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Unread 10-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

Hey everyone. I know I haven't been around a lot lately because of going away to college and what not but I was hoping for some advice, and the guys and gals on this board are some of the most knowledgable folks I know.

I recently got a turntable and decided to go for an affordable model (Crosley Cruiser Turntable - Assorted Colors : Target). I listened to a little bit of Fleetwood Mac on it (all I have are my mom's old records to listen to, none of my own yet) and while the sound was okay, the max volume on the unit did not go very high. I tried hooking up some speakers into Red/White output jacks on the back of the turntable, but no sound came out of them.

I tried doing some googling but wasn't able to find any compatible speakers or find any information on how to hook up speakers to get sound of a turntable.

Does anybody would know how to get sound to come out of a Red/White outputjack on a turntable directly to a speaker? I'm going to be buying a new pair of speakers if I can find some that I'm able to hook up to my turntable, so if someone has any speakers to recommend that would work for this (nothing too fancy, $50 or less would be great if possible) that would be sweet.

Also if there's anyone here knowledgeable on this model as well, would they be able to recommend it over the one I already purchased?
Amazon.com: Jensen JTA-460 3-Speed Stereo Turntable with MP3 Encoding System and AM/FM Stereo Radio (Black): Electronics Amazon.com: Jensen JTA-460 3-Speed Stereo Turntable with MP3 Encoding System and AM/FM Stereo Radio (Black): Electronics

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Unread 10-06-2013, 03:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

The red and white cables are RCA cables, they are NOT made to go to a speaker, they are made to go to an amplifier or tuner source. The speakers are hooked to the amp or tuner and the turntable produces sound thru the amp or tuner, that's how my turntable works, as well as my cd player and tape player.

The pic of the turntable hooked to an ipad or iphone, if you have that cable, you can adapt that 1/8" to a 1/4" and then plug into an input on your guitar amp, that's one way to do it.

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Unread 10-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

You need to run the turntable through a turntable amp. You hook up the two output wires and the ground wire from the turntable to the amp. Then you hook up the speakers to the amp's outputs.

edit: Electro beat me to it!

Little turntable amps are inexpensive, too.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

There are two types of turntable output.
Have a look here for more info.

General Turntable Questions

In short:
Some turntables output need to be pre-amplified before going into a receiver or pre-amp + amplifier. If the output is "phono" and the receiver's input is phono = no problem If not, the signal needs to be pre-amplified. That would explain your lack of volume (as in phono to line in, the line-in input usually receives a pre-amplified signal).
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Unread 10-06-2013, 03:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

Stereo receiver amplifier?

Turntable> receiver/amp>speakers

RCA out put from turntable to amp, plain duo speaker wire to speakers.

That's how they were hooked up in the olden days, or at least the vast majority.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?









a Sansui AU 101 ....



locally do-able and frugally priced

** the phono inputs and ground connection are what you need .
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Unread 10-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

If I remember correctly (it's been a while) the output from a turntable isn't line level, that's why it's labeled 'phono', it's much lower...than line out, so when inputting to an amp for best results you need to match to a 'phono input'

Disregard if the phono just has a 'line out' jack.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 04:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

now if you want to do it right, hook the turntable into one of these puppies..



that one is stereo, now if you really wanted to sniff cork, you need two amps, one for each channel.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 04:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

just my 2 cents but phonos like a bunch of folks here have said need a pre-amp. Back in the olden days that's why stereos had phono inputs.
Decades ago I got me one of them there Bang & Olifsens. The tone arm is about an 1/8inch in diameter at most and the headshell is the same. Low mass = less impact on the vinyl. Remember to not play them more than once a day, that stuff needs to "relax", otherwise you will wear it out.
Linear arms were over rated FWIW.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 05:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

I expect the output on that is line level, so plugging into a free or AUX input in a hi-fi amp / system should do. However, if it is very quiet and very trebly then it is an uncorrected direct out from the phono cartridge and will need a dedicated PHONO input or a phono preamp.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

That is very fancy.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 10:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

Judging from your OP, I think you'd be better off with one of the turntables that has a USB connector for your computer (maybe $100 at Costo, etc). Rip the albums, put them back in the sleeves and return that thing to Target.

