What the heck is causing that pop in my speakers? - AVS Forum
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I have done some research but one key thing I do not see being discussed - Pops and snaps in speakers when other household devices come on.
In my case, I have now identifed a number of things that cause a disturbing snap in my HT speakers.

relay that is in the furnace thermostat
solonoid valve that turns water on in the dishwasher
similar solonoid valve that turns water on in the cloths washer
ceiling fan when it is turned on/off

I have my gear plugged into a high quality Belkin gold series surge supressor, but this does nothing to stop the snap/pop in my speakers.

Anyone know how to stop this? I don't care what it takes. My speakers are way too expensive to not do something.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:09 AM
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Maybe your amplifier is clipping? Are you playing them really loud?

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Old 12-16-2008, 05:58 AM
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I'd look at getting a power conditioner or some type of device with a battery maybe.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blued888 View Post

Maybe your amplifier is clipping? Are you playing them really loud?

No, it really doesn't have anything to do with what the amp is doing, it only happens when one of those devices I stated in my first post activates or deactivates. It is only a single pop/snap that corresponds to the item turning on or off. It is most notable when I turn the ceiling fan on or off. As soon as I hit the switch, it creates a very loud "pop" in the speaker. This can not be good for the speaker.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christobevii3 View Post

I'd look at getting a power conditioner or some type of device with a battery maybe.

Thanks. Actually I did look into this. Belkin also has a line of "power conditioners" for home theatre equipment (Part # F9A1033fc10).



But, on the other hand, I have also read that these types of devices do very little and are more marketing hype.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:53 AM
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Make sure your audio stuff is plugged into a different circuit on your electrical box. You might want to check your outlets and see if the ground prongs are even connected to anything. That's a common omission by electricians in a hurry.

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Old 12-16-2008, 06:57 AM
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I have the exact same issue. Ceiling fan, furnace and water heater creates loud pop in my speakers. I'm running everything through a Monster HTPS-7000 power center and it does nothing to fix the issue. Would getting a box with voltage regulation do anything?
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:29 AM
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It sounds like there is high levels of eletrical noise that your power conditioner and amp cannot smooth out. IMHO, the easiest way to deal with this is an isolation transformer/coupler. I bought one designed for computer since they are much cheaper than the "audiophile AV" ones.

http://www.tripplite.com/products/co...ansformers.cfm

Another, cheaper option is to use an automatic voltage regulator (eg. APC Line-R), but I'm not sure if it will work in your situation.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolwarrior View Post

I have done some research but one key thing I do not see being discussed - Pops and snaps in speakers when other household devices come on.
In my case, I have now identifed a number of things that cause a disturbing snap in my HT speakers.

relay that is in the furnace thermostat
solonoid valve that turns water on in the dishwasher
similar solonoid valve that turns water on in the cloths washer
ceiling fan when it is turned on/off

I have my gear plugged into a high quality Belkin gold series surge supressor, but this does nothing to stop the snap/pop in my speakers.

Anyone know how to stop this? I don't care what it takes. My speakers are way too expensive to not do something.

Run a dedicated circuit that has its own isolated ground. 15 or 20 amp?...you will have to do a search here......

Espo77
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:59 AM
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Do you think this would provide enough headroom?

http://www.provantage.com/tripp-lite...0~7TRPC00H.htm

It's 1000w (8.3 amps). With just the pre/pro amp and cable box at relatively low volume I'm pulling over 5 amps and that's with the sub amp off. Should I give this a go or swing for the medical grade 1800w version which costs double?
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Run a dedicated circuit that has its own isolated ground. 15 or 20 amp?...you will have to do a search here......

Unfortunately, we're in an apartment right now so that is really not an option.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzoz01 View Post

Do you think this would provide enough headroom?

http://www.provantage.com/tripp-lite...0~7TRPC00H.htm

It's 1000w (8.3 amps). With just the pre/pro amp and cable box at relatively low volume I'm pulling over 5 amps and that's with the sub amp off. Should I give this a go or swing for the medical grade 1800w version which costs double?

The power consumption for your amp alone is most likely 1000 watts or more.
Look on the back of each component and add up the power consumption.

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

The power consumption for your amp alone is most likely 1000 watts or more.
Look on the back of each component and add up the power consumption.

Exactly.... with everything up and running AMP, DVDP, TV and other gear, a dedicated circuit is best. However, living in an apartment you're kind of stuck with what you've got.

Personally, I have no idea if the devices mentioned will work or not. But, I think it would be worth the $$$ to me, to have an experienced electrician (one that knows home audio, home automation, whole house wiring etc) out to observe the problem and recommend a solution.

The one thing you DON'T want to do is buy something recommended on a forum that might cause or allow damage upstream to your speakers and electronics.

