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Troubleshooting an AVR problem (1 Viewer)

Charles Smith

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Hi everyone.

If this kind of query should be posted elsewhere on HTF, just say the word.

I'm troubleshooting a problem, and I want to know if anyone has experienced anything like what I'm about to describe. My receiver is a ten-year-old Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH that has served me well in all respects, until this problem developed.

In addition to movies, etc., I play a lot of records and tapes through it (I have those inputs routed just to my front L & R speakers), and this has worked splendidly -- until a few months ago when I fired up the turntable and found I was getting nothing out of the right channel. (The turntable is played through a separate phono preamp (Jolida JD9) which delivers the line level signal to the receiver.)

To begin troubleshooting, I plugged a portable CD player into that input and both channels played fine. I then tried plugging my phono preamp into another set of stereo inputs, and again I was getting nothing in the right channel. Further troubleshooting included connecting the turntable directly to the phono inputs on an old tube receiver, where it played fine, then returning it to the A/V receiver and swapping cables and trying additional inputs. Still nothing. At that point it seemed the problem was the phono preamp, and not knowing how soon I'd get it to a tech person, I ordered another one (Vincent PHO-8ps) just in case, and ...... same thing entirely, no right channel. So at this point I believed I had ruled out the turntable, its wiring, and the phono preamp(s) and cables. It looked like the fault was in the receiver.

Further troubleshooting finds this rather bizarre situation:

The receiver will play input from other line level sources - tape decks and CD players, etc., - just fine through any of its stereo L/R inputs. But it responds differently to both phono preamps -- even though they're just another line level source -- playing only through the left channel and passing just a little static (if I press my ear closely to the speaker) through the right. And then, if I disconnect the right channel (red) cable from the receiver while the record is playing, instead of continuing to play the left channel, it cuts out ALL sound -- even the channel that was playing and is still connected.

Bottom line, and I know this sounds completely irrational: the receiver now "knows" when the line level source is a phono preamp, and it behaves differently with either one of those than it does with all other line level sources. Reel-to-reel and cassette decks continue to play fine, as do the Blu-ray player and cable box connected via HDMI.

"How does it know??" :) What sense can I make of this? Any insight or clues will be most appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Reed Grele

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Have you examined the turntable cartridge? Maybe disconnect the headshell from the tonearm and check for loose wires or dust build-up. Blow on it with compressed air.
 

Charles Smith

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Hey, Reed —

Not to that extent, but I will do that. However, the turntable played fine when connected to a traditional stereo amp with built-in phono input. Also, I forgot to mention — I tested with a second turntable, with same results.

Yes, I’m one of those. Two turntables. (Three would be even nicer, don’t you think?) :)
 

Reed Grele

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I looked up your receiver manual online. It says to use the CD inputs for turntables/pre-amps.

My past and current receivers have ALWAYS had a dedicated "Phono Input" with a screw to attach the grounding wire. Not sure why the Pioneer Elite doesn't. It just says to use the CD inputs.

I've never had to use a phono pre-amp.
 

Charles Smith

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Yep, CD input is where it is.

When I bought this one there were already relatively few phono inputs being made available on AV receivers, and that’s why I acquired the preamp - which I’d never had before either.
 

3dbinCanada

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Yep, CD input is where it is.

When I bought this one there were already relatively few phono inputs being made available on AV receivers, and that’s why I acquired the preamp - which I’d never had before either.

Did you get the issue resolved?
 

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