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Enjoy Good Sound Quality with the Right Home Audio Phono Preamp

Adding a phono preamp, also known as a phono stage and a turntable amp, to your turntable system allows you to maximise its audio quality. The incorrect phono stage will distort sound or fall short on the quality you expect, so ensure you buy the right one for your system. Many affordable options can be found in this eBay collection.

Do you need a home audio phono preamp?

If your turntable doesn't have a built-in phono preamp, then you'll need to buy one. Even if your turntable has a built-in preamp, you may want to get a separate system to improve audio quality. Audiophiles view a phono stage as a necessity. Examples of phono preamplifiers that many audiophiles might like are:

  • Douk Audio MM RIAA Tube Phono Preamp
  • Douk Audio Little Bear Nobsound Mini Vacuum Tube RIAA MM Preamplifier
  • TEC Phono Preamplifier with Aux 2 Input and Volume Control

If you're on a tight budget, some lower-priced phono preamps you may be interested in are:

  • Bozak Madisson RIAA
  • Weiliang Dual Phono Preamp
  • Bozak Madisson CLK-PH2
Do you need an MM or an MC phono preamplifier?

While shopping on eBay, pay attention to whether or not the device is MM or MC. MM stands for moving magnet, and MC stands for moving coil. Some models support both MM and MC. The type you need depends on what cartridges you feed your turntable. Check your turntable's manufacturer's specifications to know which type of cartridge it uses. If you're uncertain, you should buy a phono preamplifier that supports both.

How do you set up a phono preamp?

Before setting up your gear, find a good position for the phono stage. Don't place it on top of an amplifier or beside a big power transformer. Plug the left and right audio cables that come out of your turntable into the input jacks on the phono preamplifier. Assuming the turntable has a ground wire, plug it into the ground post. Grab a set of audio cables and plug them into the phono preamp's output jacks. Connect the other ends of those cables to the input jacks on your audio system. Make sure that you don't cross any cables at a 90-degree angle during any part of the process.

How do you find the right phono stage?

The first feature to look for is cartridge compatibility, meaning whether or not it requires an MM or an MC device. For those who have vinyl turntables, they need to make sure the phono preamp has phono inputs. Take the technical characteristics of your turntable into consideration while shopping for the right phono preamp. Also, think about the genres of music you play and how picky you are about audio quality.

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