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Very quiet volume although all (?) volume controls are maxed.


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#1 Hanser

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:56 PM

Hello. Thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to read this.  I`m in a crux...

 

Here are my computer specs:

OS: Windows 7 64bit home premium (latest windows updates installed)

CPU: Intel i5 3570K (slightly oc`d to 43)

mobo: Asus p8z77-v Pro/thunderbolt

gpu: Asus HD 7850

sound card: none (using onboard realtek)

logitech mouse

cheap keyboard

speakers: logitech externally powered (two speakers 1 subwoofer - really cheap)

 

I put all the parts together myself and had the system running nice - before I moved.  At the time there were no problems with sound I also had a DAC connected via USB, so I was switching between headphones and speakers depending on the occassion.

 

Here`s where my prob started.  I recently moved.  I carried the pc by hand to ensure it didn`t get banged up or incur any excessive shock.  Aside from the slight bobbing motion of my walking I`d believe no harm was done to the machine. 

 

I hooked it up at the new apartment, with the hdmi cable going from ati card to the TV.  The TV plays back the sound perfectly - running the sound through the speakers though the volume is nearly inaudible over the fan sound.  I tried to play sound through various software, youtube, windows media player, vlc, and others (ensuring their respective volume sliders were at full), but it`s still quiet. 

 

When I hooked up the PC this second time the mouse and keyboard were most likely connected to different usb ports (different from how they were hooked up when everything was good).  There are 2 usb ports on the front of the case, and about 5 in the back (2USB 3.0 and 3USB 2, if I remember correctly.  I don`t remember which was plugged where before, though.)

 

My mobo is a little fussy. When I initially hooked it up I found certain devices didn`t work when plugged into certain USB ports in the back.

 

Any things I can do to make sure the HDMI`s sound isn`t used?  I couldn`t find any bios option for it, nor an option in catalyst to disable it.  I tried changing some registry keys to disable the hdmi but that didn`t do anything either.

 

Thanks again.

Hanser


Edited by Hanser, 20 November 2013 - 05:13 AM.


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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:52 PM

As you say the sound over your TV is excellent, there is almost certainly nothing wrong with the performance of your on-board sound. Without seeing them, am I right in thinking that you take a lead from the audio out at the back of your computer to the speakers, and their internal amplifier drives the sound output ?  If so, and this may be very silly, is this lead plugged into the correct socket at the back of the computer ?

 

Failiing that, see if you can borrow some speakers from a friend, any speakers at all will do. This will enable you to determine if the problem is with your speakers or the sound output.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Hanser

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:18 PM

Thanks a lot for the reply, kind sir Chris Cosgrove. 

 

I believe you are correct.  I couldn`t successfully get sound to come out of my speakers by plugging their (green) lead directly into the motherboard (on the `line in` input on the back of the computer case). The front of my computer case has two headphone jack-sized inputs, one with a headphone mark, the other with a mic mark.  I have the headphone-sized jack on my speakers (which happens to be the only interface my speakers have) plugged into the input with the headphone mark on the front of my computer case. 

 

I`m currently at work, so I`ll retry plugging the speaker`s headphone jack into different inputs in the back again and update this post with the results. If that doesn`t change anything I`ll do as you say and try some other speakers.

 

Thanks much again, Chris.  Your thoughtful help is most appreciated.

Hans



#4 dirty shoes

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:26 PM

I am the OP, with the alias Hanser.  Please let me know if I should delete that Hanser account.  This kusogaki one is my more original account.

 

Reintroductions aside, while I was at verifying connections I figured it wouldn't hurt to clear the CMOS.  In the end nothing changed, so I went ahead and verified the speaker jack was plugged into the correct input.  Be the speaker jack plugged in the front or back the problem persisted.  (I also verified that the AMD's HDMI sound was disabled in device manager from a clean boot before testing the issue.)

 

I then went ahead with your second suggestion and tried plugging the headphones in to the jack and bam, (faintly) bleeping computer to working.  I'd assume the problem lies with the speakers or how the Realtek Audio Manager is setup to interface with them.  If I later find out my speakers are working normally, I'll update this post.  In the interim, this issue is fixed.

 

Thanks so much for your response, Chris Cosgrove.  Had it not been for you, it never would've crossed my mind to try different speakers at least before the turn of the year.... :bananas:

 

Best regards,

Hans



#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 06:01 PM

Glad you found an answer ! 

 

However it is a basic fault finding procedure - when you have two interacting systems, replace one of them with a know good component. Then you have established which of the systems contains the fault !

