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Audio Technica AT-LP5 connection to existing system

  • 17 November 2016
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Hi, sorry if this has already been answered but if it has my search skills are poor. I'm looking to purchase a Turntable to play some of my old LP's and have come across the Audio Technica AT-LP5 which looks to get good reviews and was wondering what i would need to connect it to my current Sonos setup of Soundbar, Sub and 2 x Play 1's all connected with the Sonos Boost for my Wifi. I can see that Sonos have two options in the Connect and the Connect:Amp but would rather not buy the more expensive Connect:Amp if it will just as additional features that i don't need.

Thanks in advance for any response to my questions.
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Best answer by ratty 18 November 2016, 17:42

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The difference between the Connect and the Connect:Amp is basically one contains an amplifier, the other doesn't. Just make sure that the Audio Techinca has the appropriate output level to go match the needs of the inputs on the Connect.
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It says in the manufacturers specification sheet that the turntable has audio output as follows:
“PHONO” (Pre-amp bypassed) - 4 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
“LINE” (Pre-amp engaged) - 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec

It appears to have a pre-amp so i take it that means i dont need to buy the more expensive Connect:Amp unit. It also has the feature to allow the pre-amp to be bypassed so i take it that both Sonos units would work. Not sure if the mV or frequency makes any difference.

http://eu.audio-technica.com/hifi-phono/turntables/AT-LP5

Thanks for your fast response too.
Is the turntable going to be anywhere near the PLAYBAR? If it is, and presumably you will only listen to the TV or the turntable, you don't need a CONNECT or a CONNECT:AMP simply to input from the TT. (Of course if you want to output from Sonos to something else then a CONNECT/CONNECT:AMP makes sense.)

Basically all you'd need is:
- a line-level analog-to-digital converter
- an IR-controlled optical switch to flip between the TV and the TT signal

All in all, this would be much cheaper than buying a CONNECT simply to link in the TT.

(BTW, both the CONNECT and CONNECT:AMP only accept line level input. Neither contain a phono pre-amp.)
Great advice from @ratty as always. I think this is the sort of ADC you would need (although not quite sure about the line level aspect):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ex-Pro%C2%AE-Analogue-Digital-Converter-TOSlink/dp/B009K55TJI

I can vouch for this optical switch, which I have used for some time:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ViewHD-TOSLINK-Digital-Switcher-VHD-TS3X1/dp/B00G188Z7A
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Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I cannot and would not be connecting to my playbar as I have no place to put the TT near it. I would also like to connect to my wireless setup so if in future I decide to expand my Sonos system I want to be able to use it anywhere in my home. It would also be nice to be able to listen to music in another room while allowing the TV to be watched.
IMO you're likely to get better value by buying a PLAY:5 in that case. It will accept a Line-In and can be deployed as required. The Line-In can be played anywhere.

To deliver audio a CONNECT would require an amp+speakers (or active speakers), and a CONNECT:AMP would need passive speakers.
IMO you're likely to get better value by buying a PLAY:5 in that case. It will accept a Line-In and can be deployed as required. The Line-In can be played anywhere.

To deliver audio a CONNECT would require an amp+speakers (or active speakers), and a CONNECT:AMP would need passive speakers.


Agreed. The Connect and Connect:Amp are very expensive ways just to get a line-in. With a P:5 you get a great speaker for your money.
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i agree that buying a Play 5 would be a better choice with more for my money but as i already have the full Sonos surround setup in my living room i don't really want to add another speaker in there which is where i have identified a nice spot for it to go out of the way.

I appreciate all your advice for the best way forward so if you can just answer one last thing regarding the connectivity. So if i bought the TT and the Connect, why do i need to as mentioned above buy some speakers and an amp? Does it not have an internal amp on the TT with a line out connection and does the Connect no connect to my existing setup meaning i can play the vinyl through the Sonos speakers i already own?
You perhaps misunderstood. A CONNECT is perfectly capable of accepting a Line-In from the TT without any further equipment, and sending the signal to your PLAYBAR.

