Brainteaser w/ $5 Reward! Logitech X-530 Center Channel Doesn't Work Properly

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Dave, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Here's a challenge for anyone who knows
    something about computer audio: if you can solve this,
    then I give you my respect, and I will paypal you $5 (for
    the first response that correctly solves this problem for me).

    Problem: I can't get the center channel to work from my Logitech X-530
    5.1 speaker system.
    Sound card works - I can hear the center when I plug headphones into
    the subwoofer/center jack.
    Logitech X-530 works - I can play an iPod into the subwoofer/center
    jack and it comes out.
    BUT, when they are connected, there is no sound from the center
    channel. Every other channel works fine.
    Here's a diagram:


    Problem: I can't get the center channel to work from my Logitech X-530
    5.1 speaker system.

    Gateway PIII/933, 1GB RAM, XP Pro, 100GB HD
    Audio Excel AV512 5.1 channel card
    VLC Media/DVD player with AC3filter plugin for Dolby Digital
    Logitech X-530 5.1 speaker system

    What I've Tried:

    1. I returned the X-530 to OfficeMax and got another one - same

    2. See the following diagram:

    This is a diagram of two configurations that WORK. I mean that
    the center channel dialogue is audible.

    In case (1), I can hear the center channel out of the RIGHT side
    of my HEADPHONES. I can also hear the right channel of the iPOD
    out of the X-530 system.

    In case (2), I can hear the center channel out of the RIGHT front
    speaker of the X-530.

    So, it's clear that the SOUND CARD is OK, and that the X-530
    is working. But TOGETHER, they don't work.

    3. When I connect the X-530's triple-jack to the front L/R, rear L/R,
    and center/sub ports of the sound card, every channel comes out,
    including sub, except there is no center channel. There is no
    sound...just a little bit of static. I went through you FAQ about
    testing the X-530's analog inputs with iPod (see below). There is no

    4. Testing the sound card: I can hear the center channel by plugging
    headphones directly into the center/sub output port on the sound card.
    It comes out the right side. The left side is the subwoofer.

    5. If I switch the jacks around, then the center channel comes out!
    For example, if I take the green jack (front L/R) and plug it into
    the orange port on the sound card (center/sub), then I hear the
    center channel come out of the right front speaker!

    6. If I plug an iPod into each of the X-530's triple-jacks, then
    it works fine. For example, if I plug the X-530's orange (center/sub)
    plug into the headphone jack of the iPod, then the center channel comes
    out the center channel (and sub).

    If you could follow my description, then perhaps you can
    see why I'm pulling out all my hairs. I can test the output from
    the sound card, and everything works. I can test the X-530, and
    everything works. But when I connect everything together, it doesn't

    Do you have any ideas? Thank you in advance for any help! The $5
    is waiting for your expert solution!

    Dave, Oct 30, 2006
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  2. Logitech... Errrrrggggghhhhh... If the set comes with special software,
    you might connect the hardware, then re-install the software - but with
    speakers, it shouldn't matter in Windows XP.

    You did not say this:

    Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > double-click >
    Speaker settings > Advanced > Dropdown menu > pick (1) - problably the
    one that says "5.1", but if not, experiment

    Performance > most likely "Best" all around, but experiment

    Hmmm... Have to pass on the $5. (USA, Hong Kong or Canadian?) At any
    rate, it'd likely just put me in a higher tax bracket, and I can't have
    that happen, can I?

    The people in the village were real poor, so none of the children
    had any toys. But this one little boy had gotten an old enema bag
    and filled it with rocks, and he would go around and whap the other
    children across the face with it. Man, I think my heart almost
    broke for all the compassion I felt when deeply contemplating that.
    Later the little boy came up and offered to give me his toy. This
    was too much! I reached out my hand, but then he ran away.

    I chased him down and took the enema bag away from him, saying,
    "It's *mine* now! You *gave* it to me!"

