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Using a Turntable with Sonos


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Glad this thread exists. It sounds like it's better to compress the phono line-in signal to minimize drop outs. I've noticed a ton of drop outs when listening to vinyl through my gen 2 play:5 line-in feeding into the rest of the livingroom setup of playbar, sub, and 2 play:1s. I also have the wireless signal set to be uncompressed. Does that make a difference?

I currently have a cheapo Pyle pre-amp connected to my Technics MK-D3 turntable (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025742A) - would there be a noticeable sound difference if I replaced the Pyle pre-amp with something more substantial like a tube amp? (Looking at this one. A major driver for this upgrade is not only a warmer, nicer sound hopefully but also the option to plug in and listen via headphones and keeping the listening experience purely analog - https://www.amazon.com/Little-Dot-MKII-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B00A2QMAI2)

Thanks for any thoughts you might have!
Ricky_3 wrote:

It sounds like it's better to compress the phono line-in signal to minimize drop outs. I've noticed a ton of drop outs when listening to vinyl through my gen 2 play:5 line-in feeding into the rest of the livingroom setup of playbar, sub, and 2 play:1s.
I currently have a cheapo Pyle pre-amp connected to my Technics MK-D3 turntable (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025742A) - would there be a noticeable sound difference if I replaced the Pyle pre-amp with something more substantial like a tube amp?


Drop outs detract from the listening experience to the extent that suffering a slightly lower sound quality is much preferable. That said, I don't know anyone that has confidently picked out the difference in a blind test. But before using this option, try the Airplay trick mentioned earlier in this thread.
As long as the Pyle is working, it will do all that is needed. Tube amps meet the needs for eye candy, more often than not. Missing features are a different thing; but the headphone feature may well be available on cheaper devices.
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Kumar wrote:


Drop outs detract from the listening experience to the extent that suffering a slightly lower sound quality is much preferable. That said, I don't know anyone that has confidently picked out the difference in a blind test. But before using this option, try the Airplay trick mentioned earlier in this thread.
As long as the Pyle is working, it will do all that is needed. Tube amps meet the needs for eye candy, more often than not. Missing features are a different thing; but the headphone feature may well be available on cheaper devices.



Thanks for your insights Kumar. I've tried the Airplay trick and only had one instance of dropout in about 2 hours of listening to vinyls which is a much better track record than before. I think you're right regarding tube amps looking cooler than making a difference in sound quality especially when playing back out to a wireless sound system like Sonos. I'll stick with the trusty Pyle pre-amp as it's worked for me flawlessly. I also read that the tube amp I linked to would still require a pre-amp so it might not even work for what I wanted to accomplish anyways!
Ricky_3 wrote:

I've tried the Airplay trick and only had one instance of dropout in about 2 hours of listening to vinyls which is a much better track record than before.


That is still too much! What happens in compressed mode?
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Hey Ricky_3 - I'm glad you've found this topic and that it's been helpful so far. I thought I would jump in too and share my own thoughts. I've done a lot of testing at home and found that, for my ears, I don't hear a difference when setting Line-in from uncompressed to compressed. As mentioned above I've also tried the Airplay trick and had some success, but there was still a drop here and there. Since I don't hear a clear different with the line-in compression I leave it set to compressed at all times and don't have any drops.
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I currently have my Technics SL-1200MK4 connected to my Mies i100 pre-amp which is connected to both my Sonos Connect & my AirPort Express. The Connect is tied into my SonosNet through the BOOST. This allows me stream my vinyl through Sonos while also having the ability to AirPlay to Sonos without having my TV on which is connected to AppleTV.
So I have turntable wired to a stereo receiver acting as a preamp, and a line out connection to the analog input on a Sonos connect, which allows me to play the turntable audio wirelessly on my Playbar. In both "fixed" and "variable" settings I can only control the audio volume in the Sonos app and on the volume rocker on the Playbar, but not the connect or the receiver.

