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A phono preamplifier, also known as a phono preamp, is a specialized type of preamplifier that is designed to amplify and equalize the low-level signal produced by a turntable's cartridge. Turntables produce a very low-level signal, typically in the range of a few millivolts, which is much lower than the signal produced by other audio sources such as CD players or digital music players. In addition, the signal produced by a turntable is equalized in a specific way to compensate for the physical characteristics of vinyl records, such as the RIAA curve.

A phono preamp is necessary to boost the low-level signal produced by the turntable's cartridge and to apply the appropriate equalization to the signal before it is sent to a power amplifier. Without a phono preamp, the turntable's signal would be too weak and would sound dull and lifeless.

Phono preamps can be designed for different types of turntable cartridges, such as moving magnet ( MM ) or moving coil ( MC ), and can range in complexity and quality depending on the intended use and the level of performance required. High-end phono preamps may include advanced features such as balanced inputs and outputs, low-noise circuitry, and adjustable gain and loading settings.