How to connect a phono preamp

Updated February 21, 2017

A phono preamplifier (preamp) connects to a turntable to boost the audio signal from a record so it can be processed on newer audio-video receivers for playback. New AV receivers may not have a dedicated set of turntable jacks. Instead, AV receivers accept the line-level signal from CD players and amplifiers, which does not require equalisation or a significant power boost. Turntables need extra amplification, which is why a preamp is needed to work with receivers that do not have a dedicated set of turntable jacks. Standard stereo cables are needed for the connection.

Connect the white and red plugs on each end of a stereo cable from the left and right audio output jacks on the turntable to the left and right audio input jacks on the back of the preamp.

Unscrew the "GRND" ("Ground") knob on the back of the preamp, then wrap the end of the single black wire on the back of the turntable to the metal post and tighten the "GRND" knob to secure the wire. This prevents the low-frequency hum from the turntable cartridge from interfering with the music.

Plug a second set of stereo cables from the left and right audio output jacks on the back of the preamp to a set of input jacks on the back of an AV receiver. Any pair of available jacks will work for the connection; just remember which set of jacks is connected to the preamp.

Set the component selector control on the receiver to the set of jacks that connect to the preamp. For example, if the cable from the preamp is connected to the jacks labelled "Tape 1" or "Auxiliary," dial the selector knob on the receiver or press the receiver remote control button for "Tape 1" or "Auxiliary" to activate the connection.


Connect the stereo cables before plugging any component into the electricity.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 sets of stereo cables with a pair of 1/4-inch plugs on each end
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.