I had the same problem recently and got the same clueslessness at Radio 
Shack. The solution, my brother? Ebay. Thirty bucks. Had it in a week. 
The seller I used also sends links to a handful of places to get the 
necessary software to burn LPs to CD or to put on your hard drive. I 
haven't followed up on that but my turntable works fine.

Michael wrote:

>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       
>For further Z-related fun, please visit http://www.thebignote.com or 
>http://www.killuglyradio.com , thank you. 
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