klipsch promedia ultra DIY upgrade/repair - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-04-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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my klipsch promedia ultra 5.1 amp died while i was away on vacation and by searching around it appears this is pretty common. I found one thread where a guy "upgraded" some of the resistors and such on the AC/DC converter (on hardforum, can't post urls yet) and I was thinking it might be worth exploring taking that to the next level.

my problem: the fuse blows as soon as i try to power on. other people have suggested this is caused by the MOV but mine appears to be fine as it is reading 166 ohms. looking around a little more, i found an area that appears to be badly burned on the AC/DC converter. I can't post the image yet (since i'm newb) but one of the resistors is clearly burned and the whole area around it looks black, so that's where I'm planning on starting my replacements.

I've never done any DIY amp stuff so this is all new to me. is there anything else I can do to this amp to improve the sound and longevity of the parts while i'm tinkering around?
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-04-2010, 11:05 PM
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My amp failed on my ultra's after like 6 years, Klipsch wanted like 150 dollars plus shipping to fix it. I took the 150, put it towards a lower end denon receiver, picked up a BIC sub, and hooked that up using the klipsch as the 5 mains. Sounds pretty damn good if i may say so myself.

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post #3 of 21 Old 05-06-2010, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I did find that one of my MOSFETS is blown, which is what caused all the burned area. So i'm thinking I'll replace them all...but i need to figure out why that happened. hopefully its just that the MOSFET was bad and not any other underlying problem.

can anyone confirm that all I need is any old IRF740 mosfet? like: IRF740 TO-220 N-Channel 400V 10A PowerMOSFET
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-07-2010, 11:47 AM
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be sure to check your bridge rectifiers as well, most stereos I repair that blow fuses, usually have a bad diode (or all four if its individual diodes) in the rectifier, and it will test as a 0 volt drop, going both ways.

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post #5 of 21 Old 05-08-2010, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to think that its not even worth my time to try and do this myself...so now i'm leaning towards just buying a standard Dayton or Bash sub amp and a separate receiver and converting this in to a standard home theater setup. The klipsch website says the sub is 170w dual 8"; would the Dayton 240w or Bash 300w cover me? is there a problem with getting too much wattage? As for the speakers, i remember seeing somewhere that they are 6ohm speakers, so do i need to have a 6ohm receiver or will and 8ohm receiver suffice?
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-09-2010, 06:12 AM
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Pretty much any receiver will work fine. To save money, look around for a nice used receiver that's pre HDMI. Once HDMI came out, people dumped their receivers pretty cheap in order to upgrade, and some of them have good amps despite being out of date.

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post #7 of 21 Old 05-09-2010, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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so if my 2x8" subs are rated at 170w (assuming total), I just need to make sure I buy an amp that is greater than that, correct? just want to make sure that a 300w amp isn't going to supply too much power.
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-09-2010, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by |splat| View Post

just want to make sure that a 300w amp isn't going to supply too much power.

If it does, just turn it down.

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post #9 of 21 Old 05-09-2010, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by |splat| View Post

so if my 2x8" subs are rated at 170w (assuming total), I just need to make sure I buy an amp that is greater than that, correct? just want to make sure that a 300w amp isn't going to supply too much power.

You're far more likely to blow a speaker by underpowering it than overpowering. Although 300w would be pushing the envelope, you should be fie if you're not trying to crank it up as high as humanly possible.

The other issue you have to consider is "converting" that sub to a HT sub is going to be a PITA. You can't really remove the plate amp or you'll have a big gaping hole in the side of the sub cabinet you would have to fill. The other option is to find somewhere on the sub to install a set of terminals and then wire those directly to the subs.

Honestly, i think you'd be FAR FAR FAR better off just ditching that klipsch sub altogether. Using the money you were gonna buy an amp for it towards something like a BIC V1020, which can be bought for $145 ish, and is a MUCH better sub than the klipsch ever was. I know this because i have both.

What i did was bought a low end denon receiver, used it to power those klipsch satellites, and then hooked up the BIC sub to the DENON. Now, i'm using this setup for my upstairs TV, but you can very easily just hook that up to your computer and bam, you'll have a better overall system than you did with the klipsch as it was before hand.

