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Thread: Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

  1. #1
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    Default Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

    Hello guys, I am Mark.

    I am having confusion with my turntable.

    My turntable has a phono and line switch at the backside. It is set to line and I don't know its purpose.

    If I switch it to phono then my turntable sounds bad so I left it on line.

    Can you please explain to me its usage?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

    Which specific turntable? Preamp or AVR? Stand-alone phono stage?

    Anyways, in all likelihood, when the switch is on phono it's using a built-in (to the turntable) phono preamp which would run to a line in on your preamp/avr. When it is on line, then you would need to either run the cables to a stand-alone phono preamp then to a line in on your preamp/avr or to the phono input on your preamp/avr if it has one.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2024
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    Default Re: Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

    Hi marknewwood,

    I think Racrawford65 got confused, and he just said the opposite thing. He said if the switch is on phono, then the turntable uses an in-built phono preamp, and if the switch is on line, then you need to use an external phono preamp.

    Well, this is wrong.

    The correct explanation is that if your turntable is on "line," then your turntable is using the turntable's in-built phono preamp, and similarly, if your turntable is on "phono," then your turntable's in-built phono preamp is not engaged and your signals are still at the phono stage, so you need to use an external phono preamp. I recommend you check out this article and understand the phono and line signal concepts: https://turntablewave.com/phono-vs-l...record-player/

    As you have explained, if you switch the line switch to phono, then you hear a bad sound from the speakers.

    In most cases, the speakers sound bad when the phono preamp is used twice, which means phono signals are amplified twice, but according to the information shared, I think you are transmitting the line-level output from the turntable to the line input of the receiver, which is the correct way.

    And, in this setup, if you switch your "Phono," then there is no phono preamp, which might cause speakers to output no sound or a very low volume but no bad sound.

    Can you please tell me what kind of sound you are getting?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

    alexclark - thanks for clarifying if I was incorrect. Never had a TT with a built in phono stage. I was not confused but was making a guess based on the switch being labeled as related to what's at the output of the TT (eg. phono meaning it's had gain & RIAA applied)

    Do agree that having 2 phono stages in line will cause bad sound. I think, though, using the switch set to "phono" and w/o a phono preamp downstream, not only would there be low/no sound but it also wouldn't sound good as the signal wouldn't be "equalized" - bass would be lacking and highs over-emphasized.
    * LG OLED65E6P, BenqHT2050A
    * Anthem AVM90, Rogue ST100, VTV Pascal 7 ch
    * Sierra Towers/Horizon (all ELX RAAL), S2EXv2 surrounds, HTM200SEx4 heights, Rythmik E15HPx2
    * VPI Classic 1+ (VTA & Fatboy Gimbal), PE Eagle/RR, VAS NOVA, Soundsmith Paua, Manley Chinook, Bob's Devices SUT, SugarCube 1 mini
    * Oppo 203 & 103D, EverSolo DMP-A6
    * miniDSP Flex, Audiosensibility & Blue Jeans cables, Symposium & Isoacoustics, GIK
    * For RDJ: Anthem MRX720, Sierra LX, Luna Duo v2 center, CXNv2, TBD

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

    Quote Originally Posted by marknewwood View Post
    Hello guys, I am Mark.

    I am having confusion with my turntable.

    My turntable has a phono and line switch at the backside. It is set to line and I don't know its purpose.

    If I switch it to phono then my turntable sounds bad so I left it on line.

    Can you please explain to me its usage?
    In order to save valuable space on vinyl, records are "cut" with a very specific equalization to reduce lower mids, upper bass, and deep bass. This allows the grooves in the vinyl to be smaller, thus saving a lot of space.

    In order for the recording to sound right, reverse equalization must be applied and this is precisely what a "phono input" does. Without reversing the equalization, the recording will sound horrible, very thin and bright, with no bass. This reverse equalization is known as RIAA.

    It sounds like your TT has a built in phono stage such that it will apply the correct equalization so that you do not need to connect to a phono input, as many receiver and pre-amps no longer offer a phono input.
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2024
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    Default Re: Confused between Phono and Line switch on turntable

    Thank you guys for explaining things and clearing my doubts.

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