Sprout as volume control


i have a turntable setup that uses MC cartridge -> Cambridge audio cp2 preamp -> primaluna prologue four amp -> Svs bookshelf speakers. The only drawback is there is no volume control and the sound is LOUD. If I want to use my sprout in this instance to control volume, how would I set it up?

thanks in advance


You would use the analog input of Sprout fed from this setup. Then use Sprout as the final piece controlling volume to the speakers.

So the output of the prologue amp will feed into the sprout analog input, and the analog output of sprout would feed into the speaker. Is that how it would work?


There is only 1 analog input in sprout. there are 4 speaker wires coming out of the amp. Sorry for being silly here, but couldn’t figure out what cable to use.

thanks again


Oh, my mistake. I didn’t realize you have an amplifier in this chain. No, you can’t take the amp output and feed it into Sprout. Sorry.

The CP2 preamp output could go directly into Sprout’s analog input and you’d have the volume control you want. Then, use Sprout’s analog output to feed the Prima Luna amplifier. That should work. You’ll need some cable adapters as Sprout uses a stereo 3.5mm (headphone) plug on its input. So you need an RCA to 3.5mm connector for the input and the output. Get two of these:


Have fun.

Thank you. I’ll try that.


While the Sprout will work, have you considered getting a real preamp? Is vinyl your only source? If so you could buy a passive volume control, Schiit audio used to, may still make one that sold for around $60. Emotiva also made one.

That way you could use the Sprout in another room, just add speakers, and a computer source for streaming free, or better yet Tidal. A good way to audition lots of music, before buying the LP.

The Sprout is kind of a Swiss army knife kind of component. It does everything well, but like anything else in life the single right tool for the job, is usually going to work better.

As you seem to be on a budget, check out Schiit. And believe me, when I say I understand being on a budget, all of my gear was purchased a while ago. Right now I am trying to cut enough corners to buy two new tubes for my preamp, an under $100 purchase.

For the cost of quality adaptor cables for the Sprout, you can buy a proper, for the job, component from Schiit.

Thank you Jeff.

I already have a sprout that I did not want to go waste. As for a pre-amp I use the Cambridge CP2. I will check out the Schiit and Emotiva. I will expand to another room soon. I’ll probably exchange the sprout for the passive VC then.

Thanks for the tip.


Naveen, your Cambridge CP2 is a phono preamp. It is generally used between a line stage [referred to as a preamp]. The CP2 takes the phono cartridge’s tiny signal adds the necessary RIAA equalization, amplifies it enough to match the output level of other components like CD players, DACs, tuners, TVs.

The CP2s signal then would normally go to a preamp, an Integrated amp [includes both a preamp & amplifier], or a Receiver [includes a tuner, preamp, & amplifier]. These days it is not unusual for an integrated amp or Receiver to also include a DAC[digital to analog converter].

Think of a line stage, or a full function preamp as the control center of a stereo. PS Audio’s BHK Signature preamp is a very high end example of a line stage.

I get that you already have a Sprout, it will be compromise. I am not sure where you live, here in Milwaukee we have a couple of places where you can buy used gear, including speakers for very little. One is a second hand CD and record store, the other is a pàwn shop. Another place to look is Goodwill, I bought a pair of EPI 100, that I replaced the surrounds on. I used them in my little work shop for many years.

What I am trying to get across is that your CP2 is a phono preamp, not a preamp, also known as a line stage that acts as a control center including volume. And rather than mickey mouse the Sprout in, get a cheap pair of speakers for the Sprout, and a linestage or volume control for the main system. You will end up with two systems, both better optimized.

Thanks Jeff

I looked at the Schiit and looks like it will work well for what I need. Might go with that.

I live in San Jose. Will check out some local stores for the second zone.