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post #2431 of 2496 Old 06-25-2015, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I haven't had time/energy to make a coherent post about progress since last week sometime, so I'm going to try to get caught up here. I'll start off with my sub build. I posted this over in the DIY speaker forum, but I like having everything here, so I'll just copy and paste it over.

I won't bore you guys with how I ended up here, but I'm building a pair of lilWreckers for my theater. It's a big room at around 26'x18'. I thought I'd do a build log and document my bone-headed screwups in case it would help someone else. This is my first sub build, so I made plenty of them.

I printed and followed @lilmike 's directions from the wrecker thread. I decided to go with the Alpine SWS-15D2 to keep the costs down. I figured this would be a learning experience and I might end up making a lot of high quality saw dust instead of speakers.

Started off with the a stack of wood. I spent a lot of time looking around the area to find Arauco. I finally found some at a local lumberyard, and later found out that our HD actually has the stuff and $10/sheet cheaper..... Boneheaded mistake #1 .....





The first step is to rip down the panels. Cut sheets are provided in the instructions, which makes it pretty straight forward. Just be sure to number each of the panels as you cut them to keep from having to remeasure them later. I'm using a track saw, and this would be a tough build using just a table saw. The panels are pretty big.





Once you get the hang of track saw you can cut panels quickly and accurately. This panel is supposed to be 48-1/2" wide..... Pretty close



You can see in the pictures that I use a 4'x8' sheet of foam insulation as a backer, and cut on top of it. This makes it really easy to cut panels this size without help. Here are all the panels cut and stacked. This took me about 4 hours to do by myself. This is where I made my first mistake. I decided I would cut the various braces and spacers I would need as I went along. I should have done that all at the front while I had the saw out and ready to go. Dimensions for the windowed braces are in the lilWrecker thread. You can cut a few 2" wide strip for the others and cut to length once you need those. The braces in the mouth probably depend on your driver, but I went with 8"hx26l triangles IIRC. When I started cutting braces, I went ahead and cut them all for both cabs.

Here are the panels for both subs cut and stacked. I had to sort them out into stacks for the two subs when I started assembly. This is just how they ended up as I cut them.



Next I machined the baffle. Here again, that foam backer came in handy. I just screwed the baffle through the foam into the OSB underneath. That held the panel in place so that I could cut out the driver hole with my circle cutting jig. This is the first time I've used one of these jigs, and I was happy with how easy it was to use.





I used the spec that came with the driver for the hole. The instructions recommend making it big. We'll see how it goes. Next I test fit the driver and marked the holes. I added hurricane nuts and glued them in with Gorilla Glue. My drill walked around a bit, and some of the holes are a little loose, but I'm hoping the glue will hold them in. Yeah, that was another noob mistake



Here it is with the hurricane nuts installed. I tested to make sure the bolts were well aligned several times! Much easier to fix now than later.



I just followed the instructions for the build. They are well thought out, and very detailed. Step one is to lay out the panel positions on the one of the sides. To help with aligning the final panel, you stack the two sides on top of each other, and drill a hole through the panel with the layouts all the way through the other panel.



For those of you more experienced than me, you may have spotted a problem in that last pic. Those knot holes in the face veneer are a great place for a leak. I had a couple sheets with surface knots, but didn't think about it when I was cutting the panels. In the future, I'll be sure to pick the best panels for the sides, and try to make sure any knots are not near edges. Of course, now that I know HD has real Arauco, I can just pick through the ply until I find ply without knots.

For assembly, I just followed @lilmike 's step-by-step directions. First two panels in place.





And here's where I discovered a pretty big problem. I assumed the driver was offset in the baffle to allow space for the first panel to attach and not interfere with the hurricane nuts...... Yeah, that's not really the case. I drilled the holes to mount the driver as it is in this picture.



The bottom bolt is covered by the first panel. Again, major boneheaded mistake. For now, I plan to put a short bolt in that hole. I'll let you know if it works. Another problem with this is the PL filled the hurricane nut when I installed the panels. That shouldn't have been a surprise, but it was on the first cab. For the next one I put a bolt in there a few times over the first several hours to make sure the PL didn't fill it up. I also ran a tap in it to clean out the threads.





Another panel goes in



Here's the next panel,



And another problem.

Despite measuring and checking my layout probably five times, I still managed to put this hole in the wrong spot. When I measured this one, I marked it at 3-7/8" rather than 4-7/8". I wish I could count the number of times I've done this in the past.



