Stereo Receiver help - Page 3
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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    And I ended up getting a Yamaha T-85.

    It's 'good enough' with the crappy piece of wire antenna but there is room for improvement so I'll probably end up getting a better antenna.

    I have 9 days to decide if I want to keep it.

    The store I went to was great and actually tried to talk me out of it in favor or getting my ancient JVC repaired. He said for someone who doesn't care about all the modern functions that my current only partially working receiver is actually a very good one and would cost a ton to get equal quality new.

    But there is a big "if" it can be repaired. The volume is finicky and balance doesn't work either so I'm not so sure about the repair option.
    You made a great choice on the T-85. It is one of the best tuners on the planet for both sound and reception. Not just my opinion, many others that have tried a bunch of top tuners over the years think so too.

    On the receiver - It is very likely all you need is the switches cleaned, which is pretty easy to do yourself.

    If they have not been cleaned in 10-20 years, they need it. They will go noisy and intermittent over time. I use Caig de-oxit for that, I'm sure there is lots on youtube showing you how. You basically spray a little cleaner into the little holes in the switch, and work it back and forth. Makes it like new again.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z'mer View Post
    I use Caig de-oxit for that. You basically spray a little cleaner into the little holes in the switch, and work it back and forth. Makes it like new again.
    The guy at Upscale Audio turned me on to the stuff when my Primaluna Tube Integrated began to suffer from a noisy volume pot. I put the Primaluna upside down, removed the bottom plate and sprayed with abandon (yeah... yeah..). Not only did it quiet the volume control down, it made it so the little integrated never sounded better.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  3. #53
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    did some research here but have yet to pull the plug. if you are looking to stay classic outlaw audio. good write-ups

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei View Post
    The guy at Upscale Audio turned me on to the stuff when my Primaluna Tube Integrated began to suffer from a noisy volume pot. I put the Primaluna upside down, removed the bottom plate and sprayed with abandon (yeah... yeah..). Not only did it quiet the volume control down, it made it so the little integrated never sounded better.
    yeah I think I'm going to get my receiver repaired too. But wait until summer when I won't mind being without it for a while.

    The place I went is in the repair business so take it with a grain of salt but he said generally speaking some of those old receivers (mine included) are very good as long as you don't need the modern functions and well worth getting repaired.

    Apparently a lot of countries where these things are made have banned lead soldering and that makes for an inferior product compared to the older stuff. Or so I was told.

  5. #55
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    the problem with buying a new receiver, if you have an old turn table that is still being used you have to buy additional equipment just to use it. the outlaw audio unit doesn't require anything special

  6. #56
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    Does anyone knows w hard numbers for the frequency response of satellite radio?
    I am sur it is heavily compressed, I have always been curious...

  7. #57
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    I would advise against repairing your receiver from my own experience, unless the unit is a higher end unit Its not worth repairing mid to lower end electronics once they past a certain age. The reason being that the original parts used in the first place aren't very robust or quality parts say like military spec that are used in high end units.

    All the parts have equally aged & if one area starts to fail, other areas of the receiver will be affected as well like contacts in rotary dials/switches etc & you'll be faced with more repairs down the road. You're better off buying relatively newer but used electronics instead. Usually the cost of repair is almost the same as buying a quality 2nd hand unit. Don't let sentimental attachment get in the way.

    Since you're into just the basics, I can recommend highly Rotel or Nad receivers. They can be found for cheap on the bay but always do your homework before buying anything & ask questions. Cycling & audiophile appreciation are very similar. Any bike can get you down the road but when you compare a good bike to a cheap bike, the differences are obvious the moment you turn a pedal stroke. Hi-fi is the same, listening to mp3's on headphones may sound great but unless you do a side by side comparison with something really nice, you don't really know what you are missing out on. On the other hand, if you have a tin ear just ignore everything above.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    I would advise against repairing your receiver from my own experience, unless the unit is a higher end unit Its not worth repairing mid to lower end electronics once they past a certain age. The reason being that the original parts used in the first place aren't very robust or quality parts say like military spec that are used in high end units.

