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Discussion Starter #1
Recently, I have been getting a strang "pop" in my right front door speaker, most often when the car is started. Also intermittantly during drives. With radio off, still occurs on startup. Sound is ok though. So, no emergency, but on the list to fix.

Today, no pop on startup. A few minutes later, anothe pop and then a noticable change in sound. All the "depth" is gone, everything sounds kind of tinny, like listening to AM on a mono radio.

Radio still shows stereo and condition is the same on CD. Now, I do have a bunch of Nakimichi amps driving my stereo, and still have the DSP. 'also, all the speakers were replaced sometime back with JL's.

Anyone hazard a guess? Could be a fuse, but the annoying "pop" were probably a precurser to something shorting out.

Any suggestions? Will probably have to wait until next weekend before I can get it looked at. Just have to listen to the melody of the s62 mit headers.....:D
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Have you checked the connections at the speakers? I was getting a pop like that on my front passenger speaker and the connection had come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you checked the connections at the speakers? I was getting a pop like that on my front passenger speaker and the connection had come loose.
No, but the speaker seemed to work.

But now ALL the sound is lousy, not just the speaker, so I tend to discount the current problem as just the speaker (although it may be on its way out also).

I think I have another problem and the only thing I can think of effecting radio and CD would be an amp. I don't know if it is the original or the Nakamichi's. Not even sure where the fuses are that power everything up, as I had some pros do the wiring and install.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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I really don't think a fuse would have blown since if a fuse blows you loose the connection.

If all the sound is lousy.. it could be the bmw radio that controls the radio, cd, etc. However, when it comes to trouble shooting audio I really find it hard to pin the blame on an amp or component without first checking all of the wiring connections and fuses. Is it possible for you to disconnect your Nakamichis and then test them one at a time whlie playing music through the stereo? If all the Nakamichis come out with the same bad sound you can assume that it is something that they all connect to and not the Nakamichis.

Maybe some of the audio wizards will chime in soon... good luck on hunting down the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really don't think a fuse would have blown since if a fuse blows you loose the connection.

If all the sound is lousy.. it could be the bmw radio that controls the radio, cd, etc. However, when it comes to trouble shooting audio I really find it hard to pin the blame on an amp or component without first checking all of the wiring connections and fuses. Is it possible for you to disconnect your Nakamichis and then test them one at a time whlie playing music through the stereo? If all the Nakamichis come out with the same bad sound you can assume that it is something that they all connect to and not the Nakamichis.

Maybe some of the audio wizards will chime in soon... good luck on hunting down the problem.
Thanks for the suggestions. Not sure how all the Nakamichi's are hooked, but I can access through the trunk and perhaps figure out how to disconnect one at a time. Of course, I don't want to screw anything else up, so I will be proceeding cautiously until I can get someone knowledgable to look at it.
I wonder if it could be just the sub? I wouldn't think all the fullness would be attributed to that, just the extra bass.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. Not sure how all the Nakamichi's are hooked, but I can access through the trunk and perhaps figure out how to disconnect one at a time. Of course, I don't want to screw anything else up, so I will be proceeding cautiously until I can get someone knowledgable to look at it.
I wonder if it could be just the sub? I wouldn't think all the fullness would be attributed to that, just the extra bass.
Regards,
Jerry
I don't think it could be a sub. Normally they are driven by an amp or channels on an amp that has a low pass filter rendering the amp or channels for the subwoofer to bass only signals. Fullness is normally the midrange speakers.. so maybe the amp or the crossovers driving the tweeters / midranges is having issues?
 

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Hi Jerry,

I'm presuming based on your above comments that you have a Cleansweep or equivalent installed?

You have an '01, but do you have the digital coax cable connecting your CD Changer to your amp, or do you have the 3 pin connector that connects it to your radio?

If you have the cable connecting it to your amp, then I will state with near certainty that your issue is the amp.

