Enhancing volume and boosting a weak signal is what using a phono preamp is all about. Having the best phono preamp means having one that works effectively with your system. Once you have discovered the benefits that having one of these devices can bring to your turntable, it can be hard to decide which one to actually buy.
This is why we have developed a guide of some of the best phono preamp options on the market today as well as what aspects of each one you should consider before jumping into making a purchase.
Consider this Before Choosing Phono Preamp
Once you have determined that you need to or want to buy a phono preamp for better quality sound then there are more specifics that you should think about.
- Investment. The more money you spend, the better the phono preamp will be and the higher the sound quality will be. Are you willing to spend $20 or $600? There is a huge range of preamps available so deciding this beforehand is best.
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio. The higher this number is, the lower the background “hissing” of the turntable will be. Again, this is connected to the quality of the sound that will be produced.
- Correct RIAA Equalization. This would mean that the phono preamp is able to allow for greater recording times, which thus improves overall sound quality and reduces groove damage during playback.
- Additional. A power switch and microphone input may come as parts of more expensive phono preamps but they are certainly not necessary for the average user.
Top 10 Phono Preamps Ultimate Chart
Things to Know Before Buying the Best Phono Preamp
Whether you are new to the world of turntables and preamps or have a veteran of this musical combination, there are some basic things you should know about phono preamps before buying anything.
- Many turntables have a preamp built-in. This does not mean that they are good or should be used without assistance but it should be noted that they are present. It should also be noted that if a turntable has a USB output, it does have a built-in preamp.
- When you buy a phono preamp, you will also need a set of cables to connect the audio. These are usually RCA cables that are easy to find and also very affordable.
- Turntables that do not have a phono preamp built-in will need grounding through cables that can be attached directly to the preamp. It is easy to tell if this is needed as the turntable will make a distinct humming noise.
- Common turntable setups include the turntable, cartridge, amplifier, speakers and a preamp that is either built in or external. This is an essential part of the overall amplifier set up that is possible.
- Even older turntables or those that are used with a computer set up or are designed to be overly simple require a phono preamp for high quality sound production.
Top 3 Best Phono Preamps Reviews
The TCC TC-750 Audiophile is everything a phono preamp should be and so much more. First of all, the look of this device really completes the look of the entire audio system. It comes in black and silver, both of which are sleek-looking. The gold-plated jacks and black metal casing also look great with any color finish.
This preamp is designed with 12-volt DC operation, which means it works anywhere. The quality of the sound and the overall ease of use make this model great for an audiophile with years of experience or just getting into things. With the purpose of the preamp to be the improvement of sound quality, this device seriously delivers for recording and playing records too. Price-wise this isn’t the most expensive option but it is certainly not cheap. This is however a price that can be appreciated considering the performance of the device.
The Phono Preamps TCC TC-400G/L RIAA helps reduce the hums and the external noises like no other phono preamp can. This is a smaller device but one that provides the same sound quality as the larger options. This device works on old turntables and new ones with the same effectiveness.
If you want an easy fix then this model is seriously the best. It comes with a really long cord, which makes it easy to attach and use. It can be mounted or can be set near the turntable and it has a power light too, which is always a bonus. Less hum and proper grounding is what this phono preamp provides. Though it may not be the most expensive model or the flashiest, it is incredible for the low amount that you do pay.
The Rolls VP29 is a great looking and greatly effective preamp. It comes in a vibrant red color that adds a pop of color to any turntable setup. The preamp is easy to hook up and the RIAA curve adjustment is great for fixing the sound to increase quality from the record player.
Using this device can take a turntable from humming and making noises too horrible to continue with the use to being an enjoyable and beautiful sound-producing machine. This device fixes problems and even enhances sound for quite a low price.