Another reason I’m stupid

To follow on my The One Where John Confesses To Being Really Stupid post, here’s another example…

I’ve had a stereo imbalance on my hifi for a few days. I couldn’t find the source of the problem at all. I tried everything. Vocals in particular were much louder on the left.

I’d been using my turntable only, so I checked everything on that first  – nothing, then I checked the the pre-amp, swapping the tubes around – still nothing. Then tried it with the CD player and realised that was doing the same both with and without the pre-amp.

I physically swapped the speakers around. I ran tone tests to check if one of them was damaged…. Nothing.

Eventually I realised it had to the main amp – a Pioneer A400… It was the only component that could be causing it.

The Pioneer A400 doesn’t have a balance control (or bass/treble controls).

Bugger, I thought (a bit stronger than that actually), it must be broken… It’s a great amp. It really suits the system 🙁

I’ve owned it about 3 years… Tonight I found out it has a dual-volume pot! You can hold part of it still (front or back) , and turn the other part separately – effectively acting as a balance pot.

Somehow I’d managed to do this without knowing and lowered the volume on the right speaker… So simply turning them both down to zero one at a time, and then moving them back up again together and bang – my stereo is perfectly centred.


Still, it’s fixed now. Shame I spent so long trying just about EVERYTHING else possible before bothering to find this small detail about an amp I’ve been using for years!

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