Record player is too quiet!

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SgtThong | 18:45 Thu 12th Jan 2006 | Technology
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i recently aquired a turntable, but find it is incredibly quiet, i can hardly here it when i connect to my amp. Ive tried it on other amps and get the same problem, and it is connected properly(ie earthed etc). Does anyone know what the problem could be? Do i need a pre-amp whatever that is?


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I Think you have answer your own question. Does you amp have a phono 'in'.?If so use that but I'm guessing cos you said you used it on other amps that you are going to need a pre amp. What sort of turntable is it? Did you buy it new - if you did the assistant should have warned you?
Question Author

i bought it off a mate its a dj turntable -belt drive etc, what is a pre amp

A CD player, tape player or radio tuner all give out signal at what is called Line Level, which can be connected straight into an amp. Record decks give out signal quiter than this, owing to the lack of electronics within the unit - the signal is closer to that of a microphone, which couldn't be plugged straight into an amp.

A pre-amp brings the record player level up to line level, so it can be connected straight into the amp, which you would need - however many amps already have pre-amps built in, across a phono channel.

What is the make / model of your amp? If it has a phono channel, route it through this, or make sure any switches are set to Phono / Mic input.

Question Author
its a cambridge audio a1mk3 amp, and has a aux/phono input.

Connect it to the Aux/Phono input and make sure any switches etc are set to Phono.

The amp does have pre-amps built in, but I think they are switchable.

Question Author

yeah done that, i think i need to buy a pre amp,

For a cheap pre-amp try Maplin. For the 'best' try looking for the Pro-Ject Phono Box (but it might set you back about �40).

Otherwise get the small Bush turntable for not much more (reviewed in What Hi-Fi believe it or not!) which has a built-in pre-amp that is switchable. Model MTT1 now replaced by MTT2? approx. �49

With respect, wideboy, I doubt that a Bush turntable would be good enough. The Cambridge Audio amp is a piece of hifi, albeit a starter level amp with modest power output, whereas the Bush is most certainly not.

If the DJ turntable is a good 'un, I'd recommend spending the money on a pre-amp. I agree that Maplin is one place to start. If the results aren't good enough, however, and you're serious about playing vinyl, then you may want to look for a decent hifi turntable and pre-amp.

Re the pre-amp, regardless of which turntable you use, you would almost certainly be better off buying one of Cambridge Audio's own phono pre-amps designed to go with their amps. These are the Azur 540P and Azur 640P, the first of which should suffice nicely. You can get it from Richer Sounds currently for about �40.

Respect where it's due. True, the Bush might not be thought of as Hi-Fi (not sure how good DJ turntables are though) but, as I said, you'd have to see the What Hi-Fi review to believe it! A good pre-amp will probably be the best - mine is the Pro-Ject for a Dual Hi-Fi turntable. The Bush was bought to connect to the computer for transferring LPs (it can also be connected to a 'midi' system).

Didn't realise that the Azurs were so cheap.

I have a pro- ject deck as well but ive got an old NAD amp that has phono so i'm alright.
All good advice by the way (better than i could give anyway!)

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