Help Buying 2nd Hand Av Receiver?

GregV6

Novice Member
OK so I am trying to save myself time and mistakes. I am not, maybe never, interested in the really fine details for AV equipment but trying to entertain myself during lockdown and be good to my 89 year old Mother (we are not letting her out of the house!). Although not up with AV tech I work setting up PCs on boats, interfacing navigation instruments and PCs, so if pointed in the right direction I am not scared of complication in connections.


I want to get a used (probably eBay) AV Receiver for not too much money (let's say up to £150 but cheaper is always better) - I have seen things like Yamaha RX-V673 at not crazy money (I wonder if they are going because the Internet Radio has stopped working?).

Anyway I wonder if there are any particular gottchas with buying cheap older kit ?
I understand there may be problems with feeding the Virgin box through an AVR that has an older HDCP version - is this a big issue ?

Super high quality is not the aim - just a useful improvement of Audio on what we have.
No 4K involved and cinema surround is not required - nice stereo is fine.
Convenience of use for an 89 year old is important.

I know I could just get a Soundbar but we do have a choice of unused old speakers in the house and I have an idea they will sound better than any cheap Soundbar, plus remember I am trying to entertain myself as well ;-)

Any ideas welcome





More detail if you can be bothered.........
Panasonic TV TX-L39E6BW
Virgin V6 Box
Panasonic DVD DMR-EZ28EB
Panasonic DVD/VHS DMR-EX99VEB

Since the V6 went in that is used for 99% of Reception and recording. Mum does not have the best hearing but watches a lot of TV so I had already been planning to try and upgrade from the TV speakers in the hope of better voice clarity. Since lockdown her local Music group are sending each other lists of YouTube links instead of meeting with stacks of CDs. I have linked YouTube on her MacBook with YouTube on the Virgin Box (I think TV has already lost YouTube capabilities through age).

We had in the house various old speakers and I found an old Arcam Amp which I hung off the TV headphone output set up with a pair of KEF Uni Q speakers, as a test, to see if Mum noticed the difference (I also have Wharfdale Bookcase speakers, or some smaller old Leaks). Mum was very impressed and much happier - she keeps noticing the theme to various TV programmes, pointing out parts of the music she had never noticed before and has listened to a lot of her favourite music.

But of course the Arcam does not have a remote and volume control is complicated given the TV provides no easy way to adjust the Headphone output volume, and even that would require the use of 2 remotes (I have to use the Virgin box to sync to YouTube. so I want to get a more convenient system that gives similar sound output but with easy control using the Virgin remote).

More selfishly I would like to have the ability to stream to the system from my iPhone and my Win10 PC. It looks like at my budget I am unlikely to get Bluetooth but might get Airplay and DLNA options. (I had been planning to run wired LAN to the Virgin box and I can easily put a small switch/hub in, or keep the Virgin on WiFi, so I don’t need WiFi in the AVR just RJ45). I had some problems streaming Video from the web using an App on the iPhone – it does not seem to work to the Virgin box and to work on the TV I have to choose ‘Download and Play’ after 1st trying to play the video I think this is because the old TV does not support the video format. I wonder if an AVR I get might work without the extra step.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
What model Arcam is the amp. Quite often back in the olden days a remote was an optional extra when buying hifi amps. So your Arcam may be capable of being remote controlled

You can program a V6 remote to operate other devices, possibly even your Arcam, there's a section in the FAQs here in controlling other AV devices. I've definitely had a V6 remote controlling an Arcam AVR so it's a possibility at least.
 

GregV6

Novice Member
What model Arcam is the amp. Quite often back in the olden days a remote was an optional extra when buying hifi amps. So your Arcam may be capable of being remote controlled

You can program a V6 remote to operate other devices, possibly even your Arcam, there's a section in the FAQs here in controlling other AV devices. I've definitely had a V6 remote controlling an Arcam AVR so it's a possibility at least.
Thanks I did not think of that - Arcam is an Alpha 6 - it looks to be from another age but it is true it sounds OK. I will try and find out if it has remote possibilities that could be accessed through the V6 control as that would certainly be a big improvement on current test setup.

Though I am prepared to spend some money if it means I can also stream DLNA and/or Airplay more easily.
 

GregV6

Novice Member
What model Arcam is the amp. Quite often back in the olden days a remote was an optional extra when buying hifi amps. So your Arcam may be capable of being remote controlled

You can program a V6 remote to operate other devices, possibly even your Arcam, there's a section in the FAQs here in controlling other AV devices. I've definitely had a V6 remote controlling an Arcam AVR so it's a possibility at least.
Jamie

Wow you cracked that - Many thanks.

I now have volume control of the Arcam from the Virgin remote - I did the right thing by coming here to tap the brains of AV experts.

I have lost the ability to switch the TV on and off with the Virgin remote but it turns out Mum did not realise that would work and was using the TVs own remote anyway so that is no problem.

I suppose having got into it I may still search for an AVR that allows me to stream using DLNA or Airplay more easily but for now I have a happy mother who can listen to YouTube music with just the Laptop and Virgin remote to juggle - I am not quite sure why it is that sometimes I have to link the YouTube account to the TV again but mainly it works OK and it never seems to be needed more than once a day.

Thanks again :)
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
For streaming I have my doubts you'll match the quality of an old Arcam as a music device. I'd be tempted to add a suitable device to a spare input on the Arcam. If you have the time a raspberry pi with an add of DAC card would give you a very nice streamer for very little money and a smallish amount of time.

Another alternative if you can find one for a decent price could be a Chromecast audio. Sadly now discontinued but still worthwhile IMO.

There's loads of other choices but both of the above are things I have personal experience of.

I can't remember the details but I think it is possible with fiddling and random button presses to get the Virgin remote controlling both but it was a long time ago (and actually also my mum's system, I haven't used cable TV since they were called NTL) so can't remember how.
 

GregV6

Novice Member
Yes interesting ideas - now I could see myself being dragged into this, I'd better be careful as there are other things I should be doing during this lockdown and we are already enjoying much improved sound in the Kitchen/Garden room where much of the day is spent.

I did see something that suggested there was a way of connecting the V6 remote to a TV first then to an AVR, so as to control both, but the way I got the Arcam control to work, via the Virgin Help menu, does not seem to have acheived that. I might have another go but actually it is not a problem the way it is.

Maybe the challenge is - what can I acheive with what is lying around in my parents big old house! Not only what Dad had bought over the ages but the detritus of 3 Sons who have come and gone over many years, dumping stuff when convenient.

I supect the limit right now is not the Amp/Speakers but the Audio as uploaded to YouTube, so alternative streams or hooking one of the DVD players up to the Arcam might be next game. Though really I should stop here.

If I am following your suggestion for other inputs to the Arcam I do have a spare old Mac Mini and an Edirol UA-1ex USB DAC in the house, and who knows what else!
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Am I right that you use an Apple phone for music and want to stream from it? If so I'd forget about an amp that streams and use a device as suggested. An Airport Express is a cheap way to stream from an Apple device, or an older Apple TV which has other benefits too.
 

GregV6

Novice Member
Good point I had not thought about adding Airplay using an Airport Express. I guess I could feed one into the Arcam.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
I use both in different setups and it's a great solution for streaming, not just with Apple Music or iTunes.
 

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