20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

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retiredjg
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20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:15 pm

I think (and hope) this is a simple question.

I have a 20th century stereo - receiver/radio, wired speakers, turntable, etc. All pre-computer, no USB ports etc. It all works and sounds fine but I get very poor radio reception in my house - live in the mountains and have a metal roof if that matters.

I'd like to get some service like Pandora to come out of my speakers, but I don't know how to get the signal into the receiver. I'd also like to send my digital music collection that is on my computer or iPod into the old stereo receiver and out of the old wired speakers.

Is this possible and if so, how do I do it?

Jozxyqk
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Jozxyqk » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:20 pm

retiredjg wrote:I think (and hope) this is a simple question.

I have a 20th century stereo - receiver/radio, wired speakers, turntable, etc. All pre-computer, no USB ports etc. It all works and sounds fine but I get very poor radio reception in my house - live in the mountains and have a metal roof if that matters.

I'd like to get some service like Pandora to come out of my speakers, but I don't know how to get the signal into the receiver. I'd also like to send my digital music collection that is on my computer or iPod into the old stereo receiver and out of the old wired speakers.

Is this possible and if so, how do I do it?
Are you trying to do it wirelessly? If not, many (relatively) old receivers have 3.5 mm hookup which should be compatible with your ipod. If not, you can pick up a 3.5 mm to RCA converter for a couple of bucks. You should be able to plug your ipod into that and play away.

livesoft
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:25 pm

The RCA plugs would connect to your input AUX (auxiliary) or tapedeck ports on the back of the receiver.
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alex_686
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by alex_686 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:27 pm

There are 2 options that I have found that works.

The first is to get a cheap computer and plug that into the stereo system. My stereo system is close enough to my TV so my TV can double as my monitor. Part of my cut the cord strategy.

The second is to a specialized device. For example, Roku can do some of the streaming services. There are many devices out there. Compatibility and ease of use between them is mixed.

I am currently using a Apple Airport. I can steam audio from my computer or IPhone via Wi-Fi. It has both RCA and digital out. It is dead easy to use. The downside is that it is Apple so I have to use it with other Apple devices. i.e., I can run my music collection from my computer to the stereo via ITunes, but not Pandora. Pandora would have to run through my phone.

[edit] It appears only the $99 AirPort express can do this. So can AppleTV -or anything with "AirPlay"


FYI, while my stereo system is 20th century it can accept inputs from a external DSP. This particular setup did not last long.
Last edited by alex_686 on Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JupiterJones
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:28 pm

Probably the easiest thing would be to hook your iPod up to your stereo:
  • Look for an "aux" input on the back of your receiver (or any input that's not currently being used).
  • It will probably be two "RCA" jacks (little round nubby things).
  • You'll need a cable that has a male stereo mini-phone plug on one end and two male RCA plugs on the other. Looks like this. Try Target or Walmart. (Alternatively you could get a female mini-phone jack to stereo RCA along with a standard mini-phone cable. Hook the two together to get the same result.)
  • Turn your receiver volume all the way down, hook everything up, switch your receiver to "aux" (or whatever), start your iPod and turn it up as loud as it will go, turn up your receiver. If you get any distortion, turn your iPod down a bit.
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ogd
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by ogd » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:29 pm

Your best bet is Sonos. Buy a Connect device to use the old speakers and/or a speaker device to stand on its own.

The price of admission is a little steep but it really is your best bet. Everything else in this space is frustration laden.

Cheaper options include Apple TV, a blu-ray player with smarts or (cheapest) a Chromecast if you have HDMI. But really, just get the Sonos unless you love tinkering with half working tech.

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JupiterJones
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:29 pm

alex_686 wrote:The first is to get a cheap computer and plug that into the stereo system.
Or use an old or cheap new smartphone or tablet. They'll store MP3s and stream Pandora/TuneIn/Spotify/etc. great.
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rokidtoo
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by rokidtoo » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:39 pm

I have my dumb TV speaker outputs hooked up to my 20th century stereo. I can play Pandora through cable (Directv in my case), my Blu-ray player, or a Roku stick. Alternately, you can use a smart TV that supports Pandora access. I can access my computer's iTunes library through the Roku stick. Finally, there are cables available that support the connection of an Ipod to your amp's input jacks.

