Creative GigaWorks S750 (7.1 Surround Sound System) DEAD ?!?


S

Skybuck Flying

Hello,

The following happened:

1. I was watching a movie.

2. I decided I wanted to listen to the movie via my headset.

3. I plugged in my "Sennhesier HD 590" headphone/set while the movie was
playing. (The movie was probably playing some flies sound at the time
"bzzz").

4. The audio control pod/red led starts going on/off/on/off/on/off/on and
then off. (It seemed to have died)

I have seen this behaviour before when I plugged in the headset... the
gigaworks/pod would go to standby, this time however it seemed to
"flip/freak out" (on/off/on/off/on/off) and die.

I tried turning it on again... but no luck it seemed to have died.

Here are my thoughts on it and suggestions for future improvements:

1. First of all the design is bad. The headset/headphone should simply be
always plugged in to prevent any eletrical damage. I should be able to
select the mode while everything is plugged in. (Speakerset vs headphone).

2. Second of all the manual does not warn for this situation. No where does
it say that I should not plug in the headphone/headset while the device is
on and something is playing.

3. Warranty seems to be only 2 years which could indicate bad quality. (It
does give nice sound though)

4. The price has seemed to go up (at least on the website where I purchased
it 3 years ago ?!?)

5. I am not sure what caused the damage.

I could either be:

5.1 Bad design... the device can't handle a suddenly plug in of the
headphone/headset while something is playing.

5.2 Static discharge from the headphone/headset which is always lieing on my
wooden table.

Also there are only two pins in my wall sockets (I guess they are old wall
sockets... so they don't have a safety pin). (I am not sure if a safety pin
would have helped in this case...)

Fortunately I was able to listen/view the movie by plugging my headphone/set
into the back of the pc... so that part is still working (x-fi elite pro
soundblaster), but this does raise doubts... what if it was static discharge
from headphone/set then I could damage my pc... so I rather not to do in the
future ?

So now I am left stranded with a titanium/heavy subwoofer and speakersets
and out of warranty ?!?
(The gigaworks only has 2 years of warranty ?!? it says so on their website
today... I am not sure if they changed warranty (probably not though?))

I did read the manual just yet to see what it says about all of this... very
little though... it did mention "servicing".

So maybe it's possible to repair the subwoofer ? (Which seems to be the dead
part...)

I guess I have little choice but to open it up and see what it's all
about...

If I do so I will post pictures later on !

If you have any experience with (fixing?) dead gigaworks s750 subwoofers I
would love to hear from you !

Goodbye,
Sigh,
Skybuck :)
 
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S

Skybuck Flying

I read some of the postings on that second forum what I learned from this is
the following:

1. Many people have seen their subwoofer die.

2. Somebody mentioned: the glue becomes conductive after some time.

3. Many people investigating how to repair it, and schematics available.

Sounds like a real bore trying to make sense of it.

Maybe somebody in my neighbourhood understand electronics better.

Maybe the local electronics shop or computer shop though I doubt they will
be able to fix it... but it's worth a try.

Otherwise maybe somebody else...

I am too tired to open it up right now so that will have to wait until
tomorrow or so...

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

Ok,

The symptoms for my gigaworks are:

1. Blinking green led on the back side of the subwoofer (there is indeed a
green led back there !;)) (It flickers like a disco light or so... unregular
and like beating or so... (I checked just shortly ;)))

2. The audio/remote pod leds are all dead.

Now I have something to go on based on the experiences/postings on that
forum ! ;)

105 pages to go through on that forum !

Somebody else also confirmed the glue becomes conductive... with a meter.

Pretty ridicilious that an expensive product like this has these kinds of
problems !

Americans are known to be found for lawsuits... does this smell like a
class-action lawsuit to me ! Gje ! ;)

To bad I am European :)

Without lawsuits Creative would get away with it... don't let them get away
it is all I hope ! ;)

And ofcourse to hopefully get my thingy working again.

(I don't even use the subwoofer that much... all on low... no subwoofer
would have been fine with me !)

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
G

GMAN

I read some of the postings on that second forum what I learned from this is
the following:

1. Many people have seen their subwoofer die.

2. Somebody mentioned: the glue becomes conductive after some time.

3. Many people investigating how to repair it, and schematics available.

Sounds like a real bore trying to make sense of it.

