Very low volume from my receiver on phono setting


New member
Username: Kevinz

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-10
Hi everyone; forgive me as I am a newbie but I can't find much info about my problem in particular. I have a Sansui P-D15 turntable which is ran through the phono jack on an old Montgomery Ward Airline receiver. The model number of the receiver is GEN 6209A, that's all I can find on it. I can;t even google it and find it, but that's not my problem.

My problem is on the radio setting, I have plenty of volume even with it only turned halfway up, then when I switch it to phono and play some Sinatra or whatever vinyl I feel like, I have to turn it all the way up to hear it, and it is not loud at all.

From what I can gather, it may be the cartridge, stylus, or the phono amplifier in my receiver is shot. Thing is, I can take this turntable to my buddy's and run it through a very nice slightly older Kenwood receiver and it is L-O-U-D. That makes me think it's not my turntable, but then again, his receiver goes A LOT louder than mine and he may have had it turned up immensly for it to be so loud, I didn't see what the volume was set to.

The stylus has T4P and SN-P313 on the bottom. I assume that;s the part number for it. There is also a slight hum when the player is working, if I remove the cartridge the hum gets much louder. Could this be related or is this normal?

If anyone can help me I would greatly appreciate it. This turn table is exactly what I wanted; something simple and cheap to play records on, and the receiver is exactly what I wanted, something very cheap with a radio so I can listen to radio and my records. I don't have much money so it was perfect at $10. The sound quality is great but just not very loud. So if anyone knows how I can test my phono amp or fix this issue please let me know, thank you!

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 1451
Registered: Oct-07
I'll bet as much as .50$ that your receiver's input is for what was called a 'crystal' or 'ceramic' cartridge. That type of cartridge puts out a pretty high voltage......compared to what you have now, which is probably called 'moving magnet'. The MM cartridges have fairly low output compared to the older ceramic style.
Lower output still is what is called 'moving coil' which has very low output voltage.
That the Kenwood receiver plays well with your TT means you need a PRE AMP for your receiver. It will go between the receiver and the TT.
Someone will be along in a minute to straighten ME out if I got this wrong, but I think I'm right.....for now!@

Ceramic / Crystal inputs were common on the very least expensive receivers.....before MM cartridges became 'standard'.....

Folks:: is this right?

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15110
Registered: May-04

There's no way to guess what the problem might be but since the table works with a Kenwood receiver, we can safely assume the problem is not in the turntable or cartridge. The receiver could be expecting the higher input voltage fed by a ceramic cartridge and I would first guess that is the problem. It could be the phono pre amp built into the receiver is no longer functioning properly given the age of the component. Either way, if you have an "Aux" input or a "Tape Monitor" input you are not using, then a phono pre amp would be the simplest and cheapest solution here. The least expensive phono pre amp I know of can be found here;

If you have any questions about connecting this pre amp to your receiver, you should be able to find instructions in numerous threads in this section of the forum as your problem is not at all uncommon.


New member
Username: Kevinz

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-10
Thanks for the advice. I have a couple new questions based on the answers I received.

1) Is it possible to maybe get a ceramic cartridge for my turntable, it uses the 4-pin quick connect type (forget what its called).

2) Is it possible to get one of those preamps and still use the phono input, I don't think my receiver has an open input jack other than the phono one.

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 1464
Registered: Oct-07
I might be wrong, but I don't think there are any ceramic cartridges with even a pretension to hi fi. That, and they will probably eat records?

Best bet? New receiver. If with a phono section, you're golden. If without, a phono pre may be in order.

I think the 4 pin 'quick connect' is called P-mount......?
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