Gift: 1 set of active speakers, 3 out-put devices. How to...

Skull_Angel

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So, my parents have a PC, TV, and turntable, but one decent pair of speakers (Micca PB42X active desktop speakers) between them. They don't use more then one device at a time and they sit relatively close together, so I wanted to get them some kind of switching device they could use to swap the speakers to any device without having to mess with wiring.

The problem is that there doesn't seem to be enough space to stuff a receiver in their media cabinet unless it was used as a base for the 50" TV.... And I don't have a lot of knowledge about audio gear, coming up pretty blank on options. I considered upgrading them to passive speakers and an amp that had the kind of switching features I'm looking for, but a decent upgrade is a bit more then I'd like to pay and/or the speakers would be more of a side-grade considering the space limitations.

I'd like to spend under $300 if there's any decent options out there, may be a mini-receiver or a dedicated switch that I haven't been able to stumble across in my search.
 

B00nie

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So, my parents have a PC, TV, and turntable, but one decent pair of speakers (Micca PB42X active desktop speakers) between them. They don't use more then one device at a time and they sit relatively close together, so I wanted to get them some kind of switching device they could use to swap the speakers to any device without having to mess with wiring.

The problem is that there doesn't seem to be enough space to stuff a receiver in their media cabinet unless it was used as a base for the 50" TV.... And I don't have a lot of knowledge about audio gear, coming up pretty blank on options. I considered upgrading them to passive speakers and an amp that had the kind of switching features I'm looking for, but a decent upgrade is a bit more then I'd like to pay and/or the speakers would be more of a side-grade considering the space limitations.

I'd like to spend under $300 if there's any decent options out there, may be a mini-receiver or a dedicated switch that I haven't been able to stumble across in my search.

You dont need to buy new speakers, you have to get a preamplifier that has source selection options. For example preowned Yamaha A/AX integrated amps all have a separatable preamp. Get one, remove the jumpers from the back and plug your speakers to the 'out' RCAs.
 

DoubleTap

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You have two problems:

1. You probably need a phono preamp (or a device with a phono preamp stage) because a phonograph signal is super low and has to be boosted to line level (some have this built in, most do not)

2. You need a source selector

For $300, I think it might be easier to just buy them some better powered monitors with those features built in.

https://www.turntablelab.com/blogs/guides/best-powered-speakers-for-your-turntable-setup

The Kanto YU4 is $300 has a phono input and 2 optical inputs. It should handle all 3 of your sources and will let you add a sub. You can get them in lots of colors and you can buy larger versions too (for more money):


https://www.amazon.com/Kanto-Powered-Speakers-Bluetooth-Preamp/dp/B01N0YCWUY/
 

Skull_Angel

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You dont need to buy new speakers, you have to get a preamplifier that has source selection options. For example preowned Yamaha A/AX integrated amps all have a separatable preamp. Get one, remove the jumpers from the back and plug your speakers to the 'out' RCAs.

I looked around the second-hand stores in the area, but couldn't find anything that fits the bill for size or as a gift (most were horribly beat up, likely from garage bands in the area). I also tried looking online, but anything compact doesn't seem to have the features wanted or carries a hefty price tag.


You have two problems:

1. You probably need a phono preamp (or a device with a phono preamp stage) because a phonograph signal is super low and has to be boosted to line level (some have this built in, most do not)

2. You need a source selector

For $300, I think it might be easier to just buy them some better powered monitors with those features built in.

https://www.turntablelab.com/blogs/guides/best-powered-speakers-for-your-turntable-setup

The Kanto YU4 is $300 has a phono input and 2 optical inputs. It should handle all 3 of your sources and will let you add a sub. You can get them in lots of colors and you can buy larger versions too (for more money):


https://www.amazon.com/Kanto-Powered-Speakers-Bluetooth-Preamp/dp/B01N0YCWUY/

This might be the case. The turntable has a built-in preamp (Audio Technica AT LP120: not the best, but they aren't audiophiles and they're amazed how much better it sounds compared to the old automatic they had); I also considered getting them another pair of Micca speakers for the PC and putting the TV and TT on a Shiit Sys, but not sure if the cable-box has a preamp seeing as the Sys seems to be more of a switch than a preamp (TV only has a digital out, so I don't know if that option would offer remote volume control).

