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Topic:
Energy Subwoofer Repair
This thread has 28 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Sunday July 27, 2008 at 13:56
RWI
Founding Member
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576
Hi all, it seems that my Energy Microstar 12.1 subwoofer has kicked the bucket. I opened that rear access panel and see a nice burn and many damaged components on the circuit board. I am located in Northern NJ and am wondering if I should seek repair or look into replacement. If I go the repair route, do you have any suggestions as to who I should use?

This is in my 16 x 25 basement theater with all Energy Veritas speakers. I suppose this is a very subjective question, but thought I would like to hear some opinions.

Thanks all
Post 2 made on Sunday July 27, 2008 at 16:39
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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I'd first call Energy and get a price. I recently went through something like this with a JBL sub in a restaurant. Not only was the unit no longer made, but the dead amplifier chip was no longer made and to repair the unit meant to install a used amp that the JBL repair guy had from an abandoned unit. My choice was to keep the box and maybe use it at another restaurant with a new amp, not JBL. There was no way I would charge for a repair on this as I couldn't stand behind it.

Maybe the Energy guys will be able to give you the scoop on this, and knowing the price will help you decide which way to go.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 3 made on Sunday July 27, 2008 at 19:21
RWI
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Thanks Ernie, I was thinking that they would have to see the unit for a price. I guess I will call tomorrow.
Post 4 made on Sunday July 27, 2008 at 19:34
pilgram
Loyal Member
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5,070
If it is yours and you are handy with in-circuit repairs, I would try and reference the parts and replace them.

I'm currently watching a Sony 36" XBR in my shop that was given to me by a client for free because it was too expensive too have repaired at a shop so it was replaced.

$17 later(two caps and a transister), it's up and running and has been for 5 years.

I wouldn't take the chance with a client however......
Man I could use a pina colloda
A little bit of sun on my skin...
A hammock,a book,never gonna look back Once my feet hit the sand.....
Post 5 made on Sunday July 27, 2008 at 22:22
Dave E
Long Time Member
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282
Was anything else in the home damaged at about the same time? If so, it may have been caused by a power grid switching surge or lightning. It may be an insurance claim. If it was plugged into a surge suppressor, the manufacturer of the suppressor may pay for repair or replacement up to your deductible, if the surge passed through the suppressor.

Just a thought, I hate to pay for something if someone else is willing pay for it.

“The reason lightning rarely strikes the same place twice is that the same place is usually not there the second time around.”
Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
Any wire cut to length will be too short.
I must be a near GENIUS. All my teachers told me I was at the very PEAK of the bell curve!
Post 6 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 04:00
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
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October 1998
27,831
If you contact Energy/API/Klipsch they should be able to tell you if a repair is even possible. I would guess, judging by the age of the unit, that the amplifier is most likely no longer available, and by your report of its condition it may not be easily repairable.

If repair IS possible, then they should be able to give you a quote which will tell you whether it's worth it or not. As far as I can tell the unitwas big and had an MSRP of about $1600 when new.

“The reason lightning rarely strikes the same place twice is that the same place is usually not there the second time around.”

Love that one!
Post 7 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 04:19
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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Daniel's reply made me think of one. Someone mounted a Triad subwoofer in a wall at a client's home and, I kid you not, ran it off of the left channel of the power amp. Full frequency audio. No crossover.

I've recently bought an outboard Jamo subwoofer amp for about $300 to power that sub. there's a company not too far from me that specializes in speakers and such, and they carry many different amps. To use this amp, you'd have to agree that it had enough power -- how much did yours have? -- remove the amp from your box, plug up the hole with particle board in a way that did not leak air or let it vibrate, then use this amp externally. There is no appropriate way to put a different power amp into that box as sizes will be different and safety requirement are stringent for anything box-mounted.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 8 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 08:29
RWI
Founding Member
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Dave, it's funny you mention the lightning as that is what I suspect as we have had a boat load of it recently. I do have a whole house surge suppressor on the breaker panel plus individual suppressors on equipment although I still have damage. On the good side this is the only piece of my house to get damaged so who knows.

Insurance would be my last resort as it seems that you use it once, there goes your rates so you wind up paying for it over time.

