[Non-programming question] Old receiver pops when set to certain mode

I have a Sony receiver that's about 20 years old. At the time it was quite advanced, it has Dolby Digital support, and that's been great for years. Recently, it has started making a loud "pop" when I start it in one of the modes...unfortunately, this is the connection that supports the PS4 and streams movies. Starting it up in another mode is fine, it's just either starting on one mode or switching to it that's an issue. I can mute it for a moment and avoid the problem...but the light that indicates that mute is on has stopped working.

Is there any point in attempting to fix this? Or should I just give in and get a new one?


  • Is this also an amp or just a low-level output receiver? The reason I ask is because amps of that generation routinely used a relay in the output. On boot, the relay is open and the speakers are disconnected from the source. Once the amp has been on a couple of seconds, the relay closes the contacts driving the speakers. Its a very effective, low-tech “pop-proofer”. These relays are known to freeze closed, especially if you’ve got a kid who is fond ot listening to death metal at full overdrive. :)

    Go ahead. Ask me how I know this...
  • I think it's an amp, you can hear the relays (I think) click as you switch modes.
  • Cool. Try this (not kidding): open the top and use a screwdriver handle to give a couple of good whacks to the driver output relays with power off. Test. No joy? Do it again carefully with power on. Really smack ‘em.

    This jewel of wisdom was passed down to me by an aerospace engineer who spent his career building satellite bits for obscure govt agencies. He used to bill for a “percussive/kinetic impulse evaluation” (ie, just beat on it to find the bugs). Not kidding.
  • Sometimes there are potentiometers in the signal path that never move, and their wipers get bored and go noisy. eg 'Balance' control. Its worth running them back and forth along their full scale a few times every now and then.

    Not that it sounds like the particular fault here.
  • percussive/kinetic impulse evaluation

    I have to remember that,

  • Sounds like it is happening in only one mode? Not sure since everything is almost all throw-away anymore there used to be these things called Sams Photofax for nearly every reasonably priced repairable thing. TV shops used to have file cabinets full of these, you could almost tell how long they had been in business by how large their collection was.

    They have a site now https://samswebsite.com/. looks like some things are free and instant download, some may charge for. You might have a shot unless it is a part no longer made that you can not substitute another for. Good luck. Are there any TV repair shops left in the (first) world?
  • Buy a new unit?

    I have an '82 car whose standard transmission has lost its 2nd-gear synchronizers. I can still drive it. My washing machine can only do half loads because the tub leaks above a certain level. It still does my laundry. The dryer drum relies upon a urethane belt that I scabbed together years ago from climbing gear. It squeaks, but the dryer still dries my clothes.

    Do I want to replace any of this stuff? No! They still work, despite a few inconveniences. Scrapping any one of them would contribute to unnecessary waste and expense that I cannot condone.

    So buck up and endure the minor pops that you hear. Your unit has many years of dependable service left. And maybe you can even repair it, rather than replacing it.

  • I found the manual, the specific model is the Sony STR-DE635. It seems this is circa 1999! Didn't remember I'd had it that long.

    The Sams website is interesting but seems to be too old for this model.

    I found some advice to disconnect all speaker wires, clean out the dust and reconnect. I'll give that a try.
  • Percussive/kinetic impulse evaluation for the win! I wen to pull the receiver out and its rubber feet were stuck to the cabinet. There was a bit of a klunk and I was able to move it around. I took out the optical cable connection and used compressed air to clean both ends.

    Now I don't get the pop.
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,779
    Nice fix! Nothing Andy Griffith couldn't have handled 60 years ago: "Just spit in the radio and whomp it good one!" Jump to 1:20.

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