I'm hearing a snapping sound

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg_Bedard, Jul 2, 2001.

  1. Greg_Bedard

    Greg_Bedard Agent

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    I have an Onkyo 595 (75W per channel) hooked up to a hometheaterdirect 5.1 system with two floor-standing speakers, a big pair of bookshelfs and a huge center speaker.
    When watching movies and listening to music in five channels, I hear a staticky, snapping sound in the speakers. It's mostly at really noisy scenes in movies. I usually listen to the movies at between 40-50 on my volume indicator.
    What can be causing this? Is it that the receiver doesn't have enough power to power the speakers at the high points? Would getting a Onkyo 696 (100W per channel) solve my problem?
    Thanks for any help you can offer,
    Greg
     
  2. JoelW

    JoelW Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you double checked all your connections? That sounds like a bad speaker wire connection to me. I don't like the binding post layout on the 595 very much, sure makes getting good connections tough unless you use banana plugs.
    We blast our 595 review unit 55 and above on the volume with the HTD Towers and haven't noticed anything like that, so I don't think it is a receiver problem. That is, unless there is something wrong with your specific 595.
    I bet it is a connection, might try reconnecting all your connections.
    ------------------
    Joel White
    Editor CheapHomeTheater.com
     
  3. Greg_Bedard

    Greg_Bedard Agent

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    Here's my reply:
    I'm using gold-plated banana plugs from Radio Shack on the receiver's end (I was having too tough a time getting a good connection with bare wire). I'm using bare wire on the speaker end (those connections are great). I don't think it's the connections because there was a scene in Charlie's Angels that led me to believe it may be the receiver. I don't know if you've seen it but Lucy Liu is having a bunch of workers follow her out in a noisey hallway (and I hear the snapping in the center speaker). Then as they pan across the tv set and go out of picture, the snapping goes to the left and then left surround speakers. It's not a constant snapping, just sporadic during high-volume scene. And I don't hear it two-channel stereo so I it's having trouble with all 5 amps going at the same time.
    Now, I found this at hometheaterhifi.com that leads me to belive that I need more power. Tell me what you think:
    Q: I am running an Onkyo TX-SV444 receiver (60watts across the front and 20 to each rear) with a Yamaha DDP-1 for Dolby Digital. Yesterday, while watching "Starship Troopers" on DVD, I heard what sounded like static electricity in the front speakers during some of the louder scenes and sometimes when people were yelling I could hear it in the center speaker alone (sort of a snapping or clicking sound). I am using the Energy Take 5 system and thought it should
    be easy to drive. Am I hearing amplifier clipping? The volume was only a quarter of the way up and I wouldn't say that I
    was listening all that loud; just loud enough to understand the dialogue. I was planning on replacing the DDP-1 this summer with a DTS/DD dual decoder, but now I'm thinking I need to replace the receiver too (it doesn't have
    pre-outs). I can't afford separates yet. Do you think I should look for a receiver with higher power AND pre-outs so that I can upgrade later? Could the static sound be something else? In two channel stereo I can listen much louder than the movie was playing without a problem, and the rear speakers never sounded problematic despite having only 1/3 the power of the fronts. What's going on?
    A That snapping cracking static sound is definitely clipping. The power supply in your receiver can't deliver what's needed during those high energy movie scenes. The reason you don't have such a problem with two channel stereo, is that the power supply only has to deal with two channels instead of five. I would suggest getting one of the mid-level receivers that have about 80 watts to all five channels, a set of 5.1 input jacks, and a set of pre-out jacks. Since you already have a DD decoder, you don't need to waste money getting a receiver with DD built-in. Also, since you are already
    thinking about an outboard amplifier, and you like action films, there is no sense in getting a receiver with high power built-in amplifiers. However, if you have a receiver with 80 watts to each of the rear channels, then you may
    be able to get by with a three channel outboard power amplifier (125 - 200 watts/channel), to drive the front left/center/right, instead of having to buy a five channel amplifier.
    There is a second possibility that the output of the DDP-1 is too high for the inputs of your Onkyo. You can test this by turning the volume down very low. If you still hear the snapping sound, then the DDP-1 outputs are overloading the preamplifier section of your Onkyo. In this case, turn the "high level cut" feature down using the menu on your DDP-1. This will compress the dynamic range, leaving the low level and mid level volume alone, but reducing the level during high output movie sequences.
     
  4. JoelW

    JoelW Stunt Coordinator

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    By your description of how the sound moves with the scene, that sure doesn't sound like a bad connection. I am somewhat confused by the fact we power our 595 review unit much higher than that with no problems. Perhaps the power supply on your unit isn't up to par.
    Do you have access to another receiver you could test this with? Also, where did you buy the 595? If it was me, I would consider taking it back and trying another unit to see if the problem persists, but that is much harder to do if you ordered on-line.
    The only other thing I can think of is to double check the optical (or digital coax) cable from your DVD player to your receiver, you might try swapping it out with a new cable if you have another cable lying around.
    ------------------
    Joel White
    Editor CheapHomeTheater.com
     
  5. Greg_Bedard

    Greg_Bedard Agent

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    Did you guys only power the two floor-standing speakers? Or did you use them at part of a 5-speaker set?
    I'm thinking that if you just used the two, then it wasn't working as hard as it does with 5-speakers.
    I am going to do these things in the next few days to see if it solves the problem:
    1) Get a power line conditioner.
    2) Swap out my coax with the Better Cables silver serpent I bought but was going to return because of the cost.
     
