Question about Altec Lansing Multimedia Computer Speakers

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Multimedia speakers not playing up to potential

I have Altec Lansing ADA745 4.1 surround sound speakers w/subwoofer on dell computer since 6/2003. great sound, really rocked the place. until a more than a few months ago, when they just quit 'putting out". sound is very weak, even when volume on computer and on speaker itself turned up. for a couple of days recently, the l rear and r right just quit working, all you could hear when placed right up to your ear was static. then the front two would play soft and then for a second get REAL LOUD and then soft again. took canned air to the subwoofer and tried again. speakers work now , but still no power behind any of them. husband wants to throw out and get new ones, but if it is something that can be easily fixed, that would be great because they can ROCK! Thanks for you help!

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  • smupony75 Dec 02, 2007

    I have the same problem. The cd player sound is adequate however the sound connection to the internet sucks.

  • Anonymous Dec 07, 2007

    HI HOW YOU DOING,

    YES I HAVE THE SAME DEAL GOING ON ALL OF A SUDDENTHE TWO FRONTS ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT WORK, BUT POORLY. I AGREE WITH YOU ON YOUR ORIGINAL STATEMENT WHEN I GOT THE DELL IN 2003 THESE SPEAKERS COULD HAVE BLOWN YOU OUT OF THE ROOM, I WOULD LISTEN TO TUNES ON A SETTING OF ABOUT 2. I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH DELL'S TECH SUPPORT FOR 5 OR 6 HOURS AND THEIR SOLUTION IS FOR ME TO REFORMAT MY COMPUTER THE TECH SAID THAT MY WINDOWS XP PRO SYSTEM WON'T ALLOW THE SPEAKERS TO OPERATE CORRECTLY.I ALSO SPOKE TO ALTEC LANSING THEY SAID BUY NEW ONES, AND I'VE READ SEVERAL BLOGS STATING THAT OVERUSE OF THE SYSTEM COULD MAKE THIS OCCUR AND THAT DELL AND ALTEC KNEW ABOUT IT . IN CLOSING I'VE SEEN THESE SPEAKERS ONLINE FOR SALE I'M PROBABLY GOING TO SPRING FOR A NEW SET OF THE SAME.GOOD LUCK

    P.S. I'VE ALSO HAVE RUN THROUGH THE TROUBLESHOOTING ASPECTS ALONE AND WITH DELL ON A REMOTE ACCESS HE TOOK TOTAL CONTROL SO WITH THAT SAID AGAIN GOOD LUCK.

  • saswad May 15, 2008

    TrickyTrev's solution from his post of January 2008 worked perfect. Thanks.

  • Anonymous May 15, 2008

    The problem with my Altec Lansing ADA745 speakers is that the back 2 speakers don't work when playing music, but will "test OK" when going through the diagnostics. This has happened in the past and have found that the system had changed itself to be a 2 speaker system instead of the 4. In the past, changing that setting back to 4 would take care of the problem. This does not do the trick anymore. Any other suggestions?

  • danopat May 23, 2008

    I wish I had read this site this morning! I also lost the big sound from all of my speakers. They sound is ok but at about 40% the original output. From time to time they will have a volume blast for about one half a second and return to the low output so I know they are holding back. I spent hours online with the Dell troubleshooter and he took control of the computer and tried everything I had already attempted. He said my soundcard needed replacing so I did that this afternoon and without any improvement. I now figured it was the speakers themselves and came to this site. I will try the fix from Jan 08. I have nothing to loose and I now have a spare sound card!

  • danopat May 23, 2008

    Thank you TrickyTrev 34. I snipped the green wire and my speakers are back in full force! I
    want to add that while I was trouble shooting, of the two wires
    connected at my sound card from the speakers (green and black plugs),
    removing the black wire has no effect on anything before or after the
    fix. If I knew more I would start ripping things apart but my speakers
    are now working as well as when they were new (sans volume control at
    the speaker). Thanks for the fix on a very frustrating problem.



  • SirWill May 26, 2008

    I had exactly the same problem and TrickyTrev34's solution worked perfectly. Thanks for saving me from wasting some of my hard-earned cash...



  • Anonymous Nov 20, 2008

    I also have Altec ADA745 speakers on my computer and LOVE them. They would lose volume or cut in and out. I saw Tricky Trev43" solution back in August of 2008 but did not have the nerve to try his solution.....I finally tried it last night and......oh boy!!!! my speakers are BACK!!! The volume button does still turn the speakers on and off but does not control volume. But who cares! Thanks TrickyTrev34

    musiclover

  • Anonymous May 09, 2009

    Same as described. I tried the green wire trick. Let me say it worked...you better hold onto you hat!!!! It'll blow you away.

