The 8 Best Receivers For Turntables in 2022

by Tom D'Agustino.   Last updated on September 13th, 2022

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If you are an audiophile looking for an upgrade, or if you are new to the wide world of audio systems, the turntable and receiver are the one-two punch for a great listening experience.

There is no question that vinyl sounds better than the MP3’s found on streaming platforms. If you own a record player or are shopping for one, chances are you appreciate the value of high-quality sound.

Additionally, a receiver can take your turntable’s audio to the next level, bridging the gap between the analog and digital realms. This article dives into the advantages and disadvantages of some of the best receivers for turntables on the market.

Table of Contents
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Reviews of the Best Receivers (And Amps) For Turntables

The YAMAHA R-N303BL Stereo Receiver has some of the best overall value on the market. For some, it can also be considered as the best receiver for turntables period. With Alexa voice control compatibility, 100W power output, phono inputs, optical and coaxial inputs, Wifi, and Bluetooth, the YAMAHA R-N303BL has it all.

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Perhaps the most exciting thing about the YAMAHA R-N303BL Stereo Receiver is the diversity of its connectivity options. Having the option to connect pretty much any device via Wifi or Bluetooth and the option for banana cable use, this model is a great addition to a home theater or audio setup.

On top of that, this wouldn’t be considered by some as the “best receiver for turntables” if it didn’t provide the phono line input. So even though the YAMAHA R-N303BL supports only two channels it’s provided enough variety in terms of both analog inputs and digital inputs.

While the Wifi is definitely a great bonus, the connection can be a bit buggy, so keep an eye on your connection and make sure to troubleshoot your own home Wifi/device first.

The optical input is convenient for TV use, as you can plug your TV directly into the receiver.

The MusiCast “master-app” for Android and iPhone connects via Wifi and can connect to other apps like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc.

The sound quality is great for the price, with an array of EQ settings for extra fine-tuning and tinkering. While the YAMAHA R-N303BL does not include a subwoofer output, if you don’t intend to use a sub, the 100W per channel delivers plenty of power.

What We Like
Connectivity Options

Music-wise, this receiver can connect to anything and play anything. The added bonuses of Wifi, Bluetooth, and optical input make this receiver a game-changer for multi-use audiophiles.

EQ Controls

The detailed EQ settings are perfect for an audiophile who likes to adjust as they listen and tinker to find the perfect settings.

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Wifi Can Be Buggy

The Wifi feature on this stereo receiver is a plus — to stream music and watch movies on — but can be a bit buggy when setting up.

Remote And Set Up

The button-ridden remote can be tricky to figure out during receiver setup.

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The Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver offers surprisingly good sound quality for the price, delivering a receiver with a phono input, 4 stereo RCA inputs, 3.5-millimeter input, stereo RCA output, and built-in Bluetooth for overall great value.

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The Sony STRDH190 makes affordability and easy usage a priority.

While this stereo receiver is one of the more basic units on the market, lacking extra features like HDMI inputs/outputs, Wifi and Voice Control/Assistants, preamp outputs for external preamps, (most common digital audio inputs) it emphasizes more average listener use by including more of the basics.

The Sony STRDH190 has more of the essential features such as an internal phono preamp (built-in), phono inputs, Bluetooth, two-speaker connection. For the low price, these options are great for an audiophile looking to streamline their sound system with high sound quality.

The build quality is solid and reflects the theme of the overall design: simplicity.

With an uncrowded front face, the device displays a hefty knob for volume, an input selector knob on the right side, and a 0.25-inch headphone jack, 0.125-inch “portable in” port on the left side.

These features combined with the Bluetooth capability allow this receiver to do more than just boost your turntable, you can also play sound from your phone, remote controller, or most of the other supported portable devices.

If you are an audiophile looking to upgrade to a more modest receiver, you may not be sold on the Sony STRDH190 due to its minimalism. The unimpressive spring-loaded terminals (for the four analog audio inputs) don’t allow banana plugs, thereby limiting your options on that front.

Finally, there is no line-level subwoofer output, so if rich bass reproduction technology is also something you are looking for, it’s better to look elsewhere.

