Preamp with multiple inputs (including phono) for use with CONNECT

  • 22 October 2017
  • 10 replies

Userlevel 1
Can anyone recommend a preamp that would let me hook up CD player and a phono turntable to the single CONNECT LineIn? I've used a receiver for this in the past but am looking to create a setup where all of the speakers are SONOS wireless and so I'm looking for something small and lightweight that does not have an amp for external speakers.

And yes I know I could rip everything to digital NAS storage. Not interested.

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10 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +3
If you don't mind switching manually then the B-Tech BT25 switcher is well made and works properly. Not expensive either at £15

There's also the ASPHO1 if you want something very small:

Both the above are simple mechanical switches. The B-Tech has video connections, but at they're an independent channel then it makes no odds whether you use that or not, so it doesn't affect the stereo line functionality at all.

Things get more complicated, larger and a shed-load more expensive - hundreds of Pounds - if you start to get in to the realms of pre-amps.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
For a turntable you will also need a phono preamp, both for the amplification and the frequency compensation needed.

For a CD something like the above will be fine alone.
Badge +1
Apologies if I have misunderstood your question but working with integrated hifi amps I recommend a standard setup with tuner, phono and CD player going into the standard inputs, then a sonos connect wired in as if it were a tape deck. So, returning to the actual question (sorry!) - I’d recommend any hifi preamp, or any decent integrated amp, or indeed your existing receiver. You have said connect not connect amp, but either way, this would be my starting point. If you are using a connect amp, or a connect and separate power amp, I’d still say that starting with an acceptable integrated amp and ignoring the power section, was a good starting point for ascertaining that it all works...
Dear Lucid AV
I read your response to a similar question that you posted 10 days ago. It related to outputting audio from a receiver to a connect. I’m having the same problem in that the new Sony AV Receiver doesn’t have RCA jacks for outputting signals to, say, a tape deck as in days before. But the receiver works well in hosting sound from TV, CDs, and a preamped phonograph. Question, is it possible to just run wires from the receiver’s “front” speaker outputs into the Sonos Connect so the Connect “hears” whatever the receiver is playing? Granted, this would require a modified RCA jack at the receiver in order to connect to the speaker terminals. And there may be volume control issues at the Connect end. But would it work? I’m trying to be able to broadcast records, CD’s, and even TV over my whole house Sonos speaker system through the Connect. Thanks in advance for any help.
Speaker outputs are amplified, not line level. They are meant to power speakers and thus are very high power. Not only can you not use them for for direct input on a Connect, you just may harm the Connect by doing so. You would need to reduce the amplified signal down to line level in order to do it. There are devices available for this, called line out converters.
That was exactly my concern. And then I wondered if there was such a device that could do just what you mentioned, convert a speaker output to a line level. That's great information, jgatie. I was hoping such a thing existed. I'll check it out and if I find something that works, I'll report back. I'm sure many of us are out there with similar issues. My Sonos/Alexa/WiFi system is fairly elaborate at the moment. What's another piece of electronics? 🙂
new Sony AV Receiver doesn’t have RCA jacks for outputting signals .
That is a surprise. What model?
Sony "Multi Channel AV Receiver STR-DN840". It was a Costco purchase at a sufficiently high price point where I didn't think I needed to worry too much about line-outs. And it worked well as a AV control center until the new Sony Bravia TV I bought turned out to be smarter than the amp. So now the amp gets input from the TV and just powers my floor speaker system. Hmm. Maybe I should be looking at hooking up my Connect from a line-out on the TV, if it has one.

Anyway, all the amp has are multi-channel speaker outputs. No line outs. The rest are HDMI inputs and some corresponding RCA plug alternatives. It has a headphones plug on the front. It has an ethernet port for getting stuff off the Sony entertainment website, now defunct I understand. So I'm looking at trying to create a line-out connection from the front speaker output terminals.
This suggests that there is a pre out, if you see inputs/outputs here:

But I can't see the jack for it anywhere. So your approach may be the only one available.
Thanks for the research, Kumar. The specs do mention a component preamp pass through, but damned if I can find it. It has the equivalent of an HDMI pass through for the TV. You’ve made me think that I may have an out from the TV, though. I’ll check that out next. ?