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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Friday (7/2/10) 5:02pm - ... wherein Peter needs to fix his audio system.

Executive Summary:
My simple audio setup for my A/V system is crapping out.  What should I do?

Longer Version:
My A/V setup uses a simple bookshelf system that I bought in the late nineties.  It can play CDs *and* cassette tapes!  The auxiliary input shows up as "MD", for (IIRC) "MiniDisc".

But it does its job, filling my shabby little living room with satisfactory audio.

Problem:  the CD player no longer works.

Actually, this in and of itself is not a problem, since I haven't played a CD on that system for years and years.  The *problem* is that the CD player seizes up, over and over again, as the system searches for a CD that's not there.  The servo noise isn't horrible, but it's noisy enough to be irritating.

So I guess I have several possible courses of action:
1.  Get it fixed.
This is probably cost-prohibitive -- although really, if someone could just disconnect the CD motors and get it to stop whirring, that'd be fine by me.

2.  Buy a receiver.
I could probably buy this receiver used for $150 or so.  Then, I guess I could hook up my bookshelf speakers to that?

3.  Upgrade.
I could get a "home theater in a box" system for around $800, or I could get a custom setup for presumably a similar price.  I'm reluctant to do this, though, because it throws an extra $600 at a problem I don't currently have.  I've never thought, "These two bookshelf speakers are too quiet," or groused that the sound needed to be sharper or more surround-ful.

What should I do?

(Yes, besides "stop grousing about your yuppie, first-worlder problems." :) )

Mood: [mood icon] curious · Music: none
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[User Picture]
Date:Friday (7/2/10) 4:24pm
I say make plans for your new system and then tear into your old one with screwdriver and needlenose pliers. It should be fairly straightforward to disconnect (or snip) the power lines to the CD motor once you've got it apart. Figuring out how the !@#$ it comes apart and then putting it back together right will be the hard part. But if you make a dog's breakfast of it then you throw the whole thing in the dumpster, and get the new system like you were planning all along. :-)
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[User Picture]
Date:Thursday (11/4/10) 3:56pm
I'm a big fan of the tear-it-open-and-try-to-fix-it-and-if-I-fail-no-worries-it-was-already-broken school of appliance repair. I fixed a CD player that way - bad tracking; I fiddled with the unmarked adjustment knobs until it started working again. That was satisfying, not feeling completely at the mercy of my possessions. Then again, sometimes things just need to go away.

One caveat: don't play with the innards of a tube TV/monitor. The power supplies in those biznatches have some big capacitors which can hold a large charge for a long time, just waiting to knock your sorry ass across the room.
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