I don't know anything about the circuitry in the 17LS but I assume it's a tube design. It may be the preamp has a leaky output coupling capacitor which is letting some DC leak through to the output, and it may also be that the preamp has a muting circuit on the output which is reacting to the DC leaking through. Come to think of it, it may just be that your muting circuit itself is defective. In any event, it sounds like a trip to the service technician is in order.
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