Almost every audiophile has a record player, a turntable receiver, and speakers as the components of his/her acoustic system because most of the digital formats need sound improvement. With the help of a receiver for a record player, there is a possibility to get a warmer sound with a wider analog audio’s dynamic range.
However, how to choose the best receiver for a turntable in order to boost the sound? Read the following reviews of receivers and amps with or without phono input.
Receiver for turntable Reviews
Receivers with Phono Input
Sony STRDH190 — Best Receiver for Turntable
The Sony STRDH190 combines enough features, power, and quality to set a great audio system with the aid of 2 classic stereo speakers with powerful directional bass.
Besides Bluetooth, a wired connection is also possible and implies male/male 3.5mm cable plugged in the port of the mobile device and the input “Portable” on the front panel of the receiver.
The unit’s isolated phono input gives the perfect distortion-free sound to the record players. The phono preamp is very sensitive and is located opposite the power transformer to prevent interferences. The grounding wire is in the box and it is tightened well enough to prevent phono buzzing.
This AV is compatible with all types of turntables, including the old-fashioned models that’s why it has all chances to become the best receiver for turntables. It has 4 analog inputs and 1 stereo output to be connected to 4 speakers and 1 record player. It can boast A/B switching to play content in separate zones or all at once. That is enough to produce high-quality sound with great amplification and damping the background noises.
- Plenty of air ventilation slots prevent the device from overheating.
- Legible LCD display with adjustable brightness.
- No AM tuner for listening to the AM stations.
- No subwoofer outputs and no opportunity to enhance the low frequency.
If you’re looking for a solid model able to handle both stereo and home theater systems, the AVR-X6500H is the first candidate to check. This high-end AVR can scare an inexperienced user with its heavily cluttered back panel. Still, only a few competitors can match its versatility.
The receiver has eleven speaker channels and two subwoofer ones, creating the multidirectional 3D sound. Its premium components support the high capacity of 140W per channel ensuring the high clarity and strength of the sound. This lets reveal the full depth and variations of the analog signal of your turntable. The frequency range makes 20Hz – 20KHz at 8-Ohm impedance. The lows are deep and solid, the highs are airy, and mids feature a lot of volume and character.
This unit is equipped with the preamp and the dedicated Phono input. The preamp works flawlessly ensuring immediate signal transmission. The amplification scheme is built to prevent any interference and provide the transparent analog sound. The performance is well-balanced non-depending on the number of speakers engaged.
For the turntable lovers who also appreciate the digital surround sound, the receiver supports the DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, and Auro-3D formats. Its video support is also worth mentioning including native 4K with upscaling option, 3D, and the IMAX enhanced mode. There are numerous music- and video content streaming apps, as well as the professional wireless support making the device a future proof model.
- On-screen assistant and Audyssey MultEQ XT32 make the setup and calibration quick and efficient.
- Features HEOS Multiroom and HEOS wireless speaker technology for passing the music to different zones and locations around the house.
- Minimalist front panel design with a well-readable display and large knobs.
- The remote looks and feels like the one for the cheaper models, being not durable.
- Gets warm quickly.
Solid build, simple controls, high power capacity, and enhanced wireless functions make this model fit both analog and digital sources. Still, it seems to be focused more on digital playback, with its seventeen built-in DSP programs. Anyhow, the high source fidelity makes it a good option for the turntable-based analog sound.
The maximum output of this model makes 150W per channel, while the average one isn’t small either — it equals 90W per speaker. The preamp and amp sections ensure the quick connection of the turntable via the dedicated input and quality signal amplification, with minimum losses. At the stereo mode and the standard frequency range of 20 – 20,000Hz, this unit provides very low to zero distortion (THD equals 0.06%).
Connected to the vinyl record player, the RX-V683BL doesn’t require special setup and produces the concentrated and powerful sound right away. The highs are confident and non-shrilling up to the extreme limits, mids are wide and spacious creating the open soundstage. Lows are solid and non-boomy, with the well-traceable main sound line. The high power per channel ratio opens up the multiple harmonic nuances that belong to the analog sound.
Equipped with the MusicCast technology, this receiver with phono input for turntable provides the playback in zone two and connects up to nine rooms. The diverse functionality lets unify the playback and play the vinyl sound in all of your rooms (via the Main Zone Sync function) or secure it for a single zone with the digital sources being handled for other setups.