 

As far as your user name goes, it's up to you but I would be inclined to pick one and stick to it, you build up credibility that way.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#6 dirty shoes

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 11:56 PM

Will do, Chris C, I`ll only use this one.

 

I tinkered with my system for about 6 hours yesterday, and 4 hours the day before. I`m living in Japan and it`s a big pain to dispose of these speakers.  I bought`em just about 6 months ago, and they started acting up just when I rehooked them up.  All I have are these speakers and headphones.  I can guarantee the speakers didn`t get banged around at all in the process of getting moved to the new location either.  With that said, seeing that the only problem with them is the volume, not the quality (of the sound they emit), am I a fool to think they could still potentially work?

 

I suspect drivers are at the root of this problem, because when I hooked them up in the new apartment and launched windows for the first time, after signing in windows said (in a pop-up in the bottom-right corner) that I needed to restart the computer to apply changes/updates (unfortunately I don`t remember which).  This struck me as completely odd at the time - perhaps because my PC wasn`t hooked up to the internet (at least I don`t think it was) and I made no system changes through the windows GUI whatsoever before it popped up.  Perhaps windows installed some of its own drivers based on how I wired everything up...

 

I`m under the impression that windows may have snuck in some hidef audio drivers as a result of my failure to plug in the dvi cable that was originally hooked up (instead I only connected the hdmi cable), the usb cables for the mous and keyboard were connected differently and the headphone amp was connected at all.

 

Assuming that that`s possible, how might I go about completely removing all sound drivers and then disabling windows from detecting the sound card and installing its own drivers?  Running w7 home premium it appears my methods for accomplishing this are limited, I mean, I can`t use `gpedit` to specifically control what gets installed automatically. 

 

I`ve tried going to Start > Devices and Printers > right clicked on my PC icon and then Device installation settings > then under “Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?selected “No, let me choose what to do”. but windows still manages to get them detect the device and setup its drivers on a fresh boot (the lan cable is of course unplugged from the wall).

 

Basically I would like to thoroughly remove and smite all sound (windows and realtek) drivers, and disable windows from installing the ones it has, so I can install only the realtek ones that I specify. Is this possible?  I`ve verified the bios`s> PCH controllers> onboard sound is set to HDMI and HD; and, running the system in safe mode, windows won`t detect the sound card, but then again the realtek installation won`t complete either.

 

Sorry for the verbose, unorganized post. I`m poised for instruction.


Edited by dirty shoes, 24 November 2013 - 08:49 AM.


#7 simpk5

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:20 PM

Dirty Shoes, 

 

Before taking your PC apart and re-installing drivers, why not connect your speakers to another output (Ipod for example) to make sure they aren't the problem? 

 

You've also mentioned the "line in" jack several times.  You want to connect the speakers to a "line out" jack as Chris mentioned earlier.

 

Lastly, see if you have Realtek Audio Manager icon in your control panel.  If so, check the speaker settings there. Also, Realtek (in my situation) has an equalizer where you can raise all the frequencies equally to provide a 'boost' to your sound.

 

Once you determine your speakers and the realtek configuration are ok, you can pursue the driver issue if any.  In device manager, right click and uninstall the current driver. Load the new driver at that point.



#8 dirty shoes

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:49 PM

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, simpk5. 

 

I`ll try to connect the speakers to my sansa clip+ mp3 player when I get home.

 

Nice catch on the line in and out.  I erroneously referred to the line in jack, when I meant to say line out.  Thank you for correcting that. 

 

I do have the Realtek Audio Manager icon in my control panel.  I checked the speakers setting (there`s a speakers icon at the top of window).  Last night I messed around a bit more with those settings.  Before I mucked with it, the equalizer was not set.  I enabled the equalizer and then set it to loudness, but it actually got even quieter than it was before.

 

Assuming my speakers work correctly running through my mp3 player, may I just get some clarification on the reinstallation of drivers procedure? 

 

"In device manager, right click and uninstall the current driver. Load the new driver at that point."

 

After uninstalling the driver, you don`t think there`s any need for me to reboot the computer thereafter before installing the new driver?  That would be cool.  It`s just that normally after uninstalling the driver I get prompted to reboot the computer to complete the uninstallation.  I`m guessing it`s a pretty generic message though, in that it`ll say that whether you need to or not...

 

Anyway, thanks a lot for the help. 

 

I`ll test the speakers out on my mp3 player before messing any further with the driver bit.



