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DickB

New Twist to AR-3a

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It has been years since I stumbled across this website and the marvelous help received here from Roy C and others.  At that time, I'd stumbled across a set of AR-3a's and needed some serious help.  I'd come to the right place.  It took time, but with the sure hand of Roy, I found my way.  Today the speakers, powered by a NAD amp (C 372), gives us glorious sound...usually on a daily basis.  Has it been 10 years and counting?

For years I was very content with a CD player (Cambridge Audio azur 540c), and I thought a tuner would be an unhappy addition due to our rural location and the static for over the air transmissions as well as less than ideal local programming.  Now, I'm back to share (probably what you all have known for years...but that's okay!) something pretty nice for the AR-3a's.  My ancient laptop can be coupled (paired is the correct terminology) with the NAD amp and the AR-3a's for playing my favorite music (classical) from the internet.  No need for a tuner. 

One of my more frequent stations is in Finland but there are classical music "stations" all over the internet that "broadcast" static free and often comment free for hours and hours.  My base has been this European website, which while a bit out of date, nevertheless works okay

https://www.listenlive.eu/classical.html

and the Finnish link is:

https://rondolehti.fi/viva-classica/

go on down to what looks like a button and click on it and you'll find 3 channels of classical music to select from.  No advertising, no pleas for money.  Just music. A great big <SIGH!> from me. 

I've also discovered for opera fans (Wagner coming up this weekend!...and the R-3a's LOVE Wagner...believe me!), live broadcasting via internet-to-AR-3a's.  Boy!  That's great.  That little link of massive importance here is from the NY Met Opera via Manhattan's WQXR's website.  But I can get it also an hour later via Nord Deutsche Rundfunk Kultur out of Hamburg:

https://www.ndr.de/ndrkultur/

The devices I found for making all this possible was on Amazon.com -- I just stumbled across it, it was that fortuitous.  I have one for the non-bluetooth old laptop and one for the pre-bluetooth NAD amp. 

TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver, 2-in-1 Wireless 3.5mm Adapter (aptX Low Latency, 2 Devices Simultaneously, For TV/Home Sound System)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EHSX28M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

One of these in transmit mode on the laptop, one in receive mode on the Aux of the NAP amp.  They linked/paired/whatever in a few seconds and it has been happiness ever since.

So, Roy...finally I think I found something to give back to you guys.  Even though I'll bet you all figured this out a few eons ago.

 

Best regards,

Dick B in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts

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3 hours ago, DickB said:

So, Roy...finally I think I found something to give back to you guys.  Even though I'll bet you all figured this out a few eons ago.

Best regards,

Dick B in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts

Hey Dick,

Good to hear from you! I'm told you can also get TV's that are only a few inches thick! I really can't say anything...I'm still using a "flip" phone. :)

Last year I set up a pair of AR-5's for a young couple who promptly attached one of these to an old receiver to stream their internet stations, audio books, videos, etc, via their smart phones. They also did not own a cd, but could play cd quality (or higher) music files through a digital media player. Of course they are probably still trying to figure out how to properly use that old turntable thingy they purchased.

I've actually been using a dedicated internet tuner in an aux input for a number of years:  https://gracedigital.com/shop/tuner I like it because it is self contained and works like my old tuner.

Roy

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Welcome back!

Love the Berkshires. Grew up outside of Boston(Newton) and spent  a  lot of time over the years in various locales out there. I'm now in California but would love to get back to a visit and see some old friends. 

Yes internet radio is great. I listen regularly to shows in New York, the UK, SoCal(in in Nor. California), and others. I still prefer a McIntosh tuner for local radio(we have a lot of good stations out here) and the fidelity is quite a bit better with, IMO. But the ability to listen to all kinds of shows from all over the world is a very good thing. 

And I'm happily listening through 3a's also. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RoyC said:

I've actually been using a dedicated internet tuner in an aux input for a number of years:  https://gracedigital.com/shop/tuner I like it because it is self contained and works like my old tuner.

Roy

Grace has discontinued that tuner but the Grace Mondo+ looks like an interesting alternative. It's not exactly a component tuner, more like an Internet radio,  but it has RCA jacks to connect to an amp. 