Maybe somebody in my neighbourhood understand electronics better.

Maybe the local electronics shop or computer shop though I doubt they will
be able to fix it... but it's worth a try.

Otherwise maybe somebody else...

I am too tired to open it up right now so that will have to wait until
tomorrow or so...

Bye,
Skybuck.
Alot of the time, its a blown capacitor in the power supply or
regulator section of the device. For a few years back, there was a stolen
formula some company made that was used to make the capacitors that were used
in many electronics devices. They ended up exploding, bulging, oozing, etc and
needed to be replaced.

http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=4

http://www.independent.co.
uk/news/business/news/stolen-formula-for-capacitors-causing-computers-to-burn-
out-539299.html



I bet creative used all of that liquid nails compound to hide or cover or to
try to prevent the bulging of the capacitors or to make it near impossible to
replace them. Seeing as they put the goop only on the tops of the capacitors.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

Ok,

I have opened the gigaworks s750 subwoofer and made some pictures of it:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DeadGigaWorksS750.htm

1. Some glue was against the edges so I had to force it a little... then it
came loose.

2. Lot's of glue everywhere will be difficult to take apart.

3. It seems like a 3 dimensional electronics puzzle ?!

I am not sure if I would ever be able to get it together again if I take it
apart so care should be taken and everything well documented.

I am already amazed that apperently so people made sense of this 3d
electronics glue mess and were actually able to repair it ? Sounds to good
to be true to me ;)

I doubt I will ever be able to repair it or figure out what's wrong with
it... though I will give it a shot.. by seeking some help on that forum.

One thing is for sure:

I will never again by anything that says: "made in china" on it ! ;)

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
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S

Skybuck Flying

I also checked my suppliers warranty/contractual information.

It contains a somewhat interesting section in dutch which goes something
like this:

"In case it turns out that the product had flaws from the start the supplier
obligates itself to replace/repair it etc."

Seeing all the glue and other issue's with the gigaworks s750 this could be
the case...

However later on it says up to 6 months... I am not sure if that relates to
that point.

But it's worth a shot to contact the supplier... tell him about problems and
such and see what he has to say ;)

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

Further questions are:

What is responsible for the beautifull sound ?

Possible answers:

1. The electronics coordinating the 7.1 surround sound.

or

2. The speakers themselfes.

Or

3. A combination of 1 and 2.

Suppose the electronics themselfes have little to do with the end result...
and it's just there as a gateway then maybe replacing the electronics by
another product might be possible. I saw somebody else mention such a
solution... he bought some kind of sony product. I examined the back plugs
of a similiar sony product... it didn't seem a good fit.

The problem I am most worried about if ofcourse "connectibility".

I need to connect the x-fi elite soundblaster to some intermediate product
which ultimately connects the speakers and possibly subwoofer.

So far the outputs of the x-fi elite soundblaster are a yellow cable, a
green cable and a black cable.

(There is also a big wide plug... but that's for the breakout box and
probably has nothing to do with it)

(But maybe the breakout box can communicate with the gigaworks... but I
think not... it's probably some volume control inside windows itself.)

So my questions to you are (especially x-fi elite pro owners, especially
those with dead gigaworks):

1. What surround sound systems are there out there that will connect to an
x-fi elite pro soundblaster... and have good electronics design instead of
the crap that creative sells, and will connect the speakers of the
gigaworks... (I assume pretty standard surround sound
cables/connectors/connections ?

2. Is it possible to disconnect the subwoofer from the crappy gigaworks s750
electronics and attached it to a proper surround sound system ? What kind of
plug/connectors would be needed ?!?

Pretty complex questions ;)

Also it shouldn't be too expensive... I payed 320 euro's for a gigaworks
s750 which is now dead.

I have a question about that too.... what is the most expensive part of the
gigaworks ?

Possible answers:

1. The speakers and the subwoofer

or

2. The electronics ?!?

I saw sony selling some kind of electronics for 400 bucks... excluding
speakers ?!?

Confusing ?!?