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post #10 of 21 Old 05-10-2010, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrimnir View Post

You're far more likely to blow a speaker by underpowering it than overpowering. Although 300w would be pushing the envelope, you should be fie if you're not trying to crank it up as high as humanly possible.

The other issue you have to consider is "converting" that sub to a HT sub is going to be a PITA. You can't really remove the plate amp or you'll have a big gaping hole in the side of the sub cabinet you would have to fill. The other option is to find somewhere on the sub to install a set of terminals and then wire those directly to the subs.

Honestly, i think you'd be FAR FAR FAR better off just ditching that klipsch sub altogether. Using the money you were gonna buy an amp for it towards something like a BIC V1020, which can be bought for $145 ish, and is a MUCH better sub than the klipsch ever was. I know this because i have both.

What i did was bought a low end denon receiver, used it to power those klipsch satellites, and then hooked up the BIC sub to the DENON. Now, i'm using this setup for my upstairs TV, but you can very easily just hook that up to your computer and bam, you'll have a better overall system than you did with the klipsch as it was before hand.



"MUCH better" than the 5.1 ultra sub? My klipsch ultra + 1 klipsch sws add on had more punch than my entry 600 dollar SVS. :\\

The ultra 5.1 was an awesome mm system, too bad about Klipsch's innate amplifier disasters that eventually got the best of good design.

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post #11 of 21 Old 05-10-2010, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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i agree the klipsch sub itself is great which is why i'm trying my best to salvage it. I guess I'll give replacing the irf740 mosfet a try..then i'll move on from there.
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-12-2010, 07:45 PM
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In a similar situation though I bought a dead system for $30 -- picked up a decent Onkyo receiver to handle the sats and decoding and got one of the Foster plate amps that I know popped up in this section a while ago -- it's a pretty good fit -- I had to make the hole a bit bigger but it went well.

I have not had a chance to test everything out since I am in the middle of a move, but it seems to be pretty promising and I think it was definitely worth it -- especially since I sold the klipsch control pod on ebay.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-19-2010, 10:56 AM
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I have the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 Ultra and I have been very happy with it. Never for a second have I thought about replacing it. However after 6 years of service I am now getting a lot of static out of the main channels. Sometimes it will fade away and be fine but at random times it will just come back. Not sure how I really feel about the failure. It seems now days 6 years is a long time and it was bound to happen at some point yet part of me says it really should have held up longer considering the quality brand and price. Since I was happy with the sound I searched to find a new set but it appears Klipsch is getting out of the PC speaker business.

Since options are limited I thought about pulling the amp out. With a bit of luck its just a leaky capacitor and easily fixed. If not I could send it to Klipsch for repair but not sure its worth the effort. I am not really interested in replacing the amp and doing some sort of receiver tie in. This would work great but I don't have the space around my computer.

The system most like it is the Logitech Z-5500 THX 5.1 system but Logitech is last on my mind when it comes to real quality. It is highly reviewed though. I thought about buying this system and recycling the Klipsch Promedia satellite speakers. Not sure what the overall results would be though. Right now I don't have the funds to experiment on this scale.
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-19-2010, 12:15 PM
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I wouldn't bother replacing the satellites on the z5500 -- I have the older z680 set and while the klipsch are marginally better the z5500 was a significant step up. Both z680 and z5500 are quality units for their time, but htib systems are seriously starting to endanger the rather costly z5500.
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-20-2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indigoimac View Post

I wouldn't bother replacing the satellites on the z5500 -- I have the older z680 set and while the klipsch are marginally better the z5500 was a significant step up. Both z680 and z5500 are quality units for their time, but htib systems are seriously starting to endanger the rather costly z5500.

The z5500 is using a cheap full range Tang Band driver for the satellites and then they tuned the sub high to give it a one-note-wonder loud sounding bass.

The klipsch sats are 2-way with a horn tweeter that offers much lower levels of distortion. The sub is arguably a bit dry sounding (slow early roll-off), but at least you get to hear the individual notes...

I would have to agree with the recommendation to pick up an old used receiver for powering the sats.

As far as the subwoofer amp, keep in mind that all commercial subs have EQ built into the amps to allow for smaller enclosures that maintain higher efficiency at the higher frequencies. In other words, you're going to lose out on a lot of low frequency extension unless you tweak your amplifier correctly.

