z-5500 hum hiss - updated :(

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z-5500 hum hiss - updated :(

Postposted on Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:57 am

I've been very pleased with my Logitech z-5500's until about a week ago. Suddenly, they have a hum from the sub and a hiss from all of the speakers. Anybody have any idea what would cause the change?
Last edited by SpotTheCat on Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:49 am

no idea really, nothing like that has ever happened to my z cinema set...
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:24 am

Are you sure the problem is with the speakers, and not the soundcard? Try plugging them in to an alternate audio source to check.

A failing power supply (in the speakers) could cause hum/hiss. If the problem is not with the sound source, that would be my guess.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:31 pm

a) Make sure that the speakers are not set with the volume close to max (obviously I assume you already did this, but anyway...)
b) Check and re-check that all the cables are correctly plugged in
c) Check that the channels (center, surround, etc) are all level. I never set my sub more than 10-20%.
d) Rotate between the audio inputs (analog/digital) and see if the hiss is the same. If it is, the problem is in the amplifier section and I suppose you should RMA them.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:54 pm

Given that we are entering the fall season, and you live in an apartment IIRC, it could be that your plant facilities crew has started up the heater equipment. If you have hot water baseboard heat, that could include several cirulation pumps and some control gear. It may be that your speakers are picking up noise from the electrical system generated by that equipment.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:29 pm

:o ???
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:12 am

If you Google for it, this is a fairly common problem with the 5500s, though I thought it had showed up and been resolved years ago. Just starting now makes it interesting.

Otherwise I can't help. The Z-680s like mine never got this particular foible.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:55 am

It does it with all different analog sources. I've read some people have had success moving the power to it's own outlet, but that didn't work.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:26 am

It is either an problem with circuitry/shielding or the speakers are picking up some EMI from a new source.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:23 pm

thank god z cinema's are usb
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:50 pm

When my Z-5500's were set up in the same room as a treadmill they used to hum, the sub especially, whenever the treadmill's motor was on. Input type didn't matter.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:29 pm

Kurkotain wrote:thank god z cinema's are usb

Z-5500 speakers accept SPDIF.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:04 pm

Nitrodist wrote:
Kurkotain wrote:thank god z cinema's are usb

Z-5500 speakers accept SPDIF.

So do Z-680s, both coax and optical. USB really isn't that hot for audio.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:20 pm

I figured it out!

I knew it was either power related or shielding/interference/device (all inputs) related. I had tried a few devices before asking, I had re-seated everything, etc. all before asking here. I had ruled out device issues (I tried our desktop, laptop and an iPod). I then thought it could be the 21" CRT it sits next to. But then I remembered that these are PC speakers, it shouldn't matter. So then I tackled shielding tonight, thinking the cable from the pod to the sub might be damaged, here I found the solution. It's not the cable that gets damaged, it's the connectors.

The fix is to unscrew the VGA style screws from the control pod. For some reason, you get interference with them normally tightened. How weird is that!
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:34 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:How weird is that!

Old story: troubleshooting a friend's PC over 10 years ago. Computer randomly didn't boot. Figured out if we actually screwed his 3dfx Voodoo2 to the case, it wouldn't boot. Would work fine without the slot screw. Go figure.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:13 pm

morphine wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:How weird is that!

Old story: troubleshooting a friend's PC over 10 years ago. Computer randomly didn't boot. Figured out if we actually screwed his 3dfx Voodoo2 to the case, it wouldn't boot. Would work fine without the slot screw. Go figure.


It doesn't apply to the Z-5500 issue, but I've had what you describe. Typically you see it on cheap or abused cases, and the screw is dragging the card to one side of the slot (bad contact) or even pivoting it up out of the slot at one end.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:38 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:I figured it out!

I knew it was either power related or shielding/interference/device (all inputs) related. I had tried a few devices before asking, I had re-seated everything, etc. all before asking here. I had ruled out device issues (I tried our desktop, laptop and an iPod). I then thought it could be the 21" CRT it sits next to. But then I remembered that these are PC speakers, it shouldn't matter. So then I tackled shielding tonight, thinking the cable from the pod to the sub might be damaged, here I found the solution. It's not the cable that gets damaged, it's the connectors.

The fix is to unscrew the VGA style screws from the control pod. For some reason, you get interference with them normally tightened. How weird is that!

Sounds like a ground loop.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:26 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:I figured it out!

I knew it was either power related or shielding/interference/device (all inputs) related. I had tried a few devices before asking, I had re-seated everything, etc. all before asking here. I had ruled out device issues (I tried our desktop, laptop and an iPod). I then thought it could be the 21" CRT it sits next to. But then I remembered that these are PC speakers, it shouldn't matter. So then I tackled shielding tonight, thinking the cable from the pod to the sub might be damaged, here I found the solution. It's not the cable that gets damaged, it's the connectors.

The fix is to unscrew the VGA style screws from the control pod. For some reason, you get interference with them normally tightened. How weird is that!

