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Old 01-08-2013, 11:44 PM   #1
amicula
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Bad Harman Kardon Amplifier, 2009 Legacy

I am posting this here as a reference in the event that someone else has as bad of luck as I've had!

A few months back I was getting random, EXTREMELY loud static from all speakers and would only stop when powering off the car and restarting it. To give an example of how loud, I quote one audio guru "That is the absolute most annoying nose I've ever heard." and another had to put on noise cancelling headphones before he'd get near the car.

After many random forum posts, discussions with friends and even consulting car audio gurus I found that it seems not a single other person has had this issue. Apparently it could have been anything from bad wiring, faulty speakers, head unit, amplifier...etc.

Eventually we figured out what fuse to pull that would only effect the amp and not the radio to determine what was causing the issue.

It appears that my amplifier is going bad and will need to be replaced, but I can't seem to find one for sale anywhere online (aside from used on ebay).

If anyone has any input on where to find a Harman Kardon amp for 7.1 speakers (2009 Legacy Limited) I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you in advance for your help and suggestions!

~Lauren
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
kfaragher
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Default similar issue

Sorry I cant help you find a new HU but I am intersested in your comment about isolating the amp fuse.
I am having an issue in my 09 legacy where the radio display powers on, illuminates and seems to function normally but no sound at all!
Just happened all of a sudden yesterday.
I have located to 2 audio fuses and replaced both (even though visually they looked fine) made no difference.
I am wondering if there is a wireing issue or a fuse on the actual HK unit itself.
If so do I have to pull the unit out to access?

Any help would be appreciated! thanks
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:16 PM   #3
amicula
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Default

Fuse 20 in the engine compartment fuse box was what I narrowed down to be for the HK amp.

In my case my radio was working fine. I pulled the fuse, the sound turned off, and when I replaced the fuse the radio continued to play sound as normal without me having to power the radio back on.

I hope this helps!
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
kfaragher
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Default

Thanks for the reply.
Yeah Fuse 20 is the one I replaced with no results.
I am not sure what to try next, it may be a wiring issue because I assume the speakers are powered through the radio and dont have their own fuse or power source.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:20 PM   #5
amicula
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Default

when I pulled fuse20, all sound from the speakers ceased.

I am not certain they would have their own power .
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
scoe141
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2013 WRX
ISM

Default

Please don't take offense to this in any way, but I know you mentioned the basics, bad wiring, faulty speakers etc. but did you run through "the basics"?

How long has this gone on since the installation of the amp?

Did you Check the connections to the wiring harness and h/u? Are they soldered or crimped?

Have you been able to swamp out amps? (i.e. with a friends unit)

Are the RCA wires running separate from the power wire etc? (Making sure there is no interference.)

Is the amp grounded properly? Did the nut come loose where it's grounded?

Did you check the power wire running to the battery? Make sure it didn't come loose etc.

I'm sure you checked all of these things, but sometimes it's something "basic" that often corrects the issue.

Good luck and I hope this helps in some way.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
scoe141
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by amicula View Post
when I pulled fuse20, all sound from the speakers ceased.

I am not certain they would have their own power .

Who did the install? Is there speaker wire running from the amp into the speakers, or are they connected via the h/u?
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #8
SVXdc
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Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
Vehicle:
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Default

In North American 2009 Legacys and Outbacks, the harman/kardan amplifier and speaker system is installed by the factory at the time the cars are built.

The OEM HU sends 4 speaker channels (high-level -- amplified) to the h/k amp, and the amp synthesizes 8 powered outputs (4 doors, 2 tweeters, and dual-voicecoil sub). Amp's pin-outs here.

When you cut the power to the amp, everything will go silent. You could bypass the amp and connect the HU's 4 outputs directly to some of the car's speakers.

It's not uncommon for people to have problems with the Legacy/Outback h/k amps.

I would start by verifying that all 3 of the factory harnesses are fully plugged into the amp, and that none of the wires have been damaged (possibly by something that had been shoved under the passenger seat at some point). Then verify you have +12V power at the amp's harness (see the above pin-outs).

Last edited by SVXdc; 09-02-2013 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #9
scoe141
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^^^ If you look up "audio guru" in the dictionary, a picture of this guy will be there.
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