If you have a cable connecting your CD to your radio, then I'm only willing to go 95% that your amp is bad, but it is possible the radio is bad. The only way I know to determine which is to connect the radio outputs directly to a speaker and listen to it. Normally you can do this with the RCA's, but in your case you'll need to disconnect the DSP amp input harness and stick a couple of wires into it to check. If it sounds ok, then your amp is bad. If it doesn't, then your radio is bad.

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Jerry,

I'm presuming based on your above comments that you have a Cleansweep or equivalent installed?

You have an '01, but do you have the digital coax cable connecting your CD Changer to your amp, or do you have the 3 pin connector that connects it to your radio?

If you have the cable connecting it to your amp, then I will state with near certainty that your issue is the amp.

If you have a cable connecting your CD to your radio, then I'm only willing to go 95% that your amp is bad, but it is possible the radio is bad. The only way I know to determine which is to connect the radio outputs directly to a speaker and listen to it. Normally you can do this with the RCA's, but in your case you'll need to disconnect the DSP amp input harness and stick a couple of wires into it to check. If it sounds ok, then your amp is bad. If it doesn't, then your radio is bad.

d-
OK, what foreign language was that?:blink:

I don't know what cable is connecting the amp, (late build May '01), but I also have a set of three Nakamichi amps/crossovers installed to run everything. The wiring was done by our local high end car stereo shop.

To make matters even stranger, on the way home tonight, I start the car with the radio now off. I get a samll "pop", go to the trunk where the extra amps are, and see the Nakamichi's are powered up even though the radio is off (so I am guessing amps, not radio problem, although I can't tell whether nakamichi amp or dsp amp issue).

Turn on radio and WTF? Everything sounds normal!
Drive home, switch from radio to CD and back, all is good.

I will still get this checked out at the stereo shop that did the install, but at least temporarily, I have tunes!
Regards,
Jerry
 

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OK, what foreign language was that?:blink:

I don't know what cable is connecting the amp, (late build May '01), but I also have a set of three Nakamichi amps/crossovers installed to run everything. The wiring was done by our local high end car stereo shop.
Geek :)

You are on the wrong side of your amplifier - I know you have amplifiers after your DSP amp, but we need to determine what is happening before your amp...

Go to your CD changer. Loosen the 2 screws on the forward facing side of the bracket. This will allow you to lift the CD Changer up and out to look at the bottom. If you see 1 rectangular and 1 round plug, then your factory amplifier is bad. If you see 2 rectangular plugs then you need to do the test I indicated earlier, or take the car to someone who speaks geek :)

To make matters even stranger, on the way home tonight, I start the car with the radio now off. I get a samll "pop", go to the trunk where the extra amps are, and see the Nakamichi's are powered up even though the radio is off (so I am guessing amps, not radio problem, although I can't tell whether nakamichi amp or dsp amp issue).
As they should be - if the ignition is on, so are the amps. No amps, no directions from your navigation system :)

Turn on radio and WTF? Everything sounds normal!
Drive home, switch from radio to CD and back, all is good.

I will still get this checked out at the stereo shop that did the install, but at least temporarily, I have tunes!
Regards,
Jerry
Another successful problem resolution - let me know if you need any more help :)

j/k - it sounds to me like you have an intermittent short in one of your components. My money is still on the stock amp...

btw - it is highly unlikely all your Naks failed at once unless there was a serious power short somehow. I wouldn't worry about them...

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #10
brief update

Geek :)

You are on the wrong side of your amplifier - I know you have amplifiers after your DSP amp, but we need to determine what is happening before your amp...

Go to your CD changer. Loosen the 2 screws on the forward facing side of the bracket. This will allow you to lift the CD Changer up and out to look at the bottom. If you see 1 rectangular and 1 round plug, then your factory amplifier is bad. If you see 2 rectangular plugs then you need to do the test I indicated earlier, or take the car to someone who speaks geek :)



As they should be - if the ignition is on, so are the amps. No amps, no directions from your navigation system :)



Another successful problem resolution - let me know if you need any more help :)

j/k - it sounds to me like you have an intermittent short in one of your components. My money is still on the stock amp...

btw - it is highly unlikely all your Naks failed at once unless there was a serious power short somehow. I wouldn't worry about them...

d-
The problem was kind enough to reoccur on the drive home last night. So I left everything on and went to the trunk where the amps are mounted: the left amp is showing a red light instead of green light! So, no power (for whatever reason). That of course explains the lose of sound.