For those that missed the other threads here some links:

First a thread describing dead gigaworks s750 subwoofers:

http://www.fixya.com/support/t458456-subwoofer_died_again

Which links towards another thread describing how to fix a blown fuse

http://forums.creative.com/creative...thread.id=8037&view=by_date_ascending&page=85

My website examining it:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DeadGigaWorksS750.htm

Trying to make sense of the fuse:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DamageAssesmentGigaworksS750.htm

Google newsgroup link:

http://groups.google.nl/group/alt.c.../browse_thread/thread/5d8cd07c9f2dfa74?hl=en#

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

Another dutchman with a dead GigaWorks S750 wrote something interesting:

In the Netherlands there are laws about the lifetime of a product.

Consumers can expect certain products to have a certain lifetime.

If the products fails before that then they could still fall under warranty.

Interesting...

Personally my expectation for a speakerset would be 10 to unlimited years.
Since I have never had a broken television or a broken stereo or a broken
speakerset or whatever and those were even cheaper than this one.

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

I have also slightly started to wonder if the burning smell I sometimes
smell is from this device.

However it could also be dust burning up inside my pc.

Primarly I think it's smoke from my neighbours or car/bus gasses from
outside.

However I tucked/filled up holes in my frontdoors/gates etc.. so gasses from
outside become less likely.

Which leaves neighbours... could also be my own body odor but I don't think
so... either neighbours or my pc sometimes does a little poopy/farts lol.

But seriously though... heat inside all kinds of electronics could be health
risks ! ;)

And now people are mentioning heat issues inside this subwoofer... others
have mention electric charge on heatsink... and then with all this glue
everywhere... maybe it's lethal glue ?!

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
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S

Skybuck Flying

Also I forgot to mention that some people have posted pictures of blown up
components... quite impressive pictures.

People even wrote how their speakers were still functioning while some stuff
had blown up ?!

If components inside my subwoofer have indeed blown up than that could be
the smoking or in this case be the stinking gun ! ;)

However so far I have not seen any damage... maybe I should take a closer
look ;) but not now.

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

This guy evo9 posted an interesting solution which I will check out later:

"
Now, whats my better solution you guy's want to know??? Two words , Simplifi
Digital! The 7075a 7.1 amplifier along with Definitive Technology Pro
Sub1000 and the remaing surround speakers from my s750 system. Yes, it did
cost me more to go this route. But what I now have is a much more reliable
system. And a sound that the s750 can only dream about. My s750 died while I
was listening to Dave Bruebeck quartet "take five" at mid volume. With my
current setup, I can listen mid volume all day long with no hiccups. For
those who my have the cash to spend. I recommend looking at my direction!
Keep this in mind, make sure whatever powered subwoofer you choose, is
adjustable up to 150hz. The creative surround speakers dont play very well
below 120hz. Also make sure whatever powered sub you choose don't use a
BASH amplifier. For those looking at the s750 as a purchase, good luck. Or
go over to partsexpress.com and get the Dayton Part Number 300-670, surround
speakers. Then get the simplifi digital 7075 7.1 amplifier and power
subwoofer of your choice and make a better/best system.
"

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
A

Archimedes' Lever

Ok,

I have opened the gigaworks s750 subwoofer and made some pictures of it:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DeadGigaWorksS750.htm

1. Some glue was against the edges so I had to force it a little... then it
came loose.

2. Lot's of glue everywhere will be difficult to take apart.

3. It seems like a 3 dimensional electronics puzzle ?!

I am not sure if I would ever be able to get it together again if I take it
apart so care should be taken and everything well documented.

I am already amazed that apperently so people made sense of this 3d
electronics glue mess and were actually able to repair it ? Sounds to good
to be true to me ;)

I doubt I will ever be able to repair it or figure out what's wrong with
it... though I will give it a shot.. by seeking some help on that forum.

One thing is for sure:

I will never again by anything that says: "made in china" on it ! ;)

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

StickThatInYourPipeAndSmokeIt

Ok,

I have opened the gigaworks s750 subwoofer and made some pictures of it:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DeadGigaWorksS750.htm

1. Some glue was against the edges so I had to force it a little... then it
came loose.

2. Lot's of glue everywhere will be difficult to take apart.

3. It seems like a 3 dimensional electronics puzzle ?!

I am not sure if I would ever be able to get it together again if I take it
apart so care should be taken and everything well documented.

