View Full Version : R50 tweeter out and mid and bass sound muddy

02-13-2010, 07:23 PM
So, I am from Dallas, TX and we just got hit big time with a bunch of snow this past week. The power in my house would go out and then come back on in about a 2 second interval and when it did come back on my speakers would hiss very loudly, so much so that my mother could hear them from outside. I was watching a hockey game at normal listening levels, so I thought this was a weird occurrence because I use a surge protector for all my electronics in my setup, so I thought everything was okay. Well, the power went out twice again just like before and I got the same result, and then the power went out for good to the house. Finally getting the power back up today, I decided I wanted to listen to some music, so I fired my stuff up and something definetly sounded funny and off. Well, the right speakers tweeter is not working and the bass and mids sound muddy aswell. The left speaker seems to be fine, as the tweeter is working and it seems not to be effected. Thinking it might be a receiver issue, I switched the speaker wires around so that the good speaker was now using the input the bad speaker previously used. It sounded fine, no problems there. I then took the tweeter out on the bad speaker to look at it, and I could visually see no problems, no loose wire or anything of the sort. So I put it back in and called the Fry's store I bought them from and they said seeing as it has been to months since I purchased the speakers they can't do anything but send it to Polk for repair, which would take 6-8 weeks. The other alternative is that I could call Polk CS and they could take care of it, which might be faster.

So, my questions are what do you guys think is wrong with my speaker, and do I have to mail it to Polk CS, which I think would cost a fortune, because the thing weighs almost 50 pounds, or do they have somewhere that I could take it to to get it fixed. I'm not really a DIY person with speakers because, I really don't want to screw anything up and be in an even bigger hole than I am now, so I would rather not have to replace the parts myself.

Very sorry for the long post, but any info you guys have that could help, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks.


02-13-2010, 08:22 PM
Hi Robert, Welcome, but sorry that this problem is what got you here.
1. Try the 'non-working' tweeter in the working, left speaker > works > check the crossover on the Bad/ Right speaker. (Plate on back, where you connect the speaker wires) Take out the 4 screws and gently pull out the Crossover. It will have wires connecting it to the speakers. Look for burnt pieces (resistors are small white squarish blocks, capacitors are round tubes, different colors and sizes) Anything 'burnt' looking or smelling, you need to at least replace the bad element, but since you don't sound too excited about DIY, Polk CS can send you a replacement Crossover.
2. > doesn't work > you (should) only need a new tweeter. Call Polk CS, they can get you another one.
3. #1 doesn't work > try 'good' tweeter in 'bad' (right) speaker. [Low volume only] > if it doesn't work, then you definitely have a bad Crossover in the 'bad'(right) speaker.
IF #3 works, ie the 'good' tweeter works in the 'Bad' right speaker, again you know you have a bad (right) tweeter.
Make sure you mark the L & R tweeters so you don't mix them up.
Does that all make sense?

02-13-2010, 08:43 PM
Thanks kcoc, it makes sense I will try what you suggested tonight and tomorrow and report back when done. The reason I was a little iffy on the DIY stuff is that I am more of a computer guy than I speaker guy so I really didn't know much about speakers components and where they are located. I guess everybody is a little afraid or unsure when they start out, so I am no different but with some help I am willing to try. Thanks for the help, I will try it out as soon as I can.

02-13-2010, 08:50 PM
Hey kcoc, would a bad crossover make the mid and bass sound muddy or is it really just the lack of treble that is causing the sound difference that I am hearing compared to the good speaker?

02-13-2010, 10:20 PM
Hey kcoc, would a bad crossover make the mid and bass sound muddy or is it really just the lack of treble that is causing the sound difference that I am hearing compared to the good speaker?

It definitely could, depending on what got fried. All the sound goes thru the crossover.
Or i could be that you are just hearing the bottom half of the music.

Check it out and get back to us.

02-13-2010, 11:26 PM
Well, I checked the crossover on the bad speaker and I can see no visible damage, no melting and no bad smell. All wires are firmly connected also. Now the trick is to find the right pliers to remove the tweeter from the wires. Any suggestions on what to use and how to do that? Or is there a specific tool I need to get?

02-13-2010, 11:55 PM
Here is a picture of the R50 tweeter.


