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Speaker output knobs producing crackling sound from speaker

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The problem is that the potentiometer that the knob is connected to is dirty. This is a common problem with age, or quality of installed potentiometer. (potentiometer is the name of the component that the knob attaches to. It usually looks like a 1/2" long cylinder)

There are multiple solutions to this problem. The first is free & anyone can do. While the unit is off. Twist the knob back and forth quickly and rapidly numerous times. Roughly 10-15 times will do. This sometimes allows for the connections within the potentiometer to reconnect, and remove the crackle.

The second solution involves some handy work. The unit's case will have to be disassembled, and the potentiometer that the knob is attached to must be found. There is usually a relief hole somewhere on the housing. Within this relief hole one can spray contact cleaner. This cleans the contact within the potentiometer which is the cause of the crackle. Once the pot has been sprayed, rotate the knob like in step 1.

If steps 1 & 2 do not work, the potentiometer will need to be replaced. This work usually needs a professional. If you are handy with a soldering iron, it can be accomplished. Look for any particular part #'s on the crackly potentiometer, and then copy these into a online parts catalog. and are excellent resources for finding parts. Upon finding a replacement, it can be swapped out, and provide the user with a crackle free knob.

As always, make sure power to the unit is disconnected. If you are unsure of electronics, please use caution, as dangerous voltages may reside that can cause personal injury.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011


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I suggest you begin by checking the integrity of the speakers and wiring. This is a fairly easy test to perform and I usually used a pp3 9 volt battery across each pair of speaker wires to ensure each speaker produces a similar amount of crackle and hiss as the wires are wiped across the battery terminals.

Once that test has been performed and found to be satisfactory it is time to connect the wires to the output of the device; radio or amp.

If there is no sound it will be because there is no output from the device. At this point before calling the repair shop it would be a good idea to read the instruction manual to ensure the stereo is being operated correctly.
Good luck!

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Connect the piano's output to an external amplifier and speaker to properly identify problem.

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M-audio av20 right speaker has no sound coming out of it at all...

To troubleshoot the problem start with the bit that is working - the left speaker.
  1. Unplug the input leads on the back of the left speaker and swap them round.
  2. If sound now comes out of right speaker and not the left the problem is with your sound source (computer, IPOD or whatever) or the connecting cable is faulty.
  3. If there is still no sound from the right speaker try turning the volume control knob up and down quickly several times - does this produce any sound from the right speaker? Sometimes the electrical contacts get dirty and this can help clean them.
  4. Turn the speakers off using the volume control knob. Disconnect the speaker wire for the right speaker from the OUTPUT on the left speaker (push the red and black tabs downwards and gently pull the wires out. Find a small 1.5 volt battery (an AA or AAA size will do nicely) and touch the bare ends of the speaker wire briefly on the battery terminals. If you hear a slight crackling sound the wire and the speaker are okay and the problem is in the amplifier, which will need repair or replacement - not a job for an amateur.
  5. If you don't get any sound from the battery test find another piece of speaker wire (any piece of 2 core cable with bare ends will do for testing) and repeat the battery test. If you get sound then replace the speaker wire. If not remove the speaker wire again and go to next step.
  6. Lay the speaker face downwards and carefully unscrew the back panel (don't do this if it is still under manufacturers warranty - take it back for repair or replacement). Lift the back panel off carefully and slowly taking care not to pull the connecting wires inside the cabinet, which will probably be quite short. You may have to settle for just rotating the back panel slightly so that you can see inside if the wires are too short to do otherwise.
  7. Use sticky tape to tightly attach the bare ends of the speaker wires to the terminals of the battery. Touch the loose ends of the speaker wires on the two metal terminals where the internal wires are joined onto the back of the big loudspeaker cone. If this produces a crackling sound it is the internal wiring in the cabinet that needs re-soldering. Otherwise the loudspeaker unit has failed and will need replacement.

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Crackling sound from right speaker only

I'm not familiar with that model but I am familiar with the problem. If your unit has a volume knob or a balance control which is a potentiometer you need to clean them. Go to where you can find spray cleaner. I like to use blue shower as it works well and will not hurt any components. When you get the cleaner unplug your unit and locate the volume control and any others which have a rotating knob. Usually near the top is a small hole which you can spray the cleaner in. Rotate the control and follow through several times. Try the unit and it should be ok. If it isn't you will have to replace the controls as the resistance material has worn off and they cannot be repaired. Let me know how you make out or if you need anymore help.


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but it can help if you only set your computer interface to generic sound or set only in lower volume it can help. because if you continue that way, your speaker can be seriously damaged that even at the lowest volume can hear the crackling sound.

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