5.1 surround sound does not work

It seems 5.1 surround sound on Ubuntu 9.10 either does work or it doesn't end of story. Mine doesn't! I have trawled the universe for help and nothing works. I have an external usb 5.1 sound card made by Trust (thats what it says in the base speaker) I have no other info on this. So far I have followed some instructions and changed a command in somewhere to read default-sample-channels =6. Then rebooted and met with silence when I tried to do a speaker test. My 9.10 doesn't have the screen many instructions refer to. When I left click on the speaker at the top of the screen I get a thin volume slide bar, if I right click on the speaker I get a small box offering me Mute or sound Preferences. This and its sub screens just don't match the instructions. I don't seem to have a Volume Manager or Volume Control screen.I think this external sound card is possibly pants but I cant be sure.

Any help most welcome.