It appears my right and left amps are plugged into the center amp, so whatever the left amp controls (midrange??) is intermittantly going off/shorting out. At least I know where to focus the repair. Could be as easy as a bad wire or as bad as an amp going south...
Regards,
Jerry
 

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I thought all of your channels were causing problems? Obviously not :)

Anyway, glad you were able to track down at least a little of the problem.

Red Light generally means a protection fault - could be internal (to the amp) or external (wiring or a shorted speaker).

Double check your speaker wire connections and make sure there are no crossed wires at the amp terminals. If there are no crossed wires, then disconnect all the wires from the amplifier. If the protection light comes back then there is an internal fault and you need a new amp. If the protection light doesn't return then you have a problem in the wiring or in a speaker.

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I thought all of your channels were causing problems? Obviously not :)

Anyway, glad you were able to track down at least a little of the problem.

Red Light generally means a protection fault - could be internal (to the amp) or external (wiring or a shorted speaker).

Double check your speaker wire connections and make sure there are no crossed wires at the amp terminals. If there are no crossed wires, then disconnect all the wires from the amplifier. If the protection light comes back then there is an internal fault and you need a new amp. If the protection light doesn't return then you have a problem in the wiring or in a speaker.

d-
Thanks. the system has been in place over 3 years. Given that analysis, I am guessing a bad speaker in the passenger front door, that is the one that generates the "pop" sound. It is the 5 inch round. Do I have to pull the door panel to get behind there to check the wiring? Would a speaker going bad cause the problem?
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Jerry
 

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Thanks. the system has been in place over 3 years. Given that analysis, I am guessing a bad speaker in the passenger front door, that is the one that generates the "pop" sound. It is the 5 inch round. Do I have to pull the door panel to get behind there to check the wiring? Would a speaker going bad cause the problem?
Regards,
Jerry
Yes, it is entirely possible that the speaker has gone bad (especially if you listen at high volume levels). An internal short in the voice coil would cause the amplifier to see no resistance in the line and go into protect mode. Easiest place to disconnect and check is probably at the amp, but...

Yes, if you want to check at the speaker itself you can. You'll need to remove the door panel, and then depending on how your speakers were installed you may need to remove the speaker from the factory baffle (box).

Once you have the speaker itself accessible (and can get at the speaker terminals) you need to disconnect the speaker wire and then check the resistance (using a multimeter) across the speaker terminals. It should be somewhere in the 4ohm range. Considerably less than that (let's call it below 3) and you need a new speaker...

Alternatively, you can disconnect the speaker at the amp and check the same thing using the speaker wires leading to the speaker - but if you don't know which speaker is which on the amps this won't help much :)

d-
 

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Thanks. the system has been in place over 3 years. Given that analysis, I am guessing a bad speaker in the passenger front door, that is the one that generates the "pop" sound. It is the 5 inch round. Do I have to pull the door panel to get behind there to check the wiring? Would a speaker going bad cause the problem?
Regards,
Jerry
The wiring issue as Doug said could be at the amp or the speaker. Checking the wiring at the speaker will require you to pull the door panel. As a last resort you could trace the speaker wiring back through the car looking to see if the wire got frayed or shorted out on the car between the amp and the speaker.

A speaker going back could cause a problem since it could change the load that the amp is expecting to see from a particular channel.

However, I'd follow Doug's advice on checking the amp before pulling the door panel since it is easier to unplug speaker wire at the amp than undo the door and muck around in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
update

The wiring issue as Doug said could be at the amp or the speaker. Checking the wiring at the speaker will require you to pull the door panel. As a last resort you could trace the speaker wiring back through the car looking to see if the wire got frayed or shorted out on the car between the amp and the speaker.

