Hiss, Crackle, Pop...and no its not coming from my breakfast.


New member
Username: Heavygear

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-10
Hi folks,

This is my first post on this forum, I was recommended by a friend of mine on a honda accord forum.

Anyways, I have a low budget and am trying to get a simple system working in my 01 honda accord v6 coupe. I've wired up a new headunit with a used amp, and new rear speakers. Right now i don't have any front speakers wired up, but i have new ones ready to install once i finish troubleshooting the current stuff.

This is my current set up:
Pioneer 4900ib
MB quartz formula coaxial 3 way 6x9 rears
Lightning Audio 4 channel amp, "Bolt" series
mb quartz formula components for the front
knukonceptz 12 gauge amp wiring kit with inline fuse
and also
1100W sony xplod sub in a vented box

ive ran the sub, with the amp, and the pioneer headunit before with stock cabin speakers, and it worked fine.

but now i've installed the rears and am using just them with the amp and the pioneer HU, no oem front speakers at the moment, and the sony sub is currently unconnected/unwired (i have a second amp to use for it, never tried installing it yet), and i have the following sound quality issues.

Fairly loud pop from the speakers when i turn the car on or off.

A hissing static that I can hear even when no music is playing, regardless of the engine being on or off. If i turn the volume up, the hissing gets louder, but is not affected by revving the engine. the hissing is not louder than the music, but is audible even at 1 unit of volume.

if the engine is running, this adds an additional static sound in addition to the one i just explained. This second sound, again, is not affected by revving the engine. its just an ever present sound, static in nature.

and also, i have noticed that the speakers seem to be making a crackling noise. the noise is louder at higher volumes, and more frequent. especially if i turn up the bass at the headunit. its also more frequent if i'm on a bumpy road. i can hear the speakers making this sound, especially on bumpy roads, even if i am on an auxiliary channel and no music is playing.

thats it for the issues. I have tried grounding the RCA jacks on the headunit to the chassis of the headunit to see if it helped, but i didnt notice anything. the only grounds i have in the system is one at the amp, and it is about a foot long, and one at the headunit with the ground wire from the radio harness to vehicle chassis. I already do have the power wires and the RCA cables run on opposite sides of the vehicle. I dont know if its good information but i noticed that if i turn on the crossover switch on the amp, that it resolves the main hissing (the one present regardless of engine running), but of course then the speakers sound wrong because of the lower sound range being lopped off.

Any help would be appreciated, sorry for the long post just trying to provide as much information as possible. Thank you in advance guys.

Silver Member
Username: 420pimp2

Baltimore Atlantic Ci..., MD, NJ

Post Number: 893
Registered: Jan-06
Sounds like a wiring problem but im by far no pro...Be patient some one will come to the rescue

Diamond Member
Username: Bestmankind

Post Number: 23627
Registered: Oct-05
i am thinking the samething. i know you said you checked all connections but it seems like somewhere along the connections something isn't right.

have you tried a different headunit and amp?

wassup and welcome to the forum lol.

lets help this guy out.

Bronze Member
Username: Stubbs563

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Post Number: 52
Registered: Feb-10
Wow, I just got my sub in and i am having the same problem with my Fi SSD and a pioneer deh-5900ib i havnt tried to fix itt yet and i dont have a popping noise just can hear it when the car is running.

New member
Username: Heavygear

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-10
Thanks Chad Lee and everyone else who commented so far.

I'd like to add that testing it out some more tonite i have 2 corrections to make. First of all, the Pop sound doesnt happen when i turn the car on, only when i shut off the engine. secondly, the crackle sound doesnt get louder with volume, its just as loud regardless of how loud the sound is. but i drove over a "rumble strip" on the side of the road today and it was non stop crackling. Maybe it it something rattling?

also, im concerned that it is a wiring problem because i used home audio wire instead of car audio wire for the wire from the speakers to the amp. also, the connectors to the amp are secured with spade connctors clamped under a screw. i'll probably switch this out to U shaped ends to fit better under the screw. Right now it doesnt have much contact surface.