What We Like
Price

The price of the Sony STRDH190 is outstanding. If you are searching for a reliable, cut-to-the-chase receiver for your turntable, this is the best value on the market.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Sony STRDH190 is surprisingly detailed and clear, with banging volume due to the 100W per channel, which will rarely be used but is an awesome addition nonetheless.

Build Quality

The build quality is sturdy yet minimal, which fits the needs of pretty much anyone looking for an easy, well-functioning addition to their listening setup.

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Limited Features

The streamlined nature of the Sony STRDH190 may not be every audiophile’s cup of tea. With no HDMI inputs/outputs, wifi, or voice controls, this model may feel a bit sparse.

Frail Speaker Terminals

The somewhat frail speaker terminals pose some questions about durability. The inability of a banana cable connection can limit your accessibility and organization in the back of the device.

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The Cambridge Audio AXR100 does not pull any punches when it comes to sound quality. With 100W per channel, four analog inputs (up to four speakers), Bluetooth, subwoofer output, and HDMI outputs, this receiver combines sound quality with flexible usage.

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The Cambridge Audio AXR100 is the most powerful and highest quality model in Cambridge’s AX series.

The inclusion of a subwoofer port for improved bass frequencies and a panoply of inputs make this receiver one of the more versatile premium options on the market. So if money isn’t an issue, this could have been your choice for the “best stereo receiver.”

Boasting 3 sets of analog RCA inputs, a phono input, and an expertly crafted integrated amplifier, this stereo receiver has the power to drive most turntables/speakers to considerable volumes.

With a smooth and warm audio presentation, the sound quality of this receiver is clear and detailed, and if you’re making use of the subwoofer output you can have significant control over your bass response.

What is a bit surprising in this newer premium option is the lack of features like a USB port or wifi. This model is on the pricier side and does not include what would be considered more premium perks like these.

Therefore, if you are thinking of using MusicCast to control your audio devices via Wi-Fi, or plug in a USB stick or SD card — like the good old days — this may not be the best choice for you.

That being said, you can still use Bluetooth to access portable audio devices for a listening experience that will not disappoint.

Another thing to keep in mind is the unusually loud horizontal cooling fan that can pose some listening issues at lower volumes.

Luckily, the build quality of this device is worthy of praise. The enclosure looks very sturdy yet doesn’t come off as cheap. The white aluminum housing and buttons gives it a very premium and shiny look.

What We Like
Sound Quality

The detail of sound, amplifier power, and subwoofer output give this stereo receiver high marks for turntable listening or home theater use.

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth addition paired with the HDMI outputs is a welcome bonus to a receiver that already does a great job of delivering top-notch vinyl quality.

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No USB Input

It is surprising that a model at this price that already contains added features would not take the extra step to allow a USB connection.

No Wifi

Similar to the lack of USB, a premium option could greatly benefit from Wifi capability, even if it is a cushier feature.

Loud Fan

The horizontal cooling fan can be rather loud and annoying for pickier audiophiles. Keep this in mind when deciding when and how you will be using this receiver.

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The Fosi Audio TB10A prioritizes size and efficiency, delivering a model that is sturdy, lightweight, and perfect for your desk or home audio setup.

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The Fosi Audio TB10A two-channel stereo receiver is a great option for newcomers who are looking for affordable stereo sound without committing to a bulkier device.

Even though it’s a mini model, the Fosi Audio TB10A has 100W power for each of its two-speaker channels and has Bluetooth support for your other wireless devices. The added bass and treble controls are also a welcome feature for a mini model.

The sound quality is surprisingly good at average listening levels but can get a bit strained at higher volumes. The build quality, while aluminum and minimalist, can actually feel a bit flimsy. Nevertheless, it’s a very sleek and compact device, squeezing in at 3.5 inches wide and 5.2 inches long. (With only a 1.5-inch height.)

However, since this is a smaller device, it only has a two-channel speaker input and RCA input. Therefore, the lack of an extra aux input means you’ll need to get creative about how you connect your speakers.