- Enhanced control for Zone 2 including the volume regulation and boosting the bass.
- Quick and comprehensive smartphone control via the dedicated app.
- Supports Alexa voice commands through the connected Alexa dongle.
- The remote buttons are stiff and have poor response.
- No printed manual is supported.
This receiver can deliver pure and distortion-free sound with the aid of straightforward and intuitive control due to buttons on its panel. It comes with the button for volume calibration and tuning the AM/FM radio, for balance and bass/treble control. There are no HDMI inputs on the rear panel but just a headphone jack and A/B speaker toggle. However, it is possible to connect it to the CD player, TV (with an additional digital adapter), and other widespread sources. The simple remote provides convenient navigation activating the on-screen menu.
The TX-8020 delivers great experience while listening to vinyl without any sonic issues. Besides, it comes with a phono input that is not common for such low-cost receivers. It doesn’t distort sound while streaming music from CDs, even when listening to heavy metal. The tonal quality will be perfect with a pair of high-quality speakers.
- The sound is loud enough and it has a bass enhancement to dispense with a sub, but the amp still had a sub output giving freedom to choose.
- No USB connectivity.
- No Bluetooth for wireless streaming.
It is a straightforward and solid 2-channel unit with 2 analog inputs and a built-in RDS tuner. The lack of digital input is offset by Bluetooth. The stereo receiver’s durable construction is based on bipolar transistors, large linear power transformer, high-quality capacitors, resistors, and other parts. Its integrated amp delivers detailed, clean, and powerful sound without any artificial notes. Moreover, it is well balanced. The sound is clear and loud enough in each room. Besides, the A/B switch allows running one set of speakers at a time.
It can be chosen as decent receiver for record player due to its phono stage that is more than subpar, but there are some drawbacks mentioned below.
- AM/FM with a noise-reduction filter for clear sound.
- No hiss when turning the volume up high.
- No opportunity to connect a subwoofer but adding powerful speakers will solve this problem.
- No HDMIs that makes it possible to use the receiver for stereo only.
Representing diverse digital functionality including the premium surround sound and video formats support, this model has the built-in turntable preamp and can connect the vinyl player right away.
The 125W per channel isn’t the maximum capacity rate provided at 1KHz range, but the solid support for each speaker within the 20Hz – 20KHz range. The THD number makes 0.05% at 8 Ohms, while the discrete circuit design and low-impedance compatibility let connect the speakers with fewer Ohms. The sound flows with ease, being dynamic and balanced, with solid mids, gurgling lows, and open highs. The receiver doesn’t add any coloration representing the signal in full and indeed, it is a good receiver for a turntable.
The HEOS support lets you bring the vinyl sound to other rooms or diversify the zones’ playback. The multiroom functionality is controlled via the special app while the AVR-X4500H provides full Alexa support and can be managed via voice commands. The built-in streaming apps (Tidal, TuneIn, Spotify, etc.) let stream the music to various acoustic setups including the maximum 9.2-channel one. The AVR creates a deep and concentrated soundstage in the surround sound formats of Dolby Atmos, DTS:Neural, DTS:X, Auro-3D.
The setup of the system is quite simple due to the Audyssey calibration technology. It features a sensitive mic with multi-level distance measurement and provides the precise speaker calibration. This unit matches the high standards applied both for the 3D sound AVR and the receiver for a record player, with the high transparency and power of the sound signal.
- Built-in Amazon Music HD functionality lets playback the old-type analog music content in high (remastered) quality.
- Bluetooth functionality lets control the receiver from a smartphone and connect wireless speakers.
- Fast switching between the sources, no playback delay.
- A quick start guide isn’t too informative on equalization.
- Old Bluetooth version.
Another device on the list with multiple connections, this model has a lot of benefits as a stereo receiver with phono input. It has good amplification, discrete circuit schemes, and can be controlled via multiple devices. At the same time, its home theater functionality is versatile and lets playback the premium surround sound and enhanced 4K video, as well as connect numerous sources via the enhanced HDCP protocol (2.3 version). The receiver also features the Imax Enhanced mode influencing both sound and picture and accentuating the space and three-dimensional character of both.
The AVR is equipped with the voice command functionality via the Alexa device providing next to complete control over its operation. You can change the LP on your turntable and then just ask the AVR-X3600H for starting the playback. You can also regulate the volume and switch between the multiple inputs this receiver supports.