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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:59 pm

Well, I have a new hum. I think it might be a transformer. It is a 60hz hum (we all know exactly what that sounds like) that is the exact same no matter if the control pod is on or off. Any time it is plugged in and the circuit breaker is closed it hums. I'm tempted to take it apart and inspect for damage, but I don't think I could see anything.

I'm going to figure out if it is a ground loop. This seems likely.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:13 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:Well, I have a new hum. I think it might be a transformer. It is a 60hz hum (we all know exactly what that sounds like) that is the exact same no matter if the control pod is on or off. Any time it is plugged in and the circuit breaker is closed it hums. I'm tempted to take it apart and inspect for damage, but I don't think I could see anything.

I'm going to figure out if it is a ground loop. This seems likely.

120Hz, more likely. Most hum emissions and pickup occur at twice the mains frequency. If it is coming from the speaker drivers themselves, you probably have a ground loop, although it could be caused by a failing capacitor on the audio board.

If it is coming from the sub box only, then the transformer has probably loosened up and is transmitting vibrations to the case. You can pop open the box and check for a loose screw, or a rubber isolation mount that has broken down with age. If not that, then the transformer itself may have loosened up.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:47 pm

Well. I think it is the control box. Strange symbols pan across the display when the coaxial input is selected, followed by the power button flashing red and then the unit turns off. Weird, huh?

Being long out-of-warranty, Logitech offered half off a new system (still $200!) but that's approaching what I paid for them in the first place!

Don't get me wrong, I like them, but I think the money would better go to a receiver/home theater setup.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:32 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:Well. I think it is the control box. Strange symbols pan across the display when the coaxial input is selected, followed by the power button flashing red and then the unit turns off. Weird, huh?

Being long out-of-warranty, Logitech offered half off a new system (still $200!) but that's approaching what I paid for them in the first place!

Don't get me wrong, I like them, but I think the money would better go to a receiver/home theater setup.

Here is a video of the weirdness. Optical no longer freezes it, but analog does.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7S3vwHsC5c
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:35 pm

go into your sound cards mixer and enable reverse spdif input and see if that helps any
you may have to unplug stuff inside your case or try some shielding
look for cables that go between ur sound card and gpu like USB and firewire
you may have to mess with some case grounds too
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:38 pm

potatochobit wrote:go into your sound cards mixer and enable reverse spdif input and see if that helps any
you may have to unplug stuff inside your case or try some shielding
look for cables that go between ur sound card and gpu like USB and firewire
you may have to mess with some case grounds too

Why bother? It does it when nothing is plugged in. It's toast.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:00 am

sorry I didnt see you had a 'new' hum going on
I have heard quite a few people with broken control things
and you would have to replace the whole unit since they dont sell the control thing sepearte
or check on ebay I think they said control units pop up
is that sub proprietary? if not just get a yamaha or onkyo they got a sale going on I think
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:38 am

potatochobit wrote:sorry I didnt see you had a 'new' hum going on
I have heard quite a few people with broken control things
and you would have to replace the whole unit since they dont sell the control thing sepearte
or check on ebay I think they said control units pop up
is that sub proprietary? if not just get a yamaha or onkyo they got a sale going on I think

Yes it is. That's part of why I do not want another logitech system. They are completely not compatible with anything else.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss - updated :(

Postposted on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:18 pm

This sounds like a hardware problem but did you try a firmware reset? i.e. hold Input and Settings for a few seconds until the firmware version shows up? I've had to do that a few times with my set when I was getting what sounded like digital clipping over coax input.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss - updated :(

Postposted on Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:02 pm

crazybus wrote:This sounds like a hardware problem but did you try a firmware reset? i.e. hold Input and Settings for a few seconds until the firmware version shows up? I've had to do that a few times with my set when I was getting what sounded like digital clipping over coax input.

Yep. I did all of the "hold so and so" tricks trying to switch it to a mode that worked. I didn't find any.

I also opened up the unit and inspected the capacitors. They all seem good.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss - updated :(

Postposted on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:40 pm

If it weren't so heavy (and thus ridiculously expensive to ship), I'd make you an offer and try my hand at some resoldering. I've got the time, for once.
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Re: z-5500 hum hiss

Postposted on Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:40 pm

just brew it! wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:I figured it out!

I knew it was either power related or shielding/interference/device (all inputs) related. I had tried a few devices before asking, I had re-seated everything, etc. all before asking here. I had ruled out device issues (I tried our desktop, laptop and an iPod). I then thought it could be the 21" CRT it sits next to. But then I remembered that these are PC speakers, it shouldn't matter. So then I tackled shielding tonight, thinking the cable from the pod to the sub might be damaged, here I found the solution. It's not the cable that gets damaged, it's the connectors.

The fix is to unscrew the VGA style screws from the control pod. For some reason, you get interference with them normally tightened. How weird is that!

Sounds like a ground loop.


That's exactly what i thought, i have faced this problem as well.

EDIT: I have a feeling that subs connection are having a ground issue. Did you check if the ground phase is good in your home? I would suggest you to check the speakers set in a different house. If this doesn't help. open the sub and see if the sub's wire is not touching the body panel...
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