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  1. #1

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    Default Scratchy, crackling sound from speakers?

    Hello,

    In the last week or so, while listening to music (loud) there will suddenly be a scratching sound on top of the music, mainly coming from the surround left speaker. It does sometimes occur in more than one speaker, which makes me think it might be the receiver. I am not sure what clipping sounds like, so I am unable to decide if that is what I am hearing.

    System:
    H/K AVR140 (not enough power?) CS2, M70s, M60s. PS3 160gb playing music over optical.
    EDIT: Typically scratchy/crackling will occur at approx. -12db (of +10db max)

    The sound will go away, sometimes within a few seconds, sometimes after I change the song or adjust the volume. My receiver was acquired through Harmon Kardon's Refurb store, so that might be something to consider as well.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by MrGlobe; 11-08-2009 at 09:52 AM.

  2. #2

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    does this happen when listening in 2 channal with only the m70s?
    panasonic th-50pz85u
    pioneer elite vsx-92txh
    pioneer elite bdp-05fd
    emotiva xpa-3
    monster power hdp 2550
    sa 8300 hd dvr
    sda 2b's
    fronts - rti a9's
    center - csi a6
    surrounds - fxi a6's
    sub - polk dsw pro 600
    harmony one

  3. #3

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    Turn it down.. Sounds like you are pushing the reciever to hard and have or will damage your speakers. if your reciever has preouts get a decent amp.

  4. #4

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    Check and see if a cat is stuck inside the speaker.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by leroyjr1 View Post
    check and see if a cat is stuck inside the speaker.
    lol;)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by leroyjr1 View Post
    Check and see if a cat is stuck inside the speaker.
    Thanks, your infinite wisdom comes in handy once again...


    Anyways, the advice to turn it down might be the best, my receiver does not have pre outs, and I do not have the cash right now to get one that does, let alone get a new receiver and an external amp.

    I have never experienced this crackling/scratching while listening in 2 channel mode, however I rarely listen in 2 ch mode.

    Thank you

    Globe

  7. #7

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    Have you recently added any electronic devices in the vicinity of you receiver like a wireless hub or phone? These can cause a "scratchy or ticking" kind of sound.

  8. #8

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    Nope, no cordless phones or wireless routers in the house.

    I'm going to try swapping the M60s for M40s, I don't know what that will do but oh well.

    The only thing that I have added recently is a Jamo Sub-300 powered sub.

    Thanks

    Globe

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGlobe View Post
    Thanks, your infinite wisdom comes in handy once again...


    Anyways, the advice to turn it down might be the best, my receiver does not have pre outs, and I do not have the cash right now to get one that does, let alone get a new receiver and an external amp.

    I have never experienced this crackling/scratching while listening in 2 channel mode, however I rarely listen in 2 ch mode.

    Thank you

    Globe
    You are not driving anything that is not efficient or hard to drive, so you should not need a lot of power. Also not sure what the HK specs are (and too lazy to check) but the fact you do not hear it in 2 ch. and you mention -10db out of +12db max makes me think turning it down is the way to go. What ever the HK's amp can do, when you add more drivers into the picture for multi ch. you are increasing the amps work load.

  10. #10

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    Fair enough, I will start listening in 2 ch for a while and see if it happens then as well

    Thanks

    Globe

  11. #11

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    ^^^ Good idea.

    However:

    This sounds like processor/decoding noise. Is it like crackling?
    -Kevin
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    HT: Philips 52PFL7432D 52" LCD 1080p / Onkyo TX-SR 606 / Oppo BDP-83 SE / Comcast cable. (all HDMI)

    Polk LS 90's - Front
    Polk CS350 LS - Center
    Polk Monitor 50's - Rear
    JBL Northridge E150P - Sub

    2 Channel:
    Oppo BDP-83 SE
    Muscial Fidelity M1 DAC
    VTL 2.5
    McIntosh 2205 (refurbed)
    Polk LS90's (spiked & tweeked)
    Cardas IC's
    Cardas Bi-Wire

  12. #12

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    Default Troubleshooting procedure...

