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Amplifier/Receiver 101 for Dummies

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  • Mar 4th, 2017 3:49 am
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[OP]
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Apr 1, 2012
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Amplifier/Receiver 101 for Dummies

Disclaimer: I am audio (technologically) challenged. Was not into serious music. I listen to MP3 music via cell phone or desktop sound boxes. Recently I bought an amplifier Sansui 210 from salvation for 20$. it was 45 yrs old. just enjoyed about an hour over couple of days. then it died (i guess blown a fuse) but no expertise to explore and fix. Now i want a receiver:
a. without tube/fuse> will run its natural life like a laptop/computer
b. can play MP3 quality music (running via Aux or MP3 jack), I am not super sensitive about sound quality
c. which can be hooked up with my technics floor or sunsui bookshelf speakers
d. that delivers 10w/speaker
e. costs me around 100$ or less (but lesser is better)

Should I buy from:
a. best buy; something like this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/russound-p7 ... Id=7263263
b. should kijiji be the better source? should a 10 yrs old receiver be ok for my purposes (and be devoid of fuse/tube burning issues?)?

Please suggest/help
17 replies
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
The Sansui you purchased has tubes?

Anything you buy will have a fuse, it is a safety precaution and they are cheap to replace when they blow.

Based on your requirements, I suggest you get a T-Amp

https://www.amazon.ca/Topping-TP22-Trip ... ds=topping

If you prefer a really cheap version, then

https://www.amazon.ca/Lepy-LP-2020A-Cla ... ds=topping
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
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Richmond
You can probably find tons of old stereo amps/receivers for sale on sources like Kijiji. It would be extremely rare to find any with tubes since only a few quirky high-end audiophile models have used tubes in the last 60 years or so. Normally what goes wrong with them is that the capacitors degrade over time or the control contacts get dirty and corroded from long use.

There are few old-style stereo receivers around these days since most models are surround-sound AV receivers for use with modern audio and video equipment, but you can still find a few starting at about $150, something like http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/she ... 59379.aspx

One feature that might be useful to you on a new receiver is Bluetooth, which would let you directly stream music from a phone or tablet without hooking up wires.
[OP]
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Faith24 wrote: You can probably find tons of old stereo amps/receivers for sale on sources like Kijiji. It would be extremely rare to find any with tubes since only a few quirky high-end audiophile models have used tubes in the last 60 years or so. Normally what goes wrong with them is that the capacitors degrade over time or the control contacts get dirty and corroded from long use.

There are few old-style stereo receivers around these days since most models are surround-sound AV receivers for use with modern audio and video equipment, but you can still find a few starting at about $150, something like http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/she ... 59379.aspx

One feature that might be useful to you on a new receiver is Bluetooth, which would let you directly stream music from a phone or tablet without hooking up wires.
bluetooth is a good idea but dont wanna spend more than 100ish
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Oct 9, 2010
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Gee's cheap suggestion is the best bet; they're tiny, reliable, and will easily do what you want. I have a very similar amp powering 8 speakers in my whole home audio system, and it works amazing.

If you get something off Kijiji, you'll end up paying about the same probably, but you'll get a tuner (radio), and connectivity for a bunch of random stuff that is sounds like you don't need.
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Nov 24, 2004
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spiderman6 wrote: bluetooth is a good idea but dont wanna spend more than 100ish
If having a tuner (radio) or multiple inputs is not important to you, get a T-Amp as described above, as well as a stand-alone Bluetooth receiver to plug into its input. The total cost will be maybe $50-$60.
[OP]
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JHW wrote: If having a tuner (radio) or multiple inputs is not important to you, get a T-Amp as described above, as well as a stand-alone Bluetooth receiver to plug into its input. The total cost will be maybe $50-$60.
all i'll use a MP3 player, i think i dont need the bluetooth. do i?
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Jan 22, 2015
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spiderman6 wrote: all i'll use a MP3 player, i think i dont need the bluetooth. do i?
Nah. If you want that later you can get a BT dongle thing to hook up to the Aux/whatever. You know OP, you're in a pretty cool position, since your experience is limited and your expectations aren't "Moon shot" crazy. Hmm, a hundredish? I think an integrated amplifier is your best bet. There is a huge used market you could check out: Canuck AudioMart and haunt that awhile for something nice. In the meantime, Gee's idea is perfectly servicable: https://www.amazon.ca/Lepy-LP-2020A-Cla ... ords=t-amp -- I linked to a cheap interim one if you want to look for something vintage and cool down the road.
[OP]
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Gee wrote: The Sansui you purchased has tubes?

Anything you buy will have a fuse, it is a safety precaution and they are cheap to replace when they blow.

Based on your requirements, I suggest you get a T-Amp

https://www.amazon.ca/Topping-TP22-Trip ... ds=topping

If you prefer a really cheap version, then

https://www.amazon.ca/Lepy-LP-2020A-Cla ... ds=topping
not sure if sansui 210 had a tube.
btw, T amp vs Lepy, other than price what is the difference they r having? also can i hook up more than 2 speakers (DIY or some trick) with these as i see only a pair of outputs on them?
Last edited by spiderman6 on Mar 1st, 2017 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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East Gwillimbury
spiderman6 wrote: not sure if sansui 210 hd a tube.
btw, T amp vs Lepy, other than price what is the difference they r having? also can i hook up more than 2 speakers (DIY or some trick) with these as i see only a pair of outputs on them?
Both the Lepai and Topping are T Amps. The difference is the build quality. If your budget is limited. Go for the Lepai

They are designed for two speakers. Don't try to hook up more speakers. You'll need to take the impedance into consideration.
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For your needs, go for the Lepai/Lepy.
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[OP]
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will i be dinged by customs if i buy the lepi from amazon or ali express? ali's 1 is few bucks cheaper btw.
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Nov 3, 2008
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Have a look at what stormy13 posted. The inside board shows 3 glass fuses that are very accessible.

It should be very easy to open the amp, pull the 3 fuses and see if any of them are blown. I suggest taking them out one at a time and putting them back in case they are different size fuse. There is one near the top left and two just below that one.
The amperage of the fuse is written on one of the silver tabs on the fuse. You should be able to see if a fuse is good (a solid wire in glass portion) or better yet to check resistance with a multi-meter if you have one.
You should be able to get these fuses from The Source store.

I would go this route first.
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Feb 29, 2012
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Certainly you should check the fuses. It's trivial, and you don't want to throw something out for the sake of a fuse worth a few cents.

Don't buy fuses at The Source. They sell fuses for about 100x their bulk value. You can get many electronic fuses at Rona for about 10x their bulk value.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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While you can get lucky, the fact is most amps that have blown fuses aren't magically fixed by replacing the fuses. In most cases if a fuse is blown, it's blown for a reason--i.e. because something shorted, you have a blown FET, etc. So you can replace the fuse but it will just pop immediately as you power it on again. If you have fuses on hand or find them cheap, sure give it a try, but don't at all be surprised if you just see it pop again.

Most amp repairs are a bit more complicated than just replacing fuses.
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East Gwillimbury
spiderman6 wrote: will i be dinged by customs if i buy the lepi from amazon or ali express? ali's 1 is few bucks cheaper btw.
The link I sent is for Amazon.ca

No customs fees. Just HST

If it is just a few dollars cheaper at AliExpress, I suggest you pay the extra and buy at Amazon. You will lose any savings in the exchange rate and the 8 weeks or more shipping from China is not worth saving a few dollars over.

Amazon ships in 3 days

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