New memberUsername: Blueindian
Post Number: 4
Another thing I notice, is that when I turn the Receiver on and then the CD changer, I get no sound. In order to get any volume, I have to increase the output level by 5 -6 bars. Is this normal?
Platinum MemberUsername: Jan_b_vigne
Post Number: 18136
Likely another case of having a twenty year old, mid-fi receiver. Pots and connectors oxidize and create noise.
Different sources have different output Voltages. It's pretty normal to change volume between sources.
New memberUsername: Blueindian
Post Number: 8
Platinum MemberUsername: Jan_b_vigne
Post Number: 18150
Hard to tell since it's difficult to assess what would be "an improvement in sound quality".
If you mean will new cables solve your "static" problem, there's a yes and a no answer to that.
From what I can see, your CD player is fairly new and definitely much newer than your receiver. Your receiver is some twenty years old, or more.
Certainly, on the receiver, and probably on the CD player, the OEM connection jacks are less expensive nickel plating over brass bodies. The nickel plating does oxidize over time and one of the most significant ... "arguments" for better quality cables is they typically have gold plating. Still a brass body but higher quality plating that looks nice - for those audio crows who enjoy looking at bright shiny things - which exists lower on the scale of oxidation onset.
In other words, gold is slower to oxidize than most other plating materials. Oxidation at the connection points of a component to a receiver are common causes of noise and distortion.
So, yes, we would suspect the connectors on your receiver, and possibly the CD player, have become "dirty" and need attention. New cables would be one way to check. We would, however, be pretty lucky if this was the only problem with an older component. If the RCA connectors on either the receiver or the player are not snug and slightly difficult to remove from their seating, then new cables can address that issue.
The problem is still (most likely) in your twenty year old receiver when it comes to oxidation. Your receiver has nickel plated input connectors and new cables won't change that fact.
You can try cleaning the connectors but I hesitate to suggest that route for most people since you can easily do more harm than good in the process. Cleaning is best left to a technician who should then get inside the receiver and clean everything that can be spiffed up.
In most cases, this sort of maintenance type housekeeping is well worth the cost if you intend to keep this system up and running for more than a short few years.
New cables will obviously only address half of your problem if oxidation is the actual cause of the static. In that respect, any new cable at any price, low, medium or high, will accomplish the same result; one side of the connection will be cleaner than the other.
I cannot, however, tell you outright that the connectors on your equipment are causing the noise problem. There could easily be internal circuitry in the receiver which needs attention.
Alternately, the throw away cables that came with your equipment may have been damaged internally. Most people tend to play a bit too rough with cables - and cables never set up a safe word beforehand - when they are inserting and removing cables.
One of the conductors inside the cable may have been damaged when you pushed and pulled on it. Since these inexpensive cables have what are called "moulded plugs", there's no easy way to repair them and replacement is typically your easiest and best bet.
Now ... the noise you describe at the beginning of play will normally, and "normally" is the key word here, exist only in one channel if cables are causing the problem. Broken internal conductors don't typically occur in both sides of the cable and these problems don't typically heal themself after a few seconds of use. Oxidiation would be unlikely to occur at the same rate in both RCA connectors. Again, "unlikely", not impossible if these connections have sat for years.
It is, though, more likely with the receiver due to its overall age.
It's best to do some troubleshooting before you begin to buy anything on the hope alone it will solve such a noise problem.
First, you need to determine whether the noise appears on both channels or only one. Only one indicates a different likely cause than both.
Is the problem consistent with each try?
Does the noise always exist when you first start playing a CD? Or, only occasionally?
Does it make a difference if either component has been powered up for a length of time?
Does the problem exist with all CD's?
Or, can you say only certain discs have this problem?
If the answer to all but the question of on time with the component is yes, then you can safely say the issue is unlikely to be in your cables. Unlikely, not certain but unlikely.
If you do not suspect the cables, then remove the CD player's cables from their current input jacks and move them to another input. Tape monitor or auxiliary works, or any other high level input. Just not "phono".
You don't have to leave the CD player connected there but you need to troubleshoot the input now having the CD player connection.
At times, as long as you carefully pull and push only on the RCA connector itself and not the cable, the simple act of extracting and inserting a connector will clean sufficient amounts of oxidation from the connectors and solve your problem. It doesn't though change the fact nickel plating oxidizes over a relatively short time but it is a temporary fix at least.
If the noise persists at the new connection point, then you must continue the search.
Now you'll need to determine whether the problem might exist in the receiver or the CD player.
All high level (meaning everything other than "phono") inputs on a receiver share one common circuit inside the receiver. (Your tuner is connected to this circuit but not with common cables so we can ignore the tuner for now.)
If the problem exists from any set of connection points on the back of the receiver, the line level circuit may be at fault. That means a tech needs to repair the unit or you need to replace it completely.
You need to have another "line level" source for this next check. Some other component with a line output which you can connect to your receiver should do. Use the input jacks you have been using for the CD player. When you first initiate play from that source, is there noise? If so, the receiver needs to be repaired or replaced.
If not, then we begin to suspect the CD player.
CD players no longer use conventional CD transports to move the disc and the laser. The industry has moved on to building cheaper transports meant for DVD or BluRay use.
Since the track width of a CD and either of the other two discs is very different, there is often a matter of the player not tracking the initial few seconds of a track. Skipping and noise are the most common symptoms here. This is a fairly common problems with CD players built over the last decade or so.
If you obtained the CD second hand, this may be why it was for sale.
You need to connect your CD player to another receiver/amplifier. You might have a TV with line level RCA type inputs you could use or another music system in the house. You may need to borrow a friend's receiver for awhile. Just make sure whatever you use for this test the component has no known problems of its own.
You simply need to determine which component is the (most likely) cause of the problem. So, again, this is not a permanent connection, we are only going to use it for diagnostic purposes.
If the noise has occurred with any of these new connections, you should have an idea which component is at fault. If the noise has mysteriously disappeared, then go back to your original connection of the CD player to the receiver and report back. That is as far in the process as we can go for now.
If, however, you were originally asking about sound quality in the sense of making the music more enjoyable, the answer is a more than reasonable "no".
Putting entry level cables on an entry level receiver is sort of like putting entry level tires on an entry level car. Nothing much really changes unless you've worked hard to convince yourself that it has.
Perception is reality though and you are free to spend your money as you please.
However, the best advice with inexpensive after market cables and your "vintage" receiver would be; they probably won't help anything but they should do no harm either.
If you want to invest in cables, do so. But the chances cables will solve your problem are rather slim.