Crackle in the left channel of my Gryphon Colosseum

LarryK

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2018
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Sadly, my Gryphon Colosseum has developed a crackle in its left channel.

I switched the speaker cables at the amp and the crackle moved to the other channel. I then swapped the inputs from the preamp on the back of the Colosseum and the crackle did not move.

From this, I have concluded that there is something at fault in the left channel of the amplifier. I will be taking the amp to Soundsmith in Peekskill, NY to get it repaired.

I can’t lift the beast so I have arranged for a local weightlifting coach to load it into my car. He can squat over 500lbs. The amp is only 175lbs so he’ll be ok.

The amp is going to have to live in my car for a few days while I make the trip. Any recommendations on how to reduce the moisturize? Do I cover it with something and put in desiccants?

I’m not looking forward to many months without the amp. I bought a little Son of Ampzilla II, a 40lb Class AB amplifier so my system is running again. I haven’t heard any more crackles so I think my preamp, Gryphon speaker cables, and Gryphon Cantata speakers are fine.
 
Hi LarryK,

Sorry to hear. A few thoughts:

1. When you have the amp placed in your car, you need to be careful because as you know, the side panels are carbon fiber and not super-solid.
2. Do you happen to have the original shipping case by any chance? Much bulkier but much safer as well
3. As for moisture, I am no techie...how damp is the car interior? Is the car inside a garage or kept outdoors...and is it raining a lot?

As for the crackling, I did have that...I think what you need to speak with your audiotech about is taking his/her time and really tracing back to what might be a faulty resistor or something of the like. They can be very very tricky to find because if the crackling does not occur all the time, then they have to wait for it to occur in order to trace it. In our case, it was related to heat over time from what we were told.
 
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Hi LarryK,
Hello Lloyd,

Thanks for the reply!

Sorry to hear. A few thoughts:

1. When you have the amp placed in your car, you need to be careful because as you know, the side panels are carbon fiber and not super-solid.

Good point. I will try to wrap the amp in some foam rubber or something to prevent damage.


2. Do you happen to have the original shipping case by any chance? Much bulkier but much safer as well

I have the original shipping case but I am afraid of using a trucking company to deliver the amp. I worry that they’ll destroy the amp. The shipping case will not fit in my car but the amp will sit on the backseat with a seatbelt around it.

I delivered the amp to Soundsmith three years ago this way.

3. As for moisture, I am no techie...how damp is the car interior? Is the car inside a garage or kept outdoors...and is it raining a lot?
The car will be outside. It’s too early to tell if it will be raining. I can’t physically move the amp into a hotel room so it will have to sit outside in the car.

As for the crackling, I did have that...I think what you need to speak with your audiotech about is taking his/her time and really tracing back to what might be a faulty resistor or something of the like. They can be very very tricky to find because if the crackling does not occur all the time, then they have to wait for it to occur in order to trace it. In our case, it was related to heat over time from what we were told.

Oh, wow, you had the same problem! Thanks for the tip. The crackling starts after the amp has been on for about 10-15 minutes. I can believe that it is related to heat. Where did you have it fixed?
 
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Are you all SS? In my experience crackling is often a tube dying. I have some now and again now. I think it is the pre-tubes wearing out.
 
Are you all SS? In my experience crackling is often a tube dying. I have some now and again now. I think it is the pre-tubes wearing out.
I am all solid state. Since my backup amplifier has been running for over a week with the same setup, minus the Colosseum amp, I conclude there is a problem with the amp.
 
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Most certainly! Good luck. I hope it gets fixed
 
Hello Lloyd,

Thanks for the reply!



Good point. I will try to wrap the amp in some foam rubber or something to prevent damage.




I have the original shipping case but I am afraid of using a trucking company to deliver the amp. I worry that they’ll destroy the amp. The shipping case will not fit in my car but the amp will sit on the backseat with a seatbelt around it.

I delivered the amp to Soundsmith three years ago this way.


The car will be outside. It’s too early to tell if it will be raining. I can’t physically move the amp into a hotel room so it will have to sit outside in the car.



