Do you hear this phenomenon simply listening, at any volume, or is it related to volume change, or power on/off etc? It could be just about anything. Could be as simple as ground noise, or as bad as an amp on its way out. More details would be helpful.
Is it a crackle or a rattle? If it’s a rattle I would check if everything’s tightly secured - speaker/stand coupling, whatever else can be potentially loose.
If it’s a crackle, it could be a damaged driver (possibly tweeter). Swap speaker cables to have your amp’s left channels drive your rights speaker and right channel drive the left. If the crackle travels together with the cable swap it’s the amp. If still crackling in the right speaker your speaker needs to be looked at.
Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.
It’s a crackle not rattle and it appears to be at any volume level. When I heard it, I switched sources and it kept happening. I then took the volume level to 0 and there was still some noise on the right channel. When I turned off the amplifier, you could hear a noise in the right channel.
I suppose it could also be the preamp. How do I figure out if it is the preamp?
First, I will swap both ends of end cable from left to right to see if the sound moves to the other speaker.
I’ll tighten all connections. I’m running a big AudioQuest power conditioner. Could it be that? Seems unlikely. It’s either the speaker, amp, or preamp, I think.
Sorry to hear about your troubles, first world or otherwise, and I hope your hip is mending according to plan.
First thing to do would be to isolate to a particular channel so swap your speaker cables from left to right and right to left. Im almost certain the noise will move to the left speaker but thats step one. In the event the noise stays in the right channel it s your right speaker.
Next up, replace the speaker cables to the way they were before. Turn everything on and ensure the noise is still present. Then turn off one component at a time to see if the noise ceases with each subsequent power off. Repeat until only your amp is on and if the noise persists, your last checkpoint would be to disconnect everything from the amp except power and speaker cables. If the noise is still there, then the right channel in your amp requires attention.
If the noise is NO LONGER there, then you will have to chase it back up through your chain. I would switch left interconnects with right interconnects for each piece of gear and methodically take notes as to what you. Have done and what you will do. This will help you stay on track in the event the phone rings, the doorbell sounds of if Judge Judy comes on the TV. In the event the noise moves from right to left channel then you might have a bad interconnect or more likely, that the interconnects needed to be properly seated/re-seated.
You will get it sorted, just be patient, it will work out. Getting a high quality piece of gear serviced isn’t the end of the world…it might be something as simple as seating your cables properly or removing tension from the routing of certain stiff interconnects. It might even be a fuse in your amp slowly faining or improperly seated due to transit/moving it around.
I have an update!
Ok, I swapped the inputs to the amp and the crackle stayed in the same channel as before, so, I guess it is the amp. Sigh. I really wanted an excuse to upgrade the preamp.
I’ve shut down the power to the amp and will see about getting it repaired. I hope Soundsmith is still repairing Gryphon gear.
Now, I need some kind of amp to stand in for the Gryphon
Colosseum. I hate those Class D amps but may have to get one.
Thanks for the help. Yes, I'll have to find some kind of amplifier to stand in while I wait to get the Gryphon repaired. I did this years ago when something else went wrong and the Class D amplifier I bought did not defeat the Colosseum. I guess there is no surprise there.
That AGD Tempo di Gan does sound interesting but I'm not so sure I can find one for sale. Let me know if you see one.
1. Swap left and right speaker wires at the output of the amplifier. Please switch off the power amp when you do this otherwise you may damage your speaker. If the problem also moves from right to left speaker, then you can rule out the speaker. Otherwise, problem is the right speaker probably a bad driver.
2. Now swap left and right connectors at the input side of the amp. If the problem also moves from left to right, then you can rule out the amp. Otherwise, it is the amp.
3. You can repeat this to the preamp as well.
Hope this helps
I switched the speaker cables and the crackle went to the other speaker.
Actually it’s better to start switching the interconnect from the source and head down stream until it changes channels. Just because you switched at the pre amp doesn’t preclude the problem isn’t before it. I realize you found it's the amp but that’s what i had to do to isolate a problem in my pre amp 2 months ago.
