Increasing Volume from Turntable/Phono.


I have my fathers old hitachi (ht-354) turntable with an audio technica moving magnet catridge (AT91), I play it through a farily poor Sherwood integrated amp (RA-1145R, 50w per channel) I also have a Marantz CD36 cd player, my speakers are Wharfedale CRS5. My problem is basically my turntable plays far quieter than my cd player and I want to make it louder. Is this problem due to a poor quality catridge?, an overly loud cd player? (making the turntable seem quiet in comparison) or a poor phono stage in my amp? I don't know much about audio so any advice would be appreciated as I don't want to fork out money on a new amp or catrdige if it won't fix this problem. Oh additionally I'm a poor student so my audio choices are always 2nd hand.

Paul T
I have the same problem with my 15 yr old Technics turntable into my 12 yr old Yamaha receiver. Lucky me, I am getting a new NAD T752 receiver next week and since most new receivers do not have a phono pre amp built in anymore I also ordered a NAD PP2 Phono pre amp. I should be able to tell you next week at this time if it made any difference. To tell you the truth though I really don't expect to see much difference, just think it's the nature of the beast... but I will check back in when all is hooked up..

thanks, yeah I have been looking at buying a new amp for a while but just want to see if this problem is consistant with all amps as turntables have a smaller input level than cd players.

Paul T
Well received NAD receiver and PP2 phono pre amp and yes the phono is not as loud as the CD player. This is a very good NAD T752 receiver and the PP2 is NAD's newest phono preamp so I believe it's just the nature of the beast, phonos are just not as loud volume wise..

Do your receivers have phono inputs? Electronic inputs (DVDs, CDs, tape deckss, etc) have an output of about 1 volt peak. A turntable cartridge generates its electric signal by moving a magnet past a coil (moving magnet or mm) or by moving a coil past a magnet (moving coil or mc). Most cartridges are moving magnets and don't put out as much voltage as your other audio components. Therefore, the phono input on your receiver has a pre-preamplifer build in to boost up the signal. Incidentally, most mc cartridges have even lower output voltages and require either an external preamplifier or a transformer. If you are using your phono input, then maybe you have a moving coil cartridge which would also explain the low volume.

John A.
Yes, Orcrone is correct I think. Phono cartridge signals are smaller than the others that are standard now; and moving coil is even smaller than moving magnet. Just use the phono input, or phono-pre-amp, and turn the gain (volume) control up on the amplifier. The amplifier's maximium usable power rating is usually at the power amp stage, so having the volume control up really high with a weak signal is just the same as having it lower with a stronger one.

New member
Username: Heff

Post Number: 33
Registered: 12-2003
Michael, an inline head amp is what's missing from your system.

adding one will step up the low output levels produced by a MM or MC phono cartridge to line level voltages of CD, and DVD's.

for more info, try a google search for "moving coil head amp" or "moving magnet amp"

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