Intermittent Electrical Buzzing from Speakers?

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Old 12-25-19, 01:23 PM
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Intermittent Electrical Buzzing from Speakers?

Hi All,

I have a 5.1.2 setup, with Micca speakers (including in-ceiling and wall for the surround and Atmos), bookshelf for L/R, and the Micca center speaker for the center. My receiver is a Denon AVR-S910W.

I intermittently get what sounds like a loud ZAPping sound from a couple of the speakers, including the right side surround (which is an in-ceiling speaker). So, I tried switching the speaker with my mid-left Atmos speaker (which is the identical in-ceiling speaker) to see if the problem was the speaker itself. No luck, the right side surround still has the issue (even though it is now a different speaker). I also tried connecting my receiver so that various outputs were going to the right side surround. Again, no luck - it didn't matter which channel output was feeding the in-ceiling speaker, I still had the ZAPping sound. So, I don't think the problem is with the speaker or the receiver.

The ZAPping sound is independent of whatever I have the volume set at, and the ZAPping sound is always at its own same volume. If there was a problem from somewhere inside the system, I would think it would be a constant problem. However, its not constant - we can sometimes go a couple days without it happening, sometimes it happens several times in an hour. Also, its not a humming/low-level buzzing, and it doesn't sound like static. It sounds mostly like the old-style bug zappers that worked at night - every so often you'd get a ZAP sound. This sound is like that, albeit louder and a bit "rougher" or "harsher" (only words I can think of to describe it).

Also, we just started using the system about a month ago, and its been happening the whole time. I've had the receiver for 2-3 years and never had this issue, but we just did some major home renovations, and the electrician ran the wiring for the speakers using 16/2 Stranded CU In-Wall CMR/CL3R speaker wire (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...1445/202316267) - the entire distance between speaker and receiver is less than 40 feet total, including running across ceiling, down the wall, etc.

Now that I think about it, only the right front, right mid-atmos, and right side surround speakers are affected. Could there be some sort of interference that comes-and-goes? If so, how can I guard against it?

Does anyone have any thoughts as to what the problem might be? Any help would be very greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-25-19, 01:55 PM
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Had noise in speakers several years ago. found out it was from a daylight sensor. Changed brands and noise went away.
 
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Old 12-25-19, 02:10 PM
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So, I don't think the problem is with the speaker or the receiver.
I agree it's not a speaker problem but it does sound like a problem with the receiver.
Try using a different input that doesn't use the surround processor.
 
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Old 12-26-19, 05:00 AM
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It could be the cable from the receiver to the speaker. It could be running near an electrical cable and is responding to magnetic interference when the electrical cable is energized . If the speaker cable isn't anchored inside the wall, you can replace it with shielded twisted pair (STP) cable by attaching the STP to the old cable at one end and pulling it out the other end. Connect the STP shield at the receiver end only. The shield and the twist in the pair minimize magnetic interference.
 
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Old 12-26-19, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the responses, All.

PJ - Thanks (as always!) for the, ahem, input. However, I'm not sure what you mean about using a different input that doesn't use the sound processor. My receiver has many different inputs, and I've noticed the sound when I'm using: i) the MEDIA input (currently integrated as part of my HEOS sound system); ii) the BLURAY input (currently assigned to the XBox 360); iii) the GAME input (currently assigned to Nintendo Switch); and iv) not using anything at all, i.e., I have nothing on except that the receiver itself is on. So, could you please explain a little bit more about what you think I should try?

Beelzebob - Thanks for the input, also! I've only noticed the sounds coming from the three speakers on the right (front right, side surround right, and Atmos middle right). Those are actually the three that are NOT near electrical (although I guess it depends on what qualifies as "near"). The side-surround right and Atmos middle right are in-ceiling speakers, and the CMR/CL3R speaker wire is in the ceiling, i.e., it runs from the speakers inside and across the ceiling (where I can't get at it), down the wall and then into the speaker wall plate. Also, I believe the wire is stapled to the beams and joists, etc.

Is there a specific way to actually test if there is some sort of interference that is doing this? Why would the speaker make the ZAPping sound if I have no media making the receiver do anything (as discussed above), meaning the receiver is not being instructed by anything to send any power out along a specific channel to a speaker?

Very frustrating that I can just be sitting watching tv late at night, when nothing else is happening, and the ZAPping sound just happens for (what appears to be) no reason!

