Surround Sound Sound Card?



Hi there,

Ive just brought a 5.1 surround sound system from novatech, and a PCI 6 ch sound card (now found out its based on the CMI-8738),

My problem is i cant seem to get surround sond from it, i connect the 3 wires up to the sound card (one for front, rear and centre/bass), and none of them work apart from the normal stereo sound.

Can anyone else help with this, it was a OEm box that just came with a driver disk (and some apps), but no proper manual that can help me with this,

Ive also noticed there are 2 different kind of jumpers on the card itself, but im not gonna fiddle with these unless im supposed to,

This is really annoying me because there is no bass because i cant get the port to work,

Many thanks in advance,


Well, you are aware that most surround sound cards only put out surround-sound in games, right? Or when watching a movie in DTS? Have you tried those?

If you have, my apologies. Just covering the bases.

SOME sound cards let you do things like clone the output to the rear speakers or do pseudo-surround in normal operation, but not all. It all depends on the driver set.


Yeah, i hve tried playing movies in WMP and nero media player, ive tried the 5.1 tracks and the DTS tracks,

Ive also changed the windows sound speaker setting to 5.1, but still no differencem

It also dosent work when doing the Audio demo that came with the cd


Make sure that you have the sound output set to the right setting, analogue probably but could be digital.


Also, if you have an onboard (motherboard chipset sound), make sure you disable it in the bios.


I can get the standerd stereo sound through the front speakers, just no optput for the others because by system will not output any bass without the output provided to it through the centre/bass channel,

My motherboard is quite old, but still suports PCI version 2.1 (i think) and i have no other troubles with any other PCI devices,

I dont have any other sound controller on my system apart from this one and as far as im aware it is analog output,

If you want me to i can post a photo of the inputs/outputs of the surround sound system and the sound card


Picture of the sound card would be good :wink:
We can see the actual model no# from the labels / prints on the card :slight_smile:


Ok, il do that in the mourning as im currently installing xp again, but ive just found the PDF manual on the cd (which dosent mean much to me but might to you), and it has somthing about the jumper settings, and a very bad quality curcit diagram which is included in the pdf

KOB C880.pdf (79.5 KB)


Ok, im sorry about the delay.
Ive just come out of hospital, but ive managed to get the photos (sorry about the poor quality):

[Pic 1]( 001.jpg)

[Pic 2]( 002.jpg)

[Pic 3]( 003.jpg)

I do hope that somone can help me out here,

Many thanks in advance (and thanks for the help already),


Start->(settings->)Control Panel->Sounds & Audio Devices.

In speaker settings (at the bottom) -> Advanced

Speaker setup is to be “Surround” or “5.1 Surround speakers”
depending on whether you have a subwoofer (5.1 surround) or not (surround).

This will tell windows to use all 5/6 speakers.

In the “Environmental Sound Settings” software bundle that came with the card you will also need to set the cards ports up as 5.1 sound. I can’t tell you how to do this, all software is different.


I have done both of these, but it has no effect (even the 5.1 sound testing demo software that came with my sound card dosent give me 5.1!!!)


Probably won’t make any difference, but maybe you should try a different PCI slot. You said the PC was kinda old, who knows maybe you have a bad connection, or a partially working PCI slot. Uninstall the drivers, move the card to another slot, then reload the drivers and see what happens. See if you can find newer version drivers from the manufacturer site or maybe or something. You’ve probably checked already, but double and triple check your speaker connections and also the way you have it all hooked up.

Maybe if you can, try both the speakers and the sound card in another PC to make sure it all works, play a little 5.1 then you know at least if it’s the card/speakers, or your PC. Process of elimination will get you the answer. Good luck man :slight_smile:


5.1 has nothing really to do with “surround sound”.
Surround sound can be easily done even using stereo equipment…

On some 5.1 systems you have to switch manually betweeen 5.1 and stereo output.


I have tried all of these, but none worked (even on a newer computer: same problem)

I just dont know what to do



Hi did you have a sound card installed before this one.
as you may still have your old drivers installed.
also did you install the software first then the card.
as you must install card then software.



I had an onboard sound chip, (soundmax), but that has been disabled in device manager (and i have selected the right sound card in the sound settings)

I installed the card first, then the software (no problems there)


are the speakers configured to 5.1 at the “sounds and audio devices” in control panel? also goto start>>run>>sndvol32 and check if for mutes
try windvd
in options configure the speakers right , anyway it might be helpful if youll say what speakers exactly are they


I have tried all of these, but still no luck,

I am using the speaker set that i brought from novatech HERE
And according to those reviews they can all get surround sound


I have had the same problem.

THe only difference i have had is that all is working except the centre speaker. I achieved this by changing the pin jumpers on the actual card.

Can any one help me gain full 5.1 (it is a bit useless watching movies - no centre speaker)