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I was recently gifted an Audio Technica LP120 turntable. From what I'm reading, if you have powered speakers, you do not need a receiver and a preamp is already built into the turntable.

SO, my question is:

what is the bare minimum equipment I need to use this turntable? As in, am I right in thinking I just need to buy powered speakers and I'm good to go? (I obviously know this won't produce as great a sound as if I had all of these other things, but I'm on a very tight budget and would like to be able to spin my records while saving up for better equipment). And what speakers would be good as an inexpensive stepping stone while I invest in better ones?

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 most commonly recommended budget powered speaker is (Audio Engine A2).  However, at $200, they are above your stated budget.

 

I have a pair of Cerwin Vega XD3  that I used to use for PC speakers.  they sounded ok for my purposes, and come in around your budget but I cannot say that I specifically recommend them.

 

I am sure that others will chime in with a few more (probably better) suggestions.

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would something like these speakers work?

 

 http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Surround-Sound-Speakers-Z506/dp/B003VAK1FA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1390003158&sr=8-4&keywords=logitech+speakers

 

I'm really trying to understand what would/wouldn't work with this turntable. I'm pretty new to the vinyl collecting thing.

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basically any set of powered speakers will "work" but you will generally get worse results with a setup like that than a straight stereo configuration.

 

The thing to understand about stereo is that there are 2 channels.  Right and Left.  A surround type setup can split that 2 channel signal 5/7/9 ways but there is no point.  You're just blowing extra money on extra cheap plastic.

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basically any set of powered speakers will "work" but you will generally get worse results with a setup like that than a straight stereo configuration.

 

The thing to understand about stereo is that there are 2 channels.  Right and Left.  A surround type setup can split that 2 channel signal 5/7/9 ways but there is no point.  You're just blowing extra money on extra cheap plastic.

Also the inbuilt preamp in the turntable is it's weak link, as a turntable it's pretty good for the money but the internal preamp is piss poor.

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What would you recommend I get to solve this?

Run the turntable with the on-board preamp switched out and get a 2nd hand integrated amp and passive speakers where the amp has a built in phono preamp, there are plenty about on ebay or in craigslist in your budget and anything half decent from the 70's or 80's provided it's working properly will sound ok. And by half decent I mean preferably made in Japan not Taiwan and heavy, so Pioneer, Marantz, Technics, Yamaha, Rotel, Akai etc. etc.

 

Or there are a few budget phono preamps that have been spoken about in threads that people have had good results with, and once you have a stand alone phono pre you can either use it to drive a pair of powered speakers or drive into a more modern integrated amplifier that doesn't come with a built in phono pre.

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