Sherwood AX-4103 Amplifier problems...

JDCFH

Well-known Member
Right, i have had this amplifier for a few years now and recently it has started randomly clicking like it does when turned on or off while it listening to music. Sometimes it clicks rapidly for about 5 seconds then stops sometimes it clicks and then the sound seems really muffled. I have my speakers bi-wired so when its muffled im guessing the tweeters are not being driven.

Does anyone know what may be the problem? Is it fixable?

If not what would be a good replacement for no more than £200

Thanks :)
 

JDCFH

Well-known Member
I have decided to replace the amp.

Can anyone recommend a decent one for around £200 that would be suitable for me?

I will be hooking up my PS3 and my P.C to the amp. I no longer use my CD unit as i have ripped all my music onto my P.C

I am running a pair of Eltax Liberty Series 5+ floor standing speakers and i listen to music a lot on the system so it would get a lot of heavy use.

Any advice greatfully recieved

Cheers

CFH
 

Roger Thornhill

Active Member
I am guessing you have the Bass drivers on 'Speakers A' (for eg) and the HF drivers on 'Speakers B'.

If so, you may have intermittent solder connections on one of the speaker relays (the one for the HF drivers as the sound goes muffled).

Eminently fixable by someone who can use a soldering iron.

:lesson:UNPLUG FROM THE MAINS BEFORE OPENING:lesson:
 

JDCFH

Well-known Member
I am guessing you have the Bass drivers on 'Speakers A' (for eg) and the HF drivers on 'Speakers B'.

If so, you may have intermittent solder connections on one of the speaker relays (the one for the HF drivers as the sound goes muffled).

Eminently fixable by someone who can use a soldering iron.

:lesson:UNPLUG FROM THE MAINS BEFORE OPENING:lesson:

Yeah i have the speakers bi wired.

I have found that banging the unit the amplifier is on temporarily rectifies the problem and makes the tweaters kick back in. It is only the tweaters that cut out.

What if i put 2 sets of wire in the speaker output set B and stopped using speaker output set A?? Would this do the same sort of thing?

I dont mind buying another amplifier as i have had this Sherwood one for well over 5 years now and it has served me well.

I have seen the NAD c315bee for under £170 but then i saw this TEAC AR160 on the same sight for £200 which is my budget.

I dont know what would be better for me?
 
Last edited:

Roger Thornhill

Active Member
That does indeed sound like you have a poor solder connection on the relay, you giving it a touch of the Birmingham Screwdriver temporarily curing the fault!

Yes, taking both speaker runs from the one output will cure the fault.

Getting rid of the second run completely and re-introducing the supplied link at the speaker end and just running the one cable from the good output will also cure your problem.

I have never been convinced about bi-wiring. A marketing ploy by cable manufacturers if you ask me, all making the Haberdasher to the Emperor rub his hands together.;)
 

JDCFH

Well-known Member
Amp has stoppe working turns on but have no sound now from either channel A or B... Would leaving an amp switched on not doing anything for a long time be bad for it?

I am now torn between either the NAD c315bee or a TEAC AR-610 can get both for around the same money.

I have read a lot about how good the NAD is but cant find any information on the TEAC which is twice as powerful as the NAD i believe? Nad is 40watts per channel TEAC is 90watts per channel

Have looked at my Eltax Liberty 5+ and they are rated at 100w to 150w peak

I have also searched on here and people have recommended YAMAHA AX397 and also possibly a Harman Kardon 980?
 

Roger Thornhill

Active Member
Amp has stoppe working turns on but have no sound now from either channel A or B... Would leaving an amp switched on not doing anything for a long time be bad for it?

I am now torn between either the NAD c315bee or a TEAC AR-610 can get both for around the same money.

I have read a lot about how good the NAD is but cant find any information on the TEAC which is twice as powerful as the NAD i believe? Nad is 40watts per channel TEAC is 90watts per channel

Have looked at my Eltax Liberty 5+ and they are rated at 100w to 150w peak

I have also searched on here and people have recommended YAMAHA AX397 and also possibly a Harman Kardon 980?


No, leaving it on, idleing should not in itself cause problems, short term, but if it was its time to die then so be it. It does seem strange though.

