Fuzzy/Muddy/Crackly sounds from speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by elMalloc, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Hello,
    I use a harman kardon avr 120 receiver (40W x 5), and I calibrated it using a radio shack SPL meter (though I was experiencing these same "problems" before the calibration).
    My problem is on some sounds, my speakers give a scratchy/crackly sound (i'm using a monster optical cable, which never gave a problem on my old receiver). Imagine a flame thrower blazing, it would sound very scratchy/crackly on my speakers, like too much treble and no bass.
    The receiver crosses over at 100 hz. I'm using philips speakers all around (100W) and I used to have philips receiver, which I don't remember having these crackly sounds.
    The highs are very clear though, it sounds like the bass is having trouble. (Like in gladiator, the catapults give the same scratchy sound when they fire).
    What is going on? I was thinking the new receiver crosses over higher than my old receiver (100hz vs whatever my old one was) and now it's not handling lower frequencies well (for my main speakers) and it gives that annoying scratchy sound (as if there was too much treble during some parts where there should be a lot of bass, like as my example was flame thrower or catapults firing, it would sound loud and scratchy.)
    Sorry if it doesn't make sense, I thought someone here might know what's going on at least. My treble/bass are at 12 o clock position. Everyone says problems can be attributed to my speakers, but I don't remember having this crackly sounds (for lows) with my other receiver.
    Thanks,
    ELmO
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    If you get crackling on loud sounds or when turning up the volume, you should turn down the volume. Otherwise you run the risk of blowing the tweeters simply because the percentage of high frequency content is very high compared with audio representing sounds normally heard in nature and speaker power capacity is rated based on the latter.
    Does the crackling happen on all sources including FM radio and VCR? If so, check for loose connections in the speaker wiring. If you have banana plugs or lugs at the ends of the speaker wires it is possible to have a bad connection where the wire goes into the back of the lug or plug.
    If the problem occurs only with sources with audio coming down the optical cable, recheck the ends of the optical cable and the respective jacks for dirt or dust and be sure the connection is snug and straight.
    It is possible that there is a decoding error in the optical audio part of your A/V receiver or DVD player.
    It is possible that some sources overload one or more amplifier stages inside the receiver, there may or may not be screwdriver adjustments inside to compensate for this.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  3. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the great reply.
    I also use a PS2 with monster optical cable and noticed this same sort of sound coming out of my pioneer DVD player optical audio. I think I also noticed this same problem on my gamecube which uses red/white audio cables. It has problems with explosions. As my example (a flame thrower), it just sounds very crackly for an explosion (almost hurts the ears). The volume is at low-mid levels too, it doesn't matter what volume level I have it at - it will still give that sound (only not as prevalent on lower levels). It sounds like the TREBLE is too high (but it's at default).
    I'm listening to FM radio right now to hear what I can, going to see if I can hear that same sound.
    I have really really bad speakers ok. They are philips brand, they came in a package (with receiver). They performed fine with the receiver it came with, but that is to be expected I think. The speaker wire also is really really bad and thin (came with the speakers).
    I think i will try getting some new speakers later on, I just wonder if onecall.com screwed up this receiver. I ordered it new, and when I received it the front display panel had a deep scratch across the face. I thought nothing of it...then I came in for a much closer look (less than 3 inches) and I can see literally hundreds of tiny scratches all over the face. It was packaged well (2 boxes) so it didn't look damaged from shipment. I don't really think anything of it (who knows if it's used or what?) - that's what worries me, it's hard for an average user like me to understand if the receiver is actually giving out the sound it should be.
    I haven't heard anything on FM yet that gives this same sound, maybe I'm not receiving the correct frequencies though - thanks again for the reply,
    ELmO
     
  4. Nikos

    Nikos Auditioning

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    Your speakers may be directed more bass than they can handle causing the the suspension to warp and your voicecoils to heat up (distortion). Look to see if there's a set up menu in your receiver and try setting all your speakers to small. If you could hear the same distortion at low levels, you may have already damaged your speakers.

    On the other hand, you may have a faulty receiver. If you still have your old receiver, try reconnecting that one and see if the problem persists. If it does, then it's most likely your speakers.

    Nikos
     
  5. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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  6. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Hello,

    My receiver is set to small, so they are receiving only over 100 HZ.

    Could it be they only receive parts of an explosion sound, that's why it sounds weird?

    I sold the other receiver....it would suck if my receiver is faulty, I'll have to eat the $360 though I emailed onecall.com about the receiver's condition. I'll have to try better speakers/wire before I can say something is wrong with my receiver though.

