As much as record players are designed to give you quality sound, you won’t get much sound at all without an amplifier.
An amplifier amplifies the signals it receives and boosts them up so they can be played through speakers.
Many modern record players will have an in-built preamplifier, but this isn’t enough to boost the sound signals that come from the spinning vinyl. Some players don’t even have a preamp, and if so, it’s your job to amplify the sound.
Luckily, the market is full of options. My favorite is the Yamaha Natural Sound-Integrated Stereo Amplifier because of its direct mode option! Check it out at Amazon.
Read on if you’re interested in finding the best amp for record player owners.
- 1 The Top 5 Amps for Record Players
- 2 Buyer’s Guide for Record Player Amps
- 3 Types of Amplifiers
- 4 Choosing the Best Amp for Your Player
- 5 FAQs About Amplifiers
- 6 How to Connect a Record Player to an Amplifier
- 7 Conclusion
The Top 5 Amps for Record Players
In this product review, we feature the 5 best amps for record players. They’ve been tried and tested to meet the industry standards and serve you well, and you won’t have to worry about getting value for your money.
Let’s dive in.
This is a dual-channel stereo amplifier with 2 X 120-Watt power. It can be used with several speakers with 4 ohm impedance which will ensure you enjoy amplified audio.
The system has four inputs for convenience. You get three RCA audio inputs for tuner, CD player, tape deck, camcorder, and headphone jack input. There is also a rec output that you can use for recording.
The receiver features both a pager and mixing switch that you can use in different settings. The pager mode is mostly used for hosting and meetings, while the mixing mode is used for karaoke.
The amplifier has a push-type speaker terminal, making it possible to directly connect speaker wires with the amplifier.
It is fitted with EQ controls with easy-control buttons.
- Product Dimensions: 2.72x 5.39 x 8.27 inches
- Product Weight: 5.2 pounds
- It has two channels for better sound.
- The system has EQ controls for better control of sound
- It is easy to use as you can connect and stream to enjoy music
- The amplifier has both a pager and mixing model for convenience
- The push-type speaker terminal helps to connect speaker wires to the amp directly
- Some users did not find them to be very durable
This is a powerful mini amplifier that can give you 20 watts per channel. It is fitted with a direct equalizer function to allow unfiltered sound to pass through.
It is easy to control as it has the power/volume knob for simple operation. The LED knob will give you a glowing effect in the dark for easy access to dark environments.
The system also features a ¼ inch mic input. It also comes with a 3-foot power cable and 3.5-millimeter audio cable.
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 6.2 x 1.75 inches
- Product Weight: 1.2 pounds
- It is user friendly
- The system has multiple outputs for convenience.
- It has an LED knob that is convenient to use in the dark.
- The amplifier comes with rackets for easy mounting.
- It gives a total of 40 watts and not 60 watts as indicated
- It is hard to use with headphones as it does not cancel output to speakers
This is a great partner to your record player. One of its main advantages is the divided circuitry making it possible to disengage digital circuits. It uses the single push-pull circuit power that can balance power and details well.
It is beautifully designed with a slim build and a vibration-resistant design that you will love. One of its strong points is the high power (70 watts at 4 ohms) to guarantee you accurate multi-dimensional sound.
The Bluetooth connectivity will give you the convenience of connecting with any device you want.
The system is built with high-grade audio components to ensure it is built to last.
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 12.1 x 4.76 inches
- Product Weight: 19.26 pounds
- It has high power, giving you a strong multi-dimensional sound.
- The system is made with divided circuitry to disengage digital circuits easily.
- It can balance power and sound quality well.
- The amplifier features Bluetooth connectivity for convenience
- It has high-grade audio components that last long
- The remote volume control is not precise
- It does not have a USB digital input
Yamaha does not disappoint with its devices, and this is no exception. This is a dual-channel amplifier that can do 60 watts each. It has a direct mode if you are looking for great sound purity.
It is affordable, and yet it comes with high-end technology. Unlike many that have Bluetooth connectivity, this separates so that you can have your wireless and digital components separate.
The amplifier is loaded with five analog inputs and two digital inputs.
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 17.13 x 15.25 x 6 inches
- Product Weight: 19.8 pounds
- It gives you an option for the direct mode to get greater sound purity.
- The amplifier has excellent sound.