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:44 AM
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Your Belkin gold surge supressor already has some degree of RFI/EMI filtration built in even if it doesn't specifically tout it. I would first check out what Paul Scarpelli suggested which is to see if the problem goes away if you plug your stuff into a different circuit. If you have to, just temporarily run an extension cord to do this. Also, I'd check to make sure your outlets are properly connected. Home Depot and other places sell a little device that's around $5 and tells you if there's a ground problem, if neutral and hot are reversed, etc. The problem you have might be air born and if that's the case then no power conditioner is going to save you. So, before you go out looking for expensive band aids, you need to examine the basics first.

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls View Post

But, I think it would be worth the $$$ to me, to have an experienced electrician (one that knows home audio, home automation, whole house wiring etc) out to observe the problem and recommend a solution.

I second this recommendation. You might even be able to get the apartment management to pick up the tab if you explain that you have an electrical problem and you're afraid it will cause a fire.

Steve

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Old 12-16-2008, 09:21 AM
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Since you live in an apartment, especially if it's an older one, make sure the electrician checks the ground resistance. Electric motors can dump all sorts of spurrious current/noise (esp. when turning on) to the ground (and also to the neutral line). Does the Belkin filter on the neutral leg and/or ground? The advantage of all proper isolation transformer is by definition both hot and neutral are isolated.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

..... The problem you have might be air born and if that's the case then no power conditioner is going to save you. So, before you go out looking for expensive band aids, you need to examine the basics first.

Thanks all for posting your thoughts.
The "basics" as you state have already been checked. When I started this thread, I should have stated that I am not uneducated when it comes to electrical as I am a contractor and engineer. This is what has me baffeled. When things like a dishwasher and cloths washer are already on their own dedicated circuits, yet the electric water valve solonoids opening and closing still make their way back to my AV gear, it is quite puzzling. The house ground neutral were all done correctly. An electrical engineer friend of mine suggested the same thing you mentioned, above, concerning the problem being airborn. While I find this a bit hard to believe, I am interested in more information about this. I could understand airborn disturbances if the devices creating the EM field (such as the solonoids) were right next to the speakers, then I can see the possibility. But the furnace thermostat is in a completely different room and the cloths washer is on the other side of the house.

What seems to make the most sense is noise making its way back to the power panel and feeding into the other circuits through the common buss bar.
I do not know how you can stop the migration of the noise which means a deticated circuit will not stop this problem. It will still share the common buss. This is why line conditioners made the most sense, but do they work? The isolation transformer suggested by another poster makes sense, but I have thousands of watts in my system and those small units will not do the trick.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:47 AM
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Well, if it's making its way into your audio system via whatever propogating mechanism this might be, does it do so under scenarios like...

disconnecting the cable or satellite completely from your system (maybe just play a CD or use the radio)
if you plug in a table top radio will you still get those pops when something turns off or on

Just fishing around you see, but maybe something will shed a light.

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

Make sure your audio stuff is plugged into a different circuit on your electrical box. You might want to check your outlets and see if the ground prongs are even connected to anything. That's a common omission by electricians in a hurry.

I second this.. If your living in a apartment most likely the electrician was in a hurry and you might not even have grounded plugs because of this. I would do what most people here are recommending and contact the people who run the apartment complex and tell them that your having a electrical problem and your afraid it could cause a fire and that you need a electrician to come out and take a look at it.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:09 AM
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I went out and bought a ground checker and it shows the outlet being wired correctly and ground is present. Also bought a couple cheater plugs and tried systematically lifting the ground on components one by one to see if I can make the popping stop. So far no go. One thing I have not tried come to think of it is disconnecting all the RCA cables between the processor and the amp. Not sure that it would be it, as if the only thing turned on in the system is the amp it still does it. If that took care of it you think switching to XLRs would solve issue?
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:30 AM
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No idea if XLR's would solve the problem. Doesn't hurt to disconnect everything to see what happens. Post back.

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Old 12-22-2008, 11:48 AM
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Hi TW:

I found this post, in addition to your others. While EMI is possible I too find it odd that it would transmit that strongly, unless something is acting like an antennae that is entering your system.

Again, as we PM, a best solution is to get a oscilloscope and find the wave form. I agree that EMI is possible, check the power outlet as you switch on the fan. If for some reason this is clean, then check wirings entering you sound system: antennae cable, speaker wires, etc.,


Quote:
Originally Posted by toolwarrior View Post

Thanks all for posting your thoughts.
The "basics" as you state have already been checked. When I started this thread, I should have stated that I am not uneducated when it comes to electrical as I am a contractor and engineer. This is what has me baffeled. When things like a dishwasher and cloths washer are already on their own dedicated circuits, yet the electric water valve solonoids opening and closing still make their way back to my AV gear, it is quite puzzling. The house ground neutral were all done correctly. An electrical engineer friend of mine suggested the same thing you mentioned, above, concerning the problem being airborn. While I find this a bit hard to believe, I am interested in more information about this. I could understand airborn disturbances if the devices creating the EM field (such as the solonoids) were right next to the speakers, then I can see the possibility. But the furnace thermostat is in a completely different room and the cloths washer is on the other side of the house.

