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Old 06-17-2006, 03:23 PM   #1
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Generic inquiry about ALSA volume levels

This is just a general trouble I've noticed between Windows and Linux on the same system. Essentially, Windows, with the proper drivers, is able to output a much higher volume than ALSA. Even at the highest volume controls, ALSA sounds distorted, and is not able to even get close to matching the volume that is possible on Windows. It seems to me that this is a software or driver issue, as the hardware is identical. Does anyone else have this problem, or know of a reason/solution?

I've tested this phenomenon on the following hardware:
- Crystal Sound Fusion CS46xx
- standard Intel AC97 codec

Thanks a lot in advance.
Old 06-17-2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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On Windows you are using the drivers provided by the manufacturer, whereas on Linux, you are probably using reverse engineered drivers. Usually the drivers provided by the manufacturer will work a lot better than the reverse engineered ones, since they have all the hardware specs.
Old 06-17-2006, 04:21 PM   #3
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Something is wrong. VIA AC97 works perfectly here and i can't believe ALSA releases drivers with seriously inferior sound. Have a good look at your mixer, unhide and try adjusting all sliders. For instance I need to max 'VIA DXS' for normal sound.
Old 06-22-2006, 12:05 AM   #4
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@redazz: That makes sense, but is volume management really that complex? Furthermore, for me, most Linux drivers work better than their Windows counterparts, which is why this situation is so strange.

@Emerson: I would like to assume so, but there is definitely a gap between quality here. The sound gets distorted at much lower sound levels than on Windows. I have in fact played with all the little switches in kmix and alsamixer, but to no effect; they do nothing. As of right now, to get good, clean sound on my headphones, I have Master set to 100, DAC set to 100, and PCM set to 55! Fiddling around with different amounts for these does not result in louder sound/better quality.

I appreciate your comments; any more suggestions? I'm even considering trying OSS as opposed to ALSA, because this is bugging me so much, and I'd rather not spend money on an external amp when I know that it is not necessary.


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