My S750 went, looking at my options.

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by ellover009, May 3, 2019.

  1. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Long story short is we had power loss the other day, and when the power came back the control panel was dead on the Cambridge sound works S750, and I tried to cycle the power on the sub and saw the green light flashing. I took it apart and found what looks to be glue and at least 1 main capacitor that didn't look great and a questionable part on one of the boards. I had the system for at least a decade, and I found it to be fine, Not as nice as the surround system on my tv thou.
    My options are

    1) use the old repair guide someone put up and try to source capacitors and learn to solder, the guide is old and a lot of the capacitor options are different from when the guide was made.
    2. Hope klipsch restocks one day the pro-media 2.1 thx.
    3. pick up a jbl 306P MkII and rig it up, its on sale now, but nowhere near as good price as a few weeks ago. Id love to get them at the price from 2 weeks or so ago, but using the 2w sound from the computer screen is miserable.
    4. Insert ideas here, lol.
    5. Find a way to temporarily rig up at least 2 of the S750 speakers.

    Right now I am using the built in sound card from my crosshair VII hero, used to have a creative labs zx2 plat, but it didn't fit in with the 2 slot video card since its a full size pci card, and it got damaged outside.

    I haven't had time to mess around with the sub recently due to classes. Semester is finishing up.

    This is what it looks like inside the S750.
    https://imgur.com/a/bKDkcvs

    This is the repair guide I found from 2013
    https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/2873...RKac2JXyHkwsAzQYnb8ngRpB4iCvYI9U_NsqFB7Ez5UAU

    My only concern if I go with the JBL is that I might have to wait a bit on adding a subwoofer if I go that path due to cost. I also live in an apartment and can't have the sub at full capacity at all times.
    I use a P300HD on my tv surround system and that thing is amazing, none of that rattling nonsense. Too bad there's nothing similar and smaller and a reasonable price.
     
  2. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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  3. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Also no headphone recommendations, I have some audio technica ATH-A900LTD, and they are great, but summer's coming, and I rather use speakers.
     
  4. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Two things:

    Your S750's are consumer electronics that while repairable, likely won't stay 'repaired'. I could certainly be wrong here, and repairing the set is likely the cheapest option, but you have no guarantee that said repair would be effective nor that it would last.

    The JBL monitors have a range of input options, and given that they're powered, you need only a 3.5mm stereo to 6.3mm mono splitter to hook them up to your onboard audio. While there may be limitations with this setup, you could at least get them going for very little investment beyond the monitors themselves. And as you don't necessary want / need a subwoofer, you can just get a pair of the 6" monitors and largely be done with it.

    Beyond that, in my post which you quoted above, there are further possibilities for refinement if you run into issues. Also with respect to headphones, you might consider an inexpensive set of open or semi-open headphones if the issue you're encountering is heat or sweat buildup with the closed ATH's.
     
  5. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the advise.
     
  6. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    Pick up some cheap receiver off of craigslist. You could upgrade the fronts and keep the satellites as rears/surrounds.
     
  7. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    i think I wanna avoid getting a receiver, too large, and unnecessary hookups. Lots of waste.
     
  8. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That and, realistically, you just need an amp.

    However
    , getting seven channels amped up (assuming that the sub / amp is 'done') is easiest, cheapest and least space consuming using a receiver. There are a lot of functions on a receiver that you simply won't use, but at the same time, there aren't really options for amplifying that many channels with something smaller and cheaper than a receiver.

    Add cheap / used ~8" sub and roll out, and you can upgrade speakers at will.
     
  9. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    For the PC I went down to 5.1 from 7.1, I think I could live with 2.1. but I am surprised that 3.1 aren't more popular, center speaker for clarity. Don't have the space anymore to run full 7.1, I already have a decent surround system on the tv.
     
  10. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    Center speaker is more for side listeners in a home theater, for PC it's not necessary. 2.1 should be more clear than 3.1 because the vocals are coming out of 2 speakers.
     
