You are here

Log in or register to post comments
jhendrix
jhendrix's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 15 2007 - 3:41pm
Crackle while I am turning up the volume

Hello,

I notice that while I am turning up the volume (either manually or with the remote) on my integrated amp, there is a slight crackle that accompanies the music. It stops when I have completed the volume increase. I haven't noticed this before.

The only things I've changed are connecting my turntable through the Bellari phono tube amp through Aux (previously I connected it directly to the internal phono stage of the amp) and I have upgraded the speaker cable. Or does my amp need a service (it's only about 2 years old -- the Marantz PM 7001)?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

Usually this is a symptom of a dirty volume pot. If you are unfamiliar with the inside of an amplifier, I would suggest you let a technician perform the cleaning. More than one amplifier has been damaged by an over zealous spray can cleaner. If the solution is as simple as a dirty pot, the tech might do the job for free while you wait. If the shop wants to charge you, have them go through the entire amp to check for proper operation and clean all the contacts.

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

rat shack sells a spray cleaner that should do the trick cleaning the volume pot. It is a pretty common problem

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume


Quote:
More than one amplifier has been damaged by an over zealous spray can cleaner.


Really? How?

It's pretty benign stuff.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

While the spray is not harmful, large quantities of just about anything that doesn't belong inside an amplifier can possibly do damage. That includes someone who doesn't know much about the inside of an amplifier sticking things - including fingers and screwdrivers - into an amplifier that has AC Voltage present inside the chassis. I take the manufacturer and the UL at their word when they say "No user serviceable parts inside".

Since this amp is only two years old, this problem might also be due to a cold solder joint or even a cracked circuit board. I would again encourage anyone not familiar with the inside of an amplifier not to play with a hot soldering iron on the inside of an amplifier.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

No argument with the rest of your points, but I couldn't imagine the spray cleaner actually harming anything.

It appears that you similarly have not seen the cleaner do anything bad.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

First of all I've seen the cleaner do nothing of value if the user doesn't know how to get the best from the cleaner. You obviously cannot just point the nozzle inside the amplifier and hope for the best. That technique often leads to flooding the inside of the amplifier with cleaner. If the unwise user performs this task with the amplifier powered up, yes, I've seen units come in for repair that the techs claimed were simply "drowned". In the days when people did their own tune ups, I wouldn't have recommended anyone remove the spark plugs if they didn't know how to maintain the firing order of the motor. I've seen numerous pieces of equipment come in for service when the owner had the attitude, "What could go wrong?" They found out the answer can be lots and it can get expensive. This is not restricted to audio component repair. If you know how to perform a task or have someone willing to teach you or you are willing to pay for your lessons/mistakes, then it's your equipment. Just know that a lot of equipment ends up in the service department due to ignoring this basic approach and the repairs are often more expensive than what a simple cleaning would have cost.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

No argument with this.

Your descriptions are a good deal more dramatic than anything I envisioned.

radish
radish's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 12 2006 - 1:44pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

I have an Outlaw 2150 receiver that sometimes has this problem. After Googling around, I found a recommendation to just turn the volume knob back and forth vigorously with the power off. If there is not too much dirt, the contacts should clean themselves by doing this.

I tried this and, believe it or not, it worked. Of course this is only a temporary solution. Now I'll move back from the monitor a couple of feet and await the "You should never do this..." responses.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

Perfect!

I always try this first as it often works.

If not, I don't hesitate to to open the critter up and to clean and lubricate the offending little devil.

Then again, I also work on my own cars. This appears to be the test of competence one must pass before opening an audio component. Although I don't understand how they are particularly related . . .

BTW, I am greatly amused by radish as a user name.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

The only "you should never do this" would be, "You should never do this with the unit powered up and the source component playing."

Otherwise, yes, you're wiping the crud off the wipers of the vc. As you say it is a temporary fix at best. But this can save a trip to the shop for a few weeks at least.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

Lots of good advice, but I'm bummed out that a two year old unit would do this.

The person who mentioned his Outlaw receiver shouldn't already be having that problem, either.

Has anyone else noticed such a quick onset of volume pot oxidation on other gear?

cyclebrain
cyclebrain's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: Jun 16 2006 - 11:40pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume


Quote:
Lots of good advice, but I'm bummed out that a two year old unit would do this.

The person who mentioned his Outlaw receiver shouldn't already be having that problem, either.

Has anyone else noticed such a quick onset of volume pot oxidation on other gear?

Quite common currently because of global warming and G.W. Bush.
While the problem does sound like a dirty control and using some cleaner sounds like a good start, it could be something else. I have had defective output relays that were volume level dependent. Also I have seen cleaning sprays that got on front panel display plastic and melt it.

59mga
59mga's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jun 21 2006 - 6:52am
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume


Quote:
Lots of good advice, but I'm bummed out that a two year old unit would do this.

The person who mentioned his Outlaw receiver shouldn't already be having that problem, either.

Has anyone else noticed such a quick onset of volume pot oxidation on other gear?

I agree with you, Buddha, a 2 year old device shouldn't have this malfunction. Defective part maybe? And an Outlaw having such a problem surprises me.

Potentiometer oxidation/deterioration happens (especially in high humidity/salt air environments) but shouldn't so quickly. A majority of the better quality devices (and they weren't always "audiophile grade") that I have worked on over the years used sealed pots, that couldn't be cleaned. They may have cost a few extra pennies but these components lasted 10, 15 sometimes 20 years without a problem.

Another good reason to give up smoking...for your stereo's health. I have seen the inside of audio and video equipment that had a film of tar covering everything. These devices even smelt of an ashtray.

Cyclebrain: As for melting plastic; this cleaner, obviously, was intended for something besides volume controls and other electronic components.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

Regarding two year old pots that get noisy; there could be a dozen reasons. Smoke is one of the worst offenders in my experience. It eeeks into every crevice and can be all but impossible to remove. While it would take a very heavy smoker to get a pot this dirty that fast, I am reminded of the Martin Logan panels we traded for in one shop. They were less than six months old and your fingers stuck to the frame work of the panels due to the heavy build up of smoke deposits. And, yes, the smelled bad too.

This could simply be bad pots. High end manufacturers have settled on a small group of pots that "sound good" and there may have been production problems. It doesn't seem to be endemic to the market however. Cold solders, cracked boards/traces, bad relays, etc. can all cause the noise the op reports. If the user can't temporarily resolve the situation by jiggling the pot a few times with a fair amount of vigor, the amplifier really needs to be looked at by a technician. I've never been around a shop that wouldn't clean a dirty pot on the spot and do so for free if that resolved the issue.

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Crackle while I am turning up the volume

radish,

are you the same radish from the slim devices forums ?

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading