Persistent P15 clicking noise

I purchased a P15 direct from PS Audio about 5 months ago. From the beginning I could hear a loud clicking sound from within the unit 3-4 times a day at seemingly random intervals. The clicking seemingly became more frequent over time and is audible from about 20 feet away. The sound happened both when I was listening to music and when all my gear was off (I leave the P15 on all the time). I searched the forums and apparently a few other people had a similar issue. Some people thought it could be a relay opening/closing due to a to a voltage sag, but the clicking happened even when I was not using any other demanding appliances.

I’ve been working with PS Audio support and they have been helpful. After a lot of back and forth and futile troubleshooting, they sent me a replacement oscillator card. I installed the new card without any issues. Over the past week I have been testing out the P15 with my full system plugged into it. As far as I can tell, there has been an improvement in the clicking. Several days I heard no clicking at all with heavy use. On a couple of days, I did hear one click.

This is sort of confusing to me. The fact that there has been improvement means that the prior oscillator card was in some way defective (I made no other changes to the system). But the fact that the problem hasn’t been 100% eliminated means that possibly something else is causing clicking as well? Has anyone seen anything like this? I guess I’m curious to learn what other possible sources of clicking are in the P15… My gear isn’t that exotic and it would be a bummer to learn that something about my gear is causing a malfunction in the P15.

Here’s a list of what’s plugged in to P15:

Mystere pa21 amp
PrimaLuna EVO300 preamp
JL Audio e112 sub
PSA DirectStream DAC
PSA DirectStream Memory Player
MoFi UltraPhono

Could it be expansion and contraction of the heat sinks?

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I had that thought as well. But then wouldn’t that be an issue for every product with these heatsinks?

I have two P10s bought eight years ago. AFAIK I’ve never been totally click free (remember that if the un it is just switched off from the front panel parts are still powered up otherwise it couldn’t communicate for powerplay purposes).

I’d be interested to know whether other people have units that are totally click-free, I suspect not.

My P15 heat sinks do make that sound a few times per day depending on the season, and whether the heat pump / airconditioner is running. The sound of expanding aluminum is quite different from the sound of relays. To know what the relays sound like, access the device settings on your computer or iPad screen, and set one zone to switch off and turn on with a delay of a few seconds. Do a soft restart of the P15 and listen.

I have rarely heard the BHK250 and my P10 emit a click but when I have I am sure it was heat sink related. I have heard those with the 300’s hear it more often

Is it a relay inside switching? My P20 did that quite a lot until I increased Vout to match Vin more closely

Just as an update in case someone else has this issue in the future, I am now almost certain that the clicking is temperature related. Must be the metals expanding/contracting. I’m not thrilled by this but at least it isn’t a problem with the electronics!

Thanks for everyone’s responses.


Aha! Yes, that is accurate. The P15, P20, as well as BHK amplifiers “click” and “tick” as metal expands from heat. We tried changing the laws of thermo dynamics to fix that but, alas, to no avail. :slight_smile:

Great detective work.

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Thanks, Paul! I feel honored that you joined my humble little thread.

You might want to let your support team know about this issue. I exchanged maybe 10-15 emails with PS support regarding the clicking with no mention that it could be temperature-related. They even suggested bringing it in for a repair, which given the cause would have been a waste of my time and your money.