Looking for hifi audio help... plunge into vinyl

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,813
Turntable has a built in pre-amp, and I've set it to the right setting to connect to my mini-amp (not a receiver). I doubt that's the issue, but who knows.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,813
New records came today. They sound much better but there’s still a faint crackle/static there. I can’t tell if it’s just the norm for vinyl (which I know isn’t perfect sound) or if something isn’t right. The fact that it varies by record makes me think it’s just normal and due to dust/dirt but I’m second guessing everything at this point.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
26,559
right here
I know nothing about nothing but if you played a bunch of old/dirty/whatever records is it worth trying a new needle?
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,813
I know nothing about nothing but if you played a bunch of old/dirty/whatever records is it worth trying a new needle?
Well it’s a brand new cartridge and needle, and I’ve only played 3-4 hours of music on it total so I’m hoping that wasn’t the root cause.
 

nomarshaus

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Dec 16, 2002
906
DTR
Thinking of getting a turntable and speakers for the fam for xmas, have several vinyl records, and more from my dad's old collection for him to send over. Any advice? not a huge audiophile, but i like good music. also have 3 kids - 10, 7 and 5, so super expensive it's out the picture for a while. but i'd like a good solid turntable, receiver and wired speakers. Maybe $1000 budget? Thoughts?
 

Bergs

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Jul 22, 2005
18,677
Thinking of getting a turntable and speakers for the fam for xmas, have several vinyl records, and more from my dad's old collection for him to send over. Any advice? not a huge audiophile, but i like good music. also have 3 kids - 10, 7 and 5, so super expensive it's out the picture for a while. but i'd like a good solid turntable, receiver and wired speakers. Maybe $1000 budget? Thoughts?
Size of room? Any newer technology you want hooked up? Appetite for going used via local marketplace?
 

nomarshaus

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Dec 16, 2002
906
DTR
Size of room? Any newer technology you want hooked up? Appetite for going used via local marketplace?
About 25x20 with 9 foot ceilings. I think it would be stand alone at this point. Sure, used would be fine with me.
 
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Bergs

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Jul 22, 2005
18,677
How are the acoustics in the room? Echoey? Boxey?

I'm asking this stuff because my low budget recommendation usually involves an entry-level pro-ject turntable ($200), some decent bookshelf speakers ($400), a used powered sub ($100), and an underrated 90's receiver like a Nakamichi AV-2.

Beauty of that is that there is no waste. You are not over-invested anywhere, and you can upgrade as you see fit.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,813
About 25x20 with 9 foot ceilings. I think it would be stand alone at this point. Sure, used would be fine with me.
Also I went through this about 1.5 years ago. I got a medium range turntable, a pre amp and some bookshelf speakers. It was a perfect setup for what I wanted and probably cost me less than $500 total. I can send over the exact details of what I ordered if you want.

If you get active/powered speakers you won’t need the pre-amp.
 

bigq

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Jul 15, 2005
9,044
The price tag was shocking and beyond that it’s remarkable that it weighs 176 pounds. The power supply is 58 pounds by itself. The tungsten alloy counterbalance is another factor. Tungsten alloys have high density. I never would have guessed that a 21”x16” record player could cost or weigh so much.
 

FullaPoloni

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Jul 15, 2005
172
South Shore, MA
The price tag was shocking and beyond that it’s remarkable that it weighs 176 pounds. The power supply is 58 pounds by itself. The tungsten alloy counterbalance is another factor. Tungsten alloys have high density. I never would have guessed that a 21”x16” record player could cost or weigh so much.
I'd imagine that anyone buying one of those would grab a couple of these cartridges https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/84470/Koetsu-Rhodonite_Cartridge_with_Diamond_Cantilever_Upgrade-Low_Output_Cartridges

The marginal at best upgrade in sound quality can't possibly be worth these kinds of investments
 

nomarshaus

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Dec 16, 2002
906
DTR
Also I went through this about 1.5 years ago. I got a medium range turntable, a pre amp and some bookshelf speakers. It was a perfect setup for what I wanted and probably cost me less than $500 total. I can send over the exact details of what I ordered if you want.

If you get active/powered speakers you won’t need the pre-amp.
That sounds perfect, I'd appreciate the specs!
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
3,537
SF, CA
For whatever it's worth, that K2020 is an integrated amp, not a pre-amp. (i.e. it has both pre-amp functions like volume/source select and amplification)

A plain pre-amp has no amplification, just source-select/volume control (plus maybe a phono stage), and needs to be paired with a separate amp. Mostly making the distinction so you can cross-shop for other integrated amps if you want (something like the NAD C316BEE V2 is a classic integrated amp, but it's ~$450).