With that in mind, most of the plate amps will have a section where you can modify the "rumble" (highpass) filter to be a peaking highpass and provide the bass boost and protection below tuning that Klipsch originally did in the design. When I purchased several amps from Rythmik Audio a few years ago, they did the mod for me...not sure if they'd do it on a one-off or not, but it might be worth asking. If nothing else, they might be willing to tell you how to do it:
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/amplifiers.html

I know at one point in the past there were datasheets with pre-calculated resistor values...maybe someone else knows where to find them again as I didn't find them after a quick search.

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post #16 of 21 Old 05-21-2010, 05:28 PM
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After spending many hours searching the Klipsch forums, I found the same angry buzz over the failure prone amp units. I myself had bought 2 sets only to have both fail.

I was refunded for the 2nd set and was allowed to keep it and ended up hooking up the 2.1 satellites to a Technics 100x5 AVR and built an enclosure using a Tangband 740c 8" sub and a 240w Dayton plate amp.

I been using this for nearly 2 years and love it still...


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post #17 of 21 Old 05-27-2010, 11:47 PM
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Indeed, that setup was always prone to amp failure...but then again, my Z2300 amp is mostly gone after 4 years as well. Oddly, the R/L channels no longer receive power, but the sub works. suffice it to say i have a very, very frankenstein'd audio setup on my computer
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-14-2010, 02:39 PM
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I have the same Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 Ultra system, and my amp too has started its death spiral. It barely works at power on, but starts working fine after 15-30 minutes of warming up (if I am not playing music it returns to barely working in about 30 minutes).

I had not even THOUGHT of pulling the sub out of the system and just getting a new sub and amp. I will really have to consider that.
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-22-2012, 08:54 AM
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Hi all,

First timer here. I still am using my Ultras. Current setup is Plasma TV optical out to Creative DDTS. Ultras are hooked up to DDTS via minijack.

I get a lot of interference thru the DDTS I think. When I minijack out of my computer directly into the Ultra pod, it sounds better and is cleaner than if I were to minijack into the DDTS.

I really would like to eliminate the multistep procedure when I have to enjoy entertainment. I have to power on the DDTS, the Ultra pod plus others currently.

If I buy a receiver, like THIS

can I improve the situation?

Thank so much.
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post #20 of 21 Old 11-23-2012, 06:10 AM
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My ultras still work after 8 years. I use them in a 1.3K cu ft sealed room computer music/gaming setup and it pressurizes quite nicely. The front and surround can be better (may upgrade to HTC or CBM 170s), but the sub is adequate (If only my HT/ living room was sealed). I also have the add on SWS I bought from Vanns (2004/5) sub, but I find it easily reaches is xmax- sounds like mechanical wheezing. This was my first taste of a multichannel setup. I still enjoy them, but it's just a matter of time till they fail.

You'll rarely hear anyone say, "I wish I'd gotten less Sub."

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post #21 of 21 Old 11-23-2012, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiaobao12 View Post

Hi all,
First timer here. I still am using my Ultras. Current setup is Plasma TV optical out to Creative DDTS. Ultras are hooked up to DDTS via minijack.
I get a lot of interference thru the DDTS I think. When I minijack out of my computer directly into the Ultra pod, it sounds better and is cleaner than if I were to minijack into the DDTS.
I really would like to eliminate the multistep procedure when I have to enjoy entertainment. I have to power on the DDTS, the Ultra pod plus others currently.
If I buy a receiver, like THIS
can I improve the situation?
Thank so much.

The power might be too much. I believe the Ultra fronts/surrounds are pushed by 60W. Also, even if you use a receiver, only the pod can turn on/off and control the sub level output. I'd recommend getting better satalite fronts and surrounds. Pioneer's
99-145 a pair bookself speakers would work well with the receiver you wan to get. Still turing on the sub using the pod would be like turning on the amp on the sub for those who dont use auto on/off.
Talk about nostalgia. I remembered when prices for the klipsch dd5.1 went for 500+ on ebay. Then that got discountinued and the creative ddts was the rage. Funny how the value of these things just flip.

You'll rarely hear anyone say, "I wish I'd gotten less Sub."

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