Audigy/4 speaker/WinXP problems

From the files of "it's driving me mad", here is one that only Toms forum could solve. Recently I purchased a Soundblaster Audigy OEM + a set of Logitech Z-560's and I have had constant problems maintaining 4.1 sound from all 4 speakers. At first it was the rear channel that wouldn't work...then they did. Days later, the entire right channel disappeared...and then resurfaced. Now--after a fresh Windows XP reinstall--my front left speaker provides only the faintest of sound with the other 3 crystal clear. I've tested the speakers themselves and they all work, and my typical solution has been reinstalling the drivers. Unfortunately, this didn't do the trick this time around and I am stuck with only 3 speakers pumping out sound. I've tried the latest drivers, tested direct x, and adjusted settings in Windows and the Audigy software ad naseum. I'm sure I will be able to 'tinker' my system into giving me 4 speaker sound again (either with ANOTHER driver reinstal or, more likely, a lucky cold boot), but I am wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions as to what may be going on and a long term solution.

Could it be an Audigy issue? Windows XP incompatibility? Bum hardware? (possible, but I doubt it). You'll have to excuse my ignorance--sound cards are not my forte--but I am stumped! Moreover, I haven't found much out there on the net (there are some people having issues with Live! cards & 4.1 sound, but no solutions).

For reference, here are my vitals: Asus A7M, 1.4 TB, GForce 3, 512 DDR, Win XP, directx 8.1, Audigy OEM, 40GB IBM HD, all the latest bios/OS/card drivers & updates.

Thank you for any help/direction!

Give me Convenience or Give me Death!
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  1. I've been having similar problems, however, I've never had more then 3 speakers working correctly! I also have an OEM Audigy with the Z560 speakers. When I try using the M3D feature of the speaker set I do get sound from the rear speakers, however it is not true 4.1 sound. It is just a proxy 4.1, not crisp sound like I should be getting.

    I have an Athlon XP 1600+ and a Shuttle KT266A motherboard. SB-Audigy OEM, Geforce2 MX video card, D-Link NIC. I know that I do not have my onboard audio disabled, because initially when it was disabled I could not even see my sound card. Perhaps this is causing some of the problems? Also, does anyone know how to get LiveWare to work in Windows XP?

    These speakers rock so much, I hope someone can help all of us with this annoying problem out. Thanks in advance!
  2. There are two likely possibilities: your connections at the sound card outputs aren't solid or the wiring of your Z-560s isn't solid. There's also the unlikely possibility that it's a software/ driver issue.

    I had a similar problem with my Live! 5.1 and Klipsch Promedia v2.400s. Messing with the volume control knob would usually fix the problem. After I upgraded to a Promedia 5.1 system, the problem went away. Now I use an Audigy OEM in Win Me and everything works fine.

    My tentative conclusion: the speaker system was at fault. The v2.400 was infamous for using a cheap pre-amp and wiring (they had to compromise *somewhere* to make a nice 4.1 system for $250). With the Promedia 5.1s they spent the extra cash to make things right and now the four corner speakers have exactly the same volume. In fact, the left and right channels are so balanced that it fools me into thinking that the center channel is making the sound, but the center channel's always silent except for DVDs and a couple EAX games.

    Try messing with the volume control on your Z-560 and checking that all connections are solid. If that fixes it, now you know where the problem is!
  3. Hey I have a Audigy Gamer and just got the z560
    I'm having the same type trouble...
    A front and a rear speaker will work but not the other side.. Switch the cables around I get the speakers that were working to not work but the speaks that weren't working to work...
    So have you guys come up with anything new??
  4. Took me a while to get back, but read all of your posts today. It's good to know I'm not alone LOL! Well, for what it's worth, I am now listening to my Z560's in crystal clear 4.1. How did I do this? I have no clue. They literally just "started working" and have worked so for a month (including a XP reinstall). Hope you guys are having some luck because the speakers rock. Should this happen again, I'll get a hold of my buddy's Live! card and try to narrow this down a bit further. In the mean time, good luck! (and the more I think about it, the more I lean towards the wiring in the speakers themselves...just a hunch)

    Give me Convenience or Give me Death!
  5. Hum....

    As far as I know 5.1 sound is not yet supported with an Audigy/Win XP combo. They might have fixed it, but I remember having searched both Microsoft and Creative's site about 2 months ago and it was saying that surround sound was in development. I will try to look into it again and come back to you.

  6. Well I checked Creative's site and the FAQ files no longer talk about surround sound being an issue, so the new drivers must support it.

    I am afraid this doesn't help with your problem unfortunatelly.

  7. It seems that this combination is a killer:) At any rate, you might want to go and see if your SB card is sharing any IRQ's, to do this on Windows XP
    go to settings > Control Panel > System
    Select Hardware > Hardware Properties > My Commuter
    By double clicking on my computer, you should be able to get the IRQ info. If your SB card is sharing any IRQs, that is highly likely the problem, if it is not, then I would blame the speakers.

    I have found that SB cards tend to like PCI slot #3, as the OS and BIOS tend to reserve the IRQ to only that slot. If you find that you do have an IRQ problem, try setting the card in slot #3.

    If it works for you then don't fix it.
  8. you lost me there....
    my sound is on irq 9 and my video is on irq 9...
  9. Sorry, I am at a Windows 98 Machine and do not have the XP directions completely hammered down.

    The fact that your Video and Sound are sharing the same IRQ is a good indication that you are having conflicts. I suggest that you go into the BIOS and under advanced settings or Peripheral, select Reserve IRQ for Video Display and Reserve IRQ for USB. Try checking your IRQ settings then to see if it is still sharing. If it is, then take out ever device, minus your Video card and place them one by one into the slots so that none are sharing IRQs. Also of note, Creative devices tend to like PCI slot #3, so when inputting the cards into the slot, make sure that #3 is not used. Never place the SB card in slot 1 or 2 as these tend to share IRQ's with the AGP Slot.

    If it works for you then don't fix it.
  10. I'll have to check in on the IRQ settings when I get back from work. Check this out: last night, all systems are a go. I unplug my Z560's to hook up my stereo to make a tape. After finishing I plug back in my Z560's...and lo and behold I now only have my front two speakers. The only change I made to my system was simply unplugging the speakers for an hour and plugging them back in. I'm too exhausted to try and figure this out--looks like I'll have some fun tonight LOL. I agree that this combo might be a killer--and I am hearing more and more that the Audigy might not be all that it's cracked up to be. Purely rumour, but it's getting around that the Audigy may be nothing more than a Live! card with firewire support and advanced drivers. This of course does not answer our problems, but is interesting nonetheless.

    Give me Convenience or Give me Death!
  11. the IRQ thing doesn't do anything to my Live! 5.1..
    still, the rear speakers do not working after every time restart windows

  12. Ok I sent my problem to creative labs here is what they said after I told them I was getting 4.1 surround sound on my sb live value. and that i still wan't getting it on my audigy. (only think about live value is that there was a annoying hum and the sound was no where near as good)

    I would advise to go ahead and try the audigy with a set of headphones and set the mixer to 5.1 and make sure that the digital output only is not checked. If you get all the channels you will need to contact the maker of the speakers to see if there is an update or a fix for this issue.
    I can't find any headphones at the moment
    but is he saying to hook up headphones to the audigy itself in the headphone hole and set it to 5.1? I don't really see how this will help but when I find my head phones I will let u guys know if it works or anything
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