I know there are some audiophiles on here, I’m hoping someone can give me some advice. Warning: this post is not amusing or entertaining.
I have an old hi-fi, approx 30-35 years old (please don’t laugh at how old fashioned I am):
Kenwood KA-550D amplifier, Philips CD650 cd player, Technics cassette player, KEF Coda speakers and a Thorens TD166 Mk 2 turntable with Nagaoka MP-11 cartridge. Strange that I could remember my turntable and cartridge details but the others I had to check.
My hi-fi was ok when I had it in the living room, though I did think the speakers were the weak link. It was a big expenditure all those years ago for me and I think that partly explains why I’ve hung on to it.
I’m not a total technophobe, I got Audica desktop speakers based on a glowing What Hi-Fi review, very disappointed and I never believe What Hi-Fi now. Also got a Klipsch iPod dock, I was impressed with that. And a Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS to try to improve the sound from my laptop. And some Audio-Technika closed headphones that I think sound very good but I find them a bit heavy and I get hot ears! And various Sennheiser and Shure earphones.
And a cheap DAB radio I never listen to.
After moving house and changed domestic arrangements my hi-fi is now in my study (i.e. single bedroom). The problem is that at low-medium volume the sound is very poor (crackly) unless I crank up the volume, and space is limited. My turntable is still in its box due to lack of space.
My music listening is mainly cd and whatever I find on the internet, be it on YouTube, bandcamp, free Spotify.
a) Is there anything I should hang on to or just get rid of the lot?
b) What would people recommend for a small room? Maybe a cheap all-in-one stereo system or with one with separate speakers?
c) Since I increasingly stream music any recommendations on that front? e.g. connect Chromecast Audio to a new amp or would a new all-in-one system cover it?
d) I would like to get my turntable set up again but when I last tried it many years ago the sound was terrible. Do cartridges wear out? If a record has been stored away does it need cleaning before reusing it, if so how? If an album cover shows signs of damp/mould can the actual record be recovered?
e) Finally, to clear up some space, can old bits of hi-fi be safely stored in the loft?
I’m just after some ideas before I make the visit to a shop to actually listen for myself.
If you have got this far without losing interest, thanks for reading.