Fixing my DTT3500

For years I am using a great 5.1 speaker system: Cambridge SoundWorks DTT 3500. It was quite expensive at the time when I was buying it, but it is still playing really great nowadays. Of course it is not a top product for audiophiles, but the sound quality is totally sufficient as a 5.1 speakers to the Kodi media center in my living room. To be able to use it with my new PC, I had to switch my source from original Digital-DIN (Creative-only audio cards, like SB Live/Audigy) to more general and wide used: optical output of my Asus mainboard.

Unfortunately when I switched to optical a new problem occured. The amplifier had to warm up before it was playing correctly. When I powered it up it was crackling and the Dolby Digital indicator LED was blinking. The playback settled down usually after about 3-5 minutes. When the amplifier was warmed up, cycling power doesn’t do any harm – it was ready for work. I was suspecting the capacitors.

Happily google helps me a lot with this issue: I found this forum thread on Overclockers Forums:
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/508585-DTT3500-needs-to-quot-warm-up-quot

This was it! The guys have identical problem and a cure for it!
Under the Faraday cage three capacitors needs to be replaced.
I decided to buy and replace those three capacitors.

First I was searching for these capacitors at TME, but all of them was too high to fit under the Faraday cage (it has to be low profile, 7 mm max).

Fortunately the guys on the forum also provided a part numbers for some popular electronic online stores.
After some basic research i decided to go with Farnell element14.
I ordered the following capacitors:
http://pl.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?CMP=i-ddd7-00001003&sku=1901998
http://pl.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?CMP=i-ddd7-00001003&sku=1902049
http://pl.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?CMP=i-ddd7-00001003&sku=8766916

The shipment was really cheap: 16PLN (considering the package was from UK to Poland). And what was really cool: I have the package next day after placing the order!

I was ready to start the process. The forum thread has many information, tips and photos which was really helpful. Nevertheless I will provide also mine photos from the work. Maybe you will also find it helpful if you are in the similar situation 🙂

Including assembling, the whole work took me about 3-4 hrs. I was not disassembling the main volume knob so I had to be careful about a wire which was constantly connected to it.
As I suspected, I had some small problems soldering out the Faraday cage. I was using a hot air tube for this but the board resisted much (and was also deforming a little when I was trying to pulling it out), but finally I’ve made it – it was also probably because some kind of glue on the soldering pads. The capacitor replacement was much nicer; soldering the cage back was the easiest task.
As you can see on last photos I have another one capacitor leaked, but due to the fact that I was not prepared to replace this one – I just leave it untouched – so far without any harm in my case. I can also see that this capacitor is bad eg. here on the following pics:

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=68204&stc=1&d=1222461534
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=170092&d=1445418199

… so this seems to be another general problem with this hardware.

After reassembling and connecting back to speakers, there was a moment of truth.
Fortunately – the operation went successfully – no crackling, Dolby Digital LED still green – all is working great!

Before, it was really annoying when I had to power it up, then go somewhere waiting until it stop crackling, go back and use it.
Finally I can now power up my amplifier whenever I want and just start use it immediately! This is really awesome!

Big thanks for guys from Overclocker Forums!

Comments

  1. Hello. I have the following system: Creative Inspire 5700 Digital, which I believe has a very similar amplifier, if not the same. Internally they seem almost equal. In any case, I have quite the opposite problem: my system works well when “cold”, and for a couple of minutes, sometimes hours. However, after being “warmed up”, the optical connection stops working and the cracking noise (when volume is at max) appears. Everything stays ok with the analog inputs. I think I will follow this guide, maybe it solves my problem too. Thank you posting your case, it will be of great help. Best regards.

    1. Oh yeah, i remember that in my case the analogs was also playing fine all the time 🙂
      Please share about your results! 🙂

  2. Hey manio,

    Thanks so much for posting this, together with the links to the overclockers forum.
    I have successfully repaired my dtt3500 with this. Thanks a bunch!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *