My Audio Setup (Mid 2022)

Hi, everyone. This summer, I have primarily been focusing on two of my hobbies: experimenting with Pebble watches and collecting vinyl records. The latter came about after I upgraded from my extremely mediocre Victrola turntable, now known as “The Troll,” and was also encouraged to by a friend. So, with that in mind, I decided to finally share my modest audio setup on this blog. So, let’s begin!

Speakers/Micro System: Philips BTM630
At the heart of my setup is a Philips BTM630 micro hi-fi system. It features some pretty decent speakers, a CD reader, an iPod dock, AUX input, and USB and SD card ports. It’s over a decade old, but it’s still an excellent system that’s quite compact. Given its aforementioned good sound quality and wide variety of features, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is one my favorite parts of my setup.

MP3 Player: iPod 5th Gen
Moving on, I recently got another 5th generation iPod for free, and it’s become my primary portable music player for my setup. It still has its 60 gigabyte hard drive, and it’s also in great shape. It’s a fun and functional throwback that ties into my setup quite nicely!

Phono Preamp: Pyle PP444
Despite its price, this ~$15 Pyle phono preamp actually works pretty well. I haven’t had any sound quality issues, but I’m also not an audiophile by any means. I have my turntable connected to the preamp, which then outputs the audio through headphone and RCA jacks. I then use an AUX cable to allow the audio output from the preamp to play through my micro system, and the whole setup works flawlessly. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but I honestly can’t complain.

Turntable: Pioneer PL-600
Pioneer released two models of turntables under the name PL-600, and I own the earlier of the two. This is a very good thing, as the first PL-600 was significantly better than its successor. It’s almost entirely metal, it’s a direct drive table, and it’s also fully automatic. Thankfully, it still works, and it has a nice Audio Technica cartridge from the previous owner. The sound quality is amazing and this is easily the nicest part of my setup.

Bonus! Cassette Player/Recorder: Sony CFD-S70
It may be a total nugget, but the Sony CFD-S70 is still being manufactured and is one of the few decent tape players remaining. The speakers are pretty weak but tape recording and playback both work surprisingly well. It does have a permanent erase magnet, but at least it’s stereo! Somehow, that’s a perk with modern cassette players… What a world we live in.

Final Thoughts
So, that’s my audio setup! It’s not exactly super impressive or anything but it goes to show that you don’t need to spend lots of money to have an enjoyable audio setup. I got the turntable, iPod, and micro system for free, and the phono preamp and CFD were fairly cheap. That being said, I do hope to upgrade my setup eventually, so stay tuned for more posts on this sort of thing! Until then, ciao.

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