What We Like
Price

This is definitely an affordable option that gives solid sound performance for newcomers, or audiophiles looking for a more miniature listening setup.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is surprisingly good for a model of this size, giving you speakers the extra boost they need. This device also does not give off any unwanted noise that some of the bulkier, horizontal fan models can.

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Build Quality

Definitely be careful with this model. While it is not necessarily fragile, it is definitely one of the smaller and less-robust models on the market.

High Volume Sound Quality

The sound quality is solid for this model, but at higher volumes, it leaves a bit to be desired.

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The Pyle 4-Channel Audio Source Amplifier offers 500W peak power, Bluetooth connectivity, a litany of EQ, volume and mic knobs, and remote control. This amplifier can power up to 16 speakers (each channel with one speaker connection) and is great for expanding your sound system or home theater.

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The Pyle 4-Channel Audio Source Amplifier can be a bit tricky to set up at first but offers zone volume controls and a ton of power. Unlike other amplifiers, there is an FM tuner but it requires an additional antenna that is not included.

Considering the build quality of this device, it doesn’t look amazing since the dials, buttons, and ports are all over the place, and because of this, it’s not going to look amazing as a showcase device. Also, the 17-inch wide and (almost) 10-inch long housing, doesn’t exactly scream minimalism.

The Bluetooth capability is a great resource for traveling around multiple rooms with connected speakers since the Bluetooth has a range of up to 40ft.

However, if you don’t want to go the wireless route, there are still a variety of physical input sources such as RCA, 3.5mm, Bluetooth, and micro SD card slots.

The user manual can be inaccurate and difficult to navigate as is tech support, but if you are able to get this amplifier up and running you will not be disappointed with the amount of power and range this brings to a home theater (see also 7.1 home theater setups recommendations here) or audio system.

What We Like
Power

This amplifier packs a real punch and can control up to 6 individual speaker pairs. Great for a restaurant, office space, or home theater.

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth connectivity is a convenient bonus for portable audio device use.

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Difficult Setup

Setting up this amplifier can pose some challenges, and getting through to tech support/finding a detailed manual online can be tiresome.

FM Antenna Not Included

Unlike most receivers, the radio setup will require additional purchases.

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Denon AVR-X6700H is a very versatile high-end receiver. This bad boy is equipped with 11 channels each ready to drive in 140W of dynamic sound. It supports up to 13 speakers, 8K/60Hz resolution, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet. The front panel is sleeker with fewer buttons and knobs, but the UI/remote and Smartphone App (Denon AVR Remote) do make up for it.

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The Denon AVR-X6700H stands as a testament to how powerful an AV receiver could be. This AVR is the ultimate 11.2 channel device capable of providing a full-on surround sound listening experience with excellent sound quality.

The built-in preamp can support up to a maximum of 13.2 channels. Moreover, these channels support Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D surround sound, and DTS:X formats.

The connectivity options on this Denon AVR are vast. It’s got multiple HDMI outputs (7+1 inputs, 3 outputs), 2/2 Digital Optical/Coaxial Audio Ports, RCA Stereo Audio Line Inputs, 2 independent Subwoofer Outputs, USB port, (for audio) along with many more.

Also, no need to worry about those vinyl records gathering dust since the Denon AVR-X6700H provides a dedicated phono input. (making it one of the best receivers for turntables)

It also comes with its own AM/FM tuner, allowing users to tune in to FM radio channels. (if they are feeling nostalgic, of course)

What We Like
Power

This absolute unit can deliver 140W of pure power through each of its 11 channels without ever compromising on providing a fantastic sound quality.

Connectivity

This AVR provides tons of connectivity options, apart from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ethernet. There’s phono input, optical inputs, and software compatibility for Spotify, Pandora, AirPlay, and Internet Radio.

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Bugs With HDMI/eARC

There have been some minor issues with the HDMI and eARC during gaming and streaming content, with audio cutting out for a couple of seconds or issues with GPUs.

Price

Having 11.2 channels — with the best sound quality — is a bit overpriced (and overqualified), especially if this Denon AVR-X6700H is going to be used only as a turntable receiver.