I can't comment on the other amps you list as i haven't listened to any of them. I recommend you do so before parting with your hard-earned Nelsons.

Larger power output does not mean a better amp, my amps for stereo listening are only 12Watts, but partnered with some speakers with reasonably good sensitivity it is loud enough for my room.

Go and have a listen before you buy.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The problem, as others have surmised, seems to be the relay, but we must ask ourselves if we have a defective relay, or if the relay is indeed doing its job of protecting the amp and speakers, and is therefore responding to another problem outside the relay that is causing it to trip?

As far as new Amps go, the NAD C315 is a excellent high quality amp that is equally highly regarded by critics. I would rate this as above average quality, and at the same time excellent value.

However, the Teac Receiver, I would rate as almost too good to be true. It is almost too much amp for too little money, and as such, I suspect real compromises in quality. For someone on a desperation budget, determine to get the most for their money, the Teac or the similar Sony, might be a good 'get by' amp.

The suggested Yamaha AX397 (£180 - Peter Tyson's) is a 60 watt amp is a decent amp for the money. I don't think it equals the quality of the NAD, but it is still acceptable quality. An amp like this is a reasonable blend of quantity vs quality. Though reviews on this particular amp seem to be lukewarm. It is average quality with average sound, though it does represent good value.

As a recommendation on amps in general, it has been my experience that amps with 40 watts or more per channel to an 8 ohm load preform better. For me, this is a low in power as I'm willing to go. Ideally, you want 50 watts per channel or more, but 40 watts is acceptable. Below 40 watts is only good for casual listening, and it limits the available speakers you can use.

Another amp you might look into is the Marantz PM5003, which is a 40 watt stereo amp, in roughly your price range.

The Harman Kardon is something of a wild card. Harman has been in business making audio equipment for decades, but this particular line is relatively new to the UK. The feedback we are getting from people who have these amps is that they preform well above their price. And, while on the low side, they are not really price out of proportion with similar amps and receivers.

Of the amps we've discussed, it is hard to go wrong with the highly rated and proven NAD. However, if you are interested, it would certainly be worth while to give a listen to the Harman Kardon amps. You get a very powerful amp for a very low price. But not as low and cheap as the low end Teac or Sony.

Myself, unless I was desperate, I wouldn't consider the Teac or Sony (STR-DH100).

In terms of quality, I would put the NAD at the top in this price range. In terms of value, while not sacrificing much quality, I would seriously consider the Harman Kardon.

But ultimately, reviews and people's opinions won't tell you as much as your own ears. Best give a listen, and decide for yourself.

Steve/bluewizard
 

JDCFH

Well-known Member
The problem, as others have surmised, seems to be the relay, but we must ask ourselves if we have a defective relay, or if the relay is indeed doing its job of protecting the amp and speakers, and is therefore responding to another problem outside the relay that is causing it to trip?

As far as new Amps go, the NAD C315 is a excellent high quality amp that is equally highly regarded by critics. I would rate this as above average quality, and at the same time excellent value.

However, the Teac Receiver, I would rate as almost too good to be true. It is almost too much amp for too little money, and as such, I suspect real compromises in quality. For someone on a desperation budget, determine to get the most for their money, the Teac or the similar Sony, might be a good 'get by' amp.

The suggested Yamaha AX397 (£180 - Peter Tyson's) is a 60 watt amp is a decent amp for the money. I don't think it equals the quality of the NAD, but it is still acceptable quality. An amp like this is a reasonable blend of quantity vs quality. Though reviews on this particular amp seem to be lukewarm. It is average quality with average sound, though it does represent good value.

As a recommendation on amps in general, it has been my experience that amps with 40 watts or more per channel to an 8 ohm load preform better. For me, this is a low in power as I'm willing to go. Ideally, you want 50 watts per channel or more, but 40 watts is acceptable. Below 40 watts is only good for casual listening, and it limits the available speakers you can use.

Another amp you might look into is the Marantz PM5003, which is a 40 watt stereo amp, in roughly your price range.

The Harman Kardon is something of a wild card. Harman has been in business making audio equipment for decades, but this particular line is relatively new to the UK. The feedback we are getting from people who have these amps is that they preform well above their price. And, while on the low side, they are not really price out of proportion with similar amps and receivers.

