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Configuring Linux ALSA/Pulseaudio for best sound
chickpea23
post Mar 18 2012, 21:27
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So I have been listening to a bunch of hokum and voodoo at some other head hifi forum where abx testing is banned and I need some reeducation.

I run linux at home and I use kde. As I understand little about sound and how all the parts of the linux sound system work together, I would like to help to make sure that my sound is being output in the best fidelity possible.

So I used KDE that means I have the phonon sound system on top of the pulseaudio sound server on top of the ALSA sound system (whew!).

My onboard soundcard is an HDA-Intel Realtek ALC275 that does 16/24 bitrate and 44.1-192 sampling.

So most of my music is in 16/44.1 FLAC format, but some is 24/96 FLAC.

I use amarok and deadbeef to play my music.

I just want to make sure that I am not doing any resampling that will introduce any distortion or noise.

Sorry if this a topic that has been answered numerous times, but I searched and couldn't find anything that helped answer this.

Thanks for the input.
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Richard Kimber
post Apr 11 2012, 11:46
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QUOTE (chickpea23 @ Mar 18 2012, 21:27) *
I just want to make sure that I am not doing any resampling that will introduce any distortion or noise.

As I understand things. You have two options. One is to find a player that enables "passthrough" which effectively by-passes any re-sampling. The other is to use a dlna streamer (assuming you have a dlna enabled receiver). Linux is not (yet anyway) well served on the audio front. It all depends on what sort of music you play. If, like me, you have a need for gapless playing, then finding a solution that is both gapless and avoids resampling is quite hard (I haven't found one yet that will cope with all the different file resolutions that I have). I understand it's possible to run Windows players in Virtualbox, but I'm not keen to go down that route.
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AudioKitten
post Apr 11 2012, 20:44
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 11 2012, 03:46) *
QUOTE (chickpea23 @ Mar 18 2012, 21:27) *
I just want to make sure that I am not doing any resampling that will introduce any distortion or noise.

As I understand things. You have two options. One is to find a player that enables "passthrough" which effectively by-passes any re-sampling. The other is to use a dlna streamer (assuming you have a dlna enabled receiver). Linux is not (yet anyway) well served on the audio front. It all depends on what sort of music you play. If, like me, you have a need for gapless playing, then finding a solution that is both gapless and avoids resampling is quite hard (I haven't found one yet that will cope with all the different file resolutions that I have). I understand it's possible to run Windows players in Virtualbox, but I'm not keen to go down that route.


So this "passthrough" you speak of, is this something that works with pulseaudio or is it something that talks to ALSA directly? I ask because I plan to build a networked pulseaudio server out of a router and a DAC so that I don't have to have any wires attached to my laptop. However, I'm not willing to sacrifice sound quality to do it...
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