Marantz Amp Woes...

valve90210

Standard Member
Hi all

Firstly, I hope this is in the right place, if there is a better area for it, please can a friendly mod move it there for me.

Secondly, apologies in advance for a long post!!!

For several years now I have had a lovely Marantz SR5000 amp powering my home cinema setup which also consists of a Wharfdale dvd 750 (remember those??), KEF Q35s, Q95 and Q85s. It's all sounded lovely for ages, however it started playing up about a year or so ago, AFter my girlfriend and I moved into a flat together. Before this I was living at my parents house and there it mainly was fine although if it got too warm, the centre channel would get crackly.

The problem I have is that it cuts out, intermittently, for a fraction of a second, literally just a moment, long enough to register that the sound has cut out and then it's back again. It only happens when watching films, in analogue stereo mode (ie when I'm listening to music) it's fine!

At first I thought it must be the DVD player dying on me, so I borrowed one from my Mum and Dad which was working fine at their house. I set it all up with my amp etc and put on a film to check. The same thing happened, the sound cut out, indicating that it wasn't the dvd player at fault.

I wondered if years of dust inside the amp might be causing a problem so I opened it up and using an air duster, I cleaned it all out. Sadly this didn't fix the problem.

Next I tried a different digital Coaxial interconnect to see if the one I was using was failing in someway. Again, this didn't seem to make any difference, the sound was still cutting out.

The next thing I tried was using the other digital coax input on the amp. I tried this and again the sound was cutting out.

This rather left me feeling it must be the amplifier causing the problem. I took it along to my local friendly Hifi store (where I have purchased all my equipment) and got them to have it looked at by someone they know that repairs Hifi gear. I explained what the problem was and they got it looked at. A few days later I went back in to pick the amp up and was told that there was indeed a problem, the surround processor was on it's last legs. It wouyld apparently be possible to fix it but it would be very pricey as the part would have to come from Marantz, I was told it would be about £170 to fix.

At this point, I thought about it and decided that this was a lotof money towards a brand new amp which would be much more modern and more future proof, with HDMI connections, HD format decoding, video upscaling etc etc.So I decided to stick with my current amp for the time being and get saving for a new amp.

So, for the last nearly a year we've been watching TVs with the dvd player hooked up to the TV, and not using the amp as the sound cutting out is so so annoying, it really does ruin watching films as any tensions/excitement etc is completey lost as soon as the sound cuts out for a moment.

Having recently seen the prices increasing on all sorts of Hifi equipment, I decided that now might be a good time to get a new amp before things get even more expensive.

Saturday I went along to my local hifi shop to listen to a Marantz SR6003. I was very impressed with it and really liked the way it sounds, very similar in nature to my current amp which I love! Now, at present I could order this amp online for about £650, whereas most shops round my way havew already increased their prices on this to the £800 mark!

However, before ordering, I wanted to check that my amp was still cutting out and being a nuisance, so Saturday evening we stuck a film (Cloverfield) on through the amp, and to my surprise, it didn't cut out once. We then stuck on the animatrix which we got second hand. As we were watching, there were several moments where the picture broke up a bit and the sound cut out, but I have a feeling that was more to do with the disc being scratched/dirty rather than anything else.

Yesterday evening we put on Jumper (brand new dvd) and again, no sound cut outs at all.

Now I am left wondering if it really is a problem with the amp or not, and I don't really know what to do. The only thing different when playing the last couple of films through the amp was the fact that we were watching them fairly late in the evening, so I had the volume down around 50-55 whereas normally I would have it at about 65ish. I have lots of thoughts buzzing round my head and I don't know the answers, can anyone help me out at all?


1) Could it be that the problem is only occuring when I have the volume turned up?

This I shall test when I get in this evening, could it be the that the higher volume is causing more a strain on the amp and that's when the problem arises?

2) Could it be the fact that the amp has not been used for films for a while and has sort of settled down (it has been used for music though not for such extended times as films and not massively often) that has meant it's not had the problem, but if used more frequently, would have the same problem again?

3) Could it be a temperature related issue and with it being rather chilly at the moment and the amp isn't getting too hot and hence the problem isn't occurring?

After all, I have had some issues with the amp when it's been very warm, with the centre channel getting crackly and muffled...

4) Could it in anyway be something relating to the electrical supply?
I've often thought we have something odd about the electrics in the flat as I use X10 to control my lights etc, and sometimes the modules just don't respond to commands one minute and the next minute they do.

5) Related to (4) could it be that there are fluctuations in the power caused by heating turning on or off, fridge cutting in etc etc, could this cause the problem of the amp cutting out for a moment as this happens?

6) Also related to (4) could it be a combination of elements like the higher volume causing the amp to require more power and the power supply not being able to cope?


