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Dimension E520 Audio Connectors


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Dimension E520 Audio Connectors

This question has been answered by osprey4

I have a older Cambridge Soundworks speaker system and never understood the best way to connect it to my system. The system also has the AS501 sound bar under the monitor.

The Cambridge Soundworks system is a four point surround sound system. The system has two speaker plugs, front and back.

What is the best way to connect my speakers to Dell E520 computer. I have tried different combinations and found that once I plug anything into the sourround connection (black) this disables the side (gray) and center (orange) connections. I can get sound from the gray and orange connections once the black connection is unplugged. Only one of these connections can be active.Is this typical of these three connections?

I have plugged in the AS501 into the line-in (green) and the cambridge system into the black using a reverse splitter (two female inputs to one male plug).

Thanks for any advice...


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  • Hi John,

    Below is what my sound control panel looks like. I have a 4.1 system and I've got the front plug going into the green jack (front) and the read plug into the black jack (rear). Is your speaker system 4.1 or 5.1?

  • Thanks for the feedback.

    The system I have is basically a 4.1 system. I am using plugging the front & rear connections with a splitter into #6. I am using the line out (#8 green) for my AS501 sound bar under the monitor.Does it really matter how I plug in all the speakers since basically I can only use #6 & #8 for any type of output.

    I was wondering why the other connections only work when used one at a time.This is may panel:

    (Image source: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/SM_EN/about.htm#wp1054687)

    When I use #6, ports 11 & 10 seem to be disabled. Only one of those three can be used at one time. Is that normal?


  • I'm not sure I can be of much help. If you're an audiophile, it might be worth going to an add-on card that provides that best support for your speakers. Up until my current system, I used this old card that worked great with my Klipsch 4.1 set-up. It was not a Creative card, but I cannot remember the model. A couple mouse clicks and I could switch the output to headphones, or switch input to my satellite radio. All these integrated sound solutions come with too many compromises.

  • Thanks again for the help!