Random subwoofer thumping noise... ideas? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Over the last week our subwoofer has been acting up. At completely random times, the subwoofer will start to make thumping noises. It sounds almost like someone is hitting a pillow against the wall. They'll usually come in bursts of 3-4 thumps (maybe 4-5 seconds apart), and then they'll stop for a random amount of time. Sometimes it's only 1 thump... sometimes you'll get 8. Sometimes it's only 1 second between thumps... other times 10 or more. But we generally hear them in bursts of 4 or so before it stops.

I've tried playing with different sources and the thumping happens no matter what the source is (DirecTV, Xbox 360, and MediaCenter PC). I've tried using a different cable but that made no difference. I tried using the other input on the back of the sub but that did nothing. I also tried a completely different wall outlet (instead of the Surge Protector) since I read somewhere online it could possibly be power fluctuations... but it didn't stop the thumping sound.

Is this just a sign my sub is going out? Maybe there's a loose connection inside the sub that's causing the sound? Could it possibly be my receiver?

Any thoughts on what this could be, or what I can do to further test and find the problem?

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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Sounds like the plate amp is having some issues...
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

Sounds like the plate amp is having some issues...

that's the most probable cause. no real way to diagnose it other than to try a different sub to make sure.

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm... wasn't sure what a plate amp was but after searching it doesn't seem like something I could possibly fix at home.

I don't have another sub to test out right now... so I guess my best bet is to see about getting this one repaired... or just buying a new one to see if that fixes the thumping noise.

Any idea on how much this would cost to get repaired?

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post #5 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlp View Post

Hmmm... wasn't sure what a plate amp was but after searching it doesn't seem like something I could possibly fix at home.

I don't have another sub to test out right now... so I guess my best bet is to see about getting this one repaired... or just buying a new one to see if that fixes the thumping noise.

Any idea on how much this would cost to get repaired?

what sub is it? you'd really have to contact the manufacturer and get a repair quote from them. it'd be tough to guess. depending on the sub, it may end up being cheaper and easier to just replace it.

Nearfield rig: Laptop -> JDS Labs ODAC -> Emotiva Mini-X -> Pioneer SP-BS22-LR & SW8-mk2Headphone rig: laptop -> JDS Labs ODAC -> Emotiva Mini-X speaker taps -> modded AKG Q701H.T.: PS3 - Yamaha RX-V2500 - Infinity Alpha 50's - Alpha center - Harmon Kardon HKB6 rears, Epik Sentinel
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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It's an Infinity PS12.

I checked on Infinities website and found a few service locations around me. I'll give them a call tomorrow and see what sort of estimates they give.

The newer PS212 goes for $300... So I'll wait to see if the repair place will charge and I'll go from there.

Thanks for the replies guys.

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 08:00 PM
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This is a long shot, but here goes...

How long is the RCA cord going from the receiver's sub out to the sub's input?

Are you familiar with the interference that cell phones and other various devices cause when they update information via satellite? It is a series of clicks. Often picked up by clock radios or other audio devices, amplified, and heard through the speakers.

Have you gotten any new electronic devices lately and are they near the receiver, the sub, or part of the run of the signal cable?
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-01-2009, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderMoser View Post

This is a long shot, but here goes...

How long is the RCA cord going from the receiver's sub out to the sub's input?

Are you familiar with the interference that cell phones and other various devices cause when they update information via satellite? It is a series of clicks. Often picked up by clock radios or other audio devices, amplified, and heard through the speakers.

Have you gotten any new electronic devices lately and are they near the receiver, the sub, or part of the run of the signal cable?

The cable is, I think 8 feet.

I did install a Sprint Airwave 2 weeks ago. It's a fem-to-cell device that basically acts as a cell tower inside my home. I never noticed the noise after installing the Airwave... but that could be the cause of the problem now that you mention it (since all else has remained constant within my home). There's no new devices or anything electronic in our home theater.

I'll turn off the Airwave and see if the subwoofer stops having issues. The Airwave is in a different room then the sub... I'd say maybe 40 feet plus a few walls. But the range is supposed to be something like 5000 sq/feet. It may be possible the signal is too strong and the subwoofer is having issues. Although... the subwoofer is supposed to be shielded?

It would be great to know if this is the cause of the problem... but also bad because I love the Airwave (giving me a full 5 bars of Sprint cellphone service in our home).

Edit: Just a side note though... Sprint is CDMA which doesn't normally (that I've heard) effect speakers. When I had AT&T using the GSM network, I had to turn off my phone at my buddies LAN parties because everyone would hear my phone noise due to his un-shielded speakers. Could a CDMA signal still cause this sort of problem?

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-02-2009, 07:24 AM
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In the meantime, try to coax the kittens out of the ports...

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-03-2009, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
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So I thought for a day or two that turning off the Airwave solved the problem. But then tonight we sat down to watch a movie and the thumping started up again. After 2-3 minutes the thumping stopped and we started hearing a clicking noise every 8 or so seconds. I went to turn off the sub and noticed the power light on the back had changed from green (powered on with an active source coming to the amp), to red (powered on but no source being sent).

I'm not sure at this point if it's the sub or receiver. I'm thinking something within the sub probably shorted. Although, it could be the receiver since the light on the back of the sub said it wasn't receiving a signal.

I guess the only thing left to do is to take the sub to a repair center and see if they find any problems. If not, then I'll try taking the receiver in.

Thanks for the help guys. If anyone has any other ideas or things to test out this weekend please let me know.

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-03-2009, 11:46 PM
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You sure its not the cable? or the connection?

do you have any other preoutputs on your amp you can try? what if the output is getting flakey and its not the sub?

If its just sitting with no cable pluged into it will it do it?

ALso does it have a knob on it for the frequency? try moving it to a different position.

Some knobs are very cheap and it could have a dead spot and its changing frequencys because of the dirty pot or somthing.

Mine will pop if the power spikes.

You can plug another source into it also for testing, like an ipod or somthing. You may have to use a different cable but i would go threw as many things as you can before you lug it to a shop. because there are a few things it can be.

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post #12 of 12 Old 07-04-2009, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

Your advice on using the ipod helped me determine it's definitely the subwoofer. I connected only the ipod to the sub and after the sub warmed up (maybe 15 minutes) I started hearing the thumping noise.

I did some further testing and here is what I found out.

After the subwoofer has been warmed up, the connection seems to turn off and on. What I mean is, there's a light on the back of the sub. Red means no signal is being sent to it's in a power off state, and green means a signal is being received and the sub is powered up completely. During these "thumping" sounds I hear, that light is turning from green to red and back to green.

Basically... the subwoofer seems to be cycling from a power on to a power off state and then back on again. It doesn't matter if the source is my receiver or my ipod... so it's a problem with the subwoofer. This power cycling appears to only happen once the subwoofer has been warmed up after 15-30 minutes of use.

I'm glad to know where the problem is originating from now... so thank you for the tip to try the ipod. Now I guess it's time to make some calls and see how much this will be to get fixed... or if I should just order a new sub.

Edit: When the light changes from green to red to green, I also hear clicking noises. I mentioned earlier in this thread I sometimes heard clicking... so that's where it's coming from. Hopefully it's something easy and cheap to fix (like a power supply or something (at least I hope that's cheap))

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