Question about Sony STR-DE945 Receiver

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Sony STR-DE945 Clicking Noise Sound Cutting Out

I have had an ongoing problem with my Sony STR-DE945 receiver for the past couple of months. It started making a clicking noise but thats all that would happen, i assumed it was just changing from a digital signal to analog or something. Then over the past month it started clicking but then the audio would cut out. Eventually it would click again and the audio would come back on but shortly after it would click and go back out. Sometimes playing with the A / B / OFF switch would get it to come back on. Sometimes I'll turn it on and it will be fine for the whole day, other times its a huge problem and has to be turned off and dealt with later.

2 days ago I cracked it open to see if anything looked burnt or damaged and from what I could see everything was OK. I removed and replaced all the ribbon cables to make sure they were tight, tightened any visible screws to make sure they were tight. There was even a ground clip that I tightened onto the front frame, it comes off the front panel board where the volume knob is attached to. For the next 2 days everything was fine and hoped it was possibly that ground wire causing the issue. But the clicking has now come back. It hasn't cut the audio out yet but I'm sure it will eventually.

I am looking at just getting a replacement receiver but either way I would like to get this one fixed. So if i can save $50+ taking it to a shop I will. I am capable of soldering. Does anyone have any idea as to what causing this clicking and how it can be fixed? I have seen a few people asking about this online but none of them were given a solution. If I don't get any response and end up taking it to a shop I will be sure to post what had to be replaced.

Thanks,
John

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  • JohnD23 May 06, 2008

    Thanks for the reply, I stopped by a sony authorized repair shop during lunch and the guy said without seeing it and just going by what I am saying he would think it was an output driver issue because of the clicking? Said it may cost $150ish for parts and labor. Although without seeing it, its hard to tell. I am going to check a different repair shop on the way home and see what they have to say.

    I am comfortable repairing a solder connection, but if there was a bad solder connection on the main board would it be obvious to the eye without a magnifying glass?

  • JohnD23 May 06, 2008

    I actually just came across this post on a different site. I hope its not against the rules to post it. it looks like my issue may be due to breaks in the etches on the main board. This was an issue with a str-de845:

    http://www.agoraquest.com/viewtopic.php?...

    "Recently, my receiver would work for a while, then I would hear a loud
    snap and the receiver would go into "protect" mode. I checked all my
    speaker connections including the speakers themselves for shorts, but
    found none. (incidentally, I found that the rear speakers weren't
    out-putting.) I then checked all the audio output transistors for low
    or shorted conditions with an ohm meter, but found none. Then I decided
    to look for more cold or broken solder joints on all the p.c. boards,
    but didn't find any as I had in the past. What I did find, however, was
    a hairline break in the etches across one corner of the main p.c. board
    using a magnify- ing glass. A number of etches were broken which I
    found by using an ohm meter (RX1) from solder pad to solder pad across
    each circuit etch fracture.

    To bridge these broken etches,
    Iused a very small diameter buss wire and teflon insulation on the buss
    wire to prevent the buss wires from shorting against each other, or
    against compon - ent leads. One larger etch fracture was from one of
    the audio output transistors, and I believe this was why the receiver
    went into "protect" mode.
    When Sony assembled the receiver at
    their factory, they had to slightly bend that corner of the main p.c.
    board to screw it down in place. This worked fine over time, but the
    slight stress was too much over time for those etches which developed
    the circuit breaks. probably due to warming and cooling of the interior
    from years of normal usage. Anyway, I finished my etch repairs and
    found the receiver not only worked again, but I also had sound coming
    through my rear speakers.
    I can only guess that some of those tiny etches I bridged were part of the rear speaker circuits.
    The
    main printed circuit board is made very cheaply in quality as the
    copper substrate is very thin. I believe though, that Sony had those
    p.c. boards made by a vendor. I know these p.c. boards are low quality
    because I made p.c. boards years ago for Raytheon Co. (1960's) and what
    Ray- theon made for the government was far superior quality than these
    p.c boards with paper-thin copper etches that Sony and other
    electronics firms use."


    I am going to pick up a good magnifying glass tonight and open it up again and see what I can find. I'll let you know what i find tomorrow Abrsvcs.

    Thanks,
    John


  • JohnD23 May 07, 2008

    OK here's an update. Last night I opened it back up and soldered any pads that looked strange. I couldn't find any broken etches although I didn't have a magnifying glass. I soldered the main board, the speaker terminal board and also the a/b switch board.

    After putting it all back together, everything is working fine and I will have to give it a couple days of use to make sure I don't have any clicking. Now one thing I noticed is my rear speakers are working now, I don't know if they were not working or just by chance all the channels i have been watching recently were broadcast in 2.0. So its possible I may have corrected that from the soldering but cant be 100% sure. I will update this again in a couple of days.

