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Pioneer AZ360 "Help"


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Old 04-09-2013, 00:50
kram2803
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Hi, we have this Pioneer A-Z360 Amp on its own I was wondering if I could use any stereo/hi-fi speakers on it. And I'm planning to hook it up to my PC the Amp has these type of outputs (CD optical, VCR and LD). Can you help me to wire this amp up, I know the amp is old but its better than nothing or spending ridiculous amount of .

Thank you.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:27
Chris Frost
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the Amp has these type of outputs (CD optical, VCR and LD).
Those aren't outputs. They're inputs. So named because the signal goes IN to it from some source device like a CD player or a PC.

All you need is some inexpensive stereo/Hi-Fi speakers. Ebay is full of stuff from 20 upwards. Spend a bit more on a decent pair of bookshelf speakers and you'll be surprised how good the sound can be. You'll need some speaker wire too of course. Connect the left speaker to left red/black sockets. Right to right. Wire speaker cable red to red, black to black. That's all there is to that. Then it's a question of hooking up the PC or laptop to one of the amps inputs.

If it's a desktop PC then you might have a digital audio output on coax or optical. Just get the appropriate lead. Make sure that the PC's audio out is set to PCM rather than bitstream. The amp won't know what to do with bitstream, but it will cope with PCM just fine. If the sound card has the option to set its output rate then stick to what vanilla CD uses. That's 44.1kHz. Don't choose options to up sample to 88kHz or 192kHz unless you know for sure that the amp can handle it. My guess is that an early 90's amp will be happiest with 44.1kHz.

Laptops are more likely to use the headphone jack. Buy a 3.5mm stereo jack to phono lead. The connection at the amp end will be via the LD in, VCR in, or the DAT in red & white sockets. Make sure the headphone volume level is set to at least 50% when you start to play files.

That's pretty much all there is to the wiring.
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Old 04-09-2013, 13:08
captainkremmen
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Any decent HIFI speakers will work fine, just check the OHMS required. Near the speakers terminals it should tell you (usually it's 6ohms or 8ohms), just buy speakers that match that.

Junk the crappy speaker cable that speakers usually come with and buy some good quality stuff, then just connect up as Chris suggests.
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Old 04-09-2013, 17:30
kram2803
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Those aren't outputs. They're inputs. So named because the signal goes IN to it from some source device like a CD player or a PC.

All you need is some inexpensive stereo/Hi-Fi speakers. Ebay is full of stuff from 20 upwards. Spend a bit more on a decent pair of bookshelf speakers and you'll be surprised how good the sound can be. You'll need some speaker wire too of course. Connect the left speaker to left red/black sockets. Right to right. Wire speaker cable red to red, black to black. That's all there is to that. Then it's a question of hooking up the PC or laptop to one of the amps inputs.

If it's a desktop PC then you might have a digital audio output on coax or optical. Just get the appropriate lead. Make sure that the PC's audio out is set to PCM rather than bitstream. The amp won't know what to do with bitstream, but it will cope with PCM just fine. If the sound card has the option to set its output rate then stick to what vanilla CD uses. That's 44.1kHz. Don't choose options to up sample to 88kHz or 192kHz unless you know for sure that the amp can handle it. My guess is that an early 90's amp will be happiest with 44.1kHz.

Laptops are more likely to use the headphone jack. Buy a 3.5mm stereo jack to phono lead. The connection at the amp end will be via the LD in, VCR in, or the DAT in red & white sockets. Make sure the headphone volume level is set to at least 50% when you start to play files.

That's pretty much all there is to the wiring.
Hi, thank you for your reply, I've been planning to buy a bookshelf speakers although I don't know what decent speakers there are at a price point of 70-100 Max. Would I need an external DAC or like this (Lepai TA2020+)?
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:03
kram2803
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I don't know what decent speakers there are at a price point of 70-100 Max
I found some speakers on ebay but if you have any recommendations please do share it. Ebay speakers are fairly cheap but not sure whether they're good or not as I have no experience on audio.

Edit:
Was planning to get a studio monitor but whats the difference between bookshelf and studio monitors?
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:49
Chris Frost
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Okay, I'm painting with a very very broad brush here so there's going to be exceptions both ways, but as a general rule of thumb then the following should see you right:

Stick with recognised Hi-Fi brands: Most of these are (or were originally) British companys: Monitor Audio, B&W, Rega, Focal (aka JM Labs), Mission, Wharfedale, Tannoy, Kef, Acoustic Energy, Dali, Castle, Ruark, Mission, Mordaunt Short, JPW, Celestion, Royd and you won't go far wrong.


