Receiver Suddenly Turning Off When Volume Raised--Please Advise. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-16-2014, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Receiver Suddenly Turning Off When Volume Raised--Please Advise.

I have an old Denon 3802 receiver in a 7.1 setup with a powered sub. The three front channels are all line out to monoblocks, so the receiver is only driving the rear side and the rear back speakers. Just recently the Denon has started turning itself off. I checked the speaker connections and found a loose wire. Put it back and everything seemed fine--but then the Denon shut off again. I believe it happens when there is a lot of activity/bass on the soundtrack, so I turned the main volume down on the Denon and it stopped shutting off ... I would say that solved the problem except A: Now the volume is just slightly too low, and B: this had never happened before, so I'm not sure why it is happening now.

I did recently adjust the volume levels of all my speakers through my Oppo media player--previously I had set them with the Denon's own internal volume controls but I decided to recalibrate with the Oppo. Could this have made the difference? Could it be possible to fix this issue by lowering or raising the source volume as opposed to the output volume from the Denon?

Your thoughts, please!
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-16-2014, 11:56 PM
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Did you return all source volume controls on the AVR to 0? Easy enough to test if the Oppo changes are the problem.

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post #3 of 20 Old 08-17-2014, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding!

I just reset the receiver levels to 0, then bumped up the levels on my oppo player to the maximum ... Same thing happens. Receiver shuts down when playing bass heavy sounds. Strange thing is it seems to handle loud soundtracks okay at a decent volume ... just has trouble with bass heavy sounds?
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-17-2014, 12:25 PM
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May be an issue with the sub then. Turn it off and see if the issue still presents. If not, it's the sub.

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-17-2014, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll try turning it off, but I can't figure out how an issue with the sub would cause my receiver to turn off, since the receiver isn't supplying any power to the sub. All it is doing is passing along the signal ...
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-17-2014, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I don't think it has anything to do with the sub. I unplugged the cables from my receiver to the sub and it didn't make any difference--receiver still shut off ...

Two things:

First, it is replicable--I realized that the same scene in the movie "Flight" shuts my receiver off every time. It is a loud scene but not particularly bass heavy--just a sudden loud kind of whining jet engine sound trips it.

Second--If I lower the volume on my receiver from -12 dbl to -13 dbl, it doesn't happen--everything is fine. Bump it back up one dbl to 13 and ... it shuts down again with the same scene every time.

So what does that tell me?

EDIT: Tried increasing source volume with the Oppo--same thing, Denon receiver crashes. And another scene in the same movie, again with a kind of sudden high pitched engine whining sound--also shuts the Denon down, even at the new lower volume I used to stop it from shutting down with the first scene ... I need to figure this out because the volume is now just too low ....

Last edited by Tangled Cable; 08-18-2014 at 12:20 AM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 03:45 AM
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^^
Insufficient headroom from the AVR so ensure FL/C/FR speakers are set to SMALL/80Hz.

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post #8 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 08:54 AM
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To expand slightly on what JDSmoothie wrote, the symptoms you describe indicate that your receiver has insufficient power to be able to drive your speakers to the sound levels you want. Low frequencies (provided by woofer and subwoofer) require the most power. By raising the crossover frequency, you can offload some of that power requirement from the receiver to the subwoofer, which includes its own, separate amplifier.

A tradeoff is that it's easier to localize higher frequencies, so you might notice that some are coming from the direction of the subwoofer. That's one reason a crossover frequency of 80 Hz is often used: it's low enough not to be locatable. However, many people have reported that a crossover as high as 150Hz works quite well.

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post #9 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for weighing in!

Unfortunately I already have the crossover set to 80 with all speakers set to small ...
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 09:54 AM
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You might try raising the crossovers to a higher frequency.

It could be that a woofer is starting to fail in one of your speakers: perhaps a short between some of the wires in its driver due to poor insulation rubbing off. Most audio is in the front speaker channels. You might try exchanging your front speakers with your surround speakers. If it's a driver in a front speaker that's starting to go bad, that might change the point at which the receiver trips off.

