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Thread: Speaker buzz?

  1. #1
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    Speaker buzz?

    I have a problem with my surround sound. The sound works fine until my central air conditioner cuts on and then there is a low pitch "hum" in the speakers. The sound comes from the speakers that are in the ceiling. The wiring runs vertically through the wall (from floor to ceiling) and then distributed through the trusts in the ceiling. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Without seeing an electric plan, I'd guess it's electrical interference from the air con unit going into the speaker cables, causing the buzz.

    James

  3. #3
    Is it a "hum" (dull) or a "buzz" (sharp-toned)?

  4. #4
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    That's an easy fix ....

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    Quote: Dean
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    I have a problem with my surround sound. The sound works fine until my central air conditioner cuts on and then there is a low pitch "hum" in the speakers. The sound comes from the speakers that are in the ceiling. The wiring runs vertically through the wall (from floor to ceiling) and then distributed through the trusts in the ceiling. Any ideas?
    It's a phase problem. Ever see a cheap Canadian sci fi movie where the monitors in the backgroung are rolling over the video. That's because the camera power source is 22 feet (for example) away from the breaker panel and the monitors are 1/2 that distance. Ac power (unlike electronics) is a sine wave. Your toaster doesn't care if it caught the top of the wave and your kettle doesn't care if it catches the bottom of the wave. With electronics it matters. My advice is this. It's quick and easy. remove the two power leads (nominally black and white) and reverse them. Period, except for one thing. always reconnect the white wire (ground/neutral) first. Then the current has an alternative path besides you.

    I am Ozone2

  5. #5
    I don't think that reversing the connections will help. Since the issue is not present all of the time, it cannot be caused by simple phase issues. It is interference, the speaker cables going to the ceiling speakers needs to be moved to a path that avoids any AC power runs in the house. If the speaker cables are running parallel to power cables, that is the worst-case scenario. If you cannot separate the speaker wires from the AC run, then at least try to ensure that where the two need to intersect at a 90 degree angle.

    If the buzz is not constant, and it coincides with the central air, I would try moving the power amp/receiver/equipment to an AC outlet that is on a different circuit, and contact an electrician. The air condition should be on its own and should not affect Home stereo/AV equipment..

    this is just my best guess. I cannot imagine phase causing such a drastic issue, though.

  6. #6
    By Code your central air should be on its own dedicated 30amp circuit. If its not then get an electrician to remedy that. It is a hazard.

    It could also be the Compressor motor on your AC unit is on its way out or the starter Capacitors are starting to fail. Call an HVAC tech. Simple Ohm test will tell if the windings are burning up and a Capacitance test will tell if the Caps are cooked.

    Hope all this helps

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