If anyone could offer up any advice or thoughts on the above or indeed anything related I would be very grateful as I am rather unsure about how to progress now, and what makes it worse, I know I need to act faairly quickly before the prices go up everywhere as if I do end up going down the new amp route I'd kick myself if the price went up to £800 in a week or so.

ALso I would kick myself if the problem turned out not to be the amp itself but was something to do with the electrics in the flat and having gone out and spent a load of money on a new amp, the problem continued (would anywhere let me return an amp I purchased because it turned out there was a problem with my electrics and not my old amp so I didn't need a new one?)

Right now I feel rather like my head is spinning cos there are so many unanswered questions and I just don't know what to do, so any help/advice etc would really really be appreciated!!!

In the mean time, this evening I shall continue to test the amp, using discs I know are clean and unscratched and whacking the volume up and seeing what happens.

As mentioned, any help much appreciated.

Valve
 

valve90210

Standard Member
Well, have now watched the best part of 2 films this evening. The first suffered with sound cutouts a few times.

The second didn't suffer from any. The only difference with the second film, I unplugged a few items which were previously plugged into the same multisocket extension.

I have been thinking, as my lounge, where everything is setup, only as a total of 3 plug sockets, all my av gear is plugged into a single multisocket extension, could it be possible that this might in someway be causing the sound cutout problem???

Maybe something interferes with the digital audio signal from the dvd player to the amp, or maybe there are fluctuations that the dvd player doesn'tlike which causes a hiccup in the digital signal???

Any one got any thoughts?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'm thinking it might be a cable connection or a bad cable. You should be able to determine this by wiggling the wires individually as see if you get a cut out or crackle. Wiggle the wire, not the connector.

Make sure all you connections including the connections at your speakers, are clean and tight. Make sure your cables are in good shape.

I'm suspicious of the cables because it got worse after the move. You may have connected something in correctly. Make sure all the (+) connections go to the corresponding (+) connection, etc....

Just a thought.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Gadgetcity

Active Member
digital Coaxial

Try optical or even analogue. Coaxial digital can get interrupted by mains interference. It normally only happens on long cables. Mine did it every time the fridge compressor, hot water pump or kitchen lights were switched. The cable was 15 metres long. Switched it for a 20m optical and haven't had a dropout since. I also use a short digital coax and that is fine on the same input the long one was on before.
 

valve90210

Standard Member
I did wonder if this might be the caus of the problems, and have tried two different Digital Coax leads, and it's happened with them both. It's such a short distance I'd have thought it wouldn't be a problem but there is an awful lot of electrical gear all in the one area and sadly having to be plugged into multiplug extensions as there is only the one built in plug socket, which is what got me thinking.

That along with something I read the other day relating to the dvd player I'm using.

"The only negative aspect is that it can be affected by other electrical applicances switching on, such as central heating or fluorescent lights. This manifests itself as a half second mute of the soundtrack. You might not suffer from the problem, it all depends on the wiring in your house. If you do, it can be solved by using a surge suppressor plug at the mains socket where you plug the player in."
from: DVD Reviewer - Hardware Reviews - The Wharfedale DVD-750


I might see if I can get a short optical lead at the weekend, in the mean time I'm doing a lot of testing, and am going to unplug everything in the area which isn't needed for dvd playback.

My fear is that if the amp is dying, the prices will rocket before I get a new amp, or else I'm worried that it's something related to the electrics etc and I'll have the same problem having spent hundreds on a new amp.
 
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leedswillprevai

Active Member
Hi I have an old amp which I am trying to get working, the sound when played is very crackly almost akin to bad reception from a radio station. It is definitely the amp at fault because with my usual amp the speakers play absolutely fine. I am trying to find out what the specific cause of this problem is at the moment unfortunately.
 

JohnTSI

Standard Member
valve90210
I am the proud owner of a Marantz SR-5000 OSE,which i'm using for the last 8 years,since April 2001.
I don't have any problems at all and i am quite satisfied with its performance even though i would like it to be better equiped with more DSP options.
I just love its sound as it is very clear,dynamic and at the same time not aggressive at all.

So,from the very first day of its use,i have a small cooling fan connected to its AC Outlet.This provides the amp. with the needed ventilation in order to operate normally,at normal temps.
No cuts,no noises,no safe modes.
A friend of mine,uses the Yamaha DSP-AX620 and had many problems at the beggining with cuts when the amp was playing for more than an hour at relatively medium to high levels.
From the time that he had his small cooling fan placed at the back of the Yamaha,all those cut/interrupt problems were solved.
You have nothing to lose by trying it to your Marantz as well.It is very cheap and if there is no improovement you can always use it to your next new amp.:)

e.g : DC fans, AC Fans, ebm papst, cooling fans, blowers
 
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