Note: The Roku stick, Blu-ray, computer, and smart TV require a network connectivity, e.g. a Wi-Fi connection.
Last edited by rokidtoo on Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:44 pm

I can't spell out a guaranteed-to-work solution, but if you can receive Pandora on some device that has Bluetooth, for about $30 or $40 you can buy a "Bluetooth receiver" that has an RCA jack output, and plug it into your system.

If all goes well and the "pairing" magic works, that would be one way to do it. I think you'd have to do some trial and error and buy the gadget at the place that has decent return privileges. Biggest problem is keeping the instruction leaflet somewhere nearby because it will probably work for weeks on end and then mysteriously un-link and need to be paired again (hold down the button for two seconds until the blue light starts flashing rapidly blah blah)

We're not doing exactly that, we're doing the reverse. Our spiffy new TV does lots of things but doesn't support Bluetooth, so we've plugged its audio output into a cheap "Bluetooth transmitter" so that we can use it with a "Bluetooth headset." Works reasonably well and the first gadget we tried did work.
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retiredjg
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:52 pm

Jozxyqk wrote:Are you trying to do it wirelessly? If not, many (relatively) old receivers have 3.5 mm hookup which should be compatible with your ipod. If not, you can pick up a 3.5 mm to RCA converter for a couple of bucks. You should be able to plug your ipod into that and play away.
I don't recall ever hearing of a 3.5 mm hookup, but now there is something I can search for and maybe make sense of all this.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by YttriumNitrate » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:53 pm

If you list the make and model of your receiver (or post pictures of the front and back) people would be able to give you better suggestions as to what will work and what will not.

retiredjg
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:54 pm

livesoft wrote:The RCA plugs would connect to your input AUX (auxiliary) or tapedeck ports on the back of the receiver.
Yeah, got that part - I do understand what RCA plugs are and that is indeed what plugs into the receiver. I just couldn't figure out the other end. Thanks.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:01 pm

alex_686 wrote:I am currently using a Apple Airport. I can steam audio from my computer or IPhone via Wi-Fi. It has both RCA and digital out. It is dead easy to use. The downside is that it is Apple so I have to use it with other Apple devices. i.e., I can run my music collection from my computer to the stereo via ITunes, but not Pandora. Pandora would have to run through my phone.

[edit] It appears only the $99 AirPort express can do this. So can AppleTV -or anything with "AirPlay"
I have an Airport Express in the closet. It is a few years old so I don't know what it will do, but this is something I had not considered. If I can physically hook Airport Express to the receiver that could be the answer.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Jozxyqk » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:02 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Jozxyqk wrote:Are you trying to do it wirelessly? If not, many (relatively) old receivers have 3.5 mm hookup which should be compatible with your ipod. If not, you can pick up a 3.5 mm to RCA converter for a couple of bucks. You should be able to plug your ipod into that and play away.
I don't recall ever hearing of a 3.5 mm hookup, but now there is something I can search for and maybe make sense of all this.
It's just the sort of plug that goes into your ipod. A regular headphone plug.

retiredjg
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:04 pm

JupiterJones wrote:Probably the easiest thing would be to hook your iPod up to your stereo:
  • Look for an "aux" input on the back of your receiver (or any input that's not currently being used).
  • It will probably be two "RCA" jacks (little round nubby things).
  • You'll need a cable that has a male stereo mini-phone plug on one end and two male RCA plugs on the other. Looks like this. Try Target or Walmart. (Alternatively you could get a female mini-phone jack to stereo RCA along with a standard mini-phone cable. Hook the two together to get the same result.)
  • Turn your receiver volume all the way down, hook everything up, switch your receiver to "aux" (or whatever), start your iPod and turn it up as loud as it will go, turn up your receiver. If you get any distortion, turn your iPod down a bit.
This may be just what I was looking for but didn't know how to look for it. Thanks. I'd love to do this by iPod although I'll need to buy one with more memory than my current one which is many years old.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:06 pm