It's also important to note that the turntable TFP mentioned seems to have an integrated phono stage (sometimes called a phono pre-amp). Other turntables you investigate might not, and then you need a phono stage in your integrated amp (or a discrete phono stage, i.e. a separate box to convert the turntable levels to line level).

Example: U-Turn Orbit Turntable $179 without the phono stage, or $249 with the phono stage built-in

I would have recommended an integrated amp for this kind of setup anyway.

Put another way, you have 5 things you need to make this work:

turntable <-> phono stage <-> preamp <-> amplifier <-> speakers

-the turntable can potentially include the phono stage inside.
-an integrated amplifier is usually phono stage + preamp + amplifier
-the speakers can be powered, meaning they would include the amplifier (and sometimes the volume control function of the preamp too)
 
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TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,813
Sorry - probably used the wrong terminology. I needed that because my speakers were passive and had no power source, but my turntable had integrated phono you’re right.

I learned about this all when buying everything and apparently have forgotten everything I learned.
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
3,537
SF, CA
Sorry - probably used the wrong terminology. I needed that because my speakers were passive and had no power source, but my turntable had integrated phono you’re right.

I learned about this all when buying everything and apparently have forgotten everything I learned.
No worries, glad you like your setup (I've heard those K2020 are really nice bang for the buck) - just making things clear for Nomarshaus.
 

Coachster

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Jul 3, 2009
8,148
New Hampshire
Resurrecting this thread.

During the pandemic, my wife looked into the closet in my office and saw the 9 cartons of LP's I had been carting around since before I had met her, and said, 'get rid of them if you don't use them...' My response: 'No f'ing way'.

Like several of you who had written on this thread, when I was in college I worked at stereo shops, and at one time had a pretty cool system. (Looking at the price for my old components on eBay is really depressing now...)

Anyway, I decided I needed to play those LP's, so I had to build the best system I could find of vintage stuff, that wouldn't cost more than say, $500 total.

I've succeeded way beyond what I thought I could find. (In case anybody is interested- Nakamichi SR4A, Rectilinear III highboys, AR turntable.) Now, getting here was really fun, as I've bought stuff, traded stuff and sold stuff. It's become a little bit of an addiction.

Thursday, somebody gave me a pair of AR2Ax speakers. Back in '70-'71 these were the bomb. Of course, they are completely beat to shit. I'm replacing the foam on the woofers now (I had already done that with another pair of speakers) but I'm going to need to re-cap the crossovers.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Am I crazy as a non-electrical engineer to attempt this?

Can anybody help?
 

cgori

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 2, 2004
3,537
SF, CA
Resurrecting this thread.

During the pandemic, my wife looked into the closet in my office and saw the 9 cartons of LP's I had been carting around since before I had met her, and said, 'get rid of them if you don't use them...' My response: 'No f'ing way'.

Like several of you who had written on this thread, when I was in college I worked at stereo shops, and at one time had a pretty cool system. (Looking at the price for my old components on eBay is really depressing now...)

Anyway, I decided I needed to play those LP's, so I had to build the best system I could find of vintage stuff, that wouldn't cost more than say, $500 total.

I've succeeded way beyond what I thought I could find. (In case anybody is interested- Nakamichi SR4A, Rectilinear III highboys, AR turntable.) Now, getting here was really fun, as I've bought stuff, traded stuff and sold stuff. It's become a little bit of an addiction.

Thursday, somebody gave me a pair of AR2Ax speakers. Back in '70-'71 these were the bomb. Of course, they are completely beat to shit. I'm replacing the foam on the woofers now (I had already done that with another pair of speakers) but I'm going to need to re-cap the crossovers.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Am I crazy as a non-electrical engineer to attempt this?

Can anybody help?
Cool.

I mean, post a picture of the crossover but I can kind of picture it already. You have around a half dozen through-hole caps to replace I would guess. Not impossible by any means, if you are a semi-steady hand at soldering and can source the proper replacements. Just don't overheat/scorch the printed circuit board when desoldering the old caps. Make sure you have rosin-core solder or some flux on hand.
 

StupendousMan

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Jul 20, 2005
1,649
Thursday, somebody gave me a pair of AR2Ax speakers. Back in '70-'71 these were the bomb. Of course, they are completely beat to shit. I'm replacing the foam on the woofers now (I had already done that with another pair of speakers) but I'm going to need to re-cap the crossovers.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Am I crazy as a non-electrical engineer to attempt this?

Can anybody help?
Hello, and welcome to the wonderfully nostalgic world of vintage audio. I'm just a dabbler, but I've been making minor repairs for a few years now. This sounds like a pretty good project for you to gain some experience.

