Owning a record player is great! These are simple but durable devices that usually don’t need much attention. However, we would never do without some accessories! Some of them are even necessary to operate the turntable at all.
As a beginner, you might ask yourself what other devices and tools you need to get your turntable working? In this guide, you will learn what you need to know about the various accessories and supplies of a turntable.
Essential accessories for connecting
The preamplifier prepares the signal from the turntable for the power amplifier, i.e. the “right” amplifier, and adjusts it accordingly. The information that the pickup alone provides is still too “weak”. In addition, other settings can be made on the preamplifier:
For example a manipulation with the volume,
but also corrections of the frequency response (i.e. the sound).
The purchase of this accessory is not always necessary, because the preamplifier is often already integrated into the device, especially with cheap turntables.
Nevertheless, the separate preamplifier can be profitable in this case as well since the “integrated” parts usually do not offer the best quality. In many cases, you can get “a few percent more power” with a preamplifier.
Whether your turntable already has an integrated preamplifier is best seen in the product description or at the connectors of the device. In addition, every turntable with a USB port usually has a preamplifier built-in.
The Power amplifier boosts the low-frequency audio signal from the pickup or preamplifier to a level at which it can be reproduced by the speakers.
With power amplifiers or integrated amplifiers, you should pay special attention to the inputs. If the power amplifier has an input that says “phono” or also “MM” or “MC”, a preamplifier is integrated and you can connect the turntable directly.
RCA (phono cable)
The phono cable is an electrical connection plug which through audio or video signals can be transmitted. The name “RCA” comes from the “Radio Corporation of America”, which introduced the design in the 1940s.
What do the colors of the RCA cables mean?
The color codes on the cables have the following meaning:
- Yellow represents the video signal
- Red for the right audio channel
- White/black for the left channel of the stereo signal.
This trio can be found on the back of almost any audio or video equipment
The speakers are the last transducer that now converts the electrical vibrations previously generated by the record player and manipulated by the amplifiers back into mechanical vibrations (i.e. sound).
No matter what you do: we would not recommend you to save money on the speakers! Good speakers for turntable can usually be used for a very long time. This way, the invested money pays off over the years, even if the purchase is beyond your budget at the beginning.
Bookshelf speakers fit into even the smallest room and provide a decent sound.
Floor-standing speakers fill even large rooms with music and use the vertical to avoid being noticed.