Also I realized the best word to describe the secondary static that happens when the engine is running would be "buzzing sound". hope that helps!

Gold Member
Username: Van_man

Boston South, MA

Post Number: 5286
Registered: Mar-06
try grounding out the rca's at the head unit. dbl check the amp grounds..The wire is fine from home audio..
Why do you have spade connecters? cant you just stick the wire under the screw?
And where the crackeling stays constant then worsens when going over bumps may indicate a loose wire or bad rca connection.

The fastest way to test is to use an ipod as a source to the amp..If the noise still exsists, its the amp or speakers..If not then HU and wires from it.

S'up Chad..

Bronze Member
Username: Stubbs563

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Post Number: 53
Registered: Feb-10
How would you use an ipod as the source, as in through your deck? or is there a different way? Sorry if that was a dumb question.

New member
Username: Heavygear

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-10
thanks for the suggestions Marc.

Hmm. Well i did mention in my first post that I already tried grounding out the RCA's. Here's a pic I took yesterday.

http://imageshack .us/img684/5131/wiringx.jpg

It didn't seem to help.

I used spade connectors just because i thought it would look more professional to have something crimped on haha. But yeah i will bare wire ends under the screws. could it be that i have my wires put in with backwards polarity? or would that not allow the speakers to make any sound at all then?

the crackling does not stay constant, it is pretty intermittent but happens at least within every couple minutes if not every minute. but its not a constant sound, unless i drive over a rumble strip like i tried today lol.

Yes i have been listening to all my music off my ipod.

could the wires hanging loosely near the magnet of the speaker cause any of my issues? the magnet is quite big and i havent cleaned up the wiring yet since im still trouble shooting.

Nolan Paul, your pioneer head unit should have a thing dangling out the back of it that you connect to this cable. This is a really good price btw. I got a name brand cable that cost roughly twice as much, but only cuz i never saw this product for sale at the moment.

btw how come these links aren't showing up as hotlinks? and how do i post images on this forum to show up directly in the thread?

Platinum Member
Username: Nyyfan13

Northern VA

Post Number: 11880
Registered: Jul-06
This forum is super sh1ttty, that's why lol.

The links work sometimes, don't work others. No worries though, we are used to copy and pasting all the links to help out.

As for the pictures, right next to the post message button, there is an upload image button. Hit that and you have to upload them from your computer. I wanna say the max size is 600x600 though but I'm going from memory.

New member
Username: Heavygear

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-10
Sounds kind of behind-the-times but at worst I could only complain about the forum website itself, not the content or the helpful people on here thanks Yanks Fan!

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Lexington, SC USA

Post Number: 13316
Registered: Dec-03
a few things, not having read the prior responses.

ground the head unit to chassis, instead of using the factory harness ground line. often that line runs close to ignition lines which induce noise.

make sure your door and rear speakers do not touch sheet metal. This will short them and cause the noises described, too.

turn down the gain on your amplifier(s)!
see here for setting gains:

make sure the amp is grounded as close as possible to the amp's mounting location to keep the ground wire short.
ground the amp(s) to bare, sanded, paintless chassis metal.
Use the same gauge wire for ground and pos(+) to the battery.

Is your amp kit 12g?? Sure its not 12g for speakers, and like.. 4g for power?

New member
Username: Heavygear

Post Number: 5
Registered: May-10
Hi GlassWolf,

For grounding the head unit to chassis, should i pic any available bolt on the head unit and strap say, a 16g wire to that? did you see my picture i linked to?

i did this per others advice and it didn't seem to help, but i'll try what you are suggesting (assuming I read you correctly).

my speakers touch a plastic spacer first, but i don't understand the threat with touching sheet metal because the oem rear speakers are bolted directly to body-painted rear deck sheet metal. When you say short, do you mean as in, completely fry?

An issue with my amplifier is that the gain knobs just spin and spin! whats up with that? the crossover knobs have concrete ends to how much they turn in either direction, but the gain knobs don't.

I have the amp screwed into the metal supports on the rear seatback, and grounded to a spot in the spare wheel well area. the ground line is roughly 1 foot.

