If you set either Master or PCM to 100%, the volume is too loud and distorted. I don't know if the sound card is emitting a signal louder than 'line level' to my amp and the amp is clipping, or if something in the sound drivers is amplifying the sound above line level then clipping it to line level ready for output.
Why is this happening?
I've seen it mentioned in several threads on this forum, the suggested solution to 'distorted sound' is to reduce PCM 'a bit' - this works, but why do we have to do this?
Of course in Windows 100% everything sounds perfect - is there some kind of limiter in effect on the windows drivers?
Is there some ALSA setting we're all missing?
Failing a solution, what are the pefect alsa mixer settings to get 100% line-level output without clipping? Everyone says 'reduce PCM by a bit' but what amount should that 'bit' be to get proper audio line-level that the amp is expecting?
(I am currently experiencing this on a Via AC97 on-board soundcard, but it also happens with several SBLive cards on other RedHat/Fedora distros, and also happens with OSS, not ALSA, on RH9)