Category: Audio Visual

Nowadays everyone plays the role of DJ, whether that means choosing which tracks to play as a driver running friends around town or putting on a playlist as host of a party. But as we can tell from the norm of deejaying now consisting of music being played on digital formats, much of the DJ’s art has been lost in the post-vinyl age. Of course you can still buy records, indeed their larger format has been embraced anew by musicians who value album art. What is missing, however, is the correct equipment to play these records on. You may frequently pass charity shops whose baskets literally overflow with 7 inch and 10 inch discs of funk, soul, indie, pop and jazz. But when do we pass shops selling record players and their essential counterparts: speakers, phono stage, phono preamp and phono amp? The shameful answer is once in a blue moon.
As the hip hop legends De La Soul sang in ‘The Magic Number’: ‘Everybody wants to be a DJ/Everybody wants to be an MC/But being speakers are the best/And you don’t have to guess’. This 1980s trio knew the importance of good equipment but they also had the advantage of being surrounded by good suppliers and occupying prime territory in the music scene. These days, where many more of us are amateur DJs and do not know where to look for our speakers and amplifiers, we feel quite lost.

The strange paradox of our times is that we have more choice than ever as consumers: the internet allows us to look worldwide for our purchases. This abundance of choice confuses us, however – if we really are musical amateurs we simply do not know which audio company to type into our search engine. Shopping for sound is an arduous task: at least with other consumer goods like clothes or furniture it is possible to base your choice on an image. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, this is impossible: these are arcane devices.

Here are some tips: vinyl is all about the richness of sound. The job of a phono preamp is to bring the unique warmth of the record to your ears with minimal interference. A true balanced output is what you are looking for in a phono stage and an authentic reproduction of sound that cuts out crackles and privileges the beat is what every DJ or private audiophile deserves. The phono amp should contribute to better sound than digital media.

Please visit for further information about this topic.


Connecting amplifiers to a turntable and an audio system should be easy, but we are all familiar with that irritating moment when we think it is all set up, but the sound just will not come out of the amp at the required volume.  The reason for this could be that most of today’s amplifiers do not have an input socket market turntable, so they cannot be connected without a phono preamp.  This is quite simply an electronic circuit or stage that deals with the correct amplification of the phono cartridge and sends it to the amp or audio system. It is also often called a phono stage or a phono amp, but these all describe the same thing.

Beneath all these technical terms is a simple box that connects between a turntable and an amplifier.  In order to decide which one to buy and what sort of price to go for, an outline of how the phono amp works may be of some use.  When vinyl records were the norm, integrated amplifiers featured an input for the record player or turntable as standard, but this began to die out when analogue sources started to become digital in origin.  As digital sources have similar voltages, a preamp-stage was often no longer necessary, as a simple switch that selects between inputs was sufficient.  For this reason, the ‘passive preamp’ was created, but rather than containing an actual preamp, these boxes just house switches and relays.

For those who are in need of an actual preamp, it is just a matter of obtaining a phono stage, wiring up the turntable to it, and hooking up the output from the preamp to your amplifier.  The effect you will get will be dependent on a few factors, and the prices vary widely.  A particularly cheap preamp is fairly unlikely to provide you with high quality audio, but equally, some budget preamps are dressed up as very expensive ones. The most sensible option for novices is to go for a medium priced one, which will at least ensure that you are not severely overcharged for an inferior product.

It is important, therefore, not to be confused by the technicalities.  The phono stage, the phono preamp and the phono amp all have the same function, that of connecting your amp to your turntable.  With this technology in place, you should be able to play all your favourite music with excellent sound and absolutely no stress.  As long as all your other equipment works, that is!

Please visit for further information about this topic.