On the whole, electronics manufacturers don't make or bring in decent speakers to the UK. That's because the UK is the world leader in manufacturing excellence for bookshelf Hi-Fi speakers (see above list). So, steer clear of Technics, Pioneer, Denon, Sony, Yamaha, Philips, Kenwood, JVC, Goodmans, Panasonic, Toshiba, Bush, LG, Samsung or anything that looks like it once belonged to one of those all-in-one DVD home cinema kits or a boombox stereo. There are some exceptions to the rule but unless you know what you are buying it's safer to go for the list at the top.

When Chinese manufacturing started to get popular there was a bit of a flood of cheaply-made speakers. These were the sort of thing sold by Richer Sounds and the other "pile-'em-high" discounters. Something small, British and decent like Wharfedale Diamonds might have cost you 90 new. The cheap Chinese alternatives might have cost you half that. But it's certainly true that you get what you pay for, so they weren't that great a bargain. Steer clear of Acoustic Solutions, Eltax, Gale, or anything with a name that sounds like a close relative of a bigger brand.

If the speakers you're looking at are any good then some magazine somewhere will have done a review. There's plenty of fish in this ocean.


As for a DAC; no. You don't need a DAC. The amp has one built in. Don't waste your money. BTW, the Lepai TA2020+ is an amplifier. It's not a DAC.
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Old 04-09-2013, 19:19
Nigel Goodwin
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Did you mean Acoustic Research?.
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Old 04-09-2013, 19:22
alan1302
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Did you mean Acoustic Research?.
Acoustic Energy:

http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/
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Old 04-09-2013, 21:16
chrisjr
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Hi, thank you for your reply, I've been planning to buy a bookshelf speakers although I don't know what decent speakers there are at a price point of 70-100 Max. Would I need an external DAC or like this (Lepai TA2020+)?
A few options

http://www.richersounds.com/product/...gale-3010s-blk
http://www.richersounds.com/product/...u-ae43-gls-blk
http://www.richersounds.com/product/...e-goldmonitbch
http://www.richersounds.com/product/...mercury-v1-oak

You really need to get up close and personal with speakers. You need to hear them working before you buy ideally as they all have their own characteristic sound.

Also if buying second hand be very careful. You have no idea what abuse they may have suffered. A poor amp can throw all sorts of rubbish at the speaker and blown tweeters (the high frequency units) are not uncommon if the speakers have not been well looked after.
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Old 04-09-2013, 21:17
Chris Frost
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AR and AE were decent brands. AE makes speakers. AR - an American Hi-Fi brand - used to make nice turntables and pretty decent speakers back in the 70's and 80's. They had distribution in the UK. I think they've fallen by the wayside now though. Another once proud name now just a shell of its former self.

Acoustic Solutions is the British face of a what is essentially now Chinese production of cheap sound systems sold through Argos and Ebay. They did start out though with higher aspirations. I seem to recall that Richers and Superfi used to stock AS amps, DAB tuners, CD player and speakers. I think they were pitched as the cheapest entry-level products in those shops.
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Old 04-09-2013, 21:26
chrisjr
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Was planning to get a studio monitor but whats the difference between bookshelf and studio monitors?
A "proper" studio monitor is a speaker designed for use in professional recording and broadcast studios to deliver a consistent high quality sound. And they can be eye wateringly expensive

http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipmen...monitor--65413

And that's just a single speaker!

However there are some smaller speakers that describe themselves as studio monitors. Often they are used by recording studios as alternatives to the main speakers to give the sound engineer some idea how the mix will sound on typical domestic speakers.

So when talking about small speakers there might not be a huge difference between Bookshelf and Studio Monitor. Though I do sometimes wonder if some makers slap Studio Monitor on the box to impress the punters and maybe add a few quid to the price
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:02
Nigel Goodwin
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Never heard of them

However, I see on that site they didn't start until 1987, so were 'late comers'
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:53
captainkremmen
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I wouldn't discount the likes of Technics proper hifi speakers, but only ones from the 70s/80s and into the early 90s. Technics made good stuff back then and were well respected, and you can get decent fully working ones cheap from Ebay.

But I wouldn't touch their later stuff designed for the bookshelf systems, and of course Panasonic/Matsushita dropped the Technics name in the UK years ago anyway.

But yeah, definitely steer clear of the likes of Bush, Acoustic Solutions and the like.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:55
captainkremmen
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AR and AE were decent brands. AE makes speakers. AR - an American Hi-Fi brand - used to make nice turntables and pretty decent speakers back in the 70's and 80's. They had distribution in the UK. I think they've fallen by the wayside now though. Another once proud name now just a shell of its former self.

