Speakers are on the way out, looking for new ones

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My speakers appear to be, unfortunately, on the way out.  They're Klipsch
ProMedia Ultra 5.1s that I've had for over two years.  They've been very
good to me but over the past month they've developed this cracking/popping
sound that comes from the front right, center, and left speakers.  I've
tried rewiring many times and I've even swapped the front and rear
speakers, to no effect.  Maybe something is blown in the subwoofer base
unit, which is where the speakers connect to for their input?  The audio
distortion gets worse at higher volumes so if I set the speakers as low as
possible while stile able to decipher what's coming out of them, it's
better, but of course, this defeats a lot of the purpose.

Anyway, it looks like I'll end up having to get new speakers.  I'm just
wondering if anyone has any suggestions.  I have a few qualifications:

1)  Not too expensive.  Hopefully not more than $200.  I kind of splurged
on these current speakers and in hindsight it just wasn't worth it.
2)  Must be digital.  These current speakers are analog and I really just
don't like the idea of cinching in bare-ended wires into inputs.  Plus, the
three cords leading to the soundcard are annoying.
3)  Must be at least 5.1.  I've gotten used to this surround sound thing;
no more 2.0 or 2.1 for me.
4)  Must have a control box with a headphones jack.  My current control box
only has a power button, volume control, and headphone and line-out, but
it's good enough.

P.S.  My soundcard is an Audigy 2 ZS.

~ Cyde Weys ~

Sub veste quisque nudus est.

Re: Speakers are on the way out, looking for new ones

On Fri, 24 Mar 2006 21:23:58 -0600, Cyde Weys

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I'd wonder if it's popped the power supply filter cap.
Open 'er up, take a look, it'll be swollen on top same as
with many failed motherboard caps.  If you have a multimeter
handy, it'll be good to measure the peak (volume down low,
no signal) voltage to size a replacement rather than just
going by what was originally installed.  Without getting too
far into issues like supply (transformer or switcher) peak
current and bridge rectifier ratings, a reasonable upgrade
would be the largest cap that can physically fit in an 105C
temp rating.  I don't know that it IS the cap(s) though, but
if not a mechanical connection (connector, cable damage or
connector socket) problem it seems reasonable.  Seems even
more reasonable considering the change with volume increase.

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I'd like to be able to suggest good digital 5.1 speaker
"set" (including digi amp) for under $200, but it doesn't
seem realistic.  Even less so when you consider that the
corner-cutting that would have to be done may result in same
thing happening again- it gets dodgy after a couple years or

IMO, the first, most important part is HQ left and right
front channels.  Perhaps about $100 for shielded bookshelf
speakers.  Maybe you dont' even need 'em shielded though, it
was a common requirement with CRT monitors but today, an LCD
monitor may make it of less consequence.  Even so, in sizes
small enough for desk or near-desk, shielded is common
enough to be a good target.

Some of your Klipsch set could be used for center and rear
channels... if the connectors are an issue, strip the old
connector off if needed and add a connector or bare tinned
leads as appropriate.  So slightly over $100 spent so far,
next is the amp, cheapest 5.1 thing you can find that takes
digital... some off brand like (today's) KLH or
whatever-the-other-generic at your local superstore if not

That should produce better sound, but if you wanted a small
digital (Input) amp I don't have a suggestion as I too would
like to find a reasonably priced (rather than extreme
audiophile price) one.

If nothing else, I'd look at what might've gone wrong with
the current set first.  If nothing else it never hurts to
have a spare speaker set or use for another system.  If you
are able to describe the internals, electrical system more
or can post good high-res pics (links not to the group) it
might help.

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