    All the parts have equally aged & if one area starts to fail, other areas of the receiver will be affected as well like contacts in rotary dials/switches etc & you'll be faced with more repairs down the road. You're better off buying relatively newer but used electronics instead. Usually the cost of repair is almost the same as buying a quality 2nd hand unit. Don't let sentimental attachment get in the way.
    Definitely no sentimental attachment involved and I would only do it for sure after getting an estimate on repair cost. But I'm thinking it might be worth, say, $70 in repair even if I only get a few more years out of it.

    I think it's "good" but not great. It was the best a minimum wage earner could get in 1984ish is about all I really know. But I do remember it blew away they cheaper one I replaced with it and it along with the speakers I have from the same era sounds as good and anything to me ear.

    I did manage to find a picture of it along with some information but not any info that means anything to me: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...eiver-20702645

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    I would advise against repairing your receiver from my own experience, unless the unit is a higher end unit Its not worth repairing mid to lower end electronics once they past a certain age. The reason being that the original parts used in the first place aren't very robust or quality parts say like military spec that are used in high end units.
    High end units use the same commodity transistors, capacitors and resistors as mid to lower end electronics. You don't believe me? Just take a look at the images of internals of high end electronics and mid to lower end ones. Good news is that those commodity parts are very good nowadays.

    All the parts have equally aged & if one area starts to fail, other areas of the receiver will be affected as well like contacts in rotary dials/switches etc & you'll be faced with more repairs down the road. You're better off buying relatively newer but used electronics instead. Usually the cost of repair is almost the same as buying a quality 2nd hand unit. Don't let sentimental attachment get in the way.
    As I posted already, new stereo receiver with built-in AM & FM tuner aren't expensive.

    Since you're into just the basics, I can recommend highly Rotel or Nad receivers. They can be found for cheap on the bay but always do your homework before buying anything & ask questions. Cycling & audiophile appreciation are very similar. Any bike can get you down the road but when you compare a good bike to a cheap bike, the differences are obvious the moment you turn a pedal stroke. Hi-fi is the same, listening to mp3's on headphones may sound great but unless you do a side by side comparison with something really nice, you don't really know what you are missing out on. On the other hand, if you have a tin ear just ignore everything above.
    High end electronics sounding better than mid to lower (price) end electronics only apply to speakers as have been demonstrated in double blind listening tests over last 2 decades. As for DAC, preamp, amp and cables, they all meet the standard sound quality performance level. Your comparison of cycling & audiophile is not accurate. It's more like bicycle helmet and audiophilia where even the cheap helmets meet the safety standard and high end ones have more bells and whistles while having less weight.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post

    High end electronics sounding better than mid to lower (price) end electronics only apply to speakers as have been demonstrated in double blind listening tests over last 2 decades.
    I'll have to disagree with that.
    While I can't say the different is between high and low end there is definitely a different between some.

    My current receiver has a button called "loudness". I have no idea what that really is but it sounds much better with it pressed. Theoretically they could have made a version without that and no question sound would be inferior. And what about base and treble controls. Some don't even have those so how can it be said there is not difference attributed to the receiver?

    maybe what you're trying to say is high vs low end but with everything else being equal? Wattage? I really don't know what it means in this context but know the difference in cranking one with very low wattage and very low wattage.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I'll have to disagree with that.
    While I can't say the different is between high and low end there is definitely a different between some.

