Are you a fan of vinyl? If yes, then you must know how it is not easy to get vinyl playback right. To make sure that they sound their very best, record players often need a phono stage preamp. If you own a vinyl collection and a turntable, then you will surely require one to listen to your favorite music in the best sound quality possible.
Now, the question is what is a phono preamp? Well, it is simply an outboard device that boosts the output of a turntable. This allows modern devices, like speakers, to play the music at a volume that adds accuracy and quality to each musical note.
You will find that turntables without a built-in preamp definitely require a preamp. Apart from this, you might also require it for ones that do have a preamp but need an additional boost with the available set-up. If you’re searching for one and are on a budget, we have reviewed one of the best units available today.
Pyle is a USA-based company founded in the 1960s that started as a producer of high-quality woofers. Following its speaker’s popularity in every household, it expanded its line into car audio, marine audio, home audio, and even professional musical instruments. This brand, overall, manufactures a wide range of high-quality, award-winning, and renowned products.
The Pyle Pro PP444 Phono Turntable Preamp has the following key features:
This preamp has a weight of 0.85 lbs., which makes it less bulky and easier to move around. With dimensions of 3.54 inches x 2.13 inches x 1.02 inches, you can quickly whip it out of your storage and connect it to your turntable.
Considering its price range, you can expect this device not to be as durable as the pricier versions. Even though it can hold well on its own, it is not indestructible.
Additionally, it does not come with rubber feet, which leads to scratches on any surface that you place it. Thus, make sure to place something beneath it to prevent any damage.
Preamp devices come with two types of cartridges: MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil). You can have either one of these in your device or both of them depending on the built. Pyle phono preamp uses only MM cartridge, which are the most common and popular ones with vinyl.
This cartridge provides a high voltage output and features two magnets for the stereo channels. Apart from this, they also feature replaceable stylus in the case where they get worn-out.
This PP444 device converts the regular studio instrument’s phono signals into a liner form. The preamp amplifies the strength of the audio signal and processes it to be picked up by the amplifier.
The state-of-the-art circuitry is well-versed with accommodating magnetic pickups with its high input sensitivity of 3mV at an impedance of 50K Ohms.
Although Pyle phono preamp has a very low price, it still performs outstandingly. It gives you ultra-low noise audio operation that boosts the signals to a level which is manageable by different audio equipment.
In return, this makes it easier to change the volume level from the recording source. To help this along, the preamp has an output of 2V max (P-P) at an impedance of 10K Ohms.
Do note that it is recommended to place the preamp near the source to avoid unwanted interference and noise.
This device connects any turntable to a modern instrument and amplifies the music. It does so without requiring any special phono input.
In addition to the RCA output, the PP444 has a ¼” phone jack output. However, make sure not to insert your headphone jack in this port to avoid the circuit from frying up.
When it comes to the receiver, it can be connected to any type of output audio device like computer, laptops, and speakers.
Another feature to look in a preamp is its gain. This is just a ratio of the phono signal’s power to the output audio’s volume. Since PP444 uses an MM-cartridge, it has a high gain of 80dB with a higher impedance range than an MC-cartridge. This device also has a frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 20 KHz with an error of +/-2dB.
In addition to all this, PP444 is built around a NE5532P op-amp chip from Texas Instrument. It has a reference voltage of 1V and a load impedance of 10K Ohms. Also, it comes with a handy 12V DC power adapter.
Despite being very cheap, this turntable preamp performs quite well, making it a good option for people looking for a budget option. The low built quality is a little expected, but the overall audio quality makes up for that. With an MM-cartridge and high load impedance, PP444 is a competition to all the pricier units.
Since there are multiple varieties of turntable preamps available in the market, it can be hard to opt for one. To help you get rid of your confusion, we have compared Pyle Pro Phono Turntable Preamp with TCC TC-754 Phono Preamp. Both have a frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 20 KHz but have few differences.
To begin with, Pyle Pro Preamp is more affordable as compared to the TCC unit. The latter can be said to be in the mid-range when it is compared to the more expensive ones.
Secondly, both the preamps have a compact design and are lightweight. However, Pyle PP444 is slightly more compact and less heavy than the TC-754.
Thirdly, both the turntable preamps have a high S/N ratio. Pyle Phono Turntable Preamp has a ratio of 80dB while the TCC TC-754 has a slightly high ratio of 85dB. Apart from this, the former includes a DC adapter while the latter comes with an AC one.
Everyone has seen how vinyl is making a comeback in this generation. With an increase in its sale and popularity, many people tend to look towards the more affordable options. The Pyle PP444 Turntable Preamp includes all the qualities of an expensive preamp at a very affordable price. All you need to do is to handle it with a little care.