Maker Pro
Maker Pro

amplifer for old tv earphone jack?



Jan 1, 1970
amplifer for old tv earphone jack?

Does anyone know of a low-to moderately priced amplifier suitable for
plugging into the earphone jack on a 10 or 20 year old TV, whose
output only has to be one or two steps higher than the input, to power
my woofer and midrange**. Checking Amazon and ebay, I only find
expensive things, 100's of dollars, and things for telephones and
computers. . Maybe I'm not searching on the right words.

Well, this is sort of what I had in mind
but it's a pre-amp for magnetic phonograph cartidges to get the output
to be as high as the older style (?) cartridges made, to plug into an
amp. It certainly won't power a speaker iiuc.

Thanks a lot.

**or maybe a tweeter. It's been 30 years since I mounted the speaker
board in the corner between the ceiling and the wall. They came from
a 1930's phonograph/radio, and worked well up until 4 years ago, when
the tube TV in my bathroom broke. I posted about this a couple years
ago, how the newer transistor TV was too weak, or something, to power
the speakers, and nice folks here told me impedance didn't match, or

So for a year or two I've tried to use the little built in speaker and
the electronic remote control***. It seemed to work okay, so-so, but
the tinnitus in one ear got worse last year, and the Ear Nose doc
tells me at age 66 my hearing is not as good as it was. Most of the
time no problem, but watching tv in the bathroom has become is a real

***As opposed to the wired volume control I mounted in the wall nxext
tot he bathtu and near the toilet, in the wires between the mini-phone
plug and the speakers.

William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
This is, in principle, a legitimate question. But the content and -- uh --
tone of the thing sound decidedly like a put-on.


Jan 1, 1970
William Sommerwerck said:
This is, in principle, a legitimate question. But the content and -- uh
-- tone of the thing sound decidedly like a put-on.

That phonograph amp is fishy. Gee, computer speakers sometimes have jacks,
and on eBay, how many used amps can I count.



Jan 1, 1970
I think a good book is a better (and safer) source of inspiration when using
the bathroom ;-). TV - sheesh!

I've tried books and magazines in the tub and it's too hard to keep
them from getting wet.. Also, even in my "modern", that is, shallow
tub, the shelf I made, designed so it can't slip into the water, is
too high to comfortably rest my arms on it. Once I let my arms and
hands go into the water, then I can't change the page without getting
the book wet.

This was all a big disappointment. I wouldn't have made the shelf if
I didnt' want to read. But that's the way it is. (Reading while I
take a shower seems even less practical than when taking a bath.)

As to the toilet, I don't spend enough time on it to read anything.
It's the other way around. When I'm in the middle of watching a tv
show in another room and I have to go to the toilet but don't want to
not lose track of the tv show, that's the only time I have the tv on.


Jan 1, 1970
I can't believe that electrical codes your side of the pond allow for such
things as TV sets in bathrooms !

Good point. For the last 35 yearrs or more, an electrical outlet near
the sink in a bathroom,or kitchen (or near a laundry tub, maybe) ,
and any outdoor receptacle has to be GFI (or the newer Arc-something)
so that any inequality in current between the hot and neutral trips
the breaker.

In my house, , 34 years old, there is one GFI breaker in the breaker
box, and it powers all the receptacles near water and probably nothing
else. Since then, individual GFI and Arc-fault receptacles have
become popular, and one of them will also protect any receptacle
downstream from a GFI

The receptacle is by the door, 6 or 8 feet from the tub. I can't
reach it or the tv resting on the counter also at the far end of the
room. There is no receptacle between the sink and the tub (although
I don't know if one would be legal or not. Maybe not. )

I used to worry about adjusting the volume, but I measured the
voltages on the sound output jack and it was low. Plus I dry my hand
before I adjust it, and it has a big plastic knob over the metal shaft
of the potentiometer. And iirc, the shaft is not connected to the
circuit. Anyhow, after 20 years I stopped worrying.

Usually a bath takes about a half-hour.


Jan 1, 1970
Nope. I also had a phone handset in the bathroom until I had trouble
with the phone wiring in general and I went to cordless phones. In
the wall plate with the telephone jack, I also put in a toggle to
answer the phone with, a piezo "ringer", a switch to turn the ringer
off, and a neon light to show if the phone was ringing when the ringer
was off. I don't get many calls when I'm in the tub, but over 25
years, they mount up. I hung the handset from the towel bar. When I
finally move, I'm taking this with me.
That phonograph amp is fishy. Gee, computer speakers sometimes have jacks,
and on eBay, how many used amps can I count.

Thanks for the idea.

I'm using a computer speaker in the bedoom, with a tv with somewhat
garbled sound. I guess it is a bad speaker because the sound from the
add-on speaker is fine.

But in the bathroom I want to use the better speakers, a 12" woofer
and an 8" midrange, that cmae from the record player. It will also
allow me to easily adjust the volume using a knob, instead of a remote
control which is inconvenient, takes longer, and I might end up
dropping in the water.

