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That is a sign that the capacitors that filter the power supply ripple are bad. There is no schematic for it but if you have it unplugged and you take it apart, you can see where the power cord comes into the unit and goes to the power supply board. There should be a transformer nearby. There is usually a board that has some semiconductors on it as well as capacitors. The capacitors need replaced.
Testimonial: "From what I remember, the caps are soldered to the board?"
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I'm thinking you have an open shield ground on the RCA input side. Connecting speaker inputs possibly restores the ground. Try connecting the high level inputs then disconnect the remote end of the cables (floating the grounds).
Then get out an ohmmeter and find that open circuitor or bad solder joint between RCA ground and real ground in the speaker's amplifier. Or.... if speaker ground kills the hum and you want to use RCA Line Level input to the sub, just connect one minus speaker output on your source amp to one minus on the sub's amp.
Sounds like it could be feedback hum. Is there anything near it that could cause a reaction when unpluged? Such as a turntable, cassette etc. If so move them and see if it goes away. Even then it won't hurt the amp. I think otherwise worry when there's a hum when they are plugged in. PS check any earth connections too!
had the same problem, so I installed a radio shack ground loop isolator and fixed the problem, it has 2 rca plug inputs and 2 rca outputs, goes in-between the sub and the input cables of your system to the sub...that's if your using the rca inputs..
Hello, you can verify that your receiver is working or not. When you are playing a dvd unplug the audio RCA plugs (red and white) from the back of the Sony dvd player. Touch the tips of each of the RCA plugs with your fingertip. You will hear a buzz sound coming from the speaker associated with the plug if the receiver is working\ i.e. touch the red RCA plug tip and the right speaker will hum...touch the white tip and the left speaker will hum or buzz. This will not hurt your system or speaker. If you do not hear the hum turn the volume to 3 or so and wet your fingertip and tap the tip of the RCA connectors. You will hear "pops" coming from the respected channel. I believe your cd\dvd is at fault. Good Luck!