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Auzentech X-Fi Forte is not working properly; need suggestions for repair

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Hi everyone,

My Auzentech X-Fi Fotre stopped working properly tonight. I have my z-5500 connected to it, and the front left and right channels emit no sound whatsoever while the center, sub, and rear channels emit a heavily distorted version of whatever audio I play. I know after reading a bit online that the Forte is not very reliable and after 3 years has probably exceeded its expected life, but I am looking for cheap suggestions to repair it before I look shell out cash to replace it.

Thanks for the help in advance!!
 
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It seems Auzentech X-Fi Forte has a serial flaw that causes this. Mine died the same way except i have just 2.1 setup so it was all distortion. Thankfully it was still in warranty.

I'm not really sure what was causing it because nothing was visually wrong on the card itself. All chips, opamps, caps etc looked fine.
 
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Any idea how long the warranty is for these cards? I'd suspect that mine is far out of it but it's worth checking.
 
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My Forte completely died in lees than two weeks. Fortunately, I was able to receive a cash refund from Microcenter.

I bought a Meridian 2G as a replacement.

My complaint against Auzen is apparently they have no-one to respond to tickets submitted through their website. I have an open ticket that I submitted May 11, 2012 that, as of today, June 23, 2012, still has not been replied to.

Something to consider if you purchase an Auzen product.
 
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Thanks for the help. I'm going to contact them and (hopefully) they will respond with a price for an out of warranty replacement. I'll do that if it's not more than $40, but any more than that and I think I will just wait to see more about the Xonar Phoebus and hopefully cheaper derivative cards.
 
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Throw that piece of shit away. I still have mine, RMA'd 2 times, and it still doesn't work for shit (or well enough; the distorted sound is gone, but I need to restart windows audio service 666 times a day because of other problem).
 
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I had an interesting thought last night. Since all the channels are messed up, I doubt the DACs or the OPAMPs are the problem, which leads me to believe the main processing chip is the issue. It runs really hot and is always getting power cycled, which makes me think that solder cracking could be an issue. If the RMA is too expensive, does anyone know if baking the card is worth a shot?
 
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Like a solder reflow? If it works, you might get a few more weeks out of it. After that, it's a bit of a crapshoot. Since it's already broken, give it a go!
 

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Simple solution, get another audio card or use the onboard audio of the motherboard.

If you dont exactly know what is causing the issue on the board itself and most components use a SMD setup anymore- ud be wasting more time trying to figure out what component is causing the issue and also shotgunning parts at it than just going out and getting another card or using the motherboard audio.

any Component in a PC is called a FRU
 
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Simple solution, get another audio card or use the onboard audio of the motherboard.

If you dont exactly know what is causing the issue on the board itself and most components use a SMD setup anymore- ud be wasting more time trying to figure out what component is causing the issue and also shotgunning parts at it than just going out and getting another card or using the motherboard audio.

any Component in a PC is called a FRU

Well, onboard audio is crap as far as SNR and 2 channel to 5.1 expansion is concerned, and a new card as a replacement is $100-$200, so I am looking to save money if I can.
 

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Well, onboard audio is crap as far as SNR and 2 channel to 5.1 expansion is concerned, and a new card as a replacement is $100-$200, so I am looking to save money if I can.

im telling u if you cant find what is causing the issue on that card exactly ud be wasting money.

Use the onboard audio till u have money to spend.
 
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im telling u if you cant find what is causing the issue on that card exactly ud be wasting money.

Use the onboard audio till u have money to spend.

It was hard to understand the direction of your original post. Were you saying that the traces on the board are the issue or that I should not spend any time trying to fix it. I don't understand how trying to fix it is wasting money.
 

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It was hard to understand the direction of your original post. Were you saying that the traces on the board are the issue or that I should not spend any time trying to fix it. I don't understand how trying to fix it is wasting money.

im just saying that the issue ur having seems to be more than just any solder or traces on the board itself- plus others reporting issues with that line of boards should tell you how indepth the reliability issues are with that card
 
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Auzentech produced new revision of the card some time during last year or even the year before where this cracking noise is not present anymore. It was a hardware bug or some sort of major design flaw.
It's still far from good and useable though.

Just STAY AWAY from this company. Nonexistant support and driver releases once in two years is BAD.
 
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Auzentech produced new revision of the card some time during last year or even the year before where this cracking noise is not present anymore. It was a hardware bug or some sort of major design flaw.
It's still far from good and useable though.

Just STAY AWAY from this company. Nonexistant support and driver releases once in two years is BAD.

I know what you're referring to with the cracking noise, and I have experienced the exact "crackling" symptoms described by others in other forums. But this crackling noise is different from what I am experiencing and why I started this post. If crackling was the only problem, the card would still output something from all channels with this noise, but with my card there is just no audio output at all from some channels and there is much more distortion than just the "crackling" from the other channels.

I probably won't be buying another new Auzentech product (not that you could find them for sale anyway - I don't see them for sale anywhere), but if I can get a replacement from them for this card for cheap, then I'd rather do that as opposed to spending $100-200 for a new card of another vendor.

For full disclosure, I do have some experience with all the sound card vendors, and they all have their quirks. The Xonar DX in my car PC is great, but the control panel is awkward to use and the jacks on the back of the card are spaced so close together that plugging in multiple cords is very difficult. The biggest issue I have with the Xonar is that in order to get the best surround expansion, you have to manually set the number of input channels depending on whether you are playing 2-channel or 5.1-channel audio, and since I listen to both stereo and multichannel music, having to constantly change between the settings is a pain. The Creative CMSS-3D setting is a "set it and forget it" item so I don't have to constantly adjust it.
 

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Just STAY AWAY from this company. Nonexistant support and driver releases once in two years is BAD.

The drivers were the best past of the Forte. The driver release schedule is the fault of creative, but once the drivers were available they packaged them up with a better installer/uninstaller than creative ever did. I think the two main problems with the Forte are heat and shielding. A lot of them bake behind graphics cards. The later revision added a heatsink. Not sure if that provided any EMI shielding.

The support does suck though.
 
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I had both the first and the current (I guess!) revision, and while the old one was pretty hot, I don't think I had any problems with it from this point of view. Might be good cooling on graphics though :p
Shielding is probably not a problem at all, but rather the old revision had some flawed design, because I started to experience some constant electronic buzz AFTER I screwed the card in the case. lol
 
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They still have chronic driver issues. I mean not the drivers themself but the release dates. Realtek that is releasing some crappy generic software releases them more often than damn Creative. Last ones for Forte were released back in September 2011. Almost 1 year ago.
Gaming card and such crappy release schedules don't go well together. Audio drivers should be improved and updated at least every 3 months or so. Not once a year if you're lucky...
 
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Well, IF there is a reason to release anything! You don't always need to fix stuff that's not broken :p
In Auzentech/Creative's case... that's whole another story, lol.


You know what pisses me off the most? I NEVER EVER had ANY problems with Realtek crap. I mean, ever, at all. It JUST works without having to pin your dick to your left ear by full moon while singing russian folk song.
 

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Same thing here: my Auzentech X-Fi Forte is dead. No more sound, but it´s detected and fully functional on Windows 8. I´m hopeless, but I gonna try an RMA too...
 
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I wish you luck with the tech support, but I think that Auzentech folded. I got no response after a week and just gave up, sold the card as broken, and moved on. Let me know what happens.
 
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