I am already amazed that apperently so people made sense of this 3d
electronics glue mess and were actually able to repair it ? Sounds to good
to be true to me ;)

I doubt I will ever be able to repair it or figure out what's wrong with
it... though I will give it a shot.. by seeking some help on that forum.

One thing is for sure:

I will never again by anything that says: "made in china" on it ! ;)

Bye,
Skybuck.


You're an idiot, and you will never be able to get through life and not
buy anything that was made in China.

You are stupid beyond belief. Everything you buy "breaks"? Or is it
that SkyTard is the one doing the breaking?

The glue is not conductive, idiot. It is there to keep the large
un-braced mass of the caps from breaking the solder joint that holds it
on. The glue provides bracing.

You'd be better off buying a cheap car stereo amp, and putting that in
its place. They take 14 Volt input.

They are also more tolerant of stupid dips that abuse or otherwise hook
up incorrectly, their gear.

Your rate of failure is so high that it MUST be YOU that is doing it.

Did you ever analyze THAT?
 
S

StickThatInYourPipeAndSmokeIt

Notice, asswipe, that NONE of your replies come from folks in
sci.electronics.design.

So could you STOP cross-posting your RETARDED horseshit posts in the
group, you stupid ****!?

Post a pistol upside your head, and then pull the trigger.
 
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S

Skybuck Flying

Ok,

I found some information on the creative labs support site.

My reseller/supplier also told me to contact their support team so I did...
and asked for a repair service.

My website has been updated with a picture describing how to remove the
fuse.

The pictures I took are indeed the fuse... and apperently a flat screw
driver should be able to remove it.

I will attempt this.

Updated site:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DamageAssesmentGigaworksS750.htm

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

Ok,

I have successfully removed the fuse and took a close up picture of it
thanks to my camera's special close up capability which I used for the first
time...

(it was really needed too, otherwise I couldn't get a decent close up... I
wish I discovered/used this close up feature before because it might have
given better pictures... but previous pictures weren't so bad... but in this
case it was really necessary ;))

The fuse looks intact except that the wire/bar is a bit diagonal so I am not
sure if it's damaged or not.

What do you make of it and how to know for sure ? ;)

Maybe simply replace it and see what happens ? hmmm.

Updated website:

http://members.home.nl/hbthouppermans/DeadGigaWorksS750/DamageAssesmentGigaworksS750.htm

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
S

Skybuck Flying

For now I think it's safe to dismiss the "broken fuse" theory.

The fuse does not appear to be broken. However I might consult an
electronics store to ask if they have any 250 volt fuses to try it out... I
am not yet sure how to remove the fuse from the plug without damaging it...
it seems a tight fit... but probably pulling it out would be the way to do
it. The only problem is my "favorite electronics" store either went out of
bussiness or their phone system is down... so can't contact them via phone.
I will have to find some other store that might sell fuses.

Anyway it's time to speculate about other causes of failure:

First of all a non-blown-fuse/good fuse could be a good sign... this could
mean not much damage to the device.

What other reasons could there be for the device failing (to come on?):

1. Control pod is damaged or dead.
2. Glue became conductive and is disturbing the device.
3. Some component/transistor is bad in the electronics housed in the
subwoofer.
4. Maybe some statis discharge overloaded some capacitators, maybe the
device will be back to normal once power levels drop or so ? (Wishfull
thinking ?;)

Possible things to try:

1. Try using the speakerset system without the control pod... (I am not sure
if a functioning system would work without it)
2. Try removing a little bit of the glue ?
3. Check out components by a repair man
4. Wait a while and see what happens... but I already slept a couple of
hours since the failure so shouldn't it be drained a bit ? Hmm.

So far I like theory 1 and possibility 1.

Bye,
Skybuck.
 
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S

Skybuck Flying

I checked it out, I don't like it because:

1. It's quite expensive. (However this is not a reason for me to dismiss it
in case I need a replacement)

Main reasons are:

2. The website does not offer a manual.

3. There are no reviews of it... it's hard to tell what will be the final
sound quality.

4. The pictures are too small... I can't see how to connect certain stuff.

5. I have learned from my gigaworks lesson: Never buy any electronics
without a servicing manual... especially expensive electronics.

6. I am worried the voltages levels might be to high and blow my speakers up
?

Bye,
Skybuck.
 

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