Is there a way to control the volume from the receiver, or at least the Connect? I'm guessing that because I'm only using the preamp in the receiver that the volume knob won't work... Also, in this setup, what exactly is the difference between the "fixed" and "variable" setting?
ratty wrote:

Andy B wrote:

Fixes for common problems:

Setting the line-in audio compression from auto to compressed can help with audio interruptions when there are multiple players grouped together.


Don't forget the often overlooked trick of setting the Line-In source to 'Airplay Device', thereby increasing the buffering from ~70ms to ~500ms whilst leaving the stream Uncompressed.

The name can be over-typed with something more meaningful afterwards.



OK why doesnt someone ACTUALLY EXPLAIN how the heck to do this?
I think Sonos is really just consumer level garbage that cant handle an uncompressed "Audiofile" grade signal. Absolutely worthless if you are serious about the quality of your records.
Actually, anyone that understands the sound quality limitations of even 180gm vinyl has moved on to digital audio a long time ago.
Happy to find this thread ... I have 2x Play 5 G2, 2x Play 1 and 1x Play 5 G1 ..... I also have Technics 1200 MK2 turntable ... I believe they have built in Pre-Amp, also built in RCA and ground wire .... so if I connect the TT to one of the Play 5 G2 ... the album will play across ALL my Sonos system? ... or it will only play on that one Play 5?
The line-in can be used as a source on any and all other Sonos devices.
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User699747 wrote:

Happy to find this thread ... I have 2x Play 5 G2, 2x Play 1 and 1x Play 5 G1 ..... I also have Technics 1200 MK2 turntable ... I believe they have built in Pre-Amp, also built in RCA and ground wire .... so if I connect the TT to one of the Play 5 G2 ... the album will play across ALL my Sonos system? ... or it will only play on that one Play 5?



To expand on what jgatie confirmed, it will do both. You can set up the Line-in so that it will autoplay to just the PLAY:5 that's connected to the turntable. You can then group all other rooms with that PLAY:5 in order to have the turntable audio throughout the rest of the house. Conversely, if you keep everything in your household grouped at all times, you can use the "Include Grouped Rooms" option so that the PLAY:5 is not automatically removed from the group when the autoplay feature kicks in.
Having some issues with playing my new Pioneer PLX 500 turntable on the Sonos Play 5. The TT has a preamp and a line out, so used a Y cable for a direct input to the Sonos Play 5. My issue is the sound seems low and the vocals are *very* quiet.. Very hard to hear the vocals at all while playing the record. No idea why. Changed the line in setting to Airplay and uncompressed and I'm still having this issue. Maybe the preamp that's built into the TT isn't good enough? Not sure if it's the record player or the connection to the Play 5? When I listen to my digital libray via my iPhone, the same songs sound perfect on the Sonos but when I use the TT it's awful. Anyone have any ideas on this problem?
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StephJoyce wrote:

Having some issues with playing my new Pioneer PLX 500 turntable on the Sonos Play 5. The TT has a preamp and a line out, so used a Y cable for a direct input to the Sonos Play 5. My issue is the sound seems low and the vocals are *very* quiet.. Very hard to hear the vocals at all while playing the record. No idea why. Changed the line in setting to Airplay and uncompressed and I'm still having this issue. Maybe the preamp that's built into the TT isn't good enough? Not sure if it's the record player or the connection to the Play 5? When I listen to my digital libray via my iPhone, the same songs sound perfect on the Sonos but when I use the TT it's awful. Anyone have any ideas on this problem?



Hi StephJoyce and welcome to the community. I checked out the specs for the turntable and just want to make sure, you have the slider on the back set to "line," correct? Can you also run through a couple of tests?

1) Set the line-in level for the PLAY:5 to "10" to see if that help.
2) Connect a different device, such as an iPad or computer, to the Line-in of the PLAY:5. Does that sound better?
Andy B wrote:



Hi StephJoyce and welcome to the community. I checked out the specs for the turntable and just want to make sure, you have the slider on the back set to "line," correct? Can you also run through a couple of tests?

1) Set the line-in level for the PLAY:5 to "10" to see if that help.
2) Connect a different device, such as an iPad or computer, to the Line-in of the PLAY:5. Does that sound better?




