Check SP Wires? Help!

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shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#1
Hi All,

Hoping someone can help me figure out where I'm going wrong. I just picked up an RX-V3900 and hooked up my 5 speakers. Without fail, every time I turn on the receiver I get the "Check SP Wires" message and then it shuts down. It will stay on for a short while if the volume is low but will always cut out eventually.

I believe the issue is with the speakers I'm using. They're 60 Watt RMS and the RX-V3900 is putting out 140 watts RMS per channel if I'm not mistaken. Again, if I'm not mistaken it's overloading the speakers.

I successfully hooked up the left front channel and had the sound going without incident for some time but then upon hooking up the right front channel it began cutting out again.

Can someone help me understand this issue? I've visually inspected the speaker wire I'm using and there doesn't seem to be any shorts in it. But if someone could offer some advice on how to check that aspect more thoroughly I'd appreciate it.

Thanks all.
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
12,205 49
#2
Welcome to the forum!

While it might be your speakers, it's not because of the power rating. I wouldn't worry too much about that unless you really like to crank your speakers.

Do you have a way to check continuity (with a multi-meter or similar)? If so, then you could check if you have a short between the speaker terminals on the receiver when you connect the right front speaker.

Also, you got the front left speaker to work. Here are some things that I'd try:
  1. Keep the same speaker wire connected but swap the right front speaker in for the left front speaker. If that works, then it's not the right front speaker causing a problem.
  2. Keep using the left front speaker, but swap the speaker wire with the wire that you were using for the right front speaker. If that works, then it's not the speaker wire (at least for those speakers).
  3. Using a known good speaker and good speaker wire, connect those to the front right speaker terminal on the receiver (without having any other speakers connected). If that works, then it's not the front right speaker terminal.

Those are the first few things that come to mind to try. Please let us know if those work, if you decide to give them a try. Thanks.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,515 17 25
#3
Hi All,

Hoping someone can help me figure out where I'm going wrong. I just picked up an RX-V3900 and hooked up my 5 speakers. Without fail, every time I turn on the receiver I get the "Check SP Wires" message and then it shuts down. It will stay on for a short while if the volume is low but will always cut out eventually.

I believe the issue is with the speakers I'm using. They're 60 Watt RMS and the RX-V3900 is putting out 140 watts RMS per channel if I'm not mistaken. Again, if I'm not mistaken it's overloading the speakers.

I successfully hooked up the left front channel and had the sound going without incident for some time but then upon hooking up the right front channel it began cutting out again.

Can someone help me understand this issue? I've visually inspected the speaker wire I'm using and there doesn't seem to be any shorts in it. But if someone could offer some advice on how to check that aspect more thoroughly I'd appreciate it.

Thanks all.
You have a short in your speaker wiring somewhere most likely. It only takes one wire whisker touching an adjacent wire or the chassis.

The other possibility is that the impedance of your speakers is too low for your receiver. However the most likley possibility is wiring error by far.
 
P

PeterWhite

Audioholic
Ratings
36
#4
You have a short in your speaker wiring somewhere most likely. It only takes one wire whisker touching an adjacent wire or the chassis.

The other possibility is that the impedance of your speakers is too low for your receiver. However the most likley possibility is wiring error by far.
I believe impedance mismatch should only be an issue at high volume. I vote for a short.

Go back over all of your speaker connections. A common mistake is to not split zip cord insulation, leaving lots of bare wire exposed. That makes it easy to create a short simply by twisting the wire. The bare wire ends should only be long enough to make the connection at the terminal. When you're done, and you look at the connections, you shouldn't see any exposed copper.
 
S

shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#5
Thanks for the replies, guys.

I will definintely try the troubleshooting steps you recommended and will let you know what happens.

There are a couple reasons I'm skeptical about the speaker wire being the culprit. Firstly it's brand new wire and the section I'm using for testing is about 6 feet long. So any shorts should be fairly easy to spot visually.

Secondly, I was using the exact same speaker wire and the exact same speakers with an RX-V800 just days before with no issue. I don't know if the 3900 is more sensitive to shorts but that seemed odd to me that it would work with the 800 and not the 3900.

Good to know about the power rating though. Glad to know I don't need to spend lots of $$$ on new speakers!

EDIT: Ok, maybe I'll try re-cutting all the wires. But would that explain why it worked with the 800?
 
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markw

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,778 6 161
#6
The tight spacing between speaker terminals on modern AVR's is an open invitation to hairwire shorts.

This is a good reason to use banana plugs. If properly installed, they virtually guarantee no shorts. ...and they don't have to cost a fortune.
 
