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Also, to further describe the sound, a 320kbps mp3 from my iphone plugged directly into the speakers sounds better much clearer than the same track on vinyl. I know it is not just bad pressings of the vinyl because I had a friend even bring one over to test. Thank you for the quick reply! I will look into that preamp.
It sounds like when you're bypassing the internal preamp, you don't have an external one between it and the A5+. So yeah, it's not going to be very loud, and it's not going to be RIAA equalized (in order to undo the equalization used when the LPs were pressed).
There are some fairly cheap but well regarded ones at the phonopreamps.com link, especially the TC-760 or 760LC. Here's a random thread about it I found just now:
And that'll cost you just under $80, which all things considered isn't bad. They also have other that serve as preamps/switchers for other components as well.
ED: Actually if you're not using a Moving Coil cartridge you could step down to the TC750 or 750LC for around $50, or go for the TC754, which has three stereo inputs in addition to the phono input, for around $80. I haven't actually tried these myself, but it'll likely fit the bill for you.