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGlobe View Post
    Thanks, your infinite wisdom comes in handy once again...


    Anyways, the advice to turn it down might be the best, my receiver does not have pre outs, and I do not have the cash right now to get one that does, let alone get a new receiver and an external amp.

    I have never experienced this crackling/scratching while listening in 2 channel mode, however I rarely listen in 2 ch mode.

    Thank you

    Globe
    What I would do if I were you;

    1. Disconnect all of your speakers except fpr the 2.1 front stage and test using the CDs and/or DVDs you were using then. If there isn't any problem there then try each pair of speakers at the front stage that should eliminate your front stage.

    2. Then do the same process connecting to the other channels (make sure not to use any of the rear cabling at first to eliminate potential cable problems).

    3. If you isolated all speakers and channels you can check your exisiting cabling (Make sure there isn't any poor cable connections (strand touching the wrong pole).

    The problem you describe doesn't seem to have anything to do with clipping. Your potential problem could be;

    a. a problem with the refurbished receiver (a specific channel?) and isolating channels is your best way to locate the source.

    b. a problem with one of the speaker drivers which again you should be able to find by isolatiion of the speakers while auditionning.

    c. a problem with cable hook-up (as I pointed out some strands touching the wrong pole/post of the speaker). Did you do your receiver swap recently?


    Cheers!
    TK

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    Nope, same receiver for the past few months.

    I will go over all cabling and check each speakers individualy over the next couple days. I am going to swap the 60s in the rear for 40s, and move the 60s to a different set up for a while and see if the sound resurfaces using a different receiver.

    Thanks again for all the advice.

    Globe

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    Quote Originally Posted by vc69 View Post
    Is it like crackling?

    Yes, it is a crackling sound. Almost like the sound of a candy wrapper, but more synthetic/electric

    ...if that makes any sense

  15. #15

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    Yeah, that's what I thought. Have you tried switching cables between your source and the AVR? That is where I would start. Then, try bypassing all processing (Direct mode).

    If the problem persists, try updating firmware and search the web for others that may be having this same problem.

    This really doesn't sound like clipping to me.
    -Kevin
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    HT: Philips 52PFL7432D 52" LCD 1080p / Onkyo TX-SR 606 / Oppo BDP-83 SE / Comcast cable. (all HDMI)

    Polk LS 90's - Front
    Polk CS350 LS - Center
    Polk Monitor 50's - Rear
    JBL Northridge E150P - Sub

    2 Channel:
    Oppo BDP-83 SE
    Muscial Fidelity M1 DAC
    VTL 2.5
    McIntosh 2205 (refurbed)
    Polk LS90's (spiked & tweeked)
    Cardas IC's
    Cardas Bi-Wire

  16. #16

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    Just to be clear on the bypassing thing, Typically when I listen to music I listen at -12db in 5 ch Logic 7 Music mode. Would direct (bypassing) be DTS? or what? I can list the modes my receiver does when I get home from work if that would help.

    Otherwise, I have an optical cable connecting the PS3/AVR, I can check that after work as well

    Thanks

    Globe

  17. #17

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    Hello, have you ever heard of a product called Caig De-oxit? Use it, embrace it and then give it another listen.

    What medium are you using? In other words, are you using ripped material?
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  18. #18

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    Hello, I have never heard of that, and honestly I'll have to google it to find out what it even is.

    Yes, I was using ripped material. The music was playing from a PS3, onto which I had ripped the Black Eyed Peas CD.

    Should I re-rip it? Also, is ripping CDs to the HDD on my PS3 a bad idea? I was hoping to use this as my main audio archive. I don't have any other sources that connect using digital cables (unless I play them 1 cd at a time in a 1 disc DVD player)

    Thanks

    Globe

  19. #19

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    Well, I'm not saying that ripped material is the cause of the issue in this case but I'm not ruling it out. That's why I asked. We might have the cause of the issue identified but only time and your observations will tell.

    Caig De-oxit can be found at your local Rat Shack and is the usual standard for cleaning connection points that can cause the exact issue you are describing.

