noob connection questions..

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by JohnWarner, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. JohnWarner

    JohnWarner Guest

    OK here's the deal i've been left a rather nice Quad 33-303 Amp Preamp and Tuner and some good speakers to go with it from my late grandfather/grandmother.

    However, it's old and therefore not foolproof like anything this side of 2000... ideally I want to hook my pc audio output up to it. I've done some reading around and i THINK i am right in thinking that the output from a PC is going to be 10 - 15dB too high for the "tape" input on the preamp. I noticed I can buy attenuated cables to specially deal with this, but theyre not cheap. I am also aware there are ways of changing the input by soldering onto the tape input board. However at the moment at least I want to avoid doing that. However, I was thinking would it be possible just to set the volume to -15dB on the software equalizer on the PC?.. would this a) work well? and b) if for some reason the software was to reset itself back to default volume/equalizer settings would this damage the amp?

    thanks, in advance, john
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Welcome to RO, John!
    I have a couple of older "hi-fi" stereo amp/preamp combos (Luxman and Marantz), and those babies are built like tanks compared to what is sold on the A/V market these days. All of my units have another way to access their power amp sections. With the Marantz's (a 1070 and a 2080 receiver), there are patch points with metal jumpers that link the pre- and power-amp sections. On the Luxman there is a pair of similar connectors located under a small plastic housing on the rear of the unit. You should look for something like that on your Quad. In addition to that, most hi-fi amps from that era have "Aux" inputs you may select via the Source switch. You should be able to access the power amp directly at the patch point. Of course, this will disable any other source that you have connected to the stereo, BUT you will have the cleanest signal path available to you for monitoring. As for the Aux input, this is typically 10 dB less sensitive relative to the Tape input, and it will permit you to easily go from monitoring your recordings to listening to a CD or the tuner when you want that.
    Finally, have you tried out that tape input with your PC? If Quad designed that tape input to be used with reel-to-reel machines, which usually pushed a good deal more output than a cassette deck, you may discover that the tape in will do fine with your PC's soundcard output. Just be conservative with the volume control settings as you "test the water".
    I'm with you on the soldering thing...many of those older units have "turret board" construction that has to be treated very carefully as they age. Good luck!

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