I am happy to hear you found the problem with amp. I had this happened twice with my Mark Levinson 23.5. First time, it was a capacitor gone bad. So I sent the unit to George Meyers AV and they completely replaced all electrolyte capacitors. Then earlier this year, my left channel became barely audible. I sent the unit back to George Meyers and they found the problem and fixed it at no cost to me except shipping & handling.
So I had to do this drill to isolate the problem. I have tubes upstream and some tubes can give similar problems you described. I always start from the speaker side and work up the chain to all the way to source. One time, I had a bad tube in my Audio Research PH5 phone and right channel began to fad in and out.
You have an excellent system. But have you noticed that impedance of your speaker drops to 3.5 Ohms and your amp is rated at 160 W Class A at 8 Ohms? Since it is an all Gryphon system, it may be working. However, I would recommend you find an amp also rated at 4 ohm and 2 ohm preferably power doubles as impedance is halved. Since you are now looking for an amp, this may be an opportunity to find out if you can breath new life to your speakers. For an example, ML 332 advertised below may be a worth a shot. This unit was recently serviced by George Meyers.
I think my system sounds good and has life. Here is an iPhone video of one minute of Dame Janet Baker singing Where Corals Lies from Elgar’s Sea Pictures:
I hope this works. It’s hosted on Imgur. You may need to turn the sound on by hitting the speaker icon in the upper right.
The amplifier is Class A the whole way. There are some low, and medium bias modes of 30w Class A and 70w Class A but I never use them.
The manual Is here:
the front and rear edges of the amplifier are heat sinks and, yes, they get hot. The amplifier wastes a watt in heat for every watt it produces in sound but it is a sweet sound.
Sometimes, troubleshooting is a pain. I had intermittent bursts of static in one channel. In the process of troubleshooting, I found one bad tube socket (replaced) and a bad XLR plug on an interconnect (got that re-terminated by manufacturer at no cost). I retubed everything -whole lotta tubes, almost none new stock. Still, despite this, and before sending equipment out for repair, I did a cross-channel exchange of the battery packs on my line stage- a fairly sophisticated device. In the process, I saw a bit of "fluff" on the metal contact plate. Dusted that and noise went away.
Moral: It could be something really stupid. I don’t know if there is a tech who could test some basic stuff at your home- like a house call. I almost resorted to that here in a town that’s thin on hi-fi (but lots of tube amp repair people in Austin for tube guitar/organ/other musical instrument amps).
I would also ask Grypon by phone (though you may have to set it up by email first) to tell you where they think the problem might lie if it is indeed the problem. Sometimes, those discussions give you leads to check something else.
Sympathize with you in suffering that "what’s the problem" phase until you suss it out. Some of the logic of troubleshooting is straightforward in terms of switching channels, trying to isolate to a particular component. It’s almost always got an answer, though. If that isn’t your thing maybe, depending on where you are located, somebody qualified could help do the troubleshooting. IT can be a PITA>
Good luck, you’ll find it and fix it.
Thanks everybody. I’ve seen enough to swap the amp to see what happens. I can’t take any more chances with the monster amplifier. The crackling appears to be happening more frequently now.
I’m not going down the tube road. You guys have convinced me to stay away. 😁
I know the people at Soundsmith will get it fixed. They’re wonderful.
I swapped the speaker cables at the amp and the crackle moved. It’s a channel on the amp.
I was excited about the Benchmark until I realized that the speaker binding posts will only take small spades. My Gryphon speaker cables have huge spades. To make matters worse, the Benchmark puts the speakers posts above the XLR inputs, almost guaranteeing that they’ll block my input cables. Sigh.
The reviewer of the Benchmark in Stereophile mentioned that he was looking for lighter amps because he could no longer lift or move heavier amps. I’m in the same boat, at the moment.