How to use a stereo receiver as a preamp

Updated February 21, 2017

Modern audio-video receivers are equipped with jacks with which to connect preamplified devices such as CD players and tape decks. Few newer receivers are equipped with dedicated jacks for old-school equipment such as a turntable, which needs to have its signal amplified in order to produce volume. This is where a preamp component comes into the picture. A preamp boosts the signal from a record player or other non-amplified component to a level that can be processed on an AV receiver and heard on the speakers. An old stereo receiver can be used as a preamp with standard stereo cables and two tape-deck connections.

Connect the white and red plugs on one end of the stereo cable to the left and right "Tape 1 IN" jacks on the stereo receiver. The plugs on the other end can be connected to a source component such as a turntable.

Attach a second set of stereo cables to the left and right "Tape 2 OUT" or "Tape Monitor OUT" jacks on the receiver, then plug the other ends into the "AUX" (auxiliary) jacks on an AV receiver or amplifier.

Turn on the stereo receiver, the source component and the AV receiver or amp.

Press the "Tape 2 Monitor" button on the front of the stereo receiver and adjust the volume control to the desired level for the turntable or other source component. The preamplified audio signal will be fed from the stereo receiver to the AV receiver for playback.


Unplug all electronic components from the power while connecting the equipment with stereo cables to prevent a short circuit.

Things You'll Need

  • Turntable or other non-amplified stereo component
  • 2 sets of stereo cables
  • Stereo receiver
  • Amplifier or AV receiver
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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.