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Louie, Technician
Category: Consumer Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 12464
Experience:  25+ yrs. experience in the field and 5+ yrs. online, down to component level.
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All of the speakers for my Denon DRA 397 were not working.

Customer Question

All of the speakers for my Denon DRA 397 were not working. I pressed the A/B switch on my remote and all the speakers, including the speakers which had previously been working, stoped working. Currently there is no music coming out of the system and I am trying to get the sound working again. Help!! How do I make the system produce music again?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Louie replied 7 years ago.
Hi and welcome to JustAnswer,

Initially, it would appear that the microprocessor has done a failed reset. This is done by (on the unit itself, not on the remote):
  • switching OFF the unit by pressing on POWER;
  • press and hold SPEAKER A and B of the unit itself;
  • while still pressing on the 2 SPEAKER buttons above, turn the unit ON by pressing POWER;
  • release the buttons when the display is flashing.

The above re-initialization of the Denon DRA-397's microprocessor would force the unit to revert to factory defaults removing glitches and errors in settings and configurations as well as presets and user preferences. Further, remove the batteries of the remote for an extended period of time (an hour or so).

Additionally at the back of the remote, ensure that Zones 2 & 3 are OFF, muting is OFF and MAIN is ON.

Offhand, should the above be not corrective, then it would be a hardware fault.

Good luck and thank you for asking JustAnswer.

Edited by Benimur on 1/2/2010 at 2:25 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Thank you very much for your help. I am truly appreciative. However, the initial problem is still unsolved. Your solution got the speakers, which were functioning prior to my pressing the A/B button, to function again; and for that I am trully appreciative, but the speakers which were not functioning at that time, remain non functioning. (There are four speakers tied into the system. Two are on the 2nd level of my house. They were the only ones functioning before I pressed the A/B buttton and stoped them from functioning prior to my calling you; and now, because of your adviice, they are functioning again. However, two speakers remain non functioning. One is on the 1st level of the house and one is in the basement.) When the system was initially installed all of the speakers worked and they continually worked for a long time. But I stoped using the system for about four months and in that interim there was a power surge. Yet the system was and is protected by a surge protector. However after the interim period of non-usage, only the speakers on the 2nd level worked.. Then I pressed the A/B button, the rest you know.


Is there anything I can do to get all four speakers to work again? Again, I am appreciative of what you have done to this point.



Expert:  Louie replied 7 years ago.
Appreciate your postback and update.

The Denon DRA-397 is a stereo receiver hence it has 2 internal amplifiers; left & right channels. These same amplifier are used by Speakers A and Speakers B; hence if one pair / set of speakers work, then it would presumably indicate that the amplifiers are operational. Proposed steps:
  • re-check the speaker wire connections. See below image from the manual;
  • press SPEAKER A and SPEAKER B simultaneously;
  • ensure that towards right of the display, SP- A & B are lit;
  • check if the speakers with no sound are good. Use a continuity tester or a DVM / VOM on their speaker wires temporarily disconnected from the Denon. Alternately i the absence of a tester, use a single 1.5 AA battery. Touch the bare speaker wires to the terminals of the battery. If the speakers are good, there would be a clicking sound;
  • temporarily swap the how the speakers are connected to the rear of the Denon; connect the original A pair to the B and similarly, the original B to the A terminals.

Postback results of above tests.


Edited by Benimur on 1/3/2010 at 5:06 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Thank you:


When I press A and B together, only speaker B is lit. However. "Panel lock is on" is also lights up. What does "Panel lock is on" mean? What is a Panel lock? Should it be on, and is this part of my problem? How do I get the Panel lock off? And how do I get speaker A to light up?



Expert:  Louie replied 7 years ago.
I understand.

The "Panel Lock" message is very significant as it indicates that the front panel control buttons were made inoperative. This is a child protection lock against inadvertent pushing of the buttons.

To disengage the front Panel Lock:
  • power off the Denon;
  • press and hold SPEAKER B and MODE buttons simultaneously;
  • press power ON.

Please postback results (or lack thereof).

Louie and 5 other Consumer Electronics Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Thank you. This reply will also accept your answers. I kept repeating your instructions and then improvising when they did'nt work. But at some point, something worked. I sent you a previous e-mail but I don't think you got it. At any rate, by reapeating your instructions numerous times and using some inprovisation of my own, I finally got all speakers to work. I think sp "B" controls the 2 upstairs speakers and "A" controls the one on the first floor and the one in the basement. Needless to say, I know I could not get them to work, again, should I undo what I've done; so I'm going to leave them alone, now. However, it would be great to be able to turn speakers "A" off when I want to, and speakers "B" off when I want to. Any final information you can give me in that regard might enbolden me to the point that I might, against my better judgment, try it. I 'm going to press the accept button, now, and thank you again.

Expert:  Louie replied 7 years ago.
Appreciate the postback, the update and the ACCEPT.

Glad that the Denon and its speakers are working again, congratulations.

Perhaps the best information to share with you is an online copy of the user's manual for the Denon DRA-397 available here.