#9 simpk5

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:18 AM

My take is if you reboot after uninstall, windows will reload the old drivers.  Good luck with testing.  At least it will narrow things down somewhat.



#10 dirty shoes

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 12:02 AM

After hooking up the speakers to my mp3 player (sansa clip+) I found the sound level to be relatively just as quiet, no matter what I set the pre-amp level to.  I guess it means I gotta buy some new speakers.  I`ll update this post once I`ve hooked up the new speakers.

 

Thanks again for the help, simpk5 and Chris Cosgrove.


Edited by dirty shoes, 26 November 2013 - 12:02 AM.


#11 dirty shoes

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 07:41 AM

First time I've found myself hoping the speakers were defective.  Taking them back to the shop it turns out they are OK.  I just contacted logitech to see if they can explain why windows can't identify my speakers.  Realtek's audio software detects speakers, but microsoft's 'fix me' deal reports 'device not listed'.  Maybe it's talking about some other device but all the other audio peripherals were detected, save for these wretched speakers.

 

I tried deleting the realtek driver and the microsoft audio controllers(perhaps I shouldn't've?), and then without restarting reinstalled the realtek drivers for my mobo from asus' site, but then after restarting microsoft still managed to sneak something in.

 

I'll update this post once I hear back from logicool (logitech's alias in Japan).


Edited by dirty shoes, 26 November 2013 - 07:42 AM.


#12 dirty shoes

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 05:46 AM

This is probably the final update on my issue.

 

As I said in a previous post, the speakers I'm having problems with (the logitech LS21s) worked when I brought them back to the point of purchase and watched the salesclearks plug them in to a laptop and let me hear it.  I thought the output volume to be on the level of at least 3 times that I was getting at home - this is taking into consideration the background noise level was abnormal as the store I bought them at was located right under a heavily trafficed train station.

 

After seeing that I thought it was a software problem, so I decided against buying a new pair right then and there and instead opted to bring them back home to mess around with drivers some more.  Doing so didn't change anything, but I'm sure I didn't do the 'right' thing..

 

So I went to a second-hand shop and bought a used TDK Xa40 (basically, an 8 in. cube, with 3 speakers, sub on the bottom and 1 speaker on two of the sides, essentially a 2.1 in one box ).  Without making any changes to the windows setup, between testing the logitechs and the tdk, I plugged the TDKs in and the sound was/is normal, volume-wise at least.

 

I guess my issue was an anomaly maybe?

 

Nevertheless, thanks for the help everybody, again, it's extremely appreciated.



#13 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:32 PM

This is beginning to sound like every technician's favourite nightmare - the intermittent fault !

 

While I am happy that you have found a solution in the shape of the TDKs, I think if you can be bothered to investigate further, you will find a faulty connection in the speakers in the feed into the amplifier, quite possibly a 'cold' solder joint. It may well be that the stress of  moving house was sufficient to make this joint 'open', planking them down on the shop counter 'closed' it, and walking them home again, 'opened' it again.

 

Still, as you say, they were very cheap - probably not worth the effort.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#14 dirty shoes

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:19 PM

Little update.

After a couple weeks of use, I found I just couldn't get used to the TDK Xa-40's sound - which probably stems from the fact it's basically a 2.1 all jumbled up into one box = ie has virtually no separation.

 

So, having read Chris Cosgrove's suggestion to tinker with the compromised speaker system, I went ahead to bother a friend for a soldering iron, and he gave me pretty much everything I'd need to diagnose and repair the prob save for spare parts (resistors and whatnot).

 

The logitechs (model LS21) I'd been having problems with has most all of its power management and circuitry housed in the subwoofer.

Primed to put my 15 year rusty computer electronics skills to work I opened the subwoofer up, unscrewing whatever screws I could and found the PCB very difficult to remove, being it connected to the bass volume control. 

I opted for the less invasive and made sure all 3 power connecters were firmly seated.  I didnt notice any clicks or anything. 

 

Ah well, I thought, maybe I'll get lucky...powered it up and bam, sound was back to normal.

Guess these logitechs just wanted a little jigglin' to get back in the spirit.  

 

In short, I can guarantee this was definitely a hardware prob, not remotely software-related.

 

I'd like to thank you Chris Cosgrove, and simpk5, not just for reading my extremely verbose emails, but giving me extremely helpful guidance.

 

Best wishes and happy end of year festivities!



#15 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:12 PM

Sometimes these things just want a little love !

 

Glad you got it sorted, and have a Happy New Year,

 

Chris Cosgrove






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