    My current receiver has a button called "loudness". I have no idea what that really is but it sounds much better with it pressed. Theoretically they could have made a version without that and no question sound would be inferior. And what about base and treble controls. Some don't even have those so how can it be said there is not difference attributed to the receiver?
    That's one of adjustable features in consumer audio electronics. It typically means throttled dynamic range in output for late night listening when you don't want to disturb the neighbors. When comparing audio electronics, they need to be at neutral setting so that you can compare apple to apple.

    maybe what you're trying to say is high vs low end but with everything else being equal? Wattage? I really don't know what it means in this context but know the difference in cranking one with very low wattage and very low wattage.
    Just like there are climbing bike, touring bike, gravel bike, TT bike... etc., there are different purpose built audio electronics for different settings, be it large commercial theater, small home theater, some rich man's 4000 cu ft dedicated stereo room or average Joe's living room that doubles as his stereo room, different output levels are called for when different demand is to be met. You wouldn't expect to do well climbing on a touring bike during a race, would you? Same thing with low powered amplifier or receiver that's made for small room setting when used in concert hall or headbanger's party with volume cranked up. It will clip or distort badly or burn out. When the contemporary audio electronics are operated within the range that they are designed for, they all (except for defective units or some rare oddball esoteric company's products) perform well enough for our ears as demonstrated by double blind listening tests over last 2 decades.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    That's one of adjustable features in consumer audio electronics. It typically means throttled dynamic range in output for late night listening when you don't want to disturb the neighbors. When comparing audio electronics, they need to be at neutral setting so that you can compare apple to apple.


    Just like there are climbing bike, touring bike, gravel bike, TT bike... etc., there are different purpose built audio electronics for different settings, be it large commercial theater, small home theater, some rich man's 4000 cu ft dedicated stereo room or average Joe's living room that doubles as his stereo room, different output levels are called for when different demand is to be met. You wouldn't expect to do well climbing on a touring bike during a race, would you? Same thing with low powered amplifier or receiver that's made for small room setting when used in concert hall or headbanger's party with volume cranked up. It will clip or distort badly or burn out. When the contemporary audio electronics are operated within the range that they are designed for, they all (except for defective units or some rare oddball esoteric company's products) perform well enough for our ears as demonstrated by double blind listening tests over last 2 decades.
    But I would expect to pay a lot more for one that would fill a concert hall as compared to my bathroom and the only distinction you made initially was price hence my not agreeing that everything sounds the same.

    I get it now. I don't doubt that when all else is equal all else is equal.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    But I would expect to pay a lot more for one that would fill a concert hall as compared to my bathroom and the only distinction you made initially was price hence my not agreeing that everything sounds the same.
    Actually, there are high end stereo amps costing over $10K for 200W output while there are stereo amps costing $800 for 500W output capability. One has more sexy looking 1/2" thick CNC milled aluminum face plate while the other is in a flat painted 20ga. metal box. One is good for showing off while the other is... you know the rest.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    It's more like bicycle helmet and audiophilia where even the cheap helmets meet the safety standard and high end ones have more bells and whistles while having less weight.
    Funny. A Lexus will have the same parts in a Camry. A Heng-fu bike has carbon fiber & epoxy resin just like a S-works Tarmac. In a recent double blind test, users couldn't tell the difference between 105 & Dura Ace. As you said the difference is in the bells & whistles.

    Over the years I've had stereo equipment repaired & what I've discovered is that it wasn't worthwhile in the end given certain factors such as the age & amount of usage. In the end if I were to do it again, I most certainly would have gone the 2nd hand route as I suggested. Just my 2 cents because down the road other things do flare up & it just makes more sense to replace given the age. In my case, contact points like dials & switches went as well.

    Is it worthwhile to throw money into buying a tuner when your receiver's tuner has failed or even to fix said broken tuner? How can one differentiate between a higher tolerance component from a lower grade one??? You can't because a resistor, transistor or capacitor all look the same with the naked eye from one another. Silver solder, gold & oxygen free copper are things you can't differentiate just by looking. Dura Ace & Campy are the same using more exotic materials in the top groups but look identical to the lower end groups.

    There are plenty of posts here in the forum of people asking if its worthwhile throwing a load of money into upgrading this bike or that bike all the time. This stereo question is similar & I stand by original answer.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    There are plenty of posts here in the forum of people asking if its worthwhile throwing a load of money into upgrading this bike or that bike all the time. This stereo question is similar & I stand by original answer.
    I appreciate that you're trying to help.

