How do I examine my speaker system?

Question

Dear Data Doctors,

I have the Boston BA745 speakers. It was the standard, inexpensive speakers that came with my computer package from Gateway. For the first, lets say, couple of months I had the computer, the speakers were running just fine. Decent sound considering they are low end speakers but I didn't mind. Unfortunately, one day the bass module of the speaker set had no low frequency sound. (The speaker set includes two small treble speakers and a bass speaker). I can turn up the bass on Windows Media Player and the know on the speaker but it never returned to when it was new. All the cables are plugged in correctly and I have never messed around with any of the sound settings or hardware. All I get know is just the mid- and high frequency sounds from the two satellite speakers. I am perplexed and confused and have little idea of what to do. Thank you for your help.

Lacking "oomf",

Jimmy

Answer

This question was answered on January 23, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Here is the surest way to check your speaker system.

First we should eliminate the computer as a cause of the problem so go ahead and unplug the speaker cable from the back I also happen to have a set of Boston speakers that I got from gateway over 6 years ago and they still work great Believe it or not the connector in the back is identical to the type a simple headphone uses Like on your Walkman Plug the jack from your speakers directly to a Walkman or stereo If the sound is no good then you know that your speakers are bad and since your computer is only a couple of months old they may still be under warranty Call gateway and find out If they don't have it under warranty then Boston might have a guarantee for the first year Most companies do.

So if the sound was perfectly fine then the problem is in the computer.

The next question is do you have a sound card or is your sound card imbedded in your motherboard?

Either way Gateway likes to send a CD with their computers that contain all the drivers for there hardware.

It’s the one with their cow pattern and says gateway on it.

Put it in and remove and reinstall the driver.

If that dues not work then go on the Internet to the gateway web site and find the latest drivers for your sound card They have a simple way to do it By placing the serial number in their site, And following the steps.

If that dues not work then your jack may be physically broken see if it feels loose Whether it dues or not call gateway and find out if your computer is under warranty.

If the jack feels loose and the computer is no longer under warranty then the easiest thing to do is purchase a sound card and install it This will automatically disable an imbedded sound card, and if you have a sound card that plugs into the computer (like a modem) pull it out and plug in the new one.

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Author

Posted by Wilmer of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on January 23, 2005