Thanks for the reply Andy. Yes, switch is set to "line". I don't have the right adapter to connect my iPad or iphone by line in to try it out. I only have the RCA 3.5mm Y cable. I have my old Sony turntable and Amp so going to try that later today to see if it makes a difference. I'll try in line 10 level as well and report back.
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StephJoyce wrote:

Having some issues with playing my new Pioneer PLX 500 turntable on the Sonos Play 5. The TT has a preamp and a line out, so used a Y cable for a direct input to the Sonos Play 5. My issue is the sound seems low and the vocals are *very* quiet.. Very hard to hear the vocals at all while playing the record. No idea why. Changed the line in setting to Airplay and uncompressed and I'm still having this issue. Maybe the preamp that's built into the TT isn't good enough? Not sure if it's the record player or the connection to the Play 5? When I listen to my digital libray via my iPhone, the same songs sound perfect on the Sonos but when I use the TT it's awful. Anyone have any ideas on this problem?



It's pretty common for the sound level of a turntable's line amp to sound quieter than other sources. I have to turn up the volume an extra 1/3rd of a turn to equal the soul level from CD and streamed music.

What's not common though is to have the vocals disappearing in the mix. All else being correct, that only happens when the cartridgw is wired wrong. These are the four fine wires coming out of the arm tube and connecting to the back of the block that holds the 'needle'.

I haven't come across it yet with a new turntable and its factory-fitted cartridge, but there's always a first time. I have seen it where people have tried to swap a cartridge themselves and got muddled. I have also heard of one cartridge manufacturer getting the wiring wrong during production.

Check all the rest of our wiring first , but if it's all good and vocals are still recessed on just the turntable then it's worth investigating the phase of the wiring further.
Lucid AV wrote:


I haven't come across it yet with a new turntable and its factory-fitted cartridge, but there's always a first time. I have seen it where people have tried to swap a cartridge themselves and got muddled. I have also heard of one cartridge manufacturer getting the wiring wrong during production.

Check all the rest of our wiring first , but if it's all good and vocals are still recessed on just the turntable then it's worth investigating the phase of the wiring further.



You were right, it's the turntable. Wiring is defective and it's being returned. Many many thanks for your help and response and also thanks Andy B, appreciate your help as well! It's just the worst not knowing what the h*ll is wrong so you can fix it but TT is getting replaced and soon I'll be able to enjoy my vinyl again on the Sonos :).
Kumar wrote:

Andy B wrote:

If your turntable does not have a built-in preamp, you’ll need to place one between the turntable and Sonos player.


Good thread; is it a sticky as it needs to be?

The other input is with reference to the quote: these preamps are not expensive any more and if one is spending more than USD 100 for one it is probably too much. Close to half of that ought to get a perfectly adequate gadget. Some attention is needed to compatibility of the preamp with the cartridge type on the turntable - Moving Magnet or Moving Coil. Those compatible with both tend to be more expensive.



If im using a mixer on two turntables will i still need a pre amp?
eg503 wrote:


If im using a mixer on two turntables will i still need a pre amp?



Using a mixer is not really possible with Sonos. The Sonos line-in is delayed about 70 ms in order to buffer the input for streaming. This will cause a noticeable delay from input to output, which makes live performances like DJ mixing or vocals/Karaoke basically impossible.
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So, variation on a theme here. I am having a significant turntable problem, and being an older guy isn't helping me at all. Please remember my history is purely analogue, so that probably hinders me too!
Ok, I wanted to connect my nice Concept TT and my even nicer EAR 748 pre-amp to a pair of Gen2 Sonos 5 speakers. I have connected them in the traditional way. Thing is, I only get sound from one speaker, and (spookily for an analogue guy), I can disconnect the line in cable to that speaker, and it keeps on playing provided the non playing speaker remains connected to my pre-amp. If I switch to a streamed source, both speakers play as a stereo pair with no issues whatsoever! Your help is needed!!!
Bumpthump wrote:

I only get sound from one speaker, and (spookily for an analogue guy), I can disconnect the line in cable to that speaker, and it keeps on playing provided the non playing speaker remains connected to my pre-amp. If I switch to a streamed source, both speakers play as a stereo pair with no issues whatsoever! Your help is needed!!!


