A turntable generates a special kind of a signal. It has to be modified to create another kind of signal. This modified type of a signal can be used by different kinds of audio equipment, like modern speakers, PCs, etc. In other words, a pre-amp just converts a signal that can be used by other devices.

If you still don’t know where to begin, we made a cool overview of the best speakers for a record player and advise you to read it.

What is a preamp for a turntable in general

Some manufacturers of turntables use built-in preamps. Therefore, the device is integrated already in your turntable. It is quite convenient since you can just connect turntable outputs to inputs of a sound system and enjoy the music you like. Check the manual of your device to know if it features a turntable amplifier. However, if there is a USB port, you can be sure that it has a built-in pre-amp.

In this case, a setup should look like: a turntable is connected to a sound system. That is it. It is simple, you just need to connect everything properly and you can enjoy your music.

Nevertheless, you should not think that a built-in preamp is a perfect option. Of course, it is convenient, but some modern preamps have many useful functions.

An external turntable preamp – the best tool that makes the sound better

There are different models of phono preamps. Their prices are different as well, you can find a reasonably-priced or spend some money on a very good model with many different functions. We have already mentioned that integrated pre-amps are convenient, but if you value the sound quality level, then an external preamp is the right one you need. Usually, it is a small device that has input, output, and ground. You should always connect ground to avoid all kinds of noises.

An external turntable preamp

The setup will be a bit more complex since you need to add a new component – an external preamp. Therefore, the whole setup will look like: a turntable is connected to a phono pre-amp and it is connected to a sound system. Do not forget that a pre-amp requires a power supply.

Features of an external preamp

Such devices may have many useful features, such as:

  • muting
  • filters
  • levels

Most audio interfaces and external preamps also feature one or more instrument inputs to plug in a guitar or bass. Or an original Rhodes E-Piano, which operates with a similar kind of magnetic pickup.

Whether you work with the built-in preamps of your audio interface or an external preamp, the basic features are the same. In any case, an external preamp may guarantee a very high level of sound quality.

Why Do I Need Preamp Speakers

It is quite simple, if you want to enjoy your music and get the maximum quality, then consider using a turntable without a built-in pre-amp and buying an external one.

Do not forget to buy a good sound system. It is important to use high-grade components only. If you use poor-quality pre-amp speakers, you will lose the quality and it does not matter if you have a $500 pre-amp. Therefore, consider checking our review dedicated to the best speakers for a record player.

If the quality is not that important and you do not want to deal with all those cables, then a turntable with a built-in preamp is the option for you.

It is important to mention that in any case (whether you use a built-in preamp or not) the quality of sound is very high.