9 Common Problems With Amplifiers & How To Deal With Them
The amplifier allows you to listen to your favorite music and other audio sources. With this, many have amplifiers in their home. Some also have a car amplifier to enjoy a high-quality audio experience while driving on the road.
However, due to frequent use and other factors, you may encounter some problems with amplifiers which may bring inconvenience to your listening experience.
In this article, we will provide you with a list of the most common problems with amplifiers and some of the things you can do to fix them.
9 Amplifier Issues And How To Fix Them
You can find an integrated amp in almost all audio devices like an external CD player, a car head unit, a tape player, and more. It is important to know how to troubleshoot them when they start to malfunction.
There are various reasons why amplifiers can fail, the most common being operator error. Sometimes the patch cables and speaker wires are not working properly, and other times the settings on the amplifier are not correct.
Let’s take a look at some of these problems and how you can fix them:
#1 Your amplifier doesn’t turn on
It is quite annoying if you want to listen to your favorite songs, but your amplifier doesn’t turn on. If your in-house amps don’t turn on, you should consider the following questions.
- Does the wall outlet work?
- Did you plug the audio unit into the wall outlet?
- Does the other end of the power connection securely plugged into the amp?
- Did you turn on the amplifier?
You should also check if there’s enough power for running the amplifier. If the power doesn’t turn on, you can rewire the amp and check if it was correctly set up. You can also change a faulty wire.
On the other hand, a car amp that doesn’t turn on can be caused by a faulty remote turn-on wire. Remember that if the wire was hooked up improperly or has a problem, the amp may don’t get current to function.
A car amp that doesn’t flip on can be in result of the following:
- Disconnected ground
- Loose or broken power wire
- Incorrectly powered or wired amp
#2 Humming sound in the audio speakers
This amplifier problem is more common in in-house amps than in car amps. It is like an insect drone if you don’t play audio.
You can fix this by moving the audio source system and amplifier to a similar wall outlet with a surge protector. Plugging them into a similar power source can fix this issue.
#3 Distorted sound or bad sound
If you work with a standalone stereo amplifier or car amp, there can be a distortion of audio if you have a damaged or faulty amp. Among the common reasons for amp, distortion is clipping.
It occurs if there’s a problem with the amplifier and power supply voltage. There can be sound distortion if you play music too loud. Note that all amplifiers have limits, so if you push them to their limits, distortion of sound can happen with inconvenient side effects.
Check all the wires when you are not turning the volume knob all the way, and it is still distorting. Ensure the ground cables are not wired incorrectly. Something else to check is to make sure your speaker enclosure is not damaged.
#4 Speaker wires or power wire problem
The amplifier comes on, but there’s no sound? Does your amplifier turns on, but there’s no audio coming out? Read more. The source of the problem can come from the following:
- If the ground wire doesn’t have a solid signal
- If there is an unhooked or faulty power cable
- Unplugged or damaged RCA cords
- If it doesn’t get enough voltage from the source of current (car battery)
If your in-house amps don’t have sounds, it can be produced by the audio source. It can be due to a faulty cable connecting the device ( tv, phone, game console, etc.) to the amp.
For example, if you have an amp connected to Bluetooth, it may mean that you don’t properly pair the Bluetooth. Usually, this issue is a simple fix. You should double-check the Bluetooth connectivity and other connections.
You can reconnect if there’s some issue. If this issue happens to your car amplifier, the solution may depend on the cause. It can be a problem with the connection.
When the amp has a defective cable or doesn’t have enough power, fixing it may need more effort and time. If you’re not sure how to fix the specific issue with your amplifier, you can seek help from an expert.
#5 Amp turns to protect mode
Some amplifiers come with a built-in safety feature called protect mode. If there’s an amplifier problem, it will shut down automatically to avoid hardware damage.
Unluckily, if they have entered the protect mode light, the common amplifier doesn’t back on at all. The following are some reasons for the self-activated protect mode feature:
- Faulty or loose cable
- Internal error happened
- Overheated amplifier
- The amplifier was installed incorrectly
- Problems with the ground connection
To solve this problem, verify if the cables are not loose, damaged, and attached securely. You can also double-check if everything was correctly hooked. Ensure there are no blown fuses.
Clean dust or grime on the amplifier and tighten loose connections. If it happens due to overheating, keep it in a cool location. You can also remount your head unit to leave space for proper airflow.
#6 Surround sound has wonky sounds
If sound comes from the wrong direction, there is a tendency that the speakers are poorly placed. You may also connect one speaker wire to an incorrect speaker or vice versa.
Another reason for this amp issue is if there’s poor audio quality, meaning the audio source is incompatible with the amp. Solving these issues can be easy.
