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Turntable.

  • 23 October 2020
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I have a play bar connected to two play ones in one room and a play 3 in another room. The play 3 is connected to a WiFi router. What the easiest way to connect a turntable to my system and what would I need. 

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Best answer by lohr500 26 October 2020, 11:12

Hi @Baboon281, if you only want to connect a turntable and have no intention of expanding your system using either a Sonos Five speaker and/or you don’t want to add any traditional passive speakers to your system, then all you need is a Port.

If you like the idea of adding another Sonos speaker then a Five will allow you to connect a turntable directly to it using a wired connection. But this can limit the placement as your turntable needs to be reasonably close to the Five to facilitate the wired connection. 

An Amp would be used if you wanted to drive conventional passive speakers and play Sonos content through them. A turntable can also be connected to the Amp.

A Port will allow you to connect a turntable and so long as the Port is in wifi range or connected via ethernet, it will allow you to position the turntable wherever you need. 

On any of the solutions, once installed, you can then play the turntable output to any or all of your other Sonos speakers. From your initial question I am guessing that the Play Ones are being used as surround speakers for the Playbar in a home theatre setup. If you play the turntable through the home theatre set up the Playbar and Ones will handle the turntable sound in the same way as other music sources.

Two other things to consider : 

Firstly, irrespective of using a Five, Amp or Port to connect a turntable, the turntable needs to have a built in pre-amp stage to provide a Line Out level signal. Some turntables only output at Phono level. If your turntable doesn’t have a pre-amp stage, you can buy an external pre-amp for around £25/$33.

Secondly, if you want to add the turntable on a budget, you could look around for a used Sonos Connect. The Port replaced the Connect. To use the latest S2 version of the App though, the Connect needs to be newer than mid 2015. Earlier versions won’t work with S2. To be safe, look for one with a serial number starting 16xx. Of course, buying used is not without risk as you won’t have a warranty or the latest support.

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Hi @Baboon281.

Welcome to the Sonos community and thanks for reaching out to us., I understand you are looking for answers about connecting a turntable to your Sonos ecosystem. Let me help you out with that.

 What you would need is either a Sonos FiveA Sonos Port, or a Sonos Amp. These Sonos devices have a line-in port feature that would allow you to integrate your turntable into your Sonos system.

I hope this helps.

Please let us know if you still have further questions or concerns. We are always here to help.

Thanks,

Userlevel 4
Badge +10

Hi @Baboon281, if you only want to connect a turntable and have no intention of expanding your system using either a Sonos Five speaker and/or you don’t want to add any traditional passive speakers to your system, then all you need is a Port.

If you like the idea of adding another Sonos speaker then a Five will allow you to connect a turntable directly to it using a wired connection. But this can limit the placement as your turntable needs to be reasonably close to the Five to facilitate the wired connection. 

An Amp would be used if you wanted to drive conventional passive speakers and play Sonos content through them. A turntable can also be connected to the Amp.

A Port will allow you to connect a turntable and so long as the Port is in wifi range or connected via ethernet, it will allow you to position the turntable wherever you need. 

On any of the solutions, once installed, you can then play the turntable output to any or all of your other Sonos speakers. From your initial question I am guessing that the Play Ones are being used as surround speakers for the Playbar in a home theatre setup. If you play the turntable through the home theatre set up the Playbar and Ones will handle the turntable sound in the same way as other music sources.

Two other things to consider : 

Firstly, irrespective of using a Five, Amp or Port to connect a turntable, the turntable needs to have a built in pre-amp stage to provide a Line Out level signal. Some turntables only output at Phono level. If your turntable doesn’t have a pre-amp stage, you can buy an external pre-amp for around £25/$33.

Secondly, if you want to add the turntable on a budget, you could look around for a used Sonos Connect. The Port replaced the Connect. To use the latest S2 version of the App though, the Connect needs to be newer than mid 2015. Earlier versions won’t work with S2. To be safe, look for one with a serial number starting 16xx. Of course, buying used is not without risk as you won’t have a warranty or the latest support.

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Lohr500. Great , thanks for all the info and will really assist in what to get. 👍

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Baboon281.

Thanks for the immediate response and you’re always welcome. 

Please be sure to reach out or create a topic if you still have any further questions or concerns. We are always here to help out.

