Ironically 20 years ago the only place I could buy a decent phono pre amp under $100 was radio shack. Now all they have is a turntable with a built in pre amp (unheard of 20 years ago). The one in the top left corner here looks like the exact same item they used to sell however.
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark D.
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 2:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Zappa-List] Off Topic Question to Audiophiles

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      
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