I decided to fix this the same way I fixed the knot holes (this photo is a little out of order, but you get the idea). I just used a short piece of scrap and glued and screwed over the knots and another over the hole. I used a LOT of PL on these cabs.



I also used extra PL anywhere I had a screw miss or tear out the side of a panel.



I'm not sure if that's the right approach, but it's what seemed right at the moment.

I started with the bracing here. Bracing between the first two panels is easy to install. You just put screws from the outside of the panels into the braces. Starting with the next panel, pocket hole screws on one side of the brace, and then screws from the outside panel into the brace from there on out. Also, note the spacers that I used to support the brace while I screwed it in place. These are mentioned the instructions, and are a huge help!



You rinse and repeat the process for each panel and brace.



Last fold



The triangular braces at the bottom will depend on your particular driver, and you should probably double check fitment before you attach them.



Setting the last panel - the side - is a good place to have help.... I didn't for either cab. If you're living right, or just lucky, the holes you transferred from the 1st panel to the last will line up with the internal panels.



I'm not sure it helps, but I stacked some weight on the top as well.

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post #2432 of 2496 Old 06-25-2015, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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To seal the drivers to the cabs I used duct seal per @lilmike 's recommendation. The gasket that came with the Alpine will not work for a reversed mounting. Someone on AVS tried it and it leaked. I considered trying it as well, but in the end @lilmike talked me off the ledge.



This was probably more duct seal than was necessary, and I think it lead to my next problem. I spun one of the hurricane nuts when mounting the driver. I think some duct seal got down in the threads and it was just enough to break the nut loose. I ended up cutting the bolt head off with an angled multi-tool and pulling the driver out.



I replaced the one hurricane nut with a T-nut, and used a LOT of Gorilla Glue on it. The idea being it would expand into the openings and hopefully keep the new nut from spinning. While I was at it, I also ran a tap through ALL of the nuts in that cabinet and also rethreaded the bolts. I was surprised at how much metal came off some of the bolts. After all that, everything worked smoothly the second time around. I put them both behind my screen wall. I'd intended to lay them with the mouth facing into the room, but I miscalculated a bit. I'll need to cut some boards for them to lay on and then they should fit.



How about that nice temp speaker stand



No measurements yet, but I have run them through a couple movies and some music. These things are loud!!!

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post #2433 of 2496 Old 06-25-2015, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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As far as sub reviews go, I'm hesitant to post anything as I still have very little time with these things, but I will say that I'm loving them! You don't realize how loud these things are playing unless you actually pull out the old meter. I was playing some bass heavy music and decided to just see how loud it was. I didn't think it was particularly loud, but my meter was showing around 110 dB peaks. That was just one sub hooked up! I got the second sub hooked up a day later just in time for MVP.

I just can't stress enough how effortlessly these things play LOUD. I watched Pacific Rim on Saturday night after the kids went to bed. The next day I asked my wife if she could hear the movie, and she said she could feel the house shaking, but couldn't hear any dialogue - I'd call that a success on the soundproofing front.

I haven't had a chance to do any in-room measurements, so I'm sure they need some EQ to flatten the response. Then I'll see what I can do about room modes. If there is one point that I would like to improve, it's the lack of that kick in the chest feeling. I don't think this is a problem with the subs, though. If I stand at the mouth with something playing loud, I can certainly feel it. For that matter, I get some of that standing in the corners of the room. So I think it's a combination of room modes and the MLP being so far from the subs. I guess this is how the addiction begins!

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post #2434 of 2496 Old 06-25-2015, 05:31 PM
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Lookin' good sir! Shame about all the trouble you had, but at least you were paying attention to the problems and had all the tools to fix them.

Have you looked at the delays in your system and sub/mains integration at all? I bet those two things will straighten out any midbass problem you might have.
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post #2435 of 2496 Old 06-25-2015, 05:56 PM
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Lookin' good sir! Shame about all the trouble you had, but at least you were paying attention to the problems and had all the tools to fix them.

Have you looked at the delays in your system and sub/mains integration at all? I bet those two things will straighten out any midbass problem you might have.

In baseball, 3/10 you are a hero not a zero.

JPA is on a learning curve but second sub will be a masterpiece!