S

shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#7
I've tried banana plugs in the past but found they were tough to install properly. Another good tip though. I think I'm going to pick up a multi-meter on the way home tonight and test the wires first. Maybe I'll pick up some plugs if they're not too expensive.
 
P

PeterWhite

Audioholic
Ratings
36
#8
Thanks for the replies, guys.

I will definintely try the troubleshooting steps you recommended and will let you know what happens.

There are a couple reasons I'm skeptical about the speaker wire being the culprit. Firstly it's brand new wire and the section I'm using for testing is about 6 feet long. So any shorts should be fairly easy to spot visually.
The age of the wire is irrelevant. If you haven't trimmed the wire ends correctly you can create a short just by moving the wire.

Secondly, I was using the exact same speaker wire and the exact same speakers with an RX-V800 just days before with no issue. I don't know if the 3900 is more sensitive to shorts but that seemed odd to me that it would work with the 800 and not the 3900.
To trim the leads on zip cord correctly, first cut the end off clean. Then, split the zip cord about two inches. Then, remove about 1cm, a bit less than 1/2" of insulation from the two leads. You want only enough bare wire exposed to make the electrical connection. Any more bare wire and you're creating the possibility of a short.

I've seen many people just remove the insulation from zip cord, and they end up with two inches of exposed wire in order to reach both terminals. All it takes to create a short is twisting the wire!

Good to know about the power rating though. Glad to know I don't need to spend lots of $$$ on new speakers!

EDIT: Ok, maybe I'll try re-cutting all the wires. But would that explain why it worked with the 800?
Yes. And there's no such thing as one amp being more susceptible to shorts than another. With a speaker wire short, the speaker will not work, regardless of the amplifier.
 
S

shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#9
Thanks, Peter. Appreciate your help.

Are you suggesting I should not twist the wires after removing the required insultation? I've always done that to ensure there are no haywire ends, plus it's easier to fit into the tight spaces on the terminal.

Again, the exact same spear wire preparation worked fine with my RX-V800. I don't recall the RX-V800 ever cutting out in the same way (over the 8 or so years I had it),so that's what lead me to believe the 3900 was more discriminating.

EDIT: Oh, wait, I think you mean all it would take in the situation you described would be the wire physically twisting causing the two inches of exposed wire to turn and touch each other. I see what you're saying.
 
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PeterWhite

Audioholic
Ratings
36
#10
Thanks, Peter. Appreciate your help.

Are you suggesting I should not twist the wires after removing the required insultation? I've always done that to ensure there are no haywire ends, plus it's easier to fit into the tight spaces on the terminal.

Again, the exact same spear wire preparation worked fine with my RX-V800. I don't recall the RX-V800 ever cutting out in the same way (over the 8 or so years I had it),so that's what lead me to believe the 3900 was more discriminating.

EDIT: Oh, wait, I think you mean all it would take in the situation you described would be the wire physically twisting causing the two inches of exposed wire to turn and touch each other. I see what you're saying.
Now you've got it! ;-)

And, yes, you do want to twist the strands of wire together so as to help ensure that they all go into the connector at the speaker or amp and no strands are left hanging loose.
 
S

shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#11
Heh, for all the knowledge I have I can be pretty thick sometimes. :eek:

I'm still baffled as to why the same wire would work with another receiver but hopefully the testing tonight will uncover some answers.
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
12,205 49
#12
Heh, for all the knowledge I have I can be pretty thick sometimes. :eek:
Join the club. We've all been there...and will be again. :D

I'm still baffled as to why the same wire would work with another receiver but hopefully the testing tonight will uncover some answers.
Like Peter said, it could happen just from moving the wires. You disconnected the wires and reconnected them, and this issue is generally associated with the connections and not something internal to the wire. There have been people on here that have had this happen after they moved a surround speaker without ever disconnecting the wires - the movement caused one (or more) stray copper strands to bridge the gap between the speaker terminals.

It could be that the new receiver isn't working correctly, but odds are it has something to do with the wires.
 
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shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#13
:)

In the back of my mind I'm worried that it's a defective unit. But I'll cross that bridge once I've eliminated every other possibility.
 
S

shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#14
Alright. I stopped by The Source on my way home and picked up a multi-meter. After getting a defective unit (jeez) I came home and ran continuity checks on my speaker wire. No issues.

For fun I stuck the taps into the speakers I'm using and the audible alarm sounded. I assume that's fine as there's probably some way for a signal to make it through the speaker. Am I correct in assuming that? I tried it on 3 of the 5 and they all did the same thing. Then I went and tested an old speaker and it did the same.

So now I'm currently updating to firmware 1.08 in the hopes it's some glitch but I'm not holding my breath that will solve the problem.

As it stands I've tested the wires, re-cut and reconnected them, and STILL it won't stay on longer than a few seconds under load.

