Audio Systems/old speakers


I have an old panasonic set with a subwoofer, 5 speakers and an av control receiver. I recently ordered a cable to connect phones/ipods to the av receiver to try and make use of these old speakers. It works but the sound is super distorted and sounds awful.

What can I do to make these speakers sound nice while playing from an iphone?

Speaker models are Panasonic Model No. SB-AFC280, subwoofer is SB-W280 and receiver is SA-HT390.

Can I buy a newer receiver that will still work with these speakers/sub and also with iphones etc? If so, is that the cheapest option or is cheaper to just buy an entire newer system?

Basically, I know absolutely nothing about sound systems at all. Have tried reading up on it a bit but am still completely lost and need some guidance.

My first thought was that the speakers were wired incorrectly placing short on output of rcvr. So, check the wiring and follow the diagrams in the owners manual (which you can download freely at

The second thought is you are feeding the ipod output into the wrong input causing a voltage overload in the first amplifier stage; therefore, check the input connections.

Lastly, if still no dice, disconnect all speakers at the rear of the rcvr and connect only one; then go to each speaker independently and check them. It is possible with older speakers that they have failed and need repaired.  But, it would be rare of all of them were bad: maybe just one or two and their distorted sound is overpowering the good sound from the others.

Also, if you have some other known good speakers you could try one of them at a time at each speaker output.  If the audio power stages of the internal amplifier have failed that could be where the distortion is coming from.

Sok I have given you a few ideas to check out. Good Luck. Let me know if you need further assistance.  

Audio Systems

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.


Have been associated with audio design, standards, testing and component systems for over 40 years.

Life Fellow Member of Audio Engineering Society Life Senior Member of Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers

Review technical manuscripts for IEEE Spectrum Write occasionally for high-end audio publications


Past/Present Clients
Past Employee/advisor to several well known audio products manufacturers

©2017 All rights reserved.