Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theatre Repair

Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theatre Repair

Time to try out some of my new toys. The crackly volume control on my PC’s Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theatre 5.1 surround speaker system has been bugging me for close to a decade, but recently it started humming intermittently (particularly when first powered on) too. Today I was finally motivated enough to do something about fixing it. Overall this is a fairly simple repair involving just replacing a failed capacitor in the power supply and cleaning the 6-channel stacked potentiometer which controls the volume for all the channels. Nothing too taxing for anyone with the right experience, but perhaps someone out there will find it useful one day. Mostly I just wanted to make a new video to play with my new camcorders and some of the other new toys I been buying myself for Christmas 🙂

Categories: Home Theater

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  1. andernland
    andernland 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    that mutch great. Same Problem with this phantastic unit. Will fix it soon!!

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  2. Timothy S Harrington
    Timothy S Harrington 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Hi Jim, thanks for the video! It's amazing the power of Youtube as a resource for learning. I have the same DTT2500 with issue, mine is deceased, no power. I've tried replacing the power supply but still no response, not even a power light comes on. I'm not electrically knowledgable, so can I send it to you for repair? Seriously. I'm determined not to put this in a landfill. Would an electronics repair store have the knowledge to repair this, my guess is it would cost an arm and a leg. Thanks! Tim

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  3. chillausmc
    chillausmc 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    I still have this system and it is performing wonderfully for gaming and movies. To have fiber-optic input back then from PC sound card was a step up. Nice job, Great vid

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  4. Hamburgerkop
    Hamburgerkop 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    my speakers work fine but the supwoofer stoped working this is not the first time but normaly it just comes back alive but now its not help pls

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  5. Twisted
    Twisted 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    i have a similar one (subwoofer and amp are together) dunno why left speaker sound too bass and right speaker normal. when i swap wires (from left to right) right speaker sounds bass and left normal. i think something from the amp

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  6. Jaco Krzem
    Jaco Krzem 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Good morning, I have such speakers, I do not have a problem with them. Well, when increasing the volume, the amplifier driver resets, the lights start to flash again, and the game plays again and again.

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  7. JingNan KC
    JingNan KC 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Hi bro
    I have 1 set of that speaker!
    But my problem is I lost all Satellite Position Sticker and the speaker and wire is not connect watch other and I found out I have 3 of 3m wire and 2 of 5m wire and And I want to know
    Is 5 of that speakers is the same watt ?

    The speaker have Red and Blank plugin wire so how to know which one is the correct connection ?

    Thank before hand for your reply

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  8. jackdeath
    jackdeath 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    If you want to eliminate the entire crackle, then lube the 6 United potentiometer A10KX6 where the nob axis meets main housing with either 3 in 1 oil or WD40 spray & stay gel lubricant. Move it back and forth about 10 times or until it stops squeaking, and your troubles are gone.

    This was a very common problem with this model, which was a production flaw. People were returning units because the main pot was so stiff the nob would slip or come off, and Creative Labs solution in China was to glue the nob onto the pot. They completely ignored the amplified crack cause by metal vibration of a stiff pot.

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  9. Andrey Ulrich
    Andrey Ulrich 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    A10KX6 on AliExpress costs $ 5.

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  10. Jerry E
    Jerry E 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Wow, thanks for the video!!

    When I saw that 18 pin pot, I thought "I'm fucked. Time to buy something else."

    Problem is, I love this surround sound amplifier (I'm old school too). It only cost me $5.00 at at a flea market (with power supply!)!!!! And, I just got a new flat screen TV with optical cable output!!

    I had no idea it was a ganged potentiometer that you could take apart and clean!!!! Would alcohol be too harsh?

    Thanks again, you bloody Brit!

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  11. Ljubomir Dukovski
    Ljubomir Dukovski 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Hi Jim Conner nice video for cambridge soundworks 5.1 desktop repair. I have the same soundworks at my home, Cambrigde soundworks DTT-2500. I need your help. I have the same problem with the volume potentiometer. The problem is that it does not spin. The pipe in the middle is broken, and the wipers are not turning around. The pipe is some kind of metal that i cannot glue it. Can u give me an advice. I cannot see what kind of potentiometer is, it only says taiwan alpha. The potentiometer is 18 pins with 6 separate parts, consisting those 18 pins. Can u tell me is it B20k or B30k potentiometer, with the same metal pipe inside them. Can u give me some website where i can order it, if they have the original part, or a replacement. I really appreciate your help. Thank u in advance.

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  12. API1
    API1 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Good work! Got this device (DDT2500) here with a very different problem.
    Nice to see something known since you stripped it, too 😉
    Greetings from Germany

    Reply this comment
  13. Guido Landi
    Guido Landi 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Thank you very much for your video!
    I've had that humming noise for years now being too lazy even to buy a new system.
    This time i found your video and decided to give it a try. The result is perfect! This little system is still better than a lot of 5.1 sold today. Unfortunately i was unable to find the correct capacitor so i opted for the closer one the shop had. (10000uF 63V 85°) do you think this could cause problems in the future?

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  14. Lefsef
    Lefsef 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Hello there!
    I have a similar system called "DTT 3500" and I did hear crackling as well when turned on, for quite some time. A few months later the unit made only crackles. From reading in forums I saw that I had to replace some capacitors (which my local repair shop did) but that did not correct the matter. Do you have any experience on this unit, and if yes do you know how to fix the issue?
    Thanks in advance of your responce! 🙂

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  15. whosaidSeb
    whosaidSeb 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Thanks, this was very useful for me needing to replace the subwoofer switch!

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  16. Rhyn Weatherhead
    Rhyn Weatherhead 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Hi Jim, thank for replying, I took out the screws which mine has also, but it wont come apart, it is as if it is glued together. So I am going to cut the plastic to open it up.

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  17. Rhyn Weatherhead
    Rhyn Weatherhead 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Hi Jim, how do you open that power supply so easyily, it is like the one I have will have to be cut open ?

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  18. n9ne2006
    n9ne2006 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    I have a Cambridge Soundworks megaworks 250D speaker set up that I bought used to install in my office (as i have the 5:1 system at home and LOVE it) however one of the speaker outputs on the back of the system doesn't work 🙁 so i can only get sound out of one speaker.. is this something you think you could repair? Obviously willing to pay!

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  19. birdy356
    birdy356 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    thanks Jim,
    had the same problems for years, encouraged by your video I tried it for my self and…
    What a very nice system it is.
    😉 thank you

    Reply this comment
  20. Patrick Meehan
    Patrick Meehan 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Great work Jim. I like the desoldering gun. All one needs is to know How.
    Have a pleasant Christmas and a peaceful New Year
    Best wishes. Patrick.

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  21. Khang Starr
    Khang Starr 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Nice work, Jim!  

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  22. Orbiter Electronics
    Orbiter Electronics 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Great job on the sound controller Jim. Liking all that new gear you got too 🙂

    Merry Christmas mate


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  23. 101blog
    101blog 3 January, 2022, 03:25

    Nice Video Jim, amazing how much crap got into even the carbon trak at the back of the stack.
    BTW if you move the tip around whilst heating the solder then again when you sucj the solder out it helps clean allthe solder out. That said I don't think it makes much difference with big pins and holes.

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