How to Plug a Turntable Onto a Pioneer Receiver

By Everett Bradman

Like most modern receivers, Pioneer receivers -- from the budget VSX line to the upscale Elites -- have clearly marked red and white RCA female connections for turntables ("phono") on the back panel. If your turntable does not have a preamp, however, you may find that directly connecting the turntable to the Pioneer receiver, switching the inputs on the front panel or with the remote, and turning up the volume results in little, if any, sound. If this is the case, you'll need to purchase a phono preamp.

Things You'll Need

  • RCA cables
  • Phono preamp (optional)

Step 1

Make sure your Pioneer has analog phono inputs. Turn off the turntable and the Pioneer receiver. Connect one side of the RCA cables to the audio output of your turntable and the other side to your receiver. If your turntable has line-level outputs (a built-in phono preamp), connect it to the Pioneer's CD inputs instead.

Step 2

Purchase a phono preamp if you get little or no sound when you connect your turntable to the receiver. The voltage output of a turntable is much lower than that of devices such as CD players and tape decks. You'll have to amplify the output of your turntable to a level of about 150 millivolts (mVs) before it reaches the receiver, in which case you'll need a turntable or phono preamp. Get another set of RCA cables, too.

Step 3

Plug the preamp into an AC power outlet, connect the cables from the turntable to the preamp, and connect your new RCA cables from the preamp to the Pioneer. Set the phono preamp's gain at a low level, set your receiver's volume level low, and then power on the turntable and the Pioneer receiver. Play an LP; adjust both levels accordingly.