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I have a Technics Direct Drive SL-QD33 turntable connected to a new Pioneer VSX-D811S Receiver. No phono input, so I'm using the Aux input. The problem is extremely low volume, regardless of speaker settings, even when cranked. My original cable was 6 feet, so I tried a shorter 3 foot cable. No difference. Any suggestions? If I need some kind of line booster, is there an inexpensive solution short of having to buy a mixer, which was the suggestion I received at Radio Shack?
 

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Phonograhps have extremely low output, which is why many receivers/pre-amps have a phono stage input. The phono input actually has an amplifier that increases the level to where it needs to be. You can get a line level pre-amp, but some are better than others.


I don't know whee you are, but you could probably pick up the phono pre-amp at the Good Guys. I have a Parasound one on order so that I can start using my turntable again. Perhaps I should just hook it up and crank it until it gets in.
 

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The need for a step-up amplifier is normally required if you are using a moving coil cartridge. There typically have a much lower output than moving magnet cartridges (there are some exception such as the Sumiko Blue Point).
 

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Actually a phono preamp is more necessary than just volume. Today's preamps and pre/pros are JUST step-up devices. A phono preamp also performs RIAA re-equalization. In order to make more music fit in the space on an LP, the frequency curve is "squished." The low-frequency sounds are compressed; the reverse transformation is applied in the phono preamp. If you don't have a phono stage, you would be playing the compressed information!


Note that moving coil cartridges may need *further* amplification, even with the amplification from a phono preamp. These days many phono stages have a pretty fair gain, but some will require a "stepup transformer" or a "head amp" in order to play low-output moving coil cartidges at reasonable volume.
 
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