I have faith! :
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post #2436 of 2496 Old 06-25-2015, 06:58 PM
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Run some sweeps from MLP and lets see what you got. Run some sub measurements too for @lilmike .
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post #2437 of 2496 Old 06-26-2015, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't worry, measurements are coming. I'm still pushing to get the room finished up. I need to get those speaker shelves built so I can get some fabric panels up. My wife has volunteered to do the upholstery work on the fabric panels, so I'm anxious to get those built before she changes her mind!
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post #2438 of 2496 Old 06-26-2015, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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The sub pictured above gives away a bit of the screen wall build, but I'll go over it anyway in case someone else finds the info useful. I went with the minimalist screenwall approach, so this is nothing new on the forums. My one contribution may be that I used a laser level to mark the center of the room from the back to the front. This let me center everything up based on where the PJ is located. The laser light is hard to see in the pic, so I added some lines to show where the cross is.



With the center line marked I started by hanging a FJP board on the soffit at the distance I wanted my screen to be from the wall. The face is at 30".



I needed to cover that shiny duct, so I used some Linacoustic. This is the first piece that I put up. I covered the entire run across the front of the room.



For the uprights I basically put a foot at the bottom, stand it up, plumb it, then screw it to the board at the top and then into the floor through the carpet.





Why four you ask? Well, the two in the middle are for the horizontal bracket that the screen hangs on. The outer two are for two small brackets that go at the bottom of the screen to hold the bottom out away from the wall. They keep the screen vertical rather than letting it swing back against the wall.

Next I needed to hang the bracket at the top. Again, the laser level marking the center of the room helps with getting things in the right spot, although it's not particularly critical for this part. The clamps are big help, too.



At this point I actually put the subs and speakers behind the wall, but you guys have seen what that looks like already, so we'll move along to screen assembly. I need to give Seymour props for their packing skills. FedEx did everything they could to break this screen! The box basically arrived in two pieces, and they had wedged another pallet against it and jammed it against the wall. How this thing survived unscathed is beyond me!










Now, I'm an atypical male in that I actually read the instructions (sometimes even upside down). For this, it really wasn't necessary. There's only one way the thing goes together. My wife helped out and we probably had it together in 30 minutes. I'm really impressed with the quality of the Seymour frame. I'm glad I splurged on the curved Seymour screen.



Once the frame was together the next step is to attach the screen. The attachment method is so simple it's brilliant. The screen has grommets in it and it's attached to the frame with a rubber band that looks like the bottom of a ......... well, here's a picture.



Simple assembly



And the finished product





I love this curved screen!
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post #2439 of 2496 Old 06-26-2015, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Now, there is another problem I'm having to deal with. Two of my chairs are having issues. The center chair started off not reclining. I could hit the button and hear a relay click, but the leg rest would not go up. I turned the chair up and poked around a bit and it magically started working. I'm hoping it was just a connection issue with the controller.

The chair on the left worked fine for a while, but quick working with the leg rest up later in the day. It turns out it's a bad cupholder. Roman put a replacement in the mail on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'd love for it to be here today or tomorrow so I can fix it.

All-in-all I'm pleased with the chairs. They are very comfortable. I was afraid they would be really big and overstuffed, but they're not. I'm 6'4" and wife is a foot shorter and we're both very comfortable in them. I wish the build quality was a little better. There are a few loose screws and the armrest doesn't line up well on one of them, but that seems to be the way furniture is built these days. I'll try to adjust the armrest when I get a chance and if it doesn't work I'll give Roman another call and see what can be done.

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post #2440 of 2496 Old 06-29-2015, 05:56 AM
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Looks good man. How wide is your screen?
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post #2441 of 2496 Old 06-29-2015, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks good man. How wide is your screen?
Screen is 160" wide, 2.37, curved, Seymour AV with Centerstage XD fabric.

We watched HTTYD on Saturday night, and I'm loving this screen! Eyes are at approx. 146" give or take a few. The details that I can see in the movies that I never knew were there before is amazing. Things like freckles on the characters faces. it's crazy!

Yeah. I'm a little excited about it

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post #2442 of 2496 Old 06-29-2015, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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One more quick note, I finally got around to hooking up an IR bug eye to the back of my RadioRa2 keypad.



Hooking this up was pretty straightforward. I just used one of the CAT6 that I pulled in and ran it over to the box. This is the bug eye I used. It came with several sticky pads and a cover. In the picture above you can see the cover that I trimmed to use on the back of my keypad. This particular bug eye is CL3 rated in the event that your inspector has a rub with the whole deal.