    He cried a little - but that's the way of these people.
    Bucky Breeder, Oct 30, 2006
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  3. Dave

    Meat Plow Guest

    Buy a different brand of speakers.
    Meat Plow, Oct 30, 2006
  4. Dave

    DanR Guest

    .... could it be an out-of-phase problem. Maybe the center channel is
    canceling itself at some point in your hookup. With a much simpler setup I
    connected one speaker to the output of my sound card. Because I only had the
    one speaker I tried to mult the left and right signals using a Y connector.
    But the signals were out of phase and mono and center stereo signals
    Maybe your problem is similar. Maybe not.
    DanR, Oct 30, 2006
  5. Dave

    G. Morgan Guest

    I have the same speakers.

    You didn't give enough info to totally solve it, what sound card?

    Go into the sound card config that the manufacturer provided, and set
    it up for the right input/output. That utility will have various
    configuration modes.

    You should be using "line in" for the AUX devices, it's a matter of
    telling the sound card what you have hooked up that determines what
    goes to the other inputs.
    G. Morgan, Oct 31, 2006
  6. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Hello Bucky, thanks for the response. I setup the software that came
    with the sound
    card, which is an Audio Excel AV512. The part that kills me is that
    sound comes
    out of the sound card correctly. It's easy to test. Take a set of
    walkman or ipod
    headphones. Plug it into the back of the sound card with 5.1 analog
    You should hear Front L/R out of one jack, then Rear L/R out of another
    and Sub/Center out of the last jack. In other words, the sound card is
    the correct sounds, so it's not from the sound card.

    Ah well, maybe the $5 is not enough incentive...if I had thought of the
    before I fiddled around with things, and calculated a penny for every
    I spent on this problem, I could have offered $50! 8)

    Take care

    Dave, Oct 31, 2006
  7. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Hah! I am seriously considering it! If I return these speakers then I
    certainly won't get another set of Logitechs.

    Dave, Oct 31, 2006
  8. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Hello Dan,
    Hey...that sounds like a very interesting idea. I was thinking about
    along those lines...that the center/sub is cancelling each other, or
    the sub
    is overriding the center. I will fiddle around with some mono jacks and
    see if
    can separate the two channels.

    Thanks for the idea!
    Dave, Oct 31, 2006
  9. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Hello Graham,
    Sorry if I hid the details in the "long" explanation. That longer
    includes the system components, including sound card, etc. I did setup
    the sound card for 5.1 sound. Once again, the sound card jacks are
    out the correct can hear it. But when it gets connected to
    X-530, the center never makes a peep.
    Dave, Oct 31, 2006

  10. Hmmm... 50 bucks, ehhh? I know what you're saying because if I had a
    nickel for everytime I've been through something like that, I'd be
    about 25ยข richer today!

    If your Windows settings are OK, and your sound card is verifiably
    OK, then it must be the speaker set - I would think. Perhaps someone
    you know has another brand of 5.1's you could borrow and test with
    your config - for a sanity-check. (Maybe even get a pair from
    Circuit City, try 'em, then just return them for the refund.)

    I've got a set by Altec Lansing - 5.1's, using a Realistic 5.1 card -
    and they are *killer* - I love it when my neighbors complain about my
    bass, after they were walking out front on the sidewalk, and I was in
    my media room. I really feel satisfied with results from my modest
    investment, but I'm all like "Awww, I'm *soooo* sorry. I'll attend to
    that right away."

    LOL! Then I turn up the music a couple of notches! Then they call the
    cops, but by the time the cop-mobiles howl up into my yard, I've
    turned off the music, and I show the cops my little-bitty speakers,
    and shrug my shoulders and say "those people must be on meds or

    Then when the cops apologize to me, and are gone, I put vegetable oil
    all over the sidewalk and crank up the music 'til the walls shake!

    My family attorney said I probably won't have to pay for her
    replacement hip because she was old and this type of injury is quite
    common at that age.

