Audioengine S8 subwoofer troubleshooting/repair

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by StopShootingMe, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. StopShootingMe

    StopShootingMe Member

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    Hi,
    I have an Audioengine S8 active sub that is out of warranty and misbehaving. It produces unpleasant crackling sounds at all volume levels. I have inspected the cone for tears or damage and seen nothing, and I have opened the enclosure to check for loose objects/wires/debris, but it was all good.

    What I did see during the inspection was two big 63V 10000uF electrolytic capacitors with bulging tops, and one looks like it's leaking (see the one on the left in the photo).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I've already ordered in two new caps of the same specs (though a different manufacturer and diameter, they should fit fine). My question to the audio and electrical types is: is there any other possible cause of the crackling sound I should investigate? I have a good variety of tools available; soldering irons, DSO, multimeter etc. Any suggestions on other things to investigate if the replacement caps don't do the job? Fortunately (and surprisingly to me) all the electronics are through hole parts and it looks like a single layer board, so I imagine I can replace any parts myself with no trouble.

    Before it comes up; all the other capacitors in the board look completely fine, and I didn't see any damage to the PCB from electrolyte contamination, but I'll give it all a good clean before putting it back together.
     
  2. goldpenis

    goldpenis Member

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    You can't tell from capacitors purely by looking at them that they're ok. A capacitor tester is the best way; the visual indicator is just the obvious sign (the ones noted are obviously stuffed).

    About the noise, does it only occur when something specific is happening (like turning the volume control)? Is it a repetitious sound with a pattern or just random noise? It could purely be the capacitors identified, with unfiltered interference being amplified through the system and resulting in the audible cracking.

    Let us know how you go with the replacement.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    StopShootingMe

    StopShootingMe Member

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    The sound is a buzzing/crackling and occurs whenever the sub is producing sound, the higher the sub's volume, the louder the crackling. If the sub is idle, there's no crackling. I'll see how the caps go when I receive them :)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    StopShootingMe

    StopShootingMe Member

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    Fixed the issue, it was indeed one or more of the big caps. For future reference for Audioengine S8 owners with the same issue:

    I replaced the suspect big capacitors with Rubycon 10000uF 63V capacitors off ebay (ebay listing), as they were one of the caps I could find that didn't exceed the maximum possible diameter of 30mm and weren't suspiciously cheap.

    This was the culprit for the crackling audio, I suspect:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    My S8 is having the same issue.. I will have to get someone with greater soldering skills than myself to have a look at it.
     
  6. aokman

    aokman Member

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    happy to look at it for you :) didn't realise they were so cheaply built
     
    Kommandant33 likes this.
  7. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    If you could, that would be amazing!

    Mine has gotten worse. It is constantly cracking whenever it's plugged in.

    I was thinking of calling Total Recoil - but I think they deal more with speaker cones than the electrics of a subwoofer...
     
  8. bbjai

    bbjai Member

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    hello Kommandant! I have the same issue as you! My S8 crackles randomly any time it's on (almost like a scratching sound). It happens as long as it's plugged in and I've tried it at different houses so must be a capacitator issue. Did you ever get it fixed?

    Aokman - I am thinking about doing this fix myself! is it hard to solder on? Would love to see the pictures you took as they are longer available!
     

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