A speaker going back could cause a problem since it could change the load that the amp is expecting to see from a particular channel.

However, I'd follow Doug's advice on checking the amp before pulling the door panel since it is easier to unplug speaker wire at the amp than undo the door and muck around in there.
I had the high repair shop work on it last week, but of course, they couldn't duplicate the problem. It kicked off this morning. They ohmed out the speakers from the back of the amp and concluded the speakers are fine.

Best guess is something wrong with the protection fault on the amp. They don't think it is a major repair, but they don't have anyone to service Nakamichi, so either I need to find someone local, or replace the amp.

The suggestion is JL, either 150w x2 or 75wx4. They like JL, that is what I have for speakers and they recently replaced a worn out sub with a JL.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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I had the high repair shop work on it last week, but of course, they couldn't duplicate the problem. It kicked off this morning. They ohmed out the speakers from the back of the amp and concluded the speakers are fine.

Best guess is something wrong with the protection fault on the amp. They don't think it is a major repair, but they don't have anyone to service Nakamichi, so either I need to find someone local, or replace the amp.

The suggestion is JL, either 150w x2 or 75wx4. They like JL, that is what I have for speakers and they recently replaced a worn out sub with a JL.
Regards,
Jerry
Obviously it is your call on how you proceed, but were it me, and had I invested in Nakamichi amps in the first place, my first call would be to Nakamichi to find an authorized repair center and have the amp looked at.

As for JL, I don't like them. Their / series are all Class D, which while efficient and good for subs are not high on my list for anything else. In fact, I bought a 300/4 before I realized they were Class D and promptly sold it again in favor of Class A/B amps. Does it make a noticeable sound difference for most of us? Probably not, but I'm not intending to be the person who finds out ;)

d-
 

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Obviously it is your call on how you proceed, but were it me, and had I invested in Nakamichi amps in the first place, my first call would be to Nakamichi to find an authorized repair center and have the amp looked at.
+1

As far as replacement amps go, I've always had a soft spot (for better or worse) for Alpine and older Soundstream amps. The new amps I've been looking at are the ones made by Zapco. I haven't done much research into them however; but from what I have seen they look very nice.
 

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+1

As far as replacement amps go, I've always had a soft spot (for better or worse) for Alpine and older Soundstream amps. The new amps I've been looking at are the ones made by Zapco. I haven't done much research into them however; but from what I have seen they look very nice.
+1 - nice amp choices!

I'll also add old Phoenix Gold and MTX amplifiers (Blue Thunder only) to the mix of excellent "old school" amplifiers that can be had reasonably inexpensive and will last forever. Oh, and they have the added benefit of being "cheater amps" that put out considerably more power at 14V than 12V. My Blue Thunder 50x4, for example, is rated 50x4 @ 12V (battery only), but 125x4 @ 14V (car running)!

d-
 

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Discussion Starter #19
+1 - nice amp choices!

I'll also add old Phoenix Gold and MTX amplifiers (Blue Thunder only) to the mix of excellent "old school" amplifiers that can be had reasonably inexpensive and will last forever. Oh, and they have the added benefit of being "cheater amps" that put out considerably more power at 14V than 12V. My Blue Thunder 50x4, for example, is rated 50x4 @ 12V (battery only), but 125x4 @ 14V (car running)!

d-
I knew I would get good advice here!! The problem with the Naka is that I have to have the entire amp panel unhooked in the trunk to get to the amp. I can get the amp repaired locally, but it means either I spend a weekend trying to get it out, or pay labor in and out when the installer does not sell what you recommend.
Interestingly enough, he recommended the 300/4 I believe. I think that was the 75wx4.
I will PM you their website, they are a high end audio place. If I decide to replace the Naka, I will still get it repaired and keep it for a spare, as there is a second identical one now drives my sub.
Regards,
Jerry
 
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