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Beolab flickering lights and "thump"

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Piaf
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Piaf posted on Tue, Jan 10 2017 3:02 AM

When my newest addition to my B&O family arrived [Beolab 5000], I noticed that the two lamps flickered with the music when the volume was at 4-5 and I asked Soren about this.

Soren said I should post this as a question of the forum as he didn't know why this was happening, as it didn't happen when he tested the Beolab.

Soren felt "something was drawing too much power," so what do you guys think?

Also when the power button is depressed there is a rather loud THUMP in the speakers. It seems to me that I read on another thread that the Beomaster 4400 also did this, but it was of no concern.

Frankly, I was kind of pleased that my own 4400 didn't exhibit this particular trait.

Anyway, I am most interested in the flickering lights to see if it means anything needs attention. I really don't want to do anything that might damage this wonderful amp.

Jeff

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Piaf
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Answered (Verified) Piaf replied on Wed, Jan 11 2017 7:37 PM
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Hi Soren,

All help and advice is appreciated and useful. This is Canada, boringly dependable and that would most definitely include electric service.

I like "dimmed" lights so I have dimmer virtually all over the house: bathrooms, hallways, living room, media room..... you get the idea. And dimmers are SUPER sensitive to drops in voltage, if set low enough, they stay off until turned back on again, so I am very certain that voltage (either low or inconsistent) is not the problem.

I played the Beolab all day yesterday and today as well. It is playing right now as I type. It plays BEAUTIFULLY which is a tribute to your dedicated workmanship. Ditto the Beomaster 5000, which is a total delight.

If, as you said, you played the Beolab at 8 and the lamps didn't flicker, then clearly something happened in transit. Right now anything above 4 causes the red ON lamp as well as the green STEREO lamp to flicker.

At 5 the flicker becomes more pronounced. At 6 the lamps actually go out completely (briefly). As you said you took the Beolab to 8 to tired but at 6.5 it actually hurt my ears and you know that I LOVE LOUD music.Honest Soren, I don't know how you could have listened to this Beolab at 8.

As the Beolab has replaced my ailing Beomaster 4400, it is now a part of my daily extensive exercise program, so I get a lot of up close time where I can watch the Beolab and see all the flickering.

In truth..... and you know me, I will be honest, I find the flickering annoying, it grabs attention where it shouldn't, BUT it is not something I can't live with. Live comes with compromise and I really LIKE this Beolab! Smile

Jeff

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Piaf
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Answered (Verified) Piaf replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 5:39 PM
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I am now in the process of gathering information from the cognoscenti here on BeoWorld and have a pretty fair idea of source of the power supply issue with my new Beolab.

While sorting through this the thought that occurs is the flickering lamps which are the result of a voltage drop can reasonably be used as a temporary over-load protector, that is to say, if the lights are steady there should be sufficient voltage for the amplifier itself to avoid any problem while maintaining sound quality.

The only remaining question is, is it to be expected (acceptable) for the left side of the Beolab to get actually quite hot? I have been keeping close check on the heatsinks which seldom get more than warm. I touched the left side yesterday by accident and was relatively surprised by how hot it was. Of course hot is a broad term, but more than body temperature, but not too hot to touch.

If the left side being rather toasty is of no concern I would like to spend a good bit of time letting this Beolab settle-in...... and enjoy the music while it is doing it.

If the left side temperature IS a problem, I sure hope someone will let me know.

Thanks guys.

Jeff

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Piaf
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Piaf replied on Thu, Jan 12 2017 6:38 PM

Hi Jacques,

I do not know if this makes a difference, but I didn't say the lamps dimmed, they go out completely. This is a flicker so they don't "turn off" but they do turn off completely for a second with heavy bass notes.

Also the STEREO lamp is more sensitive than the POWER lamp, for whatever reason.

Shrug.

