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Review: Edwards Electronics Subwoofer Repair (eBay)

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8/15/2016: Klipsch RSW-12 Subwoofer Repair by Edwards Electronics (via eBay) 

 

Executive summary:

30-day total turnaround (including cross-country shipping), $184.00 total cost, completely fixed. Communication could have been better.

 

Details:

I wanted to start this as a new thread so anyone could easily find this thread during forum searches.

 

I have a Klipsch RSW-12 subwoofer that went dead almost two years ago. No lights, no response of any kind. I did all the normal first-line troubleshooting; checked the fuse, wall outlet for power, etc. I gave it a light smack. No success.

 

At that time, I came to this forum and was unable to find any information on troubleshooting, parts availability, nor repairs (I'm not certain how hard I looked), but I darn well wasn't going to throw away an RSW-12 simply because it no longer worked! So I hung onto it hoping one day I could get it repaired.

 

One day I was randomly searching eBay, probably for the keyword "Klipsch" and came across the eBay "Buy-It-Now" repair service specifically listing Klipsch RSW subwoofer repair! Yes!

 

I understand that the seller, eBay handle "edwards-electronics", has eBay listings for all kinds of subwoofers, not just Klipsch, but they (he?) certainly seem to specialize in subwoofer repair. They have an EXCELLENT eBay feedback rating, and even though the price was what I would consider a little pricey ($165 +$19s/h = $184.00), I did appreciate the 'flat-rate' fee (no surprises). I also appreciated that they wanted me to send in JUST the back-panel & the amp assembly, not the entire subwoofer (and we all know who badly shipping a subwoofer speaker can go). Most of all, I was grateful simply to find a repair service for this amp.

 

So, per instructions from Edwards Electronics, I removed the rear speaker and front 'speaker' (passive radiator), removed the rear electrical panel, and the amp assembly from inside the subwoofer (all was easy), and took lots of photos while doing it so I wouldn't have any questions when it came to putting it back together. The entire process only take a single tool; Torx T20 screwdriver. Nothing else.

 

I wrapped the panel, amp, and connecting wires in bubble wrap, and shipped it all via UPS to Mesa, Arizona (residential address, btw). It cost me $24.04  via UPS ground with $300 insurance from Florida.

 

I shipped it on Friday 7/15/2016, and UPS tracking showed it arrived on Thursday 7/21/2016 - 6 days.

 

Other than the UPS tracking, I received no notification from Edwards Electronics. I gave it several days, and sent an eBay message to them on Aug-05 (about 15 days with no word from them) just to verify that they received the amp. I received a response two days later letting me know the amp was probably done. In researching this, I noticed that I did NOT follow the directions he provided to TEXT him if I needed to contact him. In that response, he indicated his 'technician' was out for a couple of days sick.

 

I received an email from PayPal on Aug-10 that the sub was on it's way back to me. Tracking shows USPS accepted the package on Aug-12, and it was sent via USPS Priority Mail 2-Day shipping.

 

I received the subwoofer amplifier back today, August 15th. I looked everything over very carefully (without disassembling anything) and I could not see a single solder repair. But. like I said, there where places I certainly couldn't see, and perhaps the repair involved replacing a complete board or subassembly. I have no idea what was wrong, or what was repaired. there was nothing in the box upon it's return.

 

The original ad indicated that in addition to being repair, it would be updated:

"We Will Repair Amp - Upgrade To Latest Specifications - Fix Sound Input / Output Issues - Install Much Better Parts"

I have no idea if any of this was done or not. I notice that another eBay repair service also makes mention of replacing some troublesome resistors present in Klipsch subwoofers.

 

I reassembled the subwoofer, hooked it up, crossed my fingers, and turned it on...

 

Total success. The light comes on, and the subwoofer works! I can't speak to any tonal characteristics, as I now live in an apartment, and can't even use this subwoofer at this time (but I fully expect to in the future), but it certainly seems to be working fine, as it did originally. So given that's the bottom line, I'm very happy.

 

I do wish that I had received some sort of notification when they received it so I didn't have to worry, and it would have been nice to have some sort of 'technician repair notes' in the box upon it's return, especially with regard to replacing/updating and troublesome components.

 

 

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Your review is pretty much the same as my experience, basically down to the day (I got mine today as well). Was yours packed with shredded paper? Mine was and it was all inside the amp. So it took a good 10 min to clean it all out before I could install it. I asked what was wrong with mine, the day it shipped out, but all I received was "I'll ask the tech" and that was it.