Each channel in this 9.2-receiver is driven with 105W power providing a high-fidelity sound from any source, making it a worthy option for a record player. The sound flows unrestricted, with full representation of frequencies and harmonics, and a lot of detail, especially in the middle range of frequencies. Within the 20 – 20,000Hz scope, the lows feel very solid with a deep bass, and the highs are a bit intense but rich. The overall sound is saturated with good dynamics and attack.
- Denon Setup Assistant features simple steps and lets perform the setup within a few minutes.
- The color-coded ports with inscriptions make it easier to connect the device correctly.
- Solidly built, with thick casing and feet, premium inner parts.
- The Audyssey setup settings aren’t memorized for each setup used.
- The integrated amp can’t be turned off when you hook up the external one for 5 channels.
It’s a budget receiver with 2 knobs and 9 buttons on the metal front panel. You can connect the players through phono input without any additional amplifier. In the latter case, the sound is sharper and more open. It provides proper timbre for electric bass, acoustic guitar, and saxophone. The device can deliver not very loud sound to let us listen to the music without booming sound and it has enough power to work with small loudspeakers. When using this receiver for a record player, you can enjoy vinyl via headphones.
The R-N303BL allows making a wireless connection via either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. All setups are very easy – just plug in cords connected to the speakers and sources. This model has a MusicCast app to turn on/off the receiver and to play audio from both streaming channels and mobile devices.
- Compatibility with a diversity of streaming services (Deezer, Spotify, Napster, TIDAL, etc.).
- Stable and flawless AirPlay connection among all the Apple products with this stereo receiver.
- No USB port on the front panel.
- Doesn’t connect to subwoofers.
While searching for the best receiver for vinyl, consider this model that is developed for clear and flexible sound performance. The unit’s 2 terminals allow connecting 4 speakers. It’s recommended to enhance bass for the sub and the required output allows this connection. The lack of possibility to set the crossover frequency when a sub is connected is not a great deal because one can set up the frequency from a Mono-sub.
The TX-8140 connects the TV via optical or coaxial cables and the direct connection with the Internet provides streaming from musical services. Besides, there is a possibility to connect a flash drive.
- It is possible to adjust the input source levels of sound to your liking without changing the volume level.
- Good FM sensitivity with a decent antenna.
- Bluetooth has a range of 49 feet.
- The frequency range could be extended with the aid of the desirable customizable equalizer.
- It doesn’t transmit but only receives from Bluetooth.
- No direct Internet radio station streaming.
Receivers without Phono Input
Yamaha R-S202BL — Best Stereo Receiver for Vinyl
The R-S202BL features advanced circuitry design, high power, easy control, and connections versatility. However, the volume response is uneven causing the sound to be a low-level up to the “50” point. This might be a trouble for some users, though the device has the “volume startup” functionality that allows you to set the starting volume at any time.
The simple design of this AV-receiver is intuitive and discloses the versatile functionality. The front panel features the headphones input, speaker activation buttons, EQ controls, inputs switching buttons, mode controls, and the large volume knob. The LCD display shows the input used and the main information on the source / mode. It doesn’t have the HDMI connections but supports the AM / FM inputs, the CD player ports, Line In connections, and dedicated speaker ports.
The receiver offers 40 presets for AM / FM preferences, and has the built-in Bluetooth. The latter can be used for music streaming and hooking up the voice command functionality.
The external phono preamp or the RCA cables of the built-in turntable preamp can be plugged into any of the four connection sets on this AVR sparing you the time and effort of unplugging other devices or switching the cables all the time.
The power rating of this model makes 100W per channel. The inner design of the power transformer sitting next to the amp circuit enables solid power peaks resulting in the rich and dynamic sound with the even frequency response throughout the range.
- A single connection for signal grounding and power supply ensures the high signal-to-noise ratio of 71dB/70dB.
- The integrated speaker selector lets switch between the speakers quickly.
- Minimalist and informative remote with the different buttons / zoning design, intuitive to use.
- Accepts 8-Ohm speakers only.
- No Bluetooth headphones support.
High power and pure sound, automatic speaker calibration, four sets of RCA connections let call this model the best receiver for turntables. Still, it should be noted that the declared power of 145W per channel stands for 6-Ohm impedance and 1KHz frequency, while the actual power rating is lower (though over 100W).
