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Plugging computer output into stereo problem

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Jun 9, 2010.

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  1. Guest

    I plugged my computer output into my stereo. Its an old 1970s stereo
    with built in cassette tape deck and phono input. There is no AUX
    input, so I put it in the phono input. It works but it's overdriven
    and distorts unless I keep the computer level real low. I know what's
    wrong. Phono inputs are highly pre-amped. Too much pre-amp for what
    I'm doing. I believe they sell attenuators, (maybe Radio Shack), but
    I was wondering if all I need to do is put a resistor on each channel
    cable. There are no longer any Radio Shack stores nearby me. Will
    the resistors work? Do I put them in series, or across the input to
    the ground? What value should I use.


    James W.
  2. Guest

    Right, and where should I plug it? I said there is no AUX and no
    other inputs. The tape deck is built in, so no tape inputs either.
    The phono is the ONLY input.

    I'll try the resistors as posted.

    I was also wondering what would happen if I put an equalizer in
    between? Suppose all I can do it try it. I have a small 6 band one
    that I'm not using. I guess that could compensate for the RIAA too.
    Although I really find the bass and treble pretty much ok. Besides
    using the bass and treble controls on the receiver, I can fine tune
    the sound in Winamp.

  3. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Guest

    I dont know if you can find it, but there is a small gadget, that
    goes into a tapedeck, and feeds the signal to the tapereader head.
    A friend of me uses it often.
  4. Apparently you missed the part where the OP said "I said there is no AUX
    and no other inputs."

    Here's another suggestion to the OP: since you're contemplating doing a
    little project where you have to solder up stuff, why not just tap
    directly into the stereo's line-level input? Wouldn't be difficult at
    all: just locate the volume control (undoubtedly a 2-gang
    potentiometer), and wire a connector for the computer input across the
    ground and high sides of each pot. Should work fine.
  5. Adam Sampson

    Adam Sampson Guest

    They vary quite a bit -- I've got a cheapie Goodmans one that's awful,
    and a Sony one that works very well. I don't think I'd want to use one
    on something other than a car stereo, though; even if the sound
    quality's OK, you're going to have the cassette deck's motor running all
    the time.
    That'd be my preference, if the OP's reasonably comfortable with
    electronics or can find somebody else who is. A few minutes' careful
    poking around will probably find a couple of tracks that can be cut to
    inject line-level audio at the output of the preamp; you could even add
    a switch if you want to retain the phono input. But I'd imagine the OP
    will be quite happy just using an attenuator and fiddling the tone
  6. Grant

    Grant Guest

    Another easy place to find is the top of the volume control, add
    a changeover switch and series caps -- drawback is that you likely
    lose the tone controls.

  7. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Yes, that was my contention. Everything that has been said about reverse
    RIAA compensation etc is absolutely true, and yes, such a network is
    reasonably easy to knock up, but I got the impression that, given that
    you know that what you are doing is not ideal in the first place, but
    the *only* way that you can do it, then it is just a QAD 'fix' that you
    are looking for, and the simple two resistor potential divider network
    will do that just fine. I am also sure that between the Winamp G.E. and
    the tone controls on the stereo, you will be able to compensate
    adequately (but not perfectly) for the non-linear frequency
    characteristic of your phono input.

  8. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Given that it will be highly compressed and messed-about-with MP3s played
    via Winamp, the
    additional tonal distortion introduced by flinging the signal into an RIAA
    equalised phono input,
    will be the least of the OP's problems ... :)

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