Although adjust the volume seems to be less necessary since the middle
of December when the law against raising the volume on commercials
went into effect. It must have really made a difference, since I
don't remember turning it down and then up with each commercial, on
any tv in the last month.


Jan 1, 1970
Go down to your local thrift store / charity shop / flea market, and
look around for an old stereo receiver or integrated amplifier that
has an ordinary "line" or "auxiliary" input. Add a "3.5 mm stereo
miniplug, to stereo RCA plug" connection cable. Shazam... you'll be
on the air.

Thanks. Good idea. Do you think I can get something small?
With everybody indulging in "Home A/V 50-channel" sound fetishes, the
simple stereo components are being discarded ("upgraded") all over the
place, and you should be able to find something easily and

It's amazing. Three or four years ago, someone offered me a Marantz
tuner and matching amp for 10 dollars. He begged me to take it, but I
had no room.

William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
I can't believe that electrical codes your side of the pond
allow for such things as TV sets in bathrooms!

This is The Land Of Freedom, where anyone can do anything they like.

An episode of a soap-opera spoof, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", had a TV set
falling into a bathtub and electrocuting a 9-year-old evangelist.

William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
It's amazing. Three or four years ago, someone offered me a Marantz
tuner and matching amp for 10 dollars. He begged me to take it, but I
had no room.

Not even in the bathroom?


Jan 1, 1970
Not even in the bathroom?
Nah. Too big. I have a radio in the bathroom. It sits on top of
the TV.

It has no remote control at all, so I can't turn the volume down when
the bathtub is full and water noise is gone.. One reason I use the
TV more.

William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
Try working as a broadcast engineer, running film all day. You are
the only one in the building for up to 20 hours, and the bathroom
is on the other end of the large complex. When does the film break?

You could probably write off Depends as a legitimate business expense.


Jan 1, 1970
Spoof and comedy maybe, but that seems like an all-too-real possibility to
me ... Over this side, bathrooms are 'zoned' and the electrical code as to
what can go into the zones is very strict. As to the point Micky was making
about GFIs and other protection devices, and his contention that the volume
control was probably safe because of shaft isolation etc, that doesn't
really cover it, as the problems start when there is an unforeseen fault in
the equipment or its installation - a not unreasonable possibility, given
the moist and steamy nature of a bathroom.

It's not unknown for GFIs or ELCBs as we call them over here, failing

Good to know.
themselves, which is why they have a test button on them. It may well be, of
course, that overall it is pretty safe if you are sensible, but then there
are always the morons who think it is safe and sensible to jack bare cables
into wall outlets with matchsticks, or bind up twisted power lead extension
joints, with duct tape

I haven't done any of these things, but truth be told, if there were
no electrical outlet in the bathroom, I'd run an extension cord from
whereever there was one. (and when I had time, I'd put in an outlet.)

But Americans use the outlet for a lot of things, hair dryer, electric
toothbrush... As early as 1968, I was on a house tour** and on the
long counter in the bathroom were both of these and a "facial sauna",
which iiuc blew warm moist air on the user's face when she leaned into
the "funnel" part of it. If I'd had a camera I would have taken a
picture of the array, which they seemed to be proud of. That was 45
years ago. By now there must be lots of other electrical things for
the bathroom, though I don't know of any. --- Well, there are
waterfproof radios and telephones for the shower stall itself, but
they run on batteries and aren't dangerous.

** (usually as in this case sponsored by community associations of
n'hoods with nice homes, but whose home prices which have either
fallen or might be about it. They would get 10 or 12 house to open up
for visitors, Uusually they weren't for sale, but the idea was to
show how nice the homes were inside and to point visitors who were
actually shopping to homes in that n'hood, to keep the n'hood from
running down. All the house tours I know about have been successful
to very successful.

Oh, yeah, I was born in January and our house was built in the 1930's
and the bathroom was the size of a small bedroom -- they hadn't
thought of making them tiny yet -- and my mother bought an electric
heater to warm the room before she gave me a bath. (I still have the
heater from 1947, and it's in excellent condition. Even the cord. )


Jan 1, 1970
I visit America quite often, usually staying in private villas in Florida,
and hotels in Vegas, and I have always been amazed that there are electrical
outlets in both cases, within a foot of wash basins. Also that things like
hand-held hair dryers are provided and obviously intended to be plugged into
those outlets. This would not be allowed by the zoning codes in the U.K.,
GFI protected or not.

For sure, we have shaver points, but these are usually built into a wall
mounted strip light, and are transformer isolated. Electric toothbrush
chargers invariably have a two pin shaver plug on them, so that they can
plug into the same outlet

As you probably know by now, we don't have special two pin sockets.

And I had forgotten about electric razors**, which don't even have to
be used in the bathroom, except I guess there is a mirror there. But
why does one need a mirror to find his face?

**I found out in college that if I stopped shaving, my pimples went
away. I thought having a beard would make it harder to wash my face
and that would make the pimples worse, but there seemed to be no truth
in that. (The important thing was not to grind up the whiskers and
force the pieces into my pores. )

Then I figured out that I could still shave with a blade.