    Thanks so much for the advice. I've spent countless 'help' hours in chat and on the phone. This fix just took 10 mins from start to finish--that includes having to hunt for the electrical tape.


  • SouthieDave Nov 22, 2012

    I opened the Front Speaker snipped the green wire, lost volume control because it now cranks. Awesome and easy fix. Its 7 screws to open speaker. 2 to take off silver stand, 1 under stand, the silver mesh over speaker pops off and there are 4 screws underneath. Snip the Green ans reassemble and then u have your speakers again.

  • SouthieDave Nov 22, 2012

    Worked for Me, Listening to my Speakers as I am typing ;-)

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After I posted my problem, I browsed a bit further through the other posts and solutions, until I came across the excellent solution of TrickyTrev34 and gave it a try. However, I did not slice the cable, but did it as follows: <p> 1. Switch off power of the sound system on the subwoofer box. Disconnect the Front Right (FR) speaker box (the one with the volume control) from the subwoofer box.<br>
2. Remove the silver coloured metal oval on which the speaker box stands. Now you'll see a small screw at the bottom of the speaker box. remove it.<br> 3. Carefully remove the silver coloured metal protection plate (with all the little holes) from the front of the FR speaker box by wedging it from the top with a flathead screwdriver or other thin blunt object. Now you'll see the speaker and 4 holes with screws inside. Remove screws and speaker box opens up..<br> 4. Inside you should see six wires (Red, Blue, Yellow, White, Green & Black). Carefully cut the GREEN wire only. Insulate the both ends of the GREEN wire with electrical tape or heatshrink or similar.<br>
5. Put the FR speaker box back together in reversed order.<br> 6. Connect FR speaker back to the subwoofer box. Make sure the volume setting on your PC is very low, because when you switch back on the power of the subwoofer, you should be blasting again.<br>
<p> As TrickyTrev34 already mentioned, the only downside of this procedure is that it will disable the volume control on the FR speaker, but who cares, your sound system works again, and you can still control the volume via the PC playback control panel and/or the multi-media keyboard if you have one.<p>Thanks for giving the lead trickytrev34.

Posted on Aug 08, 2008

  • steak4 Nov 04, 2010

    Thanks a bunch for this great tip! It worked as advertised. I've lived with the weak and erratic volume of my speaker system for years. What great news to find such an easy fix. I clipped the green wire from the inside of the rt front speaker but there was no need to insulate both ends of the clipped wire. Just cut it and put the speaker back together. The only thing lost was the green light and volume control You can still turn it off and on with the knob if you desire.

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I had exact same problem with Altec Lansing 4.1 (2003 Dell). Not willing to chuck out the speaker system and after much testing/fault finding, I have a relatively simple solution that put the "big bang" back back into the system. The only downside is this procedure below will disable the volume potentiometer on the FL speaker. However you can still control the volume via the PC playback control panel and/or the multi-media keyboard if you have one. The procedure is as follows:

1. Disconnect the Front Right (FR) speaker from the box (ie the one with the volume control)
2. Carefuly slice the outer insulation of the FR speaker cable to expose the inner cables. Take care not to damage the internal wires.
3. There should be six wires (Red, Blue, Yellow, White, Green & Black). Carefully cut the GREEN wire only.
4. Insulate the cable with electrical tape or heatshrink or similar.
5. Reconnect FR speaker.

Thats it! You should now be rockin the house again.

Posted on Jan 12, 2008

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In case anyone has googled their way into this somewhat older thread, I'm here to affirm TrickyTrev34's solution really does work. I'm thankful, astounded, and puzzled. I'd love to know WHY it works. (But I'm so happy to not have to buy new speakers that I'll be perfectly content if somebody answers "it's magic!")
Being a bit of a klutz with tools & stuff, I held off on the task for several days, but I shouldn't have; it's not nearly as hard as it looks -- just take your time and slice carefully.
TrickyTrev34, may the wind be always at your back.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009

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Make sure all of the cable are plugged in all the way, if that isn't the issue it sounds like the amplifier could have blown, if that is the case you would be better off replacing them.

Posted on Jun 27, 2007

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YES! Snip the green wire volume control in the speaker.
No volume control, but it's on full blast
thank-you!!

Posted on Aug 13, 2010

Was ready to buy new speakers...Thanks for the Green wire solution!!!!!

Posted on Aug 06, 2008

Hello, I had the same problem and determined there was a weak plug where the controller speaker (main) plugs into the woofer. If I shook it, it would find just the right spot (connection) and would play normally. One day I decided to pull the plug and look at it to see if something was wrong with the plug; messed around and broke a pin in the plug. Now it doesn't play at all. I am trying to find if I can get a replacement plug. The speakers were really great and now I find they are probably discontinued.

Posted on Oct 05, 2007

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