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Sony STR-DA4ES Left Channel Loss

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MarvM, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. MarvM

    MarvM Auditioning

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    I have a Sony STR-DA4ES which has seen a lot of use since it was put into service in 2003. In that nearly 15 years of service, it saw 3 years of storage in a controlled environment (in box, in monitored basement room with dehumidifier). After its move out into the new digs, I hooked it up to the rest of the 5-speaker system it had been mated to for years:

    2 Athena AS-F2 fronts
    Athena AS-C1 center
    2 Cambridge SoundWorks Surrounds
    Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR9 HDTV
    Sony DVP-NC600 DVD disc changer
    Sony BDP-S1 blu-ray player
    Wii
    And the newest component (since the 2016 move) ChannelMaster DVR+​

    After being freed from its box the system was left set up, plugged in for a day or more before being turned on. All of these components were plugged into another new component, a CyberPower CP500PFCLCD uninterruptible power supply (known for its smooth sine wave power). Its twin was already proven on the PC/office equipment.

    In the end of the first day of tweaking and balancing of the speakers, I had it turned up to near, but certainly below reference level and it went into auto-protection safety shutoff and became eerily dead. This was a once only event. Not long after the reset (days), it began exhibiting a sporadic popping sound from the speakers (L,R,C,LS,RS).

    After consulting a different forum (now largely inactive), further diagnostics were done, below are the questions with my answers:

    Does the front panel display flicker? Never has.
    Are digital & analogue inputs affected? Yes, optical, coax, RCA, even the built-in tuner. All are affected.
    Are video signals affected? Not so far.
    Do you have another amp to test if the pre-outs are affected? I'm afraid not. I have not noticed any popping from headphones in some brief testing. More testing of that may be in order.

    One sage of the forum suggested:

    [There] is the possibility that the electrolytic capacitors in your 14 year old DA4ES could possibly have something to do with the popping that your Receiver has been experiencing and that the caps may now need some extended operating time to fully form…. I… wonder if leaving the DA4ES powered up continually for several days might help with the problem?

    It did, it really did! There was very occasional popping on the left side though it is unclear if it surround or main or both. That was 2016 and 2017.

    Now in 2018 the left front main has gone silent. It was working, then just stopped. Turned off the receiver allowing it to cool a while and turned it back on, then silent after a couple of minutes. Now it the left never comes to life. Heard a loud pop out of the right side the last time I used the system… I’ve not wanted to turn it back on since.

    Details: so the left channel in headphones is affected, the left front main channel is the only one affected in all other listening modes. Center and left surround are fine. Both right front main and right surround are fine. I believe the aforementioned popping may have been in the left front main (and I thought, though was never certain it was also in the left surround). I have used tuner, blu-ray direct playback (so it's affecting the pass-through), and optical.

    I may turn it on again and it will be fine like it did a couple of times. Tonight—nothing.

    I expect that costs to repair, if I could even find a repair shop that would even work on something this old are likely not worth the expense. Any thoughts or suggestions to toward a possible diagnosis or resolution? Or is she dead?
     
  2. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Wow. 15 Years is impressive. I'll soon be installing my 5th AVR since 2003. None of the previous one's broke - just keeping up with the tech (plus it is good to sell them while they are newish to get some $$$ back).

    I seriously wouldn't waste time or money getting it fixed. For $500 or less you can pick up a new AVR that will outperform the old Sony and will have all the newest bells and whistles.
     
    John Dirk likes this.
  3. MarvM

    MarvM Auditioning

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    I expect you are right, David. I just hate to see a quality product go by the wayside... and $500 bucks is not really in the budget for this year. Thanks for your reply.
     
  4. Hemiram

    Hemiram Agent

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    I would love to see a pic of it with the top off. I bet there are bulged/popped caps in it. 15 years is not long for electronics to last. I have some vintage stereo equipment including a Panasonic/Technics receiver, a twin to the one I bought in 1973, and it works fine, sounds great, and has had nothing done to it except a good cleaning out of the cat hair in it when I got it and De-oxit on the controls. I have two old Technics cassette decks almost as old that still work well. One is 45 years old, and one is a kid at 38. My Yamaha R-900 was 36 years old and working perfectly when I sold it to a guy in Australia who had one as his first receiver. All it ever had done is the volume potentiometer was not put together correctly and failed about 10 years into it's life. It took longer to take the covers and stuff off it than it did to replace it.
     
  5. MarvM

    MarvM Auditioning

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    Hemiram, I have yet to lift the lid since these symptoms began, but I may take it out of the console soon. I will then take a look inside, when I figure out where I will put it. Not much room to spare at the moment. I'll likely take some pix then and may post it if.
     
  6. Hemiram

    Hemiram Agent

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    The age of it is getting into the period where they had the bad caps in a lot of stuff, so that might be it. The worst part about it is that the "stuff" that leaks out of them is corrosive and causes PC board damage. When my NEC PC surround receiver blew it's caps, I actually saw fire and sparks shoot out the back, and the force of the explosions tore the PC board up when the glue holding the filter caps to the board didn't let go. So it was basically trashed. I had a small amp and used that for several years as a replacement. Now I use a Yamaha CRX-E150 bookshelf stereo on my PC. Looking forward to the pics!
     

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