Question Can't Fix Speaker Crackling

mavalos88

Novice Member
Hello guys,

I wanted to see if you guys could help me figure out what the problem is.
I recently got a Klipsch Reference set for my home theater.
The two front speakers crackle with certain music (mostly quiet music, with piano or soft instruments). The crackle is mostly the instruments being muted and unmuted, as if there were a bad connection between the speakers and the receiver.

I've found out that when I fiddle with the end of the cable that is connected to the AV Receiver, the crackle stops.
I've changed the speaker wire three times but I haven't gotten rid of the crackle.

I peeled about 1 inch of wire for the speaker terminals and curled it around the connector. I peeled about 1/4 of an inch of the wire for the AV Receiver.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Any tips would be greatly appreciated because it is very annoying to have invested so much on these speakers and not being able to get perfect sound.

Thanks!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Two speakers having the same issue does not sound like a cable fault - are you sure it is both Loudspeakers?

Is it only the Loudspeakers you have recently changed - what is the rest of your system?

Joe
 

mavalos88

Novice Member
Two speakers having the same issue does not sound like a cable fault - are you sure it is both Loudspeakers?

Is it only the Loudspeakers you have recently changed - what is the rest of your system?

Joe
Hello Joe,

My whole system is this: Klipsch Reference Premiere Speakers | Klipsch
It's a 5.1.4 system.

The two frontal speakers are the ones with the problem.
My receiver is a Marantz SR7010.

I'm sure it's both front speakers. First it was only the left one, I switched the speakers to make sure it wasn't a speaker issue. Now both of them have the problem, one of them more than the other. This is why I think it's a cable issue but maybe I'm mistaken.

Thank you for your help.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Power down the system and try swapping the Front L cable over with the Centre speaker - does the problem move to the Centre or stay with the L speaker?

Joe
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I would agree with Joe, do the check he describes.

I would ask, precisely how are you wiring up the speakers and do you have a picture?

The connectors look like standard loud speakers connectors and you shouldn't need an inch of bare wire.

If you remove the bungs you can use banana plugs.

But assuming you are just using bare wire there should be a hole in the middle of the connector. Unscrew each speaker connector till you see the hole put the bare wire in it, no need to wrap round and tighten up.

Apologies if you are already doing this but sometimes people don't know the right way and given you have what sounds like an intermittent contact issue is worth checking.
 

avanzato

Active Member
The two frontal speakers are the ones with the problem.
My receiver is a Marantz SR7010.
Interesting as I've had this problem with my SR7009, once on one height channel and then on one rear speaker. On the height speaker I unplugged re-plugged the banana plugs with no success until I re-tightened the socket on the amp and it started working OK. The rear speaker I tested on another system, it was fine and when I put it back on the Marantz it now worked there too.
Can you test the speakers on another amp? I would also do a factory reset on the receiver.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
It could be a dry\bad joint on the where the speaker connector on the amp meets the main board. From the outside you wouldn't be able to tell this but movement on the connector might be enough to give a better connection albeit temporarily.
 

mavalos88

Novice Member
Well they seem to be working now.
What I did was shorten the peeled part of the wires so that they wouldn't be wrapped around the connector anymore. I also noticed one of the cables has a plastic tube in the center, the wire is wrapped around it. Im not sure if that has anything to do with the crackle issue.

I also tried switching the cables from the left and center speaker. The issue didn't seem to affect the center speaker after I did the switch.

I've tried fixing this issue before and after about a week the crackling comes back. Hopefully that won't happen again.

I'll let you guys know if anything weird happens again in the coming days.

Thank you everyone for your helpful advice!
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I am still interested in what you mean by wrapped round, take a photo if you can to show us.

Here is how a connection should be made.


Notice the connector on the left is the normal way if you don't use any type of spade\banana plug.
Open it up slide the cable in and then retighten.

You speaker connectors may have the plastic safety bungs in the middle which can be removed using a small screwdriver\pin.
 

mavalos88

Novice Member
I am still interested in what you mean by wrapped round, take a photo if you can to show us.

