Hello! I've been browsing this site (and others) and you guys seem to answer these types of questions all the time. Thank you for already teaching me a great deal.
Yet I am on information overload, so while I apologize for the repetition, I wonder if I could give you all of my specific information and you could give me some specific advice.
Assume I can't afford to put any real money into this right now. So I'm hoping my next purchase decision can be my last purchase decision, it won't be expensive, and everything will work perfectly.
My dad distributed his vinyl collection amongst family members over the weekend, and I acquired about 100 records. The plan was for me to also acquire his turntable to use at home. To test that his 1,000 year old turntable worked, we plugged it into his 1,000 year old amp, and it worked fine. It actually sounded great on his 1,000 year old Realistic speakers. When I got it home, I plugged its RCA cables into the PHONO input of my new receiver/amp (and connected the ground), and the records are playing VERY softly. If I turn it up all the way I can hear it, but it sounds terrible.
So I did the Googling and learned that I might possibly need a phono preamp, which seems odd because my receiver is new and it should already be amplifying it. Google also told me that I might need a Moving Magnet cartridge instead of Moving Coil.
I have this Onkyo TX-8220 2 Channel Stereo Receiver with Bluetooth:https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8220-Ch ... op?ie=UTF8
I consulted the manual, which says that it will work with turntables that have an MM-type cartridge.
The record player is this:
Dual CS 505-1
The cartridge is this:
Ortofon VMS 5E Mk II
Needless to say, I wasn't aware that the type of cartridge would affect whether it would work with my amp. I am having a hard time figuring out if this cartridge is MM or not, but I'm kind of guessing it's a Coil, for reasons I can't remember. (Apart from the fact that I can't hear anything with it.)
So I have a few options:
1) If this is a Coil, I could just buy a Magnet. Or can I? Can my turntable just take any ol' kind of cartridge? And also... it turns out cartridges are expensive! This foray into playing all my dad's records for years on end was supposed to be a completely free venture. So... is it coil, and can I replace it with magnet for cheap? (I also of course do not want a piece of junk.)
2) Do I need a preamp?
3) My dad isn't dead or anything, so I could return his record player to him, and buy my own. Again, NOT wanting to spend a ton of money on this. The turntables I'm looking at, since I am a middle aged person trying to relive my youth, are those nice looking "vintage" style, with features I don't need but might be cool, like mp3 conversion, and all of which seem to have ceramic cartridges. Wait... CERAMIC cartridges? Now you're just messing with me. Are CERAMIC also MM? As in, will they work with my amp?
Let's say, for example, that I'm looking at this turntable:https://www.amazon.com/1byone-Bluetooth ... ord+player
Link to manual:https://db8opuyup9tf4.cloudfront.net/pu ... A-0002.pdf
I haven't even found where it says what kind of cartridge it comes with. Honestly I'm surprised that every turntable description doesn't tell you up front and center what kind of cartridge it has/accepts. How else do n00bs like me get anything done? Besides bother you guys all the time? I don't recall having to know any of this stuff back in the day that I actually bought and played records.
TL;DR: My record player is TOO SOFT with my amp, even when plugged into the PHONO input. Do I need a new MM cartridge, do I need a preamp, or should I get a new record player altogether (which in many cases seems cheaper than a cartridge), or do you have another suggestion?