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Stereo sytems have a protection circuit that alerts you by displaying "protect" when there is a electrical short circuit detected in the system, the most common short happens in a speaker, try disconnectig the speaker wires of both speakers(all speakers) at the back of the system, then play the CD or cassette player(although you will not hear anything with the speakers disconnected) and see if the unit goes into "protect" mode if the problem is still present then you have an internal short circuit and the system will need to be sent in for service or replaced(depending on age,repair costs). I would not recommend investing more than $80 into repairs. Now, if the unit does not go into "protect mode" then one of the speakers or speaker wires is shorted,be sure you check the conndition of the speaker wires before you replace the speakers, then you can replace the speakers(in a pair) and you should be back up and listening! Good luck and Merry Christmas !
The unit is in protect mode because a problem was deteected in the final output stage of the amplifier. The pop in the speakers is a god indication that there is DC current in the output stage. This is not a good thing. This is a relatively common failure of all receivers and can easily be fixed by any shop that does audio repair. Expect a parts cost in teh $30-$40 range.
According to Page 46 of the LBT-W5000 Operating Instructions:
"The display stars flashing as soon as you plug in the power cord even though you haven't turned on the system (demonstration mode).
Press DISPLAY (for LBT-W5000 / W300 / XB700 / XB500) or DEMO (STANDBY) (for other models) while the system is off. If the system is in the Power Saving mode, press POWER SAVE / DEMO (STANDBY) (for LBT-W5000 / W300 / XB700 / XB500).
The demonstration appears automatically the first time you plug in the power cord, or if there is a power outage lasting longer than half a day."
I tested this today, as my LBT-W5000 was in Demonstration Mode. It definitely works. The only catch is (at least on the W5000), and it's a minor one, you have to reset your clock afterwards.
The protect message indicates that the output amplifier section has a problem and the unit has shutdown to prevent further damage. This usually is caused by shorted transistors in the final output stage. In your case, the output amplifier is a single replaceable amp-pac (STK402-090S). This can be purchased from tritronicsinc.com using the Sharp part number: VHISTK4029S-1 at a cost of $63.32
The protect message indicates that the output amp section has a problem. Normally this requires the replacement of the output transistors or the output amp pac. Expect the repair cost to be about $20-$60 for parts plus the local labor rate.