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post #1 of 33 Old 09-24-2016, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Audio problem driving me crazy

Hi everyone,

After weeks of troubleshooting I don't know what to do anymore and I'm hoping you can help me with a fresh perspective.

My setup:
Homebuilt HTPC on the basis of an Asus H170M Plus mainboard. I'm using a dedicated NVidea graphics card as well as a dedicated soundcard, initially an Asus Xonar DX. I'm streaming multimedia content over a wired network from a Synology NAS. The soundcard is connected to my amplifier, an Arcam A29, using a jack to rca cable. My speakers are two KEF R300 speakers, so no surround. It's running Windows 7 64 bit.

Problem:
The right audio channel is sometimes distorted. The volume is low and I hear crackling or nothing at all. Usually not from the start and most of the time it doesn't resolve on its own. A tap on the speaker cone may help but that could be a coincidence (see below) or I fiddle with the jack cable.

Troubleshooting steps:
  • replaced the jack to rca interlink
  • replaced the speakercable
  • switched the speakers around (which is why I don't believe it's a speaker issue, still problems on the right channel only)
  • tried onboard sound
  • replaced the soundcard
  • cleaned the connectors and the rca plugs on the amp
  • tried other inputs on the amp
  • updated the bios and drivers
All to no avail, though cleaning the connectors and plugs seems to have helped somewhat. Now I'm down to components that are harder to tackle, the mainboard, power supply, etc. or a time consuming reinstall of the OS. The HTPC is the only device causing issues so I don't believe the amp is the culprit.

Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong? Did I miss something?
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post #2 of 33 Old 09-24-2016, 10:16 AM
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The only thing you haven't swapped is the amp. Using other inputs only verifies the original input is not the problem. It doesn't rule out the rest of the amp.
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-25-2016, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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You're right, I've got a second amp which I can try. Thanks!
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post #4 of 33 Old 11-13-2016, 04:34 AM
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Right channel distortion Arcam FMJ A29: I have the same issue

I have the same issue: Th right channel intermittently disappears and distorts.

I connect my devices through an Arcam irDAC. That is usually my TV, Blue-Ray and PC.

The distortion on the right channel occurs a while after I switched on. My volume is usually at "25". Switching the amp off and on again sometimes helps.

I don't have this issue (yet) when playing CD's from my Arcam CDS27. This one is directly connected to the amp. I didn't have this issue at first, but it appeared in the last few months.

I understand it adds an extra power supply when increasing volume. Could the be the problem be that when you start at "25" it is already at that threshold?

I hope Arcam can fix it with a firmware update. There are instructions on their site, but no upgrade-file as yet on their site.
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post #5 of 33 Old 11-13-2016, 04:59 AM
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I can't post hyperlinks yet (less then 5 posts), but go to the Arcam uk site, find the A29, then click on FAQ from the downloads section.
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post #6 of 33 Old 11-13-2016, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Found it, thanks! I'll write an email to Arcam asking them about this issue. It's not exactly reassuring that you're experiencing the same problem.
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post #7 of 33 Old 12-23-2016, 07:14 AM
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Thumbs up Repaired

I sent my A29 back for repair. I sent it last Monday, got it back today!
They:
  • repaired the output circuit
  • replaced one relay
  • updated the firmware
  • tested the device
Luckily the warranty is 60 months.
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-23-2016, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigitte View Post
Eric, Arcam UK got back to me. They have no record of the attempted repair on my amp (probably because the device was sent to the local distributor instead of the manufacturer) and can't tell me what was wrong. They do state, however, that this is not a known issue.

Perhaps you can check your serial number to see if it is the same series as my unit. I have no problems stating it here since I received a different device and the unit with this serial number was probably written off by Arcam: FA29A01385.

Best of luck!
FA29A01250. Mine seems older.
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post #9 of 33 Old 04-06-2017, 10:29 PM
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I use Dayton Audio DTA-120 with my computer. It doesn't come with a power enough power supply, so my bookshelf speakers naturally roll off at 120 Hz. The amplifier in the DTA-120 is class-T which is similar to class-D. If you want a class-AB amplifier, I suggest a Dayton Audio APA150. Really any two channel amplifier will work with no problems and be a lot cheaper.

I suggest contact Arcam to get your money back since even the replacements are having issues. It is best to then ship it back to Arcam.
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post #10 of 33 Old 04-22-2017, 11:11 AM
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Brigitte,

I got your private message. Unfortunately I can send no private message myself, because I sent less then 15 posts so far.

