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Popping Noise from Speakers

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My '03 986S has an M490 factory system with CDR-23 (MOST), 6x40 amp, and CDC-4 changer. I have dash speakers, door subwoofers, and a rear speaker kit (PNP, self-installed a year ago) in the pizza oven.

Recently, I noticed an occasional popping sound from the speakers, particularly during CD play. It's a rather loud pop, like an electrical surge has been sent to the speakers. Can't tell for sure, but it doesn't seem to come from any one speaker more than another. It sounds like this: POP ! (ha-ha)

Anyway, I took it in and the dealer verified the issue and ordered a new amp, which was installed just yesterday. I thought the amp replacement made sense since it's what powers the speakers. But, the problem still persists.

Before I run it back in to them, has anyone else experienced this issue?



Edited by Q-Ship986
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Are the CD's clean? Are they copies?

Clean discs, not copies. I took it to the dealer for this issue and a couple other minor items. I didn't troubleshoot it much beforehand; that's their job I figured, given my full warranty still in effect. Now, I'll give it some effort.

Since I got the car back, I skimmed through a few discs in the changer. Frankly, certain songs on one disc (Killers--Hot Fuss) were the worst offenders. I took that disc out, wiped it off (again), put it back in...same pops in the same places. Took it out, put it in the head unit. Pops in the same places, but a bit less forcefully. Turned down volume, no change in pop intensity. Turned off "loud" feature and dialed bass back from +5 to 0. Now, the pops nearly disappeared; had to really listen, knowing where they were supposed to be, to hear them.

Not sure what to attribute any differences in the CD audio from the head unit to the changer.

Don't really think it's the CD's, and don't think it's the amp (especially since it's a replacement).

Is this a speaker not handling a deep bass signal appropriately? I'll be trying to figure that out over the weekend, but appreciate any more thoughts.


Edited by Q-Ship986
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If you want to narrow things down a bit, make a direct copy of your CD and try the backup disc. During the backup process if your PC has trouble reading certain tracks (the ones that pop) it will either error out or really slow down during the rip.

However, if the CD copies with no errors, pop it in your car and see if it pops in the same place.

It really does sound like an amp/stereo problem, but maybe this will help you "prove it" to the dealer.

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  • 4 weeks later...

An update here, with another open letter for input...

As far as the CD goes, I tried it in my other two cars, no problem.

Just picked up the car from the dealer; they had almost two weeks with it. I didn't get a chance to talk to the tech personnally, but the service manager had been giving me updates all along. They tried the test disc in at least one other car in their shop to verify to themselves that it isn't the disc that 'pops.' They replaced the amp again, but that didn't work (again). They progressively eliminated each speaker as the problem by disconnecting all of them and reconnecting each individually. Apparently, all the speakers make the popping noise to a degree; I think it is worst from the door woofers. They checked my installation of the rear speaker kit. They replaced the CDR-23. They disconnected the CDC-4 and played the disc in the head unit. They somehow tested the MOST cabling. None of these things panned out.

They have offered to try another new amp. I am skeptical, since that would be amp #4 (including the original). FWIW, Porsche is on their 4th iteration of this amp; my original was an -00 part number and the latest is -03. From the TSB's, they seem to have amp issues. But, does anyone really think another amp installation is warranted?

The dealer (Cascade) has been extremely helpful and diligent. They have been in touch with PCNA for assistance, but, except for trying another amp, they seem to be at the end of their rope.

Any thoughts?



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  • 4 years later...

I know that this is a very old post, but I think I am having the same problem with my amp. I started noticing a similar 'POP' after I installed a rear speaker kit in my 2003 Boxster S. It seems to only come from the rear passenger side speakers and it is not influenced by volume, bass, CD or Radio; it just pops at random times and fairly loud too. Did you ever figure out a solution? I have suspected the amp and I know that the part number on my amp does end in -00 like your original.

Edited by gwoodburn
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No, the problem was never solved.

When the dealership was troubleshooting, they eliminated the rear speakers as the cause. I think they did so by simply disconnecting it from the system and retesting. If it's important, the noise does not occur from ordinary radio music, only when playing certain songs on certain CDs.

They spent a lot of time trying to figure it out, including replacement of every part but the wiring harnesses. The service manager quipped that the technician was nearly going out of his mind listening to the same songs over and over again. He left it to me to decide whether they should continue trouble-shooting, including replacing parts (again) and even the MOST harness. I declined because I wanted my car back and a few pops here and there don't bother me that much, mostly because the music in this car is really the car itself. I am not that much of an audiophile anyway.

You can see from this thread that no one else has apparently experienced this problem, so who knows. You are the first to mention something close. I wouldn't just replace your amp without more cause; they tried that on mine...twice.

Good luck,


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