The now-discontinued Logitech Squeezebox system was excellent for what you want. There are probably still some used devices for sale on eBay, etc, but they do require more technical savvy and tinkering to get set up correctly. And they have been discontinued long enough that reliability may be a problem with used devices. If you are up to going to that much trouble, rather than plug-and-play, you might want to read a little on the Logitech Squeezebox forums to see if you are interested: http://forums.slimdevices.com/

My Squeezeboxes are some of my favorite possessions, but I am not sure I would tackle them now if I had no previous experience with the system.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:09 pm

What about "the hopper" which goes along with my Direct TV? Would that work like a Roku or is that something different?

Seems like there are lots of ways to do this. I figured it could be done - just could not figure out how to hook the RCA plug equipment up to the new fangled equipment.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by alex_686 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:12 pm

retiredjg wrote:I have an Airport Express in the closet. It is a few years old so I don't know what it will do, but this is something I had not considered. If I can physically hook Airport Express to the receiver that could be the answer.
The Airport Express should have a jack on the back. Mine will output either a 3.5 mm stereo jack or a optical jack. You should be able to get a 3.5mm stereo jack to stereo RCA plugs. I would make a joke about finding one at Radio Shack but Radio Shack jokes are now dead.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Stonebr » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:18 pm

Interesting question, but frankly I'm going in the other direction. I've recommissioned the KLH model 18 tuner that I bought in college. It's a work of art just to look at. Fortunately, local stations here in Portland, Maine -- jazz, classical and university-student -- provide all the music I want. I look at it as a way to avoid needless clutter.
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Kenkat » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:00 pm

You will get better sound out of the iPod if you buy an iPod dock connector to RCA converter cable. If you have an iPod Touch, you could stream music to it over your wifi and into the stereo.

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Kenkat
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Kenkat » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:07 pm

Picture...

Image

theunknowntech
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by theunknowntech » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:11 pm

retiredjg wrote:I think (and hope) this is a simple question.

I have a 20th century stereo - receiver/radio, wired speakers, turntable, etc. All pre-computer, no USB ports etc. It all works and sounds fine but I get very poor radio reception in my house - live in the mountains and have a metal roof if that matters.

I'd like to get some service like Pandora to come out of my speakers, but I don't know how to get the signal into the receiver. I'd also like to send my digital music collection that is on my computer or iPod into the old stereo receiver and out of the old wired speakers.

Is this possible and if so, how do I do it?
No matter what I did to pipe compressed (MP3 etc) audio thru my home stereo (admittedly somewhat high-end) it always sounded like sh!t. Streaming (mainstream, Pandora, etc) likewise. Delivery thru iPods, Apple's AAC, etc, likewise. Waste of time. It's all crap. Internet radio is crap. The shadow of a dancing bear on a wall.

Get a really good CD player, don't throw your vinyl records away (shudder at the thought) buy used CD's, and enjoy the twilight of goodness.

Proponents of low-bitrate audio don't know anything.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:17 pm

theunknowntech wrote:Proponents of low-bitrate audio don't know anything.
Unfortunately, the passage of time has turned my ears into low-bit-rate receivers with kind of a smaller dynamic range than they used to have.
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retiredjg
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:21 pm

theunknowntech wrote:Get a really good CD player, don't throw your vinyl records away (shudder at the thought) buy used CD's, and enjoy the twilight of goodness.

Proponents of low-bitrate audio don't know anything.
I still have the vinyl, but the CDs are gone - all that sent to the computer a couple of years ago.

I know a true audiophile would shudder, but I don't hear enough of a difference for it to matter.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:23 pm

kenschmidt wrote:Picture…
I think something like this will work well for my iPod (which is just storage, does not stream). A pretty simple solution I think.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by HurdyGurdy » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:45 pm

A very simple way could be to connect the sound output of the computer to a the input connector of the Stereo with a longer version of this cable:

Image

The connector on the right is a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_connector_(audio), 3.5 mm, stereo (three metal bands).

