Quote Originally Posted by unsavory
OK, so it turns out that the crackle is from enabling the SMART 5.1 options. That is the option that puts 5.1 audio out through the line-in/line-out/headphone jack. so you can get 5.1 surround sound with the existing ports on the motherboard. Except it doesn't work.

For one thing the volume on the rear channels, center channels and sub is significantly less than the volume on the front. And you also get crappy sound quality and crackling, even through the standard line-out port.

After disabling the SMART 5.1 option, the sound is extremely clean. Now all I have to do is split my one set of line outs 3 times to get my 6 channels. I had hoped for 5.1 surround sound but I can live with stereo. It's more pure and probably sounds better anyway for music.

Just posting an update.
i dont know about that crackling but on standard 5.1 surround the center channel is the loudest (thats the way it is on my 6 ch home system).....just a thought. I am doing the same thing as you - i am using a 6 ch passive EQ i got for $40 on ebay....i hope it works

good luck