Phono and line are two different types of audio signals. Phono signals are the weak signals that come directly from a turntable cartridge, while line signals are the stronger signals that come from other audio sources, such as CD players or tape decks.
Phono signals need to be amplified and equalized before they can be played through speakers. This is because the phono signal has a very low output level and a different frequency response than line signals. The equalization process compensates for the RIAA curve, which is a pre-emphasis curve that was used to record vinyl records.
Line signals, on the other hand, do not need to be amplified or equalized. This is because they are already at a high enough level and have a flat frequency response.
So, which one sounds better? In general, phono signals can sound better than line signals, because they have been designed specifically for turntables. However, there are some factors that can affect the sound quality of both phono and line signals, such as the quality of the cartridge, the phono preamp, and the speakers.
Here is a table summarizing the key differences between phono and line signals:
|Sound quality||Can be better||Can be worse|
Ultimately, the best way to decide which type of signal sounds better is to listen to both and compare them. If you are not sure which one to choose, it is always best to consult with an audio expert.
Here are some additional tips for getting the best sound quality from your turntable:
- Use a high-quality phono preamp. A good phono preamp will amplify and equalize the phono signal correctly, resulting in better sound quality.
- Use high-quality speakers. Speakers that are designed for vinyl playback will produce better sound quality than speakers that are not.
- Clean your records regularly. Dirty records can sound muffled and distorted.
- Align and adjust your turntable properly. A properly aligned and adjusted turntable will produce better sound quality.