The AT-PL120 uses a magnetic cartridge to extract a music signal from the record. Magnetic cartridges all put out a very weak electric signal, and so their output must be strengthened, or amplified, to where it is as strong as the input from, say, a CD player. This amplification is provided by a pre-amp. If your receiver has dedicated "phono" inputs the pre-amp circuits are already in the receiver. If you do not have dedicated phono inputs you must either buy a pre-amp, or buy a magnetic cartridge turntable with a pre-amp built into itself. The AT-PL120 has a built in pre-amp. You can switch the AT-PL120's preamp on or off. The switch is located under the platter at the back side of the turntable. Take the platter mat off and turn one of the platter's holes to the back and you should see the switch through the hole. If you push the switch to LINE OUT the preamp is turned on and the turntable sends an amplified cartridge signal out the cables which MUST be connected to a receiver inout suitable for a CD player (a "high level" input). If you push the pre-amp selector switch to PHONO OUT the turntable sends the weak unstrengthened cartridge signal out the cables which MUST be connected to the receiver's dedicated PHONO inputs so the signal can be amplified with the receiver's own pre-amp circuits.
If everything is set wrong (i.e. LINE OUT (pre-amp on), and connected to phono inputs) you are applying two steps of strengthening to the turntable's signal which is too much. The resultant sound will be garbled. Try not to do this!
The other way to do everything wrong is set the pre-amp switch to PHONO OUT (pre-amp off) and connect the turntable's cables to a high level input. If this happens the turntable signal receives no amplification and the resultant sound will be thin and weak.
May 09, 2009 |
Audio Technica AT-PL120 Turntable