My point about adding an amp and speakers was if you wanted to actually use the CONNECT as another 'room' capable of playing audio. That is after all its primary function: to provide a Sonos 'front-end' to conventional stereo kit.
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OK thanks ratty.

Not sure why the CONNECT would be designed to be used in a specific room, surely its just designed to allow you to connect other media players which the customer may have that they would still like to be able to use rather than dispose of or sell no matter what room they are in. As you say if i was using it in a room other than they one with the SONOS surround in then i could use a PLAY 5.

Suppose its all down to personal preference of how each person wants their system to work, i just wanted to make sure that it would work.
OK thanks ratty.

Not sure why the CONNECT would be designed to be used in a specific room, surely its just designed to allow you to connect other media players which the customer may have that they would still like to be able to use rather than dispose of or sell no matter what room they are in.


No, it was specifically designed for use with an existing amp and speakers, turning them into a Sonos room. The fact it included a line-in was little more than a bonus, that is not its primary function (and as pointed out would be ludicrously expensive if that were the case).
Not sure why the CONNECT would be designed to be used in a specific room
Not in a specific room, but as a room. In this context I'm using the Sonos terminology where 'room' means 'zone where music can be played independently'.

A CONNECT's primary raison d'être was never as a Line-In for third party equipment. In a way the Line-In feature is incidental. (There's also analog Line-In on PLAY:5 and CONNECT:AMP, plus digital input on PLAYBAR.) Like all Sonos Line-In sources, it can be played on any combination of players in the system, not just on the player to which the external device is wired.

Far back in Sonos' history the first ever ZonePlayer (they were 'zones' in them days, not 'rooms') was the ZP100. This was in some ways like the CONNECT:AMP of today. It contained amplifiers, and could drive conventional passive speakers. Because people wanted to use their existing HiFi amps Sonos introduced the ZP80, which was essentially a ZP100 minus the amplifiers, plus digital outputs to connect to an outboard DAC. Over time ZP80 evolved into CONNECT, but its essential purpose never changed. It's to drive third party amplification, as a discrete Sonos 'room'. Oh, and it can also accept a Line-In.
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OK thanks ratty.

Not sure why the CONNECT would be designed to be used in a specific room, surely its just designed to allow you to connect other media players which the customer may have that they would still like to be able to use rather than dispose of or sell no matter what room they are in.


No, it was specifically designed for use with an existing amp and speakers, turning them into a Sonos room. The fact it included a line-in was little more than a bonus, that is not its primary function (and as pointed out would be ludicrously expensive if that were the case).


Sorry but you have basically just quoted me and stated the exact same thing. An existing media player could have speakers and an amp and still be used with this making it a "Zone" as ratty is putting it. A Zone, A Room its all the same i live in a house which has rooms not zones so i will use the term room. The CONNECT allows you to connect you existing system into your SONOS network, if it has an amp and speakers they will be connected using the CONNECT or the CONNECT:AMP allowing you to transmit and receive audio to and from that room,

ratty you're stating exactly the same as i am that the CONNECT and CONNECT:AMP was designed to allow existing media players to be connected into the SONOS system including speakers and amp so you can use the system as a "Zone" (Room) so not sure why you are trying to state the same thing by quoting its not just a line in device. As much as i appreciate your advice and history lesson my question at the start was to find out if the CONNECT would be suitable for the AT-LP5 turntable or not. You say that the price would be excessive if it was just for a line in but some people will shell out £1000's for separates and spending £250 to connect that system to the SONOS network would certainly look like value for money if it saved them buying a whole new system.

I would like to thank you all for your responses its very much appreciated.
OK thanks ratty.

Not sure why the CONNECT would be designed to be used in a specific room, surely its just designed to allow you to connect other media players which the customer may have that they would still like to be able to use rather than dispose of or sell no matter what room they are in.


No, it was specifically designed for use with an existing amp and speakers, turning them into a Sonos room. The fact it included a line-in was little more than a bonus, that is not its primary function (and as pointed out would be ludicrously expensive if that were the case).