The problem with the standalone Internet tuners and Internet radios is they all lack support for at least one streaming service or another. The Mondo+ is about the most full-featured one I've seen with native support for a whole bunch of services, plus Chromecast and Bluetooth which provide workarounds for getting to the services that aren't natively supported.

Using a laptop lets you punch up any station or aggregator you want, though. And you can easily use a VPN on a real computer to connect to servers in countries where the stations you want to hear are geographically restricted (CBC Music in Canada, for example). Bluetooth digitally compresses the audio so there is some degradation in sound quality but the codec is pretty good so you may not be able to tell.  You could always connect the headphone output of the laptop directly to the amp and see if you can hear the difference. 

Speaking of CBC Music, there's another workaround that doesn't require VPN outside of Canada if you own an Amazon Echo device.  You can say, "Alexa, ask CBC to play CBC Music," which invokes the CBC skill bypassing the geographic restriction. You can always plug an Amazon Dot, Amazon Input or the pricey Echo Link into your amp and use that to stream music too.  

There's just a ton of different ways to do this now, and it seems like more devices are coming out all the time.

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We're so far up into the Berkshires that our WiFi is a burden to poor old Verizon.  Old skinny copper phone wires hang here and they won't replace them.  They begged to remove themselves from our area code but weren't allowed.  When someone shuts down their phone or internet service it is GoodByeForever.  Verizon abandons them to smoke signals or flags.  Our town just passed a bill to assume debt to put in our own broadband lines (help from various state and fed agencies, to be sure).  So.  Bottom line: we're grateful to get anything out here that smacks of civilization.  The broadband might be here in a year, in the meantime we make do with the limitations of marginal internet service. 

Our analog set up, pre-digital CDs, was an old tuner, LPs on a turntable, amp., and marginally okay Philips speakers.  The CD digital revolution turned that upside down.  Analog suave sounds replaced by clipped digitalization of music...and the race was on to smooth the clipped sounds out.  Hence CA's CD players' sophistication, and the NAD power amp (needed for the AR3a's) helped bring the digital era sounds to older analog ears.  Bluetooth?  Never considered that it would not degrade digitalized internet sound but all in all we're pleased with what bluetooth brings and that the AR3a's are finally able to do their thing with more than CDs, however analogized that output might be.

Bottom line: We're slow in this tech stuff up here.  It was my intention to alert you to what I suspected (correctly as it turns out, plus much more) you already knew about.

My supplier of old abandoned speakers has apparently gone out of business.  Curbside Supply seems devoid of anything other than plastic yard toys.  Time was when lots of nice speakers could be found.

Actual technical question for AR-3a.  If the speakers' capacitors are now about 10 years old, how do they do?  When is the time to replace them?  I cannot recall brands chosen. Not the best, not the cheapest....

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My Yamaha AVR has built in networking.  A live streaming menu too.  So, it's relatively easy to search internet radio by region and genre, and find something to your liking.  I'm more of a movie Sountrack (the new classical), Prog and Jazz fan, which I cannot find locally.  As such, internet radio is a great service.

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3 hours ago, DickB said:

Actual technical question for AR-3a.  If the speakers' capacitors are now about 10 years old, how do they do?  When is the time to replace them?  I cannot recall brands chosen. Not the best, not the cheapest....

Your capacitors are fine, Dick. If you are looking for a project 10 years from now, buy a capacitor meter and measure them.

Roy

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2 hours ago, Stimpy said:

My Yamaha AVR has built in networking.  A live streaming menu too.  So, it's relatively easy to search internet radio by region and genre, and fine something to your liking.  I'm more of a movie Sountrack (the new classical), Prog and Jazz fan, which I cannot find locally.  As such, internet radio is a great service.

Agreed...I enjoy surfing the menus. :)

Roy

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Roy, 10 years from now I'll be hitting the 90s...if I get that far!  Thanks for info that caps are good.

Intriguingly, the internet audio works great...even with limited access here.  What currently confounds me goes beyond audio to the visual.  While audio is widely disseminated on the internet, regular TV stations/networks (PBS, ABC, etc.) seem to avoid offering free access on the internet.  Too bad, that.  Not that current access here would work, but... there's spring in the air and promises abound. 

Thanks to all for info and support.  I'll check in a bit, but essentially I wanted to pass along what everyone already knew!  Hey, good intentions, etc.

 

Cheers, Dick

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