Stuck with your out-of-warranty Creative Gigaworks T3? Volume fluctuating problems? Creative doesn’t want to replace the unit for you? Creative doesn’t allow you to buy the 15-dollar volume control remote? Don’t want to travel all the way to International Business Park?
I have had to survive with 4 different hardware failures within a year of purchase (see account of events here). No doubt, the sound quality is rather good. But what’s a sound system without a reliable volume control. Well, the volume fluctuation problem resurfaced again. And now without a valid warranty (expired 2-ish months ago), I do not have bargaining power. Even an email plea to them didn’t work. Here are some quotes from Creative’s reply.
With regards to your enquiry, please refer to the article below to check if the volume control is faulty or not. http://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=65071 If issue persists, I am sorry to inform you that the warranty for your last replacement extends to December 2011, thus we can not help repair or replace the speaker for you since it is out of warranty. However, as a gesture of goodwill, we can offer you a 10% discount code for you to purchase a new set of speaker from our online store.
I obviously knew that the troubleshooting tips wouldn’t work. Still, I tried. Problem remained. After those major hardware failures in the past year, there is no way that I am going to make use of the 10% discount code just to have to manage those issues if I were to purchase it off their online store. I already paid close to SGD 300 for my first T3, and I am not going to pay SGD 251.1 for a replacement set just to face the same issues again.
I just resigned to the fact that Creative wouldn’t do anything for a small fry like me. Thankfully, KM told me that it could just be a contact problem in the remote. So now, I’m here to share this information with you. Essentially, you need to tear open Creative’s patented remote to flood contact cleaner into the variable resistor. Watch the following video for more details. Pictures are attached below the video.
Image 1: You first need to pry open the top cover (seen at bottom of image) with a flathead screwdriver. Slowly work around the circumference of the volume remote to loosen the glue holding the top cover (see the glue residue circled in red). You need then need to open the main module using a small Philips screwdriver (screw holes circled in blue) and a spanner to loosen the nut (circled in red).
Image 2: Key culprit circled in green – the 4-point potentiometer. You need to flood this with contact cleaner. Remember to dry it off well before turning the unit on again.