    John

  • JohnD23 May 10, 2008

    Ok my girlfriend told me it clicked this morning and the sound cut out for a minute, clicked again and then came back. It had been fine for a couple days so I thought it may have been fixed but nope.

    What is exactly making these clicks? Is it the blue boxes in these photos?

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m94/J...
    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m94/J...

    I had originally checked the continuity with my multimeter on almost all the pads on the mainboard and everything tested fine, which i figured since the problem only happens every now and then. What should be my next step? Follow everything those blue boxes are connected to and resolder? Can those boxes be replaced if i desolder them? When I resoldered the mainboard i didnt do everything, so I assume i can just go back and do the whole thing.

  • JohnD23 May 12, 2008

    Abrsvcs, I just want to thank you again for your help. I was actually able to find some pictures of bad solder joints from other sony receivers and I see what I missed with re-soldering the mainboard. I had actually taken some pictures of the board before I put everything back together and can clearly see the rings/slight cracks around the posts. Now that I see what I am looking for I am going to try one more time to make sure everything is 100% re-soldered.

    To answer your question, I'm not sure if higher volumes make the issue happen more often as I live in a condo and cant really crank it up. Once I get it re-soldered tonight I will see if the volume has any effect on it. If I turn up the volume and just keep the speakers disconnected would that still cause the heat to build up inside to test this out?

  • JohnD23 May 13, 2008

    Ok i spent a little over 2 hours and re-soldered everything on the main board. There were only a couple i couldn't reach from the bottom access panel so i skipped those. I didn't feel like pulling the board out again. So far so good, but its only been about 30 minutes.

    If I still have issues, i will check the output for you Abrsvcs. Which are the output transistors? And obviously the receiver would need to be turned on to get the reading correct?

  • JohnD23 May 19, 2008

    thanks for the reply ckridgway, since I re soldered the whole main board 7 days ago, everything has been solid with no issues. So I think my issue was in fact a solder issue. I will keep your suggestion in mind in case it reoccurs.

  • picasso 2 Jul 07, 2008

    I have the same issue; periodic clicking sound originating from the receiver. Occasionally my rear speakers would cut out, then for no reason the sound would come back on again. I took the unit in and had some weak solder joints re flowed....I still have the clicking sounds and occasionally the speakers cut out. I plan on taking the unit in again and have them check the speaker selector switch. When I select between A&B and A or B I can generate the same clicking sound. I let you know what I find out.

  • Anonymous Nov 22, 2008

    I had the same problem. I took it to a repair shop. I was told, that the problem was on the main board, many things needed to be re soldered. So far so good, but I have the unit back for two days.


  • poco242 Dec 08, 2008

    I have a similar problem. My center channel will quit from time to time. Cycling the power button will usually work for a short time. Tapping on the case will also make it come back on. Also the right rear only works when it wants to. Again tapping on the receiver will get it on again for a short time. I had it apart this weekend and did not see a problem, but I will do it again and look it over closer. Just the fact tapping on the unit makes it start working again tells me it has to be a bad connection somewhere. But the center chanel going out is also preceded by the relays clicking, but the rear channel quitting does not do it.

  • Anonymous Jan 24, 2009

    STR-DE945 is a total failure. Complete junk. I keep it only because it "works" and I don't want to spend money on a new one. The audio cuts out all the time. Power switch barely works, have to use the remote to turn on/off). Speaker switch seems to be culprit in audio cutout (but hey, doesn't everyone use a rubberband to keep pressure on the switch so the audio stays on ?!?). I had the switch replaced a while back and the thing worked great for a little while but then the problem reappeared. Oh yeah, the problem started in the 13th month of ownership...just after the warrenty ran out. I will never buy another Sony product, ever! I also owned their 350 disk cd changer and it broke too, complete distortion in the sound again starting just after the warranty expired. Reading these posts I suppose I could try again to find the loose connection (?) maybe but at this point I'm ready to find a tall building and SCTV the thing. Now that would be fun!

  • BLS1 Mar 23, 2009

    Same as other have reported, and specifically our front stereo speakers cut out. I can switch the sound field to one of the surround sound choices (e.g. "virtual rear enhanced") and this will allow me to hear what would normally be heard in the front L/R speakers. Sony would like $122 plus tax and shipping to fix it. Still, it's worked great for years and I hate to junk it when the repair is clearly cheaper than buying new.

