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439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad has bought a Medion Vinyl player (don't know whether this brand is known in the US. They bascially make laptops, keyboards and other electronics at cheap warehouse prices). It cost around $110,00 so it is basically a cheap thingy.

I'm looking for a few recommandations for a phono pre-amp and some speakers. I think they'll likely spend less than 300$.

I also have (as always
) some accompanying questions:

1) How do the RCA outputs on the pre-amp connect to the speakers? The speaker types I know have terminals where bare speaker wire fits and I don't see how I can fit an RCA cable in it?

2) Do the speakers have to be Ohm (impedance) matched with the preamp and the player? Or does any combo of pre-amp and speakers just work?

And lastly, I've looked at a few pre-amps and I'm have trouble understanding what the spec's mean I have bolded:

Phono MM/MC selection switch located at the rear of the unit

Metal case shields the electronics from vibrational and electromagnetic interference

Small size allows installation close to record player

Special low-noise ICs used

Optimal channel separation through dual-mono circuitry

Gold plated RCA connection sockets

Outboard power supply included

Pro-Ject Phono Box USB Technical Data

Input impedance, MM 47kohms/120pF

Input impedance, MC 100ohms/120pF

Gain, MM 40dB

Output voltage typically 300mV/1kHz at 3mV/1kHz (MM input)

Gain, MC 60dB

Output voltage typically 300mV/1kHz at 0,3mV/1kHz (MC input)

Max. output 9,5V (1kHz)

Noise floor, MM 86dB (94dB - A weighted)

Noise floor, MC 68dB (75dB - A weighted)

THD, MM 0,01%

THD, MC 0,05%
RIAA-equalisation curve accuracy 20Hz - 20kHz / max. 0,5dB

A/D converter -Bit Delta Sigma

USB output digital serial data protocol USB 1.1

Operating systems Windows®, MacOS® and Linux®

THD 0.005%

Noise floor 96dB

Dynamic range 93dB

Outboard power supply 16V/200mA AC, suitable for your country's mains supply

Power consumption 16V/100mA AC

Dimension W x H x D 103 x 38 x 115mm

Weight 570g without power supply

many thanks for your advice.

6,156 Posts
First question: Are you sure the turntable doesn't have a built-in phono preamp? Almost all the cheap ones do here in the States. Check the manual. There should be a switch that says something like 'phono/line." Choosing line kicks in the preamp.

You can't generally connect a preamp to speakers. The typical set-up is:

turntable>phono preamp>preamp>amplifier>speakers

Sometimes, as I said, turntables include phono preamps. Sometimes amp and preamp (and maybe even phono preamp) are built into one unit called an integrated amp. If it also has a radio tuner, it's called a receiver.

Start by investigating the turntable. Then we can advise you more effectively.

439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks that tip was golden. In the manual the L+R RCA outs are called line out. So that means I just need an amplifier. I didn't know what that meant so I assumed a phono preamp was required.

All that is left is to pick up an amp and a pair of speakers. Easy! I'm still going to get an amp with phono in though, you never know they'll upgrade the turntable

Thanks again. Another thing learnt.

The Village Idiot
9,748 Posts
You'll need an amp with a volume control. Most amps do not have that feature. Get either an integrated amp - or better yet (and cheaper) get a 2 channel receiver. Receivers are integrated amps with the radio built in - nothing special yet so many around here swear the integrated amps are better than a plain ole receiver. Go figure.

Anyway ShopOnkyo.com has a nice 50wpc receiver for under $100 if you join their Club Onkyo. The model is the TX-8255. I have one and it sounds pretty damned good - especially for what I paid. I have it driving a pair of Yamaha NS-6490 speakers that will set you back all of $130 shipped from B&H Photo-Video or Amazon. My garage has never sounded so good. I'm using an old Harman Kardon DVD 38 to spin up the CDs. I have no time to spin up vinyl when I'm in the garage. The 8255 has a phono section but I have no idea of how good it might be.
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