Question

Connecting to a traditional hi-fi

  • 21 May 2017
  • 9 replies
  • 1206 views

I want to use my old turntable (Project) and amp (Rotel RA02) to play vinyl through my new Sonos system (Boost, Connect and Play 1). How do I best connect the amp to the Connect (ie which output connectors to use)?
Also, anyone have experience of using a Brennan B2 as a NAS for the Sonos? I'm struggling to get it to recognise the B2.

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9 replies

Wire the pre out on the Rotel to the audio input jacks on the Connect. For more details on setting up thereafter see: https://en.community.sonos.com/music-services-and-sources-228994/using-a-turntable-with-sonos-6769426

There will be a small delay between music from the speakers connected to the Rotel and from the play 1. One way to avoid that if important would be use Connect as an input device, wired to the audio inputs on the Rotel, but you would then need a phono pre amp between the TT and the Connect; the Rotel built in pre amp would not be used,

Some one else may chip in on the NAS question - I don't know that device. Are you seeing it on the network via your computer?
Thanks very much Kumar. I'll try those connections. I'm not using speakers wired to the Rotel so hopefully the delay will not be a problem. I'll also fire up the Sonos app on my Mac and see if the NAS is on its view of the network rather than the iPad.
Cheers
Adam
You ought to first be able to see the NAS in the Finder view of the Mac,under Shared.
If you are using the Rotel just for its phono sockets, you have some options. Either change it for a smaller cheaper phono amp for the TT and wire its outputs to Connect, with the output sockets of the Connect unused.
Or, keep the Rotel as well, wire that to the output of the Connect and you can then add up to two pairs of passive speakers to the Rotel for music in two more rooms, by running speaker wires. All music will then be in sync, but the Rotel speakers will have a common volume control.
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As you are not using speakers with the Rotel, I think Kumar has the right advice. If you were using speakers with the Rotel I would have suggested that you wire the connect into the tape connections. This would give more flexibility with what you can listen to where. It seems a shame - a single Play 1 is a cracking little bit of kit, but surely a nice pair of speakers with the Rotel would be better? I'm assuming that you have a nice pair of speakers somewhere, as you have the Rotel.....
I have used this particular Rotel model extensively and there are none better at the price point, or even a little above; it would be a pity to use it for just the phono socket. Access to the used market that is amply supplied by fickle audiophiles will allow for an excellent passive speaker pair - or two - to provide for great sounding music in the room, allowing the play 1 to be redeployed else where to another room where it will also play music from the TT. Used makes particular sense for passive speakers because there is little that can go wrong with them in use, reducing the risk in the buying of used.
Wire the pre out on the Rotel to the audio input jacks on the Connect.
Correction: wire the tape out jack on the Rotel instead of the pre outs - the latter, I just noticed, are volume controlled ones and you are better off bypassing the volume control when feeding the Rotel inputs to the Connect.
Kumar and Nick, many thanks for your extra information. Sorry I've not been back onto the site to reply for a few weeks (holidays and work issues!). I do indeed have a couple of decent B&W speakers, and my original set up was a combination of Rotel amp, tuner and CD player plus the TT (Project Debut). I wanted just to ship the whole set up into the new house, but the main reasons for not doing so are (in order of practical significance!) 1) my wife's preference that the kit is as unobtrusive as possible 2) space in the main room where the set up currently lives and 3) the desire to be able to listen in a number of rooms... I'd hoped to be able to run the amp/TT to the Sonos Connect, use a Brennan B2 as a NAS and for HDD storage of my CDs so the latter can be boxed and put in the loft, and then stick a play 1 in each of 3 rooms...I know this is not the audiophile ideal, and I may consider upgrading to 3s or 5s, or using a pair of play 1s for stereo separation in time. For now I'm just trying to get all the bits connected the best way possible and talking to each other!
Right now I'm doing as you suggested and running the amp pre-out to the Connect line-in, but if I read you correctly in your subsequent answers, you think the Tape out might be better? Certainly there was a bit of fiddling to do to avoid the volume via the Sonos being too low but it works for now.
I hope before the end of the month the home Wi-fi will be upgraded significantly - currently the available speed won't allow the Sonos to talk to the Brennan as a NAS...so I thought I could collect the line-out of the B2 to the CD inputs on the amp and then run it as a traditional CD player, but this doesn't seem to work - the Sonos will recognise the TT when Phono is selected, but not the B2 if CD is selected. I'd wondered about trying to run both amp/TT and B2 to the line-in on the Sonos connect via a splitter - is this feasible.
Starting to wish I stuck with my low tech, Luddite separates system!!
Adam
I'm doing as you suggested and running the amp pre-out to the Connect line-in, but if I read you correctly in your subsequent answers, you think the Tape out might be better? Certainly there was a bit of fiddling to do to avoid the volume via the Sonos being too low but it works for now.

I hope before the end of the month the home Wi-fi will be upgraded significantly - currently the available speed won't allow the Sonos to talk to the Brennan as a NAS...so I thought I could collect the line-out of the B2 to the CD inputs on the amp and then run it as a traditional CD player, but this doesn't seem to work - the Sonos will recognise the TT when Phono is selected, but not the B2 if CD is selected. I'd wondered about trying to run both amp/TT and B2 to the line-in on the Sonos connect via a splitter - is this feasible.

To the first, the advantage of running the Tape out is so that the Rotel volume control is bypassed, allowing the Connect to get the full signal voltage and allowing all volume control to be left in the domain of downstream Sonos units.

As to the second, I assume you are using the Brennan as a CD player and its analog outputs are wired to the CD inputs on the amp. If this is the case, selecting CD on the amp should have the amp feed the signals from the Brennan to the Connect via both the pre out as well as the tape out of the Rotel. Check if any selection needs to be done on the Brennan to allow it to put voltage signals into its output sockets which are wire connected to the CD inputs sockets on the Rotel. There is nothing that the Connect has to do in order to recognise these signals - if these are being received at the CD inputs of the Rotel, then when CD is selected on the Rotel, these will be put out to the Connect, just as the TT signals are when phono is selected.

One way to narrow down on the problem is by wiring the Brennan to the line in of the Connect and see what happens when you play CDs in it.

Also, I don't think that home WiFi speeds are a factor in having the Connect access music from the Brennan if it is set up as a NAS. See the Brennan documentation for how to set it up as a NAS.
The B2 is an interesting bit of kit. I was browsing the site and it appears that the line out sockets are volume controlled, which means that you need to turn up the volume on the B2 to get sound from the Sonos kit connected to its output.