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Converting Audioengine A5s to passive

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My A5s are way out of warranty, and I've just started to get the snap, crackle and pop noise with no input connected, and regardless of volume setting (it needs an input to get out of sleep mode, but thereafter unplugging the input doesn't stop the noises).


I took the guts out of the powered speaker and spotted a blown 470uF capacitor on the smaller PCB (top was bulging). I replaced it and its neighbour with good quality replacements (leftover from a mobo repair with the same problem), however that didn't fix the problem.


I've looked around the forums and there are plenty of people who have had the same problem going back 4/5 years, but couldn't find a clear answer as to what the problem might be. If anyone can point me in the right direction, that would be fantastic.


Failing that, I've got a Sonos system with one spare power amp device, and I'm thinking perhaps I could rip the electronics out, put a couple of crossovers in and run the A5s as passives.


Has anyone tried this, or got any suggestions for how to go about it?

post #2 of 10
The hard part would be finding the right crossovers. Good luck with that. I have no idea how you would do it. Might be easier to sell the A5s as parts and start over with passive speakers and amp so you don't have to deal with this problem again.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.


The crossovers are already there, but the one in the LH speaker is part of the main PCB. Maybe it can be cut off. But it would be nice to see if anyone has a fix for the basic fault that started off as the swishing noise others have reported before it went really bad.

post #4 of 10
Have you contacted Audioengine to see about repair? That's probably your best bet. The amp's probably not even $100 in parts, so hopefully they wouldn't charge too much. Maybe they would just send you a new board for a price, and then you replace it yourself.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I contacted their authorised supplier here in the UK by email. They replied that I should get in touch with AEUSA.


I've since taken it fully apart and found 2 more caps that have leaked from the bottom. I might as well clean up and replace them. If that doesn't work, I'll do as you say and try to order a new PCB from AE directly.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll let you know how I get on.

Edited by ntsnkfob - 9/12/13 at 9:24am
post #6 of 10
Sounds like you found your problem smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I replaced 4 caps, one blown, 2 leaking and one for good measure, but problem still present. I'm awaiting a response from Audioengine USA to see if they can supple replacement boards.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

No luck with replacement boards, so I pulled all of the electronics from the left speaker, sawed the crossover part of the PCB off, plugged the holes in the back panel, glued the crossover inside on a block of wood (neoprene mounted) and soldered the leads from the old PCB to it and connected them to the outputs used for the right speaker, bought a £25 Lepai T amplifier and connected it all up. I now have a reasonable-sounding pair of passive A5s.


I have a pair of 40 year old KEF 104ABs in another room, still going strong apart from the front foam that disintegrated years ago. Mind you, they have been through a few amps themselves. 3 years for a pair of speakers seems disgustingly short.

post #9 of 10
That's too bad there were no replacements.

Yeah. 3 years does seem too short. I think passive speakers plus a separate amp are the way to go for long term reliability for the average consumer. Too hard to predict on whether or not the electronics will fail in powered speakers, and, as in your situation, whether or not the parts would even be available. So if that happens, speakers are junk to someone that can't do what you just did. And imagine if it had an active crossover and bi-amps in each speaker?
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yup. Live and learn - I hope.

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