You can simply move the speakers to opposite sides of the space. Trace the cables to their sources if you connect the wrong wire to the wrong output or speaker. Check the audio source if the sound quality is the problem.
#7 Not enough treble or bass
Not enough treble or bass can be caused by bad equalizer settings. It can also be caused by too loud music or poor speaker placement. There’s also a tendency that there’s a faulty or loose connection or wire.
You can fix this problem by adjusting equalizer settings to increase the treble or bass. Tweak to get the sound you desire. If the problem is not on the equalizer settings, you can move speakers, subwoofers, or amp to a new location. Additionally, turn the music down.
#8 Speakers occasionally sputter
Sputtering speakers can be caused by faulty or loose wires. It can also be caused by an internal issue in your amp. It may occur due to too loud volume. To avoid this problem, you should avoid listening to high volumes more often since it can damage the speakers.
Turn down the volume if you hear sputtering sounds to avoid it from getting worse, which can damage the speakers. You can make adjustments to equalizer settings to tone down the bass.
Check the power ratings of your speakers to make sure that they can handle the power output of your amplifier. You can be adding too much power to one channel.
#9 Amplifier continuously blowing fuses
Another problem with your amplifier is when it keeps on blowing fuses. The following are some of its common causes:
- Something causes your amplifier to be too hot
- You use the wrong fuses, or a fuse blows
- There’s an issue with the ground wire
- Protect light turns on
- Your having receiver problems
You can fix this problem by checking the fuses. Does it have the proper size? In case the bad ground wire is the cause, tighten or replace the connections.
The amp can overheat due to restricted airflow, poor placement, and too high bass settings leading the fuses to blow. If this occurs, you can do the following:
- Remount it for better airflow
- Remount the amplifier in a cooler location
- Adjust the equalizer settings
- Go to an amplifier repair shop
How to fix stuck or damaged RCA cables of your amp?
This cables help transmit audio from one input device to another. If you have damaged RCA cables, it can lead to issues. You will experience audio problems like low volume, poor bass boost, and weak audio signal.
If you have an internal problem, you can disassemble the head unit. With a soldering iron, remount the connector to the PCB board. Before doing this, ensure the external audio cords are connected correctly to the audio jack of the PCB.
What are the tools you need to fix your amplifier?
Fixing any issues with your amplifier is like fixing other appliances since there are also assembled with different components. The basic components of an amplifier are cords that can be failed in delivering electricity, controllers, switches that can cause issues, and fuses that may need replacement.
Some of the tools you need in fixing a common amplifier include the following:
- Soldering iron and solder
- Can of compressed air or electrical contact cleaner spray
How to test power wires?
In troubleshooting an amplifier, you may also test the power wires. Make sure to unplug connecting cables to check if the protection light turns off. Test it through amp disconnection.
Then, inspect the cables for any damage. Check if there are burnt-out or bad wiring cables. You can use a multimeter for testing blown wires. They conduct electricity of around 12 to 14 volts.
Next, your can lift up wire connections that touch bare metal. Turn off the power before you handle the cables. Hook up the working electrical cables in testing the amp. You can pull the RCA cable from the back of the amplifier and change them with the new ones.
The RCA cables are colored, and you can plug them into the back of the amplifier easily. Then, turn on the amplifier and check if the issue was solved. If the new RCA cables work, it means that the old ones are damaged.
Amplifier Repair Tips
The main elements of an amp are a power amplifier and a pre-amplifier. Hence, the preamp converts the audio signal into an electrical current. The signal is then transmitted to the speakers after it has been boosted by the power amp.
Your amplifier captures electrical currents from the preamp and adds voltage, sending the audio signals to the speakers. If there is an issue with these elements, you might want a professional to visually inspect the amp to see if there is an internal problem.
If you don’t discover any issues with the remote wire, look for the power wires next. The remote wire is a little thicker than this one, and it should carry battery voltage. If you have a wiring problem, it is best to seek professional help to avoid any potential hazards.
Generally, there are many problems that you may encounter with your amplifier causing output signal. These problems and how to fix them are mentioned above.
If you want to make the best use of your amplifier, you should be responsible for its electronic device maintenance. With this, you can ensure that your home stereo is working correctly and avoid sound problems and further damage that can affect the sound quality.
Ensure the ground cables are not connected to the negative terminal of the battery and the power cord to the positive terminal. You can check the owner’s manual for the specific location of the terminals.
Car amps should always be working fine. Most of the time, the problem relies on a bad connection of a wire from the amp to the head unit. If you have speaker wires and amplifier problems and don’t know how to fix them, you can seek assistance from professionals.
With them, you can know the exact problem of your audio speakers, whether there are problems with the internal components, electrical contacts, power supply, protect light feature, broken cables, blown fuse, and more.
Last Updated on: July 25, 2022