Use any input, but NOT the turntable input.
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That's what I told him, but all the other inputs were dead. It is important to note though that other devices worked fine through the inputs other that the phono input. That's when I felt there was more to this than I was privy to.
Could this be a digital issue that old recievers cannot recognize? Just wondering, as he said he plugged the XM tuner into his own modern day equipment, and it worked fine.
Has he tried both "cassette deck inputs?"
Is he sure XM Radio is plugged into "cassette deck inputs?" Does he still have instruction manual? On '80s equipment, I seem to remember certain components operating backwards from coventional terminology.
The next thing I would look at is if "cassette deck inputs" are still working? Ask him to take a component from his system that he knows works properly over to parents to see if that works properly.
Another thing to look at is if inputs are loose (ie, move left-right and/or up-down easily) which may indicate non-funtioning "cassette deck input?" If not careful, is easy to yank an IC from RCA damaging connection. Don't forget this is a vintage piece of equipment, it's possible that connection failed due to age.