The pair at the left are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA_connector.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by DrippingSprings » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:21 pm

HurdyGurdy wrote:A very simple way could be to connect the sound output of the computer to a the input connector of the Stereo with a longer version of this cable:

Image

The connector on the right is a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_connector_(audio), 3.5 mm, stereo (three metal bands).

The pair at the left are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA_connector.
That's what I've done for years. I listen to all the music in my home through my stereo which is attached to my computer. No complaints.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by gatorman » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:39 am

I have this:

http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Digital-GDI ... B00395ZQMK

hooked up to my stereo. If you get one, you'll also need to have/get an iphone and download the Grace app. Without the app, its almost unusable, but with the app, there's easy access to ~17,000 stations.
As to fidelity, it sounds great to me, but my ears aren't what they used to be.
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by theunknowntech » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:03 am

livesoft wrote:
theunknowntech wrote:Proponents of low-bitrate audio don't know anything.
Unfortunately, the passage of time has turned my ears into low-bit-rate receivers with kind of a smaller dynamic range than they used to have.
Back in the 60's we had these little transistor radios that we used to walk around with. You were good to get AM. That's what current compressed audio sounds like (except now it's stereo and there's a really low noise floor.) I guess what I'm getting at is, if you like that sort of thing, then fine.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by just frank » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:12 am

I got my MIL something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PIDOCK1-Univ ... B0056IB3DY

And she uses an older iPod touch with it, it lives on the stereo, and has a small remote control.

Just google around for 'ipod dock'.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:05 am

Thanks again everybody. I had no idea there were so many ways to do what I want. And an internet radio tuner might do both jobs (play radio and play my music collection as well).

Did I mention cassette tapes :D

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by tcassette » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:22 am

I found that while add-on devices such as Roku or Apple will add functionality to an old receiver, they induce additional complexity (and remote controls) to the system. Updating to a newer receiver with internet radio and iPod connectivity built in is simpler but a more money. You don't even have to get this year's model; some retailers have new but discontinued models at attractive prices.

These newer receivers are mainly multi-channnel models for home theaters, with video switching. If you only need a stereo receiver for playing music, your choices are very limited.

Regarding the sound quality of internet radio and other low bit rate sources, modern receivers with variable "enhancer" circuits for MP3 and streaming sources do an amazing job. I recommend Denon and Yamaha versions from my experience. Although many newer receivers have reduced the number of legacy analog inputs (for cassette decks, old VCRs, etc.), you can still find some with enough for your purposes.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:33 am

retiredjg wrote:although I'll need to buy one with more memory than my current one which is many years old.
One trick, if you're not doing it already, it to set your iTunes to sync downsampled versions of any MP3 that was encoded on your computer at a certain bit rate or above. Depending on the bitrates used for the MP3s in your library, this could allow you to cram a lot more music on your current iPod.

In other words, if the MP3 file on your computer is at, say, 256kbps, iTunes will create, for example, a 128kbps version of it to put on your iPod. Such a file will take up far less room on your iPod (about half), although it would be at the expense of a certain degree of audio quality.

Whether your ears will find it worth the trade-off is something you'll have to find out for yourself.
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by telemark » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:28 am

ogd wrote:Your best bet is Sonos. Buy a Connect device to use the old speakers and/or a speaker device to stand on its own.

The price of admission is a little steep but it really is your best bet. Everything else in this space is frustration laden.

