My JL Audio sub is dead. What exactly happened?

So at my wife's request, I hooked up a Roku to my main system. Roku is a device for internet streaming movies and tv. The connection between the Roku and my preamp, a Meridian G68, was a 12 foot optical cable.

The first night, I hook up the Roku and it works perfectly.

The next night, I move some cables around, then I hook up the Roku again, exactly the same way as the previous evening. I get picture but no sound. Weird. I pondering what I might have done wrong when out of the speakers... POP. POP! POP!!!

Uh oh.

I dive for the amps, switch them off. The POPs stop immediately. But...

Now there's a TERRIFYING HIGH PITCHED PULSATING NOISE coming from somewhere in the room. I finally realize it's coming from the sub, a JL Audio Fathom 113. I dart across the room, switch it off.

I stand frozen, savoring the final moments of the fantasy that maybe things aren't that bad.

Here are some questions in no particular order...

1. I suspect the amp in the sub is fried. Does that sound right?

2. Where did those POPs come from? Could a damaged optical cable do it? Or maybe the optical cable wasn't fully seated?

3. Do I really have to ship this 150 pound sub to Florida? Or do you think there's any chance of finding someone local to fix it? (I'm in L.A.) The sub is out of warranty, btw.

4. I tried to take the panel off the rear of the amp (I know, lethal voltages inside) with the thought that maybe I would just bring the amp portion of the sub to someone local to fix. I removed about 12 screws from the rear panel and still it doesn't budge. Why can't I open this thing?

If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. If not, thanks for reading.


P.S. The rest of the system appears to be fine.
Byroncunningham's adventure here illustrates one advantage of using a separate subwoofer amp that goes on a shelf like your other components: no scary surgery or huge shipping cost required if the amp has a problem.

Although JL Audio Subs are indeed GREAT subs, if you are inclined to purchase one, I would at the very least, buy the LONGEST warranty that you can find, as they CANNOT fix these subs!!! My F112 went out after 4 years, and I called Barry @ JL Audio and was told that they DO NOT fix these, but instead want to charge approx. $1200.00 for my F112 and I'm sure much more for the bigger ones because they can only replace the whole Amp section. I was in disbelief that they had no fixes for these subs. My advice would be to forget about buying a used one completely, and in my case, I would not even buy another JL Audio Sub, as in the end, you are going to spend way TOO much money when it dies. Look at other reliable companies, SVS, Paradigm, etc!!!
Just repaired one.
The manufacturer has apparently used very low quality capacitors from CapXon. They are also 85deg.C caps, lame.
Not sure if this is intentional by JLaudio, or if they just did not know how bad caps the Chinese manufacturer used.

Deadness is specifically due to a 100uF 35V cap at the standby power supply failing.

I replaced all CapXons with high quality caps, like 125deg.C ones, Panasonic FC, Rubycon ZL and some Sanyo ones too.

The Bipolar cap were still fine in the one I fixed, but I am thinking about replacing them at the same go.

Also getting the amp module out is a bit tricky.
You have to remove the driver (screws are under the surround of the woofer) and then carefully hammer out the sub module with a mallet and sturdy piece of wood as an extension. It is very heavy, do not let it fall.

I have lots of photos of how to do this, I cannot attach them here but maybe on DIYaudio.

85 deg C caps from Chinese CapXon. Wow this is pathetic. JL need to do a recall or owners need to do a class action to force them to do a recall. This is a faulty design that is bound to fail.