Acoustic Solutions is the British face of a what is essentially now Chinese production of cheap sound systems sold through Argos and Ebay. They did start out though with higher aspirations. I seem to recall that Richers and Superfi used to stock AS amps, DAB tuners, CD player and speakers. I think they were pitched as the cheapest entry-level products in those shops.
That explains why I saw some decent looking, and sounding, AS separates in Cash Converters a couple of weeks ago.

Brushed aluminium amplifier, CD player and tuner. They only wanted 50 for all three too.
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Old 05-09-2013, 19:20
Chris Frost
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That explains why I saw some decent looking, and sounding, AS separates in Cash Converters a couple of weeks ago.

Brushed aluminium amplifier, CD player and tuner. They only wanted 50 for all three too.
For the sound quality you'd get from those that's a pretty good buy for someone.

Of course, the general public isn't so clued up on gear. They do tend to miss out on these sort of bargains in favour of dinky systems or something with more flashing lights than a Christmas tree and more bling than a rappers convention.
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Old 06-09-2013, 14:59
captainkremmen
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For the sound quality you'd get from those that's a pretty good buy for someone.

Of course, the general public isn't so clued up on gear. They do tend to miss out on these sort of bargains in favour of dinky systems or something with more flashing lights than a Christmas tree and more bling than a rappers convention.
lol, that's too true.

I've lost count of the number of times someone has said they have bought a new hifi, and it's a budget all in one stereo system from Argos. Fine for a kitchen or bedroom, but I certainly wouldn't use one as my main source of music that's for sure.

If I had the 50 I'd have bought the AS separates myself as they sounded excellent, which did surprise me as I had completely forgotten they had a short lived foray into higher quality separates.
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Old 06-09-2013, 15:57
Nigel Goodwin
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If I had the 50 I'd have bought the AS separates myself as they sounded excellent, which did surprise me as I had completely forgotten they had a short lived foray into higher quality separates.
Were they ever a 'make' at all?, or was it just a badged name even back then?, as I think 'Sherwood' was for Richer Sounds as well.
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Old 06-09-2013, 16:06
chrisjr
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For the sound quality you'd get from those that's a pretty good buy for someone.

Of course, the general public isn't so clued up on gear. They do tend to miss out on these sort of bargains in favour of dinky systems or something with more flashing lights than a Christmas tree and more bling than a rappers convention.
You mean like this bloke?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxQqWSnsHoA

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Old 07-09-2013, 13:59
kram2803
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Any decent HIFI speakers will work fine, just check the OHMS required. Near the speakers terminals it should tell you (usually it's 6ohms or 8ohms), just buy speakers that match that.

Junk the crappy speaker cable that speakers usually come with and buy some good quality stuff, then just connect up as Chris suggests.
Hi, this is whats on the back of the Amp Speaker Impedance I don't know what it means. Can anyone explain it?

Edit:
I'm planning to get this one only because its on this weeks deal. Edifier R1600T Plus 2.0
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:20
captainkremmen
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Were they ever a 'make' at all?, or was it just a badged name even back then?, as I think 'Sherwood' was for Richer Sounds as well.
There's not much info around for them today.

I do remember years ago they had their own website and their better separates products were sold at a few other places, such as Richer Sounds as well as Argos as others have mentioned.

In fact, their web portal is still up:
http://www.acousticsolutions.co.uk/

But the three websites it links to are no longer available.

I guess it's likely they were a start up, trying to sell mid range far eastern hifif gear at reasonable prices, but ended up being bought by Argos, or the name was just licensed to Argos.

Either way, today they are an Argos brand but I would guess they had a short stint as a company in their own right prior to that.
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:29
Nigel Goodwin
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Hi, this is whats on the back of the Amp Speaker Impedance I don't know what it means. Can anyone explain it?
Pretty naff looking thing to be fair, basically a 'music centre' and not separates - hence the multiway connectors at the bottom.

The amp itself is pretty poor as well, the main amp will only feed 8 ohm minimum speakers, and the rears only 16 ohms minimum.

However, it's not a surround sound amp (just a bodged on pair of rears), so I would ignore the rears and just stick a pair of 8 ohm speakers on the front.


Edit:
I'm planning to get this one only because its on this weeks deal. Edifier R1600T Plus 2.0
That's an amplifier/speaker combination, and NOT suitable to connect to an existing amplifier.
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:54
captainkremmen
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Hi, this is whats on the back of the Amp Speaker Impedance I don't know what it means. Can anyone explain it?