First, let me recommend that you check out audiokarma.org, which is the SoSH of the audio world (in my opinion). People there will be happy to listen to your questions and give you solid advice. You can find threads on AR2Ax crossovers on the fora -- for example, this example of a thread on AR2Ax crossovers. I'll post a schematic from that thread here, but WATCH OUT -- it contains a mistake. The positions of the two capacitors is reversed: the 6 uF goes to the midrange driver, and the 4 uF goes to the tweeter. You should check your actual hardware carefully before taking any action.


If this layout is (at least mostly) accurate, the job seems reasonable: there are just two capacitors which you might replace, and both should be easy to find in any good electronics store/site. In most of the (small number of) speakers I've examined, the wiring is all out in the open; some of the components may be glued to a piece of wood for stability, but others are simply hanging by thin wire leads. If that's the case, you can simply snip the wires close to the ends of the old capacitors to remove them, and then solder the new ones to the ends of those old wires.

Some pieces of advice:

- open things up and take lots of pictures. Write down notes on what you see. Then stop; don't
do anything for at least a day while you think, and look again, and again

- if you have a decent camera, use it instead of the one on your smartphone to take
pictures. It's easier to focus on just the right portion of a complex
field of view with a real camera

- after you've taken some pictures, post one or two, plus your plans, to the DIY
category on the audiokarma forum. Wait a day for reactions from the
experts there. Oh, and you could post the same info here, of course :)

- when you decide to go to work, again, write down what you are doing before each step.
This, and the pictures, can be very useful when you are trying to connect
everything back up again

Sounds like fun! Please let us know how it goes.
 

Coachster

Member
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Jul 3, 2009
8,148
New Hampshire
StupendousMan, thanks so much for this.

Funny thing, I’m already a member at Audiokarma. I’ve read their advice carefully as I was buying each piece of my current system, and they’ve been right every time.

I’ll do as you say, take pictures, take my time, and post a couple photos here.

Stay tuned.
 

DontTauntOrtizMe

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Jul 18, 2005
996
Resurrecting this thread a little. I have original pressings of Pearl Jam No Code and Frightened Rabbit Midnight Organ Fight. Both could use a good cleaning. Any help would be appreciated. I’m pretty new to this vinyl thing.

Have a decent sounding little system with a 90’s vintage Harmon Kardon receiver with a dedicated phono input and some JBL S38’s and a music hall Tt. Most everything else I have sounds good but these two records I got used and “sound” like they have some buildup on them.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
7,323
Manchester, N.H.
Resurrecting this thread a little. I have original pressings of Pearl Jam No Code and Frightened Rabbit Midnight Organ Fight. Both could use a good cleaning. Any help would be appreciated. I’m pretty new to this vinyl thing.

Have a decent sounding little system with a 90’s vintage Harmon Kardon receiver with a dedicated phono input and some JBL S38’s and a music hall Tt. Most everything else I have sounds good but these two records I got used and “sound” like they have some buildup on them.
The Spin Clean mentioned is the de facto option for manual/reasonable cost. It's a 70 dollar hunk of plastic but honestly it does pretty much exactly what you need it to do. Great if you have a small volume of records and gets the major gunk out. I'd probably recommend trying a few less valuable records than an OG No Code or Midnight Organ as it can be a bit fussy to start but easy once you get your routine.

If you want to keep it cheaper, you can go with the truly manual method of a record cleaning solution + hand cleaning brush but honestly I never found it to do the job.

If you want to go more automated higher end, the next step up is probably the Humminguru which is a well reviewed budget friendly (relatively) ultrasonic cleaner, but I think that's really only worth it if you're going very high end systemically or you are going to be cleaning a fairly substantial number of records.
 

DontTauntOrtizMe

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Jul 18, 2005
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The Spin Clean mentioned is the de facto option for manual/reasonable cost. It's a 70 dollar hunk of plastic but honestly it does pretty much exactly what you need it to do. Great if you have a small volume of records and gets the major gunk out. I'd probably recommend trying a few less valuable records than an OG No Code or Midnight Organ as it can be a bit fussy to start but easy once you get your routine.

If you want to keep it cheaper, you can go with the truly manual method of a record cleaning solution + hand cleaning brush but honestly I never found it to do the job.