    But saying the original owner of a 35 year old item that he's been using all that time and thinking about getting it repaired (because he'd rather not spend more on a new one if possible) is similar to throwing a load of money into "upgrading" a functioning bike is completely absurd.
    Not only are they not similar they are exact opposites.
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 02-26-2019 at 01:52 PM.

  16. #66
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    Bvber -- Call it a cop out or dodge if you will, but double blind testing is pretty much disdained in the audiophile world. Double blind testing invariably involves rapid changes of components, something that tends to highlight particular sonic characteristics at the expense of others. It also almost invariably favors the louder component.

    What audiophiles hope and prefer to do is replace a single component in a system that they are used to and which already generally suits their tastes. They take the component home and listen for a couple of days. They tend to prefer to test with acoustic music recorded live in a single space. They let the component being auditioned properly warm up. They fiddle with such details as re-positioning the system's speakers in the room in the hope it will bring out the best in the system as it now stands.

    They play a variety of music through the system, music they are both familiar with and not familiar with. They play lengthy cuts. They listen to both specific aspects of the sound and to overall enjoyability.

    Do the sounds sound more like what you hear in real life? Does the component make it so that the space in which the recording was made seems more convincingly rendered? Do vocalists' sibilants become increasingly spitty or muted? Does bass tend toward boominess or one-note thump? How deeply does the bass go? Are you able to better understand the lyrics? Etc., etc.

    Of course, if the component change doen't make any difference to your ears, don't bother buying it!

    BTW, the loudness button on older equipment boosted bass and treble so that, when you were playing stuff softly, it subjectively sounded louder than it actually was.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Does anyone knows w hard numbers for the frequency response of satellite radio?
    I am sur it is heavily compressed, I have always been curious...
    Here's a tech overview:

    https://www.electronicdesign.com/com...o-and-hd-radio

    That said, there are some satellite stations I listen to that have audio quality high enough to let me blast the music in my car and really enjoy them. Others, not so much... they're more like listening to an old mono AM station.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    Here's a tech overview:

    https://www.electronicdesign.com/com...o-and-hd-radio

    That said, there are some satellite stations I listen to that have audio quality high enough to let me blast the music in my car and really enjoy them. Others, not so much... they're more like listening to an old mono AM station.
    Per that article, sirius stations use 24k bits/s for talk, 40-60k bits/s for audio. As a reference, typical mp3s are 128-384k bits, and CDs use a whopping 1,411 kbits/s
    My take is 128k bits/s is the bare minimum that is listenable for background music.

    That article is also rather optimistic about HD radio. The promoters want it both ways - they advertise great specs using a single stream, as 96k to 128k is available.
    But most HD radio use at least 2 streams, so when you split 96k into 2 audio streams, each one ends up with 48k, which again is pretty bad for audio.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I did manage to find a picture of it along with some information but not any info that means anything to me: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...eiver-20702645
    Here's some more on it - one sold on 'bay for ~$110. detailed pics in the listing
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-JVC...p2047675.l2557

    Also, full service manual here
    https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_li...c/r-x300.shtml

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei View Post
    ...Do the sounds sound more like what you hear in real life? Does the component make it so that the space in which the recording was made seems more convincingly rendered? Do vocalists' sibilants become increasingly spitty or muted? Does bass tend toward boominess or one-note thump? How deeply does the bass go? Are you able to better understand the lyrics? Etc., etc.

    Of course, if the component change doen't make any difference to your ears, don't bother buying it!
    Well said on all points. I'm glad you chimed in here, as it needed to be said.

    I would add my experience points to this - not everyone has the same sensitivity to audio differences, and not everyone listens for the exact same difference clues. Some focus on highs, some on midrange, some on vocals, other go for stringed instruments.

    Then there are the deep bass freaks. Different strokes for different folks. If you personally think it all sounds the same, don't spend the money.

  21. #71
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    On audio repairs - I've done a bunch, have seen way over 100 receivers, tuners, amps here for evaluation, testing and repairs. Have a full bench of test gear, and for more than 20 years have done repairs, mods, and even new designs. All as a hobby, for fun, this makes make no $. Much of this stuff for tuners get published on our website (above).

