20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

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

Post by tcassette » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:43 pm

Seattlenative wrote:
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.
I believe the picture posted was not from OP, but from a poster showing his iPod to receiver connection. I don't recall OP specifying what receiver he has. I too like to keep old equipment that still works, but at some point additional features added via wired-in boxes becomes too expensive and inconvenient. Things like HDMI inputs and integrated vTuner more practical when included in a newer receiver.

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

Post by retiredjg » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:04 pm

You are correct tcassette, I have not posted a picture.

I think the easiest answer to my situation is going to be the cord that has an RCA plug on one end and the 3.5 mm stereo plug on the other end. I might do some of the other ideas as well - but this one is quick and easy and cheap and will get me started using my old old ipod that does not have enough storage for my entire collection. But I'll figure something out. :happy

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

Post by Kenkat » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:47 pm

The picture was mine. The Sony ES series had pretty nice amps and electronics so I have not really had a compelling reason to replace it as it would not be easy to replace in kind without spending a decent chunk. It does everything I have needed it to so far.

The 3.5mm to RCA is a great start. You are going through 2 amps - the iPod's and the receiver's. But for most and maybe all music, that works fine. The iPod dock connector eliminates the iPod's amp since it is a line out source, so in theory it should sound better but I have used both and for the most part I probably couldn't tell them apart. Plus the 3.5mm can be used with many types of devices which is nice. I actually have one of each since they are pretty cheap.

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

Post by theunknowntech » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:12 pm

kenschmidt wrote:The picture was mine. The Sony ES series had pretty nice amps and electronics so I have not really had a compelling reason to replace it as it would not be easy to replace in kind without spending a decent chunk. It does everything I have needed it to so far.
Just for the record, Sony has made some _mind-blowingly_ good video displays, I'm using one right now, but if you ever get tired of their audio amplification, look for some vintage Adcom (you'd best be good with a soldering iron, or know someone who is.) That's the bee's budget-rebuilt knees.

Darn those Adcoms were good, if you have the house wiring to support them. You'd have to spend a whole lot more to beat them, Japanese amps were, well, not that. American amplification, yowza. We still rock, to this day. There's nothing like American iron.

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

Post by iceport » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:35 pm

DrippingSprings wrote:
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.
That's what I've been doing for a long time also, for online streaming audio. The cord is hooked to my PC (via a long RCA patch cord connected to the adapter shown). Other than streaming audio, I don't listen to compressed audio. I prefer CDs and even FM broadcasts over streaming audio.

My favorite "nearby" FM station is generally too far away for tolerable reception. With a directional FM antenna in the garage loft, it pulls in that station fairly well roughly half the time, apparently weather-dependent, with the receiver set to "mono."

Anyway, as has already been mentioned, the streaming audio played through the decent 20th century stereo system sounds obviously inferior to CDs and vinyl. So if I'm sitting at the PC, I just use the 2.1 PC speaker system. I generally only use the streaming audio feed from the PC when I'm working around the house or using a remote speaker in the yard, and I don't want to keep changing the discs. (Yup, a true dinosaur. But it sounds so sweet...)
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retiredjg
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:52 pm

Followup: this turned out to be pretty easy. An old iPod Touch did the trick for everything.

It only has 8Gig memory but that is enough music to last for awhile. And it streams my excellent alternative NPR station which I don't receive well on the radio.

All I needed was that $10 3.5 mm Mini-to-RCA Stereo Audio Cable. I just didn't know such a thing existed.

Thanks people. BHs are the best!

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

Post by Seattlenative » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:21 pm

theunknowntech wrote:
kenschmidt wrote:The picture was mine. The Sony ES series had pretty nice amps and electronics so I have not really had a compelling reason to replace it as it would not be easy to replace in kind without spending a decent chunk. It does everything I have needed it to so far.
Just for the record, Sony has made some _mind-blowingly_ good video displays, I'm using one right now, but if you ever get tired of their audio amplification, look for some vintage Adcom (you'd best be good with a soldering iron, or know someone who is.) That's the bee's budget-rebuilt knees.

Darn those Adcoms were good, if you have the house wiring to support them. You'd have to spend a whole lot more to beat them, Japanese amps were, well, not that. American amplification, yowza. We still rock, to this day. There's nothing like American iron.
Adcom also made excellent-sounding CD players. I am currently using a vintage GCD-575 single disc player manufactured in 1988 (!), and it is noteworthy in capturing the full dynamic range of a good CD along with clean yet firm articulation of low bass. I'm sure there are a few very high-end players being made today which are better, but a GCD-575 in working condition certainly could be a great addition to your stereo sytem.

