Question Amp suggestions for Pioneer PLX-500 and Denon tape deck

Ollie

Active member
Aug 1, 2021
5
3
25
Hi folks,

I'm using the Pioneer PLX-500 turntable with Pioneer DM-40 speakers, and today picked up an inexpensive Denon DRM-500 tape deck. The speakers are powered and include a 3.5mm and RCA inputs so I can directly connect the turntable and tape deck to them simultaneously, however I'm stuck on the best way to set things up for recording from vinyl to tape.

I'm guessing I'll need an amp of some description, however I'm fuzzy on the best options here since the speakers are powered and have an amp built in. I'm familiar with more traditional separates systems from years gone by (turntable > amp > tape deck etc) so the situation with the DM-40s has caught me off guard a little. If I'm thinking about this wrong and there is something simple I'm overlooking, please don't be afraid to point it out!

Apologies for the mega basic question, but any advice much appreciated. Cheers!
 

Gray

Well-known member
Hi folks,

I'm using the Pioneer PLX-500 turntable with Pioneer DM-40 speakers, and today picked up an inexpensive Denon DRM-500 tape deck. The speakers are powered and include a 3.5mm and RCA inputs so I can directly connect the turntable and tape deck to them simultaneously, however I'm stuck on the best way to set things up for recording from vinyl to tape.

I'm guessing I'll need an amp of some description, however I'm fuzzy on the best options here since the speakers are powered and have an amp built in. I'm familiar with more traditional separates systems from years gone by (turntable > amp > tape deck etc) so the situation with the DM-40s has caught me off guard a little. If I'm thinking about this wrong and there is something simple I'm overlooking, please don't be afraid to point it out!

Apologies for the mega basic question, but any advice much appreciated. Cheers!
Hi Ollie
That's a nice cassette deck.
You've got a phono preamp in your TT and as well as that power amp in your speakers.
An integrated amp with a tape loop, although convenient, would be a bit of an extravagance, since you've already got all you need.

Inputs 1 & 2 on the speakers are effectively 1 input, just with the convenience of different connectors. Indeed, some manufacturers advise against simultaneous connection (when the connectors are parallel wired). Your Pioneer manual merely warns on volume levels as the inputs are 'mixed'.
BUT YOU SHOULD NOT USE SIMULTANEOUS INPUTS.
Arrange for a 2 to 1 switchbox in your rack, sending either TT or tape output to a single input (1) on the speaker. Something like this:
A 4 input type is about the the same price and would give you scope to add future sources.
(That type is an AV switcher, so just ignore the yellow (V).
Chosen because of its metal case - if you can find an audio only in metal rather than plastic, all well and good, otherwise plastic would do).

To facilitate recording, you need only take the line output from the TT and pair it off at the input to the Cassette deck with a couple of:
The pair-off from the tape input.....is your (live) TT output.......and goes to input 1 on the switchbox.
The cassette deck output goes to input 2 of the switchbox. Then the switchbox output goes (maybe via a 5 metre twin RCA lead?) to input 1 on the speaker.
Would have been easier to draw a diagram :rolleyes:, but I hope you can follow that.
 
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Ollie

Active member
Aug 1, 2021
5
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25
Wow, thank you so much for this! Definitely not an arrangement I could have come up with on my own.

This sounds pretty straightforward and pleasingly inexpensive. One more quick question though: will pairing off the turntable output as you advise result in a loss of quality/signal? In my mind, dividing an output like this might have consequences for the sound, but I'm very happy to be corrected.

Cheers!
 
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Rui

Active member
Mar 23, 2021
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i would only see if the deck works at 100%(but i bought recentelly a drm-700a for 35€ only the rec.level wasn´t making contact,but a easy fix) and use an integrated amplifier with some better speakers i´ve been finding very good speakers at low prices and low impedance (4ohms) on ebay, regards
 

Gray

Well-known member
One more quick question though: will pairing off the turntable output as you advise result in a loss of quality/signal? In my mind, dividing an output like this might have consequences for the sound, but I'm very happy to be corrected.
You're right in your thinking.
In the above scenario your TT output to the speaker would be permanently loaded by the tape deck input (and tape in by speaker input).
Although not ideal, I'd bet that you would notice no audible difference, certainly not in level, which would easily be compensated for by tape rec level / speaker volume setting.

Maybe listen first, but it would be easy enough to use another simple 1 in, 2 out switcher where your TT line out would go to its input. Output 1 off to the speaker and output 2 to the tape input.
There would then be no pairing - when recording however you would need to monitor TT sound by headphones (or tape out from the cassette deck).
No problem . It's always better to monitor vinyl recording on headphones anyway - no chance of acoustic feedback from speakers being a permanent feature of your recordings.
 

Ollie

Active member
Aug 1, 2021
5
3
25
I'm afraid I'm having a little more trouble getting my head around this in practice. From your advice, it seems you suggest plugging in two of the RCA splitters into the tape deck input, allowing for the turntable output and another RCA pair to an input on the switcher? I'm stuck on how this input to input connection is going to create the required loop (presumably the splitters you linked to won't pass the signal across the two female connectors??) This is what the tape deck outputs and (split) inputs looks like:

IMG_2294.jpg

I've had to resort to diagramming this to make sure I'm understanding correctly, is this the overall arrangement you were suggesting?

Untitled.jpg

So sorry to be a pain, and thank you once again for your help!
 

Gray

Well-known member
You've done what you need perfectly Ollie(y)
Don't worry about the 'loop' description - a tape loop is effectively what you get with integrated amps - you're just doing things in a different way.
The only thing you might want to change is to avoid the pair-off (by using the second switcher) in the unlikely event that it causes you audible issue.
Don't worry about being a pain, you're not.
See how it goes. Any prob, get back here.
 

Ollie

Active member
Aug 1, 2021
5
3
25
This works well, thanks again Gray (and for taking the time to explain what the splitters do, which I'd never have guessed) :)
 
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Gray

Well-known member
This works well, thanks again Gray (and for taking the time to explain what the splitters do, which I'd never have guessed) :)
You're welcome Ollie.
I dare say some of those on this forum first recorded vinyl to analogue tape half a century ago.
Good to know that someone is still doing it in 2021 (even though your TT makes digital copying easy) (y)
 
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