A less likely possibility is that the receiver is overheating. Make sure it's well ventilated.

You should double check that all of your speaker cables are still OK. An invisibly tiny wire might be shorting to an adjacent connection post when loud sounds cause it to vibrate. Also check to make sure the speaker cables haven't been damaged by chewing by a pet, a rodent or a pet rodent.

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post #11 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, Selden Ball! Pet, a rodent, or pet rodent ... I like how thorough you were there.

Right before I read your post I disconnected the wires from all my speakers but left the sub connected (I had already tried disconnecting the sub) ... made no difference. Still shut down even with no speakers connected. But I disconnected the wires at the speakers themselves ... I'm guessing I should also try disconnecting them from the back of my receiver ...
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post #12 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 10:26 AM
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Yup, if its an intermittent cable issue, the problem could be at the receiver end (more likely) or in the middle.

Some time ago I made a similar suggestion to someone else but mentioned only the pet and rodent possibilities. Someone else chimed in with the pet rodent suggestion, which I liked.

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post #13 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I disconnected all the speaker wire from the back of my receiver. Also disconnected the cables from the pre-outs to my three front channel monoblocks. Subwoofer still connected. The receiver finally stopped shutting down ...

Which is great, as long as I want to watch movies with the subwoofer only. I could make up my own dialogue, or learn to lip read ...

So now I guess I should try reconnecting each speaker, one at a time, until the receiver shuts down again ... ? Process of elimination.

EDIT: I could also try bypassing the receiver entirely ... my oppo has analog outs and level controls for each channel. If I hook the front channels from the oppo directly to my monoblocks, am I running any risk? In other words, if the Denon is shutting down to protect my speakers, and I bypass the Denon, then I run the risk of damaging my speakers, no?

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post #14 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 10:44 AM
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That sounds quite reasonable. Check for loose strands while you're at it.

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post #15 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Will do. On further reflection it seems like it can't possibly be a problem with any of the speakers themselves, since the problem still occurs with all speakers disconnected. So it must be a problem with either the receiver or a connection coming from the receiver. Which means hooking my player directly to my amplifiers and bypassing the receiver should pose no risk to the speakers.
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 11:53 AM
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So long as the output of the player isn't absurdly loud.

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post #17 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
So long as the output of the player isn't absurdly loud.
Right. I'll set it at zero before playing anything.
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay. Ran the three front channels straight from the analog outs on the Oppo player to my three monoblocks. Left the side and rear speakers disconnected. Played the same scene and needless to say the Oppo did not shut down.

But ... now I notice an odd kind of buzzing sound coming from the front speakers even when the Oppo is off ... which means the buzzing must be coming from the monoblocks ...

EDIT: Turned off the monoblocks and of course the buzzing went away ... Turned them back on again and ... no buzzing. Turned the Oppo back on again and still no buzzing. I don't get it ...

EDIT AGAIN: after a few minutes the buzz returned to the speakers with just the monoblocks on and the Oppo off. I guess it has to "build up" ... Might have to start a new thread (sigh).

Last edited by Tangled Cable; 08-18-2014 at 04:23 PM.
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 04:36 PM
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I would start over with some fresh speaker wire and keep it basic. Set the external amps aside for now. Just try to play a 2.1
setup off the receiver. And add speakers from there. You did say earlier it didn't go into protection with no speakers connected.
Once it does fail back up one step. Swap speakers and/or output channels until you isolate the problem. If it all works then
start adding the external amps gradually. And swap speaker wire too. What works ok and then when does it fail? Receiver should
put out some volume by itself.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I did end up running the three front channels directly to my amps and found the source of the hum--it was an ungrounded extension cord connected to my projector. Put in a three prong cord and the problem went away--the front channels sound better than ever. Still have to re-route the side and back channels through my Denon since I don't have separate amps for those ... we'll see if it shuts off again.
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