Mysterious receiver behavior - is this a fluke or a pattern? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-14-2011, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a challenge for you!
First off, sorry for the long post - i have no idea where to start so I just included all the details I know.

I had an Onkyo TX-SR605 that began to shut off its audio (but never its video - just sound) for no apparent reason. At first, it was just one channel that would cut out and then it might turn back on a bit later, but it kept getting worse. A power cycle might fix it, but as it got older, the problem got worse until a power cycle might not work at all and I'd have to wait until the next day. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the volume level - sometimes it happened with no sound playing and I only figured it out afterwards. It was unrelated to the activity I was doing at the time and it had nothing whatsoever to do with temperature or operating time - it could happen in 60 degree ambient temp after two minutes or after four hours on a 80 degree day.
I sold the Onkyo since it had always been a pile of junk anyway - the subwoofer output just quit working after less than a year and it could never handle HDMI correctly no matter what settings I tried. I just assumed it was a lemon and I wasn't too sad to wash my hands of it. I just bought a new Sony STR-DH810. Now this new Sony shuts down completely (not just the audio) also randomly. Every feature works when its turned on. I can turn it right back on and it works again. It just did it twice in the last two hours and all I've been doing is silently surfing the internet :-(

Do you think these two problems are related? I mean, I could have just gotten two bad receivers I suppose. Any ideas about the culprit?

Here are my specific setups:
First Setup: Onkyo TX-SR605, pair of Paradigm Titan v.3 speakers with absolutely no wires touching or anything obviously wrong (though one speaker was repaired once by the vendor I bought them from after my cat knocked one off its stand and something was loose inside - I can't remember problems before that but the powering down didn't start till a quite a while afterwards and it seemed like a simple repair), Hsu STF-1 sub connected in series with the speakers (due to the Onkyo's failed sub output), Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable box connected via HDMI + coax audio (since the Onkyo couldn't reliably handle HDMI audio), homemade media PC connected via HDMI + optical, PS2 connected via composite, Sony SACD player connected via component and optical. Video output is HDMI to the TV. All components are plugged into a Belkin Pure AV power conditioner which lights up to indicate that that everything power-wise is fine.

Current setup: Mostly the same but now I can plug the sub into the receiver directly and HDMI works (halleluiah) so I have the PC and a new cable box (a Samsung SMT-H3270, very spiffy I might add) plugged right in via HDMI. I ditched the Sony SACD player because it has started to make a bit more noise than I like anyway and I made double sure no speaker wires were crossed.

Any suggestions as to what could be causing these shut-downs?
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-14-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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My only thought would be, since they are woefully inefficient at 86db, why are you running those with a bargain receiver?

How loud are you running these? (you might be overrunning the receivers heat sink)
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-14-2011, 09:45 AM
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No idea about the Onkyo. Could have been out of whack.

With the new receiver, if it's working properly, then it's wiring or speakers.

From what you describe it may not be speakers or wiring. But it's worth checking.

The typically recommend process is to disconnect all speakers. If it does not shut down, then connect one speaker at a time to try to isolate speaker or wiring as the problem.

You can also measure speaker impedance with a multi-tester. All speaker coils have a DC resistance. If the speakers are of the same design with same impedance, and one speaker measures significantly different impedance, it might be have issues.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-17-2011, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

schan1269: what do you mean about the speakers being "woefully inefficient" at 86 db? What does that mean? Why would a "bargain receiver" have a problem with them? They're bargain speakers, after all. $250 a pair a the Paradigm dealer, as I recall. They've always sounded wonderful to me, whether I drove them with a Pioneer SX-1250 (a 70 pound vintage 160 watt per channel ultra well made monster), a little NAD 3020, the Onkyo TX-SR605, or the new Sony STR-DH810. I'd have to turn the NAD up pretty high to get them loud, but I once drove them all night for a dance party (ie, with *plenty* of volume) and I never noticed a problem.

MichaelJHuman: Thanks for the suggestion!
I disconnected the speakers and left the unit on 12+ hours: No power down.
With Left channel on a cable music station for 12+ hours: No power down.
Cable music plus Right channel, 12+ hours: No power down.
Music from media center PC via HDMI, Left channel: Powered off in about 2 hours!

I know for a fact that it shut off while I was browsing these forums the other night - it happened twice in about two hours with both channels hooked up. My roommate swears it kicked out while watching a Netflix movie on the PC, too.
So now that I've written notes, I must say I think I was mistaken about the Sony turning off regardless of the input. The only times it has powered down that I'm sure of have been while using the PC.

This is progress!

I do not have the screen saver active on the Windows 7 pc, and I turned off the monitor power down feature since I noticed that when the TV turned off, the Sony would turn off, too. And I know that when I was browsing the other day, I couldn't have let it sit still more than a minute or two. I was actually mid-sentence when it kicked off, so I think we can rule out a screen saver problem.
Any ideas at this point? I'll go looking for more specific solutions...
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-17-2011, 11:19 AM
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86 dB is pretty inefficient. Average seems to be about 90 dB. That means you could need over twice the power to achieve desired SPL as the average speaker.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-17-2011, 02:07 PM
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Have you checked the power outlet itself? Voltage dips and/or a poor [or poorly wired] outlet can cause quite a few bizarre problems.
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