If you want to go more automated higher end, the next step up is probably the Humminguru which is a well reviewed budget friendly (relatively) ultrasonic cleaner, but I think that's really only worth it if you're going very high end systemically or you are going to be cleaning a fairly substantial number of records.
Thank you!
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
7,323
Manchester, N.H.
Thank you!
No problem! One other thing to consider if it's a truly small volume and you want them to be cleaned right is to call around to any local record shops/dealers to if they'd be willing to do it for you at cost. I've had flea market sellers run purchases I've made through a Spin Clean they had on site when I bought and I have to imagine most self-respecting record shops have some sort of record cleaning method on hand either privately or as a service to their customers. I don't think many advertise it as there's risk of damage I'd guess but it might be something they do if asked.
 

DontTauntOrtizMe

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Jul 18, 2005
996
No problem! One other thing to consider if it's a truly small volume and you want them to be cleaned right is to call around to any local record shops/dealers to if they'd be willing to do it for you at cost. I've had flea market sellers run purchases I've made through a Spin Clean they had on site when I bought and I have to imagine most self-respecting record shops have some sort of record cleaning method on hand either privately or as a service to their customers. I don't think many advertise it as there's risk of damage I'd guess but it might be something they do if asked.
That's good to know. I think the Spin Clean might be right for me. I have a small collection right now, but my kids like to play the records - they are gentle with them - but their hands aren't always the cleanest. This will let me not cringe as much every time they play something.
 

bankshot1

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Feb 12, 2003
22,642
where I was last at
Fuck-"Tech Hifi" is really a blast from the past. I used to love going into Tech (on Comm Ave near BU) and fooling around with receivers and speakers well outside my price point.
 

StupendousMan

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Jul 20, 2005
1,649
It's nice to see people talking about vintage hi-fi stuff again.

About six weeks ago, I was checking one of the local "giving stuff away for free" sites, and came across a household which was giving away two pairs (= four cabinets) of Original Large Advent speakers. For free! They said that they just didn't have the room for them anymore. Holy cow!

I drove over the next day and picked them up. They were in good shape. I had to replace the surrounds on the woofers, but that's to be expected for 50-year old units (one pair was made in 1971, the other in 1973). I thought about replacing the capacitors in the crossovers, but when I tested two of them, their values were fine; so, I've left them all in place. I did do a simple refinishing of the veneer, using some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax. They look really nice, and they sound nice, too.

It's going to take quite a while for me to top this acquisition! :)
 

Coachster

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Jul 3, 2009
8,148
New Hampshire
This was my dad's circa 1960 HH Scott 399 stereo receiver Its all tube and beautiful, either off or on. I'm hopefully going to find out if if its still in storage over the next couple of weeks. (long story)

http://hhscott.com/receiver.htm

hhscott.com/_images/300%20-%20RF%20Devices/Receivers/Scott_399.jpg
You probably already know this, but if it is indeed there, don't just plug it in to see if it works.

Here's a link with some ideas of what you'll need to do:

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/powering-up-tube-audio-after-loooong-storage-best-methods.968453/#post-15002645

I love the analogy of turning a tube stereo on after a long layoff is like pouring a bucket of water on a sleeping drunk.
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
22,642
where I was last at
You probably already know this, but if it is indeed there, don't just plug it in to see if it works.

Here's a link with some ideas of what you'll need to do:

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/powering-up-tube-audio-after-loooong-storage-best-methods.968453/#post-15002645

I love the analogy of turning a tube stereo on after a long layoff is like pouring a bucket of water on a sleeping drunk.
Thanks coach. This twin dialed totally vacced beauty hasn't been used in about 35 years. So its definitely marked FRAJILLAY and handle with care. I just hope it survived an ex's anger and vindictiveness.
 

StupendousMan

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Jul 20, 2005
1,649
Let me echo Coachster's words. Audiokarma.org is the place to go for all sorts of information on vintage audio equipment. It's the SoSH of the stereo world :)
 

Coachster

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2009
8,148
New Hampshire
It's nice to see people talking about vintage hi-fi stuff again.

About six weeks ago, I was checking one of the local "giving stuff away for free" sites, and came across a household which was giving away two pairs (= four cabinets) of Original Large Advent speakers. For free! They said that they just didn't have the room for them anymore. Holy cow!

I drove over the next day and picked them up. They were in good shape. I had to replace the surrounds on the woofers, but that's to be expected for 50-year old units (one pair was made in 1971, the other in 1973). I thought about replacing the capacitors in the crossovers, but when I tested two of them, their values were fine; so, I've left them all in place. I did do a simple refinishing of the veneer, using some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax. They look really nice, and they sound nice, too.

It's going to take quite a while for me to top this acquisition! :)
I scrolled right past this and missed it the first time. I AM SO JEALOUS.

