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Old 06-15-2011, 07:23 PM
Richard Shaw
 
Default Sound problem: more channels == worse quality

While diagnosing my sound issues which I at first attributed to my new
Creative T6100 speakers (yeah, they're pretty low end for surround
systems), I found that the sound quality was still poor when I plugged
in my headphones to the front audio port.

Of course after that I started blaming the sound chip (Built in) but
now I'm not so sure. I found that the more channels I setup in
PulseAudio the worse the sound quality.

With 2 channels the sound problem I'm having disappears, just normal
hiss at high volume (amplification). When I up to the 4 channels I can
hear the problem but it's pretty faint and at 6 channels it's very
evident.

The sound itself is a high pitch electronic distortion. There's
probably a technical name for it but I'm not an audio engineer. The
best way I can describe it is that it sounds similar to distortion you
get from very low bitrate audio streams.

So my question is: Is the problem my sound chip (hardware) or
PulseAudio (software)?

My plan is to buy an Asus Xonar DG[1] but I don't have a lot of
disposable income to spend on this problem so I want to be fairly
certain this will fix it.

Thanks,
Richard

[1] http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-xonar-dg-sound-board-cmi8786-pci-24-bit-internal/q/loc/101/217036858.html
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:14 PM
grim76
 
Default Sound problem: more channels == worse quality

On 06/15/2011 03:23 PM, Richard Shaw wrote:
> While diagnosing my sound issues which I at first attributed to my new
> Creative T6100 speakers (yeah, they're pretty low end for surround
> systems), I found that the sound quality was still poor when I plugged
> in my headphones to the front audio port.
>
> Of course after that I started blaming the sound chip (Built in) but
> now I'm not so sure. I found that the more channels I setup in
> PulseAudio the worse the sound quality.
>
> With 2 channels the sound problem I'm having disappears, just normal
> hiss at high volume (amplification). When I up to the 4 channels I can
> hear the problem but it's pretty faint and at 6 channels it's very
> evident.
>
> The sound itself is a high pitch electronic distortion. There's
> probably a technical name for it but I'm not an audio engineer. The
> best way I can describe it is that it sounds similar to distortion you
> get from very low bitrate audio streams.
>
> So my question is: Is the problem my sound chip (hardware) or
> PulseAudio (software)?
>
> My plan is to buy an Asus Xonar DG[1] but I don't have a lot of
> disposable income to spend on this problem so I want to be fairly
> certain this will fix it.
>
> Thanks,
> Richard
>
> [1] http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-xonar-dg-sound-board-cmi8786-pci-24-bit-internal/q/loc/101/217036858.html

I would not do anything until you remove other interference causing
items. I would start with any wall warts that you might have plugged in
or anything like that. I have seen those cause all types of issues when
they are going bad and plugged in near a PC.
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