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I have hooked up my laptop through to my yamaha amp via the tuner ports on the rear. The sound has a rumbling blurry effect. I was wondering if it is becasue I am using the phono input? I could use an alternate input but does it make a difference?

I turned the sound down in I tunes as well as the output of the laptop, but still there is a low rumbling sound. The speakers are PSB towers and generally good.

what gives?
 

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Use a different input. The phono input is for phono only as it has to be grounded.
100% correct. The phono input is also a completely different (much lower) signal level than all the other inputs so you're overdriving the input with your laptop. Any of the other inputs are fine and are all "normal" signal level inputs. Phono is the one exception. Cheers!

James
 

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If You Want Superior Sound Quality...

As other posters have stated, you need to use inputs other than phono. However, if you are wanting decent quality sound, you should use a DAC device.
I went through this a couple years ago. I have a Mac Mini in my kitchen that I wanted to use as a music server to feed a 80's vintage Pioneer amp and Bose speakers. Running a cable from the sound card 'Out' on the Mini to the 'Aux In' on the amp produced poor quality sound (not AM radio quality, but not FM either).
With a little research I learned that sound quality produced by most computer audio cards is horrible at best. Using a USB port and a DAC is the way to go. However, most DAC's advertise themselves as "audiophile" and of course have price tags that correspond to that label, (meaning; in the hundred's of dollars range.) I was disappointed to be sure.
I then discovered this: http://www.audiophileproducts.com/usb-audio Works perfectly! Plugged the USB into the Mini and the Fubar, and the RCA cables from the Fubar to the amp, and voila! Amazing sound!
It appears that they have upgraded some of the circuitry (and upped the price by about $30 over what I paid :p ), but it's still the best solution. I ripped 300+ CDs to my Mac Mini (well, actually to an external drive), and have been rockin' and cookin' since.
Audiophile Products is in Canada as well, so there's no Canada Customs nonsense (or should I say, outrageous UPS brokerage fees...)
 
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