A growing number of people are investing in the reborn industry of vinyl music. Whether it be the warm and textured sound or the tactile experience, vinyl is having quite the comeback and turntables are popping up in households around the world.
Some people may be content with some cheap all-in-one-solution for their turntable setup. Affordable all-in-ones typically do not have very good reputation as they have the tendency to ruin records from the amount of force that is applied to them by the stylus. However, if you’re reading this blog, you aren’t satisfied with “good enough.” You want audiophile-grade sound from your turntable.
This doesn’t mean that you ought to be intimidated by the prospect of a proper performance-grade turntable setup. We’re here to make things simple (and sound great) with our turntable setup guide for both passive and powered speakers.
First of all, you need to decide whether you are going to go with powered or passive speakers. Powered speakers like the Klipsch Reference R-15PM powered monitors have internal amplification, while passive speakers like the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160M bookshelf speakers require external amplification.
From there, it’s really quite simple…
How to Set Up Passive Speakers With a Turntable
You will only need a few things to set up your passive speakers correctly with a turntable: a receiver, phono pre-amp, RCA cables and a pair of speakers. While there are more components to setting up passive speakers than powered speakers, the process really isn’t much more involved. (If you need help choosing a pair of speakers for your turntable, please click here.)
- Connect the turntable with the RCA cables to the preamp. (Some turntables require grounding.)
- Connect the pre-amp to the amp with RCA cables.
- Connect the amp to the speakers.
- Drop the needle and enjoy!
How To Set Up Powered Speakers With a Turntable
Not to brag, but the R-15PM power monitors are pretty awesome. Besides having internal amplification, they have a built-in phono pre-amp. Most powered speakers still require a separate phono pre-amp. In any case, internal amplification and the built-in phono pre-amp eliminate the need for two separate components – a receiver and discrete phono pre-amp.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect R-15PM powered monitors to your turntable
- Connect the RCA and ground cables from the turntable to the R-15PM
- Ensure the switch on the back of the R-15PM is set to “Phono”
- Plug the turntable and R-15PM into power outlets
- Put a record on and enjoy!
This is the easiest way to setup a turntable with quality speakers.
Turntable Setup and Configuration
Depending on what turntable you have, the amount of setup and configuration will depend on the specific turntable you select. Some turntables come set up straight out of the box while others involve a great deal of tweaking. Of course, there are also turntables that give users the option to upgrade components like the phono cartridge.
We won’t go into the nitty-gritty of every possible turntable setup because we already dove into the anatomy of the turntable, but there are some basics you need to know.
First of all, there are two primary types of turntables: belt drive and direct drive turntables. Simply put, belt drive turntables are for those listening to records while direct drive turntables are what you would see DJs using.
There are also automatic and manual turntables. Automatic turntables simply require you to press a button and the turntable will lift the tone arm and place it on the record. Manual turntables require you to physically place the tone arm on the record.
You may have noticed that we showed off a Klipsch turntable at CES 2016 and, if you’re in Canada, you can already purchase a turntable bundled with the Klipsch R-15PMs as part of the Klipsch Music Crate. Don’t worry, it will be coming to the United States and rest of the world very soon!
Anyway, the Klipsch turntable is a manual, belt-driven turntable created in partnership with Pro-Ject. It sounds great and also offers an extremely easy setup.
The Klipsch turntable comes set up right out of the box, meaning that you will not have to mess with the tracking force or counterweight adjustments. It comes with a moving magnet Ortofon OM 5E cartridge.
Regardless of the type of speakers or turntable you choose, a proper turntable setup is extremely important in delivering quality sound; however, it shouldn’t be considered a daunting challenge.
What does your turntable setup consist of? What guidance do you have for someone looking to set up their new turntable with quality speakers? Post in the comments below!