In a message dated 3/13/05 3:44:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
Greetings, oh my brothers,
After listening to music by way of boomboxes and headphones for the
past few years, I decided to buy, finally, a decent am/fm stereo
receiver for my 50th birthday.  I got one at Radio Shack.  A
Sherwood RX-4103.  105 watts/channel RMS with .03% THD.  A receiver
like this would've cost four or five hundred bucks 25 years ago.  I
paid $100.  I hooked up my old but trusty JBL L100 speakers, my
cassette/CD player boombox, and my VCR and DVD players.  What a
sound, oh my brothers!  Clean..powerful...The more I increased the
volume, the better the sound!  Then I hooked up my good Pioneer
manual turntable to the AUX inputs.  (There aren't any phono inputs,
but I didn't think it would matter...Those of you in-the-know are
laughing now!!)  I put on a record, set the tone arm gently on the
beginning of the record....and got NOTHING, unless I turned the
volume all the way up.  Then I got a tinny, faraway sound... Dammit,
I wanted to hear the mating call of the adult male mudshark with
some VOLUME...I didn't panic...I went to Sherwood's website and
clicked the "questions and answers" link.  There, lo and behold, the
very first question was "Why won't my turntable work??" Sherwood's
answer was simple.  All I needed was a "phono pre-amplifier
available at most electronics shops for $20-$30." Hahahaha...Radio
Shack, Best Buy, and Circuit City don't have them and didn't even
know what they were.  I did a Google search for "phono pre-
amplifiers." hahaha...I found one as big as my receiver for 300
dollars...I found a few schematics....I found things that looked
like junk, and pre-amps for turntables with moving-coil cartridges,
which I don't have....LOL....Can any of you give me some advice or
information, oh my brothers??  I own over 300 record albums in
excellent condition, many of them imports...I'm sick and disgusted
and infuriated...I thank you in advance, oh me brothers...

very stoned regards, grey_hipster      
While I was reading about your problem, first thing I thought was "Ok, you need a preamp" but I guess you already know that. When I went shopping for a new turntable, both the Best Buy and Circuit City in my area had small preamps. Just little boxes with RCA in and out that you plug the turntable into if you have AUX inputs and not phono inputs.
Of course, what I did was get an Audio-Technica turntable that has an on/off switchable internal preamp.

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