    As far as ripping music? I'll have to refer you to some of the other knowledgeable folks on the board as I don't rip my music. Where I was getting at was that when trying to narrow down your issue, try to use a store bought CD through a source that is known not to have any issues. This will help us to help you to figure out what is going on.

    That said, if you put in a non-ripped CD into your DVD player....does the issue still exist?
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  20. #20

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    Im sorry I didnt clarify that, It is a store bought CD that I ripped to the PS3

  21. #21

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    What I'm saying is that when trying to figure out the issue you have, do not use any ripped material. Use a 2 channel/multi-channel, store bought CD/DVD that is ran only through the DVD player that you have. This will help us to help you to narrow down where the issue is coming from.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGlobe View Post
    Im sorry I didnt clarify that, It is a store bought CD that I ripped to the PS3
    That could definitely be the problem. Can you re-create the problem consistently? Does it happen only with that source material?
    If so, re-rip and report back.
    -Kevin
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    HT: Philips 52PFL7432D 52" LCD 1080p / Onkyo TX-SR 606 / Oppo BDP-83 SE / Comcast cable. (all HDMI)

    Polk LS 90's - Front
    Polk CS350 LS - Center
    Polk Monitor 50's - Rear
    JBL Northridge E150P - Sub

    2 Channel:
    Oppo BDP-83 SE
    Muscial Fidelity M1 DAC
    VTL 2.5
    McIntosh 2205 (refurbed)
    Polk LS90's (spiked & tweeked)
    Cardas IC's
    Cardas Bi-Wire

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGlobe View Post
    Nope, same receiver for the past few months.

    I will go over all cabling and check each speakers individualy over the next couple days. I am going to swap the 60s in the rear for 40s, and move the 60s to a different set up for a while and see if the sound resurfaces using a different receiver.

    Thanks again for all the advice.

    Globe
    Make sure you isolate each speakers (only one hooked-up at once, then one pair then disconnect and repeat for each channels and speakers.

    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    What I'm saying is that when trying to figure out the issue you have, do not use any ripped material. Use a 2 channel/multi-channel, store bought CD/DVD that is ran only through the DVD player that you have. This will help us to help you to narrow down where the issue is coming from.
    +1 when troubleshooting you should always used known good original recording!

    Quote Originally Posted by vc69 View Post
    That could definitely be the problem. Can you re-create the problem consistently? Does it happen only with that source material?
    If so, re-rip and report back.
    +1, sure could be the problem, before doing any of the above, go back to playing the original recording and see if the problem persist if it does, keep using the original recording and proceed with the above troubleshooting procedure (while at it, don't forget to clean the end of your connections as treitz3 recommend. If all fails then you should investigate the software updating as recommended by vc69. Good luck!

    Cheers :)
    TK

  24. #24

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    Tons of good advice guys, thanks a bunch

    looks like i'll be busy this week haha

  25. #25

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    after a few hours of 2 channel listening last night I could not reproduce the scratching sound. I then used 3 channel (70s/CS2) again without incident. I also removed the 60s from the setup and listened to them on their own for a while and could find nothing wrong. This leaves me with either a wiring problem, a receiver problem, a ps3 (or ps3 cable) problem, or a media problem.

    Thanks

    Globe

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGlobe View Post
    after a few hours of 2 channel listening last night I could not reproduce the scratching sound. I then used 3 channel (70s/CS2) again without incident. I also removed the 60s from the setup and listened to them on their own for a while and could find nothing wrong. This leaves me with either a wiring problem, a receiver problem, a ps3 (or ps3 cable) problem, or a media problem.

    Thanks

    Globe
    slowly, one piece at the time will lead to find the guilty beast. I was also reading that often "continuous crackling and hissing noises" can result from lightning, fluorescent lamps, motors, thermostats and other electrical equipment in the surroundings... Any of those near your set-up? I wouldn't be surprise your problem is actually gone for good as while tampering with the wirering you might have cured the problem without realizing. While at it, have you followed Treitz3's advice (de-oxit)?

    Cheers!
    TK

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