What Is Phone Preamp and Why You Need One?

What Is Phone Preamp and Why You Need One

What Is Phone Preamp and Why You Need One?

Vintage instruments are loved by everyone. It brings old memories back, and it lets you vibe with legendary original old school classics. If you are familiar with turntables and vinyl record players, then you might have heard something that is called phono preamp or a phono stage. Well, both are the same thing, but the standard preamp is a bit different then phono preamp.

Are you someone who got a turntable and plugged it into the stereo and still can’t hear anything? In this segment, we will address this common issue and tell you precisely about this what phono preamp is and its importance. So let’s get started.

What is a Preamp?

Well before getting into the phono preamp, let’s talk a bit more about preamp. So preamp is a short term for the preamplifier. It is specifically designed to take weak signals and make them stronger. In simple terms, it’s like a microphone that receives a weak audio input and makes it strong enough to be sent through a mixer to a recording interface, without introducing much noise in the process.

What is a Phono Preamp, and why do you need one?

Coming back to a phono preamp, it can be inbuilt or comes as a small box that goes between your turntable and the stereo system or speakers. Usually, you get the built-in preamps in the newer versions, but if you get any higher-end variant, then you might want to get a phono preamp as well.

So answering the first question, on what phono preamp is, it can be summed up as a device that takes phono level output and converts it to line-level output. All the devices such as CD players, mp3 players, TV analogue outputs, they all use line-level output.

Basically, what you want to know is that the electrical output produced by your turntable stylus or cartridge is of incredibly low voltage. So if you directly connect it to your line-level amplifier, then the volume that you get is rather too low.

A primary job that is done by a phono stage is taking that low-level output and putting some gain into it, so it’s easy for amplifiers to use that signal. Going further, it even applies the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) equalization curve. In short, it tries to throw the output in terms of bass and treble, the same as that of the person singing it while it was recorded.

Summing it up, you need a phono preamp to get better audio output from your amplifier or stereo setup. Without it, you would barely hear anything. Phono Preamp comes with different names. You may spot sellers selling it by naming it the phono stage, or phono preamplifier, and even phonographic amplifier. So don’t get confused with these terms as all of them means the exact same thing.


There’s been a sudden outbreak of people buying vinyl records and turntables. Switching to the classics is now a hobby in this era, and many of us are doing it in the wrong way, or if we are going to do so. Before getting such instruments, you must research and know everything you can to make a better decision while buying one.

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