  6. JoelW

    JoelW Stunt Coordinator

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    No we powered a complete 5.1 system with the 595.
    I've been in the test lab hammering on our 595 review unit and I can't make it clip until it is at obnoxious sound levels.
    Have you noticed the clipping on other DVDs? I don't have, nor have I scene Charlie's Angels but we've certainly got lots of material that pushes receivers. Have the Matrix, U571, DTS Test disc, Gladiator, etc any of those? We have all of those and then some in our test lab, we can try out specific scenes. I might go pick up Charlie's Angels and test that particular scene out on our 595 to see what happens.
     
  7. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg,
    Clipping with a receiver like that is VERY unlikely to sound like "snapping" I think. Not an issue of too little power in my mind.
    I'd get another receiver (can you get a swap with a new one?) after checking all the wires AGAIN, and then go after a bad speaker element (do they all do it?).
    Much more of this snapping at high volumes and you'll smoke a tweater man. I had a Pioneer Elite amp that slowly died and sounded like your receiver. Took several elements of my Polk mains with it too.
    Ron
     
  8. Greg_Bedard

    Greg_Bedard Agent

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    Thanks Ron, that's good advice. I think I might go get a receiver with at a local store with a return policy and see what happens.
     
  9. Darin H

    Darin H Auditioning

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    I have heard snapping sounds before too and was afraid that my amp was clipping. In my case, it turned out to be dirty or scratched disks rather than a power or connection problem. In my case however, it only happened during certain tracks on certain disks at any volume level.
     
  10. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you running your mains/center/surrounds as small or large? Are you using a sub? If you have your mains/center set to large I would try changing them to small and see if you still have the problem.
     
  11. patrick miller

    patrick miller Auditioning

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    i have a 474, i used to get that static sound in the rears. i grounded the unit, my dvd, and cd player and it seemed to stop.
    -patrick
     
  12. Doug Wal

    Doug Wal Auditioning

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    I have an Onkyo 989.
    I had the same Snapping / Crackling / Static sound start
    on my receiver a few months after I bought it.
    At first it was occasional on the rear speakers.
    Then, in the middle of a movie it was constant in the
    rears and then it started to be occasional in the left
    front.
    It happens in THX, Dolby modes.
    I unhooked everything including my sub and then just
    hooked up my TV to the video 1 input. Same problem.
    I sent my unit in for repair 3 weeks ago and the tech
    has confirmed the problem. He has called Onkyo several
    times and Onkyo did not return any of his calls for a
    week. Even after they called back, they have no idea
    what is causing the problem.
    Any thoughts as to how to force Onkyo to replace the unit?
     
  13. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Steve. If its clipping at 50, you're probably running all speakers as large. Even so, that's still kinda hard to believe.
    But I am forgetting that "50" on your 595 might not be the same as "50" on mine. If your speaker levels are pretty high in the positive range (I think it can go from -12dB to +12dB) then that could help explain it. Plus the intellivolume setting for that source could also be set high in the positive range. So your "50" could very well be 20dB higher than mine. And that may very well clip the amp. But I doubt you've got such weird settings. Its something to check, though.
     
  14. Jay W.

    Jay W. Stunt Coordinator

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    I am hearing an occasional snapping/crackilng noise, but it is coming from my reciever, not the speakers. Is this something I should be concerned with.
     
  15. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Jay,
    You'll definately hear a distinct click from the receiver when you switch from a 2 channel listening mode to a 4 or 5 channel mode. Sounds like a relay switching. So if you listen to CD's in stereo and TV in surround then when you switch from the CD input to the DVD input you'll hear the click, since th 595 remembers what mode you use for each source.
     
  16. Greg_Bedard

    Greg_Bedard Agent

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    My snapping sound is gone!!!
    I changed out my digital coax from RadioShack (19.99) and replaced it with the expensive one that I got from BetterCables (even though I wanted to save money and return it). I also set all my speakers to small except for the mains.
    I don't know what did it, but everything sounds great now.
    A couple of additional things:
    1. I'm expecting my subwoofer from HTD next week -- any recommendations on a cable?
    2. And my only complaint about my HTD setup has to do with the center channel. It sounds great most of the time but on occasion, with certain actors and their pronunciations, I hear a certain tin kind of sound. It mostly happens when they pronounce like an "at" sound. Is this common? I assume it's what I get when my center retails for $139 -- not perfect sound but pretty good. Will biwiring the center help?
    Thanks for all your help guys,
    Greg
     

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