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Sound from One Speaker

Posted on 1998-08-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have three newly purchased machines with Soundblaster sound cards and running Windows 95 that exhibit a very strange problem. When playing an audio CD you can only get sound from one speaker. All connections are hooked up properly and all software is installed properly. What would be the cause and fix for this particular problem? For some reason it is eluding me because I've heard of this before.

Thanks alot.
Mike
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Question by:mikecr
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by:awd
ID: 1010034
Is this just on audio CD's? What about normal sound that should come from the speakers? You can test this by changing the balance.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1010035
All sounds play fine except for audio cd's. When you play an audio cd, for some unknown reason, you can only hear it out of one speaker.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:awd
ID: 1010036
I have had problems before with the jack that plugs into the back of the soundcard making a good connection. Try pulling it out a little bit or pushing it in a little bit. Sometimes jiggling it can make a difference.

I doubt that this is the case since you are only having the problem with audio CD's, but it is worth a try.

Let me know what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:mbreuker
ID: 1010037
If these are all the same machines, purchased at the same time, it is possible, and extremely likely, that the CD Audio cables that were shipped were wired incorrectly. There are three wires on most CD audio cables -  Left, Right and Common Ground. Most CD ROMs are wired with three outputs, L-R-CG - not necessarily in that order. The Sound Blaster, however, has 4 connectors. I assume this is to support Left, Right and Left Ground/Right Ground.

Because different CD ROMs and Sound Cards place these wires in different locations, it is important that you have the correct type of CD Audio cable (i.e NEC model xxx to Sound Blaster 16, etc.). I have often seen the CD audio cable that ships with a sound card/cd rom combination that had the wires going to the wrong places, that is that the left or right channel was connected to the ground or something like that. If this is the case, then you can plug in the connectors properly, they are keyed, but still get sound out of only one speaker.

There are a few possible fixes if this is the case.
1. Buy a new CD audio cable and try it.
2. Carefully take the connector off of the Sound Blaster end of the cable and manually change the order of the black, red and white wires - your SB manual may have information about which order they should be in.
3. If you purchased it from a Dept. Store, like CompUSA, take the whole darn computer in and explain the problem, making them do one of the above two procedures. They shouldn't charge you for it since they are in effect "saving a sale" and their reputation (i.e. you could always return the thing as an alternative and they wouldn't want that).

Hope this helps.

- Mike
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Expert Comment

by:wayneb
ID: 1010038
I think that mbreuker has hit it on the head, with the wrong cables for the cdrom to sound card, it could be wired wrong. A good place to start looking.
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by:ryans
ID: 1010039
Yes, I definitely agree with mbreuker and wayneb!  But since they are new that should be the responsibility of the people that you purchased the systems from.  Especially since ALL of them have the same problem; they obviously have something messed up.  Ideally you should not have to pay any extra for something that was not built correctly in the first place.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1010040
I will check out your possibilities and get back to you soon.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Rhodie
ID: 1010041
are these the awe 64 soundblaster cards, if so I had exactly the same problem as u...to solve it first u need to download the latest drivers from creative labs & then u need to go into your control pannel via multimedia, multimedia settings for MIDI & CD music are incorrect aswell so u need to change them ..this is how I solved my problem..
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Author Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1010042
The answer was a good idea but didn't work.
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Author Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1010043
The answer was a good idea but didn't work.
0
 
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Author Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1010044
Mbreuker, please submit your comment as an answer. It was a wrong type of cable that was being used. Instead of using a CD Audio cable it was an Auxillary cable plugged into the auxillary out on the speaker instead of the CD Audio connection. Also, your comment was good enough to earn an upgrade to 100 points because I didn't stop to think of it myself.
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Accepted Solution

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mbreuker earned 100 total points
ID: 1010045
Glad you got it working. Here was my original comment.


If these are all the same machines, purchased at the same time, it is possible, and extremely likely, that the CD Audio cables that were shipped were wired incorrectly. There are three wires on most CD audio cables -  Left, Right and Common Ground.

Most CD ROMs are wired with three outputs, L-R-CG - not necessarily in that order. The Sound Blaster, however, has 4 connectors. I assume this is to support Left, Right and Left Ground/Right Ground.

Because different CD ROMs and Sound Cards place these wires in different locations, it is important that you have the correct type of CD Audio cable (i.e NEC model xxx to Sound Blaster 16, etc.). I have often seen the CD audio cable that ships with a sound card/cd rom combination that had the wires going to the wrong places, that is that the left or right channel was connected to the ground or something like that. If this is the case, then you can plug in the connectors properly, they are keyed, but still get sound out of only one speaker.

There are a few possible fixes if this is the case.
1. Buy a new CD audio cable and try it.
2. Carefully take the connector off of the Sound Blaster end of the cable and manually change the order of the black, red and white wires - your SB manual may have information about which order they should be in.
3. If you purchased it from a Dept. Store, like CompUSA, take the whole darn computer in and explain the problem, making them do one of the above two procedures. They shouldn't charge you for it since they are in effect "saving a sale" and their reputation (i.e. you could always return the thing as an alternative and they wouldn't want that).
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by:mikecr
ID: 1010046
Thanks alot!

Mike
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