phono preamp to power amp

It is probably a dumb question, but I am ignorant, why should I pretend.  :)

Long story short, I gave away my integrated and bought a power amp. I am planning to buy a second one and use them as monos. For now (and then) can I plug my phono preamp to the power amp? Or I need a preamp? I googled and the answer was mostly "it depends"

Post removed 

try it, or you can go simple with  $49 Schiit Sys, which I preferred to the volume controls on my old Parasounds..

It all depends on the gain of the phono preamp, cartridge output and the input sensitivity of the amp! Since your amp has a volume control you have nothing to lose givin’ it a try!!

My amp also has a volume and I go directly in.

Well I do use a switch box but same same.

An amp with a volume control seems like an integrated includes a preamp? Anyway, try it.

thank you all! The reason I haven't tried it yet was that I gave away my phono preamp too and I didn't know if I could just buy another phono stage or I needed a preamp with a phono input.

Typically the amp volume control is an attenuator not additional gain. You can certainly try the phono directly into the amp - hopefully obviously START w very low volume. Your phono may not have enough to drive a long cable just FYI…

Have fun and enjoy

It would be helpful for us to understand more. Preferably the components and venue. 

For ease of communication I would use the terms phono stage, and preamp. If a preamp has a phono stage… that is a preamp with a phonostage. In integrated amp is a preamp + amp unless it is additionally designated to also have a phono stage.

While you can probably safely plug a phonostage into an amp… since the output will be low. If you are interested in the quality of sound, then a high quality preamp is probably required. 


I meant phono stage to power amp.

I have a bunch of variables, I tried to simplify it. 

The components are so humble, I didn't want to cause any anguish or bring down the audiogon server by typing these brands.

  • AudioSource AMP102 power amp
  • Denon 2 channel receiver (no phono input)
  • Phono stage, I am looking at buying is a Rotel rq-970bx.

So I can either use the receiver (and not the power amp) or use the rotel to receiver to power amp. Or skip the power amp. I would of course try each configuration.


Different components but i can and have done similar by running a Herron tube phono stage via a 4 meter RCA into the inputs of a MC240 amp which have volume controls…. i think your experiment is worth conducting… in a similar vein some great engineers w ears notably Roger Modjeski and Charlie Hansen certainly wrestled with this or similar minimalistic approach… my own experience has led me down the preamp path…but others may weigh in w different results…

I was thinking a used Schiit cheaper and better than the used Rotel. Maybe not

@yogiboy my budget (WAF issues) is not much - for the phono stage. Around a $100 max, craigslist is my friend.

This Bellari VP 549 lists for $149.00. If you do a search on HIFI shark there are a few for $100 bucks. I’m sure the sellers will take less!


You should be able to use the Denon Reciever as a preamp only. If there is a preamp out (or line out) of the Denon… then you plug the phono stage into the Denon and the preamp out from the Denon into the amp.


We all started with modest systems at one time… well, at least most of us.

When I first heard of Schiit I was dead set against even considering any of their equipment. But a few years ago I was helping a friend put together a modest system and was unable to avoid the name. They have made a real mark by making budget gear with very high performance for the money. I ended up with a couple pieces and my friend ended up with a Yggdrasil DAC… very excellent performance for the money. 


@yogiboy I have seen Bellari and wondered about it. I also see Lounge Audio LCR MKIII for under $150.

@ghdprentice yes my Denon premamp has preout - that why I bought it.

I did have a modest mid-fi system, maybe hifi to some extent, but I gave it all to my kids. Way more important that they enjoy it than my selfish needs.

So now I am back to buying and trading 90s consumer level stuff, hoping to make a few hundred bucks than will let me play some vinyls.

At the end I could have 2 bridged power amps, the Denon as a preamp, a phono stage into the Denon and I’d be all set!

And to come full circle, that's my question: better to use a mediocre preamp between power amp and phono stage or OK to go from phono stage to power amp?

  1. Turntable with Integrated Phono Preamp: If your turntable has an integrated phono preamp, you can connect it directly to a power amplifier. In this case, the phono preamp in the turntable acts as the preamplifier.

  2. Turntable without Integrated Phono Preamp: If your turntable doesn't have a built-in phono preamp, you'll need a separate phono preamp. You can connect the turntable to the phono preamp, and then connect the phono preamp to the power amplifier.

  3. Using a Receiver as a Preamplifier: If you have an AV receiver, it likely has a built-in preamp. You can connect your turntable to the phono input on the receiver, and then use the pre-out or line-out connections on the receiver to connect to your power amplifier.

  4. Using a Dedicated Preamplifier: Alternatively, you can use a standalone preamplifier between your turntable and power amplifier. This gives you more control over your audio setup, and some audiophiles prefer this approach for better sound quality and flexibility.

Once again, @tokushi scores with his use of AI. Apparently he has no original thoughts.

Here is further use of AI:

relying solely on AI for forum posts has drawbacks:

  • Lack of authenticity and originality: AI-generated content can often lack the personal voice, insights, and experiences that make human-written posts valuable.
  • Potential for misinformation: AI tools can sometimes generate inaccurate or misleading information, especially if they are not trained on high-quality data.
  • Ethical concerns: Using AI without disclosing it can be considered deceptive and could damage the user’s reputation and trust within the community.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use AI for forum posts is a personal one. While AI can be a valuable tool for research, writing, and engagement, it’s important to use it responsibly and ethically, and to ensure that AI-generated content is always clearly identified.

It’s also important to consider the specific context of the forum. Some forums may have rules against using AI-generated content, while others may be more accepting. It’s always best to be transparent about the use of AI and to contribute in a way that is valuable and authentic to the community.

If you're only fooling around and doing some configuration testing the Pyle 999 is ok for like $16.  I used one while my phono stage was back at the mother ship being upgraded.  

If you are all vinyl, I would save up and get a really good phono stage.

If you don't have a digital source, just go straight in from the phono stage.  I took out my pre when I went all vinyl (I use a switchbox now for my digital).  I would be straight in if not for my occasional CD playing.

My amp is a SET that happens to have a volume pot on the inputs.

@grislybutter : As others have suggested; try your available options and decide which sounds best. My guess is that if your phono stage has enough gain to allow your system to play at an acceptable volume level, using the amp’s attenuators with your phono stage driving directly into the amp will be the best choice. I have tried using a receiver as a preamp in the past, and it didn’t sound good at all. Also, you mentioned buying a second amp and bridging them… I do not recommend that. It will depend on the amp that you’re using, but the single amp in stereo may sound better (usually my experience when trying this) than bridging two of the same amp. Don’t be drawn into the idea that the output power into 8 ohms increases. Again… it depends. 

@krelldreams I tried the bridged mode in my amp, and it sounded much worse. I am not sure why but it was a good test for me to give up the idea of buying another one.

First the hype around Schitt is well deserved and earned, both Jason and Mike have good ears and experience. A good deal of the  way they create value is well documented in the book Schitt Happened …. Scale is powerful and in the case of Schitt they make good use of pick n place automation and surface mount technology. 

Wishing you the best as you bootstrap your way to a better system. I’m sure i have some extra bits here and there. Just PM where you need em to go. Merry Christmas !

If your phono preamp is delivering enough gain for a standard system preamp line-in voltage (and not just enough to bring the voltage from MC to MM input) it ought to work.