The analog sound passed through the receiver is confident and balanced throughout the frequency range. There are no cutouts or leaps, the response is even and smooth, and the soundstage is spacious and has good depth. The lows fill the air immediately, mids are very detailed and solid, and the highs are light and diverse. The impedance of this unit is stated as 6 – 16 Ohms while it works well through the 4-Ohm speakers as well. The dynamic and attack of the sound aren’t aggressive but quite sharp, with the well-heard transitions. The speaker switch lets connect the vinyl record player and other analog systems and shift between them quickly.
The STR-DH590 is the 5.2-channel model able to handle the surround sound setup. The S Force Pro technology lets play the three-dimensional sound via the two-speaker set. The receiver also features the optical and coaxial outputs, four HDMI inputs, and a single output with the HDCP 2.2 protection. The HDMI out is equipped with the ARC functionality. The video formats include UHD and HDR10 support. The Bluetooth functionality lets stream the music and video files via the receiver but doesn’t support wireless headphones or speakers playback.
- Solid build quality and diverse front controls panel.
- D.C.A.C. calibration analyzes the speakers efficiently and sets the levels with accuracy.
- Bluetooth Standby option lets activate the AVR through the smartphone app.
- No separate EQ settings available, preset modes only.
- The display is rather dim and small.
Packed with features, this 7.2-channel receiver makes a versatile home theater and acoustic system. The features include the virtual speakers’ technology, smart auto calibration, surround sound and UHD format support, multiple connections. For the turntable playback, it offers the premium-build components, high power ratio per channel, and clear noise-free sound.
The circuit board installed within the device is made of glass epoxy to ensure high stability. The rigid chassis and reinforced frame also damp the vibration caused by the speaker’s pressure. This enables the signal to flow without interference and provides the high-fidelity output. With the high-quality power transformer having a total capacity of 1015W, this unit makes one of the optimal amps for vinyl record players.
The solid construction ensures a strong sound signal output. The latter is well balanced, smooth, and non-colored, with detailed harmonics and even frequency response. Mids have a lot of space and character, with multiple accents and smooth transitions into both lower and higher range. Lows are rock solid, feature a lot of depth and detail. Highs stay clear throughout the range, with a distinct voice line. The dynamics is agile and natural, with the well-measured punch and roll-off.
The other benefits of this AVR include the 4K passthrough with HLG and Dolby Vision support, eARC, HDCP 2.2-compliant HDMI ports, the DTS:X and Dolby Atmos surround sound support, and the S-Force Pro technology.
- Additional noise reduction with the Pure Direct functionality.
- Informative on-screen menu (shows information about connected sources and speakers).
- The heat sink features the fins of the specific design that let in more air and provide the enhanced cooling down of the device.
- The HDMI connection can sometimes get lost when switching to RCA inputs.
- The front panel buttons are too small.
The unit sounds incredible delivering natural, expressive, and detailed sound followed by impressive surround sound effects. Its dynamic control let it change shifts according to certain moments (quiet scenes or explosions) and music genres. Its bass is deep and textured, and high frequencies are balanced and real. While listening to music, each instrument can be identified. All of these sound features are possible after plugging in the set-up mic and running the calibration.
The model comes with 6 HDMI inputs and all of them meet the HDCP 2.2 requirements to stream 4K HDR content. It allows for arranging multi-room systems and enhancing audio quality through BD/DVD and CD/SACD inputs. The receiver supports Chromecast but for audio only.
Bluetooth output gives clear sound and it is easy to use by pressing a remote button. The receiver can both deliver and accept Bluetooth signals with easy toggling between them.
- Real and balanced high frequencies without losing quality while getting louder.
- Atmos format works great paired even with the old speakers saving money on new equipment.
- It has incompatible ARC settings with some TV models.
- It is not well-ventilated that leads to overheating.
Amplifiers with Phono Input
Denon PMA-600NE — Best Amplifier For Turntable
This stereo integrated amplifier for record player is tailor-made for the analog sound playback. Its separate circuit routes and high amplification at low impedance (70W per channel at 4 Ohms) provide a detailed and clear sound with high authenticity and little to zero interference. At the same time, this solid phonograph amp features a diverse connectivity panel with multiple RCA and digital connection types, as well as Bluetooth functionality.
The RCA connections on this amp make five audio input sets, the audio out one, and the pre-out for a subwoofer. The digital connectivity is represented with the single coaxial port and two optical ones for the incoming signal. Bluetooth connection is regulated via the special button of the front panel.