Edit:
I'm planning to get this one only because its on this weeks deal. Edifier R1600T Plus 2.0
Your amplifier says 8 - 16ohm speakers for the front. Just make sure you buy speakers within those parameters, but the vast majority of hifi speakers for normal domestic use seem to be 8ohm anyway, but any advert for new speakers will state their impedance. In fact, even the vast majority of adverts for second hand speakers on Ebay also state their impedance that I can see.

Generally speakers tend to be 4ohm, 6ohm, 8ohm or 16ohm. According to the pictures you posted your amplifier will accept 8ohm (the most common) or 16ohm speakers.

I should mention there are more variables than that actually, and some amplifiers while stating 8ohms can drive lower ohm speakers happily, although with more heat and using more power. But I'd tend to stick to the same speaker rating as your amp to avoid any potential damage and overheating.

As for those speakers you linked to, they have a built in amplifier. You intend to connect them to an amplifier anyway, so have no need of speakers with their own built in amplifier. If those speakers have proper speaker terminals where you can connect them to the speaker outputs of your amp and bypass the internal amplifier then they may well work fine, but more usually speakers with built in amplifiers use a 3.5mm headphone type jack as they are intended for use connected to PCs, laptops or MP3 players. From the link you posted they have a 3.5mm jack, so probably wont be suitable anyway. Buy proper speakers, not ones with a built in amplifier.

If you are on a budget, these would be better suited and they are only a tenner dearer but are proper budget hifi speakers:
http://www.richersounds.com/product/...gale-3010s-blk

Most amplifiers requiring 8ohm speakers can also quite happily drive 6ohm speakers, although they work a little harder but at moderate volumes they will generally be fine. But a little more heat might result, so I'd avoid stacking it in an enclosed hifi unit or stacking other items on top. I'd avoid 4ohm speakers though, the amplifier will possibly be working too hard and you could risk overheating and severe damage to the amplifier, probably by burning out the power module.

First few paragraphs here should give a simple explanation of what ohms are and how they related to amplifiers and speakers:
http://www.prestonelectronics.com/audio/Impedance.htm
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Old 07-09-2013, 15:01
Nigel Goodwin
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Generally speakers tend to be 4ohm, 6ohm, 8ohm or 16ohm. According to the pictures you posted your amplifier will accept 8ohm (the most common) or 16ohm speakers.
Historically speakers have been 16, 8 and 4 ohms - the 6 ohm impedance is a fairly recent innovation, and basically is just to give a little higher power in the specification on a cheap crappy system.


I should mention there are more variables than that actually, and some amplifiers while stating 8ohms can drive lower ohm speakers happily, although with more heat and using more power. But I'd tend to stick to the same speaker rating as your amp to avoid any potential damage and overheating.
If it only says 8 ohm, running 4 ohm speaker is likely to easily blow the amplifier - but you 'should' be OK as long as you don't run it loud.

Basically 4 ohms gives double the output power of 8 ohms, so imagine putting '4 ohm petrol' in your car and it went twice as fast

As you mentioned, using 6 ohm speakers isn't as bad as using 4 ohm ones, but most 6 ohm speakers will be off cheap systems.
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Old 07-09-2013, 15:04
captainkremmen
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Historically speakers have been 16, 8 and 4 ohms - the 6 ohm impedance is a fairly recent innovation, and basically is just to give a little higher power in the specification on a cheap crappy system.



If it only says 8 ohm, running 4 ohm speaker is likely to easily blow the amplifier - but you 'should' be OK as long as you don't run it loud.

Basically 4 ohms gives double the output power of 8 ohms, so imagine putting '4 ohm petrol' in your car and it went twice as fast

As you mentioned, using 6 ohm speakers isn't as bad as using 4 ohm ones, but most 6 ohm speakers will be off cheap systems.
I've seen a growing number of manufacturers start producing decentish midrange speakers at 6ohms, probably to cash in those with budget systems wanting a cheapish upgrade to their sound quality

I would, as you say, avoid 4ohm speakers though for the issues you mentioned.
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Old 07-09-2013, 15:20
Nigel Goodwin
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I've seen a growing number of manufacturers start producing decentish midrange speakers at 6ohms, probably to cash in those with budget systems wanting a cheapish upgrade to their sound quality

I would, as you say, avoid 4ohm speakers though for the issues you mentioned.
Strangely enough the German audio market always used to use 4 ohm speakers, where the rest of the world used 8 ohm?.
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