When asked before I purchased what they replace and upgrade this is the response i received:

 

"The manufacture does not use the best quality parts - the upgrade usually is us installing a nichicon or panasonic cap instead of a chinese one. Or if the power supply has a 1 w resistor that is known to fail we install 2w and flame proof.... There are a few other upgrades / service bulletins on the amp that gets taken care of."

 

Overall I'm happy as well since everything is working again.

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3 minutes ago, Fizik said:

Was yours packed with shredded paper?

 

No. Bubble-wrap and foam-peanuts, mostly, but not 'virgin'. Not the same (crappy & very random) packing material I had laying around when I sent it. An upgrade, but not by much, but no shredded paper and no debris in the amp to clean out.

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Davidness & Fizik,  Thanks for reporting back on this. Seriously. If(when) one of my RSW-15 goes I'll probably take the same route.

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This is a great find. Sooooo many people have come to the SW forum asking about these plate amps and what to do. We finally have an answer that doesn't include buying a Bash from PE and making it work.

 

Thanks for the review and the tip!

 

PS: I see they have other stuff for sale. You think there is any chance they would throw something like this in on each repair job? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Playboy-Magazine-July-2000-Playmate-of-the-Month-Neferteri-Shepherd-/281976074832?hash=item41a7157250:g:84kAAOSws4JW8U3t

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Davidness, I just got my RSW-12 back from Edwards, and I have an urgent question they can't answer:  Does it matter which power lead goes to which lug?  The wires are both black (and I didn't disassemble the sub).  I'll post a full account of my experience once I have the sub up and running.

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OK, for those of you who may be disassembling their sub themselves, it doesn't matter which power lead goes to which lug (although I would mark them anyway).  All of the other leads will only fit in their matching connector.

 

So, here's my experience: in the late 90s I bought a 12" Definitive Technology subwoofer (I don't remember the model number, sorry).  It gave me great service for about 10 years before the amp failed.  I took it in to my local repair shop, and they couldn't fix it (no parts, no schematic, blah, blah).  It never occurred to me to do an internet search for alternatives, so I abandoned it.  I replaced it with a 10" Dayton Audio assemble-it-yourself sub. Although it got very good reviews, it suffered in comparison to the Def Tech, so after three years I went looking for something else.  I bought a used but super clean RSW-12 on eBay, and boy was I happy!  All of the other nine speakers in my setup are Klipsch, ilcluding the fabulous modded Forte IIs, so maybe I'm biased.

 

As you can imagine, I was totally bummed when the amp in the RSW-12 died.  I took it to the same local repair shop, and they couldn't fix it (no parts, no schematic, blah, blah).  But this time, I was determined to not give up on this sub.  Setting aside the cost to buy a new sub, I couldn't imagine that I could find as good a one at my budget.  So I was delighted to find the Edwards Electonics solution here.  The sub was already disassembled by the shop, so all I had to do was buy the repair on eBay and ship it in.  I made the mistake of filling the box with peanuts, and my first email from them was an irritated, "In the future please use bubble wrap then peanuts - tech is going to have to spent lots of time to get all the peanuts out of from under components."  I don't know what 'lots of time' is, but there you are.

 

Including shipping both ways, the repair took a total of three weeks.  Since the subwoofer box was open, I replaced the foam sheet that Klipsch had rather casually placed in the enclosure with waffle foam that I got from Parts Express.  $20 bought enough to cover all four interior sides of the box. Reassembly was straight-forward (except for that anxiety about the power leads), but I agree that a note from Edwards on reconnection and what was repaired would have been nice.

 

The RSW-12 is now back in the system and working well.  Overall, I'm quite pleased. Total cost was $275, including the $45 estimate charge from the local shop, $165 for Edwards, the foam, and shipping.  Not bad, I think, to keep this sub a few more years.  

 

One thing to keep in mind: Edwards' eBay listing said three repairs were available, and two had been sold.  I bought "the last one," thinking this was just an advertising ploy to induce sales, and three more repairs would be available the next day.  But no. It's been three weeks, and nothing has become available for the RSW-12 (or -10 or -15, for that matter).  I take it that Edwards has a very limited number of parts available, with restocking a spotty proposition.  So, if you have an older RSW and want to keep it for a while, next time a repair becomes available you might want to bank it.

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On August 16, 2016 at 6:44 PM, mustang guy said:

 

PS: I see they have other stuff for sale. You think there is any chance they would throw something like this in on each repair job? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Playboy-Magazine-July-2000-Playmate-of-the-Month-Neferteri-Shepherd-/281976074832?hash=item41a7157250:g:84kAAOSws4JW8U3t

Lol, maybe that's the shredded paper that Fizik got...

 

I don't think I'd be too interested in buying some dudes old playboy with "minor edge wear".  :blink:

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