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SoundBlaster Audigy 2 (6.1) - 6th channel does not seem to work

mbeede asked
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hello, I have a problem that I have already spent a serious amount of time (25 hours) trying to fix but can't seem to.  I just purchased the following gaming system: Dell Dimension 8250, P4, 2.6ghz, 512MB RAM, 120GB 7200RPM SATA HD, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB, and Soundblaster Audigy 2 sound card.  The OS is Windows XP Professional.  The Audigy 2 sound card is supposed to support full 6.1 surround sound.  It is hooked up to a Creative Inspire 6.1 Model 6600 system (6 speakers (3 front, 3 back), 1 sub/main unit).

The problem: When I go into the Creative Labs supplied Calibration settings application and test each channel with a test tone or white noise, all of the channels work perfectly, except for the rear center channel which is dead - no sound.  My first thought was that this was a hardware problem so I have now exhaustively replaced every component in the chain:

* replaced the Audigy 2 card
* replaced the cable from the card to the sub
* replaced the entire 6600 speaker system - bought a 2nd one - Also tried testing each channel with a known working speaker - they all worked except for the 6th channel, which was dead.

This eliminated everything outside of the PC box itself.  Next I worked on the software/drivers:

* Tried installing the supplied drivers and software 2 more times (and into different directories).
* Downloaded the very latest drivers from Creative Labs and tried them.
* Combed Creative Labs website from end-to-end to try and get more information on this - found nothing.

Then I called Creative.  The first tech I spoke with said that the 6th channel should work but could offer no more suggestions on what to try (useful).  Then I called again a few days ago and was told by another "senior" tech there that the 6th channel is not supported by the latest drivers yet, but that it didn't matter anyway since there are no 6.1 capable games out on the market yet.  This got me upset -> sell a 6.1 product but only support 5.1 sound?  Sounded fishy.  I also called Dell support but this was not a known issue - and they distribute the Audigy 2 in their new systems.

And that's where I am now.  Is there an expert that can give me a straight answer on what is going on here?  This is the most popular sound card on the market now.  Surely I am not the only person to actually want 6.1 sound when I buy the card?  Does anyone else have the 6th channel working properly?

Thanks so much in advance,

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