Oh, and my amp kit is 8 gauge..good observation! I'm using 16g for the speaker wires.

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Lexington, SC USA

Post Number: 13320
Registered: Dec-03
no I mean take the head unit's own ground wire and find somewhere metal in teh car to connect the ground yourself instead of using a wiring harness and tapping into the car's factory wiring and using the ground they provide.
cars have notoriously loong wiring harnesses when the car is built. The ground wire for teh radio is often very long, and routed places that aren't good for ground wires, since audio clarity isn't priority #1 for a car maker.

sorry I wasn't clear. I was distracted when typing before. The wiring for the speakers can't touch metal. A lot of times when you jam a speaker into a door panel and screw it down, the speeaker wiring terminals end up sticking out and getting pressed against something metal in the door, like the window crank. That can short out the connection and induce noise.

OK 8g is fine for the 4 channel for now, but if you add the sub amp, you'll need to move to 4g at least to handle the current draw to avoid heat and voltage drop.

The amp gain potentiometer is broken. you need to get that amp serviced. I'm guessing this may be a big part of the noise issue.
Replacing the pot shouldn't be very expensive. Any TV repair shop could do that work. It's just 3 solder points, and a $1 part.

New member
Username: Heavygear

Post Number: 6
Registered: May-10
Okay first off I just want to say a big Thank You for your help so far. Lots of good info.

let me just resummarize the issues..

-hissing static/background noise, increases with volume
-"pop/thump" type noise when i turn off system
-when engine is running, there is a secondary noise that gets louder with engine revs.
-creaking/crackling was fixed by tightening the speakers down more, i think they were just shaking themselves.

The aftermarket harness that I am using for my headunit had a black ground wire that I grounded to a bolt inside the dashboard. Should I instead add a new wire going from the head unit chassis to that bolt inside the dashboard?

Right now I only have rear shelf speakers installed. The wiring terminals are not touching any metal. I would imagine its okay for the wire itself to be in contact with metal at some points because it has an insulating jacket, right?

Yeah when I add the sub I will be using 2 amps. one 4 channel for front and rear speakers, and a two channel amp for the sub. Is it okay if I just buy another 8g wiring kit and just have the sub/second amp using that kit for itself?

I hooked up my 2 channel amp for my rear speakers to see if there was any improvement. The knobs on it seem to be working fine, unlike the other amp i mentioned. If I keep the gain on it real low, these is less noise than before but still discernible. but if it is low at least there is no extra engine noise that gets louder with revving. but if the gain is set at 0 or close to it, then im not going to get the best possible sound am I?

Does running a speaker at low headunit volume but high gain on the amp make a difference in sound quality and/or speaker life when comparing it to running a speaker at high volume but low gain? does this change the wattage going through to the speaker?

i still have the turn off pop after i switched out the amp.

Silver Member
Username: 420pimp2

Baltimore Atlantic Ci..., MD, NJ

Post Number: 908
Registered: Jan-06
GLASSWOLF, the man knows his sh*t. Told you you'd ya get some help. For any audio help ecoustics is #1... Hope u get it straight. Good Luck. Peace out

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Lexington, SC USA

Post Number: 13339
Registered: Dec-03
you have a ground loop. that's what's causing the problems. We just ned to find it.

first, take the wire from the head unit (black wire) and ground it to a different bolt somewhere. The one you used may not be a good spot, or it may not actually BE a ground. I've seen bolts into metal that don't connect to the chassis, and thus don't complete the ground circuit. If you don't have a test light, or a DMM then you have no way to test this to be sure, so just try another ground spot and see if the noise stops. This is my leading bet right now for the problem.

rear speakers sound fine.

the noise being present in both the head unit power AND the amp indicates it's the head unit (again) as the noise source, since it's coming from the radio's internal amp and the pre-outs going to the amplifier. If we fix the head unit ground, the noise should stop with the amp as well, with the gain set properly (not too high)

set the gain on the amp properly. don't set it really high, and keep the radio volume low. very bad idea.
read this page:

then read this one
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »


Shop Related Deals


Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us