XM radio question

Hello all,

A colleage of mine bought XM radio for his parents, and is having difficulties connecting it to their stereo. Since I do not utilize this service, I thought I would ask for input here.

Below is his message, in which I replied. I expained to him about the cartridge preamp issues incorporated in his parent's stereo when connected to the phono inputs (Voltage vs Impedence), specifying what caused the distortion and volume problems when connected there. What is puzzling to me though is why it did not work at all when connected to the other available inputs. Perhaps someone can help. Here's his message:

I recently purchased an XM radio reciever for my folks. They are using an older model (20 year old) stereo that is in very good condition. Anyway... we seem to have an impedence mismatch that is causing occasional "pops and crackles" while listening. We currently have the radio plugged into the unused turntable input. There are also two available cassette deck inputs. The signal from the xm radio is very strong, meaning that we must set the volume on the stereo to the bare minimum to keep it from becoming overwhelmed. The other inputs (cassette) don't even detect the signal from the XM radio... From what i've been able to find online it seems that others are experiencing the same thing and almost universally do not recommend using the phono inputs due to very large impedence mismatches. I've tried the XM radio on my modern digital stereo receiver, and it works perfectly. I was wondering if an easy to use impedence matching device could fix this problem? The inputs to the stereo from the XM radio are RCA jacks... thanks

Well there you have it. Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

That's what I told him, but all the other inputs were dead. It is important to note though that other devices worked fine through the inputs other that the phono input. That's when I felt there was more to this than I was privy to.

Could this be a digital issue that old recievers cannot recognize? Just wondering, as he said he plugged the XM tuner into his own modern day equipment, and it worked fine.
Has he tried both "cassette deck inputs?"

Is he sure XM Radio is plugged into "cassette deck inputs?" Does he still have instruction manual? On '80s equipment, I seem to remember certain components operating backwards from coventional terminology.

The next thing I would look at is if "cassette deck inputs" are still working? Ask him to take a component from his system that he knows works properly over to parents to see if that works properly.

Another thing to look at is if inputs are loose (ie, move left-right and/or up-down easily) which may indicate non-funtioning "cassette deck input?" If not careful, is easy to yank an IC from RCA damaging connection. Don't forget this is a vintage piece of equipment, it's possible that connection failed due to age.
How about a tape monitor swithc for the tape inputs? If you don't put it in the monitor position you won't hear anything.