A Stereophonic Resurrection

In the spirit of Easter, I performed a bit of a resurrection this weekend. No, I didn’t raise anyone from the dead – but I did bring back to life an old Sony AV1070 receiver. Outside of missing a knob, this beast still works. I purchased it as a refurb from Crutchfield in the fall of 1991. It served as my parents’ entertainment system for several years, and I took it with me when I moved away from home.

Flash forward to last week: we had a garage sale, and my forlorn receiver was up for sale for a very paltry amount ($10). We didn’t have any takers, primarily owing to the fact that I no longer had the remote control.

In many ways, I’m relieved to know that the receiver never sold. During our garage sale, while I was looking for more stuff to sell, I stumbled upon an old RCA to 1/8″ jack in one of my cable drawers.

Today, I cleaned up the receiver and brought it back in. Outside of the missing knob, it still looks pretty good.

Our entertainment system consists of a Samsung 32″ TV, two 1991-vintage EPI stereo speakers (purchased with the receiver), a Nintendo Wii (Netflix server) and a 2006 Macbook Pro (which is used to play DVDs).

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The only issue I’ve run into is finding a better method of plugging in my stereo wires directly into my receiver and speakers. There’s a slight intermitent crackle coming from the speakers which I’m trying to troubleshoot. I suspect it might have to do with the fact that I’m plugging in copper wire directly in, instead of using some type of connector.

I’ve heard that banana jacks can be used, but I’m not sure if they will work with my stereo. I’ve taken the photo below, in the hopes that someone can tell me if banana jacks will work.

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Maybe someone savvy with stereos can advise?

-Krishna

Update: Fixed the crackling noise – the receiver sounds GREAT!

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • William 'Shaggy' Chrapcynski
    April 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I just have bare ends going into my receiver. The ends on those wires look like they may need be cut and re-stripped, through. Those clip jacks could be a little dirty too. Some tuner cleaner (Radio Shack) would fix that.

    • Krishna
      April 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Good advise! I cut the wires down and re-stripped them. Plugged ’em back in and WOW! the crackling noise is gone. Will check out tuner cleaner (hadn’t heard of that before).

  • Tovias
    April 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    One thing we always had to do was, after stripping the ends, twist the ends and add a bit of solder to the tips of the wires to keep them from becoming frayed. I don’t know if it was just a Navy electronics thing or what, but I’ve always done it since then and never had a problem.

    • Krishna
      April 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Great tip, Tovias! I really wish I still had my soldering gun. Alas it’s at my parents’ place many states over.

  • James
    April 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    The crackle is definitely due to the old copper speaker wire ends. You did the right thing, cut and strip the ends fresh. The old ends likely had some corrosion and micro cracks in the frayed ends. A little solder helps keep the ends together and prevents micro cracks. Back before they banned canned Freon, it was an amazing electronics cleaner. Sprayed the connections on many a stereo to clean the contacts. This is why gold is so good, it’s soft and it’s free of tarnish and is about the third best conductor. Silver being the best but silver tarnishes.

  • SamD
    April 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Best Buy and Radio Shack, among others, sell screw-on terminals to use with bare wire and clip jacks. The terminals have a small bump at the end to keep them from slipping out of the clip jacks. I use them for my computer room stereo.

  • Krishna
    April 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up on screw-on terminals, SamD. I’ve ordered some banana clips from monoprice.com – they were pretty inexpensive. They should be here in about a week’s time.