I found an at-pl50 turntable outside my apartment. The needle recently broke on a low-end sony turntable I had and it didn't seem worth it to replace the cartridge. I plugged in the audio-technica and the belt drive works well, as does the arm movement, plus it has a working needle. The only problem is coming from the audio output. It seems to only send bass signals from the preamp, because when I turn it off, it sends no signal, but with it on it plays heavy bass and no mid or high range. I don't know if there is any way to fix this, but if there is, I am willing to try, as the turntable cost me nothing.
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A turntable with a built-in preamp should not be connected to the phono input, because the preamp of the receiver or ampifier will be overdriven. The task of a preamp is to amplify the very low level of magnetic cartriges to the high level needed to work a line input and does some equalizing work to the signal. You can check if your turntable has a switch to disable the built in preamp (mostly they are low-end quality), otherwise connect the turntable to a high level input like "Tape", "AUX", "TUNER", "MONITOR", or "CD".
That bass combines passive EMG pickups with an active preamp (which provides the bass and treble controls). Sounds like you are never getting the preamp to work, and if that is the case there could be numerous reasons...a dead battery...jack wiring that is broken (meaning the battery ground wire is not attached or is grounding out)...likely should see a tech, but that is a good sounding bass when working correctly.
I don't know the AT PL50 but I had a similar problem with another make of turntable.
The problem was caused by the rear end of the pick-up arm hitting the side of the perspex cover. The solution was a simple one - leave the lid in the raised position or lift the cover right off when playing records.
This turntable has a preamp switch on it, which is probably on and what is causing the distortion. Take off the metal record platter by lifting up on the two holes gently. Turn the pre-amp switch to 'off' and then try it again. This is probably it...
Or you can plug it into an input that doesn't have a preamp and that should work.
Go to esupport.sony.com and type in your turntable model, PS LX250H. The "H" is important. Available is the complete manual, and a separate publication just on removing the stylus and setting EQ. Basically, swing the protector bar down over the needle, and snap the entire (mine is beige) unit down from the tone arm, then pull forward. I'm still shopping for the replacement, frankly.
parties can be rough on audio gear
most turntables I've seen have male rca (phono) plugs on each end, but you have to get to the inside either by taking off the bottom or in some cases the body comes apart in two halves. If you get there and it turns out to be a solder on type (not likely) you can get the tails at radio shack. Most people with any audio equipment at all have an rca stereo pair lying around somewhere.
if you can solder, you can just put new rca ends on the existing cable . Good luck.
at least he didn't break your needle