02-13-2010, 11:55 PM
I just use a standard needle-nose pliers.

That's good, it sounds like the Xover is still good. :D
(cross your fingers)

02-14-2010, 12:14 AM
Alrighty, will do and try it tomorrow. I might also post a pic of the crossover so you can take a look and see what you think, but I see nothing wrong with it. Just want to make sure though.

02-14-2010, 12:28 AM
Hello and welcome to the forum. Switch L & R speakers or just the connections at the back of the amp, whichever is easier. Does the issue follow the speaker or remain the same?

02-14-2010, 12:47 AM
The OP said he did that in the original post. It did follow the speaker, as in when he hooked the right channel speaker wire to the left speaker (good speaker), it worked fine.

...Thinking it might be a receiver issue, I switched the speaker wires around so that the good speaker was now using the input the bad speaker previously used. It sounded fine, no problems there... -Robert

02-14-2010, 01:01 AM
Ah, thanks, I clearly missed that. My bad.

OP, have you checked to see if the connections on the speaker in question have been compromised? Specifically the gold plated metal plate that connects the lower binding posts with the upper binding posts? Make sure that the contact areas have a solid connection on all 4 contact points.

02-14-2010, 02:41 AM
Unfortunately, on the R50 there is only two binding posts, so there shouldn't be a problem there. Thanks for the help though.

02-14-2010, 03:47 AM
I would also look deeper into the hissing issue. You should not hear loud (or any) hissing when the power goes off and back on. It's likely either a problem with the receiver or the source. If you don't fix that, you're likely to continue blowing speakers in the future.

When you were watching the hockey game, was it through a cable box, satellite box or over-the-air? If cable, was that specific channel an analog or digital channel? Also, how is the source connected to the receiver (analog, SPDIF, Toslink or HDMI)?

One procedure I suggest to try to isolate the issue is as follows. First turn the volume low on the receiver. Then unplug the receiver for 2 seconds, than plug it back in (simulating the power outage). If you hear the hiss, you've isolated the problem to the receiver and need to see about getting it repaired. If you don't, then do the same with your source. This, in theory, should isolate the issue.

02-15-2010, 04:21 PM
Beef Jerky,

It was through a TimeWarner HD cable box, it was a digital channel, and it was connected first to the tv by hdmi and then from the tv to the receiver by a toslink cable.

02-16-2010, 12:00 AM
Have you tried the procedure I gave above to try to isolate the problem component? Once you find out which one it is (likely the receiver, TV or cable box) I can try to give further suggestions.

One addendum though: if it turns out to be the cable box, try hooking it up through analog and see if it still does it. Also, try hooking the toslink direct from the cable box to the receiver and bypassing the TV.

02-16-2010, 12:05 AM
I don't think the OP is having the issue again. It only happened when the power came back on. My guess is that it had to do with the cable box re-aquiring the signal.

02-16-2010, 12:21 AM
Yup, like kcoc said, it has not been a reoccuring problem it only happend when the power went out and came back on. I am waiting untill Tuesday to place a call to Polk CS and talk to them and probably order a new tweeter.

02-16-2010, 01:27 AM
So, you're assuming you're never going to have another power failure? Assuming you do have another power failure, you may very well have the same hissing problem, and then you will likely blow another speaker. Feel free to ignore my advice as to finding the problem and fixing it. But, keep in mind that Polk may not want to keep sending you replacement parts for speakers that were damaged due to other equipment problems.

02-16-2010, 02:25 PM
Well I called the guys at Polk CS today, and he said that they have had a few customers with this problem before. He said there is probably some internal damage in the tweeter. So they are sending me a pair of new tweeters different from the ones I have now because the older ones are longer made anymore. But they are sending me a pair to make sure they are tonally matched, and at no charge too! They said if I have any more problems to call them right back.

02-16-2010, 03:15 PM
wooo hooo right on POLK CS :D

02-23-2010, 08:43 PM
Well, I got my new tweeters in the mail today and switched them out with the old ones and everything works perfectly and like new. I have never had such an easy time with a company's customer service as I did with polk audio, so a big thank you to them.

02-23-2010, 08:55 PM
Glad to hear everything worked out. Polk absolutely ROCKS!