Here is the repair report for my amp.
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post #11 of 33 Old 05-09-2017, 05:17 PM
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I think I'm having the exact same issue. I picked up an A29 about 8 months ago and about 1 month ago there was some crackling in the left speaker. I thought it was being caused by my television output. Now I keep getting crackling and volume drops in the right speaker. I have changed the sources and have confirmed that it also happens when I have my turntable input enabled.

Can you let me know if this issue was ever resolved for you? I'm sending my unit in for repair in a few days.

-Blaine
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post #12 of 33 Old 05-10-2017, 07:39 AM
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I find it hard to believe it is a failure. I think it's more like a bug. When something fails, restarting the system shouldn't fix it!?!? (I'm more of a software person so I don't know). I reset my amp last night after the problem started and there were absolutely no problems for 4 solid hours. I'm going to be playing around with the amp for a while before I take it in. For example, after the problem starts: turning the volume way up, changing the balance back and forth, resetting etc., so that I have as much information for them about how the problem manifests itself and how it can be resolved. Hopefully that will help. I'm convinced they have a design issue on their hands; for example if the volume is at a certain level for an extended period etc. Anyway, if I do find anything out I'll let you know. Good luck with your repaired amp. I do absolutely love the sound from the A29 when there aren't any problems. It sounds better than my old Classe that was much more expensive.

-Blaine
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post #13 of 33 Old 05-11-2017, 12:33 AM
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Hi there, I have been following this thread for a couple of days.
I too have a problematic a29, mine is only a month old.
Mine after been on for a good while loses sound while switching sources and will only return after being switched off and back on, I did a factory reset about 48 hours ago and it's been ok since.
I thought I'd post here as this is the only real problem page I could find on the a29.

It's sad really arcam was a really great reliable brand and I still own a dv79 which is going strong.
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post #14 of 33 Old 05-11-2017, 01:25 PM
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I've actually had problems with Arcam in the past. I was reluctant to pick up the A29, but thought it unlikely that it would have problems!

My Alpha 9 had a problem where the balance was WAY off at low volumes!

This was made worse with the CD72 connected to that Alpha 9 because its output was so high it both caused input clipping AND revealed this horrible problem. I ended up getting in-line attenuators to fix that problem (which I still love and use in all of my amps for digital sources that I cannot control). Not only that but the DAC in the CD72 sounded horrible anyway! I now use an audiolab DAC connected via the digital out on the CD72 and it sounds great.

I was really REALLY impressed with the A29 for the longest time. I hope these problems can be resolved because I think Arcam has a great little amp here, sonic wise.
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post #15 of 33 Old 05-12-2017, 02:18 PM
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Tonight no loss of sound while switching sources but a couple of random relay clicks - wierd

My serial is FA29A02087
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post #16 of 33 Old 05-13-2017, 11:36 PM
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I really love the sound of this amplifier though
I had a naim 5si before this and it was a real ear bleeder. Fingers crossed you have both got good units now.
I expect to get 10 plus years out of mine.
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post #17 of 33 Old 10-28-2017, 07:03 PM
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I had the same problem with a29. I was going to buy it, so I first listened this amp with my speakers. Unfortunately the amplifier from dealer had the same problems with disappearing channels. In this case, the left or right channel disappears.
I'll rather not buy this amplifier. Unless Arcam convinces me that they fixed the problem.
I could upload a video on youtube with a29 problem if anyone wants.

Sorry Arcam not this time.

Regards
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post #18 of 33 Old 10-29-2017, 08:10 AM
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Arcam a29 problem

Hello Brigitte.
I've almost bought this amplifier. But I wrote to google "Arcam a29 problems" and found your forum. I asked the dealer if the problem was known to him and if Arcam had done something about it. It turned out that the problem is known to them, but in writing and on the Internet they have nothing. I thought too much risk.

Regards
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post #19 of 33 Old 11-03-2017, 03:27 PM
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post #21 of 33 Old 11-03-2017, 03:28 PM
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post #22 of 33 Old 11-03-2017, 03:29 PM
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post #23 of 33 Old 01-09-2018, 09:35 AM
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My fix...

