Okay,people, I'm a newcomer to the rich sound of turntable music. I plugged my PST-22 Sony into my receiver (using the aux.inputs[prong type]),and I can hear the music, but just barely (I have to turn it up to 90% volume to hear it). The sound is there--it's not just hissing that I'm hearing. So what's the problem? Is it the needle? The cord/prongs? I know this is a "novice question", but I would appreciate anyone's wisdom on this matter. Thanks!
Phono cartridges need higher gain RIAA equalized ckts on the PHONO input. If you ain't got Phono input, you need an outside Phono Pre amp for RIAA and voltage gain. Since the cartridge only puts out a few mV.
To add to DUP's response, receivers or amplifiers had phono inputs for connecting a turntable (phonograph) in the days when turntables were used by most people. Modern receivers have for the most part ommitted this input, as most younger people have never seen a turntable or an LP record.
The phono cartridge (also called the "pickup") mounted in the tonearm is what holds the stylus ("needle"). The most common cartridges are crystal/ceramic or magnetic. Magnetic types are favored over ceramic/crystal types for better fidelity, and moving coil (magnetic) is favored over moving magnet (magnetic) types.
Records (LPs) are recorded with an RIAA pre-emphasis, where the treble is increased and the bass decreased, so that more music is recordable on the record. Otherwise the large bass wiggles in the groove would use up more disk real-estate.
However, the crystal/ceramic cartridges can have a high enough output to use the AUX input. The magnetic type is usually lower output voltage level requiring the use of a pre-amp, with the moving coil lower than the moving magnet types requiring a pre-pre-amp! Both types require RIAA equalization, which reverses the effect of the pre-emphasis recorded on the LP. This RIAA equalization is built into a phono input (low level signal) of a receiver, but not the AUX (higher level signal) input. As I understand it, the ceramic cartridge does not need RIAA equalization, but will require a higher downward force on the record, about 3-5 grams depending on the individual cartridge. A magnetic cartridge will require the equalization and a phono pre-amp, but will use a lower force (0.5 to 2 grams typical) , lessening the record wear.
Major source of record wear is playing dirty records or a worn stylus.