We receive a goodly number of queries via email at Como Audio and although we have a small staff, we endeavor to respond promptly, often within a few hours if not sooner. As you might imagine, we answer a lot of the same questions over and over again. That was the genesis behind my first Tech Rap: Ask Como Audio, covering more than twenty frequently asked questions from our customers. Now, here comes another in our series of Ask Como Audio Tech Raps, with yet more burning questions you have been meaning to ask but never got around to it, in no particular order.
1. Why does the Como Audio Bluetooth Turntable come supplied with two belts, and is a 45 RPM adapter included?
The flat sided belt is the belt to use when setting up the CA Turntable. The round sided belt is only for use with 78 RPM records. The stylus must also be changed out to a special stylus that supports 78 RPM records which can be special ordered through us. The rounded belt was literally added at the last minute, thus it is not listed in the Quick Start Guide included with the Turntable. However, it is referenced in the Turntable’s complete user manual on our website under “Support”. And yes, a 45 RPM adapter is included!
2. Is the Como Audio Bluetooth Turntable automatic?
The Como Audio Bluetooth turntable is fully manual. The tone arm will not automatically move to play the record or lift up after playing one side. Integrating those features would have added significant cost to an already expensive model, but more critically, would have added complexity resulting in mechanical failures. We invested in high quality parts rather than automatic features, thereby keeping the mechanics simple and reliable with excellent sound. Besides, there is nothing quite like the experience of gently placing the needle onto a record.
3. Will the Como Audio Bluetooth Turntable work with a non-Como Audio product and provide a noticeable improvement over my current turntable?
Our Turntable will work with stand-alone Bluetooth speakers as well as music systems having Bluetooth, an Auxiliary input, or a dedicated moving magnet Phono input. In terms of a sound upgrade, sound quality is subjective. Only you can listen with your own music and decide whether our model sounds better to your ears with your music. The main advantage with our model is the included high quality Ortofon OM10 cartridge, providing balanced and distortion-free playback of your favorite records. We also use a solid MDF plinth (not a plastic housing), a sub-platter and heavy steel platter, and an ultra-precision frequency DC-driven AC generator for speed stability. It is also nice to have a turntable that compliments the real wood finish of your Como Audio model, making them look like the family system they are.
4. What is the spade (“fork”) connector used for on the audio cable that comes with the Turntable?
Our Turntable models include an external ground screw on the back near the outputs. If you are connecting the Turntable via the included audio cable to a non-Como Audio system that also has a ground connection, such as a stereo receiver, connect one spade on the cable to the Turntable’s ground and the other to the ground connection on your other component. If you are connecting the Turntable to a Como Audio model you do not use the spade connectors.
5. What are all the other accessories used for that come with the Turntable? Where can I get more information?
The included tools are only necessary should you need to adjust the counterweight at the end of the tonearm or replace the Ortofon cartridge. In most cases you will never need to use the tools.
The user manual section of our website includes the complete multi-language manuals for our Turntable models.
6. Can I use Bluetooth headphones with my Como Audio Bluetooth Turntable or music system?
Yes. Our Bluetooth Turntable will transmit the sound to Bluetooth headphones, speakers, or Como Audio music systems.
To use Bluetooth headphones with your Como Audio system, connect an outboard Bluetooth transmitter (not included) to the headphone output and you are in business. This blog article contains more details: Kind of Blue(tooth).
7. For the Como Audio Turntable or just in general, is it best to use an audio cable or Bluetooth?
Connecting via an audio cable will provide the best sound, but the convenience of wireless Bluetooth is hard to beat and still sounds very good. If using a cable is not an option for whatever reason, such as the Turntable being located too far from the main unit, Bluetooth provides an excellent alternative and it is easy to pair and connect.
8. Do your models support iHeart radio stations?
We would love to include all iHeart stations in the station data base but iHeart does not share its owned stations with Internet station aggregators, thus, their stations are not in our data base (or anyone else’s). This is not something Como Audio or station aggregators have any control over. Those iHeart stations were in the station data base prior to them being purchased by iHeart, but we were required to remove them once iHeart acquired them. iHeart requires you to use their own proprietary app, be exposed to adverts, and possibly upgrade to a premium paid iHeart subscription.
