Where to find a new wire that connects speakers/subwoofer/volume control
January 28, 2017 4:20 AM   Subscribe

I have a home sound system setup that I don't reallly want to replace entirely, but the wire seems messed up. What should I look/google for to find a new one?

I have an old (2001 prob) speakersystem from Cambridge Soundworks where two small speakers are connected to a subwoofer. And there's a wire from the subwoofer through volume to an audio in (or in my case, my airport express).
I can't figure out what type of new wire I could buy to connect a subwoofer to the airport express (with volume ideally).. Cambrige Soundworks seems to only create bluetooth speakers right now.

Any advice is very welcome.
posted by Thisandthat to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you post pictures of where the wires connect to the speakers and the wire you have now?

Monoprice.com is my usual go-to for home audio cables.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:26 AM on January 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I uploaded some pics at: http://imgur.com/a/ud23U

I think it's the cable with the green ends that is the problem (or the volume)

Oddly in iTunes sometimes my speakers are indicated as orange, with an exclamation point in a triangle.. that happened this morning even though I'd been listening to it 5 min before. ..
posted by Thisandthat at 5:15 AM on January 28, 2017

That looks like just a straight-through 1/8” phono cable. Should be available at any old electronics store. Just unplug the one you have, take it with you and tell them you need a replacement.
posted by jferg at 5:42 AM on January 28, 2017

Cool. OK, so the "audio input" cable (the green one) is a 3.5mm (1/8 inch) stereo (aka tip-ring-sleeve aka TRS) cable. monoprice page with a variety of lengths. You can use this to connect the express directly to the subwoofer. Of course this means you would no longer have that volume control piece and would have to control the volume in the computer.

You could try cleaning the volume control with a can of compressed air and a can of electronic contact cleaner. First a spurt of the air, then a spurt of the cleaner, into the cracks between the volume wheel and the housing, then work the volume control up and down a few times. (You should have the sound system powered off when you do this.)
posted by soundguy99 at 5:52 AM on January 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

The two gray wires look like basic RCA cables. But, it's easier to identify if you'd show a pic of the business ends of the wires.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:24 AM on January 28, 2017

The gray wires from the subwoofer out to the smaller speakers are RCA ends (according to the manual I found online), but unfortunately they're hardwired into the smaller speakers, so not easily replaceable.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:51 AM on January 28, 2017

And now that I think about it more, what's making you think it's the wire, Thisandthat? I'm not familiar with airport express but "an exclamation point in a triangle" is usually signalling "problem". Could you be losing your WiFi signal?
posted by soundguy99 at 6:55 AM on January 28, 2017

@soundguy99 thanks for the advice! I'll try the cleaning later.
I thought it was the wire, because it makes a lot of crackling noise when I move it around.
And for some reason the sound this morning worked when I set the volume on 4 on the wire, but not when I scrolled it to 2..

But I think there's something problematic with my airport express as well.. I'll check the wifi as well..

Thanks! When all fails I guess I'll go back to a tapedeck or singing to myself..
posted by Thisandthat at 8:08 AM on January 28, 2017

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