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Help! I killed my amp

1034 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MichaelJHuman
Hi all

I was watching the Foo Fighters Blu-Ray at the top of the volume on my Harman Kardon AVI-250 amp which I have connected directly to the Sony Blu Ray player via the 6 discrete analog audio cables

And all of a sudden, I tried lowering the volume and the volume wouldn't go down!!!! The volume indicator showed lowering volume, but the volume stayed at this maximum level...

I hit pause on the blu ray and of course the sound stopped. I turned off the amp waited for a while and then turned it back on, and now, when I try to increase the volume all I hear is a small clicking noise and the volume is at a maximum low, it wont go up

Have I damaged my amp?

What should I do?


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1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Sometimes you can reset receivers. They are like computers in that they are controlled by programs. And sometimes the programs seem to get confused. Look for info in the manual on resetting it. If a reset does not fix it, you are looking at service or replacement.
Try unpluging the AC plug from outlet for a few minutes. Then plug it back in. That may reset the CPU?

I tried both and it is fixed!

Oh Oh,

It happened again. And now my amp won't take a reset.

It is fixed now, after turning off the amp and turning back on, but this time, during the blackout, when I turned the volume up and down, a strange robotic click came out of the left surround speaker!

Could this be something more serious? A faulty cable?


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have you checked (and double checked) to make sure that you haven't got any speaker wires touching?
Is it under warranty? If so take it in. I have in the past fixed or worked around these things only to have something big and possibly related happen after.

As far of cause check you settings in the Blu-ray player for analog out 5.1 audio channel levels. look for very high or low levels that might be messing with your amp. Also different amps handle the the analog differently read the manual. Is there a situation like having a +8db level in the player and a further +8db on the same channel in the AVR? The +16 could really push the amp. Was it hot when this happened? Most Amps do not like to be played at top levels for extended periods and with the + situation you maybe pushing it very hard. Most amps power is rated at 0db on the volume control. So if you have a 100watt/channel amp at +3 db you could be pushing 200 and the +/- on the channels affect this.

I blew an amp a while ago because I did not know this and thought it should be able to play any volume level and burned out the protection circuit.
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I tripled checked and no speaker cables are in contact....

It is 10 years old, so no warranty for me!

Seems I may have to take it in... or by a new one!

i think bryston amps come with 20 years and parasound with 10--probably a value added feature.

sounds like the avr has an "issue" if it were me id git mysself a new one. the hk refurbs seem to be popular and a good deal--same goes for marantz...
Just 2 cents here - I wonder if the huge increase in dynamic range you get with BD lossless audio (especially with certain aggressive soundtracks) and that the OP is getting with the analog connection, is not going to be a problem for many mass market receivers, of which H/K is among the better examples. And music videos (if that is what was the problem here) can be among the most dynamic of soundtracks. I can imagine a 10-15 dB increase in output level during highly dynamic scenes, which is a killer on receiver amps. Heck I have power to spare in my Innersound and Theta Digital Intrepid amps (neither flinched) but I worried for my ears while watching "The Watchmen" recently, and it was not even on BD! The OP may want to consider adding a separate power amp to his system and use his receiver as a pre/pro only, whether or not he replaces or has it fixed. It will be kinder on his speakers also. The article below will explain better:

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Why would lossless give you a huge increase in dynamic range? All lossless should do is increase fidelity a bit. When I have compared MP3 files with various rates and the WAV file, at any reasonable bitrate, I just hear a slight loss of fidelity. I think I can hear it in cymbals and such. I hear no change in dynamic range.

I am confused by why dynamic range should enter into it?
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