However, there are two work arounds:
First, you can stream iHeart stations wirelessly to our models from the free iHeart app via Bluetooth.
The other option is to connect an Alexa device (not included) wirelessly via Bluetooth or using an audio cable to the Aux input, ask Alexa to play the iHeart radio station you want, and hear it through your Como Audio model. By the way, this solution also applies to other unsupported music sources such as Pandora and SiriusXM.
9. Does Musica show CD artwork?
Musica does not support CD artwork. This requires an application to fetch the artwork and other details about the CD from a third-party provider such as Gracenote. This kind of music recognition feature is mainly available in automobile CD head units and some high-end DVD players. The service is not free to us and would require both hardware and software changes, plus a licensing fee and/or per unit royalty paid to the provider by us.
10. The power cord to my Musica doesn’t go in all the way. Did I get the wrong cord?
A limited number of Musicas used a slightly smaller than normal sized rear power inlet, making the cord a very tight fit. The power cord packed with the unit is actually correct. If the cord does not feel like it is seated properly and/or your Musica randomlt turns off and on, your cord may not be inside the power inlet all the way. If you push the cord in with a lot of force it will seat properly and Musica will operate fine. You won’t break anything.
11. Must I pay for a premium Spotify subscription to play it on my Como Audio music system?
No. The free version of Spotify works with the integrated Spotify Connect feature. Just be sure your Como Audio system has the latest software since this support was included in a software update: System settings > Software update > Check now.
12. Why does the Spotify app not show my Como Audio model under “Devices”?
Sometimes your Como Audio system may not show in the list of devices when launching the Spotify app. We do not know why this happens but likely has to do with your Wi-Fi network since it does not happen to all users at the same time. Usually if you simply reboot your router and do a System reboot (in System settings) of your Como Audio model it takes care of the issue. If not, Spotify recommends uninstalling the Spotify app and reinstalling it. This Tech Rap: Streaming Presets blog article has more information about issues with Spotify and Internet radio.
13. Must I register my new Como Audio purchase for warranty coverage?
No. Your purchase invoice verifies your warranty status, so please retain it. Please also keep the original box and packaging, as shipping damage is not covered under the warranty and a $20 fee will be assessed if a model is returned to us without its original carton and packing.
14. What are “B goods”?
A “B good” is a model that was returned and re-certified by us, or an overstocked item, that we sell at a discount. We cannot specify why a particular model was returned. It may not necessarily have been due to a fault. Regardless, all B goods come with the same features and accessories, full two-year warranty, and free lifetime support as new product. B goods might have a slight cosmetic issue but nothing judged to be serious.
15. Where are your models made?
Our Turntables are manufactured in the Czech Republic. Our Carry On 1 Amico travel case is made in Texas, USA. Our Platform is made in Indiana. Our music systems are made in China. Our design and engineering is done in Boston, MA and Como, Italy. Our goal is to start some manufacturing in Braintree, MA. We have the space, have designed an assembly floor layout, and drawn up a list of needed equipment. Now we need to secure funding.
16. Must I always use the free portal to save Internet radio stations to My Favorites?
No. Once you register your device(s) on the portal you can tune an Internet station (or Podcast) and briefly press the Play/Pause key on the remote control to instantly save it to My Favorites…no need to log into the portal to find the station and save it each time.
17. Why must I change the clock each time for Daylight Savings?
Devices such as computers and smartphones adjust for DST automatically thanks to custom software. As a small startup with very limited resources, we did not have that luxury during development. However, we provide a manual adjustment in the menu that allows you to set the time one hour ahead or one hour back: System settings > Time/Date > Adjust to DST > Select +1 to be ahead one hour or -1 to go back one hour. We email reminders a day or two beforehand to all of our customers, so be sure you are signed up to our email list (you will also get important notices and sale announcements). You can sign up on our homepage.
18. The clock on my Como Audio music system randomly shows 12 o’clock and/or my alarm activates by itself. What’s going on?
First, be sure your model has the latest software: System settings > Software update > Check now.
Second, perform a System reboot also found in System settings and also reboot your router/modem. Even if other devices are fine this often cures gremlins. A Factory reset in System settings should be your last resort since it will require repeating the setup and re-saving presets.
