Turntable sounds low even with pre-amp.


New member
Username: Jimmyfasthands

Bel Air, MD United States

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-15

I'm new to vinyl/turntables. I'm running an
Audio-Technica turntable(AT-LP60) through a
Sony receiver (CMTSBT100) Links to both below.

The turntable says it has a built in pre-amp
but certain things (like vocals) sounds reallylow with this setup. It sounds like what you'dhear out of only one speaker though both are

The receiver doesn't have phono inputs... onlya single aux input. So I'm running the dual
outputs from the turntable into a converter
cable that came with it in order to plug it
into the receiver.

Should I return the sony and get a receiver
that has dual inputs? Also, would a receiver
with phono inputs sound best?

Thanks for your help. p?id=1219054924637&skuId=1549014

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18068
Registered: May-04

"The turntable says it has a built in pre-amp but certain things (like vocals) sounds really low with this setup. It sounds like what you'd hear out of only one speaker though both are

I don't understand this statement. Electronic devices such as phono pre amps have no ability to discriminate between certain frequencies. Additionally, mono (one channel) recordings do not sound as if the vocal is lower in level.

I assume you are using the 3.5 mm adapter because the Sony lacks discrete RCA plug connections for the Aux input. I would not put my money on a defective cable or adapter.

Are all of the recordings down in level? Not just vocals but, all music?

Is the internal pre amp's switch (on the rear of the table's base) set to "Line"? That's the correct setting for this set up.

Is the stylus assembly fully seated in the cartridge body? (See pgs, 6 & 7 of the owner's manual.)

Does the stylus settle fully into the record groove? There should be a slight deflection of the cartridge's cantilever when it settles into a groove and a similar, but opposite, reaction when you cue the arm upwards.

Assuming the turntable is the only input where volume levels are lowered, there is the possibility the table's built in phono pre amp simply does not provide sufficient gain to your amplifier.

The Sony spec for this is +36 dB of gain which is slightly low as pre amps go. This would, however, lower the total volume level of a recording, not just the vocals.

I can't find a rear panel image of the Sony component.

If you must attach speaker cables to the amp (which is typical of this type of receiver), make certain you have the speakers connected "in phase".

There should be an identifying mark on one side of each of the speaker cables. This is probably a white line or a dashed line on one leg of the two legs of each cable.

Make certain that leg of the cable is attached to the same colored connector on the receiver and the speakers. In other words, if you have a pair of speaker connections on the receiver, one connector of the pair should be red and one should be black.

Identify the leg of the cable with the stripe/mark and attach it to the red connector of each channel. The similarly marked cable leg should be attached to the red connector at all locations. Therefore, stripe to red and then red to red and black to black at all locations.

If all of these conditions are satisfied and the problem persists, you should contact the retailer who sold you the equipment. Your receiver link goes to Best Buy. If that's where you bought just the receiver, start there.

If the total volume of the system is reduced on only the turntable input, then I would make a guess the turntable's pre amp simply doesn't provide enough gain for the receiver.

That would mean exchanging at least one of the two components. most likely the receiver.


New member
Username: Jimmyfasthands

Bel Air, MD United States

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-15
Thanks for the response, Jan.

I'll try and test out the turntable tonight to
make sure the stylus is in working order. It's
brand new so I'm hoping it should check

In the meantime I'm looking online for receivers with dual phono and aux inputs.

I'm thinking seriously about buying this one
on ebay (link below). Let me know if you have
any thoughts. Thanks. K%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18070
Registered: May-04

I'm not a fan of eBay so I can't recommend this unit.

"Vintage" audio is, IMO, a dicey affair. Old receivers from the 1970-80's are likely to have been pulled out of storage after sitting for years. During their period of inactivity, capacitors can dry out and switches can become noisy.

The proper way to bring a vintage component up to full operating Voltage is through a controlled application of power while the system is being monitored on an oscilloscope for current draw.

Most people don't have the equipment to do this properly so they simply plug the unit into a 120VAC outlet and flip the power switch.

In such a case, the unit is likely to power up but after a few weeks of renewed use the bad caps and switches will begin to show up again.

Now you have a fairly large and complicated repair on your hands.

Parts for these older receiver can, in some cases, be rare and difficult to source. Basically, my opinion is, if you don't know the seller and you can't go back and complain about a defective component, it's best to stay away from a vintage component.

What's your budget for an amplifier? Do you need a tuner (radio) built in? If not, you might be able to get into a lower end integrated amp with a phono section. I assume you have no speakers unless they are included in the receiver system.


Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18071
Registered: May-04

It's possible you've broken the stylus tip off the cantilever of the cartridge. This is a bonded stylus - it's glued in place - and if the stylus has ever gotten away from you and hit the platter or the edge of a disc, it's fairly easy to pop the tip off the shank. The repair would be to buy a new stylus assembly.


New member
Username: Pizzagirl

North Highlands, CA United States

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-16
Make sure you have the onboard phono preamp turned on.

New member
Username: Rclds

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-18
This post is pretty old, but I am having the exact same problem as you. I have the Sony CMT-SBT40D, and I am running my Audio-Technica AT-LP60's dual outputs into a converter that is plugged into the 'audio in' aux input.

The sound I get when listening to vinyl is pretty low, compared to when I listen to CDs on the same Sony system.
Did you find a solution for this problem?
I wonder if I need an amplifier, or something...

Thanks in advance!
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