The only trouble I had was getting my Harmony Ultimate to work with it. It turns out the codes for the six button keypad are incorrect. As soon as I told the Logitech software that I actually had a five button keypad, things started working. So I can now program my remote to activate the first five scenes. I haven't had a lot of time to work with it, but I have created a few macros that activate the lights. I have a play command that dims the lights and hits..... wait for it..... "play"

I also have a pause command that pauses the movie and brings the lights up. I think this will be a nice feature that will make the room much more user friendly for the rest of the family, and be convenient for when we have guests over to watch a movie.

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post #2443 of 2496 Old 07-10-2015, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I hooked up my dish receiver in the theater last week and it caused a nasty ground hum. I called dish and they came out today. You'll never guess how they fixed it. Yep, lifted the ground at the entrance.

I'm planning to put an isolator on the receiver and reconnect the ground. My question to you guys is whether or not there is a better way to fix this.

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post #2444 of 2496 Old 07-10-2015, 11:12 AM
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There should only be one reference ground for your entire system and everything that connects to it. This includes inside your panel. Do you have circuits feeding outlets that are from one panel and others that are hooked to a different sub-panel? Assuming everything is connected to one panel, are all of these circuits associated with your room and system on the same bus bar within that panel? Did you try isolating the coax cable connection as well?

EDIT: And by the way, an isolation transformer is the best way to go, without question. You'd be stunned at the difference they make to the noise floor, even in a non-humming system.

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Quote:
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I hooked up my dish receiver in the theater last week and it caused a nasty ground hum. I called dish and they came out today. You'll never guess how they fixed it. Yep, lifted the ground at the entrance.
Seems like satellite is the worst. Since they need a southwest (?) view of the sky, there's a good change they have to mount the dish somewhere far from the power meter where it should be grounded. My understanding is that even if you were to run a ground all the way to the single house ground, the length may result is a slightly different potential anyway - but maybe that's not an issue, if you can actually get the wire run.
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post #2447 of 2496 Old 07-10-2015, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I should have been more clear. That's what I get for trying to type on my tiny phone keyboard.

It's a ground loop caused by the coax from our satellite. When I lift the coax, all is good (mostly, but that's another post). All the grounds in the house, including the satellite, go back to a single ground rod connected to the rebar in our basement slab. The ground that the Dish tech lifted is the one connecting the outside splitter to that one ground rod.

I'm considering adding a coax ground isolator at the satellite receiver in my equipment closet. It's odd that I don't have any issues with ground noise anywhere else, though.

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post #2448 of 2496 Old 07-10-2015, 04:51 PM
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Does the equipment elsewhere in the house have a chassis ground? (third prong?) Seems most of my stuff is two-prong.
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post #2449 of 2496 Old 07-10-2015, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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The Dish equipment? The only Dish component that might have a third prong would be the receiver in the living room. I'll check that when I get a chance. That's a good question, though! I had not thought of that!

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post #2450 of 2496 Old 07-11-2015, 07:01 AM
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Move the ground for the DSS dish.
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post #2451 of 2496 Old 07-11-2015, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Move it to where? The tech lifted the ground completely to get rid of the hum. I'm not sure he would have known to even try that if I hadn't told him it was a ground loop hum.

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post #2452 of 2496 Old 07-11-2015, 08:19 AM
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Move it to where? The tech lifted the ground completely to get rid of the hum. I'm not sure he would have known to even try that if I hadn't told him it was a ground loop hum.

I have no ground loop issues except with my ATI 1807...........I never detected it until Roger's golden ears heard it. I've been too lazy to find source but will do so next week when another ATI amp is added. I will be adding ground isolator to cable before Dish Hopper.......attaching ground wire from processor to ATI amp too. Processor doesn't have three prong ground so precautionary measure. Hum is so low coming out of surrounds, I never was motivated to attack problem until now.

I'll keep you informed.........if I have nothing to input, assume I look like Telly Savalas...........ie I've pulled all my hair out!


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post #2453 of 2496 Old 07-12-2015, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
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The sub pictured above gives away a bit of the screen wall build, but I'll go over it anyway in case someone else finds the info useful. I went with the minimalist screenwall approach, so this is nothing new on the forums. My one contribution may be that I used a laser level to mark the center of the room from the back to the front. This let me center everything up based on where the PJ is located. The laser light is hard to see in the pic, so I added some lines to show where the cross is.



With the center line marked I started by hanging a FJP board on the soffit at the distance I wanted my screen to be from the wall. The face is at 30".



I needed to cover that shiny duct, so I used some Linacoustic. This is the first piece that I put up. I covered the entire run across the front of the room.