Sounds spooky to now a digital person as well, but I have probably misunderstood. What you need to do is connect the preamp via a RCA stereo cable with one multi jack for the Sonos end to just one of the 5 units - not to both. When stereo paired, both will then play their respective channels.

If any speaker continues to play music from the TT when there is nothing in either line in jack - that is spooky indeed!

First troubleshooting step - go to the line in options in the Sonos controller and select Compressed and see if both speakers now play as they do for streamed music.
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Thanks Kumar. I took a bit of a side step, and have achieved some sort of result, but now I am convincing myself it's still not quite right. As mentioned above, I had connected everything up in ye olde worlde analog fashion (left RCA output from TT to left input on pre-amp, left output from pre-amp to line input on Sonos Play 5, and the same set up for the right). That resulted in sound from one speaker only.
Today, I went to electronics store, and bought a stereo Y piece with two female phono/RCA to Sonos sized jack plug. This I fitted to the speaker with no sound, and plugged in both RCA outputs from the pre-amp. Woohoo, sound from both speakers, and when grouped with Sonos stuff elsewhere in the house, my vinyl could be heard everywhere. A major result, however, there is a "but". It might just be my imagination, but I am not yet convinced that I am listening in stereo....the speakers are only four feet apart, and it sounds a bit "mono-ish". Might just be the stuff I have listened to so far. The other uncertainty in my mind, is which speaker should the Y piece be connected to? It seems to function the same either way, but I was/am unsure if one speaker is the "master" and the other is the "slave". I will try your compression trick next. Got to admit, the app changes of 2 days ago haven't really made things any easier!
I don't think you are actually in stereo. You have to "pair" the two PLAY:5s in the Sonos app. It's really not clear that you've done this, and this would explain the behavior your seeing. Once they're set up as a stereo pair, then the line in on either of them would play on both of them, as well as the rest of the house. Based on your description, you've got them both playing from an individual line -in, and consequently getting a stereo signal by using two mono speakers. But then you're grouping (I think) one of the two speakers with the rest of your speakers, and getting that one signal.

It's useful to me to separate the concept of the Line-In from the speaker, since they really are only tangentially related.

Effectively, you should have a stereo RCA cable from the pre-amp that goes to a single headphone (3.5mm) end, and that gets plugged in to one of the two PLAY:5s (doesn't really matter which one). Then the Line-in is sending a stereo signal from the Pre-Amp (and hence from your turntable) to the Sonos ecosystem. You then tell the room that contains the stereo paired (you do that in the app, not grouping, but actual stereo pairing) PLAY:5s to play what's coming in on the line-in. And once you've got that happening (and play a record that has good stereo effects, to be sure that the speakers really are playing left and right), then you can group other rooms. The other rooms will play either a mono (L+R) signal if they're single speakers, or if they're stereo paired speakers, they'll play just like the PLAY:5s
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Thanks yet again for the support! I do have them set up as a stereo pair, and it's probably due to my listening to older stuff like Ray Charles and Sam Cooke that is denying me the kind of stereo separation I was hoping for (double checked, and both albums are definitely stereo recordings!). The bit that is now intriguing me is getting hold of a twin male RCA to a single 3.5 male headphone jack as a pre-made cable. Currently, I am using a pair of high end RCA cables from my purely analog days which are then connected to a stereo Y piece which consists of two female RCA sockets (high end cables connected to those), and the other side of the Y piece is a 3.5mm male headphone jack fitted to one of the Sonos Play 5s. This gives me sound from both speakers.
I might just separate the stereo pair then re-pair them. This set up should emulate what you suggest with the only difference being my set up consists of bits and pieces rather than a single ready made cable. I will try and source a pre-made cBle just to be sure!
Somewhere in the attic, I have one of those stereo demonstration albums. I maybe need to dig it out to give me peace of mind (or send me into a downward spiral of digital depression)!

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