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Poor Volume From Front Speaker

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Tim-S, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Tim-S

    Tim-S Auditioning

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    I am setting up surround sound in my parents' new house. The builder pre-wired the room for 5.1, so I'm just adding the components. They're using a now very hard to find Panasonic SA-XR55 with AudioSource minispeakers (small budget for audio). The room was not pre-wired for rear surrounds, so those jacks are currently not in use (maybe added later, when I feel like crawling through 2 feet of cellulose in the attic [​IMG] ).

    After hooking everything up, I discovered that the front left speaker has very poor volume, even when the receiver is jacked to overload. And by poor I mean POOR--a conversation at normal volume drowns it out. The other speakers sound fine--REALLY LOUD at that setting. The receiver is also driving JBL in-ceiling 'B' speakers in the living room and bedroom, and those sound fine, too.

    Any idea what could cause the diminished volume? I tried swapping the speaker with the front right, but the volume did not improve, so I know it's not the speaker. As far as I can tell, the XR55 will not let me adjust the volume for the fronts, only the center, surrounds, and rear surrounds if they're in use.

    While typing this post, it's occurred to me that the +/- wires could be reversed in the wall, either behind the speaker or behind the receiver. Could that cause such dramatic signal loss? I also just realized that I should try another speaker output on the receiver, just to make sure it's not the receiver (oh no!).

    So, now that I've answered my own question, any thoughts? [​IMG]
     
  2. Adam

    Adam Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had problems with prewiring in the past. To make sure it is not the wiring you could just run a new "test" peice of wire from the left front speaker to the left front output on the receiver. It doesn't have to be long. Bring the speaker close to the receiver and run a short length. If the speaker still does not play at the correct volume the the output on your receiver is bad and it will need to be sent out for repair.

    Most likely the builder put a nail or staple through the wire somewhere and it is shorting out.
     
  3. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    You may have accidentally shorted the wireout at the receiver too, check you connections..

    Brent
     
  4. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Grab some more wire and an ohm meter and test the in-wall wiring [​IMG]
     
  5. Tim-S

    Tim-S Auditioning

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    I'm going to be back over there tomorrow night. The first thing I'll do is move those banana plugs to one of the other speaker outs on the receiver. If the volume is normal, I'll know it's the receiver and not the wire. If the problem persists, I'll remove the wall plate and connect the in-wall wire directly to the receiver. If the volume is still low, the shorted wire will be the answer. If it is, the P's are going to ask the builder to run a new wire. I offered to do it, but they have a 30-day inspection coming up, anyway. And for the $$ they paid for the house, they figure they at least should have functional speaker wiring. I concur.
     
  6. Adam

    Adam Stunt Coordinator

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    I would rather try a spare piece of wire run direct, than trying to hook up that speaker to another output. If the wiring is bad (shorted) you run the risk of damaging the good output on the receiver.
     
  7. Tim-S

    Tim-S Auditioning

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    Good point. Thanks. I'll test it tonight with a spare wire.
     
  8. Tim-S

    Tim-S Auditioning

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    Problem solved. I connected the speaker with a spare wire and the volume was normal, so I knew the problem was somewhere inside the wall. When I took the distribution plate off the wall, I discovered that one strand of copper from the positive side was touching one strand of copper on the negative side on the screw-type connectors for that speaker. That tiny amount of contact was enough to short out the speaker. I redid the connections, and presto! Perfect volume.

    Thanks for all the looks and the suggestions. You guys are the best.

    Tim
     

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