Cheaper options include Apple TV, a blu-ray player with smarts or (cheapest) a Chromecast if you have HDMI. But really, just get the Sonos unless you love tinkering with half working tech.
Second the motion for Sonos. With a Connect Amp you can drive the speakers directly, or you may be able to get a Connect and use the amplifier in your stereo. You can play internet radio, most streaming services, pull music from your computer, or even use the line in connected to a cassette player.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by zip605 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:30 pm

Do not connect audio out to your phono inputs even though (if) they have compatible RCA sockets. The phono inputs are likely to be designed for phono cartridges that output a RIAA curve signal. The amplifier will then boost the low frequencies and attenuate the highs to make the phonograph sound "normal". Use the AUX inputs, if you have them, as they do not compensate for the RIAA curve built into all vinyl reconds from about the mid 1950s onward.
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by jalbert » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:54 pm

The following will support all the use cases the OP mentioned (streaming from internet or from computer or from phone/ipod/tablet or from cd player transport). It has line level RCA output jacks that can be routed to aux inputs on a vintage stereo amp/receiver:

http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/dac-it-x- ... erter.html

Cost is $300, and sound quality should be better than most consumer CD players for CD content.

-jalbert

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by ogd » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:14 pm

telemark wrote:Second the motion for Sonos. With a Connect Amp you can drive the speakers directly, or you may be able to get a Connect and use the amplifier in your stereo. You can play internet radio, most streaming services, pull music from your computer, or even use the line in connected to a cassette player.
Thanks.

One thing I forgot to say is, with Sonos (or the other, clunkier options I mentioned like Chromecast) the phone or tablet is merely controlling the playback, not driving it directly. This frees up the device for you to do other stuff (including receiving messages without blasting a notification through the speakers during the party) and if nothing else gives it much better battery life. Once you have this, you realize how valuable it is.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Seattlenative » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:56 pm

retiredjg wrote:I think (and hope) this is a simple question. I have a 20th century stereo - receiver/radio, wired speakers, turntable, etc. All pre-computer, no USB ports etc. It all works and sounds fine but I get very poor radio reception in my house - live in the mountains and have a metal roof if that matters. ....
For times when you do want to listen to FM radio, is there a way to put a small FM antenna on the roof? It won't give you perfect reception but could be usable, particularly when you switch the tuner into FM mono. FM stereo uses a "multiplex" system that creates a lot of extra distortion and noise in situations like yours. When you want to listen to AM radio, try using an indoor AM antenna.

You can find indoor and outdoor AM and FM antennas at online stores like Amazon, C. Crane, Solid Signal and Crutchfield. In the meantime, enjoy listening to your "real" high fidelity system!

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:11 pm

Seattlenative wrote:For times when you do want to listen to FM radio, is there a way to put a small FM antenna on the roof? It won't give you perfect reception but could be usable, particularly when you switch the tuner into FM mono. FM stereo uses a "multiplex" system that creates a lot of extra distortion and noise in situations like yours. When you want to listen to AM radio, try using an indoor AM antenna.

You can find indoor and outdoor AM and FM antennas at online stores like Amazon, C. Crane, Solid Signal and Crutchfield. In the meantime, enjoy listening to your "real" high fidelity system!
Perhaps. I have 2 antennae on the receiver. One is a fixed metal thing and the other seems to be a tiny copper wire inside a plastic case. It seems to improve FM reception. I've thought of getting a longer one which means I could extend it outside into the carport.

Switching from stereo to mono did reduce static. Thanks - I would have never thought to try that.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by NorthwestT » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:15 pm

ogd wrote:Your best bet is Sonos. Buy a Connect device to use the old speakers and/or a speaker device to stand on its own.

The price of admission is a little steep but it really is your best bet. Everything else in this space is frustration laden.

Cheaper options include Apple TV, a blu-ray player with smarts or (cheapest) a Chromecast if you have HDMI. But really, just get the Sonos unless you love tinkering with half working tech.
Yes, get the Sonos. It's plug and play, scalable and reliable. You can stream most services. Also, you can use your vinyl as the source for wireless speakers. Sound quality is pretty decent, but if you're an audiophile, look into Nakamichi's system.