Thanks again for the input all, and any additional input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-27-19, 06:51 AM
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Three or four cell phones ago I had one that would cause intermittent buzzing on speakers nearby if in close proximity to the connecting wires. This occurred on a small stereo system in a bedroom and in the car (before nav systems and Bluetooth connectivity were available.)

The buzzing occurred when the phone was pinging the cell tower.
 
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Old 12-27-19, 07:11 AM
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2john - what did "nearby" mean, in the sense of how close/far was the cell phone from the speaker or speaker wires or receiver, etc.?

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-27-19, 09:24 AM
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The speaker was on the dresser and the phone was also there about 10 inches away. In the car the phone was in the console between the front seats, about a foot from the radio. Speakers were in left-center-right of dashboard, in front door panels and in rear deck.

In both cases the phone was not in use, just pinging the cell towers in standby.

It was probably a 2G phone and those are no longer available AFAIK.
 
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Old 12-27-19, 09:40 AM
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It is extremely rare for an outside source to get on the speaker wiring and get into the receiver. If that was happening usually all channels would be affected. The signal or interference needs to get into the input of the receiver to be heard in multiple channels.

I had wanted you to try an input that didn't use the 5.1 surround processor and it sounds like you did .
Your problem sounds like an arcing/static discharge inside the amp. It will not be an easy problem to find.

If that was here for servicing....... I'd be running it with one or two speakers connected to the problem outputs. My test speakers have short wires on them. No input cables would be connected.
 
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Old 01-01-20, 08:09 PM
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Hi All,

Sorry for the delay, but New Year festivities got the best of me!

Anyway, I think I narrowed down the problem to my FIOS cablemodem/router. When it was on the right side of my TV (and near the wires leading to the right front, right atmos, and right side surround), I had the ZAPping sound in the right front, right atmos, and right side surround. (Turns out the ZAPping sound was coming from all the right speakers, I just couldn't differentiate it.)

When I moved the cablemodem/router to the left side of my TV, the ZAPping sound moved to the left front, left atmos, and left side surround speakers. I moved it back to the right, and the ZAPping sound moved again. It is now on the left side, and again the ZAPping sound is in the left side speakers. Every so often, the center speaker will have some ZAPping, especially when I put the cablemodem/router right next to the middle speaker.

So I contacted FIOS by chat, and they said they were able to locate a problem, the problem being a loose connection between the FIOS box in my garage and the first splitter. (I don't think there are any other splitters in the house.) According to FIOS, that can cause the cablemodem/router to cause interference with my other equipment. Does this make any sense? (I have not yet been able to try this out, but it just doesn't seem like it makes any sense.) Below is a lightly edited transcript of my CHAT with them:

Oopey: Our cable modem/router is causing some interference with some of my other equipment. (We have definitively narrowed down the possible problems to the FIOS equipment.)
FIOS: Let me quickly run a command to check the root cause of the issue.
Oopey: what command are you running?
FIOS: It is just line test of the circuit line.
Oopey: it is the cable modem itself. moving it around causes the location of the interference to also move. do you see a cause of interference?
FIOS: Yes, I do.
I just checked your network line and the router.
Please unplug and plug the coax cables at main splitter. it is usually located near the main Verizon box which is usually located in garage, basement or outside of house.
The coax cable going into the splitter one. Basically these types of issue with loose connection at coax splitter.
1. Locate the coaxial cable coming from your Optical Network Terminal. (Main Verizon box) 2. Follow the cable until you locate a splitter. 3. Verify the coax cables from the splitter are secure. 4. Check the cable for any bending or damage.
Oopey: a loose connection in my garage will result in the cable modem causing interference with my other equipment (specifically, stereo system)?
FIOS: Yes.

I will try this when I have a chance, but does it make any sense?

Thanks and Happy New Year!
 
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Old 01-04-20, 07:44 AM
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Hi All,

Just wanted to follow-up on what FIOS told me.

I tried unplugging the coax cable from the splitter, and then plugged it back in, including tightening all the connections there. I still have the ZAPping sound problem.

Regardless - did FIOS' suggestion make any sense whatsoever?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-02-20, 12:43 PM
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Hi All,

Just wanted to follow-up on what FIOS told me.

I tried unplugging the coax cable from the splitter, and then plugged it back in, including tightening all the connections there. I still have the ZAPping sound problem.

Regardless - did FIOS' suggestion make any sense whatsoever?

Thanks!
 
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