Just an update that my fix to the problem is to simply never turn off the A29. I love the sound of the unit, and that it runs very cool, but that bug was very frustrating. I found that it only happens after a restart... so I think it's a firmware bug or something. I've been running for quite a while with only a few resets (power outage, or other bug in the firmware) and haven't had this problem since. Not entirely happy with this solution but it seems like a solid amp if you don't restart it all the time. Fingers crossed that I have many more years of enjoyment of the Amp, but I would love to see a fix from Arcam.
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post #24 of 33 Old 01-23-2018, 06:47 AM
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Thanks to all who have posted, particularly Kopernik123 for the video... thought it was something to do with my set-up running through a speaker switch, or a bad interconnect somewhere, but looks like I too have exactly the same problem. A power off / on cures it, or pluging in headphones (not noticed it with them yet) but will always reoccur at some point, bloody annoying!
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post #25 of 33 Old 04-14-2018, 02:02 AM
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I have the same issue!

Hi folks,

I'm hoping someone can let me know how you got on in the end with your A29 amps. Have your issues been resolved?
I've had mine since Nov 17, and it's just gone back to Arcam with exactly the same channel issue. It's been gone 2 weeks now and i'm waiting for it back, but thought i'd do a google search about issues and found this stream - which makes me VERY nervous indeed.

It seems this is a common theme. I am wondering if they give me a new one back if I should sell on straight away to save further issues in future.

An update on how you guys have got on since would be great.

Thanks in advance
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post #26 of 33 Old 04-14-2018, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigitte View Post
Hi everyone,

After weeks of troubleshooting I don't know what to do anymore and I'm hoping you can help me with a fresh perspective.

My setup:
Homebuilt HTPC on the basis of an Asus H170M Plus mainboard. I'm using a dedicated NVidea graphics card as well as a dedicated soundcard, initially an Asus Xonar DX. I'm streaming multimedia content over a wired network from a Synology NAS. The soundcard is connected to my amplifier, an Arcam A29, using a jack to rca cable. My speakers are two KEF R300 speakers, so no surround. It's running Windows 7 64 bit.

Problem:
The right audio channel is sometimes distorted. The volume is low and I hear crackling or nothing at all. Usually not from the start and most of the time it doesn't resolve on its own. A tap on the speaker cone may help but that could be a coincidence (see below) or I fiddle with the jack cable.

Troubleshooting steps:
  • replaced the jack to rca interlink
  • replaced the speakercable
  • switched the speakers around (which is why I don't believe it's a speaker issue, still problems on the right channel only)
  • tried onboard sound
  • replaced the soundcard
  • cleaned the connectors and the rca plugs on the amp
  • tried other inputs on the amp
  • updated the bios and drivers
All to no avail, though cleaning the connectors and plugs seems to have helped somewhat. Now I'm down to components that are harder to tackle, the mainboard, power supply, etc. or a time consuming reinstall of the OS. The HTPC is the only device causing issues so I don't believe the amp is the culprit.

Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong? Did I miss something?
Hi,
I'm doing a quick reply to your post as I'm hoping it will alert you as thread starter that i've posted. I've just replied to main thread, but as its old i'm not sure if anyone will see it, but hoping you might! Thanks.
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post #27 of 33 Old 04-14-2018, 04:00 AM
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Thanks Bridget,

That's reassuring. I will wait for mine back and fingers crossed I should be okay.

I do love the Amp and the sound, but the cahnnel fault was sooooo annoying! Hopefully it will be resolved and all will be well.

I've got at least another 2 weeks before I get it back thought (that's such a long time to be musicless!!).

Thanks for replying.
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post #28 of 33 Old 06-28-2018, 08:10 AM
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I've had the same problems. Drop outs from one channel (for me it was the left). I had this repaired once (maybe six months ago) but not it's back... I grabbed a quick video on my phone. Starts on the left speaker and the to the right (which is fine) and then back to the left.




If I turn the volume way up it seems to temporarily fix it. But that's not a fix! Will be sending this back to my dealer for repair next week.


The serial number is FA29A01829
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post #29 of 33 Old 10-12-2018, 08:31 AM
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Yes. This is my second experience with the distortion in the right channel, followed by a total cut off. The first repair attempt by the local distributor only fixed it temporarily with a capacitor change (lasted 8months). I just sent it in again last week and now they are going to replace the main board. Unbelievable crappy quality from a well established brand.
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post #30 of 33 Old 10-13-2018, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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So sorry douggie. The repair that was done to my unit fixed the issue, it has been working flawlessly for the past year. I'm going to sell it though, bought a second Hegel and that's a huge upgrade. Like you, I'm fed up with Arcam, I went through two units and two repairs before it was working properly.
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