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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by scouter » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:52 pm

I use the Apple Airport Express (3 of them) to receive music from our home computer on each of three different old-school stereo systems around the house, all in sync. Our music library includes all our old vinyl and CDs as uncompressed WAV files and I use a program called "Airfoil" to manage the broadcast and "Foobar" as a leaner, simpler alternative to iTunes. Took some time to set up but works like a charm.

rgs92
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by rgs92 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:40 pm

Buy a good USB DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). A good cheap one is a tiny Audiquest Dragonfly (version 1.2 is out now, on Amazon) that is a small usb stick that plugs in to a usb port on your computer. The Dragonfly outputs through a jack just like on your phone (a 1/8th inch jack). It's cheap (like $150).
Another good cheap DAC is the Meridian explorer (it uses a usb cable to connect to the computer, supplied with it). It's right on Amazon too. It's very good quality for $300.

Get an audio "Y" cable with a 1/8-inch stereo plug on 1 end and stereo RCA plugs on the other from amazon or walmart or wherever.
(Search for Belkin Audio Y Cable on Amazon. It's a few dollars for 6 feet.) Make sure it's long enough to go from your computer to your stereo (keep it to less than 30 feet if you can). Plug one end into the DAC and the other into the computer.
When the computer sees your DAC just follow the simple installation instructions (it will install the necessary driver software).

Just plug the RCA plugs on your audio cable into any available input on your receiver or amp, choose that input selection, and you will hear high-quality audio from your computer.

I suggest the Tidal subscription service for the best quality music and for it's huge library (it has almost everything at a high speed rate and sounds better than CDs. You can toss out your CDs once you have this. It's just $20 a month and well worth it). You can make playlists, build library of favorite albums, all in the cloud. Pandora is more like radio if that's what you want but does not sound as good. Spotify is the other popular subscription service, but does not sound as good. Forget about your music lists on your phone, it's easy just to recreate them from Tidal or Spotify.
Also, most music is on youtube for free.

If you want to go to a higher level of audio quality (very high) you can get yourself a Chord portable DAC later (a Hugo or 2cute). They are expensive but close to state of the art for quality that would have cost as much as a luxury car 10 years ago.
For any questions, go to the sites headfi or computeraudiophile and ask away. People will be happy to help.

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midareff
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by midareff » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:37 am

Jozxyqk wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I think (and hope) this is a simple question.

I have a 20th century stereo - receiver/radio, wired speakers, turntable, etc. All pre-computer, no USB ports etc. It all works and sounds fine but I get very poor radio reception in my house - live in the mountains and have a metal roof if that matters.

I'd like to get some service like Pandora to come out of my speakers, but I don't know how to get the signal into the receiver. I'd also like to send my digital music collection that is on my computer or iPod into the old stereo receiver and out of the old wired speakers.

Is this possible and if so, how do I do it?
Are you trying to do it wirelessly? If not, many (relatively) old receivers have 3.5 mm hookup which should be compatible with your ipod. If not, you can pick up a 3.5 mm to RCA converter for a couple of bucks. You should be able to plug your ipod into that and play away.

As previously stated; "you can pick up a 3.5 mm to RCA converter for a couple of bucks." and just plug it into an AUX input. I have connected my iPod to my vintage system that way. An alternative could be Magnum Dynalabs indoor antenna or one of their half wave outdoor masts. I'd also recommend their "Signal Sleuth" but that gets a bit pricey.

autonomy
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by autonomy » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:20 am

kenschmidt wrote:Picture...

Image
I have a very similar receiver (it's old but still works really well) and I've used the RCA-to-3.5m jack for audio as well as an optical-to-RCA converter such as this one (doesn't do Dolby):
http://www.amazon.com/Portta-PETDTAP-Di ... cal+to+rca
theunknowntech wrote:
retiredjg wrote:I think (and hope) this is a simple question.

I have a 20th century stereo - receiver/radio, wired speakers, turntable, etc. All pre-computer, no USB ports etc. It all works and sounds fine but I get very poor radio reception in my house - live in the mountains and have a metal roof if that matters.

I'd like to get some service like Pandora to come out of my speakers, but I don't know how to get the signal into the receiver. I'd also like to send my digital music collection that is on my computer or iPod into the old stereo receiver and out of the old wired speakers.

