PSW125 Problems: Periodic Humming, Static and Heartbeat Noises

Hi folks,

First time poster here. Been having problems as of late with my PSW125. I'm using it in conjunction with a Yamaha HTR-5840 and the RM8 series speakers. Sub connection is via Option #1, the sub out/right line in setup. Sub is around there years old.

Problem started a couple of months ago when I started noticing periodic heartbeat noises with the unit. I tried diagnosing the problem, but it seemed to dissipate after checking connections. In the last couple of days I started noticing periodic low-frequency humming noise. It's subtle, but something that did not occur before. The heartbeat, too, has returned, but this has only happened once or twice. Worse, the unit is now throwing out a muffled sound. This is most apparent when listening to human speech. But it's there when listening to music as well.

I'm quite certain I'm using a high quality cable, so I do not believe that to be the problem. Not sure where to go from here. I'll admit to being somewhat of a novice with these things, so there's a chance there's a a problem with my basic setup (although the system had been working fine for three years). Please help!

Bryan
Post edited by slowdive101 on
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Comments

  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    edited March 2014
    Hello Bryan,
    Welcome to Polk's forum, I'm sorry there's a problem. Let's see if we can determine where the problem might be. To do this turn the volume down on the sub and remove the sub-cable you have from the subwoofer. Then disconnect your DVD player (I'm assuming you have one of these) from your receiver and bring it to where the sub is. Then use a good quality cable connect the right and left audio outputs, of the DVD player, to the corresponding right and left inputs on the sub. Then start playing a CD and turn the volume up very slowly on the sub until you can hear sound. Play a few CDs seeing if you hear any of the problem you've mentioned.
    Let us know what you find.
    Regards, Ken
  • slowdive101slowdive101 Posts: 4
    edited March 2014
    Thank you for your reply.

    Okay, I followed your suggestion (only I used a CD player instead of a DVD player....hope this is okay). I tried a few CDs, and these are the results I got:

    When the low pass knob is turned to LFE (as it was with the one-chord setup), there is an audible buzzing/humming as soon as I press play on the cd, even with the volume on zero. I have no idea if what I'm hearing is normal or not, as I have never listened to the sub woofer on its own. When I turn the volume up, the bass sound seems acceptable to me, but the buzzing/humming was still there.

    Meanwhile, when the low pass knob is turned all the way to 60, there is no noise when the volume is set to zero as the cd plays. That is the only difference between the two low pass knob extremes. As soon as I turn the volume up a touch, the same buzzing is present. The bass sounds okay.
  • slowdive101slowdive101 Posts: 4
    edited March 2014
    I should clarify. This buzzing noise is really more of a static noise. It's not the same as either the periodic humming I had been hearing or the strange heartbeat sound. Neither of those were detectable while doing this test (although the unit goes into shutdown when not receiving a signal, so it's not really a good comparison).
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    edited March 2014
    Hello,
    Yes, a CD player is fine. I'm going to assume that you used a different set of connecting cables than the cable you were previously using, correct? If so, it means the problem is a faulty bass amplifier in the subwoofer. Polk's customer service people will help you get service or a replacement. Give them a call at 1-800-377-7655 tomorrow and have the unit's serial number and date and place of purchase handy when you call. They'll give you easy to follow instructions on how to proceed.
    I'm sorry you are having a problem, but Polk will take care of it.
    Regards, Ken
  • slowdive101slowdive101 Posts: 4
    edited March 2014
    Yes. When connecting the CD player I used a standard left/right RCA cable, whereas I had been using a single cable in the LFE IN input when connected to the stereo.

    Thanks. I will call tomorrow. Hopefully the 800 number works from Canada.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    edited March 2014
    Hello,
    In that case, telephone Walter Moser at 1-877-660-6601 he's the Canadian manager for Polk and he'll get you squared away.
    Cheers, Ken
  • rg926rg926 Posts: 1
    Having the same problem that slowdive had AGAIN! I ran into this about 6 years ago with this Sub and was about 3 months out of warranty. So I bit the bullet and paid $120 to replace the amp. It's a very nice Sub and it sounds great but I can't keep spending $120 on it every five or six years. Lots of noise and chatter, same as before.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    Hello,
    Welcome to Polk's forum, I'm sorry you're having a reoccurring problem with your subwoofer. My recommendation would be to contact Kim Jasper at 1-800-377-7655 extension 5208 and explain that you've posted on Club Polk and I asked you to contact him. You can also email him at kim.jasper@soundunited.com
    Regards, Ken
  • I am having the same problem...Just started tonight for no reason when wife was watching a DVD...It had been perfect before tonight. Does it with Blu-Ray, regular TV and X-Box too. Sub is hooked up to a Pioneer receiver and other Polk speakers (RTIA1 front, CSiA4 centre and RTi4's at the back). I checked connections, everything is the same. Played great last night. I think the sub is around 3 years old and of course, can't find registration and I switched internet providers so can't log onto my product registration but I know I registered it. I sent technical assistance a message along with a video and serial number. I'm hoping it is still under warranty as this was not an "abused" sub and that they can retrieve the information...
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    Hello,
    Welcome to Polk's forum. Are you a Canadian resident?
    Regards, Ken
  • Hi Ken, yes I am. The product was purchased at a Future Shop originally. Still can't find my original receipt of purchase or remember original password to online account of course. I did register it though. Sent all relevant information to tech support. Should I send to CSR too? Any help is appreciated. Thanks so much.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    Hello,
    The national sales manager for Polk in Canada is Walter Moser, you can email him at Walter.Moser@soundunited.com with a phone number of 1-877-660-6601. When you contact him mention that you are a CP member and I asked you to reach him. Your date of purchase and place of purchase will be registered with Polk and they are available at 1-800-377-7655.
    Cheers, Ken
  • Thanks Kenneth! I have emailed Walter. When speaking on the phone with the tech, the tech on the phone this afternoon suggested when I get home I turn the sub and all sound sources off. I did that. When I gently press/tap on the centre and particularly the sides of the cone, I am getting a noise back as I touch it, similar to what I heard when sound was on. It even does it when I have the power off and audio cable unplugged, though not quite as bad. Not sure what that means exactly but I have relayed that information and I am supposed to call customer service again to report results.
  • I too am now having this exact issue. A simple Google search shows multiple people sharing this issue.