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  11. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yup. The center channel exists entirely because that's where stage-front spoken dialog is mixed to. It's a necessity in a home theater, I've found; while I have 7.1.2 set up right now, I'm quite happy with 3.1 when in a limited environment, but no less.

    On the PC, it just isn't needed. pippenainteasy is right here. So long as your PC sound is being fed from a PC, you're good with just stereo. Even for surround stuff.

    My current setup (detailed in your quote) is absolutely usable for all media types, even without the sub. Just straight 2.0. Most important is where you place the monitors / speakers. Get that right and the rest falls into place.
     
  12. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    ah. lol. for the home theather I went with the biggest I could cram under the tv at the time. stand. It was either MC300s or 400s. M80s side, P300HD sub, and 2 curbed surround speakers for back. I miss Cambridge Sound Works, you could pick up some nice stuff when there was things on sale. Idea back then was that a large center speaker would have less distortion, better clarity. I didn't know that it wasn't the ideal situation for a desktop use.

    Now here's an interesting question. Why do some of the pre-amps, audio interface ect, connect to the PC via USB? wouldn't it be more ideal if it wasn't taxing the USB drives, or use it's own dedicated line?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  13. Factum

    Factum [H]ard|Gawd

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    I fixed my S750 by replacing the capacitors on the powerplane and also replacing the glue with high temp acid free silicone glue.
    Cost me less than $50 in materials.

    They don't make any PC speakers (7.1) that come anywhere close to these.
    If you don't know how to solder yourself, it's an easy repair for a shop.
     
  14. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    How long ago was that? Was the thing caked with the burnt out glue like my images?
    I know they don't make some things like this anymore, shoot, Cambridge sound works doesen't really exist anymore since they got sold to I think a Chinese company, all they have at their site are some wireless pod speakers, nothing else.

    The one thing that discourages me a bit is that in the repair guide they talk about all the capacitors and such, the numbers have changed over time, but the big thing is this image.
    https://imgur.com/4xVgu1W
    The stuff circled looks pretty bad. Anyone know if that looks off, and what is that?
     
  15. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just ordered the speakers today. Now to figure out how to hook up this sorcery.
    I was tempted to go with the 308, but they might be a little "rolls eyes" on the big side.

    I am thinking either this would work
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...5ef2768d11e98f1d7a1b1e43ba390INT&ie=UTF8&th=1
    or

    https://www.amazon.com/Devinal-Y-Ad...=2661617011&s=gateway&sr=8-23#customerReviews
    https://www.amazon.com/TISINO-Stere...2:2661618011&rnid=2661617011&s=gateway&sr=8-6
    What I noticed from a lot of these is that they list as going from 1 balanced to 2 unbalanced since the signal is split. So I am assuming that the only way to balance it is a pre-amp, but then you still have the splitting cable issues inputting into the device. My other assumption is whatever I use avoid optical out since it usually does a signal pass through, and bypass the sound-card processing.

    I'm tempted to look at some of the pre-amps things, the problem is, is there something good that's sensibly priced? Is there any benefits of going with a USB one? I've seen re-commendations of people going with an USB one. I would think its worse because you are adding load to part of a pc that already has a dedicated ports, otherwise sound cards would have a usb port built in or you'd still have fire-wire ports.
     
  16. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This one.

    It can, but that's a driver level thing. You can use say Razer's app to do pre-output processing such as EQ. Further, 'sound-card processing' is just software modifying audio. With respect to reference monitors, you mostly don't want to do that; you're already hearing almost exactly what was intended.

    Mostly: no. What you're talking about is a USB DAC, which isn't really a pre-amp except that it obviously has to output some signal.

    With respect to 'processing load', it's largely irrelevent, and further, it's all done in software regardless. There is no more 'hardware audio'. Microsoft ripped it out.

    At best, optical combines a digital signal output while using the PCIe bus on your motherboard (to integrated audio or a sound card) which is a lower latency and processing load than USB, but it seriously doesn't make a difference to user experience. Optical's main advantage is breaking the potential for a ground loop that can happen with USB.