OT: Headphone jack gets only mono

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Apologies for OT posting. I tried to put this on a high-end audio NG but it never showed up. Since you guys know everything (g), here's the problem:
I had friend run new TV sound through a high-end Harmon Kardon stereo (used but good!). Speakers on new TV were hopeless, and TV had no place for headphone jacks.
I need to watch with headphones because of lousy hearing; need "proximity effect" -- sound close to ear.
This worked OK for a while, but now can only get mono. Have switched around adapters, jacks and headphones; tried them on other audio equipment; problem is with the stereo input (hole).
Was told that stereo comes from jack touching SIDES of input. ???
Dilemma: Can the input be repaired economically?
Hate to buy another stereo which might not even have as good sound.
Any thoughts welcome.
HB
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On 6/11/2014 7:14 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

1) if headphone plug isn't in "just right", sometimes that happens. 2) Problem might be between the TV and the stereo.
On a stereo plug, there is tip, center, and ring. Tip goes to both channels, center is one ear, and ring (back towards the rubber handle) is the other ear.
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On 6/11/14, 7:31 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

play the difference between channels. It will be faint, worse on some material than others.
If the sound is as strong as before, the channels are probably shorted together. If the headphones have a plug with a cover that unscrews, it's easy to check with a meter. With the phones unplugged, there should probably be about 50 ohms between channels. If it goes to zero when they're plugged in, there must be something wrong in the jack or the wiring. Jacks are cheap, but before I replaced it, I'd unsolder the wires and use the meter to see if there was a short not involving the jack.
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No.
In order from the end, it's Tip Ring Sleeve (TRS) T and R connect to the two stereo+ signals. S goes to the common-.
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T = left + R = right + S = common -
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On 6/11/14, 8:44 PM, None wrote:

That looks right. I haven't put a meter on headphones in a while, so I went by what SM said.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Tip and ring is stereo left and right. Sleeve is ground. I think the jack is not making contancts with either tip or ring of the plug. You have to open the stereo amp and take a look. bend the tangs in the jack or replace it with new one. Remote possibility maybe one channel of the amp. is shot. Get an old stock good jack not new Chinese crap.
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It's likely the problem is here.
Are you getting the exact same signal in both ears, or are you getting signal in one ear only?
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On Wednesday, June 11, 2014 6:03:09 PM UTC-7, None wrote:

L. ear only.
HB
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Then you're not getting mono, you're getting half of the stereo (mono would be the sum of L and R in both ears).
The "ring" connection is not being made. Could be a problem with the jack, could be a problem with however it was wired into the TV.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Do the speakers on the stereo produce stereo?
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YES! Unplug jacks, stereo is fine.
The history of how jacks & input degraded over time makes it almost certain that the input is the problem. At first I'd get stereo sporadically, now only L. ear.
I do not have the skill to take the stereo apart and do repairs recommended above. Will have to ask around for the right kind of shop to take it to. Wish my smart neighbor hadn't moved out of town. He could have done it!
HB
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I would normally first try a liquid cleaner. Alcohol, wd40, CRC 2-26, deoxit, spit.
Greg
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On Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:40:44 AM UTC-7, Gz wrote:

Thanks Greg -
Some poster(s) sounded a little iffy about WD40. I have no basis for judgment either way.
Just found an old tube of Memorex head cleaner. Label reads:
"This solution is specially formulated for use with the non-abrasive tape in the Memorex Head Cleaner. It will clean magnetic tape heads, pinch roller guides and capstans and will not deform robber parts. Contains Isopropyl Alcohol."
Is that something I could try in the jack?
TIA
HB
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Right, but it of course evaporates fast, and will not necessarily stay covering entire plug . Do it several times dip, in out.
Greg
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No. If you get both speaker when the headphone is unplugged, then it's not the input. Maybe you're using the term "input" wrong. There's a high probability it's the jack. Maybe the plug or the headphones or the wiring from plug to headphones.
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if you have one side working and one side not working,
start moving cables and connections from the left to the right and see which item "follows the problem"
Mark
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Are these earbuds?
or big enough to cover your ears?

My first post was about testing headphones. But I forgot to say, and it's better here, that if HB doesn't have a voltmeter, mulimeter whatever, the easiest way to test the headphones is with a battery and a battery holder maybe and a wire or two.
I usually use the battery in the meter, which is usually 1.5 volts
Is there any chance a 9v battery will burn out the headphones, if one just taps the connector to the headphone? I don't have any real experience with earbuds.
If a 9volt battery is thought to be dangerous to the earbud, he can take a 1.5 volt battery, get someone to hold one end of two wires to each end of the battery, and he can hold the other end to the Tip and Sleeve and then to the Ring and Sleeve, and he should hear clicks in each ear, one ear at a time.
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On Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:11:24 PM UTC-7, micky wrote:

Have tried with 2 different "big enough to cover ears", 1 on-ear, and 1 ear bud. Nothing delivered stereo.

Yes, sorry, I know virtually nothing about audio so other NG members have s traightened me out on terminology. Jack is hole in stereo. Plug is what y ou put in.
I'm pretty sure it's jack, which worked at first, then degraded. You hi-te ch experts are suggesting ways of "cleaning" it. If that doesn't do it, as I understand, it may have been damaged or deformed by my not fastening it down so it didn't bump against the walls of jack as the cord to headphones moved.

NOT USING EARBUDS. USING STUDIO-TYPE CLOSED HEADPHONES or ON-EAR HEADPHONE S.

Interesting!!!! So if I DON'T hear a click, does that mean the problem is at one of the points you list?
HB
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On 6/12/2014 11:43 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

You might be able to find a neighbor or teen ager on the street who will let you try your headphones in someone else's audio device.
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Christopher A. Young
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