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Is there any way to replace a preamp electronically? Answered

I have a record player and some records I want to convert to Mp3's but have no money to buy a preamp. Is there any way to change the settings on Audacity and avoid having to buy a preamp? Or is there any other program that allows you to change its settings and eliminate the preamp?


.  There are two part to a phono preamp - the signal preamp and a RIAA equalizer.
.  You can easily build your own signal preamp (Google "audio preamp" or "phono preamp"). You can't do this with software.
.  For RIAA equalization, you can find plug-ins for most audio apps or you can usually do an acceptable job with a multi-band equalizer. Google "RIAA curve" and/or "RIAA equalization" for more info. This can be done with hardware, if you can find a schematic.

Shortly after asking this question i found that the Beta version of Audacity has an equlization setting where you can set the curve to RIAA. I tried this and seemed to get a recording that sounded exactly like the original record. I was wondering if this was just because of my record player or did the setting change work? The record player is an old JCPenny model all-in-one (Radio, Phono, 8-Track, Karaoke). It also has output ports on the back that say; Tape Output, which are unaffected by any settings on my record player.

> I was wondering if this was just because of my record player
.  Yes, but most record players I've seen are like that.
.  The Tape Out signal has already been (pre)amplified and is what is called a "line level" signal. It is usually the signal after the internal preamp, but before the final amp. Often used with the Tape In input to add a tape player/recorder and/or equalizer to the system.

The preamp boosts the signal above the ambient noise on the soundcard's input, so as Lemonie points out, using a soft-preamp/RIAA scheme will likely be noiser than if you use a bit of hardware inbetween.

If you want a quality recording, I'd say no.

Record a song you want with audacity.  Then go in and play what you recorded.  Do you like it?  If not what is wrong with it?  Not loud enough?  Then click on "effect" then "amplify" to make louder.  Not enough bass click on "effect" then "bass".  Now how's that.

You can play with the settings until you get a nice sounding recording.  You should be able to record the rest of the albums and get very good recordings using the same method.

The signal is weak, if you crank-up the volumes on everything it'll sound louder, but very likely noisier. Have got a stereo anywhere that will take a Phono-input?