- It has a traditional HI-FI design with a beautiful finish
- It is easy to use and control
- Its Bluetooth connectivity is not great
This is a powerful amplifier with six audio inputs and a power of 70 watts per channel.
It gives you better control of sound thanks to the electric volume control. Not only can you achieve lower distortion, but you will also have improved clarity. It works by amplifying the sound in two stages so that you get detailed sound.
With it, there are endless connection possibilities. There is also a preamp output to help you connect to a large amplifier to integrate with a multi-channel home theater system.
There is also a headphone output to listen to music on your headphones if you want to.
- Product Dimensions: 5.03 x 14.92 x 17.32 inches
- Product Weight: 26.5 pounds
- It features an electric volume circuit
- The amplifier has a powerful sound of 70 watts X 2
- It has a triple-tone control system
- The unit is easy to operate
- Its Bluetooth connection is weak
Buyer’s Guide for Record Player Amps
If you need a good amp for a record player, you will do well with any of the five listed above. If you can’t settle on one quite yet and need further assistance, this is the section for you.
Here are some factors that separate them:
The Most Powerful Amp
The Pyle Home Audio Power Amplifier System is the most powerful amp with a power of 2 x 120 watts, which is higher than other amps we have reviewed. It is the best choice for you if you are looking for a loud and powerful sound.
The Amp with the Best Tone Control
Many amps will provide you with tone control flexibility, but not many will function as the Marantz PM8006 Integrated Amplifier. With a triple-tone control system like this, you have the ability to control the tone accurately.
Amp with LED Knob
Even though an LED knob is not mandatory, it adds to the amp’s convenience. The Technical Pro Class-T Stereo Mini Amplifier has an LED knob that lights up in the dark.
The Most Affordable Amp
When it comes to the amp’s cost, the most cost-friendly is the Technical Pro Class-T Stereo Mini Amplifier that costs only $29.99. However, it is important to remember that it might be cheaper because it is a mini amplifier.
Our Overall Recommendation
Our best recommendation is the Pyle Home Audio Power Amplifier System, as it is not very expensive, yet it is mighty. It will give you a powerful sound and a great, memorable experience.
Types of Amplifiers
Even though amplifiers do more or less the same role, it is good to know the types on the market. When it comes to amplifiers that work with record players, two main types of amplifiers are involved. They include:
This has the primary role in boosting the signal. The phono preamplifier is responsible for promoting and equalizing the cartridge signal. Otherwise, the signal and sound would be very weak.
The advantage of modern record players is that many come with a built-in preamplifier. If the player does not have a built-in preamp, you will need to get an amp with a phono input.
When your record player has a built-in preamp, you only need to connect to an aux or similar input to get started.
You might be forced to get an outboard preamp in some cases, especially if you do not plan to purchase a receiver or an integrated amplifier.
This is a form of an advanced amplifier. It has not only an amplifier but also a phono preamp and an AM/FM tuner.
With a stereo receiver, you do not have to worry whether your player has a phono preamp or not. Receivers will do the job well and can be used in different settings too.
They tend to be the strongest amps you can get and tend to be pricier comparatively. Unlike the stereo receiver, an integrated amp only has a phono preamp and amplifier. It does not have a tuner, although there is an input to add one if you need to.
Choosing the Best Amp for Your Player
When you are choosing the best amp, you have the option of selecting a stereo amp or a multi-channel AV receiver.
The stereo amp is mostly used in traditional settings, and it entails two top-notch amplification channels to give you high-quality, beautiful sound.
The multi-channel AV receiver does not detail the sound quality, as it has many other features to focus on. It also has many channels, so getting precision may be a problem.
If you are detail-oriented in terms of sound, then the stereo amp will be ideal for you. If you don’t mind the sound, then you can go for either of them.
Some of the other features to look for when looking for an amp include:
Presence of Built-In Preamp/Phono Input
Ideally, an amp should have a built-in preamp or phono input, but this is not automatic, so you should check to confirm that it has one included. It will save you the hassle of having to buy a preamp separately when it may already have a preamp.
Regardless of how strong the amp is, it may be hard for it to pick up signals without a preamp.
Bluetooth connectivity is not a must, but it is an important feature to have. With it, you can seamlessly play music from any device without worrying about connecting wires.
It is important to note that the Bluetooth connectivity strength may differ from device to device. It also depends on how the two devices you are pairing up match.