Jeff

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Piaf
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Piaf replied on Fri, Jan 13 2017 3:55 AM

chartz:
The way I see it, the PSU regulator must be faulty. If the lamps get dim, the PSU rail drops too. I'm afraid the Beolab will have to be opened and some measurements will be necesssary to make a clear diagnostic.

Am I best advised NOT to use this Beolab until this regulator matter is corrected? I would not want to damage it.

Jeff

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chartz
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chartz replied on Fri, Jan 13 2017 1:28 PM
Right. No abnormal noise and no dimming of the lights makes the PSU problem go away. Good. Just one more test: what if you gently tap the Beolab at different corners? Or if you tap the shelf or the piece of furniture on which it stands? Do the lights flicker then? I was thinking of a possible bad solder joint or something.

I think it is safe to use it.

Jacques

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Piaf replied on Fri, Jan 13 2017 5:54 PM

Hi Jacques,

I tried tapping "lightly" on all four corners and nothing, the lamps steady. So I tried tapping harder all over, again nothing. Not wanting to miss an "opportunity" to find a solution I POUNDED as hard as I dared on the Beolab, nada. Lastly I did a Conga drum number on the table the Beolab sit upon, and once again, the lamps are steady.

Frustrating and disappointing, but at least you feel it is safe to use.

On a more positive note, and strictly as an aside, the USPS found my missing Beomaster 1600 which arrived really late, but undamaged. Smile I don't know why I like that amp so much, as it really isn't a very good amp and the mechanical design is an absolute cauchemar, but the design is stunning.

Back to the subject at hand, so where do "we" go from here? It appears to me that this may not be a serious problem but candidly the flickering lamps drive me NUTS. It just screams something is wrong and that's simply not the vision I have of an outstanding amplifier.

If I haven't beaten the details to death already, the flickers are responses to bass notes, pretty much exclusively. When I use my "iconic" 8-Track the bass response (at least with the tape I am playing) are insufficient to get more than a slight flicker from the lamps. However with a disco LP the lamps go out completely, and not just a quick flicker, sometimes like a brief pause. That is to say a very prolonged flicker.

If it is a power source problem rather than a poor solder point, there is no apparent effect to the sound quality.

Jeff

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Piaf
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Piaf replied on Mon, Jan 16 2017 6:12 PM

Beolab 5000 Update:

There was a question about the mains selection and the BL is set to 130v, which is correct for North America. There is another offering at 110v, but I don't know if this would make a significant difference.

Soren wanted to know about the house current, which measures a very constant 118.2.

The speakers I am using leave much (on paper) to be desired, however the combined sound quality is surprisingly successful. I am using power hungry MC120.2 speakers with low demand and only partially working Fisher XP66 speakers, which make up for the MC120.2's anemic bass capacity. One could make a case for better speaker selection, however I feel a 60w amplifier should be able to accommodate such speakers to a "reasonable level."

In "testing" the BL, I took the volume level to just over 6.5 where I noticed the faint beginnings of distortion. Immediately following this "test" the light flickering that previously had begun at level 5 now was evident at level 4, which is a backwards and unexpected step.

If I keep the volume level at 4 or less, I have no problem. Better still, if I only use my AKAI 8-Track, the reduced range seldom triggers the flickering lamps. 

However if a bombastic LP is chosen with a lot of boom boom bass, the lamps are going to response like a overly anxious Christmas tree light set indicating an over stressed amp. However no matter what is attempted, the heatsinks do not get hot which you would expect from an over stressed, over-demanded amp.

That's the status thus far on the Beolab. Me? I am just plain confused. Unsure

Comments or suggestions? I am sure open for either.

Jeff

 

 

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chartz
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chartz replied on Mon, Jan 16 2017 6:38 PM

I think the MC120 are eight ohm speakers.

Now the Beolab is a sixty watter under four ohms, and not really suited to old eight ohm boxes. Its power will then be about 30 watts, the usual with 3055 transistors driven gently. You have to be aware of that.

