Computers & Electronics

Vintage JVC speakers back in the 80s. Can I still hook them up to a HDTV???

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 28th, 2016 12:17 am
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Aug 15, 2003
8636 posts
302 upvotes
Toronto

Vintage JVC speakers back in the 80s. Can I still hook them up to a HDTV???

I was cleaning out my mom's house the other day and came across solid, vintage, well-constructed speakers made by JVC that were probably worth a fortune back in the 80s...

Does anyone with audio expertise know what kind of adapter or additional equipment I require to hook these up to a modern HDTV?? The problem is they use two colour schemes, red/black with copper wiring (analog?).

If it's not too much of a hassle and I can actually get audio output then I want to give it a shot and see how these compare to my crappy Logitech computer speakers.
6 replies
Deal Fanatic
Mar 10, 2004
6514 posts
2982 upvotes
Gee wrote: Sounds like you will need an amplifier to get these speakers working. Are the red and black wires exposed?
If your TV has analogue audio output jack/s - either 2 RCA's (Typically Red and White) or a single female 3.5 mm jack - you can use any analogue stereo amplifier or receiver (lots available on Kijiji at decent prices). Use a patch cord of the appropriate type from the TV audio output jack/s to AUX or Tape input RCA jacks on your amplifier and hook the speakers up to the speaker terminals on the amp or receiver. Do not use any audio input jacks labelled PHONO on your amp/receiver as the sound will be severely distorted due to the sensitivity of that input on the amp/receiver - designed for low output magnetic cartridge turntables.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
2680 upvotes
Vancouver
TVs don't have built-in speaker amps these days, so you'll need an external stereo amp first (as per plymouthhater's instructions).

You'll want to be able to control the volume via remote control, so you'll need a headphone-jack output on the TV connected to the amp. Unfortunately many TVs now leave out the headphone jack and have no volume-controlled audio output. Connecting the line-level audio output to the external amp would work, but you would have to control the amplifier volume separately, either manually or with a separate amp remote or with a unified remote (if the amp supports remote volume control).
Member
Dec 7, 2015
479 posts
104 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
It's likely that you'll find that other devices use red-black instead of red-white. Red to red and black to white to connect them.

Are these RCA plugs?

If you get an AV receiver (AVR), you'll have a no-hassle way of connecting it - all the audio from HDMI cables will be routed to the red/white analog outputs for the speakers. If you use the TV over-the-air with an antenna, you can set the TV to use ARC (audio return channel) to send the audio to the AVR. Check if the TV has optical out (TOSLink) - that can be used to feed sound to an amp as well.

If you have a set-top box for cable or satellite, it probably has line-level audio out. You could route that to a simple integrated amp.

BTW - JVC was not a high-end brand, but they could make acceptable speakers and were popular. Make sure the speaker suspension is in good shape before spending any money. Pull the speaker grill off the front and examine the speaker cones - the ring around the outer edge should be flexible - if it's deteriorated, you could get it fixed, but the cost, for this quality speaker, would not be worth it.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Aug 15, 2003
8636 posts
302 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for all the responses.

Yes, the red/black wires from the speakers have copper wires exposed.

After some more digging, I've also discovered a Revox B285 stereo receiver which was decent back in the day?? No idea if it still works but this thing is huge, and a good solid 25-35lbs! Some Googling shows that people sold it for $500-$1000 within the last 4-8 years but I have no idea how much it's worth now.

The HDTV only has headphone, HDMI, and red/white/yellow in the back.
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3675 posts
967 upvotes
MtX wrote: Thanks for all the responses.

Yes, the red/black wires from the speakers have copper wires exposed.

After some more digging, I've also discovered a Revox B285 stereo receiver which was decent back in the day?? No idea if it still works but this thing is huge, and a good solid 25-35lbs! Some Googling shows that people sold it for $500-$1000 within the last 4-8 years but I have no idea how much it's worth now.

The HDTV only has headphone, HDMI, and red/white/yellow in the back.
Nice find. For a low cost way to try things out do this.

Power up the amp, connect the speakers using the copper wires. Look up a tutorial on how to do this, it's easy.

Buy a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable. One end will be the headphone jack, the other will be a red and white RCA jack (this going into the amp). This should send a stereo signal out to your amp and play out of your speakers. The most exciting this here is that you have a stereo system to listen to music now, not just for your TV. You can now plug in the 3.5 mm to your phone and listen to music this way. Once you find things are good, you can even get a bluetooth unit to output music to your amp from your phone.

Fun project if the speakers and amp still works.

And remember, make sure the amp is OFF when you plug and unplug the 3.5 mm jack!

Top