One of the nicest things my ex-roommate left me is a sweet Marantz 1515 Amp from the late 70s/early 80s. It’s by no means a great, valuable or rare amp, but it has reasonable power and looks pretty good.
When we first got it out of his mom’s basement, it was in bad shape. My dad cleaned and replaced a couple of parts and got it up running again. It served us very well for the last few years, but I wanted to push it further. More precisely, I had two goals in mind :
- Connect the digital output of my TV to the stereo so I could use it as a sound system for either cable, Netflix, Xbox, whatever;
- Add Bluetooth capabilities so that we can stream music from our iOS or Android devices from anywhere in the house;
The digital output part was pretty simple, so that’s the one I tackled first. Using this sweet digital-to-analog converter, I simply hooked up a Toslink cable from my TV to the converter, which was glued down inside the amp. The output would then come out the back of the amp and connect in the first auxiliary input. Simple as that.
I started looking for solutions for my Bluetooth needs. First, I thought I’d buy a pre-packaged box like the converter. But then I thought the Raspberry Pi would be a great fit for this kind of problem. Using a low-power RPi Model A+, this particular Bluetooth USB adapter and this great tutorial, I managed to have a fully functional BT streaming system in a matter of minutes (alright, maybe hours). Again, it was glued down and wired from the back to the second auxiliary input.
It works just as expected and I think I may have added a few years to this old amp’s lifespan.