    Been inside a LOT of stuff. Doing work on anything depends on evaluating what's not working, and how hard it will likely be to fix. Statements to the effect that older audio gear is "worn out" and all components are, by now, bad is simply untrue. In my experience.
    I have a LOT of old stuff here to prove otherwise, all working, 100% original.

    Yeah, some stuff may go, but in general, the stuff made in the US, Europe, and Japan was pretty well made.

    In my family room system, I use a Hafler XL-280 basic amplifier.
    check out the review here - https://www.stereophile.com/solidpow...ier/index.html

    This is not my best system, but it's decent. This amp is used daily, for over 20 years, and has never needed any service. Still plays fine, even though it runs hot, as I have it heavily biased into class A. It's 30 years old.

  22. #72
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    Nelson Pass was famous for his insistence on focusing on the specs for an amplifiers "first watt". And so he named one of his later companies, First Watt.

    Why? Many amplifiers that measure well at high power have poor performance at very low power. Where they are never measured.

    And most people typically listen at low power, i.e. 1 watt. (= 85 to 90 dBa sound levels, which is fairly loud). So, there is more there than "same specs = same sound".

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    ....sounds as good and anything to me ear.

    I did manage to find a picture of it along with some information but not any info that means anything to me: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...eiver-20702645
    I would get an estimate and repair it - if the price is right.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    In the end if I were to do it again, I most certainly would have gone the 2nd hand route as I suggested.
    I do too as long as they aren't over 10 years old. Saves money.

    Is it worthwhile to throw money into buying a tuner when your receiver's tuner has failed or even to fix said broken tuner?
    It's a value judgement. If it costs more to fix than buying new one, then buy new one unless there is a strong sentimental value.

    How can one differentiate between a higher tolerance component from a lower grade one??? You can't because a resistor,
    I've seen tight tolerance resistors with different looking paint finish on them than looser tolerance resistors.
    transistor or capacitor all look the same with the naked eye from one another.
    Contemporary commodity transistors and capacitors are very good to the point where you don't have to fret over.

    Silver solder, gold & oxygen free copper are things you can't differentiate just by looking.
    Silver solder (if you are talking about high percentage silver) is novelty in electronics. It costs more than commodity solder used in just about all electronics but makes no audible difference. It's a marketing hype used by high end electronics shills.

    Gold is less conductive than copper. Again, marketing hype unless one is wiring in a room with high corrosive chemical vapor.

    Just about all commodity copper wires are oxygen free enough to pass the spec quality. Ain't industrialization great?

    There are plenty of posts here in the forum of people asking if its worthwhile throwing a load of money into upgrading this bike or that bike all the time. This stereo question is similar & I stand by original answer.
    When it comes to hearing, even the healthiest ears (age 18 - 21) cannot hear beyond 20KHz or below 20Hz or amplifier distortion below 0.1% which is easily achievable nowadays. High end audio electronics with those marketing hypes I mentioned above may improve the sound quality even further beyond what is already in inaudible area (requires sensitive measuring devices to tell) is just that, marketing hype. So your example of comparing cycling with audio electronics doesn't hold water. Nothing personal, just sharing the audio electronics data out there.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei View Post
    Bvber -- Call it a cop out or dodge if you will, but double blind testing is pretty much disdained in the audiophile world. Double blind testing invariably involves rapid changes of components, something that tends to highlight particular sonic characteristics at the expense of others. It also almost invariably favors the louder component.
    The traditional term audiophile refers to someone who deeply cares about the sound quality of sound replaying system. That term has been bastardized since the 80's and now it became an insult to people's intelligence. So, if someone calls you "audiophile" today, you should be insulted. Then there is a sub category called "audiophool". It's a step or two further into intelligence insulting domain of audiophilia. Some of them use a piece of rock (sells for more than $20) placed on top of their electronic component, saying that they can hear the improvement in sound.

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