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SB Live 5.1 no centre subwoofer...

By XtremeNewbie · 16 replies
Jul 7, 2004
  1. Hi all,

    I recently purchased an sb live 5.1 sound card. Have analog inexpensive 5.1 speakers, which work fine with the onboard sound card, ac97 standard, 2 channel sound card ( not 5.1 of course). These speakers also work fine on another computer which has on board sound 6 channel out, surround works fine. So went that extra step and got the 5.1 live so as to get the six channel sound. Now-this is where things got interesting.

    Connected all the speaker inputs to the sound card. Centre/subwoofer to the correct jack, digital out/analog out. This is an RCA to 3.5 adaptor here ( I have also interchanged that to rule that out)(I am at work so not in front of my computer), other inputs to line in line out etc. Load on all Creatives drivers from disk, everything looks OK. But when it comes to speaker test, the subwoofer doesnt show on the test (all software settings to 5.1 in windows and Creative software). No sound from Centre/Subwoofer when playing back music. Dead.

    So I remove Centre/ subwoofer from sound card AND then get sound through all speakers and subwoofer-Very odd. I have come across this issue with the SB Live 5.1 digital Dell but unless someone has put the aforementioned in an SB Live 5.1 box and pulled a swifty on me, I am perplexed as to this. I have trawled through the Creative software and cant seem to find my way clear. So the card works , sort of, but its not giving anything that I didnt get with my ac 97 onboard chip. I play the occasional flight sim, listent to mp3s etc, watch the occasional DVD, edit video. Have attempted to get my head around the KX drivers, they look smart but more for the muso set. I gave up. Too hard.

    HELP (before I take the card and rap it around the shop who sold it to me)
    MSI kt 266a mobo
    ATI 9600xt graphics card
    512 ram
    amd 1600xp
    Win XP home
    All drivers the latest

    Thanks all
  2. XtremeNewbie

    XtremeNewbie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi all,

    Mystery resolved. I have been sold a pup. I took out the sound card this morning to check its identity. Its a ct sb0220, live 5.1 digital. Its over the net that these are in fact OEM cards despite being Creative packaged. Deception by Creative, seems they are dumping an over run on these cards on to the market-the standard drivers will not work properly with them, I believe they may other shortcomings as well..Like no enable/disable AC3 -more to check...Bottom line, I will be returning mine money back and avoiding anything from Creative here on in...Caveat Emptor!
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Well thanks for the heads up and it sucks that Creative screwed you, and who knows how many others, over like that.

    Hope to see you stick around :)

    :wave:Welcome to TechSpot:wave:
  4. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    Most of the SB Live 5.1 cards out now are OEM and Creative drivers will not work for them and Creative wont provide any support for them. I got a SB0220 card with no driver disk and could never get it to work. Luckily I found a place that sold the card with a driver disk. I had to buy a second card but now both cards work great.
  5. XtremeNewbie

    XtremeNewbie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    On the SB0220 fiasco...

    Thanks guys for your response. Yes, I am kind of shocked that I bought a Creative branded product and it turned out the way it did. I have only just returned from getting my money back on it-no questions asked-so what does that tell you?

    Its really my only bad experience in years of tinkering around with computers getting something home and finding it didnt actually work as advertised-maybe I have been lucky-it was truly a hair pulling out exercise-I mean all you have to do normally is install the thing and load the drivers and hey presto. Went through every permutation of driver, switching cables etc. Maddening. But you live and learn.. And at the end of the day worse things happen at sea.

  6. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    What no one tells you is that Creative makes OEM cards with missing or altered hardware identifiers to specifically keep Creative drivers from working with OEM card. One of their techs told me this after I called and went off on her. Sounds like something Microsoft would do.
  7. darrenforster99

    darrenforster99 TS Rookie

    hmmm... doesn't this make Creative in breach of trade descriptions act?

    This is interesting, I only found this page by accident when I was looking for drivers for my card. I too have a SB Live 5.1 OEM and have never managed to get the center speaker working (I always thought it was just 'cos the games I was playing wasn't proper 5.1 surround games).

    But by doing this Creative is breaking the trade descriptions act. My card quite clearly states 5.1 which is printed on the card, the place I bought the card from told me it was a 5.1 surround sound card. But if the Creative drivers disable the centre/subwoofer then the card isn't a 5.1 surround sound card, only a 4.0 surround sound card. Hmmm.. I feel like maybe sueing Creative for false advertising, also I'm a bit gutted now that I bought a Creative surround sound speaker set to go with this crap card, usually I stick to Philips as I like their quality. I've been thinking for some time about replacing my card with a Philips sound card, now may be a good time to do so.

    I am very disappointed in Creative, I thought they were suppossed to be the standard for sound cards but considering the amount of people who buy PC's with OEM sound cards in now that's certainly not going to look very good on Creative is it?
  8. XtremeNewbie

    XtremeNewbie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, they are a rip off. They are not a genuine Creative chip, they are a cut down version. Nor are they 5.1. I took mine back, the guy gave me my money straight back. Good business on his part. But indicative that I wasnt the first to take it back. Alas the state of play in soundcards is not good. I believe most of the Creative stuff is way overpriced. There appears not to have been too much development going on. Ie most of the computer components have moved on in leaps in bounds. Yet, soundcards remain pretty much the same. You generally have to buy big to get a genuine sound chip that processes the sound without using cpu and other resources. The cheapy cards utilise system resources, so you may as well stick with the onboard motherboard sound. In the case of the nforce 2 motherboards, they had excellent sound capabilities, dont know if this was carried over into later series.
  9. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    Do you have 5.1 enables in Audio HQ? It could also be a problem with the port on the sound card. The contacts inside the port might no be touching the plug. Whats the model number of your card? Should be SB and then some numbers.
  10. XtremeNewbie

    XtremeNewbie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    sb0220 is the infamous number of the board. darrenforster99, perhaps you should check the CT number on your board. If it is sb0220, then issues are well known, head on over to Creative Europes forum for the scoop...
  11. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    Thats the one I have. I havent had any problems since I got the right driver disk.
  12. XtremeNewbie

    XtremeNewbie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How did you get hold of the right driver disk?
  13. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    I search the net and found a place that sold that model and bought one. The first one I got was from Newegg and it didnt come with the driver disk but the second one did.
  14. darrenforster99

    darrenforster99 TS Rookie

    Yes it is an SB0220. Really annoyed the Creative can rip people off like that. Ah well I've now just gone and bought a nice Philips Aurilium and that sounds superb. And the center speaker is now working!!!! I can at last use my £130 speaker system properly!!!

  15. darrenforster99

    darrenforster99 TS Rookie

    ok new problem with this new sound card!

    Well that lasted long, think I'm gonna take this new card back to PC world and exchange it for another card. 1 major problem I've just found with the aurilium is that Line-In can't be passed back through to the speakers without muting all the other sound in the card. This is a bit of a major let down as I have both a TV and DVD card that both use this to send sound out so this new sound card makes the TV and DVD card useless.
  16. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    Ive heard alot of good things about the Chaintech Excel 7.1. It uses the Via Envy chipset.
  17. Even Afwezig

    Even Afwezig TS Rookie

    Use de kx driver from kxproject.lugosoft, no problem, works great.
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