    I'm sharing this wit 'cha: I went through very similar cycles with
    both a Logitech keyboard and a Logitech web camera - and I *hate*
    'em, *hate* 'em, errrggghhh, don't like 'em very much at all. When I
    finally gave it up, and switched to a different brand, everything
    went smoooooth as silllkkkk... That's all I'm saying.


    One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was
    going to take my little nieces and nephews to Disneyland,
    but instead I drove them to an old burned-out warehouse.

    "Oh, no," I exclaimed, "Disneyland has burned down."

    They cried and cried... but I think that deep, deep down,
    they maybe thought it was a pretty good joke.

    I started to drive them over to the real Disneyland, but it was
    getting pretty late and I didn't want to miss the Oprah show.

    I pride myself on being "the sensitive type."
    Bucky Breeder, Oct 31, 2006
  11. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Got it...I'm returning the Logitechs and going with something else.
    That's the end of the line for these guys.

    Thanks and take care, all.
    Dave, Oct 31, 2006
  12. Dave

    Meat Plow Guest

    Where is my 5 bucks? I was the first to suggest you buy something else.
    Meat Plow, Oct 31, 2006
  13. Dave

    Pennywise Guest

    I agree, you owe Meat Plow, you made the offer, you took his
    Pennywise, Nov 1, 2006

  14. ROTF-LMAO! See -- ya cain't just *say* it; ya gotta *sell* it!

    Best Regards.


    Driving along, we saw a sign that said "Watch for Rocks."
    My girlfriend said it should read "Watch for Pretty Rocks."

    I told her she should write her suggestion to the highway
    department, but then, suddenly, she started saying it was
    "only a joke!" Just to get out of writing a simple letter!

    Hmmmm... and I thought I was lazy!
    Bucky Breeder, Nov 1, 2006
  15. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Sorry, I would have loved to give it away the $5 just to find out
    what's going on, but I sort
    of solved the problem myself. I did get another system, but it didn't
    solve the problem.
    None of the suggestions ended up fixing the problem. MicroCenter had a
    $29.99 5.1
    system for sale yesterday, and when I plugged it in, the exact same
    problem happened.

    So, I fiddled around with it for a while, and realized that I could get
    the center channel
    if I put the plug into the sound card HALFWAY. Now, I don't know what
    that means,
    whether the left/right channels in the center/sub jack got switched or
    what. I suspected
    it was the AC3Filter plugin to the VLC media player. But then I got a
    Hercules Muse
    5.1 sound card and tried it out, it fixed the problem. So, it was the
    Audio Excel sound
    card. There was something messed up in the output jack of the
    center/sub channel.
    The mystery is that I could plug my headphones in there, and it sounded
    fine. So,
    it's not totally solved, but at least the problem is no longer an issue
    for me. By the way,
    the Hercules uses the exact same chip as the Audio Excel, so I don't
    think it was a
    problem in the driver or software.

    Thank you to those who gave attention to this issue. I just wish the
    "solution" was more
    universally helpful. It came down to replacing components until it

    Dave, Nov 2, 2006

  16. Hello Dave, sounds like a sound card issue to me.

    Does this mean you want your $5 back?

    Don't go asking for interest on it, however, because you *did* say that
    you had diagosed the sound card, and it was *not* the sound card. LOL!
    Now you can go back and get that Logitech set, and let us know if you
    like 'em, or not... (o:

    Glad to see you got it worked out.


    Fear! It can sometimes be a *very* useful emotion.

    For instance: let's just say you're an astronaut on the moon,
    and you fear that your partner has been turned into Dracula.
    The next time he goes out collecting the moon rocks,
    WHAM!!! - you just slam the door behind him and blast off.

    He might call you on the radio and say he's not Dracula,
    but you just say, "Ohhh, you just think again there, Batman."
    Bucky Breeder, Nov 2, 2006
  17. Dave

    Meat Plow Guest

    You said that it was fixed and originally that the sound card was ok.
    You still owe me 5 bucks.

    Please login to my paypal account at:


    and pay me.
    Meat Plow, Nov 2, 2006
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