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Audio issue—suggestions needed (1 Viewer)

Jeff Fearnside

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I posted this elsewhere and got some good, well-intentioned responses that, alas, did not solve the issue. So I thought I would try here.

I’ve been having strange audio issues that I cannot figure out. When I play Blu-ray discs, sometimes they play perfectly. At other times, the picture is fine (I’ve never had trouble with the picture) but the audio is gone. I’ve tracked no particular pattern to this. Everything can work fine for several days in a row, and then the sound might cut out for a few days. Or it can alternate.

When the sound goes, the only way I’ve discovered to get it to play is to turn everything off—the Blu-ray player, receiver amp, and TV—wait 10 seconds, and then turn everything back on again. Sometimes I have to do that twice or even three times. It’s like the audio is “stuck,” for lack of a better word, and needs to be reset.

This only started happening maybe a year ago. Because my old Blu-ray player is almost 10 years old, I thought perhaps it was just nearing the end, so I bought a new player. While I was hooking it up, I dusted everything off, installed a brand-new HDMI cable, and plugged into a different HDMI input, just in case the one I had been using had gone bad.

The audio issue persists.

So, the problem does not appear to relate to the Blu-ray player, HDMI cable, or amp input. Speaker cables seem fine; I’ve double checked them and made sure there’s nothing that might be causing a short. There’s no hissing or intermittent cutting out. Either the sound is perfect or it’s gone.

Could there be something else going on with my receiver amp? Or perhaps my TV?

Why does the picture always come through as clear as day no matter what, but the sound sometimes stubbornly remains mute until it’s “reset”?

If it helps, my setup includes a Sony BDP-BX370 region-free Blu-ray player (my old one is a Sony BDP-S5100E region-free player that still generally works fine but with this strange audio issue), a Samsung UN60J6200 60-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV, and a Harman Kardon AVR 1510 75-watt receiver amp.

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer!
 

JohnRice

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Are you connecting the BR player directly to the receiver, or running it through the TV?

In order to have the fewest potential problems, it should be connected directly to the receiver.
 

JohnRice

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Have you noticed a "click" or anything like that from the receiver when the sound goes out?
 

John Dirk

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I think @JohnRice and I are going in the same direction. Try connecting the Blu Ray player directly to the TV. If this eliminates the issue then you know which component is at fault.
 

Jeff Fearnside

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Thanks very much, everyone. I don't hear a "click" every time before the sound cuts out, but sometimes I hear a noise, fairly loud and with distortion. I would call it a "pop." Again, not every time, and the sound can go off without this noise, but when we do hear it, my wife and I prepare for the sound to go.

Because I've gone through and eliminated just about every other option, the receiver was standing as pretty much the last possibility, even though it's not that old (about 10 years, though I suppose things don't last as long now as they used to).

I'll need to do a little gymnastics to pull everything out of the tight spaces they're in, but I'll try connecting directly to the TV and see if that changes anything.
 

garyrc

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@Jeff Fearnside

Is it fixed yet?

Sometimes there is an automatic audio shut-off if the musical peaks are too high. On some equipment, the re-set is not immediate.

If you just put the player on "pause," but do NOT turn everything off, is the sound back on when you put the player back on "play?"

Here is a really long, long shot. If your speakers are of very low sensitivity ("efficiency") -- ~~ 85 dB, 1W, 1M ~~ or below, your receiver may be needing to pump out more that its 75 watts (probably only about 60 watts in the real world) on loud passages, and shut off the audio, but leave the video on. No? I didn't think so.

even though it's not that old (about 10 years, though I suppose things don't last as long now as they used to).

I'm with you. Equipment should last forever. I have a tube preamp I used to use at work (it retired with me) that is 49 years old -- I still use it from time to time when some newer thing in the chain goes out for repair. My newest piece of equipment is 14 years old.
 

Jeff Fearnside

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Sometimes there is an automatic audio shut-off if the musical peaks are too high. On some equipment, the re-set is not immediate.

If you just put the player on "pause," but do NOT turn everything off, is the sound back on when you put the player back on "play?"

Here is a really long, long shot. If your speakers are of very low sensitivity ("efficiency") -- ~~ 85 dB, 1W, 1M ~~ or below, your receiver may be needing to pump out more that its 75 watts (probably only about 60 watts in the real world) on loud passages, and shut off the audio, but leave the video on. No? I didn't think so.
I never play my system at a loud volume--even at its loudest, I can't possibly be approaching its limits. So I don't think it has anything to do with an automatic shut-off.

