I've found an old low end turntable on a garage sale, and I was trying to get it to work with some of my LPs. It's an AKAI AP-M393, very low end and very basic.

I've realised I need a phono preamp to be able to use it, but I don't have any. I have, however, plugged it a guitar amp (which has an included preamp) and I do get sound from it, albeit nothing discernible, just a screeching high pitched noise, and it made me wonder if the turntable was not damaged.

So how exactly do I perform further testing? Can I even use the guitar preamp (I don't think it has RIAA equalization, or if the signal levels from a guitar pickup and a preamp are even comparable)? Or is the problem with the turntable belt/cartridge? Can I plug it to an input audio jack on a computer to do some testing?

  • without an RIAA preamp, all bets are off. – Tetsujin May 6 '15 at 15:29

Guitar amps have a different type of preamp than a phono preamp and it is not surprising that it is unlistenable. The guitar preamp cannot produce the sound of the record properly and from what I understand generally produces a 20db cut in the lows and a 20db boost in the highs, which could explain the screeching.

However, there are extremely affordable phono preamp boxes out there that would allow you to properly test. Perhaps this would work for you.

Example: http://www.amazon.com/PYLE-PRO-PP444-Compact-Turntable-Preamp/dp/B004HJ1TTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430925687&sr=8-1&keywords=phono+preamp

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