DDMP20
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by DDMP20 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:47 am

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.
You sound like the stereotypical audio snob yet I bet if you were to sit down for a blind test you would not be able to consistently differentiate between MP3s ripped at 320K and CDs on your own equipment. Do you spend thousands on speaker cable also?

Internet radio is not crap. There are a lot of stations that stream audio at 192, 256 and 320 Kbps and it sounds just fine. What is crap is terrestrial radio. Honestly I don't know why anyone even listens to FM radio any more. All they do is play the same 20-30 commerical pop songs over and over again and you have to listen to a bunch of annoying, idiot DJs. Internet radio offers a phenomenal amount of music and programming that you can't get on FM radio.

The OP could use an RCA to 3.5 mm cable to plug his ipod into the auxillary port of his old receiver and that would allow him to listen to his digital music collection bot not stream internet radio. Sangean makes a that can stream both internet radio and digital music files and will hookup to a stereo receiver. This unit can be used to connect to the internet/network both wirelesly and with a wire. it's currently $249 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Sangean-WFT-1-Int ... B0017W3WDC I have not used it but have used other Sangean internet radio products and they are decent.
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telemark
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by telemark » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:01 pm

It wasn't available when this thread started, but the new audio Chromecast from Google is another possibility. You can probably control it from the iPod Touch.

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

Post by pezblanco » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:45 pm

DDMP20 wrote:
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.
You sound like the stereotypical audio snob yet I bet if you were to sit down for a blind test you would not be able to consistently differentiate between MP3s ripped at 320K and CDs on your own equipment. Do you spend thousands on speaker cable also?

Internet radio is not crap. There are a lot of stations that stream audio at 192, 256 and 320 Kbps and it sounds just fine. What is crap is terrestrial radio. Honestly I don't know why anyone even listens to FM radio any more. All they do is play the same 20-30 commerical pop songs over and over again and you have to listen to a bunch of annoying, idiot DJs. Internet radio offers a phenomenal amount of music and programming that you can't get on FM radio.
I have a friend who teaches an audio engineering class every year to juniors/seniors in electrical engineering at a major public university. It's a popular elective class ... there are 30 or students most every year. Every year they do a double blind test involving non-compressed music vs.and various rates of mp3 .... They employ a range of music (classical, jazz, rock, ect etc) ... about half the class of these 20 somethings can tell the difference between uncompressed music and 128kbps. Virtually no one can detect 192kbps vs uncompressed though there have been a couple of students with golden ears. No one (so far) has ever reliably detected the difference between 256 and uncompressed in the last 8 years ....

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

Post by theunknowntech » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:58 am

DDMP20 wrote:You sound like the stereotypical audio snob yet I bet if you were to sit down for a blind test you would not be able to consistently differentiate between MP3s ripped at 320K and CDs on your own equipment. Do you spend thousands on speaker cable also?
Oh dear. Max res AAC (superior to MP3) and uncompressed audio both played on a latest-generation iPhone plugged into _good_equipment_, the difference is easily audible if you think about what you're actually hearing, and my high-frequency hearing is compromised (because I've spent my life listening to live music.)

But I'm not going to play this game. If you like listening to MP3's, then you just go for it, and I'm not going to put you down. Whatever gets you through the night. Peace out (even if there is a better way.)

DDMP20
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by DDMP20 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:53 am

pezblanco wrote:
I have a friend who teaches an audio engineering class every year to juniors/seniors in electrical engineering at a major public university. It's a popular elective class ... there are 30 or students most every year. Every year they do a double blind test involving non-compressed music vs.and various rates of mp3 .... They employ a range of music (classical, jazz, rock, ect etc) ... about half the class of these 20 somethings can tell the difference between uncompressed music and 128kbps. Virtually no one can detect 192kbps vs uncompressed though there have been a couple of students with golden ears. No one (so far) has ever reliably detected the difference between 256 and uncompressed in the last 8 years ....
While there is no doubt whatsoever that music will sound different with different amps, DACs, speakers, turntables, etc etc there is a certain segment of the high end audio market that consists of pretentious, snobbish consumers. Being bogleheads we can all appreciate the law of diminishing marginal returns. Does a pair of speakers that costs 20K really sound that much better to the ear than a pair that costs 5K? So much better that it can justify an additional 15K to purchase? I haven't heard many speakers that cost 20K so I wouldn't know and I don't care to consider purchasing speakers that cost that much. However if i had to guess if they sounded so much better than a pair costing 5K as to justify the additional cost I'd say that they most likely didn't. But to each his own. I spent $150 on a flashlight earlier this year because I felt it was worth it. I'm sure there are some who'd call that dumb.

