I have an Onkyo RC370 that I purchased back in November 2011. For speakers, I have the Klipsch HD 500. Used banana plugs to connect the speakers. I had it set up in a 5.1 speaker setup, when about a month ago, I noticed the front-left speaker was no longer putting out any sound. I decided to let it slide and left it as a low priority. Well, a little while later, I started getting Check Sp Wire error messages with the receiver turning itself off. It had turned itself off due to high volume in the past, but this was at volume levels that had not cut out before. I turned the receiver back on and it came back on okay (but I still had the front left speaker plugged in).
More recently, I started experiencing a quicker interval of these protection shutoffs and decided to troubleshoot it. I unplugged the front left speaker only and attempted to turn the receiver back on and I got a Check Sp Wire that would flash on the display for 1/4 second before the clicking sound of the protect circuit activated again. I thought this was kind of strange. At this point, I then unplugged all the speaker and HDMI connections and attempted to power on the receiver with no connections and I get the Check Sp Wire message for 1/4 second followed by the protection circuit click.
At this point, I figured something went wrong and looked at the manual to try to determine if there was anything else to try. I saw a section where one should leave the receiver unconnected for an hour and try to repower the receiver and set the volume back to low. After an hour however, the issue remained. I made one last ditch attempt to try a reset of the receiver by pressing the VCR/DVR button while powering the receiver. I did get a Clear message on the display followed by a flicker of Check Sp Wire and the protection circuit kicking back on. So no luck!
At this point, I contacted Onkyo who said the warranty has expired so their only option is to contact an authorized service center to pursue a repair to the device. Since there isn't a low cost repair or replacement option as far as I know, I'm unsure what the best course of action is.
I haven't yet opened the receiver yet to look around, but it's possible that the control board that connects to the front left speaker was faulty or damaged. The other speakers operated fine up to the final Check Sp Wire shutdown. I haven't opened the receiver yet to look for damage to the boards, so there may be a blown component on a board that I can identify.
I don't know if there is anyone here who has looked at the internals of a RC370 for troubleshooting. If anyone has had a similar experience, is there a recommendation on what to look for for possible causes? I can certain use a multimeter to check around, but do not have any background other than checking for shorts, and not inside a receiver (this is my first receiver). I don't know if it's possible to disconnect or exchange one of the control boards for the perceived faulty speaker connection (front-left) from an unused speaker connection (since I'm 5.1, not 7.2) or at least see if I can isolate what component is damaged and get the receiver to power on without constantly tripping the protection circuit.
Otherwise, the options that I'm looking at are the following:
1. Find a comparable replacement to the HT-RC370. I really liked this receiver while it was operating, even though the protect circuit is acting up. I also had issues with the protect circuit acting up at reference volume when I first bought the device so maybe there was a problem to begin with. Are there any receivers with the same kind of audio setup that one would recommend? Hope to stay around $500 for a new receiver. Looking for a comparable Onkyo or other vendor if you feel they have more reliable equipment. The multieq calibration was quite nice for setup.
2. Send the unit in for repair. In this scenario, I would pay for shipping both locations, a fixed labor rate (which is nice!) and parts. The quoted price for labor is $110 and shipping would probably be $50-75 round trip depending on location and I have no idea what the part replacement would be. Warranty is 90 days for parts. Seems like a moderate amount of risk for the money for repair, but it is cheaper than a new receiver.
3. Use the Onkyo refurbish exchange program where one sends in their receiver and purchases a refurbished one with 1 year parts/service at a discounted price. (Still need to determine availability and price on this option).
I also have some other questions from the more experienced home theater users.
Did I do something foolish that put my receiver at unnecessary risk that I could have prevented? How important is it to disconnect all the speaker wires if I get protection circuit faults like Check Sp Wire in the future? Should I have done a full diagnostic of all the speakers and wires at that time?
Do most people have two receivers that they swap in case there is a component failure? Is 2.75 years an good/average/poor lifespan for receivers in this price range? Since the warranty is set up for 2 years, I wonder what the life-expectancy is for receivers in this price range.
Is there any measurement one can do with a multimeter to indicate speaker failure? Is it dangerous to plug in a blown speaker into a receiver? I have a old cd-player boom-box device that I will test the speaker to see if it's faulty tonight.
Is repair a worthwhile option for these kinds of receivers? If it was a budget receiver around $300 lasted for 3 years, I'd probably just get a replacement straight up, but the $500 price range is cause for some thought at least for me. At least enough to consider an alternate vendor with better reliability.
Unless I hear that it's a bad idea, I'm thinking of at least opening the receiver up and see if I can see anything like a blown capacitor or something noticeable. If anyone has suggestions on what to look for in this scenario, I'd appreciate it. I would at least like to know that it's the receiver and not my speaker/wiring damaging the receiver when I plug in a replacement.
Thanks for any advice,