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3.3 - Preamps

While some lower-end record players do contain built-in preamps and speakers, they normally do not offer a high-quality listening experience that accurately represents the recording. Cheaper record players with built-in amplification tend to be more of novelty items than legitimate means of experiencing music to the fullest.

Instead of using built-in speakers, the standard for enjoying records is to pair a great turntable with equally excellent speakers and an external preamp. Speakers are often more of an investment than a turntable and are as important to your listening experience as a high-quality turntable. As for a preamp, some turntables come with a preamp built in. If this is the case, you will not need to add an external one to your setup and can simply pair your turntable with speakers. 

The best way to determine whether your turntable is equipped with a built-in preamp is to attach it to speakers and see how a record sounds. Without a preamp, your turntable will not be able to reproduce good-quality, loud sound even when attached to speakers. If you hook up your turntable to speakers, play a record, and it sounds great, with no distortion in the signal, this is indicative that your record player is equipped with a built-in preamp. 

Previous article 3.4 - Speakers
Next article 3.2 - Why Needle Quality Matters
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