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The Yamaha RX-V6A stereo receiver ticks all of the right boxes. It’s affordable, feature-packed, supports many audio inputs, and even includes a phono input, making it one of the best receivers for turntables out there on the market.

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The Yamaha RX-V6A supports Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Ethernet, and Bluetooth. On top of that, it is also Alexa-Enabled, allowing you to play music using voice controls.

This receiver can handle 7.2 channels and supports up to a total of 100W for each channel with the nominal frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz.

The Yamaha RX-V6A supports stereo speakers with surround sound features such as DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. There’s also HDMI eARC, passthrough of up to 8K/60Hz, and HDR10+ provided through 7/1 HDMI input/output ports.

The build quality of this device is also very impressive. It’s very sturdy, doesn’t have a mess of buttons and dials littered around and includes a sleek front panel with a single display screen.

What We Like
Price

This has got to be one of the more affordable receivers which provide decent audio quality that is well worth the price.

Build Quality

The Yamaha RX-V6A has an exceptional build quality. Everything looks so sleek yet sturdy. The front panel has few buttons and dials, allowing it to be sleek and user-friendly.

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HDMI Bug

The Yamaha RX-V6A could have been the best stereo receiver for many budget gamers/audiophiles if there weren’t any complaints about the HDMI 2.1 chipset on the receiver not working properly at 4K/120 Hz with GTX 3000 series GPUs and Xbox Series X gaming consoles.

Unintuitive UI

There are also issues with the UI being less responsive and very unappealing. On top of that, the firmware is buggy as well and the remote control is not very well received.

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The Marantz SR5014 stereo receiver is the best receiver that caters to 7.2 channels. It’s got all the connectivity, dynamic sound, and surround features you will ever need. Also, it supports Phono input for your turntables with Hi-Res Audio playback.

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The Marantz SR5014 doesn’t look like much, it also doesn’t have the same recognition as Yamaha or Sony, but these multichannel stereo receivers do provide the same (if not better) audio quality and features.

There are the usual analog audio inputs and surround sound features such as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. (along with many more)

The Marantz SR5014 stereo receiver supports Bluetooth, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, Internet radio, (to stream music), and compatibility for Remote Apps. (on Android and iOS.)

It also supports 7 different speaker outputs each with a dedicated power amplifier. Unfortunately, this AV receiver doesn’t support an 8K resolution with its 8/2 HDMI input/output ports. (1 input port on the front panel)

What We Like
Sound Quality

The Marantz SR5014 stereo receiver provides exceptional audio quality. Everything is clear and crisp, free from any noise, even with the HEOS multi-room streaming setup.

Build Quality

The Marantz SR5014 stereo receiver has a pretty high-end-looking build quality. The front panel has fewer buttons and only a couple of dials. (for volume and input.) The overall design looks very sleek, giving it a premium look and feel to it.

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Firmware Issues

The firmware is said to be slightly less user-friendly. It seems that it is buggy as well. Too many options are left out, which makes the remote app constantly crash.

Price

The Marantz SR5014 stereo receiver is somewhat expensive and considering some of the newer receivers (being introduced by Marantz and other manufacturers) this might not seem like the best receiver for turntables.

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Why Do I Need A Receiver For My Turntable

A turntable is the part of a phonograph that rotates a vinyl, generating sound.

A receiver is a device that receives audio and/or video signals from multiple sources and moves those signals through the help of internal power amplifiers (integrated amp) to drive the audio signal to loudspeakers.

While not all turntables require a receiver, and there are ways to connect your turntable to speakers without a receiver, using a receiver — with an integrated amplifier — generally increases the overall sound quality.

In other words, turntables that do not have receivers generally sound thinner, gravely, and cannot reach higher volumes with the clarity that receivers can.

Receivers also allow you to keep your speaker outputs connected to a single device that is connected to all of your other audio sources, (record player, TV, CD Player, Blu-ray player). A basic turntable setup would have the turntable connected to the receiver and the receiver connected to the speakers.

Also, you can control most modern stereo receivers wirelessly using a dedicated remote control, smartphone app, or even via voice commands.

