Vinyl question - Any benefits of adding an amp to an all-Sonos speaker system?

  • 28 May 2019
  • 7 replies
  • 195 views

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Hello all -

My apologies if this topic already exists; I have done some looking around and couldn't find an exact match.

First, my current set-up:

1x playbar
1x Sonos sub
2x play 1
1x connect
1x phono pre-amp
1x turntable

I currently have my turntable running to the phono pre-amp and then through the connect out to the Sonos speakers.

I am wondering if there is any benefit of adding the actual Sonos Amp (or any other third-party amp for that matter) to a turntable set-up given that the Sonos speakers themselves have built-in amps? Anyone have thoughts on this topic?

Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

7 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi n8erg8er

Not so much an advantage as just another way to listen to your vinyl. You would connect a set of 3rd party speakers to the Sonos Amp and in turn your TT to it's RCA input. You would set the Sonos Amp as the auto play speaker. You could then drop a vinyl on the TT and play directly to those speakers and/or group to other Sonos. Another option is to use Play 5's x 2 and use the line-in feature.

Bottom-line, if you're satisfied with the setup you have now I don't see a need to change.

Cheers!
Badge +1
Hi AjTrek1 - appreciate the reply!

That's interesting. I initially thought there may be a sound quality benefit to running it through a separate, dedicated amp prior to casting it out to the speakers. Are the built-in amps really that good?

Thanks again!
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi n8erg8er

The Sonos Amp will only benefit you if you attach a good set of 3rd party speakers to it and the TT.

However as I said the Play 5’s make a good option. Are there better speakers than the Play 5’s that would sound better if attached to a Sonos Amp...l have to say there probably are.

Either one one of the options would provide an improved listening experience. Not so much because of the Amp (though a factor) but because the speakers are better tuned for a true stereo sound stage.

I hope this makes sense. Cheers!
Are the built-in amps really that good?


Yes, as good as any HiFi amp.
n8erg8er,

Goodness of sound is in the ear of the listener.

As an experiment listen to the turntable as you have been, through PLAYBAR with surrounds. Next, turn OFF the surround speakers, then play the turntable through PLAYBAR. Finally, remove the surrounds from PLAYBAR and transfer SUB to the PLAY:1's. Listen to the turntable again through the PLAY:1's. Do you prefer one sound over the others? If so, why?

Note that, for the best stereo effect, one should be approximately as far from each speaker as the speakers are from each other.
A comment on what buzz has posted: Each of the options he suggests will sound different, but this will not be because of any amp differences, but because of the different speakers being used, placed in different places in the room. Speaker and placement differences can make a day and night difference to how the music that they make sounds.
Userlevel 5
Badge +13
Hi AjTrek1 - appreciate the reply!

That's interesting. I initially thought there may be a sound quality benefit to running it through a separate, dedicated amp prior to casting it out to the speakers. Are the built-in amps really that good?

Thanks again!


It's not even that. For most practical purposes, you don't chain power amplifiers inline, and the Sonos speakers you already have aren't made in such a way as you could do this anyway. The amps and speakers in your existing Plays are built specifically to match each other, so their sound is very good for their respective sizes.

The only things that could improve your current system would be

a) a better preamp, but returns will diminish very rapidly here (like 0-10% at the most optimistic and audiophoolish) or
b) adding another amplifier and passive speakers, either via a Sonos AMP or using the connect to feed the turntable (any any other Sonos digital stream) into another brand of amp. Return on this choice will be very much in the ears of the listener. or
c) add some Play:5's

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