Current production boxes are commonly between 4 and 6 ohms and the Beolab will be happy to drive them. That said, I have never heard mine distort badly, even driving eight ohm speakers - albeit reasonably so.

I'm confused as well here. My guess is that something happened during transport after all. That ominous light flicker proves it. Sending it back to Søren seems like the best option to me.

Jacques

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Piaf replied on Mon, Jan 16 2017 7:29 PM

Hi Jacques,

I am BADLY speaker challenged these days. Just made an offer on some B&O speakers but the seller wanted double what I thought they were worth. Tried the local used stereo shop and I would be fearful of termites and rot from the sad collection of unknown speakers on display.

Well, I have no problem keeping the volume down to protect the Beolab, consider it done.

When I said I detected distortion the volume was audibly very high 6.5 and the distortion was SLIGHT. Very SLIGHT.

Soren today suggested changing the voltage setting from 130v to 110 v and that DID make a positive difference. On low demand music I went from lamp flickering at 4 to 5, which is clearly better. Then tried a boom boom recording I happen to like and the flickering comes back with a vengeance, BUT, the flicker is not to absolute off (briefly) as it was previously.

Unfortunately, I agree, it really looks likely that something happened in shipment. Good God, the meticulous way Soren packed it, they must have thrown it across the room! Might explain what happened to the Beomaster as well, but let's not go there, that is entirely another story. Angry I HATE shipping stereo gear, I really do.

So until either the problem becomes more clear or the BL is repaired, I will gladly take it easy on it...... after waiting THIS long for a BL, I am not about to knowingly do anything that might damage it.

Thanks for your input!!!!! (ALWAYS WELCOME!)

Jeff

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Answered (Verified) Piaf replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 5:39 PM
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I am now in the process of gathering information from the cognoscenti here on BeoWorld and have a pretty fair idea of source of the power supply issue with my new Beolab.

While sorting through this the thought that occurs is the flickering lamps which are the result of a voltage drop can reasonably be used as a temporary over-load protector, that is to say, if the lights are steady there should be sufficient voltage for the amplifier itself to avoid any problem while maintaining sound quality.

The only remaining question is, is it to be expected (acceptable) for the left side of the Beolab to get actually quite hot? I have been keeping close check on the heatsinks which seldom get more than warm. I touched the left side yesterday by accident and was relatively surprised by how hot it was. Of course hot is a broad term, but more than body temperature, but not too hot to touch.

If the left side being rather toasty is of no concern I would like to spend a good bit of time letting this Beolab settle-in...... and enjoy the music while it is doing it.

If the left side temperature IS a problem, I sure hope someone will let me know.

Thanks guys.

Jeff

Beogram 4000, Beogram 4002, Beogram 4004, Beogram 8000, Beogram 8002, Beogram 1602. Beogram 4500 CD player, B&O CDX player, Beocord 4500, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 8004, Beocord 9000, Beomaster 1000, Beomaster 1600, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 4400, Beomaster 4500, Beolab 5000, Beomaster 5000, BeoCenter 9000. BeoSound Century,  S-45.2, S-45.2, S-75, S-75, M-75, M-100, MC 120.2 speakers; B&O Illuminated Sign (with crown & red logo). B&O grey & black Illuminated Sign, B&O black Plexiglas dealer sign, B&O ash tray, B&O (Orrefors) dealer award vase,  B&O Beotime Clock. Navy blue B&O baseball cap, B&O T-shirt X2, B&O black ball point pen, B&O Retail Management Binder

 

chartz
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chartz replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 5:48 PM
Hi there.

My Beolab is never very hot at all. The right - you meant right, right? Stick out tongue - side being more than lukewarm is not normal at all, although it will always be a bit hotter because of the PSU transistors. There is definitely something wrong then. Can you measure the temp in Celsius please?

Jacques

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Left and middle third are the end stages, the right third stays cool, here I had no heat differences between middle and left third. I had the amp connected to my tv (Tape in) and often forgot to turn it off at night, so 24 hours on was no problem, behaving exactly as my BM 4400. Please make sure that your speakers are OK, I start getting nervous here.