EDIT: Update is done and still no go. It stayed on a little longer than normal but as soon as it got loud the unit cut out. BUT, it seems as though it will work if I keep the volume relatively low. Right now I only have one speaker hooked up but a movie has been playing for about 5 minutes now with no issue.

Am I dealing with a defective unit?
 
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P

PeterWhite

Audioholic
Ratings
36
#15
EDIT: Update is done and still no go. It stayed on a little longer than normal but as soon as it got loud the unit cut out. BUT, it seems as though it will work if I keep the volume relatively low. Right now I only have one speaker hooked up but a movie has been playing for about 5 minutes now with no issue.

Am I dealing with a defective unit?
Go into the setup on your receiver. On my Onkyo there's a section for speaker setup in which you tell the receiver what the impedance of your speakers is. Perhaps the Yamaha has a similar setting? Essentially, the amplifier needs to know if it's powering low impedance speakers. If you have 4 ohm speakers and the amp is set to 8 ohm, that might explain the shutdown. It's a long shot, as it ought to only be an issue at fairly high volume. But it's worth checking.
 
S

shiftymcgoo

Audiophyte
Ratings
3
#16
I should have mentioned I tried that step already, Peter. Set at 8 Ohms. But thank you for the suggestion nonetheless.

I just wanted to say how impressed I am with this forum. Never in my life have I seen an internet forum so informative and helpful. You guys rock! :cool:

Also, drum roll please, it appears as though the problem has been solved!! :D

When I was hooking up one of the speaker wires for the 3832nd time I noticed that one of the surround terminals had a tiny bit of speaker wire stuck in there. One, yes, ONE little hair of the wire was arching around and touching the chassis.

I pulled out some needle nose pliers and yanked that sucker and his little buddies outta there. I was caught between amazement at my own stupidity and giddy excitement at the prospect of finding the issue.

I hooked up the remaining speakers, ensuring every single piece of speaker wire was fully contained in the terminal and VOILA! :eek:

I then cranked up a movie and NO CUT OFF!

So....

I am so sorry for wasting everyone's time with this ridiculous problem but as I said I am completely appreciative of people's assistance. It wasn't a waste of time for me because I managed to eliminate possible issues and heck, I learned a fair bit too.

So, once more. Thank you, gentlemen. You are AV gods among men.

One more. Feel like I can't thank you guys enough. :)
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
12,205 49
#17
That's exellent! Well, that you found and fixed the problem, I mean. :)

You didn't waste our time at all. This stuff happens, and that's why a number of us hang out here - to try and help people out. I'm just glad that the good folks here could point you in the right direction and get you all set up.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
2,103 5 6
#19
Thanks, Peter. Appreciate your help.

Are you suggesting I should not twist the wires after removing the required insultation? I've always done that to ensure there are no haywire ends, plus it's easier to fit into the tight spaces on the terminal.

Again, the exact same spear wire preparation worked fine with my RX-V800. I don't recall the RX-V800 ever cutting out in the same way (over the 8 or so years I had it),so that's what lead me to believe the 3900 was more discriminating.

EDIT: Oh, wait, I think you mean all it would take in the situation you described would be the wire physically twisting causing the two inches of exposed wire to turn and touch each other. I see what you're saying.
You should have a magnifier at home, use it to check your connections.
 
P

PeterWhite

Audioholic
Ratings
36
#20
I should have mentioned I tried that step already, Peter. Set at 8 Ohms. But thank you for the suggestion nonetheless.

I just wanted to say how impressed I am with this forum. Never in my life have I seen an internet forum so informative and helpful. You guys rock! :cool:

Also, drum roll please, it appears as though the problem has been solved!! :D

When I was hooking up one of the speaker wires for the 3832nd time I noticed that one of the surround terminals had a tiny bit of speaker wire stuck in there. One, yes, ONE little hair of the wire was arching around and touching the chassis.

I pulled out some needle nose pliers and yanked that sucker and his little buddies outta there. I was caught between amazement at my own stupidity and giddy excitement at the prospect of finding the issue.

I hooked up the remaining speakers, ensuring every single piece of speaker wire was fully contained in the terminal and VOILA! :eek:

I then cranked up a movie and NO CUT OFF!

So....

I am so sorry for wasting everyone's time with this ridiculous problem but as I said I am completely appreciative of people's assistance. It wasn't a waste of time for me because I managed to eliminate possible issues and heck, I learned a fair bit too.

So, once more. Thank you, gentlemen. You are AV gods among men.

One more. Feel like I can't thank you guys enough. :)
You haven't wasted anyone's time. It's my pleasure to try and help. I've learned a lot on this forum.
 

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