Audio Systems/turntable hookup


QUESTION: I recently purchased a turntable and, for space saving purposes, would like to connect it to my existing Samsung home theater surround sound through the DVD player that is part of the system. Am I able to do so without sacrificing sound quality? The turntable is Audio-Technica  and has a built-in pre-amp.

ANSWER: Sounds ok to me.  You didn't give the model numbers so I can't give you any specific advice.

Assuming the TT preamp has analog RCA outputs you will need a dvd player with analog inputs or perhaps the Samsung home theatre system has the right inputs.

For best sound performance you would want the TT playing into a high quality stereo system with good speakers.  You will have to be the judge of the sound quality from your home theatre but most home and surround sound systems are of mediocre sound perfection. That's my opinion!

Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for getting back. I had someone imply that this setup would negate the analog benefit of vinyl and translate to digital. The Audio-Technica does have analog RCA cables that go directly to the Samsung DVD/receiver and the sound is accessed through the AUX function. I would like to build a more appropriate stereo system at some point but also want to know I'm not wearing out my records for no reason in the interim.

ANSWER: A good pickup cartridge (mounted in the tonearm) with the tracking weight set properly will play many times without harming the surface of the LP.  A stylus set too light or too heavy can do long term damage to the recorded surface by chiseling away the high frequencies of the grooves.

Read your owners manual carefully on the setting technique.  If you want to do it experimentally here is the procedure to use:  On a recording that has lots of dynamic range in the music set the weight lighter until you hear distortion or breakup in the sound.  Then turn it heavier until there is no breakup or distortion sounds at all in any LP.  See how that goes.

And, of course, you must keep the surface of the disc clean and free of dust or dirt. Which is another story but I'll let you work on that one by yourself. There are lots of 'help' ideas online for care of vinyl lps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I do believe I have my tracking weight set properly per my owners manual.  However, the goal of my follow up question was more aimed toward confirming that my setup through the DVD/Surround Sound System was not creating a "digital" sound as opposed to the desired analog sound made available through vinyl.

All noted.  The reason I mentioned about the quality of your speakers and the stylus tracking is because with the quality of your system you probably could not hear any difference between analog and digital and especially if the signal was converted from analog to digital and back to analog in the amplifier; you would need much more sophisticated equipment for that.

Some audiophiles are distinguishing between analog and digital sound.  With tt in the system the big difference that analog LPs have lots of surface noise and much distortion due to the very nature of LP recordings.  Digitally generated master recordings are free of such background noises and less distortion.  For those who like the analog recordings I say enjoy.  But don't get confused about what is scientifically superior.  The reason digital audio has taken over the audio world is because it is better in so many ways.  Those who favor old analog recordings are accustomed to that type of sound and they cannot wrap their minds around something that doesn't have the characteristic deficiencies of TT reproduction.  Sorry, if that goes against your experience.  I have conducted many listening tests with golden eared audiophiles for such audio differences and I am quite certain that the vacuum tube and LP crowd are working in the subjective domain and not the objective domain of reality.  Let me know if you have questions about this end of the audio world.

The above is for your reading enjoyment.  

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Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.


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