The music signal from the record player is very weak compared to the music signal from other devices from the players. Based on this, the music signal from the turntable must go through an additional amplification stage before it can be connected to the same inputs on your receiver. It is for this type of amplification that we need a phono stage. Using this record players guide you will find other things to keep in mind while picking up the best model.
If the sound from your turntable is too low – there is only one input: you have not connected a phono equalizer. Well, or there is a chance that you used the wrong inputs for connection.
Now I propose to understand what the line level and phono level are. The cartridge on your turntable produces a so-called phono stage. For example, your smartphone outputs a line-level signal. Due to technical specifications, the line-level signal is about 100 times stronger than the phono stage signal.
Thus, when the phono amplifier output of the turntable is connected to the line input of the receiver, there is virtually no sound as a result. Since the receiver expects to receive a signal at this input, which is about 100 units stronger. Therefore, turning on a phono stage that converts the phono stage signal to a line-level signal is a good way to avoid this problem.
Speaking of a phono stage, it is worth mentioning that it can be self-contained, built into a turntable or a receiver.
If your turntable has a LINE output, it has a built-in preamp. By the way, the turntable’s LINE output can be connected to any line-level input on the receiver. Typical line inputs on this receiver are LINE, AUX, CD, DVD, TAPE, and others. If your turntable only has a PHONO output, this means your turntable does not have a built-in preamp.
If we’re talking about connection, then the turntable must be connected to a receiver with a built-in preamplifier or to a stand-alone preamplifier that connects between the turntable and the receiver.
A receiver with a built-in preamplifier has an input called PHONO. If so, you can connect the PHONO output of your turntable to the PHONO input on the receiver. Once the preamp is plugged into your setup and connected properly, the problem with too low sound from your turntable should be resolved.
Considering a more powerful receiver or amplifier
I think it will be obvious to all readers that a more powerful receiver or amplifier will increase the volume of the music over a less powerful one.
But, I think you better think about replacing the cartridge and preamplifier first before looking for a replacement receiver or amplifier. The fact is that in most cases it will be more expensive and the prices are really very high there.
Based on the fact that your turntable provides insufficient music volume, you will rush to replace your receiver or amplifier. This will probably help, but in order to eliminate the root cause of the low volume, you will need to make an additional check or consult with the master.
MM vs MC
If even after turning on the phono stage to your system, the sound is still too low, in some rare cases, this may be due to the fact that the cartridge of your turntable is a moving coil (MC), and your preamplifier is set to work with a moving magnet (MM) cartridge…
This is because MC cartridges emit a much lower signal than MM cartridges. Therefore, even more, the gain is required to achieve line level, and therefore you need a phono stage with an MC setting. It is often found as a preamp switch that selects between MC and MM.
MC cartridges are only found on very expensive high-end turntables, which are usually only bought by power users, so this is very rarely the cause of the problem.