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I had the same problem, I realized it was due to bad solder joints in the relays that physically turn the signal on and off to the speakers. There are relays for each speaker and a main relay for the mute/headphone. The click you hear is the relay disengaging. the relays look like narrow boxes about an inch high. If you open up the amplifier, try gently pushing on the top of the relays, if they click you know you have a bad solder joint. Remove the board, turn it upside down and re-solder the relays.

the following video shows what a relay is, and another problem can be that it is dirty, if so follow the instructions in the video to clean it.

Posted on Apr 14, 2015

  • tinker
    tinker Feb 27, 2016

    This fixed my SONY STR-DE345. Thanks, well written.

  • Joachim H
    Joachim H Apr 08, 2017

    Awesome, glad to hear! (I'm Late to the party but anyway ;) )

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For me it was an issue with the Power Button and Speaker Selector Board that attached to the Front/Center Interface Board. The prongs on that connection are something left to be desired. Really poor design and hardware (the connector). With some good cleaning and tension re-adjustment, along with zip-tying the corners of the two boards together, it seems to finally be fixed for good. Now a simple touch of the front panel doesn't kill my audio. Good Luck All!

Posted on Sep 23, 2012

  • Colin McCarthy
    Colin McCarthy Sep 09, 2015

    Thank you that was my exact problem,plus cold solder joints.

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I too have the speakers going on and off at random and have noticed sometimes they are softer than the others. I found a lot of cracked solder on almost all the boards and I found the speaker relays to be oxidized. Replaced the relays and resoldered everything and all is well again. Relays cost under $10 each, pretty inexpensive fix. Now if I can only find a way to add extra channels for 7.1 and HDMI (no this is not possible) just wishing because the newer receivers are not as nice as this one. Hope this helps others.

Posted on Sep 10, 2012

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Had similar problem of clicking noise with sound cutting out on my STR-DE945. Had a tech look @ my receiver & he soldered all the joints on the main board back as he had found some were broken. Now, it had been 5 days since I have gotten my receiver back and the clicking noise is gone. My only concer now is, I have observed that my front speaker plays very soft when I select A&B speakers. If I select B the right is loud but left soft. If I select A only the left is loud & right soft. Could it be a joint that is not soldered properly for the A&B switch that is causing this? As I have also observed, that when I do a speaker test, that my front left speaker says it is the rear right speaker playing. I have checked all the speaker wires and they are all connected properly.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010

I had the same problem with STR-DE545; I worked out over time the main board starts to sag, which in turn causes the exposed solder points to earth out on the bottom of the case. Reseating the mainboard along with using non-conductive foam to hold it up, fixed the grounding issue. Hope this helps anyone else with the same issue. :)

Posted on Jul 25, 2008

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I also had the loss of the power button and a/b switch and no audio. I found the five pins that join the power/audio a/b circuit board to the main front circuit board actually broken on the front board side and very loose. I sodered them back into place and now have my working 945 again. I still want to buy a str-dg820 but at least now I have a little more time to save up for one. Hope this helps anyone with the same problem.

Posted on Jul 05, 2008

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  • 4,234 Answers

This should be fixable for not too much as well. First check the main board for poor solder connections. Second, is the clicking effected by the volume control?
Keep us posted.
Dan

Posted on May 06, 2008

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  • ABRsvcs May 06, 2008

    Bad connections may be easy to spot. Resolder any connections that appear grainy or have rings. Update this with your results.



    I hate to disagree with another servicer, but it is unlikely that the outputs are the problem. I would start checking the voltage regulators and the "STK" voltage amp chip. (Or it mioght use a couple of multi pinned chips LMxxx, I think). I don't recall all of the parts, but I'll look them up.

    Dan

  • ABRsvcs May 07, 2008

    Poor connections can look like either open lines or at least high resistance pathways. This can cause voltage offsets in the output section which will be deteceted causing the system to shut down. You may have just "fixed" you unit.



    Dan

  • ABRsvcs May 12, 2008

    Carefully measure the 3 legs of the output transistors using a DC voltmeter and report the results here. This sounds more and more like you have a thermally sensitive transistor causing the problem. This will be difficult to find without it being on a bench. If heat is causing the problem to show up, I'd expect the problem to be more obvious at higher volume levels. Is this the case?

    Dan

  • ABRsvcs May 20, 2008

    While placing the volume at max without any speakers connected may work parts of the amp, the outputs will still be idling. This will not provide any significant load to the output section. Keep track of any further incidents of the popping paying particular attention to the volume level.



    Hopefully this has helped. Please don't forget to rate this string.

    Thanks,

    Dan

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I was able to fix this issue by opening up the receiver, removing the circuit board that the power button and speaker selector knob contact, and then reseating that board back onto the circuit board it was connected to (the one with the majority of the control buttons).  This completely resolved the problem.  The power button works again and the audio does not drop out anymore.
No soldering was required.

Posted on May 16, 2008

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