How To Pick The Best Receiver For Turntables

Turntables feed audio signals to external devices like receivers and speakers to best showcase the audio from a vinyl record. That being said, there are a number of factors to consider before purchasing a receiver.

Taking stock of compatibility based on inputs, outputs, phono preamp, flexibility, any additional features, and price are essential to determining which receiver is right for your audio system.

Number & Types of Inputs

In order to use a turntable with a receiver input and speaker outputs, you need to have compatible connections. Since most turntables are analog, they require RCA connectors. In order to use a receiver with a turntable, the receiver must have RCA input ports.

While RCA inputs are required, there are other inputs that are nice to have as well. Having multiple inputs will allow you to connect the receiver to your turntable but also other devices like speakers, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, media streamers, satellite boxes, and cable boxes.

Number & Types of Outputs

Having multiple outputs can allow a wider variety of uses for your receiver while ensuring great sound quality for your turntable.

A receiver with multiple HDMI outputs, for example, can allow you to connect to multiple TVs or projectors at the same time.

For audio-only connections, receivers can have optical and coaxial connections that are used to connect audio from HD and 4k Ultra HD TVs, DVD players, and Blu-ray players.

Phono Preamp

Some turntables and receivers come with built-in phono preamps. Phono preamps are included in a device to boost the weaker audio signal coming from a turntable.

If you are looking for a solid, all-around receiver, make sure it comes with a phono preamp built-in. That being said, it is important to note that there is still a possibility that a built-in phono preamp does not quite get the job done boost-wise.

If the receiver you are interested in has a sub-optimal phono preamp or does not have one at all but has a lot of other positive attributes, you always have the option to buy an external phono preamp to make up the difference in sound quality.

Since most turntables require an external phono preamp anyway, it is important to consider the purchase of a second device, one that has better performance and audio quality.

Flexibility

The number and different types of inputs and outputs can give you greater flexibility in what your receiver is capable of.

While your receiver must be able to connect sound to speakers from the turntable by way of RCA connectors, having a receiver that can also connect to your HD TV, media player, and/or projector, allows you to invest in a multifaceted device that can do more than just boost your turntable’s audio.

Sound Quality

A good receiver can affect sound quality in a number of, mostly indirect ways. A receiver with a built-in phono preamp will boost the audio signal coming from your turntable, giving you a better sound out of your speakers.

However, even if the receiver is not able to boost the audio signal as much as it should or can’t connect to as many hardware devices as you would like, there are still other ways that a receiver can affect the sound quality.

For example, having multiple outputs may allow you to connect your turntable, speakers, and TV with ease, but if the audio is not being sent over high-quality cables or wires, then it will ultimately affect sound quality. Similarly, how the components are put together impacts sound quality. The internal components of any audio device are generally designed to be as high-quality as possible, but there is always variability across products in terms of design and implementation.

Extra Features

If you’re an audiophile who is a newcomer to the world of turntables and receivers, extra features may not be at the top of your list. That being said, investing in a receiver that has Bluetooth, USB ports, Wifi, and/or Voice Control/Assistants can only benefit your listening experience.

Most modern receivers have some or all of these extra features and strive to combine convenience with optimal sound quality.

Amplifier vs. Stereo Receiver: What’s The Difference?

While you may often hear the words “amplifier” and “receiver” used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same thing.

An amplifier takes the low voltage signals from your turntable or sound source and turns it into a signal with enough gain to power your speakers. The preamplifier generally allows you to select the desired amount of gain while also being able to select a range of inputs.

In short, the preamp lets you select how much gain the audio signal will have, and the power amplifier does the actual gain-ing.

A receiver is an amplifier but with a radio built into it with a selectable input. The radio section does not require any other connection, just speakers.

While radio may be less relevant today with the advent of digital listening and streaming platforms dominating sections of the market, having a receiver gives you the option to explore new music as it is being introduced every day.

A receiver — with its integrated amplifier — can also give you a bundle of extra features that a regular amplifier wouldn’t otherwise have.

Can I Use An Amplifier As A Receiver?

Yes and no.

