We have done a ton of articles looking for the best receiver around. As well as this we have also done a lot of preamp reviews in addition to this. Many people are unsure if they need to buy a preamp or they may ask “Do I need a preamp if my receiver has a phono input?” It can be quite confusing and it is something that many of us who have been into vinyl for a while take for granted that people know. I thought today it would be handy to have a discussion about preamps, receivers, and what you need to know. This is something that is pretty interesting and will help you get a better idea of how to make your favorite records sound as good as possible.
Does Your Turntable Have A Preamp Built In?
Some turntables do actually have a preamp built into them. If you look at this fantastic Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK Fully Automatic Bluetooth Belt-Drive Turntable, for example, this is ready to rock and roll right out of the box. It can be plugged straight into your receiver or even a set of speakers depending on what your setup is and the sound is going to be like it was when the music was actually recorded.
Does Your Receiver Have A Dedicated Phono Input?
We have looked at a ton of receivers here on the site and there are some that have a ton of inputs on the back. Some receivers will have a dedicated phono input. If you take a look at this awesome Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver with Phono Inputs & Bluetooth Black and you look at the back of it, you can clearly see that it has a dedicated phono input.
This is where you would plug your turntable into if it does not have a preamp built in. If you have a more modest turntable like this Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player you would plug this into the phono input on that Sony receiver and then you would be good to go. If your turntable has a built in preamp, like that Audio-Technica I just mentioned before, if you plug that into the phono input you risk blowing your speakers! In this case, you would plug your turntable into the aux port.
I know that we kind of went the long way round to say answer the question, Do I need a preamp if my receiver has a phono input? However, hopefully, you have learned a little bit and know more about what a phono preamp is and why they are good. If you do need a good preamp for your turntable setup we have you covered here as we have looked at some of the best that are out there right now. However, if your receiver does have a phono input and your turntable does not have a preamp built in, you do not need to have an extra one where you then have some kind of daisy chain where your turntable plugs into the preamp which then plugs into the receiver!