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DTT3500 Sound System Problems


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#1
McShaftHer

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Hello,

I have a DTT3500 creative labs sound system. As of the last month, I have started to get high pitched whining and crackling from my speakers. It is not the speakers (tested the speakers wth another system). It is not the location of the speakers (same as above). It is not the location of the decoder box/amp (moved it). It's not the wires (checked other wires). Plus the problem occurs regardless of the setings on my decoder box, and regardless of whether or not there is any input. So, I think my decoder box / amp is fried.

AFter that lengthy explination, my question is, what can I do now?

The most obvious option to me is to buy a new "decorder/amp" - however, I searched around, and wasn't able to find anything (but that is of course because I have no clue what I should be searching for is my assumption). So - what would one call this decoder/amp that I have. (Basically, all speakers and subwoofer go to this box, where it has power, and then goes into my soundcard - I have an Audigy 2 zs.)

Is there a way to replace this box without buying new speakers as well? Currently I have RCA inputs on the box, but since the speakers themselves just take copper wire in, I can easily replace the wires. I also would like to be able to continue using the digital output from my soundcard.

Is this feasible, and if so , how can i make it work? Otherwise, what is my next best option?

Thanks, and I apologize for my long winded post.

~Shaft
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#2
audioboy

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looks like that box is just like you said, the amplifier/digital decoder. the fact that you are using the digital input and getting weird screeching noises is kinda scary, and points to what you suspect, something is wrong with it.
that box is basically like a simpler version of your standard home stereo amp, with several inputs, a couple decoders, and amplifiers for multi-channel sound. probably not gonna be real cheap to try and replace.
I would suggest you contact creative tech support on this. it might be under some kind of warranty, or almost certainly they could repair it.
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#3
McShaftHer

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Well - That's what I was thinking.

So I called Creative. They told me 1) it's not under warranty (whihc I knew, it is 2 years old now). And 2) they no longer build this model, nor have any sort of model like it, with an amp. So, they refused to even repair it. All they offered me was a small % discount on an entire new system if I sent in my system. This however, is not ideal, since a) there is nothing wrong with my speakers, and b) they were going to give me only half the warranty period. That means either 1) they're shady, or 2) it's a refurbished system they'd give me. I told them no thanks, and wrote them a quite unhappy letter about it.

So basically creative said I was out of luck. Which is why I'm now at a point where it's either buy a new system entirely, replace the amp, or something else cool that I have no clue about (which is where everyone here comes in!)
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#4
audioboy

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well, some sort of home theater reciever would probably work. many of these now have some digital inputs, as well as analog multi-channel ins.
you would want to find one that could do at least whatever decoding you were using before, if not all the options you had with the creative amp.
one thing to be careful of, a home reciever type setup would have a lot more power per channel, so you could overdrive and blow up those speakers.
this is the kind of thing that would be worth searching around on places like amazon and ebay, probably your best chance to find something that could do the job cheap.
otherwise, I would think places like fry's, etc would probably have some stuff for ok prices (around $100) though a reciever like this can easily get expensive!

its too bad creative was so worthless to you...I generally like their products, but have not dealt with their support at all.

it seems to be becoming the nature of companies these days...disposable products, why take the time to fix it when you can just buy something new? sad.
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#5
McShaftHer

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Do you happen to know if they have "smaller" home theatre receivers? The spot my receiver is currently in is pretty small (a normal receiver just won't fit) because my receiver is probably only 3 tall x 8 wide x 6 deep. I can always adjust of course, but was just curious. The pricing isn't that big of an issue, although I will do some homework to check out the speaker limits.
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#6
audioboy

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the specs on your speaker setup said it delivered 7 watts to each of the satellite speakers, and I think it was 30 to the sub.
it might be worth checking with some local repair shops. chances are the problem is caused by some low cost part inside that is going south. most of the repair cost would be the labor and/or a minimum bench charge.
otherwise, unless you manage to find a similar type amp/decoder on ebay or amazon, etc. it might just make sense to buy one of those home theater type packages. there are many, they include reciever/amp (usually with at least 1 digital in), a full 5.1 speaker system, etc. and can cost as little as $200-$300.
more of the disposable equipment variety, but will be better suited to not blowing up speakers, etc.
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