If you intend to use your amplifier to power speakers, then yes, you would technically be using your amplifier as you would a receiver in that situation.

If you are trying to use an amplifier to listen to the radio with great frequency response, input selection, preamp, and other features, the answer is mostly no.

In a nutshell, receivers have radio sections built-in whereas amplifiers do not.

dj's hands and turntable

How To Connect A Turntable To A Receiver

While your turntable does a great job of translating high-quality audio from your vinyl records, your receiver is the device that will allow you to boost your audio inputs with the help of its phono preamp and connectivity with your speakers.

If your turntable does not have a phono preamp but the receiver does, just plug your turntable’s audio signal cable into the receiver’s phono input labeled “PHONO.” (Most Modern receivers already have a phono preamp directly built-in to them.)

If your turntable does have a built-in phono preamp, but the receiver doesn’t, plug the turntable audio cable into one of the receiver’s analog audio inputs (usually labeled “aux” or “line in”).

What Do I Do If My Turntable & Receiver Each Have a Built-in Phono Preamp?

If your turntable and your receiver both have phono preamps, make sure to connect your turntable to one of your receiver’s auxiliary inputs rather than the phono input. This will make sure both phono inputs aren’t working at the same time.

You can also try to turn your turntable’s phono preamp off (if there is a bypass switch) to test out which device’s phono preamp gives you better sound quality.

Are RCA and Phono the same connection?

At a glance, both of these connectors look the same, but in fact, they are some differences among them.

The phono connector (short for phonograph) used to be the oldest of the two. Back then it was primarily used to connect a phonograph (also called a gramophone or turntable) to a radio.

It was connected to a radio — which had an integrated amp — to help amplify the audio signal, and nowadays it’s used to connect a turntable to a phono stage i.e, a phono preamp.

The RCA connector is fairly recent. It got its name from the Radio Corporation of America, and during the days of its conception, it was primarily used for the same purpose of connecting a turntable to radio for amplification purposes.

However, times have changed and the RCA connector has improved over the years. Despite having the same physical design, RCA connectors branched out and started servicing more modern and complex devices such as TVs, DVD players, etc.

On top of that, they also improved the interface to work with video and digital audio (such as S/PDIF.) Nevertheless, record players are still used today, so even though the physical interface looks the same, the phono input interface is still seen in modern stereo receivers and amplifiers.

Therefore, it’s always best to use the proper RCA cables and digital inputs when connecting to output devices to ensure that there are no issues with the sound output.

What’s are the differences between MM and MC phono preamps?

In most stereo receivers and phono preamps, you might have come across the phono input having a designation called “MM”, “MC” or even “MM/MC.” In this case, the MM stands for “Moving Magnet.” Therefore, the MM input is meant specifically for turntables that have an attached Moving Magnet cartridge.

The MC designation on the other hand stands for “Moving Coil,” which are cartridges that are more sensitive to vibrations and require a higher electrical signal before they can be reproduced. Therefore, the major difference between MM and MC preamps, is that the MC preamp requires a higher adjustable gain along with an adjustable input impedance.

The advantage of MC phono input is that due to their initial low signal level, it has better noise characteristics, i.e, less noise resulting in better overall sound output.

Unfortunately, the design of MC preamps is more complicated than MM preamps, and that’s why most MC compatible preamps are far more expensive than MM preamps. (also why most receivers we’ve seen on our list only support MM phono input.)

Do I need a receiver with phono input for my turntable?

It depends on your turntable. If your turntable has a phono preamp, then you can use an amplifier without a phono input. If your turntable does not have a built-in preamp, then you would need a receiver with a phono input.

In Summary

Nothing beats the high-quality listening experience that vinyl records (see also the best headphones for vinyl) can offer. Listening on a turntable connected to a great receiver and set of speakers only improves upon and showcases how the artist intended their music to be heard.

While most audiophiles value sound quality over anything else, finding the best receiver for turntables with the right set of features for the right price is a very personalized endeavor.

Before taking the leap and buying a turntable and/or a receiver, it is important to know the ins and outs of these devices’ functionality as well as what features they bring to the table.