Tips for setting up and maintaining your stereo system
Here are a few tips that I’ve been able to offer friends in the last couple of months. I share them here as they might be useful for you as well.
Lift your speakers off the floor. Unless they are actually designed to stand on the floor they will sound muddy. Place your speakers on stands or if necessary on tables. The ideal height is with the tweeters (the small speakers that reproduce the high frequencies) in line with your ears when in your typical listening position, be that sitting on your sofa or standing!
Dust is your enemy. It gets into gear and clogs things up and causes overheating. Vacuum all around your sound gear, especially over those air inlets and around the back of your amplifier.
amplifiers, DVD players, speakers etc with a soft (slightly) damp cloth and don’t ever cover the aeration vents on your equipment.
When removing leads from sockets don’t pull them by the cable. Hold them by the plug and pull gently. In the case of phono or RCA plugs or jacks (those that plug into the back of most DVD players), generally you will need to twist the plug as you pull it. Only if necessary wiggle it from side to side as you pull.
Never plug anything other than a speaker into the output of a power amp. A “speaker out” connection carries a very strong signal that can cause damage to other components. However if an output is marked “line out” or “record out” it will safely send signal to a recorder or another amplifier input.
A friend of mine recently asked me to help her set up her “stereo” and she wondered how she could get radio and music into as many rooms as possible without buying more equipment. Her amplifier (or receiver) drives A and B speakers so allows 4 x 8 ohm speaker boxes to be connected, 2 from amplifer A output and 2 from amplifier B. As she didn’t care for stereo sound but was more interested in comfortable low volumes spread throughout the house, we pressed the mono button on the amplifier, so sending the same signal to each speaker, and set up one speaker in each of 4 rooms. The cabling was able to go under the house so it didn’t look untidy.
A final tip. All speakers sound different and put out different volume levels. The only way to have four speakers sound the same is to buy four of the same make and model.
Do have a creative musical month!