I may attempt to repair this myself, I am perfectly comfortable with printed board work and I do solder good. It looks like 2 parts are damaged, 1 looks to be a rectifier, the other I believe is a resistor but I am still trying to cross the part #. Thanks for the advise.

Ernie, the back of the unit shows 1500 watts.
Post 9 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 11:21
FRR
Advanced Member
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917
On July 28, 2008 at 08:29, RWI said...
I may attempt to repair this myself, I am perfectly comfortable
with printed board work and I do solder good. It looks
like 2 parts are damaged, 1 looks to be a rectifier, the
other I believe is a resistor but I am still trying to
cross the part #.

Beware, there may be more damage than what is visible to the naked eye. Even if some of the other parts may work they may have a shortened life. Ernie's idea of using an external amp is probably the easiest and quickest of all solutions.
Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
Post 10 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 11:26
Mr. Stanley
Elite Member
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13,955
Shouldn't it be under warranty?
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Post 11 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 12:03
Dave E
Long Time Member
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282
FRR is correct. When electronics is damaged by lightning, I like to replace the equipment not try to repair it. I have been told by manufacturers and I tell insurance adjusters that lightning can have three effects on electrical components. First is catastrophic failure, arch marks, components blown off the board or melted. Second is component failure. Everything looks OK but it doesn’t work. Third ,and most insidious, is component degradation. Instead of having a ten year life, some components have a three month life, some five some a year or eighteen months, etc. You fix what is bad and a few months later something else goes bad and you enter an endless loop of repair/failure. Some manufacturers have told me that lightning damage is either BER or BRR, beyond economical repair or beyond reliable repair.

If you were using Panamax surge suppressors and they were properly installed, Panamax may pay to have the unit repaired or replaced. Whole house suppressors are nice but a nearby lightning strike is like a giant radio transmitter and it induces high voltage directly into the hundreds of feet of 110 volt wiring in the walls of your home. Installing a surge suppressor at the wall outlet of each device stops that induced spike from getting into the devices. Plus the fact that 60 percent of the surges come from within the building. Every time your refrigerator shuts off it causes a spike of 1,000 volts or more. Motors in washers, dryers, fans, HVAC as well as coils in fluorescent lights all produce spikes when they are turned off. The damage from these spikes is cumulative over time. If you take a hammer and tap a piece of drywall, not much happens. Tap it 1,000 times and you can see the cumulative damage.

My free advice comes with a money back guarantee!
Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
Any wire cut to length will be too short.
I must be a near GENIUS. All my teachers told me I was at the very PEAK of the bell curve!
Post 12 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 12:27
Mr. Stanley
Elite Member
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Should be under a 5 year warranty I would think. They should replace all of the internal stuff. Contact who supplied it to you, and request warranty coverage. Simple.
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Post 13 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 14:31
Dr.Gonzo
Long Time Member
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Posts:
August 2006
114
Before you go and put a head stone on it and call it dead. I agree you should call them. I had one installed the same age as yours and it died in a very dramatic and smelly ,smoke filled episode. $25 later and a few minutes to swap out a board and it was back to 100%. Energy isn't exteremly high end but its spendy enough to do your client the courtesy of making sure the damage is non serviceable.
Automate your Blow Up Doll?
Sure no problem, who's the manufacturer and where's the remote?
Post 14 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 16:10
tweeterguy
Loyal Member
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June 2005
6,584
RWI, hopefully you will have better luck than I did last time I attempted an Energy sub repair. I contacted their US regional repair center (or something of that nature), was told the part (transformer) was quite costly and not worth it (sorry, shouldn't I be the judge of that?). I told them I wanted a quote anyway and was told I would receive an email...never happened. Luckily it was not for a client but for one of my own and in the end gave me a reason to try out a new sub line in my home.

If/when you get any results, I'd appreciate any info you can provide regarding the service center since the sub is currently serving for the low end in my garage system. It works, just has a buzzing transformer at idle.
- Chris
Post 15 made on Monday July 28, 2008 at 18:45
Tom Ciaramitaro
Super Member
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May 2002
4,974
Woofer 5 year warranty, amp one year.

Call Klipsch (bought Energy) and get a price on the entire amp/back panel.

Verify the woofer moves freely (no rubbing or frozen cone).
"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born." - Ronald Reagan
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