Still open to options, but those speakers seem to be the best atm.

Edit: Found some Edifier R2000DB I'm keeping in an open page. Still taking a look at options, but the Micca they have, being active speakers, and the specifics of the goal are really limiting. Putting off ordering anything until tomorrow.
 
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pendragon1

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since these are self powered and rca wouldn't he just need a rca selector switch and a 3.5 to rca adapter for the pc?
 

Skull_Angel

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The speakers are powered, and I'm not into buying a pre-owned item as a gift if I can't inspect it first-hand. Would be different if it was for myself.


since these are self powered and rca wouldn't he just need a rca selector switch and a 3.5 to rca adapter for the pc?

I considered that. The TV only has an optical out, but the cable box has RCA. I'm just not sure if it's got built-in volume control (can't find any info, you'd think it'd be easily available); can't have pops walk across the room to change the volume all the time, haha.
 
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B00nie

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The speakers are powered, and I'm not into buying a pre-owned item as a gift if I can't inspect it first-hand. Would be different if it was for myself.

I just explained to you that the amp has a separatable preamp stage that you can use for the active speakers. Dedicated preamps are usually quite pricey because nobody buys a separate set for low-end audio. Prepare to pay 500 bucks or more for a new one.

I have a pair of JBL LSR305s and Behringer B2031s in my tv surround setup and I use the pre-outs of a Pioneer home theater amplifier that has 8 amplifiers of its own - I just skip using them.
 

pendragon1

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The speakers are powered, and I'm not into buying a pre-owned item as a gift if I can't inspect it first-hand. Would be different if it was for myself.




I considered that. The TV only has an optical out, but the cable box has RCA. I'm just not sure if it's got built-in volume control (can't find any info, you'd think it'd be easily available); can't have pops walk across the room to change the volume all the time, haha.
yeah I didn't catch the optical only part. you sure it doesnt have a headphone jack? because thats what I was thinking of with the 3.5mm to rca cable. if not, the cable box should, all mine do. ask him if theres a volume button on the cable box's remote.

boonie I think youre over complicating things. all he needs is a rca switch box and a cable.
 

B00nie

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yeah I didn't catch the optical only part. you sure it doesnt have a headphone jack? because thats what I was thinking of with the 3.5mm to rca cable. if not, the cable box should, all mine do. ask him if theres a volume button on the cable box's remote.

boonie I think youre over complicating things. all he needs is a rca switch box and a cable.
Rca switch box with a remote and a cable. Where are you going to find one of those? The cheapest and easyest way is to get a cheap integrated amp with a separatable preamp stage.
 

pendragon1

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Skull_Angel

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yeah I didn't catch the optical only part. you sure it doesnt have a headphone jack? because thats what I was thinking of with the 3.5mm to rca cable. if not, the cable box should, all mine do. ask him if theres a volume button on the cable box's remote.

boonie I think youre over complicating things. all he needs is a rca switch box and a cable.

Yeah, last I checked, no RCA outs, no headphone jack, the thing's an early 50" LCD.


Rca switch box with a remote and a cable. Where are you going to find one of those? The cheapest and easyest way is to get a cheap integrated amp with a separatable preamp stage.

I'm taking another look. Didn't realise that some amps had a pre-out, thought you meant a separate device.



Remote would be for volume control, I'm pretty sure it can't be controlled through the TV's optical and not sure if the cable box RCA has any volume control.

Thanks for all the help so far, everyone.
 

B00nie

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I'm taking another look. Didn't realise that some amps had a pre-out, thought you meant a separate device.

Pendragon found one at least it seems. Those may be of questionable audio quality but I gather that is not the main concern with the OP.
 

pendragon1

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the thing's an early 50" LCD.
get the model number and double check online. double check the remote for the cable box, if it has volume buttons it will control the volume. my grandparents have the shittiest little cable box and it controls the volume not the tv.
Pendragon found one at least it seems. Those may be of questionable audio quality but I gather that is not the main concern with the OP.
hes not looking for something for his "personal studio"...
 
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