    Thanks,

    ELmO
     
  7. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Onecall's response:
    The front panel is covered by a protective mylar film . If you rub it at the corners you should see it peel up and then you can peel it off. If you are using a powered subwoofer in the system then you need to make sure your speaker settings are set to small. this should clear everything up. if not call us at 1-800-663-5255.
    A-ha...there was no "mylar film" on my front panel. It came as it is sitting in my rack, with scratches on the front. Now (EDIT) I remember there was a plastic film I peeled off but it was about a half inch by half inch square, which must be the remote control part. There was no film across the entier front display of the receiver. Now I don't know what to do with it, it is a hassle to ship it back to them unless I see the new receiver first...
    -ELmO
     
  8. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Is the crackling sound coming from all of your speakers or one speaker? Tweeter or midrange cones? If it's coming from the cones you've probably got a bad voice coil or the speakers are bottoming out. The amplifier could also be clipping and causing the noise. It's more likely that you will damage speakers from clipping with a lower power amplifier than by supplying too much power to the speakers. IMHO, if your amp is 40W X 5, it's likely that your running it too hard and causing it to clip.

    Since the sound seems to happen no matter what your source is, the problem is probably due to overdriving the amp or your speakers are in need of new voice coils and not the cables. Upgrading cables is always good but I've never heard of all of them going bad at once.
     
  9. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    OK Thanks for that, I too wonder if it's the receiver. The other philips was 100W X 5 and this is rated at 40W X 5. Yes, it's a good point to make that it's coming out of all speakers. I wouldn't know how to tell if it's the tweeter or midrange cone...I can tell you everything else sounds clear (classical instruments, voices for the most part) but explosions and things of that nature exhibit the scratchy sound.

    Another point is the speakers are rated on the back 100W @ 6 ohms. What's the difference between running a receiver rated at 40W X 5 rated at 8 ohms, and running speakers that are 6 ohms? I guess the other receiver was just -fit- with these speakers since they were all the same manufacturer and came in a package together...

    -ELmO
     
  10. Nikos

    Nikos Auditioning

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    I think that may just well be your problem. It seems that your receiver's amps require the use of 8ohm speakers only. Some amplifiers are unable to power speakers rated at a lower impedance making them unstable and in return, distorting the signal to the speakers.

    Before going through the trouble of returning your receiver, I would invest in a pair of 8ohm speakers from a nearby brick & mortar and make sure the receiver plays optimally.

    Nikos
     
  11. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Alright thanks.

    I will check out some cheap bookshelf speakers (JBL N series) and see if I get anything better out of them, going to check if they are 8 ohm first though.

    Thanks for the tips,

    ELmO
     
  12. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    >>> the front display panel had a deep scratch across the face. I thought nothing of it...then I came in for a much closer look (less than 3 inches) and I can see literally hundreds of tiny scratches all over the face...

    Now I'm suspicious whether you really got a new unit.

    There was a news story on one of my local channels about someone who purchased something shrink wrapped and when he got it home found that the item in the box was not what was supposed to be there (specifically an antique 5-1/4 inch diskette drive instead of a DVD ROM PC drive). When he took it back to the store to return and complain the store wouldn't accept the return saying he put the incorrect contents in the box to cheat the store with. Moral of that story, open it up in the store before departing for home.
     
  13. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    HK's can handle 4-ohm speakers, straight from their tech support.

    You NEED to upgrade the speakers and the wire, really. You are running a nice rec., give it the speakers to match. I have very inefficient NHT's, and the 40 watts x 5 are plenty. Just go get a nice pair of bookshelves.

    This is like buying a 'Vette and then going and getting the 4 for $100 tire deal.

    Get some speakers. You need them anyway, and if there's still a problem, Onecall or HK will take care of you.

    Respectfully -

    - CM
     
  14. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    It's weird I don't think I had this scratchy explosion problem with the other receiver, maybe I never noticed it - I think I would though because it hurts my ears.

    I saw some NHTs rated at 86 DB. Have any cheap bookshelves to recommend? I'm saving up for an HDTV so I don't want to kill myself on speakers right now because I am happy with the setup except during explosions/sounds like that.

    I saw some AR Bookshelves for only $60 a pair...but I'm going to end up with the same vette with $25 tires again?

    I will probably wait a while so I can save up more money over the HDTV, to get some better bookshelves,

    -ELmO
     
  15. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Elmo,
    I run the Cheapest AR speakers as my Surrounds (Performance
    Series 216PS Bookshelfs) and I can say you would NOT be
    purchasing a Vette with 25 dollar tires (God I wish the tires
    for my Vettes were $25!) Even the most economical AR speakers
    will utterly destroy anything phillips could ever hope to
    produce in sound quality. If you don't beleive me, read the
    reviews of the AR Performance Series Speakers at www.audioreview.com
     
  16. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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    Another plug for AR speakers.....I'm using AR The Edge as my surrounds. They're wall mountable (which was a requirement in my HT) with a 91dB sensitivity rating. They usually go for ~$200 for the pair but I got them from 800.com for $142 delivered with a price match.

    These ARs blend incredibly well with the JBLs (discontinued HLS series) that I'm using for my mains and center channel. The key to timbre matching different brands lies in matching the material used, for the tweeters in particular (polycarbonate in this case).

    Acoustic Research makes some of the best sounding, most well constructed speakers available for the money, IMO.

    Vin
     

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