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Bluestripe44
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Joined: Sep 7 2020 - 3:04pm
Troubleshooting - is it the amp?

Hi all, am new to this. I'm trying to troubleshoot what's wrong with my new (purchased used) setup that's making the speakers unbalanced and, in some cases, one of the speakers is muddy or inaudible.

The setup:

Akai AP-B20 turntable (used, new belt)

Akai EA-A2 equaliser (used)

Akai HX-A3 tape deck (used)

Akai AM-A2 amp (used)

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers (new)

My troubleshooting leads me to believe that the amp needs to be replaced. Here's why:

When I play records, the left speaker operates fine but the right speaker is so quiet as to be inaudible. Even when the balance on the amp is cranked all the way to the right speaker and the audio is set to the max, it is audible but just barely - whisper quiet.

When I play tapes via the tape deck, the left speaker operates fine but the right speaker is slightly quieter and much, much muddier. It's worth noting that this is the only instance where the quality is noticeably different across the various inputs I've tried.

When I play off an AUX-to-RCA cord (new) plugged into the CD input on the amp, the right speaker is clear and fine on volume. This time, the left speaker is too quiet. It can be rectified by turning the balance to halfway between max-left and middle balance, so it is not as quiet as the right speaker is on the record player but much quieter than the right speaker is on the tape deck.

Given this vast range of different outputs from a range of different devices, it seems to me that the speakers aren't the issue. It is theoretically possible that the record player, the tape deck and the AUX cord are each separately at fault, but am I right to think that the amp is the most likely culprit here?

Worth noting the equaliser has been off for all of these tests - just noted I had it to be complete.

Thank you for your help!

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