The point with regard to the high bit rate MP3 vs the CD sound quality is that there are some people who will make this argument to justify their purchases and pursuit of a very expensive hobby. As you've pointed out pezblanco, even trained audio engineers who know what to listen for cannot tell the difference between high bit rate MP3s and non-compressed music.
"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens." -Thomas Jefferson

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

Post by pezblanco » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:16 am

I mentioned to my friend yesterday this conversation. In their lab they get high end donated equipment from various manufacturers. Needless to say they have some superb audio equipment and an excellent sound laboratory. This semester one team is creating the signal processing necessary to take a clean digital signal and make it sound as if it came from a vinyl record .... even turntable rumble parameters can be adjusted :D

One of the problems in the double blind tests is to remove "preference". A frequent audiophile claim is that people are so used to mp3's that they now prefer that "squashed" distorted sound. The test battery addresses
this and other issues. It's an interesting statistical problem in addition to an audio engineering issue. By the same token, some people like the distortion produced by creating and reproducing music on vinyl with tube amplifiers. It is much simpler (and cheaper) to play that music on modern electronic equipment and using digital signal processing produce those distortions for the listener directly.

But the issue of detectability of 320 vs uncompressed is very much a case of the emperor's new clothes. If one audiophile claims they have greater hearing acuity than a German shepherd and can clearly hear the "imperfections" in music compressed at 320kbps, then the next audiophile must also hear it ... that or be accused of having (the shame!) incomplete knowledge of what to listen for or even worse having "tin ears".

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

Post by rgs92 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:06 am

Opening a huge can 'o worms here...

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

Post by Valdeselad » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:48 am

Use the Airport Express option mentioned above by @Alex686. I do this at my home - simple, works fantastic, and you mentioned you already have one. Working under the assumption that you have Wi-Fi in your home, you also gain the ability to control all your music wirelessly from your phone/ipad without ever having to connect it to the receiver - this is a key difference from the other RCA adapter 'hard-wire' options mentioned.

I'd also suggest using the Airport Express as your primary router if you aren't already...

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

Post by telemark » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:30 am

I suspect the original poster is able to decide how much fidelity is enough, without assistance from us. At least I haven't noticed any questions on the subject.

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

Post by retiredjg » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:34 am

OP here.

Shame on me. I meant to do a 'thank you" update and forgot. I ended up with something very much like the kenschmidt picture above. IPOD to receiver using cord with RCA plugs on one end. Cost less than $10 because I had an old IPOD lying around.

Also put all my holiday music on the IPOD and enjoyed it through out the winter holiday season.

Thanks everybody!

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

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:15 am

Chromecast audio. Cheap and the easiest solution.

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

Post by steve r » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:07 pm

I have not read ALL the other comments

Go to eBay and find a Bluetooth device with either RCA jacks or whatever plugs you used. Then, put all your music on your phone or other Bluetooth device. Bluetooth sounds scary - it isn't. Don't have one, get an old iPod or old phone. You can keep all you new music on that one device and pick songs from the comfort of your chair (or use a music steaming service).

With your phone, you can also get radio stations though the internet (WiFi). I use this option a lot. Radio.com has my local news station.

It may cost more than some of the 1.5mm to RCA ... but not much more and it is much easier.
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retiredjg
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by retiredjg » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:10 pm

Original poster here.

While I don't mind other suggestions, my problem was solved quite awhile back. Quite simply and cheaply. Thank you :happy

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

Post by dyeusdi » Fri May 20, 2016 7:53 am

Definitely think the OP found the graceful (and frugal) solution.

I did want to point out that Google now makes an audio Chromecast with optical out for the audiophiles looking for higher fidelity. Works with my 90s era stereo (which I am currently researching to replace).

Thanks for the read!
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HurdyGurdy
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Re: 20th Century Stereo in a 21st Century World

Post by HurdyGurdy » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:21 pm

retiredjg wrote: Quite simply and cheaply. Thank you :happy
the iPhone will leave the 3.5mm headphone jack behind. It was Schiller's job to justify why Apple was doing so, and he defended the company's decision by citing three reasons to move on—and one word: "courage."
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/09/ ... s-courage/

:annoyed

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