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Old Audioengine A5 massive pops, crackle

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 

Hi and thanks for reading


I've had a pair of A5 for about 4 years now. A few months ago I noticed there was a bit of crackling, that wouldn't go away if I unplugged the source. More white noise than usual too.

It got louder, I got sound like somebody's blowing in a mike, and then pops. Problems showed up randomly, but more and more frequently.

The pops have recently gone louder, sometimes insanely loud. (membranes popping like 3").


Again, plugging off the source has no impact. Turning the volume knob quickly (up or down) seems to affect the crackling though.


I suspect a component or two are dying (capacitor? resistor?). 

So my question is, what would be the most sensible?


_cough up the money and buy a new set

_bring it to a repair shop and hope they can fix it for a reasonable price AND that the troubles won't come back AND that the insane popping hasn't damaged the speakers

_somehow try and fix it myself, if the components are easily testable and replaceable 


Thanks again!



post #2 of 75

Check the fuse(s)...if in doubt replace it with a fresh one of the exact same type.


Hard to say for sure what the issue is...could be any number of things but checking the fuses first (and replacing them with fresh ones) may be the ticket.





post #3 of 75
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.


I changed the main fuse, but no impact.

post #4 of 75

If you're not handy with DIY, you should take it to a repair shop.

Crackle are usually indication of continuity issues; dirty connection, bad cable, corrupted solder joint, etc. It sounds like you already have a dirty pot, you need to clean it.

Try tapping/shaking the speaker to see if you have a bad connection. Chang cable to see if you have a bad cable. Wiggle the connector and see if you have a bad connector/jack.

Most likely you just need a cleaning.

post #5 of 75
Thread Starter 

Did a bit of clean up, pot, circuits, etc. All cables well in place... It's even worse, had to put on earplugs to do the testing.

Looks well beyond my abilities, I'm giving up.


Thanks for the help though.

post #6 of 75

I have been watching your progress with great interest as my A5s started doing exactly this last weekend. They were moved due to decorating taking place and now I have the exact same symptoms - the blowing into a mic sound, some very loud pops. Mine is only on the right speaker though. I tested the right speaker with a regular amp and there was no noise which leads me to believe it must be something inside the left speaker causing this. 


Is it normal that only one channel on an amp starts to go, or is it the case that if an amp is on it's way out both speakers should be making that noise?

post #7 of 75

It's beginning to look like a design defect and or poor quality parts failing prematurely. I bet a cap or two has gone bad. If you can remove the back panel and visually inspect all of the parts paying close attention to the electrolytic caps...if they have any oozing material from the bottom (near the pcb), any bulging tops, splits of any kind...get HQ replacements (like Panasonic FM, Nichicon HE) and up the V rating to 10% over stock (same uf rating). Also pay attention to any small film caps...if they have discoloration replace those...resistors should be clean with no burn marks...any resistors that are heavily discolored are about to fail or have partially failed. Replace those with the same value and mount a little off the pcb (for better air flow).


Sorry to hear of the faults guys...the only way to really know what is causing the problem is to take the gear to a qualified tech (if DIY is out). Try posting/searching at DIY audio.com...there may be some specific answers already addressed. It's a technical site so be prepared to brush up on basic electronics if you plan on a DIY repair.



Edited by Pricklely Peete - 9/27/11 at 6:29pm
post #8 of 75


The Audioengine 5 (A5) has been shipping for 4 (or 5?) years now and we haven't had any specific component failures and/or design issues but parts do fail over time unfortunately.   


However, with that said, we have noticed a few returns with the "blowing into a microphone sound" (odd but that's the best way to describe it) and now have 4 samples with the production engineering guys to figure this one out.  So far no smoking gun or weak link, but we're still evaluating.  Regardless, if you're having any issues with your A5's or just have questions about our gear or computer audio in general, contact support at:  support@audioengineusa.com 


Marshall or Daniel - the eternally patient and very knowledgeable support team - will do their best to take care of you.  


.... and yes, I work for Audioengine and am a long-time lurker.  






post #9 of 75

Oh snap, just two days ago I started getting the "blowing into a microphone sound" with my A5s. Will have to keep my eye out on this thread.

post #10 of 75

Does this mean to say it is unlikely a local electrician will be able to fix my speakers given you aren't sure what is causing it? Just checking as I don't want to waste my money (well, no more than the £280 I spent on these speakers just over a year ago) on getting someone to repair them and fail only to then be charged a fee.

post #11 of 75

I found this thread a couple of days ago while searching audioengine a5 faults, as mine started making loud popping noises when turning the speakers off from the rear switch.

Guess what!? now I've started getting the "microphone blowing" sound through my right speaker too!! I think this thread is cursed!

But I live in Germany, so I after one and a half years of owning these speakers, they should be fully covered by warranty. 

Although the main reason I'm posting is to increase the awareness of the problem to owners, potential future owners and the guys at audioengine that there might actually be a weak link in the system.


post #12 of 75

Ya more and more issues like this and overheating, balancing, etc popping up so i always tell peeps to stick to tried, tested and proven passives + amp set ups i'm afraid. There are peeps with speakers bought in the 70s still playing in their living rooms as we speak as a testament of durability and timeless design beerchug.gif

Edited by trog - 10/30/11 at 5:12am
post #13 of 75

I'd love to have separate speakers and amps etc, but I just don't have the space which is why this system appeals to me (and so many others) so much. 


Maybe it's time to think about 'making space' and my options...  *sigh*

post #14 of 75


My Audioengine A5 are having exact the same problem.


First it starts with a little hissing and then it starts to pop-pop-pop (banging sound). Woofers where bulging out during that popping.

Usually switching the power of and on again made the problem go away for awhile.

But it became worse and worse over time.

Now when I turn them on and start playing music they start popping right away. Really loud bangs.

Tried hooking them up to a different source, changed the line in from back to top panel. Nothing worked.

I can't use them anymore.


Now I'm thinking of buying a used external amp. and hook them up to that. But I'm not sure how to do that since they are powered speakers.

Does anybody know if that is possible at all? Which wires do I have to cut?


I'm in Canada so only have 1 year warranty, the problem started after 14 months...

Really disappointed with the build quality.

post #15 of 75

Maybe a bad batch of parts made it into production ?.............I ran into problems with some cheap parts a few years back which would fail within a year even though they were rated for 10,000 hours at 70 C. They were Teapo and Samson brand caps rated for 105C (small value < 100uf 25V/16V electrolytic types). Some OPA's have been heavily counterfeit'd in the PRC such as the ubiquitous JRC5532/NE5532, some of the BB OPAs (2604/627) and quite a few Japanese brand output transistors (Hitachi/Toshiba) which look like the real deal on the outside but inside they are much inferior to the originals. The PRC has been trying to weed out the bad players in this scam but they pop up almost as fast as they are quashed. Sanken is another heavily faked output transistor.


If this problem is showing up ( "microphone blowing" fault ) it might help to post date of manufacture and serial numbers. This could lead to a clue which might be explained by the bad batch of parts theory. I doubt the design has a flaw since it has been used for some years now. It's an odd problem but the fact that others are experiencing this same issue in a short period of time should help the manufacturer with nailing down the possible culprit(s).



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