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Toshiba Turntable -> Onkyo Receiver = Low volume?!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I just tried to hook up by old Toshiba turntable to my Onkyo HTR-500 receiver, and I'm getting very low volume. I tried plugging it into the Tape, Video 1, and CD inputs on the back of the reciever. The volume at say, 60/100, is loud when playing a cd, but barely audible with the turntable. Maximum volume yields barely enjoyable volume. When I plug it into the Tape inputs, all I get is the sound of the CD player (Philips 963SA.) I just tried the turntable at home with an old amp and a single old speaker, and it worked great. Amp did not need to be cranked at all. How do I get some volume out of this turntable with the Onkyo?

Thanks,
Ryan Lundin
post #2 of 19
Unfortunately, the only way that you can get adequate volume (and good sound quality) from your Toshiba turntable on your newer-model Onkyo receiver is to add a separate phono stage. Prices for decent ones range from about $100 into the thousands of $$$. Most newer receivers have no phono inputs or phono stage at all whatsoever.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK. I just plugged the turntable directly into my META42 headphone amp, bypasssing the receiver entirely, and had the same problem. To get even relatively low volume, I had to crank the meta to max volume. Would the lack of phono stage still be a problem here? Also, I JUST used the turntable at home w/ an old amp, and the volume was fine. I only had to have the knob about 1/4 of the way up for good volume. Could I somehow incorporate that old amp into my Onkyo receiver, and use it as a phono stage?

Thanks again,
RL
post #4 of 19
Yes, a lack of a phono stage is still a problem in this case.

Quote:
Originally posted by CarterFan41
OK. I just plugged the turntable directly into my META42 headphone amp, bypasssing the receiver entirely, and had the same problem. To get even relatively low volume, I had to crank the meta to max volume. Would the lack of phono stage still be a problem here?
post #5 of 19
Turntable cartridges output a very low level (typically 2 to 5 mV, or 2/1000 to 5/1000 of a volt) and require a special amp to bring the low level signals up to line level (around 0.5 volts to 2 volts), and at the same time perform a special "EQ" on them.

When records are cut, high frequencies are boosted and low frequencies cut so that the maximum amount of information can be pressed into the groove (and also to help deemphasize surface noise on playback)... this is called RIAA equalization. When you playback a record, it requires a reverse RIAA equalization to get back the original signal, as well as a (relatively) large amount of amplification to bring the signal to line level.

So anyway... what you need is called a phono stage or phono preamplifier to hook in between the turntable and the receiver, unless your receiver specifically has a "phono" input on it (in that case, the extra amplification and reverse EQ would be performed by the receiver). Most newer receivers and amps do not have "phono" inputs, because turntables are not in widespread use anymore.

Hope this clears it up...

Quote:
Originally posted by CarterFan41
Also, I JUST used the turntable at home w/ an old amp, and the volume was fine. I only had to have the knob about 1/4 of the way up for good volume. Could I somehow incorporate that old amp into my Onkyo receiver, and use it as a phono stage?
What you could do would be to run the turntable to the old amp, and the "record out" (for tape recording, if the amp has one) to one of the Onkyo receiver's inputs -- or to your Meta42. Otherwise you'd either have to just use the old amp, or buy a separate phono stage. It might be a good idea to just get a separate phono stage so you don't waste power running both the old amp and the receiver at the same time.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Alright, sounds like a plan. I'll check to see if my old amp has what you're talking about. If not, what would be a good, cheap phono stage? I wouldn't mind buying used. And obviously the sound quality won't be amazing, but I just want some clean, loud sound to come from the turntable.

Thanks,
Ryan
post #7 of 19
My favorite cheap phono stage is seriously cheap: the $25 battery-powered one from Radio Shack. It's as good as any phono stage you'll find under $100 (and better than many).
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch
My favorite cheap phono stage is seriously cheap: the $25 battery-powered one from Radio Shack. It's as good as any phono stage you'll find under $100 (and better than many).
I'll second that. Don't bother going down to your local Shack to get one, though. They'll look at you real funny and then try to sell you a phone. Buy it off the website if it's still available. I believe there's some question about that.
post #9 of 19
I agree with Hirsch and Ohoen. The "little rat" is a fine entry level phono pre-amp. It's truly one of those products that performs much better than it has a right to, considering the bucks.

Order by phone: 1-800-THE-SHACK

Give them this RSU#: 99701018

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
The $25 RadioShack phono stage sounds like a steal. However, I'm very turned off by the fact that it's batter powered. Could I buy a power supply for it? Or perhaps use the RadioShack powersupply I'm currently using to power the META42?

I think I just found it on the RadioShack website: Magnetic Cartridge Stereo Preamp

Here's the decription: Magnetic Cartridge Stereo Preamp allows turntable with magnetic cartridge to be connected to ceramic phono or aux input of amplifier, stereo or boombox. The preamp uses a 9V alkaline battery for power. The battery is catalog number 23-875.

It's 25 bucks, and I'd have to special order it. I really don't wanna keep replacing the battery though.

Thanks,
Ryan Lundin
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Fewtch - When you say "waste power," do you mean electricity? Or do you mean power produced by the amp/receiver?

Thanks,
RL
post #12 of 19
CarterFan41, the fact that it is battery powered is one of it's biggest attributes because there is much less noise in the signal. The batteries last a long time if you simply remember to shut the amp off after use.

post #13 of 19
CarterFan41,

Go to the Vinyl Asylum over at AudioAsylum.com and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of posts on the "little rat". RickG is right....battery powered being its strength. Although several people at Vinyl Asylum reported good results using rechargeable batteries.
post #14 of 19
I must remind you too, CarterFan41, if the sound of your cartridge/turntable is funky, you will only amplify that poor sound by adding the phono amp. Remember: garbage in=garbage out...

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by CarterFan41
Fewtch - When you say "waste power," do you mean electricity? Or do you mean power produced by the amp/receiver?

Thanks,
RL
I just meant electricity.
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