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Living room sound for under $50?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 10th 05, 12:51 AM
Binba
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Default Living room sound for under $50?

I'm looking for the cheapest way to upgrade TV&DVD sound in our living
room (college-budget :-) Actually what I'm seeking is just "the next
step" beyond the TV's internal speakers, so I'm not even talking
surround. Btw the room is large, ~320sq.ft.

Seems like I have 3 options:

1. I have an old combo Sharp stereo system, seems like the power
transformator is dead. How much should fixing that cost?
2. Buy a used amp (starts at $50 in ebay) and use it with the stereo's
speakers.
3. Why spend $50+ on a used amp, if I can buy (brand new) one of these
computer speaker systems, 2.1 or even 5.1? For the same price you can
get 50-70W RMS.


What do you say? Any options I didn't think of?

Thanks,
Drew

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  #2  
Old March 10th 05, 03:28 PM
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If your TV has stereo outputs with variable volume, so that you can
control the the volume through the TV and the remote, I'd go with
option #3 and some 2.1 PC speakers.

I've done that several times myself. Works very well. PC speakers are
small and are magnetically shielded, so they won't interfere with your
TV.

Option #2 would be my second choice. By shopping flea markets, pawn
shops, thrift stores, and eBay, it should be easy to find an older
integrated amp or receiver for $25 and up. (Keep in mind that with
eBay, you'll need to pay shipping.)

Option #2 will give you more options and flexibility, but will be
bigger and clumsier too. If all you want to do is watch TV and DVDs,
option #3 is the best way to go.

I know this because I've tried all of the above. I've used option #3
several times myself and it's the smallest and most convenient.
Convenience is important to me because I have a family and they want to
be able to turn on the TV and listen and watch, not fuss with a lot of
audio gear.

Altec, Cambridge Soundworks, Klipsch, Logitech, Sony and others make
some good PC satellite/subwoofer speakers that should work well for
you. All are available cheap on eBay, but remember to check the
shipping cost and the reputation of the seller.

I'd ignore the watt ratings. Just buy whatever sounds good to you. The
sound quality will very likely be much better than what your TV can
provide.

Yet another thought: Because you have a PC, and it probably has a DVD
drive, you could just add a TV tuner to your PC and use the PC for TV
and DVDs too, using PC speakers. (I also do this.) However, the TV
image on your PC monitor probably won't be nearly as good as the image
on even a cheap TV, although DVDs should look good. Also, watching TV
and DVDs on a PC can be pretty clumsy.

  #3  
Old March 10th 05, 06:22 PM
Bruce C. Miller
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Binba wrote:
> I'm looking for the cheapest way to upgrade TV&DVD sound in our

living
> room (college-budget :-) Actually what I'm seeking is just "the next
> step" beyond the TV's internal speakers, so I'm not even talking
> surround. Btw the room is large, ~320sq.ft.
>
> Seems like I have 3 options:
>
> 1. I have an old combo Sharp stereo system, seems like the power
> transformator is dead. How much should fixing that cost?


You could try fixing it yourself. Since it's broken and not worth
anything, might as well try.

> 2. Buy a used amp (starts at $50 in ebay) and use it with the

stereo's
> speakers.


You can actually get decent old 80's receivers on ebay for around $20.
Like a Sansui, Marantz, Fisher, Pioneer, or something... There's really
nothing wrong with most of them, but the market is flooded, so a buyer
can get a good deal.

> 3. Why spend $50+ on a used amp, if I can buy (brand new) one of

these
> computer speaker systems, 2.1 or even 5.1? For the same price you can
> get 50-70W RMS.


Depends on what kinda speakers you have from your Sharp system. Those
might be better sounding than some tiny computer speakers. Plus most
computer speakers don't use RCA jacks.

  #4  
Old March 11th 05, 01:44 AM
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I'd try to fix the old Sharp just for fun. My guess is that it might
not actually be the power transformer. If it is you could build an
outboard P/S out of surplus cheap electrojunk.

  #5  
Old March 11th 05, 08:13 AM
Barry Mann
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In .com>, on 03/09/05

at 04:51 PM, "Binba" > said:

[ ... ]

>2. Buy a used amp (starts at $50 in ebay) and use it with the stereo's
>speakers.


[ ... ]

4. Connect the TV and/or DVD's output to the stereo.

5. Walk the street on trash day and be creative.

6. If you are in school, ask around, post a note, check the notes.

-----------------------------------------------------------
spam:
wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
13> (Barry Mann)
[sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
-----------------------------------------------------------

  #6  
Old March 11th 05, 07:55 PM
Binba
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Thanks guys for all the replies. Trying to fix the stereo myself can be
fun... but so far all I know is this:
- It doesn't power up, nada.
- Upon plugging it in, the lamp at the other outlet did flicker
slightly.
- Everything inside looks in place, nothing burnt or loose.
- The transformer seems PCB-soldered. (could it be that it's in some
kind of a socket? I didn't really feel like touching it....)

So where do I go with that?

  #7  
Old March 11th 05, 07:57 PM
Arny Krueger
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"Binba" > wrote in message
ups.com
> Thanks guys for all the replies. Trying to fix the stereo myself can
> be fun... but so far all I know is this:
> - It doesn't power up, nada.
> - Upon plugging it in, the lamp at the other outlet did flicker
> slightly.
> - Everything inside looks in place, nothing burnt or loose.
> - The transformer seems PCB-soldered. (could it be that it's in some
> kind of a socket? I didn't really feel like touching it....)
>
> So where do I go with that?


Given your apparent expertise level - you need professional help to fix it.

Given the low cost of possible replacements, repairing it might easily be
uneconomical.


 




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