What seems to make the most sense is noise making its way back to the power panel and feeding into the other circuits through the common buss bar.
I do not know how you can stop the migration of the noise which means a deticated circuit will not stop this problem. It will still share the common buss. This is why line conditioners made the most sense, but do they work? The isolation transformer suggested by another poster makes sense, but I have thousands of watts in my system and those small units will not do the trick.

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Old 12-22-2008, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolwarrior View Post

I have done some research but one key thing I do not see being discussed - Pops and snaps in speakers when other household devices come on.
In my case, I have now identifed a number of things that cause a disturbing snap in my HT speakers.

relay that is in the furnace thermostat
solonoid valve that turns water on in the dishwasher
similar solonoid valve that turns water on in the cloths washer
ceiling fan when it is turned on/off

I have my gear plugged into a high quality Belkin gold series surge supressor, but this does nothing to stop the snap/pop in my speakers.

Anyone know how to stop this? I don't care what it takes. My speakers are way too expensive to not do something.

I get the same issue. My speakers are hooked up to a power conditioner as well as a voltage regulator and both have surge suppression. When I send a source signal to my receiver, which is used as a pre/pro to my Sunfire amp, a loud pop is heard from my speakers (which have powered subs).

It happens consistently everytime and no matter what device I'm using as a source, whether it be an MP3 player, Blu-Ray player, or console (Wii).

Could the pop just be some discharge from your amp to your speakers when it receives a current shot from being turned on? Like a capacitor emptying itself before re-charging?

I'm not an engineer, just an IT geek, so I'm just following a logical thinkstream here.

I have my source devices connected to my receiver (pre/pro) then connected by matched RCAs to my amp. My amp is set to auto-signal sensing.

I'll do a few more tests tonight and see if I can eliminate that popping.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:57 PM
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Update:

Ok I did a little test and disconnected all the RCA cables between the amp and processor. I turned the amp on and flicked the switch for the ceiling fan a couple of times. The pop was still there, but was much quieter, and was barely noticeable. When I reconnected the RCAs, leaving all other equipment off except the amp, the pop was back and much louder. I'm not sure what to mak of it at this point, but am thinking of switching out the RCAs for XLRs to see if it is any better than the RCAs. Any other thoughts?

Also, I currently have everything (including sub and coax) running through a Monster HTPS-7000 power center, so everything shares a common ground and should be filtered for noise and EMI. Disconnecting the Coax from the wall does nothing.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzoz01 View Post

Update:

Ok I did a little test and disconnected all the RCA cables between the amp and processor. I turned the amp on and flicked the switch for the ceiling fan a couple of times. The pop was still there, but was much quieter, and was barely noticeable. When I reconnected the RCAs, leaving all other equipment off except the amp, the pop was back and much louder. I'm not sure what to mak of it at this point, but am thinking of switching out the RCAs for XLRs to see if it is any better than the RCAs. Any other thoughts?

Also, I currently have everything (including sub and coax) running through a Monster HTPS-7000 power center, so everything shares a common ground and should be filtered for noise and EMI. Disconnecting the Coax from the wall does nothing.

Have you tried connecting your receiver directly to the wall socket? At least just to test out the theory that maybe it's your power center that's causing it?

I'm gonna try that out tonight. Just for a minute or two. Knock on wood that a sudden spike does not appear when I'm doing it, but I'm gonna try that route and see if the cause lies in the power conditioner.

If that doesn't prove to be the culprit, then I can simply reattach the power conditioner and scratch my ..... for a few more minutes while trying to figure out the cause.

Maybe too many devices drawing current from that one circuit? Try plugging into a different wall socket that is on a different circuit than your ceiling fan, if that's possible.

I'll have to repeat the same routine once I get home as well.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:35 PM
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Just re-read my previous post.

I forgot to complete the sentence "scratch my HEAD, on my shoulders, for a few more minutes..."



Just so there's no misunderstanding. LOL
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:29 PM
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Your putting a huge load on an already poor electrical system.

One shall stand... One Shall Fall... - Optimus Prime
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolwarrior View Post

I have done some research but one key thing I do not see being discussed - Pops and snaps in speakers when other household devices come on.
In my case, I have now identifed a number of things that cause a disturbing snap in my HT speakers.

relay that is in the furnace thermostat
solonoid valve that turns water on in the dishwasher
similar solonoid valve that turns water on in the cloths washer
ceiling fan when it is turned on/off

I have my gear plugged into a high quality Belkin gold series surge supressor, but this does nothing to stop the snap/pop in my speakers.

Anyone know how to stop this? I don't care what it takes. My speakers are way too expensive to not do something.

How many components do you have plugged into the power conditioner?
Is everything plugged into the power conditioner or do you have some stuff plugged into the wall?

Espo77
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

How many components do you have plugged into the power conditioner?
Is everything plugged into the power conditioner or do you have some stuff plugged into the wall?


I have everything plugged into a power conditioner, even the sub. That was my first thought, so i made sure I had a common ground for the entire system.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:15 PM
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Hi guys, a year later and any word on how this was resolved?
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