Just a quick rundown of my experience with Linux audio.
Short version: A ******** mess.
I've been running Linux for a good couple of years now. Mainly Kubuntu, but have dabbled in some other flavours. Anyway, recently I started to get the audiophile itch again, and this time simply decided to scratch. Bought myself a pair of HD439's and a FiiO E10. Yes, tight budget.
So, seeing that I use Linux, I started to peruse a couple of sites to find out how I can decent sound from Linux. Obviously this thread has been super helpful.
So, I finally have bit-perfect audio caressing my ears. I'm now balder than when I started this exercise, but it work.
OK, what I did.
First off, PulseAudio is nice, on the surface, but between last night and this morning it just simply decided that my E10 is not a valid device anymore. Tried everything, but only silence eminated from my headphones.
ALSA seems to be the best option for decent audio on Linux. I uninstalled PulseAudio and reverted to pure ALSA. It worked. Only problem is that it now lists about 25 audio devices in my device tree. Simple matter of testing each one and seeing what works and what don't.
After that it was over to finding the best player. For years I have been a staunch devotee to Amarok. Brilliant player with exceptional media library functions. Only problem is that it passes everything through its own mixer and highest output, according to the cat command, is only 16/48. That is while playing 24/192 audio. Also, for some reason the SQ is really bad. Allot of distortion. Enough so that I can hear it over my cheap desktop speakers. And it is not a volume problem. Even turning it down still result in serious distortion.
So with that I said goodbye to Amarok as my player of choice, although I still use it for music management, and setting off to find a new player.
First I tried VLC. Brilliant little program that. Plays anything you throw at it, and does it all in bit-perfect goodness. Only problem is that media management with it sucks, big time. Big deal breaker for me. It will still be my default video player, but for music, nope.
Then I came upon this thread and saw someone mention DeaDbeef. Tried it, love it, will continue using it until foobar2000 comes to Linux. Bit-perfect output, decent playlist display, brilliant sq and eq.
So, to sum up. Use clean ALSA for sound. It's a bit more hands on with settings, but that is alright concidering what mess PulseAudio is. It is like a woman during pms. Freaking unstable. Smallest little change in your setup and it gets a fanny-wobble of epic proportions.
For playback DeaDbeef is pretty much the closest thing to fb2k in Linux at the moment. I tried Audacious, but it is ugly. DeaDbeef also handles fb2k eq settings, so that has to count for something.
Thanks to all on this thread whose advice and guidance has helped me in getting decent sound out of my setup.
Edited by Hark3n - 11/3/12 at 12:57am