Is this possible and if so, how do I do it?
No matter what I did to pipe compressed (MP3 etc) audio thru my home stereo (admittedly somewhat high-end) it always sounded like sh!t. Streaming (mainstream, Pandora, etc) likewise. Delivery thru iPods, Apple's AAC, etc, likewise. Waste of time. It's all crap. Internet radio is crap. The shadow of a dancing bear on a wall.

Get a really good CD player, don't throw your vinyl records away (shudder at the thought) buy used CD's, and enjoy the twilight of goodness.

Proponents of low-bitrate audio don't know anything.
How low? I've never had trouble with 320kbps audio. Pandora's default quality sounds awful anywhere, their 'high-quality' audio of 192kbps is barely enough (though I haven't tried it) Most people, however, wouldn't be able to tell nor would they care. At some point you start listening to your system,not just the music.

ThatGuy
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by ThatGuy » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:29 am

I know you said you're happy with your receiver, but you may want to upgrade that component to get some network capability. I have poor FM reception in my area, but I purchased a Denon which utilizes vTuner, so that I can stream an untold number of radio stations over the internet. I listen to my local NPR station via streaming now. My favorite part is I can easily stream stations from the other coast, or even from around the world. While I don't use it, these models also use Apple's Airplay, or Microsoft's PlayTo service, as well as connect to Spotify, Pandora, etc. It also can access local media that you have on the network.

However, the killer feature for me is the Android app. I can control just about anything, including turning the device on, from my phone as I walk around the house.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

nordsteve
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by nordsteve » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:33 am

I use this $29 device to stream audio from my phone or a tablet to my stereo system via Bluetooth. If your phone supports NFC pairing, it's very straightforward to connect.

I like having the phone out on the counter, 10-15 feet from the receiver, so that if I receive calls or need to use it for browsing it's handy.

For those unhappy with the streaming quality of free services, consider taking a free trial of Spotify Premium, enabling high quality, to see if you can tell the difference.

jalbert
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by jalbert » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:33 pm

Try this for FM reception:

http://www.fmdxantenna.com/proddetail.php?prod=indip

Be sure to select the type of connector needed for your receiver, tuner, or radio. If it supports both 75 ohm and 300 ohm options, get one with the connector for the 75 ohm connection.

-jalbert

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TimeRunner
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by TimeRunner » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:56 pm

Another happy Sonos connect:amp customer. http://www.sonos.com/shop/connectamp?r=1

Recycle that shelf of stuff and re-use your speakers with the Sonos....
One cannot enlighten the unconscious. | "I like people - I just don't want to be around 'em." - Russell Gordy

RTR2006
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by RTR2006 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:25 pm

I use a Rocketfish adapter to stream my iPhone to my very 20th century (circa 1977) amp/preamp/CD player.

Works great. I got it at Best Buy as I recall for about $50. You don't need to spend any more than that. Plug it into an AUX or Tape input in your preamp and you're good to go.

RTR

Seattlenative
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by Seattlenative » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:50 pm

ThatGuy wrote:I know you said you're happy with your receiver, but you may want to upgrade that component to get some network capability. I have poor FM reception in my area, but I purchased a Denon which utilizes vTuner, so that I can stream an untold number of radio stations over the internet. I listen to my local NPR station via streaming now. My favorite part is I can easily stream stations from the other coast, or even from around the world. While I don't use it, these models also use Apple's Airplay, or Microsoft's PlayTo service, as well as connect to Spotify, Pandora, etc. It also can access local media that you have on the network.

However, the killer feature for me is the Android app. I can control just about anything, including turning the device on, from my phone as I walk around the house.
The author's picture showed a very fine Sony ES two-channel receiver which doubtless was quite expensive when it was a current model. I'm skeptical that a newer receiver would be an "upgrade" in terms of overall high fidelity performance, but I definitely would consider looking for a vTuner box which could be connected to his existing Sony ES unit's aux inputs. I am going to look into the vTuner technology as well.

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