If these steps don’t resolve it or the problem keeps coming back, keep in mind your Como Audio model depends on your Wi-Fi network to maintain accurate time. If the Wi-Fi signal is lost, the unit can no longer keep track of the time (or date), thus defaulting to 12 o’clock. If the alarm activates by itself, this is meant as an audible warning that the Wi-Fi signal has been lost. Look at the Wi-Fi signal meter in the right corner of the display. If it has 2 bars or less, that is weak. Wi-Fi strength varies throughout the day, so it might be strong at one point and weak at another. The solution is to get your router closer to your music system. In the case of the Musica, its rear Ethernet connection should offer improvement. If your router is an older model, that could also be the culprit. Consult with your Wi-Fi service provider about newer equipment options.
If you have too many devices connected to your network (computer, smartphone, TV service, security system, smart appliances, etc.), that can also cause a problem, including grouping multiple Como Audio systems. Perform a test on your router with a site like this one: https://www.att.com/support/speedtest/. If your Jitter is 15 or above, your network is probably congested and you should try to reduce the number of devices connected to your network.
19. Why does the Como Control app show “[Empty]” presets when I know for certain I have stations stored to those presets?
Our app is based on a slightly different platform than our units which is why not all features in the unit’s menu are supported in the app and vice versa. In the case of presets, the app does not see presets independently like our models do. What this means is when you are in a source and using the app, you will only see presets saved for that particular source. For instance, if you have Internet radio stations set to presets 1, 2, and 3, and FM stations set to presets 4, 5, and 6, when you are in Internet radio mode, in the app you will only see presets 1-3. Presets 4-6 will show as “[Empty]”. Likewise, when you are in FM mode, presets 1-3 will show as “[Empty]” in the app while presets 4-6 will show your stored FM stations.
20. How can I access my presets via the remote control?
The Solo/Duetto/Amico remote does not include preset keys. Our top of the line model, Musica, includes a different model remote control with dedicated preset keys which will work with our other models. You can buy Musica’s remote separately from our website. You can also access presets using the free Como Control app, but see query #19 above.
21. Bonus FAQ: If I unplug my Como Audio system or lose power, do I lose my presets and all my settings?
No. Your presets, network name and password, My Favorites, and other settings are stored in non-volatile memory. The only thing lost is the time/date which will auto set in under 60 seconds once power is restored and the unit reacquires your Wi-Fi network. The only time presets and other settings are lost is after performing a Factory reset in the System settings menu. On very rare occasions presets may be lost after a major software update, but we will alert you about this via email as much in advance as possible. Please be sure you are signed up to our email list to receive such notifications along with other news and promotions.
22. Bonus FAQ: How can I improve the FM reception?
Most FM stations can be accessed through Internet radio without having to worry about reception or noise. In most instances you will also see station logos and programming meta data. If you can only receive the station through FM and the signal is weak or the RDS meta data is corrupted, you can change out the external FM antenna if you prefer. You can purchase the custom plastic wrench used to remove the stock antenna and then attach the FM wire antenna included with the wrench, or attach your own external FM antenna. This article has more details: Tech Rap: Tricking out your FM.
23. Bonus FAQ: Why can I not get my Como Audio system to connect to the Wi-Fi network in my apartment building/office/dorm room?
This is due to the network’s firewall. Please contact the IT person in charge and have them add the MAC address from your Como Audio model to permit connection to the network. To find the MAC address: System settings > Network > View settings. Also, if a VPN is used, please turn it off, connect your Como audio system, and then turn the VPN back on.
Our website has many great resources to help you setup and use your Como Audio music system…basic how-to videos, a 50+ page comprehensive manual, a detailed listing of all software updates by model, and these blog articles. Tech Rap: FAQs Parts 1 & 2 cover the majority of questions we are asked all the time, but if you ever have any questions or comments (or suggestions for a future Tech Rap article), please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from our customers, good or bad, and your valuable feedback helps us help you enjoy the music.
General Manger Peter Skiera lives in southern MA, worked in radio broadcasting throughout New England, and also worked for Cambridge SoundWorks, B&W Loudspeakers, and Tivoli Audio for 15 years before joining Como Audio in 2016 as Vice President of Product Development. In addition to Tech Rap, Peter also writes for his own blog, www.RecommendedStations.com. He can be reached directly at email@example.com