Thanks,

Hello,

I too want to connect a turntable to a Sonos Port. I have a separate phono stage, would that be enough or do I also need a preamp m(my turntable doesn’t have one)?

thanks

Olivier

You’ll need to explain what you mean by a ‘phono stage’. 

Sonos works from a line level input, and not phono level. If whatever setup you have outputs line level, you will be fine. If it only outputs phono level, then you’ll need some sort of pre-amp to boost the phono level to line level, so the Sonos can use it. 

thank you for your reply. I have a MC moving coil phono stage. I suppose I could try it and see if I need an additional preamp. 

thank you for your reply. I have a MC moving coil phono stage. I suppose I could try it and see if I need an additional preamp. 

If the ‘stage’ takes input from the MC cartridge and requires power, it’s a preamp.

yes that’s the case. thanks a lot for your support

Q: Would it be possible to take the output of my headphone amp and run a 1/4” jack to RCA cable into the Port?

 

Background Info: I have a modest Sonos system (Playbar + Play 5 Gen1) installed in my condo. I recently added a turntable and DAC running into an Auris HA2 SE headphone amp as a separate system. It would be nice to stream the output of this second system to Sonos. The Auris does not have a preamp out. I would like to avoid placing the Port before the Auris. Can the Port handle the headphone level signal? Max power out is around 900 mW. 

Yes, with a couple caveats. First, you may need to tinker with the headphone amplifier’s output level. You’ll quickly figure this out. Second, there may be some noise in the headphone amplifier output that, while insignificant for headphone listening, will be annoying when attempting to use this output as the source for Line-In.

It’s easy to test this by patching the headphone amplifier output to the PLAY:5’s Line-In. If there are no issues with this, then go with PORT.

What is the input to the headphone amplifier? It may be possible to skip the headphone amplifier and directly connect this source to Line-In. Another possibility is to use a Y-Connection to share the headphone amplifier source with Line-In.

Thanks Buzz, I will try the PLAY:5 test starting at the lowest volume level. 

The input(s) to the headphone amp are 3 sets of RCA line-in. Direct connection to Port from my phono preamp is possible but not desirable as my turntable/headphone setup is fairly high tier and my primary listening option for the condo. That option would also exclude my DAC path.

That’s a ‘serious’ tube head amp. Bear in mind that the input impedance of the Port will be several tens of kilohms, rather than in the range of headphones. In the dim recesses of my memory I have a note that valve amps don’t like to look into an open circuit.

Thanks Ratty, I wasn’t even thinking about the impedance mis-match. The Auris is expecting something in the range of 50-600 Ohms, probably not a good idea to hook it up to the Port. Thanks for the save...

I’m not too concerned. In the early days of tubes, product design engineers had not yet learned the math associated with “unconditional stability” and an unloaded power amplifier would usually freak out. Before about 1960 unconditional stability was not in the undergraduate vocabulary, now it’s routine. If you are concerned, connect a 1000 Ohm resistor (this value is not critical) in parallel with Line-In.

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It’s interesting that the first crew of engineers who had unconditional stability on their belt of tricks had not yet fully mastered feedback concepts. Unfortunately, these were the first engineers to use transistors and since they could guarantee stability, the engineers piled on feedback, resulting in ever vanishing measured distortion levels. But, somehow these ultra low distortion amplifiers didn’t sound quite as good as their cruder tube predecessors. This is the basis of the tubes sounding better spat -- and this observation was justified in that era, but this was simply the accidental consequence of the tube designers using less feed back because they lacked the math background to aggressively use feedback. In 1970 a paper was published pointing out that transistor amplifier designers didn’t correctly apply this massive feedback. It was not until later in the 1970’s that designers started paying attention. You could find a few earlier comments about improper use of gross amounts of feedback, but these were mostly dismissed.

Anyway, with the use of proper design theory and modern transistors having much better high frequency capability, there is no fundamental reason for transistors and tubes to sound grossly different. I know that there are many who claim that properly designed amplifiers all sound the same. I think that we should be careful with this conclusion.

There are some other aspects of design that have nothing to do with math. As a teen I built a microphone preamplifier using a circuit I found in a book. A few weeks later I decided that I needed a second preamplifier for stereo. In the interim I had been studying and realized that my original build technique was deficient. That second preamp, using the same circuit and parts, sounded much better. There have been some studies where different teams were given the same circuit and parts, then asked to build a power amplifier. The final results varied simply because the physical construction was different.

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Please note that I’m not anti tube or anti transistor. There are good and bad examples of each.

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