Best connection for turntable

Posted by: stermarc

Best connection for turntable - 11/29/12 04:22 PM

Running a Yamaha R-S700 receiver with Axiom M3s.

The Natural Sound is awesome.

The receiver has a phono input, where I've plugged my turntable.

When I play records, I need to take the volume way up to -8 or -12 to fill the room the way I like.

But when listening to the Sirius tuner or the nice CD-S300 through this receiver that great volume level is reached at about -25 to -28. Those would be unbearably loud at -8.

Is this normal?

I also have a little NAD photo preamp in a drawer somewhere Model PP2.

Would that be better than the receiver's built-in phono port?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/29/12 07:40 PM

You don't say anything about your turntable or cartridge.

Some receivers have a switch for MM (moving magnet) or MC (moving coil) cartridge types. Is it possible that yours has a switch that is set inconsistently with your turntable?

Also, all of the turntables I've dealt with have a grounding wire. If something is amiss there, you might have a gain problem like you describe.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/29/12 08:09 PM

Different cartridges have differing output levels. It might just be normal.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 08:08 AM

Things I have learned from this board....

Most modern receivers that have inputs marked "phono" have a pre-amp built into them to compensate for the fact that turntables produce a much weaker signal and do need to be boosted. Different combos of turntables and pre-amps will result in different output levels.

Also required and is likely present in your receiver since it has phono inputs, is a turntable specific equalizer. Bass levels are greatly reduced during the recording process so that the cutting lathe (or whatever it's called) doesn't destroy the master record in reacting to the bass. The equalizer working with the pre-amp boosts the signal at key frequency areas to smooth out the signal back to the intended sound.

Your receiver sounds good, just needs a volume twist, so it is probably fine. However, you could always purchase a dedicated phono preamp to boost and equalize the signal from the turntable before it hits the receiver.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe if you use a pre-amp, you want to plug it into one of your regular stereo inputs instead of the phono jacks. Both because the phono jacks are expecting a weaker signal and also because you probably would not want to doubly apply the equalization.
Posted by: alan

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 10:19 AM

Stermarc,

Murph and others are correct. The "average" moving-magnet (MM) phono cartridge output is typically about 5 millivolts--that's 5 one-thousandths of a volt. Phono preamps may vary somewhat in the amount of gain they apply to a MM phono cartridge input, and you'll often find the phono level below that of other inputs, especially CD players or tuners.

The dedicated phono equalizer Murph refers to is called the "RIAA" curve (Recording Industry Association of America), adopted decades ago to standardize the amount of treble boost and bass cut applied during record cutting (then reversed during playback through the phono preamp) by different record labels.
Previously, standards varied from one company to the next. (The first hi-fi preamp I built for my dad in the 1950s had separate Rolloff and Turnover controls for different record companies.)

You might well try your NAD preamp instead of the Yamaha phono preamp. Plug the NAD into any of the line-level stereo inputs, NOT into the Phono input. The NAD might have more gain than the Yamaha, and you could adjust the Nad preamp output level to match those of your other inputs. By the way, a moving-coil (MC) phono cartridge requires yet another stage of gain applied because its output is miniscule, in microvolts (ten-thousandths of a volt). You usually only find MC inputs on dedicated separate preamps or upper-level receivers.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: stermarc

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 12:10 PM

Thanks, that all makes it a little less concerning.

FWIW, This is a Denon DP-300F, no ground wire. I added a Grado Red MM cartridge.

The receiver does not have a MM/MC switch.

The NAD is just a little box. It does have dedicated MM & MC inputs and a switch, plus a ground. But there is no type of control that I can see to vary output levels on it.

BTW, what would I attach the ground wire too?? The rack is metal and glass -- would one wrap it onto a bare-metal area of the rack?

Either way, the M3s sound great with the Yamaha -- vinyl especially sweet of course ...
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 12:20 PM

There is usually a thumbscrew on the back of the receiver to attach the ground wire. Maybe only direct drive turntables have a ground. Dunno.

If you're using the NAD box, you wouldn't control the level outputs; it would apply gain/eq based on the switch setting and you'd just use the receiver to vary the output. Make sure you plug it into one of the OTHER inputs on the receiver (NOT the phono input).

So glad you're enjoying the M3's!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 01:41 PM

He-he-he-he....Tom said "NAD Box".... he-he-he-he-he...
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 02:17 PM

Wasn't "NAD Box" the Negative Orange takeoff of the "Dick in a Box" SNL skit?
Posted by: cb919

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 02:30 PM

It was 'junk in a box' and very funny! I just happened to watch a rerun of it last night and have been humming the tune all day. Apparently singing it out loud in the office is frowned upon. grin
Here's another catchy tune that is going viral - Dumb Ways To Die.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 03:21 PM

Very catchy. Like.

Mark/Sean/Peter/Ken/Tom/Adrian/Murph/etc, wasn't "NAD Box" the Negative Orange takeoff of the "Dick in a Box" SNL skit?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 03:39 PM

I don't know, but I'm not touching that with a 10 foot pole.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
I don't know, but I'm not touching that with my 10 foot pole.

fixed that for ya
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 04:11 PM

And you were college roommates? Veddy interestink ...
Posted by: GaryWright

Re: Best connection for turntable - 11/30/12 11:09 PM

I have a different Yamaha receiver (RX-V373) and it allows me to adjust the relative volume of various inputs. You might check your receiver to see if it offers a similar feature.

On my receiver it's called "Volume Trim" and I can make volume adjustments for each input of +/- 6 dB. The Volume Trim settings are accessed via the "Option" menu on the RX-V373.

Adding 6 dB to the Phono volume, and reducing the volume of the tuner and CD by 6 dB might not get your playback volumes all the same, but it should help.