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January 17, 2022, 08:27:46 PM

Author Topic: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack [resolved]  (Read 1224 times)

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Offline jamesad1994

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Hey all. I assembled my Crack around February this year, and I have yet to add the Speedball kit. In the beginning, I had zero issues with noise, but it has gotten progressively worse. Now its to the point where 70% of the time there is a lot of buzzing and other noises coming through the amp and its hard to enjoy this otherwise awesome kit.

My setup consists of the non-Speedball Crack sourced from a Topping D30 to my PC via optical, using the HD650's. The issue seems to stem from the 1/4" jack and the 12AU7 tube connection, because the popping/crackling sound can be altered and sometimes (temporarily) fixed with a loud pop whenever I jiggle the tube or the 1/4" connector of my headphone cord. The intensity of it disregards the volume setting of the amp; it is always loud.

Any idea how I can troubleshoot this issue? This was my first soldering experience and while I thought I did a decent job, I'm sure I messed up a joint or two. Whatever it may be, I would love to enjoy my kit once again!

Thanks all,

James
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 04:30:10 AM by Caucasian Blackplate »

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 08:21:33 AM »
If the noise changes when you tap on the Crack or wiggle connections, you have a bad solder joint.  It is extremely common for a Crack exhibiting these symptoms to have a loose black wire on the headphone jack that isn't soldered. 

Another method to pinpoint other issues is to use a wooden chopstick to poke around the amp while it's running with a pair of cheap headphones on.  When you find the problematic joint, you should be able to generate a pop by poking at said joint with the chopstick.  This also gives you a good excuse to get some tasty takeout. 
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline fromnowon

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2018, 02:54:47 PM »
This also gives you a good excuse to get some tasty takeout. 

Ha ha, I liked that!  Helps to have a sense of humor!

Offline adydula

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 02:22:42 AM »
I would check the red leds soldered tothe 12Au7 as well...if you can carefully turn the assembly upside down, to be able to look at the leds while slightly moving the small tube and see if this popping occurs and does one of those leds go on and off etc...

I had this issue where one of these leds several weeks after going thur tube changing a looud popping sound started happening.....but the volume went down on one channel as well...I replaced the leds and put some bend in the leads to allow for some stressrelief...

FYI
Alex

Offline jamesad1994

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 08:54:11 AM »
Thanks for the tips, guys! I'll be sure to put some work into it tonight and see how it goes. Also, I loved the takeout comment; I'll be sure to try out the new Chinese place!  8)

James

Offline jamesad1994

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 03:10:38 AM »
Wow, I totally forgot to update. Before fixing the Crack, I had to go buy some soldering equipment that I misplaced during my recent move. I only really got to repairs a few days ago.

Before fixing the Crack, I had to go buy some soldering equipment that I misplaced during my recent move. I went ahead and bought a solder pump since I knew I made some other mistakes with my first solder experience. The main issue was the black wire leading from the power supply to the headphone jack terminal, but I found a handful of joints that I really wanted to touch up including the ground lug terminal (one of the first joints, heh). Now, it sounds better than ever! I'll get around to installing the Speedball whenever I know for sure there isn't another issue with the main kit.  8)

Thanks again folks!

James

Offline hoy83

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack [resolved]
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2021, 11:56:50 PM »
Is this thread still alive? I was thinking of not starting a new topic since I basically have the same problem, slight crackling and static at random moments in a song. Can I use a pencil instead of a chopstick to probe the wires? So I'm guessing the unit has to be turned on and connected to an audio source while probing the wires? Sounds dangerous.. but I'll try to give it a try.

ps. just read doc B's pinned post, it seems I'm not the only one, just to clarify as well, as doc b said, I should reflow ALL solder joints?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2021, 12:00:30 AM by hoy83 »

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack [resolved]
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2021, 04:42:45 AM »
"... is this thread still alive?"  It is now!

Yes it must be turned on and operating fro this test. I avoid using pencils because the "lead" is graphite and conductive. There are two reasons to use a non-conductive poker - you don't want to shock yourself, and you also don't want to accidentally make a short between two adjacent terminals. Some of them are really small and close together ...

The reason for touching up all solder joints is that it is much faster that determining which ones really need to be touched up.
Paul Joppa

Offline hoy83

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack [resolved]
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2021, 02:15:18 PM »
So I do need to re-solder ALL joints then..?

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack [resolved]
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2021, 03:33:55 PM »
Well, you can do them one at a time, checking after each one whether the amp is working correctly.  :^) 
Paul Joppa

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Loud buzzing, crackling and popping on standard Crack [resolved]
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 03:34:57 PM »
Reflowing all the joints other than the power switch and where the LEDs mount is a very good idea.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man