Of the amps we've discussed, it is hard to go wrong with the highly rated and proven NAD. However, if you are interested, it would certainly be worth while to give a listen to the Harman Kardon amps. You get a very powerful amp for a very low price. But not as low and cheap as the low end Teac or Sony.

Myself, unless I was desperate, I wouldn't consider the Teac or Sony (STR-DH100).

In terms of quality, I would put the NAD at the top in this price range. In terms of value, while not sacrificing much quality, I would seriously consider the Harman Kardon.

But ultimately, reviews and people's opinions won't tell you as much as your own ears. Best give a listen, and decide for yourself.

Steve/bluewizard

I have gone slightly over my price and gone for the Harman Kardon amplifier. Have read a lot of positive reviews that i have had to translate and found it online for £249 some places were selling it for £100 more than that.

I will when it arrives give it a blast and post some feedback as like you say there are hardly any English reviews anywhere online.

Thanks for you reply :thumbsup:
 

Roger Thornhill

Active Member
The problem, as others have surmised, seems to be the relay, but we must ask ourselves if we have a defective relay, or if the relay is indeed doing its job of protecting the amp and speakers, and is therefore responding to another problem outside the relay that is causing it to trip?...................

CFH did say that only the HF drivers fail, the bass drivers continuing to output. This would lead one to the conclusion that the 'protection' is not being activated, there not being a fault with the output stage but that the relay itself, or more likely the soldering of said relay is defective as the use of the 'Birmingham Screwdriver' can re-instate the HF output.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
CFH did say that only the HF drivers fail, the bass drivers continuing to output. This would lead one to the conclusion that the 'protection' is not being activated, there not being a fault with the output stage but that the relay itself, or more likely the soldering of said relay is defective as the use of the 'Birmingham Screwdriver' can re-instate the HF output.

It depends on where the relay is in the circuit. Usually these are power on / power good relays, which means they activate the power supply. It is possible that the amp has a short capacitive ride through, that is coming into play.

It might be worth fiddling with the Sherwood amp relay solder joints. But since the amp seems to have given up the ghost completely, it might be time to move on.

To the original poster, do let us know your impressions of the Harman Kardon amp. This is new to the market, and while responses have been positive, they have also been very few.

Steve/bluewizard
 

JDCFH

Well-known Member
Will definately post a review sometime this week. I would think the amp should be here by wednesday.

Would you suggest i look at upgrading my speakers as well?
 

Roger Thornhill

Active Member
1)It depends on where the relay is in the circuit. Usually these are power on / power good relays, which means they activate the power supply. It is possible that the amp has a short capacitive ride through, that is coming into play....................................

2)But since the amp seems to have given up the ghost completely, it might be time to move on.

1) Not strictly true. Speaker protection relays are just that, contacts right at the very output terminals. They are activated by a ciruit detecting any DC component at the 'output' of the output stage, where there should be none, disconnecting the output terminals should there be any DC detected.
No protection circuit for the power supply is ever included in Amps of this type and price. The only relays in the power supply are there if the Amp has a 'standby' circuit, this relay bringing into operation the larger supply for the output stage. There is no sensing circuit detecting incorrect or lack of the supplies, if the output stage, or any other part of the circuit fails the main supply stays constant.

This is not the case however on larger (esp Theatre) Amps (Yamaha for definate (DSP-Z9 for eg)) where the power supply is continually monitored and if found to be defective the whole unit shuts down.

2) Quite.
 

JDCFH

Well-known Member
Harman/Kardon 980 arrived today :thumbsup:

I unpackaged it today and first thing i noticed is how heavy the unit is... 12KG nearly twice as heavy as my last amplifier.

everything about it feels nice and sturdy the volume knob has a nice resistance to it and is lit up bright white when turned on.

All the connectors on the back are gold including the hefty speaker terminals.

Its sounds very good even through my budget connection to my P.C. very clear and bright high end cymbal crashed etc sound good and the low end is very clear and pronounced. Will be able to give it a proper test at weekend with guitar hero and more music.

Am now going to re-rip my music collection to lossless to get full benefit as at the moment everything is 320kbps aac.
 

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