Let it rip...or use something else?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by HankSr, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. HankSr

    HankSr New Member Thread Starter

    New to the forum, glad to have landed here. I looked at a few other places, but I saw they were pretty intense.


    Within the past few days, my Logitech Z5500 computer speaker system started failing. It was a great run, I bought it back in 2008 and the speakers and sub still sound great, but the controller is humming and the input jack is worn out.

    I stream Spotify into two computers and I use a cheap Rockville DJ mixer to switch from computer to computer (using the fader). And yes, a Raspberry PI streamer with onboard DAC is in my near future.

    I recently restored/fired up my mid 80's Onkyo system. All original equipment purchased at age 19 in 1986. It's a standalone system and I use it to listen to vinyl and CD's.

    I also have two other Onkyo AV amps sitting around collecting dust.

    Listening habits are daily, 8-12 hours. Budget is low-end.

    What do you guys think, run the computers via the Rockville mixer, into the 80's Onkyo gear?

    Or, run it thru the Onkyo AV amp?

    Do I need a preamp if running from the Rockville to the Onkyo AV amp?

    My concerns with the running everything thru the Onky 80's stuff is that I love the way it sounds, and I would rather "save" its remaining lifespan for listening to vinyl on the PLX-1000 I added to the system.

    Other suggestions appreciated. :)
  2. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Portland, Oregon
    I'll venture this. If the Onkyo gear is solid state, what's most likely to fail are the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply, then other capacitors. The former, if they go spectacularly, can take some other stuff with them.

    Electrolytic capacitors fail with age, heat, and lack of use. Using them doesn't use them up -- on the contrary, it keeps the electrolytic film fully formed and prolongs their life.

    Transistors are most likely to fail through overheating or voltage surges. After that, bad luck (i.e., random failures).

    So blow the dust out of the gear, while the case is off check for bulging capacitors -- replace them if needed -- and enjoy the gear. If it's been off a long time, it might be advisable to apply lower voltage at first, before you actually hook it up. That can be done with a variac or by putting a light bulb in series with the gear.

    That's my understanding, anyway. I'm sure others will chime in.

    Have fun!
    HankSr, Rich-n-Roll and kamchatka like this.
  3. kamchatka

    kamchatka Forum Resident

    north america
    Why not run the two computers into the 80s Onkyo system without the mixer? (I assume there's a few line-level inputs to choose from: tuner, cd, aux, tape, etc).
    HankSr and timind like this.
  4. HankSr

    HankSr New Member Thread Starter

    Thanks! The Onkyo M-5150 has been up and running for about the past several months...so far, so good. I was chasing down a ground issue on the P-301 pre-amp and in the process I picked up a second M-5150, and an M-501 that apparently shuts a channel down after it heats up (I haven't played around with it)...so I have some spare equipment! This weekend I will double check for any bulging capacitors.

    I'm getting a grounding like hum from the computer/Logitech setup, so I connected the mixer to the Onkyo AV and the hum persists - so I think the cheap Rockville mixer is toast, I tried grounding it to no avail. But also, the Logitech input (3.5mm) is toast, so I need to abandon it. As it stands, the system sounds terrible, but previously it sounded decent, the sub has a nice low bass without blowing out.

    I will research how to make the computer setup sound better, wifey and kiddo are used to a loud setup for their YT videos/Netflix.

    I'm a former mobile Dj and still have a complete 90's setup with dual Denon CD players and Furman and Numark mixers, but they are too big for my desktop.

    In the mid-90's I traded my 1200's in for the Denon CD rig....now I wanna cry, lol.

    Reading these boards I also realize despite having been a DJ - I really don't know squat about stereo equipment! But I'm learning.

    Thanks again
  5. HankSr

    HankSr New Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for the response :)

    The preamp P-300 is old, but it has 2 video inputs available (no aux). The mixer's purpose was to switch sound between left and right computers in my office.

    I need to figure something out...
  6. HankSr

    HankSr New Member Thread Starter

    Actually, I'm playing around with this right now, I can use Video 1 for left computer and Video 2 for R computer. For kicks and giggles I plugged a Soundblaster USB headphone amp and then ran it to Video 1, and it sounds surprisingly good. I can use the stereo remote to switch between Video 1/2...I like it!

    I will research out some DAC's and see how it goes.

    Sometimes the simplest things...thanks for the reminder Kamchatka!
  7. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Washington State
    HankSr likes this.

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