[alsa-devel] snd-hda-intel, AD 1988b: SPDIF output not working correctly, volume low for analog output

Matthias Dahl ml_alsa at mortal-soul.de
Tue Jul 17 08:32:00 CEST 2007

Hello everyone.

I very recently upgraded my system to a Asus Crosshair (AM2, nforce 590 sli) 
board because it seemed just good quality. Unfortunately the AD1988b chip on 
it is causing me some trouble.

1] SPDIF output 

When I use it for dts/dolby passthrough, it works just fine even though from 
time to time spdif just hangs- not during playback but when I start the 
playback. (analog output is unaffected) Meaning that either the player is 
hanging or playback starts but I hear no sound. After that only a reboot 
solves the problem... restarting alsa has not effect.

Also when the passthrough stops or during playback of anything else besides a 
dts/dolby stream, I hear a low pitch beating (usually in combination with a 
very high pitch sound) in the background.

I double checked everything to be sure that my other equipment was fine and 
not the cause of this.

2] analog output

I am unable to get it as loud as with the win drivers without overdriving it. 
The volume is okay... but not on par with the win drivers. That's especially 
true for the SPDIF output. Increasing the SPDIF volume usually results in 
worse audio quality over spdif and increased "noise" (see above).

Like said earlier, I checked with the win drivers, and everything (audio wise) 
works just fine there. So it's not a hardware fault. (relief -g-)

My guess would be that the AD 1988b is quite a bit different to program from 
its 1988 predecessors as it contains dts live and stuff. Just a guess...

I have attached some hopefully useful informations. If you need anything else, 
please let me know. I really need that spdif working, so I am more than 
willing to test just about anything. :-)

Last but not leat, I have tried the latest official alsa drivers as well as a 
mercurial snapshot from yesterday. (which I am currently using) Both show the 
same problems.

Thanks for any help in advance,
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