    Whom do I contact in Canada? I cannot afford another one. I bought this at future shop a few years ago, but I cannot find the receipt and future shop has gone out of business.

    My serial number is am122505231
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    See my post above for Canadian contact information.
  • Thank you. I do hope Polk does something. I was surprised when I saw the amount of owner complaining about this issue.

    Shot an email to the Canadian representative
  • malanden wrote: »
    Thank you. I do hope Polk does something. I was surprised when I saw the amount of owner complaining about this issue.

    Shot an email to the Canadian representative

    I just wanted to follow up and say thanks to Ken and to Walter. I was sent a replacement part and I have been up and running for awhile now. Excellent customer service.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    That's great, thanks for letting us know.
  • I think I am starting to have the same issue. About a week ago my sub started making a static noise when the sub notes hit. At high volumes the sound drowns out the static but at low volumes I can hear the static and it is very distracting. I bought the sub in 2010 I believe so probably out of warranty. From experience is this a driver or complete sub issue?
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    Hello,
    Welcome to Polk's forum. That sounds like a problem with the woofer as opposed to the amplifier. Do you live in the U.S. or Canada?
    Regards, Ken
  • I live in the US.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    In that case you should be able to replace the woofer, it's pretty simple to do. To order telephone 1-800-377-7655 select option 2 and mention you have joined Club Polk for a reduced price and free shipping.
  • Ok. I should say it makes the static noise even when it appears no bass noise should be made. Almost like it is now trying to produce noise from high freq sounds.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    There are really only two parts to the sub, the woofer itself and the bass amplifier. Distortion during peak bass sounds, heard as a rattling sound usually means a blown woofer. Sometimes if you push on the woofer cone you can hear a rubbing voice coil. If the distortion is present even if there's no bass being produced and it's more of a static sound then the problem is with the bass amplifier.
    One sure way to tell is to remove the woofer, disconnect the wires, turn it over on a piece of carpet or blanket and touch a positive/negative speaker wire to the woofer's terminals at low power. There should be no distortion. Either case, the first place to begin is with Polk's CS guys at the above number.
  • I have the same issue heartbeat noises and a deep hum
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    Hello,
    Welcome to Polk's forum, I'm sorry there's a problem. In all likelihood your unit has a defective bass amplifier and would need to be repaired or replaced. The best place to begin is with Polk's CS department at: 1-800-377-7655 select option 1.
    Regards, Ken
  • Hi, I'm a first time visitor. I'm having the same problem as many other people above me. I contacted Polk Audio and they told me its more than likely the amp as well. My question is-is Polk Audio going to do anything about what seems to be a very common problem on these amplifiers? it literally almost seems that once they get just out of warranty, they fail. Mine included. Seems like Polk should at the very minimum extend the warranty a few extra years on the amp and speaker system.

    I loved my subwoofer PSW 125 but now its dead and based on what I'm reading, I'm not sure its worth replacing because its going to fail in a few more years.
  • beroconnellberoconnell Posts: 3
    edited February 9
    I have the same problem a heartbeat noise and a Hum. with all the complaints over the years with the same problem with the PSW 125 is there anything being done to satisfy the customer. When a car has a recall is there anything like this that Polk offer for this problem with this particular woofer.
  • chroschros Posts: 4
    Hey Guys! I started to have the very exact problem yesterday (mine is 1.5 years old), google lead me here. Reading the comments tells me that it's the amp, only 1 RCA cable is used for LFE from my Yamaha AVR. Noise isn't there only (!) if I unplug the power cable, otherwise it's always present:
    - when RCA cable is plugged off (means no input at all)
    - doesn't matter if the switch on the back is on/auto/standby mode
    - doesn't matter where the potmeters are set (lfe/volume)
    - doesn't matter where the phase switch is set

    I'm in the UK. :( Who can I call?
    Thank you!
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,800
    Hello,
    Welcome to Polk's forum. I'll find out who you should contact for service in the U.K.
    Regards, Ken
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