It will play again after hitting pause, no problem. Well, I should say 90 percent of the time. Really, when the audio cuts out appears to be completely random. It can be off from the beginning, right after inserting the disc. It can cut out halfway through. Usually, though, if it works at first, it will play all the way through. It just doesn't always play at first.

I have pretty decent speakers that sound nice even at low levels, so I don't think they're causing the issue. Again, I don't play at a level that could remotely be considered too loud. However, if the problem really is with the receiver, perhaps it's overheating even at low volumes? It never feels too hot on top or on the sides, where the vents are, but while there's room around it, it is in a tighter space than is probably ideal.
 

Jeff Fearnside

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Well, all signs seemed to indicate the problem was with my old receiver, so I bought a new one. It's only been two days now, but so far, no issues whatsoever! Let's hope that holds and the problem is solved!

THANKS to all who pitched in with helpful comments and suggestions!
 

Mike Up

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Not to open an old wound, since you tracked it down to the receiver, but did you try a reset. Many times when I have had glitches, I had to do a reset and all was good. Often power outages or power glitches that cycle power on and off very quickly can corrupt some electronics. Doing resets usually fixes them. As I said, I have had issues where resets have corrected them.

So if you have the receiver still, try a reset. If it's corrected by the reset, you now have a good receiver for a second room!
 

Jeff Fearnside

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Not to open an old wound, since you tracked it down to the receiver, but did you try a reset. Many times when I have had glitches, I had to do a reset and all was good. Often power outages or power glitches that cycle power on and off very quickly can corrupt some electronics. Doing resets usually fixes them. As I said, I have had issues where resets have corrected them.

So if you have the receiver still, try a reset. If it's corrected by the reset, you now have a good receiver for a second room!
Thanks, Mike Up! I'm embarrassed to say this, having owned stereo and home theater equipment since the '80s, but I didn't even know you could reset a receiver! How do you do it? Is there a standard procedure, or do I need to look up the manual specific to my old receiver? It would be nice to have a second setup for another room or the garage, or at least a backup.
 

JohnRice

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Thanks, Mike Up! I'm embarrassed to say this, having owned stereo and home theater equipment since the '80s, but I didn't even know you could reset a receiver! How do you do it? Is there a standard procedure, or do I need to look up the manual specific to my old receiver? It would be nice to have a second setup for another room or the garage, or at least a backup.
Mike does have a point, but don’t get your hopes up too much. Just search for the factory reset procedure for your model. It’s usually easy to find. In fact, sometimes just disconnecting the power for several hours can fix some glitches.
 

Jeff Fearnside

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Mike does have a point, but don’t get your hopes up too much. Just search for the factory reset procedure for your model. It’s usually easy to find. In fact, sometimes just disconnecting the power for several hours can fix some glitches.
Thanks, John. At this point, fixing the old receiver would just be a bonus, as the new receiver is working great so far.
 

Mike Up

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Thanks, Mike Up! I'm embarrassed to say this, having owned stereo and home theater equipment since the '80s, but I didn't even know you could reset a receiver! How do you do it? Is there a standard procedure, or do I need to look up the manual specific to my old receiver? It would be nice to have a second setup for another room or the garage, or at least a backup.
Each receiver is different and should be in that receiver's manual. Good luck and hopefully this will fix your receiver.

I did have to use this reset procedure once when power went out and flickered on/off several times and glitched the receiver. After the reset, all was back to normal. I also had to use the reset for an Onkyo TX-NR6050 and that fixed the glitches, but not the design defects. ;P

Here's an example, here's my reset procedure for my Denon AVR-2312ci on page 144 of the manual:

Resetting the microprocessor

Perform this procedure if the display is abnormal or if operations cannot be performed.
When the microprocessor is reset, all the settings are reset to their default values.1

1 Turn off the power using ON/STANDBY.

2 Press ON/STANDBY while simultaneously pressing PRESET CHANNEL 2 and PRESET CHANNEL 3.

3 Once the display starts flashing at intervals of about 1 second, release the two buttons.

If in step 3 the display does not flash at intervals of about 1 second, start over from step 1.
 
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