How to Hook Up a Turntable to Speakers | Victrola – Victrola.com
has happened. you’ve decided to give vinyl a spin, literally. well done! but now you’re surrounded by empty boxes, foam corners, bubble wrap, random cables, and expensive equipment. and all you want to do is listen to the sweet sounds of vinyl rolling through your home.
what should an audiophile do?
first, take a deep breath and don’t even think about opening your iphone’s playlist. We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of connecting your turntable speakers so you’ll be connected to your music in no time.
first things first: a little tutorial session on the (hopefully) unpackaged components surrounding it. To connect your speakers, however you’ve chosen, let’s go over a few preliminary terms for your particular setup before we can… set up.
The 4-6 (give or take) wonderful pieces of tech you’ll need to hook up your turntable and set up your new stereo of choice are these:
The turntable is the heart and soul of your listening experience. no matter how modified your speakers are, you wouldn’t hear any audio without that magic needle or tonearm that tracks down the perfect little grove and translates that information into a readable electrical signal.
the preamplifier or phono stage
one step closer to hearing the glorious sounds recorded on that vinyl record, and that’s where mr. the preamp comes in. this piece is crucial because he interprets the signal coming from the record so that it can be read by his amplifier and then by his speakers.
A preamp is essentially the same thing as a phono stage (or phono amp), and you can often use them interchangeably, but there is a slight difference. a phono amplifier matches the key of the record so that the quality of the sound comes through the speakers. a preamp will primarily increase the volume of the sound for the amp to read, and can also drive multiple sources.
In the context of turntables and portable turntables, they are essentially the same thing.
As an intermediary between the preamp and the speakers, the amplifier simply (or not so simply) takes the signal from the preamp and boosts it to one that the speakers can hear. hence its name.
And now for the fun part: the rotary speaker! If you’re wondering, “do turntables need speakers?” – The answer is yes! your speakers are what actually reproduce the wonderful sounds of your vinyl collection. There are two types of speakers you should know about: active and passive.
- active speakers (or powered speakers) are a simple thing. they have a built-in amplifier and just need to be plugged in to be ready to go, as the name suggests.
- passive speakers do not have a built-in amplifier and must be connected to a separate amplifier or receiver for power.
(In case you’re reading this as a frame of reference before you go shopping, check out our picks for the best turntable speakers.)
I’m sure you know what a receiver is. but if not, the receiver is the center of your sound and entertainment systems. provides most, if not all, input and output connections and allows you to easily switch between them.
Last but not least, these not-so-impressive-looking cables take on a lot of responsibility. they are the cables by which you will connect the various components together. his characteristic appearance? a thick black cable with a red and a white connector on each end.
Depending on your choice of turntable and speaker, you may or may not need all of these things. some components are integrated with each other for convenience, because of technology, or both.
let’s start our assembly from the simplest to the most complicated to make things easy for you, in case you’re still nervous about all the unboxing and cables and stuff.
note: in case you didn’t know, a receiver is just an amp with more features, and you’ll see these swap for different setups. use what you have, however you want.
turntable with integrated amplifier and active speakers
This is basically a plug-and-play situation. Since your turntable has a preamp and your speakers have amplifiers, you’ve chosen simply and wisely, especially if you’re new to vinyl. don’t worry, you have plenty of time to build your perfect system as time goes by and you become more familiar with the world of turntables and speakers.
but for now, all you have to do is connect your turntable to your speakers via an rca cable, plug in your speakers and turntable (if you haven’t already), and let the music begin!
turntable without integrated preamp and active speakers
OK, now let’s add one more piece of equipment to the mix.
For this setup, please note that you will need two sets of rca cables instead of just one. and because this isn’t dismantling a nuke or anything, it doesn’t have to be connected in any particular order. just make sure the cables are connected properly before powering on, and you’ll be successful.
- connect the turntable to the preamp with a set of rca cables.
- connect the speakers to the preamp with a set of rca cables.
- connect a breakout cable to Earth. from your turntable to the preamp and another of the speakers to the preamp to mitigate any hum or feedback noise. If your turntable didn’t come with a ground wire, you can buy one almost anywhere for about $6 to $10.
turntable with integrated preamp, receiver and passive speakers
For an easy setup that lets you use your speakers for other devices, let’s skip the preamp and use the receiver instead. again we only need one set of rca cables for this common turntable setup, so let’s do it.
- connect the turntable to the receiver with the rca cables.
- connect the speakers to the receiver with the speaker cable.
turntable with preamp, receiver and passive speakers
so, you want to fix this, right? we respect that! we have reached the most “complicated” configuration, which is actually not that complicated. It only has one more component and you will need two sets of rca cables for this one.
and this deluxe configuration, while it may take up more space in your home, will allow you to easily upgrade your equipment as desired for higher quality audio, personalized for you. Let’s get started, okay?
- connect the turntable to the preamp with a set of rca cables
- connect the preamp to the receiver with a set of rca cables
- connect the speakers to the receiver using the cable speaker
- connect a ground wire from your turntable to the preamp and another from the receiver to the preamp to mitigate any hum or feedback noise.
turntable with bluetooth speaker
Some of you would like to visit bygone eras of music, but would also love to hold on securely to your modern wireless speakers. we hear you; and for you, we have the solution of the old and the new. so how do you connect turntable to bluetooth speaker? We’ll show you two ways: one for turntables that contain a built-in preamp and one for those that don’t.
note: We do not underestimate your intelligence and therefore provide these bluetooth connectivity setup instructions on the premise that your turntable does not have bluetooth technology. (Otherwise he would have turned on his turntable and wirelessly connected it in 0.05 seconds, naturally.)
In the following bluetooth scenarios, you will need a modified semi-old-school wired connection. for this you will probably need to buy an rca to 3.5mm cable because most bluetooth speakers only have a 3.5mm input.
with built-in preamplifier
If your turntable has a built-in preamp, this will be an easy setup! Simply connect your turntable to your Bluetooth home speakers by plugging the RCA input side of your cable into the turntable and the 3.5mm side of your cable into your Bluetooth speaker.
no built-in preamplifier
maybe you have an old turntable without a built-in preamp, don’t worry, you can still connect it to your bluetooth speakers – you’ll just have a few more cables running around.
- connect the turntable to the preamp using the rca cable.
- connect the speaker to the preamp using the speaker by connecting the rca input side of your cable into the preamp and the 3.5 side mm of your cable on your bluetooth speaker.
One final note on bluetooth speaker setup: Even if you’ve already “wired” your wireless speaker, the innate wireless compression of bluetooth speakers will cause you to lose all the breadth and depth of your vinyl.
please don’t make us cry by saying, “hey, what’s wrong with vinyl?” comparing bluetooth sound to a decent set of dedicated speakers is like comparing a texas roadhouse steak to a mastro one: one is a decent representation of a genre and the other is a masterpiece.
ready, set, turn!
Congratulations on stepping back in time to experience the rich, warm sounds of vinyl while enjoying a technologically advanced stereo system! Who says you can’t have it all?
Digital music is truly a gift in your car, at the gym, and on the go. but for total musical immersion in your home, we believe there is no purer form of music than vinyl on a turntable, no matter how you choose to set it up.
Now, if you know what you want and are wondering how much your speakers cost, we can help.