Oh, wow, you had the same problem! Thanks for the tip. The crackling starts after the amp has been on for about 10-15 minutes. I can believe that it is related to heat. Where did you have it fixed?
We had it fixed by a local audiotech here in the UK...it seems the basic design of the Gryphon is well understood, and these kinds of issues are not uncommon for Class A amps that run very hot. You just have to take your time to trace the actual resistor or whatever the part is that is starting to wear...and then replace it, and then test it to make sure that was the only one.
 
Just guessing. Maybe a cold solder joint?
Consult Google for a natural desiccant.
 
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Just guessing. Maybe a cold solder joint?
Consult Google for a natural desiccant.
Yes, that was the other possibility I recall the audiotech telling me about now...been many years since that problem.
 
Thanks, everyone. Yeah, someone had mentioned the possibility of a cold solder joint.

It’s good to know that it’s relatively easy to find repair shops. Soundsmith has been at it for over forty years. They’re a great bunch of people.

They told me they got their start repairing Gryphon gear when they repaired an entire system of Gryphon gear that had been fried by a thunderstorm.
 
Thanks, everyone. Yeah, someone had mentioned the possibility of a cold solder joint.

It’s good to know that it’s relatively easy to find repair shops. Soundsmith has been at it for over forty years. They’re a great bunch of people.

They told me they got their start repairing Gryphon gear when they repaired an entire system of Gryphon gear that had been fried by a thunderstorm.
They will definitely be able to do this one then, I imagine. Apparently, when you use 'cold air spray' (from a pressured can), it helps identify the solder joints in need of work...some trick no doubt lots of audiotechs use.
 
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All of my carefully made plans to get the Colosseum to Soundsmith have fallen through. The weightlifting coach, who can squat over 500lbs and who was going to load my amp into the car so I could drop it off at Soundsmith, backed out because his son broke his ankle.

I am now contemplating whether I should hire a trucking company but it will cost me a small fortune to get it from Pittsburgh to Peekskill and back.

Any recommendations on a trucking company? I will have to look up who I used in the past. All of this presents other problems, like finding a pallet, strapping it to a pallet, and getting it out of the house so it can be picked up by a truck. Sigh.

If I try to move the amp in December and take it in my car, I worry that leaving it in the cold overnight will damage it. Thoughts? I can’t make the ten hour trip in one day and so break it up into two days.

I’m trying to keep it all in perspective. There are far worse problems than mine.
 
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Hi LarryK,

Sorry to hear...I have used Fedex 2-day economy before, and there are no doubt other more 'freight-style' shipping companies. As I recall, shipping overseas internationally via Fedex 2-day insured was several hundred dollars. I just looked it up and if you open a Fedex account, insured for $20K should be at least $600 from Pittsburgh to Peekskill...its $1000 'retail' if you dont open a Fedex account but less if you do. No doubt companies like TNT exist which could do it for less.
 
As for using a shipping company...i remember a veteran audio dealer reminded me...how did I think the amps ended up all over the world from the manufacturer in the first place? Shipping companies in original cases. There are millions of high value packages that get shipped all over the world every day...I would find a good one, insure it and have them pick it up from the house.
 
Hi LarryK,

Sorry to hear...I have used Fedex 2-day economy before, and there are no doubt other more 'freight-style' shipping companies. As I recall, shipping overseas internationally via Fedex 2-day insured was several hundred dollars. I just looked it up and if you open a Fedex account, insured for $20K should be at least $600 from Pittsburgh to Peekskill...its $1000 'retail' if you dont open a Fedex account but less if you do. No doubt companies like TNT exist which could do it for less.
I didn’t think FedEx would pick up and deliver a 175lb package. Isn’t it way over their weight limit?

I would think the shipping container needs to be strapped to a pallet and then it would have to be transported down to the street because I don’t think the drivers will pull it out of a house.

I work for a company that flies drones in warehouses to capture inventory information. Fork lift drivers are very good but accidents can happen. Anything can be destroyed.
 
I didn’t think FedEx would pick up and deliver a 175lb package. Isn’t it way over their weight limit?

I would think the shipping container needs to be strapped to a pallet and then it would have to be transported down to the street because I don’t think the drivers will pull it out of a house.

