Phono Inputs...what can I use them for?

Hey everyone.

Today is the day for stupid questions. Here's mine.

I've got a vintage Sansui AU-717. I love it. It's the first non-crappy piece of audio equipment I've ever owned. But I'm long past my listening to vinyl days, and I've got this great integrated amp with not one, but two phone inputs. What can I use them for? I understand they're a bit different than the AUX input. Something about voltage...

Could I use them to plug something else into? TV? MP3 player? CD/DVD player? What are their limitations?


Nooooo! The phono inputs have WAY more gain than ANY other input. And the RIAA equalization also screws up the sound a lot.
I would say yes only if.. if you can find a 0.02 volt or less source (the usual sources are .25 to 2 volts
I would also say no for the same reasons, but would more forcefully say that the RIAA equalization COMPLETELY screws up the sound. You should not use them for anything other than a turntable. You could consider getting back into vinyl, you know!
Well now. I'm glad we're all clear on that point.

Even if I don't understand what any of you just said.
What's "Gain"? What's RIAA equalization? Awwww...It doesn't matter.

Okay, here's another stupid question: Since I'll never use vinyl again, could I take it to a guy that knows component level repair? Could he take the thing apart and turn one of the remaining phono inputs into something useable? Something I could plug a TV or MP3 player into?
If you are looking to plug stuff like that in, and don't have a tape player, the tape inputs are just the same as the tuner and aux inputs. If I remember correctly, that amp has two tape inputs. Just be careful not to hook your tv up to the tape output. No good.
If you really need extra inputs an external box would probably be cheaper and not require any change to the unit. You would destroy most of the resale value by rewiring it.
I think Viridian's and Stan's suggestions are good. To explain what Elizabeth and I were saying, generally a phono stage is used to accept a very low level, comparatively weak, signal from a phono cartridge and amplify that signal. Thus , there is an amplification stage in the phono stage that, were you to feed it a signal that is too strong, would overload the unit. The RIAA equalization is also built into a phono stage--records were intentionally cut with reduced low frequencies so they could be cut on the record and played back by a stylus (I'm oversimplifying--I'm sure other frequencies were intentionally changed during the cutting of the record)--the phono stage has a built in equalizer to attempt to restore the frequencies to what they were on the master tape. If you play back a source like a CD that was not "reverse equalized" like a record was, it will skew the frequency response of the music on the CD.
Good answers.I like the separate input box idea too.
Thanks for the inspiration, everyone.

If you can believe it, I'm not so interested in a second input box...unless cost is totally in it's favor. I love the amp: not because it has resale value, but because I *use* it. And I plan to keep on using it for the forseeable future. I don't plan on selling it. It's not that expensive to replace anyway. So I cut its resale value by what. Would I get $100 worth of value out of having one of the two phono inputs made into something more useful? It'll be something I'll consider.

Thanks for the explanations all. I had not idea what RIAA equalization was/is...good to know. Now I've just got to find someone in the Seattle area who can recap this thing, and replace the phono input into another AUX. Then I'll be happy until my golden years....'s better to have golden years........than golden ears. Good luck with the hunt.
Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, I didn't realize that I could use the Tape function to listen to another channel. I've always wondered by the word "Tape" wasn't on the input selector. Hmmm...But, I see from the specs that the input voltage is the same as that of the AUX channel. I can plug my TV into one of them. That's what I'm looking to do. Plug in an MP3 player a TV and perhaps a CD/DVD player into it, so I can stop fiddling with cords and plugs. Thanks, everyone for helping out.
Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer,I didn't realize that I could use the Tape function to listen to another channel.
There are a lot of experienced audio hobbyist,engineers,and a variety of professions here.I'm sure you have your specialty that people here would be lost on.At least you don't have to modify or use separate switches.