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How to troubleshoot a hiss??

Old 10-26-01, 12:11 PM
  #1  
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How to troubleshoot a hiss??

I started noticing a hiss from my front left and right speakers this week. It's possible that it's been like this for a little while and I didn't notice. With 2 small children in the house, I don't get to really listen to the system very often anymore.

At any rate, when I am watching TV I hear a hiss coming from the front left and right speakers, not the center though. Also, the dialogue is very weak on these speakers, seeming to fade in and out or sound staticy or doubled over. The center channel is nice and clear. I've tried it on both satellite and OTA. They both do it.

The components involved are:
Amp: Denon AVR3200
Front speakers (L & R): Boston VR30
Front center speaker: Boston VR12

I listened to the radio in 5-channel stereo to test that, and it sounded better.
I haven't tried it with a DVD yet, I will do that tonight.

Is this a wiring problem to the speakers, is my amp messed up, could it be my tweeter?
Where do I begin isolating this?

Any help?
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Old 10-26-01, 12:16 PM
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I just read that thread on new speaker wire. While I did not start that, or read it before I wrote my post, I will try and trim off my speaker wires this weekend to see if it helps.

Any input for other things to try is welcome and appreciated.
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Old 10-26-01, 01:07 PM
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Not sure there is actually a problem, virtually every component creates some signal and hiss can be heard through alot of speakers.

You can try the connections but my suspicion is that it is in the amp itself.
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Old 10-26-01, 01:37 PM
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Hmmmm . . . . Brian's right; a certain amount of low level hiss is pretty normal (especially if the volume is cranked up). But since you only seem to notice the hiss when you listen to TV, the TV might be the culprit. If you have an option between variable and fixed audio out, use the fixed out (it is typically higher quality and will ensure the signal has enough voltage). If you only have a variable out, turn up the TV volume; there is a chance the signal reaching the receiver is too low. Also check the cable between the TVís audio out and the receiverís input.

If the above doesnít work, you might try the following:

* Input level adjustments for each channel. Use the built in test tone generator (or one of the available test discs) and a Sound Pressure Level meter to make sure that all of the levels are set properly.

* Check to make sure you are using the right playback format. If you don't use your system often, there's a chance it was left on one of the DSP options or some other setting.

* Check your speaker set up on the receiver's setup menu to make sure you haven't selected one of the "phantom" speaker options.
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Old 10-26-01, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I should have been more clear.
We use the system every day, for hours at a time actually.
I just never get to really listen, because I have toddlers running around creating havoc.

I've calibrated the system with an spl. The "TV" sound is really a digital input from my dishplayer or the audio from my TIVO. It's not from the actual TV.

I think there is something legitimately wrong here, the voices coming through the speakers is not clear, it sounds like those voices they do in sci-fi movies when somebody is breaking up or having a troubled connection.
They are fading in and out, not clear. They are garbled, almost echoing. It's hard for me to describe. I keep thinking it sounds like something they did in Star Wars when they are trying to communicate.
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Old 10-26-01, 03:49 PM
  #6  
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This probably doesn't apply to you, but...
I just put a cheap splitter on my cable for use with my PIP, and the splitter must not be shielded very well because I noticed a bit of audio problem. It turns out that the splitter is passing the cable channel 5 and is also acting as an antenna and picking up the OTA channel 5, but slightly out of phase and enough to make it unlistenable in surround sound. For normal TV, it is still present but much less noticeable. When I remove the splitter, it goes away.

If you think this applies, try checking all of your cable connections to make sure you're not losing the signal or introducing stray ones.
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Old 10-26-01, 05:03 PM
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That could be it

You may be on to something DigIt.
I just tested a DVD and it sounds fine.

So the radio tuner, and DVD sound good.
The TIVO and satellite are producing the sounds.

I wonder now if this isn't some kind of interference from an amp or splitter.

The speakers are shielded, though.

At least I have direction now. I have no idea how I will isolate the cause of the interference though.
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Old 10-30-01, 04:34 AM
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Ugh, this sounds like a headache, but you might want to try going cable by cable to isolate the problem. Start with the COAX (RG5) cables as these are most often the culprit when it comes to interference and signal loss. Especially if their the ones given to you by the cable / satellite company. They're like rabbit ears, sometimes just their positioning is a problem. Now if all your tv's sound originate from the dish and the digital connection and if you are using a fiber optic cable, check to make sure it's not bent or pinched. If it has been bent or pinched at anytime previous it may be irreparably damaged. How is your Tivo setup? I'm guessing dish to receiver then receiver to Tivo.

Also, are you using a splitter anywhere in your system, and if so where? What kind? Is it shielded? What's it rated for signal loss?

Any and all info you can give us, as far as your connections, would go along way for us trying to help. I've had to deal with more connection problems then I care to remember, and I would be glad to help.

DigIt: I've been using a Monster Cable 2gig low-loss splitter for about a year now. Highly recommend it.
Can a mod linkify this?
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