You won't be getting great quality but, you can harvest all of those albums. I'd look at how many songs you want to harvest if it's 100 you are about breakeven on the cost of the turntable and the cost of the music on itunes.

I like my vinyl (I like my LPs, too) but, getting high fidelity out of an LP (record album) takes an investment for a good (not crazy set up). If you really want to listen to vinyl, I'd suggest buying used gear, a decent turntable (like a Rega), a tube integrate amp (has both the pre and the power amps in one unit) and some very sensitive speakers. Be careful, you might get hooked! Some turntables (like Horo) can run north of $30K...
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Unread 10-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

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Originally Posted by 7gtop View Post








a Sansui AU 101 ....



locally do-able and frugally priced

** the phono inputs and ground connection are what you need .

Wow, is that Sansui a blast from the past! That's the exact unit I got to power my stereo probably 30+ years ago! In fact, it may still be hanging around somewhere in my basement...I'll have to look tomorrow.


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Unread 10-06-2013, 11:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

Wow, I never felt old until I got to this thread.

A college kid asking how to hook up a turntable.
I remember when that was around 7th grade. Stereo hookup 101.

Although around 5th or 6th grade, I remember learning a lot about stereo hookup with my Dad's system while he was at work. I managed to make a guitar amp out of it by setting the reel-to-reel to record/pause and plugging my guitar into the mic input.

One day he came home early and caught me jamming through his stereo. I thought he would kill me. He was actually impressed that I figured out how to do it.
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Unread 10-06-2013, 11:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

Where it's at:

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Unread 10-07-2013, 12:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

id stick to a receiver and an iPod or something similar

without a nice tube amp ($$$$), Project turntable (or better, $ wise) and $$$ speakers, it probably wont be worth it

note, to my ears, AAC audio files at 256kbps sound like cds. i probably couldnt pick which is which to save my life. mp3s sound dirtier

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Unread 10-07-2013, 12:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

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Unread 10-07-2013, 10:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Hooking up a turntable to speakers?

The signal from a 'standard' turntable is different from the "line level" of a CD or ipod. I would doubt that a turntable from Target (no disrespect to Target, I shop there, occasionally) would require a pre-amp (whether stand alone component or integrated into a receiver or an integrated amp) that has a phone stage (the electronics needed to equalize the signal from the turntable to make it more useable by boosting and attenuating certain frequencies). "Phono" inputs used to be the norm on amplification devices however, they fell by the wayside, some time ago due to the demise of vinyl and the added expense of the electronics. Now, if your pre doesn't have phono inputs, you'll need a "phono stage" (little black box with the 'antiquated' electronics in it). Cheap phono stages run a couple hundred bucks. Tube phono stages can run you several thousand. If you were really interested, find some used gear from the 70's and 80's, they will have phono stages built in.

I agree with Nauc, enjoying vinyl is best done (in our opinions) with tubes. If you just want to hear 90% of the original performance, free of hiss, pops and other imperfections, you are far better off with an ipod and some good cans.

With vinyl, the signal is always analog (i.e. is never digitized) and therefore the elements of the signal can be quite nuanced and very similar to the condition they were in when they reached the performer's mic or the mixing board. I like to think of the edges of the signal being rounded or soft. However, digitized signals have 'square' edges (it's a "1" or a "0" and nothing in between). Think about the TV picture when it gets a weak digital signal and it looks like Monet was painting perfectly square boxes. Conversely, DACs (digital to analog converters) convert digital signals into a form that the amplifiers can amplify. Good DACs aren't cheap, either (it takes some expense and engineering to put that digital signal back to its original condition (as it entered the mic or mixing board). I think vinyl is often a truer representation however, it is an inferior technology.

Plus, the warmth of the vinyl signal combined with the 'punch' of tube amplification is a little slice of heaven.
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