I work for a company that flies drones in warehouses to capture inventory information. Fork lift drivers are very good but accidents can happen. Anything can be destroyed.
We have personally done 3 FedEx 2-Day Economy insured shipments of Gryphons (Antileon, Colosseum and Mephisto) ourselves. They picked up at the door and took it. We had a good quality handtruck (for up to 300lbs bought on Amazon) and wheeled it to the door and then out to the sidewalk. In 2 cases, one of us did help him put it into FedEx truck.

Yes, anything can be destroyed...but the key is how many Gryphons, electronics, crystal vases, valuable art, dishware, delicate microscopes, etc, etc are shipped by transportation companies all over the world...and how may arrive broken into pieces?
 
We have personally done 3 FedEx 2-Day Economy insured shipments of Gryphons (Antileon, Colosseum and Mephisto) ourselves. They picked up at the door and took it. We had a good quality handtruck (for up to 300lbs bought on Amazon) and wheeled it to the door and then out to the sidewalk. In 2 cases, one of us did help him put it into FedEx truck.

Yes, anything can be destroyed...but the key is how many Gryphons, electronics, crystal vases, valuable art, dishware, delicate microscopes, etc, etc are shipped by transportation companies all over the world...and how may arrive broken into pieces?
Hello Lloyd, Thanks for your advice. Did you have the shipping container strapped to a pallet? If not, that would make my life easier. I would still have to somehow arrange to get it taken to the sidewalk. I can’t really lift anything after my total hip replacement three months ago.

You are right, of course. High value items are shipped all the time. We all pays our money and takes our chances.
 
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Hello Lloyd, Thanks for your advice. Did you have the shipping container strapped to a pallet? If not, that would make my life easier. I would still have to somehow arrange to get it taken to the sidewalk. I can’t really lift anything after my total hip replacement three months ago.

You are right, of course. High value items are shipped all the time. We all pays our money and takes our chances.
Hi LarryK,

Fortunately, no. We put it in the original shipping crate, locked it and put the shipping label directly on top. We put some hanging picture wire around the locks so they did not twist open by accident during shipping. That was it. And with the crate handles, we just carried it out.

I hear you on the carrying thing...but you wont need a body builder to lift 100lbs (ie, half the weight) with the FedEx man. I have carried the Mephisto myself with another small person all the way down the street to the car parked when we sold it, and my dealer offered to drive it to the new owner. And the Mephisto is heavier than the Colosseum...225lbs including crate. Not highly recommended...but given that I am no body builder by some measure...also not impossible. (Note, I am NOT recommending you touch it yourself given your hip...simply suggesting that 2 'healthy but ordinary folk' should be able to manage it.)

In fact, if we think that most high end audio stores take in equipment that often weighs this amount (speakers, etc)...they are heavy but not impossible for ordinary folk to handle.

In your case, the question is can you find someone 'ordinary but healthy' who is happy to help the Fedex man for 5-10 minutes?
 
Hi LarryK,

Fortunately, no. We put it in the original shipping crate, locked it and put the shipping label directly on top. We put some hanging picture wire around the locks so they did not twist open by accident during shipping. That was it. And with the crate handles, we just carried it out.

I hear you on the carrying thing...but you wont need a body builder to lift 100lbs (ie, half the weight) with the FedEx man. I have carried the Mephisto myself with another small person all the way down the street to the car parked when we sold it, and my dealer offered to drive it to the new owner. And the Mephisto is heavier than the Colosseum...225lbs including crate. Not highly recommended...but given that I am no body builder by some measure...also not impossible. (Note, I am NOT recommending you touch it yourself given your hip...simply suggesting that 2 'healthy but ordinary folk' should be able to manage it.)

In fact, if we think that most high end audio stores take in equipment that often weighs this amount (speakers, etc)...they are heavy but not impossible for ordinary folk to handle.

In your case, the question is can you find someone 'ordinary but healthy' who is happy to help the Fedex man for 5-10 minutes?
I will contact FedEx to see if I can make it happen. Thanks so much for relating your experiences!
 

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