Here is how a connection should be made.


Notice the connector on the left is the normal way if you don't use any type of spade\banana plug.
Open it up slide the cable in and then retighten.

You speaker connectors may have the plastic safety bungs in the middle which can be removed using a small screwdriver\pin.

Hello Chuck,

Yeah I connect them the way it's shown in the first picture but instead of leaving a small amount of live wire, I left almost an inch. After passing the wire around the whole I wrapped the remaining amount around the connector and finally tightened the plastic cap to secure it.

With all the advice I got, I recently just cut the excess wire and made the connection like in the picture.

Would you recommend switching to any of the other configurations (spade or banana) to help with the quality of the connection?

The plastic I was talking about is within the wire. The wire is wrapped around this plastic core. No idea if it's just to make it more sturdy. The problem is that the plastic core doesn't stay put in the center, so I ended up cutting it to avoid any problems.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

mavalos88

Novice Member
What speaker cable are you using, it would be very unusual for it to have a plastic core?
I bought the cable at the store where I got the AV Receiver. It's 16 gauge cable. Since I started having the issue I bought 16 gauge cable from the Monster brand. That's the one that has the plastic core.

You can see the transparent plastic core in the picture below:



Like I said, I'm not sure if that is what was causing the crackle. It's very hard to keep it in the middle of all the wire.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
The plastic core purpose is two fold to prevent over bending of the wire i.e. more physical support. Secondly to reduce the amount of copper needed ...

When you terminate\cut the cable you should remove this section as its not required for the electrical connection.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Speaker (and amp) connections are something that are discussed a lot.

By having spades\banana plugs its easier to attach and detach as needed in a variety of situations.

It does introduce an extra connection in the signal path which some people may argue\hear makes a difference but I haven't personally heard one.

Also you can buy some speaker cables pre-terminated that have been using special tools so the ends don't oxidise over time, oxidisation some people say affects the sound.
 

mavalos88

Novice Member
Speaker (and amp) connections are something that are discussed a lot.

By having spades\banana plugs its easier to attach and detach as needed in a variety of situations.

It does introduce an extra connection in the signal path which some people may argue\hear makes a difference but I haven't personally heard one.

Also you can buy some speaker cables pre-terminated that have been using special tools so the ends don't oxidise over time, oxidisation some people say affects the sound.
I might give them a try just because it seems they would provide a more reliable connection.

Will wait to see if there aren't any more issues with the connection now that I reconnected the speakers.

Thanks again for everything Chuck!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'Yeah I connect them the way it's shown in the first picture but instead of leaving a small amount of live wire, I left almost an inch. After passing the wire around the whole I wrapped the remaining amount around the connector and finally tightened the plastic cap to secure it' - it is a wonder you still have a working Amp/Speakers!

No matter if you go with 'bare wire' or 4mm Banana plugs at your Speaker and AVR terminals there should be no 'bare' copper showing anywhere once the connections are cinched up.

Joe
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Banana plugs can help especially if you have difficulty hand tightening the binding posts which in itself can cause issues like you describe.
 

mavalos88

Novice Member
Hello again guys,

Sadly the problem is still there. This time, sound simply stopped coming out of the left speaker. I increased the volume and the sound came back. I also noticed that the crackle seems to happens more often with low pitch sounds. It will also happen randomly. I was listening to a song and the crackle was constant. I replayed the song and there was hardly any crackle.

I'm starting to worry it's a speaker or avr issue.

If there is any other advice you guys could give me, I'd greatly appreciate it.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Could you borrow another AVR - it does sound like an AVR problem.

Like others I would like to see a pic of the rear of your AVR with Spk cables attached to confirm all is as it should be.

Joe
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Like Joe I would suspect its the AVR. You don't mention which one or how old it is but I would suggest that you try and get the retailer to look it under warranty.
 

avanzato

Active Member
Have you done a factory reset? Customer support will almost certainly ask you to do that anyway so might as well get ahead of them.
 

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