This is an important feature if you value customizing sound. Some amps will have specific tone control systems, while others rely on EQ sound.
It would be great to try out both if you can before making a purchase. If you don’t have that luxury, you can check for reviews online or check the FAQ section. You should also always ask questions before buying products to avoid disappointments.
Different amps have different power, and it also depends on the number of channels they have. A high power translates to a great, powerful sound and vice versa. Power is measured in watts. The bigger the wattage, the better it will be for you.
Even though it sounds contradicting, a high-power output does not guarantee a good amp. It would be best if you looked out for other important features too.
An ideal amp should pair up well with any speaker, but you may have to have to buy different speakers or a certain amp to work with your speakers. The performance of the speaker depends on the amp power.
Quality of Build
Amps are made using different qualities, and that influences their performance and durability. There are different materials used in making the amp. You should check on the precision that has gone into making different parts and the craftsmanship of the work overall.
Price is normally determined by many factors, such as brand, quality build, features, etc. That is why you will get amps of different budgets. Ensure you counter-check with the important factors before settling on an amp rather than focusing just on price.
Setting out a budget before shopping can help you in decision-making, as it will guide you to look for amps within a certain price range.
A good manufacturer should have a service center so that if you need an update or your amp has an issue, you can visit the service center. Service centers should be in a location convenient to you. That may be why some people go for renowned brands because they have worked on their service centers’ quality and range.
With the warranty, you are sure that if the amp has a certain problem within a certain period of time, you will be covered. It may range from six months to five years. The longer the warranty period, the better it will be for you, as it shows the manufacturer is confident with the quality of their products.
It is only through reviews that you can shape your expectations about the product. You can tell what you are getting yourself into. The greater the number of reviews, the better chance you will have an honest look without any bias. Few reviews may be sponsored in some cases, so it’s good to read many reviews.
FAQs About Amplifiers
Do I need a preamp?
The answer may either be yes or no, depending on your situation. If your player does not have a preamp, then you might need one. However, there are many speakers, amplifiers, or receivers with an in-built preamp to not need one in most cases.
Is an amplifier necessary?
It always just depends on what you want to achieve as an individual. For some people, a preamp is sufficient, but for others, they need more sound. An amplifier helps to strengthen weaker signals, giving you a powerful sound.
What’s the better choice between a receiver and an amp?
A receiver and an amp perform more or less the same function. The only difference is that an amp does not have an AM/FM tuner. They both have a phono preamp and amp. When it comes to sound quality and power, an amplifier takes the title.
Does the quality of the preamp influence the performance of the amp?
If you have an amp, the built-in preamp’s quality does not matter, as an amp comes with a built-in preamp. This means that you can achieve a high-quality sound whether you have the best preamp or not.
How to Connect a Record Player to an Amplifier
Even though connecting a record player to an amp looks straightforward, many people still get it wrong. Many confuse the cables and parts.
Some of the basic steps for connecting your player to an amp include the following:
- Place the player near the amp. Even though you may have long cables, it is convenient to have the two units placed next to each other to connect the cables. It should be on the same shelf to dampen vibration and minimize shaking.
- Connect the available RCA-type stereo cable to the output of your amp. If the amp did not come with the RCA cable, you will be forced to buy one.
- Look out for phono input. This is an indicator of whether the amp has a built-in preamp or not. If it has a phono output, then connect the player’s output, and you will be good to go.
If your player has a ground wire, then connect it to the ground terminal on the amp, and you should be set.
If your amp is not fitted with a phono input, it means it does not have a built-in preamp. You don’t have to worry, as amps have a built-in preamp.
If you do not have a phono input, check out for inputs such as Line, Aux, Audio, or CD. The input on the front should match that on the rear panel. Also, check to ensure that you have similar connections between the amp and player.
You also have the path of choosing wireless since connecting with cables may be cumbersome. Most devices will have Bluetooth connectivity for that purpose.
Finding the best amp for your record player requires that you do your due diligence in your research and shopping journey. Product research and side-by-side comparisons are the very best paths to take to ensure that you’re satisfied with your new amp.
Honest online reviews can be invaluable to you, so take care that you read more than a few of them. They can help you know what you should expect, and they might even offer useful hacks for the product that could save you time and energy.
There are many options available in such a full market, but with research, reviews, and budgeting, shopping should be a success.
Good luck on your search for the best amp for record player use!