Two weeks ago I saw an ad on Craigslist for two pairs of free speakers, some AR7's and a pair of ADS Braun L710a's. The AR's are little 2-way speakers, covered in cheap vinyl (it's 1974, baby!) but after a recap and a refoaming, they sound better than they should. (this is before the Teledyne takeover of AR, so the quality of the parts shows.) In the bedroom they go.

And then there's the L710a's. These are supposed to be terrific speakers (Audiokarma says so!). I get them up to the workroom, and the first thing I notice is that something STINKS. Now, these had been stored in a garage for a while, but I still was surprised to find that when I traced the bad smell to one speaker, and started to remove the insulation, it became apparent that a family of field mice had decided to live in the speaker, leaving many many nuts, a lot of mouse shit and one dead baby field mouse.

This is supposed to be electronic repair, not biology. I was disgusted.

I removed all the insulation, sprayed with bleach, sprayed with Febreeze, sprayed with bleach again. IT STILL STINKS.

So, the project is on hold. I still plan on recapping them, and have been rebuilding the pair of woofers the mice chewed through to get to their condo, but until the odor dissipates, I'm out.
 

StupendousMan

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Jul 20, 2005
1,649
So, the project is on hold. I still plan on recapping them, and have been rebuilding the pair of woofers the mice chewed through to get to their condo, but until the odor dissipates, I'm out.
Ugh. That's disappointing.

I don't know if this will work, but ... try tossing some (LOTS of) coffee grounds into the cabinet, changing them every couple of days. See if the smell improves after a week.
 

Spelunker

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Jul 17, 2005
9,569
I scrolled right past this and missed it the first time. I AM SO JEALOUS.

Two weeks ago I saw an ad on Craigslist for two pairs of free speakers, some AR7's and a pair of ADS Braun L710a's. The AR's are little 2-way speakers, covered in cheap vinyl (it's 1974, baby!) but after a recap and a refoaming, they sound better than they should. (this is before the Teledyne takeover of AR, so the quality of the parts shows.) In the bedroom they go.

And then there's the L710a's. These are supposed to be terrific speakers (Audiokarma says so!). I get them up to the workroom, and the first thing I notice is that something STINKS. Now, these had been stored in a garage for a while, but I still was surprised to find that when I traced the bad smell to one speaker, and started to remove the insulation, it became apparent that a family of field mice had decided to live in the speaker, leaving many many nuts, a lot of mouse shit and one dead baby field mouse.

This is supposed to be electronic repair, not biology. I was disgusted.

I removed all the insulation, sprayed with bleach, sprayed with Febreeze, sprayed with bleach again. IT STILL STINKS.

So, the project is on hold. I still plan on recapping them, and have been rebuilding the pair of woofers the mice chewed through to get to their condo, but until the odor dissipates, I'm out.
Man, that takes me back. My first 'job' was soldering AR turntable parts on the kitchen table for few pennies each. My dad was head of international sales for AR until the sale to Recoton- we didn't want to move, so he spun off his own company instead- and we had tons of AR shit around the house (and then in his warehouse after the sale/move).
 

am_dial

Member
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Jul 15, 2005
529
Western Mass
Man, that takes me back. My first 'job' was soldering AR turntable parts on the kitchen table for few pennies each. My dad was head of international sales for AR until the sale to Recoton- we didn't want to move, so he spun off his own company instead- and we had tons of AR shit around the house (and then in his warehouse after the sale/move).
I always wanted an AR “the Turntable.” Even the AR-XA and AR-XB appealed to me in a more nostalgic way. (Instead I got a Thorens TD-125/ii.)

Do you remember which model(s) you worked on? If only all those audiophiles knew their precious machines were being soldered at a kitchen table!
 

Yo La Tengo

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Nov 21, 2005
442
A couple of very general questions:

I have a Pioneer SX-990 receiver that is a general-use set up in my kitchen (phono, cds, sox on the radio). I'd like to be able to stream music from my phone through that receiver.

Thoughts about bluetooth audio adapters that could connect via audio cables to one of the open auxiliary inputs on the receiver? I'm more interested in affordability than top-shelf performance.

And, love some recommendations for 1-disk cd players that are reasonably priced.
 

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
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Mar 16, 2005
20,614
The gran facenda
A couple of very general questions:

I have a Pioneer SX-990 receiver that is a general-use set up in my kitchen (phono, cds, sox on the radio). I'd like to be able to stream music from my phone through that receiver.

Thoughts about bluetooth audio adapters that could connect via audio cables to one of the open auxiliary inputs on the receiver? I'm more interested in affordability than top-shelf performance.

And, love some recommendations for 1-disk cd players that are reasonably priced.
I recommend looking up Cheap Audio Man on youtube. He has recommendations on bluetooth DACs that don't cost a lot and have good performance.