Help me hear the music, please!
April 21, 2014 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Hi! Over the weekend, the receiver/speaker combo I use to listen to vinyl and my iPhone (cobbled together from stuff friends didn't want anymore) reached a critical point of sounding crappy. Can you help me find a replacement?

I would like to purchase something that can amplify the sounds coming out of my record player AND my iphone/ipad/laptop--bluetooth would be awesome. I live in a tiny studio apartment, so I would like for this thing to be small. Right now I'm losing precious floor space to a super heavy receiver and a pair of bulky speakers. I would love to have something I can put on a table or even move around my apartment with me. Budget is flexible, but would like to find a solution ~$200 if possible.

My mom has a Jambox, which is basically exactly the price/size/quality I'm looking for--but I also want to be able to plug in my turntable.

I'm pretty ignorant about terminology for this stuff, so my google searches are sending me in circles. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
posted by justjess to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Does your turntable have the kind of jack you can use for an audio hookup? Like anything you can use (with or without an adapter) to connect with a 1/4 inch cable? (Maybe headphone jack to the Jambox port?) We have a Jambox and I think that should work.
posted by Madamina at 10:49 AM on April 21, 2014

Best answer: You need to find a unit that has an "aux" function and a "line-in", which thankfully includes the jambox and most of its competitors. The cables you likely need are stereo RCA to 1/8th inch, they look like this, which presumably are the same cables you used to plug it in to your previous receiver.

I have this Little one from Sony, and it cranks.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:50 AM on April 21, 2014

Best answer: You probably need a preamp for the turntable, like this one:

That'll boost the signal to an appropriate level. Then you can use an RCA-to-1/4in Y cable to go into the aux on the Jambox (or whatever else). I have a friend who uses this method on a BOSE Wave radio and it sounds great.
posted by activitystory at 11:30 AM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: activitystory has a point, your turntable will almost certainly need to be connected to a "phono preamp" first (here's an explanation of why you need one), then use a cable like the one BlerpityBloop linked to to connect from the preamp to the input jack of the Jambox. The cables are available in various lengths, IMO is a fine place to buy them, and 1/8th inch is also known as 3.5mm.

Use the Bluetooth capabilities of the Jambox for music from phone/laptop/etc.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:06 PM on April 21, 2014

Response by poster: Solved for under $100! Thanks so much.
posted by justjess at 12:06 PM on April 21, 2014

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