Using an old stereo as amp to put TV audio through

10
Posted 31st Mar
I recently got a TV and the speakers are terrible. I know I could get a soundbar, but found an old stereo, and am able to connect it up to the TV and output the sound through it for better quality audio.

Question is, it's from the 90s - will it be really inefficient and power hungry? It would stay on while I use the TV.

We did have a smart meter device which showed power consumption of the house but it's not working, otherwise I could have looked at it and seen how much it spiked when the stereo goes on.

Do 90s stereo systems use a lot of power it left on?!

Also I put a 13amp fuse it in the plug, hope that was the correct one to use
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If you have 5 amps fuse, use this over 13 amps.
As for how much power it uses, if Class A amp, then it is hot and it will be using top wattage all the time and be hot all the time, this amp is usually very heavy with massive heat sinks, when you look through the grill; these ones were usually the top end hi-fi paid with lots of cash.

If Class B amp, then it is efficient, typically standby is few watts, so just luke-warm on standby, light in weight with the smallest heat sinks,

There is also Class A/B amp, best of both, typically standby is few watts, so just luke warm on standby <== this is the most popular consumer type, medium weight heat sinks (Class A/B is usually marked somewhere on the unit)

Though just a few watts, if your use is regular, put a timer on the plug (for reference 3 watts standby is £4 annual usage on 24/7/365)
Edited by: "splender" 31st Mar
Unless it’s some ancient valve amplifier it’ll be fine - probably using a lot less power than most home cinema setups. Might want to use a 5a fuse though to be on the safe side & make sure it hasn’t been in contact with water if you’ve retrieved it from the loft, garage etc.
Edited by: "captainbeaky" 31st Mar
Thanks for your replies.

I'll see if it says what Class it is on the back.

What's the danger of using 13amp fuse instead of 5amp?
TGPips31/03/2020 11:56

Thanks for your replies.I'll see if it says what Class it is on the …Thanks for your replies.I'll see if it says what Class it is on the back.What's the danger of using 13amp fuse instead of 5amp?


Virtually no difference, 5 amp fuse pops just that tiny amount faster in current, as an amp is not a particularly sensitive in electronics, just a wee bit more peace of mind. If you have no 5A then use 13A.

Critical point, before you turn amp on, turn amp volume right down, if there is a speaker switch on/off, turn speaker off , Just in case, in early days of use, something might blow after long disuse.

After lockdown is over, pop out to poundland and buy a pack of mixed fuses for £1
Edited by: "splender" 31st Mar
I've got an ancient Harmon Kardon amplifier hooked up to my TV - for the simple reason it sounds vastly better than the relatively modern Onkyo AV amp I was running.

I have my TV connected to an 'Eon powerdown' device which controls power to the HK amp.

I wouldn't get too caught up with power consumption (whilst on) from older amps, there's so much rubbish spouted in HiFi circles, usually with the aim of you spending more money, I've tested all my stereo gear with a power meter and was pleasantly surprised how little they used (can't remember any numbers though)
I doubt it's going to be that power hungry that you'd notice.

I use a 30 year old amp in my bedroom, I used to leave it on all the time as it sounds better when it's warm, but I could hear the transformer hum at night when it's silent, so switch it off most of the time now.
But man it sounds sweeeeeet, so no way am I getting rid of it.
andymagic31/03/2020 12:20

I've got an ancient Harmon Kardon amplifier hooked up to my TV - for the …I've got an ancient Harmon Kardon amplifier hooked up to my TV - for the simple reason it sounds vastly better than the relatively modern Onkyo AV amp I was running.I have my TV connected to an 'Eon powerdown' device which controls power to the HK amp.I wouldn't get too caught up with power consumption (whilst on) from older amps, there's so much rubbish spouted in HiFi circles, usually with the aim of you spending more money, I've tested all my stereo gear with a power meter and was pleasantly surprised how little they used (can't remember any numbers though)


That power down plug sounds like a good idea, so if I've understood it correctly, if I plugged my TV and stereo into it, they would both be in sync and go on and off together automatically?
TGPips02/04/2020 19:16

That power down plug sounds like a good idea, so if I've understood it …That power down plug sounds like a good idea, so if I've understood it correctly, if I plugged my TV and stereo into it, they would both be in sync and go on and off together automatically?



Yeah, pretty much.

Powerdown sockets have 1 main socket and 2 'controlled' sockets, they look like a 3 way plug in adaptor.

Connect the power to the TV to the main socket and your amp to a controlled socket, when you switch the TV on (after a second or so delay) the controlled sockets both turn on.

I've expanded on this a little, I have an extenstion lead in the main socket, which the TV and a small lamp are plugged into, if I turn either the TV or the lamp on, the amp turns on, this is so I can listen to the turntable etc by just having either the lamp or TV switched on.
andymagic02/04/2020 19:36

Yeah, pretty much.Powerdown sockets have 1 main socket and 2 'controlled' …Yeah, pretty much.Powerdown sockets have 1 main socket and 2 'controlled' sockets, they look like a 3 way plug in adaptor.Connect the power to the TV to the main socket and your amp to a controlled socket, when you switch the TV on (after a second or so delay) the controlled sockets both turn on.I've expanded on this a little, I have an extenstion lead in the main socket, which the TV and a small lamp are plugged into, if I turn either the TV or the lamp on, the amp turns on, this is so I can listen to the turntable etc by just having either the lamp or TV switched on.


Sounds quality! I wonder if my energy provider will send out a free one?! :-) Didn't Eon send them to their customers?
TGPips02/04/2020 19:50

Sounds quality! I wonder if my energy provider will send out a free one?! …Sounds quality! I wonder if my energy provider will send out a free one?! :-) Didn't Eon send them to their customers?



They work really well and are cheap, gotta be worth an ask, I picked up a box full of new powerdown devices from a car boot for a tenner, I've got various ones doing similar jobs around the house.

eBay has loads of them, but a lot seem to be the version with external remote sensors, I've not tried this version myself as the plain versions work so well.
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