The amplifying audio part contains the divided circuitry for analog, digital, and Bluetooth signal and the ability to deactivate the latter two (through the “Analog mode” button). The amplification board is made of vibration-resistant material and has the solid chassis. This provides high stability of the analog signal and the lowest level of interference to the sound.
The PMA-600NE also offers the feature present in a few amps — the MM phono equalizer. The latter has the simple straightforward construction enabling the unrestricted high current and providing the utmost clarity of the sound transmitted from the MM-cartridge equipped turntables. It’s probably the best amplifier for vinyl producing a wide soundstage with high depth and precise imaging, high transparency of sound on all frequency levels and punchy overall dynamics. Still, it lacks the automatic standby mode and other comfort features of the more expensive amplifiers.
- The AHC technology provides the pure amplification and additional clarity of the signal.
- Separate phono inputs and the signal ground post.
- Responsive and sturdy EQ knobs on the front panel let tune the output precisely.
- Volume control via the remote has poor response and uneven level increase.
- No onboard display / level indicator for regulated parameters.
The first eye-catching thing is a sturdy metal chassis and Digital-to-Analog Converter to turn digital audio content into an analog one that can be delivered to a headphone amp. The USB input is also a great feature for easy connection to laptops that is much faster than using an optical input and adapter. However, those 2 units are required when connecting a mobile device (the amp has no 3.5mm jack).
By having 40W per each channel with 8 Ohms, and 55W — per 4 Ohms, it can boast high-quality analog streaming when plugging the turntable into the MM phono stage. As a result, a well-articulated and smooth sound with rhythmic drum beats and soothing vocals at every volume are produced.
- It has the Source Direct feature which can automatically choose the shortest possible signal path.
- Low heat and power consumption.
- Lacks digital inputs.
- No Bluetooth for wireless connections.
Amplifier vs. Receiver
Both the stereo receiver for turntable and the amplifier claim to figure out the right configuration for the audio system.
The best receiver for vinyl includes a high-quality tuner, preamplifier, and amplifier.
The receivers are divided into AVRs and stereos. The AVR models have from 2 to 11 channels to make the sound surround (one channel is intended for one loudspeaker) and several HDMI inputs and outputs to watch TV without turning on the whole system. Stereo models have no HDMIs and only two channels, but they are also among the best receivers for turntables that can amplify, adjust volume, and have a built-in radio section. However, a switch box is required to connect them to other video outputs.
In turn, opting for the best amplifier for a turntable, bear in mind that it is a separate solution to make the low-voltage signal from a source strong enough to power the loudspeakers. The amplitude enhancing is their basic function while AVR and stereo receivers deliver more effects to the sound. The amps are easy to upgrade via replacing the preamp and they help create a listening room that meets one’s music tastes.
Before choosing the best receiver for turntable or a credible amp, note that there are some receivers with phono input having phono inputs to be connected directly to the turntable, and some models without phono inputs requiring an external phono preamp to connect the receiver and the record player.
The phono preamp is an electronic chip to provide the correct amplification to the sound delivering from the cartridge and then to send it to the power amp or audio system input. Sometimes, the phono preamp is built into a turntable that allows choosing any receiver, whether it has phono input or not.
There are MM and MC phono preamps that fit MM or MC cartridges respectively, but some models have both MM and MC capability.
How to Connect a Turntable and a Receiver Correctly?
It is not a big deal if you know where a phono preamp (phono stage) is located. It is usually placed inside a receiver, a turntable, or it is a separate unit. Note that a phono stage as an external component is always pertinent and can be useful to upgrade the system and to enhance the sound quality.
How to Connect Turntable with Built-in Phono Preamp to Receiver?
First, don’t forget to switch off the power to all the devices before their hooking. Then place a turntable next to the receiver taking into account the type of surface (shelf, desk, etc.) to provide minimal vibrations and shaking.
The next step is simple – just connect the turntable’s audio signal cable with the receiver’s analog audio inputs. Those inputs can have diverse marking – auxiliary (AUX), Analog, or Line. Tape or CD inputs are also appropriate ones for this type of connection.
Connection between Turntable and AVR with Phono Stages
In this case, connecting the turntable right to the receiver’s auxiliary inputs is required. Be careful and look for receiver phono input. The wireless connection is also possible if both the turntable and the receiver come with Bluetooth.