For the uprights I basically put a foot at the bottom, stand it up, plumb it, then screw it to the board at the top and then into the floor through the carpet.





Why four you ask? Well, the two in the middle are for the horizontal bracket that the screen hangs on. The outer two are for two small brackets that go at the bottom of the screen to hold the bottom out away from the wall. They keep the screen vertical rather than letting it swing back against the wall.

Next I needed to hang the bracket at the top. Again, the laser level marking the center of the room helps with getting things in the right spot, although it's not particularly critical for this part. The clamps are big help, too.



At this point I actually put the subs and speakers behind the wall, but you guys have seen what that looks like already, so we'll move along to screen assembly. I need to give Seymour props for their packing skills. FedEx did everything they could to break this screen! The box basically arrived in two pieces, and they had wedged another pallet against it and jammed it against the wall. How this thing survived unscathed is beyond me!










Now, I'm an atypical male in that I actually read the instructions (sometimes even upside down). For this, it really wasn't necessary. There's only one way the thing goes together. My wife helped out and we probably had it together in 30 minutes. I'm really impressed with the quality of the Seymour frame. I'm glad I splurged on the curved Seymour screen.



Once the frame was together the next step is to attach the screen. The attachment method is so simple it's brilliant. The screen has grommets in it and it's attached to the frame with a rubber band that looks like the bottom of a ......... well, here's a picture.



Simple assembly



And the finished product





I love this curved screen!
sweet! hows the vier from the second row with the screen so low? looks cool though!
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post #2454 of 2496 Old 07-12-2015, 03:11 PM
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Great progress....looking like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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post #2455 of 2496 Old 07-12-2015, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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sweet! hows the vier from the second row with the screen so low? looks cool though!
I've moved the screen up about 4" from when that pic was taken. Second row sight lines are tight, but I knew that going in. With the front row reclined it's fine. I can even lay down on the couch and see the bottom of the screen. When the front row is not reclined is the only time it gets tight. I'm planning a 3" booster for the couch which should clear things up.


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Great progress....looking like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Yes! And that light is coming from a Sony PJ


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Does the equipment elsewhere in the house have a chassis ground? (third prong?) Seems most of my stuff is two-prong.
Dr HF, you were right on! The Hopper in our living room has a three prong plug. I wish I'd ordered an extra isolator, now. However, it turns out lifting the ground out at the entrance didn't fix the issue. I'd left a cable unplugged.

So, I still have that ground loop to deal with. Hopefully the isolator will be here in a day or two and it will clear up that problem.

Unfortunately, I still have a lower volume hum coming from the AVR as well. I'm thinking the AVR is going to need to go back for repair AGAIN! I think it has a dead HDMI input as well as this low level hum on the outputs. The hum is there whether I use the preouts or power the speakers from the AVR amps. The hum is even there when I power the AVR from a battery backup (with the UPS unplugged from the wall). So that should pretty well eliminate any ground loop I would think.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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post #2456 of 2496 Old 07-13-2015, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Talked to Marantz and the repair company. They agreed it needs to go back........ Yeah, not impressed with Marantz at this point
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Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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post #2457 of 2496 Old 07-13-2015, 05:57 PM
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Should I click "like" on that ^? I'm confused.
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post #2458 of 2496 Old 07-13-2015, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I click "like" on that ^? I'm confused.
Haha! Yeah. Me too. I'm just frustrated by the whole deal.

Yet another wrinkle. I've been focusing on the inputs in trying to find this ground loop. While unhooking everything getting ready to box up the AVR I noticed that the hum got better when I unhooked the PJ. That happened to be the last thing I unhooked, and it nearly eliminated the ground hum. After playing with it a while I found that adding any HDMI connection makes the hum worse. Any ideas?

It never occurred to me that the hum could be caused by the HDMI output. I assumed once all the sources were disconnected there shouldn't be a way to couple to the audio section.

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post #2459 of 2496 Old 07-13-2015, 07:03 PM
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Do you know anything about the nature of the failure that is common in the HDMI board? Maybe it shorts to ground and that's what kills it?
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post #2460 of 2496 Old 07-13-2015, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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No. No idea. I need to add that to my list of "things to Google" for tomorrow

I've managed to get the HDMI port working. Purely by accident. My guess is there is something loose, or not making a good connection, and just plugging and unplugging has it working..... for now. All these issues may be related. I'll have to call the repair shop tomorrow and see what they think about these new developments.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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