If your turntable doesn't have a built-in preamp (as many older ones don't), you'll need something like this unless your receiver has a phonograph input (which many newer ones don't). You can spend thousands of dollars on a phono preamp, but you don't have to. Those are for audiophiles, who are a strange and contentious crowd. Unless you've also spent thousands each on your receiver and speakers, you probably won't notice too much difference between those and something less expensive. And let's be frank, a preamp's function is simply to boost the phono signal up to line level without changing it. If you want to shape the sound in some way, you do that elsewhere.
My turntable does have a preamp inside, but I wanted something that would give me cleaner sound than the stock hardware. This does the job admirably. It's dead simple to hook up--plug your turntable into the preamp's input, and then plug the preamp's output into your receiver. Plug the preamp's AC adapter into the wall outlet and you're good to go. If your turntable has a ground wire, you'll want to attach that to the 12V GND terminal on the preamp to avoid having a buzz in the audio signal. YES, the most recent iteration of this preamp DOES have a ground terminal, which includes a handy thumbscrew for ease of operation! If you get an older one without the terminal, you can loosen one of the case screws and secure the ground wire under that.
So the price is right, the performance is good, and setup is a breeze. Pyle also gives you a 1-year warranty if you register the product, and I think that if it makes it to the 1-year mark, it's unlikely to fail for at least several more years after that. But do you know what I think the best part is? There's no power LED! A lot of the cheaper, pocket-sized products like this tend to have a blindingly bright LED that's on at all times, presumably to add perceived value. Most reviewers seem to agree with me that it's nothing more than an annoyance. Especially on hardware that can't be turned off without unplugging it, when something is supposed to be as low-key as a preamp, it shouldn't have bright lights shining out of it. If I had to, I'd be willing to spend MORE for a preamp without a power LED... kudos to Pyle for not wasting their money and ours on such frivolity.
All in all, if you just need something to hook up your turntable and you can't see spending a boatload of cash on a solution, this is a great product for you!