissioned in any particular order, there is no need to connect in any particular order. The cables must be correctly connected before you turn on the machine.
You will need to connect one set of RCA cables to the turntable.
- Connect the speakers and the preamp with one set of RCA cables.
- Your turntable and speakers must be grounded when you hear buzzing. If your turntable doesn’t come with a grounding wire, you can buy one for about $6 to $10 almost anywhere.
Speakers, preamp, and receiver built-in to the turntable
We can bypass the preamp and just use the receiver for an easy setup that will allow us to use our speakers for other devices. In order to accomplish this common turntable setup, we will need only one set of RCA cables.
- Connect the turntable to the receiver with the RCA cables.
- Connect the speakers to the receiver using the speaker wire.
Turntable with a preamplifier, receiver, and passive speakers
What do you think about doing this? This is something we appreciate! It is time to begin the most “complex” setup, which really isn’t that complex at all. The only remaining component is the RCA cable, so you will need two sets.
You can also upgrade your equipment as you wish to get higher-quality audio customized for you with a deluxe setup. Let’s get started, shall we?
Connect one set of RCA cables to the turntable and the preamp
- Connect the preamp to the receiver using one set of RCA cables
- Connect the speakers to the receiver using the speaker wire
- To reduce any feedback or buzzing noise, connect a grounding wire from your turntable to the preamp and another from the receiver to the preamp.
A Bluetooth-enabled turntable with a speaker
You may enjoy visiting the past as well as clinging to your wireless speakers of the modern age. Our solution combines the best of the old and the best of the new. How does a Bluetooth speaker connect to a turntable? Let’s go over the two ways you can do it. A preamp-equipped turntable and one without one.
We don’t underestimate your intelligence, so we’re providing these Bluetooth setup instructions assuming your turntable does not have Bluetooth technology. (Or else you would have connected to it wirelessly in .05 seconds, or you would have just started your turntable.)
Here’s how you’ll connect an old-fashioned Bluetooth device to a modern wireless router. Due to the fact that most Bluetooth speakers only have 3.5mm inputs, you will likely need to purchase an RCA to 3.5mm cable.
Turntables that come with built-in preamplifiers will make this setup simple. For a Bluetooth connection between your Bluetooth speakers and your turntable, join the input side of the cable with the output side.
Built-in preamp not included
Those of you with older turntables that do not include built-in preamps won’t have to worry — just run a few more cables around the turntable to connect to the Bluetooth speakers.
- Using the RCA cable, connect the turntable to the preamp.
- Plug the RCA input side of the cable into the preamp and the 3.5mm side into the Bluetooth speaker before connecting the Bluetooth speaker to the preamp.
In conclusion, despite the fact that you have now “wired” your Bluetooth speaker, the innate wireless compression of Bluetooth speakers will cause your vinyl to sound compressed.
I hope you won’t cause us to weep if you ask “huh, what’s so special about vinyl?” Bluetooth sound and a decent set of turntable speakers can be compared to a steak from Texas Roadhouse and a masterpiece from Mastro’s — one is just right and the other is exceptional.
SPIN! Ready, set, go!
You have embraced a technologically advanced stereo while experiencing the warm, rich sounds of vinyl! What’s to say you can’t have it all?
You can listen to digital music in the gym, in your car, and while you’re on the go. No matter how you set up your turntable, vinyl on a turntable remains the purest form of music for total immersion in your own home.
If you are curious about how much speakers cost and know exactly what you want, we can help.
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