I checked for heat frequently, after finished repair every 10.15 minutes, then every hour, and after installation in my living room a couple of times a day, during a party it was playing loud (level 5 sometimes 6) about 4-6 hours, the cooling elements only got a little more than hand warm, and only a little more than when playing long time at normal listening level, which was around 3, depending of the source.

I see about 100 hours of work going up in smoke, something is wrong, please check your speakers and connected sources , please dont let it play until it breaks down

Collecting Vintage B&O is not a hobby, its a lifestyle.

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Piaf replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 6:33 PM

OK, I didn't expect this response, but THANK YOU BOTH.

Jacques I will get you the temperature reading today.

Soren, please do not fear all you hard work going up in smoke. However I have to turn the Beolab on to get the temperature reading for Jacques. I will have the real report in an hour, but as a guess I would say the left temperature was 39 degree C.

After I have the temperature reading if you guys decide the Beolab should not be used at all, then I won't.

And no, I meant the LEFT side, the right side is cool. Also, one more time, the heatsinks from side to side are just a tad more than warm, but less than body temperature.

Guys, now I am concerned.

Jeff

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Piaf replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 7:28 PM

Guys you have left me a bit scared and confused at the same time.

I had intended to give you a scientific answer to your question, however my thermometer battery just died and I don't have a spare. (Pretty much my luck) I did get one reading on the LEFT side of 37 degree C. I was going to check the right side and the heatsinks, but no dice, all I get now is "Lo."

Trying to describe the situation as BEST I can, the left side is right at body temperature from the middle to the rear of the Beolab, getting warmer the closer I get to the back. The front end is basically cool, both left and right sides.

The right side is warm, but NOT hot.

The heat sinks are (probably) 37 degrees C on the left side and middle. The right side is considerably cooler.

After 45 minutes at 5.5 on the volume dial the temperature evens out, that is to say the right side is now similar in temperature to the formally hotter left. Also the font end is now warm too, both sides about the same. Basically the initial differences in temperature evens out. Even the heatsinks are similar, although the right is s little cooler, but not much.

The sound quality is exceptional, VERY good. Also no odor from the electronics.

After one hour the temperature remains constant, however, I have lost confidence in the safety of using this Beolab, so I shut it off. Don't plan to use it again unless you guys feel it is OK to use.

Jeff

 

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Piaf replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 8:49 PM

Jacques and Soren, Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

I don't know if it makes any difference however my Beomaster 4400 played the exact same pair of speakers, using the same Beogram 8000 and AKAI 8-Track for well over 3 years, and as that was a Beomaster I had reason to be concerned over, I checked the heatsink temperatures on a very regular basis, and the 4400 was dependably warm, never hot.

The Beomaster 4400 has rather similar wattage and I think we can make the case that it was not quite as well built as the Beolab, so I question that it might be the set up-causing whatever distress this Beolab is suffering from. The MC120.2 speakers might well be something of a challenge, but I don't see them as being able to inflict damage.

If you think I am wrong about this, I am pretty confident that you will tell me.

Jeff

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chartz
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chartz replied on Wed, Jan 18 2017 9:28 PM
Ok Jeff, my mistake, I thought you were talking about the heatsinks. We techs always check temperature where the power transistors are mounted.

That the left cheek should be quite hot is absolutely normal and fine!

Sorry about the confusion. And back to stage one.

Jacques

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With the temps/ you mention go on playing, no problem. Just to explain the differences, the transformer is located to the far right, seen from the front, the the transformer will heat up the right side, but no more than a little more than hand warm, the power transistors are located middle and left side, so a difference from left to right is natural, 37°C left on the heat sinkls after playing normal level 1 hour is OK, the middle heat sinks should be about the same

Her you can see the transformer

Collecting Vintage B&O is not a hobby, its a lifestyle.

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