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I'll take "A New Stereo" for $200, Alex.
August 8, 2006 12:33 PM   Subscribe

So, the stereo I won on Jeopardy is about to break...what should I replace it with?

What I already have and would like to hook up:
Surround sound speakers
TV
DVD player
iPod
iBook

I would like to also have a basic CD player [the old one was a 24-disc changer and completely irritating--1 CD at a time is plenty] and AM/FM radio. A tape deck would be nice but not at all necessary.

So...should I get one of those integrated stereo things again? A receiver and separate CD player? A wireless doodad so I don't have to actually plug in the computer/iPod?

I'm not a big audiophile, so it doesn't have to be AMAZING sound quality, and I don't want to spend more than 2 or 3 hundred bucks at most. I also would prefer not to have to build it myself out of parts from Radio Shack. (Do they still have Radio Shack?)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by exceptinsects to Technology (17 answers total)
 
You should check to see if your DVD player will play audio cds. Mine does and so reduces the number of electronic gadgetry that is hooked up to my receiver.
posted by LunaticFringe at 12:35 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


I replaced a traditional component stereo with a single-CD/DVD AM/FM home theater system a while back, into which we plug our iPod. It all fits into a TV cabinet, including the sub, and the only externals are the small speakers, and it sounds great to this non-audiophile. It's a Phillips, and it cost about $250.

The main reason we did this is after we got the iPod, we pretty much put away our CDs in a closet, and no longer needed the 5-disc changer.

Yes, they still have Radio Shack. No, you probably wouldn't want to buy a stereo there.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 12:41 PM on August 8, 2006


Unless your dvd player is extremely weird, it really should play cd's. Some won't play cd-r's or cd-rw's though because of some sort of laser weirdness.

If yours won't for whatever reason, I would just replace it with a Philips 642. Dirt cheap ($40--50 if you catch a sale somewhere), easily region-hacked, and plays anything.

Circuit City or Best Buy or some other store of that ilk will have lots of receivers for $200 or less. All of them will be more or less equivalent. Just pick one that you think looks cool, that has a nice remote, and that has some features that seem cool to you.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2006


When did they give out stereos on Jeopardy?
posted by geoff. at 1:50 PM on August 8, 2006


I had a cheap DVD player that played CDs fine, but wouldn't play two tracks 'seamlessly' . . . there was an abrupt pause inbetween every track. If that sort of thing bugs you, be careful.
posted by oldtimey at 2:21 PM on August 8, 2006


When did they give out stereos on Jeopardy?

Must've been a third prize winner.

Second prize is always a trip. Third prize is usually electronics.
posted by padraigin at 2:21 PM on August 8, 2006


Now it's just cash, actually ($2000/second place, $1000/third). And maybe a home game.
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 2:26 PM on August 8, 2006


It seems like there was something annoying about using the DVD player as a CD player, I forget what. [Bad sound quality, maybe?] But it's pretty old by now so maybe I should get a new one.

The stereo was a third place prize, although I SHOULD have gotten second--I just left off the last letter of "Asimov". Long story. I got it just before they switched to the cash prizes.
I also got the computer game and the handheld one.

And yes, Alex Trebek is kind of a jerk in real life, too.
posted by exceptinsects at 4:42 PM on August 8, 2006


Get a receiver and a good DVD player. The Toshiba DVD players have been getting some good reviews on audiophile sites. I have three of them (don't ask) and they aren't bad considering the price and they are cheap and so far have been trouble free. For receivers I would buy used, either eBay or Audiogon. Receivers tend to live long lives so used is generally fine. The biggest issue is sometimes they have scratchy volume knobs. If you get this you need some tuner cleaner, and in this category DeoxIT D5 is much, much better than generic tuner cleaners.
posted by caddis at 5:03 PM on August 8, 2006


This receiver looks sweet.
posted by caddis at 5:17 PM on August 8, 2006


Now it's just cash, actually ($2000/second place, $1000/third). And maybe a home game.
No home game. Tote bag and glass picture frame for photo of you and Alex. (I was a one-day champion back in January.)
posted by candyland at 7:21 PM on August 8, 2006


You mean nifty Jeopardy tote bag, glass picture frame for photo of you and Alex and a story to tell for a lifetime!

(What, Trebek didn't touch your butt when he put his arm around you for the photo?)
posted by Dreama at 2:48 AM on August 9, 2006


He does have a strange expression on his face in the picture.
posted by candyland at 6:32 AM on August 9, 2006


candyland: home game for runners-up, I meant. I didn't get one either (two-time champ, nyeah), but I remember the other tote bags having the games in there.

And the strange expression on Alex's face is from all the wax they put on there. It's how he attracts all those wives!
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 9:32 AM on August 9, 2006


follow up: the Toshiba SD-3980 appears to be the best buy among the lot for CD playback. It has pretty decent sound with CDs, especially considering its price. Perform the Swenson mod (search the linked audio asylum site, it basically involves installing a couple of quality capacitors) if you are handy with a soldering iron to tweak the sound.
posted by caddis at 11:48 AM on August 9, 2006


if you won anything on jeopardy, you're a greater man than me.

that being said, I am shocked a winner from jeopardy would be unable to answer any question at all.
posted by krautland at 9:22 PM on September 2, 2006


Yes, well, it was a consolation prize. :)
posted by exceptinsects at 7:07 PM on September 20, 2006


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