Turntable pre-amp for Onkyo TX-SR606? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-30-2014, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Turntable pre-amp for Onkyo TX-SR606?

I'm setting up an Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver. I'll be using JBL Decade 36's for main speakers, NHT 1.1's for side speakers, a Yamaha YST-SW100 subwoofer, and an Optimus Pro CS-1 center speaker.

I want to run my Dual 1219 turntable through the Onkyo. Therefore, I'll need something for a phono pre-amp. I have a tiny, 1975-vintage Realistic SA-10 amp, and wonder if I can use it. (If not, I'll probably have to use an Onkyo TX-18 receiver as my pre-amp.)

An online description (Joe's Tech Notes) for the SA-10 lists the following few paragraphs:

"Power Output: 1.2 Watts per channel (at 1000 Hz with 10% distortion)
Inputs: Tape/Tuner and Phono
Tone Control
Volume Control for each channel
Stereo/Mono Switch
AC Power Consumption: 12 Watts max.

"A few words on the above specs. First, any audiophile knows that 10% distortion is a very high amount. I measured the power output of this amp and it can put out about 0.75 watt per channel with very low distortion (I did not measure the THD but the sine wave output at this level was very clean). The Phono input on this amp does NOT have a preamp, it is basically a high level line input (no different than a CD input for example). If you want to use this amp with a turntable that has a magnetic cartridge (in other words about 95% of all turntables in use today) a phono preamp will be required. If you wanted to connect a microphone to this amp a mic preamp will be required. The Tape/Tuner input means tape or tuner (one or the other, not both). The bottom line is that this amp has two line level inputs. Like most entry level Radio Shack amps, the SA-10 has a built in loudness curve (meaning that the frequency response of the amp favors the low end when the volume controls are at the lower end of the scale).

"1.2 Watts per channel? Who would want that measly power? Well, the fact is most people don't realize how loud a 1 watt per channel amp can sound, and they are similarly surprised at how "quiet" a 100 watt per channel amp is (compared to a 1 watt per channel amp)! The human ear "hears" things logarithmically, which basically means it takes a LOT of power to make something sound a lot louder. Twice the power only makes the sound slightly louder. For most people, to make something sound significantly louder requires about 10 times the power to the speakers. The bottom line is that 1 watt per channel is more than adequate for a den system, a small bedroom system ,etc. Again, don't plan on shaking walls down with this unit, but do expect a very nice sound for a basic entry level system.

"What speakers can be used with the SA-10? In truth, most any speaker will work (8 ohm speakers would be preferable). Although you can use large high power speakers with this amp, this amp is really intended to be used with smaller bookshelf speakers. Speaker connections on the back of the amp are via RCA connectors."

So -- remembering that most of the above was discussing the SA-10 as the main amp, rather than as a pre-amp -- will the SA-10 be enough to do the job of a phono pre-amp for an Onkyo TX-SR606?

As always, thanks for any assistance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-30-2014, 08:15 PM
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Your description says that the sa10, does not have a phono pre amp, if I read it correctly. I would not think that it would work very well with the turntable. Try it and see?

Frank, "Still the one"
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-01-2014, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Turntable pre-amp for Onkyo TX-SR606?

Thanks, Gimpy, for your quick reply.

Yes, I noticed that point. I was thinking, though, that he was referring to a case where the SA-10 was being used as the main amp for a turntable, rather than as a pre-amp; and if the SA-10 were used as the main amp for a turntable, it would certainly need help. Did I miss it there?

As for the "try it and see" approach, it's certainly the tried and true method. In this case, since between the location of the receiver and the location of the turntable there are some problems of accessibility, I was trying to avoid the "trial-and-error" process. However, if I can't track down any more information, it looks like that'll be my M.O.

Again, thanks, Gimpy.

