Question about Boston Acoustics MediaTheater Computer Speakers

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Distortion I purchased the BA Media Theater new and had it for several years. It was working fine for about a year and a half, but it came down with this intermittent distortion problem. It would start off playing silky smooth, but every now and then it would sound overmodulated. I could only listen to them for less than an hour before the distortion kicks in. That was then. Now it distorts every time it's on. It has some circuitry for a surround processor, subwoofer control, white noise test, and volume. Not sure if it's some board or amp. The drivers seem fine. One day I decided to open the back of the sub to see the amp. I was looking for burned caps or resistors, but did not see any. Not knowing what the hec I was doing I replaced the cover before I did any permanent damage. I'd hate to throw them out, but it's been a while since worked well. Has anyone had this problem? This set was made in Malaysia.

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  • stufftofix Sep 30, 2007


    Just wanted to say thanks. I didn't agree with the idea that the speakers were worn, but your suggestion led me to remove the speakers and try them on another system. As expected, the drivers sounded fine when connected to the B system.

    The problem lies when connected to the subwoofer unit, like it's supposed to be.

    I inspected and re-inspected all the cables and connections. I even unscrewed the control unit from under the speaker for inspection- it looked fine.

    After all this troubleshooting, it lead me to try one last possible thing, which was the input going into the amp. I had it hooked up directly to a Sony home cd player with a stereo RCA to 1/8" mini stereo adapter cable. (RCA on the CD player side, mini going in the media theater amp/sub unit.)

    The CD player has options for 'fixed' or 'variable' output. I used 'fixed' line level out because I wanted to control volume from the speaker's control unit.

    OK, I always thought RCA connections meant standard line level, whatever db that may be.

    But in this case, I goofed. I used the Media Theater as a home system...figuring I could just plug in anything with RCA connections, which my CD player had.

    And that was the mistake.

    As computer speakers, they have to adapt to the variations in the computer's mixer and volume settings. But I did not think the speakers' required input levels are different (perhaps lower than standard line level).

    In other words, even though the physical connections are RCA, that doesn't necessarily mean the level of the line signals are appropriate. That was an 'AHA!' moment.

    Excitedly, I swapped the 'fixed' to the 'variable' setting, and turned the pot way down to about the 9 o'clock setting on the cd player.

    And man o' man, they sound sweeeet once again!

    For the last 9 years, I've been baffled as to why they would work and then they wouldn't...never making the connection that taking them from the computer to the home system was the culprit. I was overdriving them all this time and didn't even know it. I kept thinking it was some internal circuitry issue.

    The take home message is you can't assume all RCA connections are at the same line levels. You need to consider the levels of what goes "out" jives with what levels needs to go "in."

    So much time lost....F'in'A, dude.

    Again, thanks for responding to this post... it indirectly lead to a happy ending.



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Your speakers are worn if you can try someone else speakers. Speakers tend to wear out with excessive use particularly when played once or twice loud its a try that wont hurt at least for peace of mind you may need not throw them out.

Posted on Sep 29, 2007

  • Peter Hirawani
    Peter Hirawani Sep 30, 2007

    Accordingly your first explanation sent me to a wrong conclusion. You however are elated by your second explanation and euphoric with a happy ending....well done!



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