Did you get yourself a new turntable? If yes, then that’s great! They are wonderful music players. You can enjoy listening to your favorite vinyl records.

However, before you can start doing that, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve set it up and connected to your speakers properly. When you plug it in the right way, you’ll be able to enjoy non-stop music.

If you don’t have a pair of speakers yet, or you are looking for powered speakers for turntable speakers, it’s best to prepare your budget and identify which features you want. Remember that speakers and your turntable are your investments, as they help you relax and enjoy life more.

If you already have speakers and want to set your turntable, this article is for you! We’ll cover a setup guide to plug your turntable into passive and powered speakers.

The 4 Elements Of A Turntable Setup

For you to get sound from your turntable, you’ll need four elements. Remember that some elements already exist in one element, depending on the equipment you use. For instance, some speakers have built-in amplification.

Here are the four elements:

A Turntable

This is the most obvious one! Since you want to listen to your vinyl records, you need a machine to play them with. Then there’s no other machine that can do it for you other than a turntable.

You can play your new and old vinyl records as long as you properly maintain them.

Once you put in your vinyl records, the signal is transferred through the needle and passed out to the turntable.

A Preamp

The signal from the turntable is very quiet. This means you need a device to convert the signal to a louder level signal. This means you need a preamp, as this equipment turns the quiet signals into a signal we can hear once the speakers are connected.

You should take note that some turntables have a built-in preamp. You can easily find one by inspecting your turntable. All you have to do is to look for a phono/line signal switch. If it has one, then you can skip buying an external preamp.

An Amplifier

An amplifier can be connected in two ways depending on the other elements. If your turntable has a built-in preamp, you’ll need to connect it directly.

On the other hand, if you’re using an external preamp, your amplifier will be the bridge. This means you’ll connect the amplifier between your turntable and preamp.

However, there’s a catch. There are times that you won’t need an amplifier, as it would depend on the type of speakers you are using, which we’ll talk about next.


The speaker will produce the sound; from the signal transferred to your preamp, your speakers will be the final output. However, your setup will also depend on what type of speakers you have.

There are two main types: powered (active) speakers and unpowered (passive) speakers.

Active speakers have a built-in amplifier, so you don’t need to connect it to one. Some make and models also have a built-in preamp, so you might as well consider getting those.

On the other hand, passive speakers need an external amplifier or receiver to produce sound.

Both these speakers have advantages and disadvantages, but we’re not going to cover them here. Either of them is great for designing a modern living room, bedroom, or, basically, any part of the house.

Turntable Setup Variations

As mentioned, there are different ways to set up your turntable. Everything will depend on the equipment you have or are using.

  • Turntables with built-in preamp + powered speakers. This is probably the easiest setup, as you don’t need multiple pieces of equipment to listen to your vinyl records. Just simply connect your turntable to your powered speakers using speaker cables. Just make sure to switch your turntable to “line” to prevent distorted sound.
  • Turntables + preamp + powered speakers. This setup is similar to the first one. The only difference is you need to connect your preamp between your turntable and powered speakers. 
  • Turntables with built-in preamp + amplifier + passive speakers. The good thing about this setup is that the amplifier would act as a bridge between your speakers and your turntable. You just have to connect both with cables in the right slots.
  • Turntables + preamp + amplifiers + passive speakers. This one is the most technical. You have to connect your turntable to a preamp, then connect your preamp to your amplifier. The speakers should also be connected to the amplifier as it would act as the receiver.
  • Turntables with Bluetooth + Bluetooth speakers. If your turntable has a Bluetooth function, you don’t need wires to connect them seamlessly. The beauty of this setup is that most modern speakers have Bluetooth, allowing you to play music with less clutter because of cables.

Sum Up

Now that you’ve learned how to set up your turntable and connect them to your speakers, you’ll be able to listen to play your vinyl records without any worries. There are different ways, but to set it up properly, you need to identify the elements of your setup.

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