Sorry but you have basically just quoted me and stated the exact same thing. An existing media player could have speakers and an amp and still be used with this making it a "Zone" as ratty is putting it. A Zone, A Room its all the same i live in a house which has rooms not zones so i will use the term room. The CONNECT allows you to connect you existing system into your SONOS network, if it has an amp and speakers they will be connected using the CONNECT or the CONNECT:AMP allowing you to transmit and receive audio to and from that room,


You're saying the opposite, to use an "existing media player" on the Sonos system requires plugging into the Connect's line-in, turning an existing amp and speakers into a Sonos zone is the other way round, you use the output on the Connect into an input on the amp, exactly the opposite.
ratty you're stating exactly the same as i am that the CONNECT and CONNECT:AMP was designed to allow existing media players to be connected into the SONOS system including speakers and amp so you can use the system as a "Zone" (Room) so not sure why you are trying to state the same thing by quoting its not just a line in device.
It depends what you mean by 'existing media players'. In my lexicon these are upstream audio sources. A turntable is a 'media player'. An iPod wired by its headphone jack is a 'media player'. A computer's sound card is a 'media player'. A TV is a 'media player'.

CONNECT and CONNECT:AMP are primarily designed to feed downstream audio reproduction kit, i.e. an amp and speakers (CONNECT), or passive speakers (CONNECT:AMP). These would not normally be considered 'media players'. In fact in this context the CONNECT/CONNECT:AMP are the 'media players'.
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OK thanks ratty.

Not sure why the CONNECT would be designed to be used in a specific room, surely its just designed to allow you to connect other media players which the customer may have that they would still like to be able to use rather than dispose of or sell no matter what room they are in.


No, it was specifically designed for use with an existing amp and speakers, turning them into a Sonos room. The fact it included a line-in was little more than a bonus, that is not its primary function (and as pointed out would be ludicrously expensive if that were the case).


Sorry but you have basically just quoted me and stated the exact same thing. An existing media player could have speakers and an amp and still be used with this making it a "Zone" as ratty is putting it. A Zone, A Room its all the same i live in a house which has rooms not zones so i will use the term room. The CONNECT allows you to connect you existing system into your SONOS network, if it has an amp and speakers they will be connected using the CONNECT or the CONNECT:AMP allowing you to transmit and receive audio to and from that room,


You're saying the opposite, to use an "existing media player" on the Sonos system requires plugging into the Connect's line-in, turning an existing amp and speakers into a Sonos zone is the other way round, you use the output on the Connect into an input on the amp, exactly the opposite.


Its the same mate, if i had an old media player i could connect it like this:
connect my media device ie turntable into the line-in
connect amp and speakers to line-out (but i don't want to as i'm using existing SONOS networked system for speakers)

would this configuration not allow you to send and receive music throughout your SONOS network ie playing from a turntable and or playing through external speakers connected to the line-out?

your arguing for the sake of arguing. i came on here asking what i thought would be a simple question for some to see if the AT-LP5 would work with the CONNECT or if i would need the CONNECT:AMP and all sorts of things get mentioned that have nothing to do with the question. I don't wish to have another speaker as stated above in previous posts as its going to be connected in my living room, i cannot connect to my PLAYBAR as its not near where the TT will be.

ratty its designed to do exactly what it can do not more and not less, if i or anyone else wishes to use it for a Line-In device like a TT then whats your problem with that. OK it may not be the cheapest option but if i was looking for the cheapest option i would go to argos and buy a cheap turntable with built in speakers but i'm not so as i have the SONOS system i'm looking to expand it and whether that in your opinion is a waste or not is not your choice to make. I was making sure that i buy the correct piece of equipment by asking what turns out to be a simple yes or no answer question and yourself and THE_LHC are turning it into a SONOS history and audio session. Next time i think i will just go to my local electrical dealer like Currys and ask them as i'm sure i will get less hassle.