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Do Pickup Cartridges need Extra circuitry?
Do Pickup Cartridges need Extra circuitry?
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Old 27th May 2019, 06:12 PM   #1
silviustro is offline silviustro
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Default Do Pickup Cartridges need Extra circuitry?

Hello everyone,


I'm trying to retrofit an older turntable with some newer electronics. I like the retro look of the turntable but would like better sound quality.


I have hit a bit of a roadblock because I couldn't find any information about this online.


Should I connect the needle cartridge pickup output directly to the preamp input? or is there supposed to be a buffer circuit in between the pickup and the preamp? Don't worry about getting technical, as I'm pretty good at electronics, just new at analogue audio stuff.



Thanks in advance!
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Old 27th May 2019, 07:05 PM   #2
Boydk is offline Boydk  Denmark
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You need a "Phono-Preamp", also called riaa-amp.
Do some searching in here for phono-pre or riaa, or just use Google.
Short answer: NO, you just donīt connect it to the preamp, unless it has a dedicated "PHONO" input
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Old 27th May 2019, 07:10 PM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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The sound quality of a turntable is mostly decided by the turntable itself, so 'upgrading' the electronics may not help. As a general rule (there are exceptions) a turntable which includes electronics might not be the best quality anyway.
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Old 27th May 2019, 07:21 PM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Do Pickup Cartridges need Extra circuitry?
There are three main types of cartridge:

Moving coil, often the most highly regarded for hi end and these have the lowest output voltage of all.

Then there is moving magnet (most common) and these also have a low output, but not as low as moving coil.

Magnetic cartridge - Wikipedia

Both these types need a preamp with RIAA equalisation.

RIAA equalization - Wikipedia

Finally ceramics which have lots of output but these need to be used with a very high impedance preamp input (several meg ohms for best results). Ceramics were popular many years ago and are not normally considered 'Hi Fi' although with correct matching the results can be better than many imagine. Ceramics do not need RIAA equalisation.

So we need to know what you have as starting point.
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Old 27th May 2019, 07:25 PM   #5
Osvaldo de Banfield is offline Osvaldo de Banfield  Argentina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boydk View Post
NO, you just donīt connect it to the preamp, unless it has a dedicated "PHONO" input
Not always. If the guy has a Crystal or ceramic pickup, almost any simple amplifier can do the job. Old Winco here in Argentina were manufactured with only a ECL82 or ECL85 plus a 6X4 and we were too happy listening to "The pink Panther" music on 33RPM when little boy.

wincofon - Google Search
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Old 27th May 2019, 07:27 PM   #6
vinylkid58 is online now vinylkid58  Canada
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Do Pickup Cartridges need Extra circuitry?
Quote:
Originally Posted by silviustro View Post
I'm trying to retrofit an older turntable with some newer electronics. I like the retro look of the turntable but would like better sound quality.
Depending on what the turntable is, you could quite possibly be wasting your time. So, tell us what it is.

jeff
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Old 28th May 2019, 03:16 PM   #7
silviustro is offline silviustro
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It is an old RTF Belcanto-3010.


It actually sounds pretty good for what it is, even the speed and the tracking remained quite good.


I wanted to replace the needle with something like an Audio-Technica AT-81 CP.


Some people here are saying I need a preamp, that, I know. My question was if I need some other equipment in between the needle pickup and the preamp, or if I could just directly couple the needle output to the preamp.


I couldn't find any information about this looking at DIY turntables either, everyone seems to skip over the electronics. What would be helpful would be a wiring diagram.
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Old 28th May 2019, 05:47 PM   #8
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Do Pickup Cartridges need Extra circuitry?
The AT81 is a typical moving magnet design and so requires a standard phono preamp that would include the correct RIAA equalisation.

Such a phono preamp would make the turntable the equivalent of a normal line level source that could then be coupled to a normal line level input on a preamp as if it were CD player or tuner etc.

So the normal connection sequence is cartridge into phono preamp input and then phono preamp output into a normal line level preamp input.
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Old 28th May 2019, 06:39 PM   #9
silviustro is offline silviustro
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Thanks! this is pretty much what I wanted to know
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