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How can I connect my old stereo speakers to a computer/iPod? Answered

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I own an old Panasonic "CD Stereo System SA PM-21". I got it a few years ago, so it is not the newest, and unfortunately I can only listen to CDs, cassettes, or the radio. The speakers are really good however, so I'm not ready to simply give the whole stereo away.

So my question is, how can I connect a computer or iPod to these speakers? They have two pairs of cables each as you can see below.
Somebody already suggested using an FM transmitter or cassette tape adapter, but those options would probably give me much less quality than I would get if I connected directly. Would I need some sort of amplifier or converter? Is it possible?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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petercdBest Answer (author)2013-11-15

I googled the SA PM21 and by the looks of it there is no "aux" in socket,

...so its +1 for the amp option. :)
However you might find that those speakers are rather puny when played on your new amp and you could land up forking out for better speakers.
So with that in mind maybe its best to start at the beginning, the amp and you dont need a whole lot of watts either, then find a better speaker to match the amp.

Those ones in your pics are small enclosures made out of very thin chipboard and its my opinion anything would be an upgrade on them.

Im not punting buying new either, I have a 70's JVC stereo receiver with 25 Watt's per channel still very serviceable and capable of rattling the windows too.

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sjroth (author)petercd2013-11-15

What would be a suitable amp for these speakers? Sorry, I've never dealt with these things before.

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sjroth (author)sjroth2013-11-15

Might the Pyle Pro PTA2 work? How would I connect the four cables to the two sockets? Would I just have to plug blue and black into the - , and red and white into the + ?

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petercd (author)sjroth2013-11-18

It should be capable and judging from a review on youtube its pretty solidly made, problem is it only has 2 speaker o/p ie the left and the right whereas you have 4 speaker wires, so theres a problem right there. Your speakers only match the unit they were designed for, the SA PM21. I suspect the speakers dont have a crossover unit in their cabinets hence the 4 wires, so you would need to wire in a crossover network in each cabinet to the individual speakers resulting in a single pair of wires which would then go to the amp.

This is the reason why I said start at the beginning with an amp and speakers to match, theres much less fiddling around gettting things to work together if they're designed to do so from the beginning.
If you did want to hook those items together you would need RCA connectors to do so.

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sjroth (author)petercd2013-11-19

Ok, I'll see what I can figure out. The reason why I'm asking this question is because I don't want to spend money on a new stereo (I wouldn't pay more than $50 for an amp) and I wanted to use the stereo so it's not just taking up space. For now I think I'll just stick to using headphones or my little iPod dock. Or I might try the FM transmitter option, as Burf suggested.

Thanks for all the help.

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oldmicah (author)2013-11-16

Forgive the obvious question, but there is no mic input on the front is there?

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sjroth (author)oldmicah2013-11-19

No, there's nothing on the front for input

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Burf (author)2013-11-15

You'll need an amp capable of driving the speakers. Connect the iPod to the amp via the mini-plug.
Or, you can go the FM transmitter route but sound quality will suffer to some degree.

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