NAT

P.S. I thought I'd be able to put this thread in the "Onkyo TX-SR606" area; but it wouldn't seem to let me. There narrowest heading for which I found a link for starting threads was "Receivers, Amps, and Processors." Does AVS really not want us to narrowly distribute these threads, or did I miss something?
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-01-2014, 06:50 PM
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I think you might get a little more turntable help over on the 2 channel audio forum. Or, if it is allowed to post it here, try out audiokarma.org. That 1219 will definitely get you some answers over there. I have a 1219, I think (possibly a 1229?) sitting out in my garage that I bought about a year ago and haven't got to it, yet.:-(

Frank, "Still the one"
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-01-2014, 09:39 PM
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Keep in mind that a phono-specific input to a pre-amp/avr is going to have the required RIAA equalization applied in that unit as well as being in the appropriate range for input sensitivity (most "phono" inputs are suited to moving magnet, some have also an input for moving coil type cartridges). If the avr/receiver/pre-amp doesn't have phono pre-amp capabilities then you need an outboard unit of the appropriate type.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-04-2014, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Turntable pre-amp for Onkyo TX-SR606?

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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Keep in mind that a phono-specific input to a pre-amp/avr is going to have the required RIAA equalization applied in that unit as well as being in the appropriate range for input sensitivity (most "phono" inputs are suited to moving magnet, some have also an input for moving coil type cartridges). If the avr/receiver/pre-amp doesn't have phono pre-amp capabilities then you need an outboard unit of the appropriate type.
Thanks, lovinthehd, for your response.

I need to admit here that, though I did a bit of online reading (most of which seemed to say that even another receiver could be used as a pre-amp), most of what you're telling me regarding RIAA equalization, input sensitivity, and phono pre-amp capabilities is beyond my familiarity. You've made me aware that I need to read into this more deeply, as I don't want to harm any of the equipment or substantially compromise sound.

Then, if I'm still not clear, I may be back with more questions (and perhaps also take Gimpy's advice and ask questions in the 2-channel area).

Again, thanks for not allowing me to give myself any unpleasant surprises.

NAT
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-04-2014, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Turntable pre-amp for Onkyo TX-SR606?

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Originally Posted by gimpy View Post
I think you might get a little more turntable help over on the 2 channel audio forum. Or, if it is allowed to post it here, try out audiokarma.org. That 1219 will definitely get you some answers over there. I have a 1219, I think (possibly a 1229?) sitting out in my garage that I bought about a year ago and haven't got to it, yet.:-(
Thanks, Gimpy.

Lovinthehd has made me aware that I'm really in beyond my level of competence here, so I definitely need to do some more reading up on this. If I'm still unclear -- and it turns out I certainly am after my first round of reading -- I'll be back with more questions, but perhaps will direct them to the 2 channel area, which, as you suggest, probably handles questions like this a good bit.

Meanwhile, do give that 1219 or 1229 a run. Duals of that vintage have always given me good service -- reliable, accurate, and durable. (And, I believe that that 1219 was the last model of its time to play 78's... which, believe it or not, I still occasionally do with a special stylus.)

NAT
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-04-2014, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new at this View Post
Thanks, lovinthehd, for your response.

I need to admit here that, though I did a bit of online reading (most of which seemed to say that even another receiver could be used as a pre-amp), most of what you're telling me regarding RIAA equalization, input sensitivity, and phono pre-amp capabilities is beyond my familiarity. You've made me aware that I need to read into this more deeply, as I don't want to harm any of the equipment or substantially compromise sound.

Then, if I'm still not clear, I may be back with more questions (and perhaps also take Gimpy's advice and ask questions in the 2-channel area).

Again, thanks for not allowing me to give myself any unpleasant surprises.

NAT
More than likely you're dealing with a moving magnet cartridge rather than moving coil. For budget phono preamps something from Art or Behringer will probably work just fine but you can spend a lot more if you want; that SA-10 info says it does not have the phono preamp circuitry (why even bother calling it a phono input IDK). Better forum for stuff turntable is vinylengine.com.

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-10-2014, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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lovinthehd,

You're certainly right; vinyl engine.com is very heavy-duty turntable focused. Thanks for pointing it out.

NAT
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-10-2014, 02:55 PM
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Just buy a dedicated phono stage. About £50-£100, also you want it seperate to any other electronics and they're sensitive units. Noise from AVR could effect the delicate low level signal.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

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