Car stereo problem

Andy L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 26, 1999
Messages
101
I figure with all the HT experts here, someone can help me figure out this problem with my car stereo.
My system consists of a Eclipse head unit, Soundstream 4 channel amp, Boston Acoustics separates up front and coaxial speakers in the rear. It was all professionally installed almost 4 years ago.
Whenever I turn on the stereo, very little sound comes out of the left front speaker. I can use the balance and fader controls on the head unit to isolate the speaker. As I turn the volume up, I can hear faint sounds from the speaker, but it is muffled and many orders of magnitude quieter than it should be. If I keep turning up the volume, the speaker kicks in at full volume. From there, the speaker seems to keep working until I turn the car off, when we start over again. The only symptom that I notice after the speaker is working is that occasionally there is static in that speaker, even from clean sources.
I have tried swapping the input cables into the amp, but I haven't been able to isolate the problem. Anyone have any ideas of where I should go from here?
 

Philip_G

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2000
Messages
5,030
I'd say that channel of the amp is going out. Give soundstream a call (number is on their website www.soundstream.com) and ask them what they think, they'll fix the amp for a flat rate of $100 and it'll be better than new.
 

Philip_G

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2000
Messages
5,030
check the wiring just in case, make sure everything is tight.
and BTW very nice amp. I love soundstream gear. Have a 4 and a 2 channel soundstream reference series in my car.
also just to clarify, you switched the RCA's to the amp right? and the same speaker was still whacko? if it's the amp (or speaker) and you swap the R and L RCA's the dead speaker should stay the same, if it's the head unit it should switch
here's how I could go about it (I've edited this a million times hence the confusing flow)
shut car off. Switch right and left front rca's on amp
-same speaker dead, undo the front R+L speakers from amp and switch to isolate it as an amp problem.
-speaker switches sides, well shit I dunno. Pull the deck out to make sure the rca is still plugged in OK and maybe look for a cut somewhere, then look for a new deck or have that one tested/repaired
[Edited last by Philip_G on October 08, 2001 at 11:05 PM]
 

CRyan

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 9, 1999
Messages
1,239
Very possible that it is your left front channel on the amp that is going bad (I assume you are using the SoundStream for all four channels). Try switching that speaker to a different channel on your amp. If that gives you the same performance in that speaker, then you will have to search further. Possibly the speaker, speaker wire, or even the left front channel in your head unit.
If you are not using the amp for the front speakers, then the amp in the head unit for that channel could be going bad.
Look at the speaker for water damage or dry-rot. The speaker terminals on the speaker or the speaker wire itself could be oxidized and/or corroded.
I would tend to bet that is an amplifier problem, eitherin the head unit or the outboard amp that you are using.
------------------
http://www.elitestoragedesigns.com/RyanOAR.bmp
 

Reginald Trent

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 18, 2000
Messages
1,313
It could be a short in your wiring touching something like the car's body and or a loose connection in you cables.
 

Andy L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 26, 1999
Messages
101
Thanks for the tips. I'm going to go through some of the troubleshooting ideas in the next few days and see what I can find.
For clarification, the Soundstream drives the front speakers as well as having channels 3 and 4 bridged to drive a sub. The sub has shown no problems.
I don't think its a short or wiring problem because it rarely if ever works when I turn it on and always comes to life when I crank the volume. Because of this, I'm tending to think head unit, amp or the passive crossover for the speaker.
If it's the amp, I will probably replace it. This amp has already been to Soundstream for repair 3 times in its life, all under warranty. The warranty has since expired. The amp sounds great, but I don't want to dump any more money into what seems to be a very unreliable piece of gear.
 

Philip_G

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2000
Messages
5,030
if it turns out to be the amp and you'd like to sell it let me know, depending on the model I'd be interested
 

Thom B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 11, 1999
Messages
213
I don't think its a short or wiring problem because it rarely if ever works when I turn it on and always comes to life when I crank the volume.
Don't dismiss this too quickly. I had the exact same issue with my left front speaker on a car I recently bought. Low to no volume until the control is cranked up. Then everything worked normally. Swapped out the head unit with no effect. Upgraded the speakers with no effect. When doing the speaker install, I noticed that the wiring on the left side was a bit tight, so I dug in again, and sure enough there was a bare spot where the wire was rubbing on the door frame. Replaced the wire and added a bit of slack to prevent a reoccurance. No problems since.
A possible t-shooting step for this- get the volume functioning normally with the "crank 'til it works" method, then open and close the drivers door, allowing it to travel the full range of it's arc. In my situation I found that the speaker would sometimes short out again when I did this. Hope this all helps.
T
 

Andy L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 26, 1999
Messages
101
Thanks to all for your replies.
Of course, now that I'm getting ready to start swapping things around to track down the problem, it is working perfectly.
I'll post back when I get a resolution.
 

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