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Re: sound cards / Indian Debian developers.

Hi Shirish,

Thank you for your kind and helpful message.

On Sun, 8 Sep 2013, shirish शिरीष wrote:

in-line :-

On 9/8/13, Faheem Mitha <faheem@faheem.info> wrote:

Hello all,

Shirish's message reminded me of the existence of this list. So... two

First, I just rebuilt my computer with a new motherboard (the old one
recently died). However, the onboard sound card is a Realtek piece of
crap. I've been having a terrible time trying to find a sound card that
works well with Linux (specifically Alsa, I guess) and that is available
in India. For some reason, there is a ridiculous scarcity of sound cards
in India.

I *think* the scarcity is because most of the people either are happy
or do not know or care about pci/usb internal/external sound cards.
The cost is not alone with the cards but with the cost of additional
speakers (to justify the expense) and so on.

Actually, I always use headphones. One does not require speakers to tell the difference between a crap card and a good one. I don't require a very fancy card; "professional" sound cards can run to hundreds of dollars. I just need something that works properly, without static or distortion. With my current card I'm getting both of these.

I found a couple of places in India that sell the Sound Blaster Live! 5.1.
This is an ancient card, but apparently works well with Linux, and would
be an improvement on my Realtek piece of junk. I wrote to ask them the
exact model, to make sure they actually had the right card, but neither of
them have replied so far. Does anyone have any ideas about a suitable
sound card available in India, or knows where one could get a Sound
Blaster Live! 5.1 or similar?

Second, is anyone keeping a list of Indian Debian developers along with
contact information, and if so, could you share it? Thanks. I know I can
get something from people.debian.org, which currently gives 9 names for
India, but it may not be up to date.

Ebay seems to have listed quite a few soundcards which you can look at :-


Yes, I checked on ebay, but I was not very enthusiatic about buying from these random places - I'm unclear whether they can be relied on if something goes wrong, and they don't seem like regular shops. Many of these cards either don't work with Linux or are USB (I want an internal card). Additionally, a couple of these sellers had some weird and off-putting language to the effect that "a negative review will void your warranty" ??!!

I am assuming for desktop use-case.

I'd like either a PCI or PCI Express card, but older sound cards that work well with Linux seem to be exclusively PCI. Unfortunately, my current mb has only one PCI slot but many PCI Express cards, which is in use by an ethernet card. I may be able to swap this for a PCI Express ethernet card, thus freeing up the PCI slot.

I *think* most of them should work for you.

In fact was reminded of a yr. old posting on phoronix about some of
the kernel work which had gone in both for new versions of  Creative
Sound Core3D cards as well as the Xonar ones.

See http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTEwNjg . This
is a year old so with a recent enough kernel and a recentish alsa
theoretically you should face no issues (meaning out of box

I did some searching, and both the newer Creative Cards and the Xonar cards which seem to be popular in India look problematic. For example, http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Vendor-Asus has the Xonar DGX listed as

Xonar DGX CMI8786 Details [PCIE] [ANALOGio] [TOSo] [24bit] [192kHz] [5.1]
This hardware has no volume controls; use PulseAudio.
Front panel, HP, and microphones do not work.	 ALSA 1.0.26 or kernel 3.5

If they mean what I think they mean by "microphones do not work", then that is out. While the other Xonars may work better, it has been my experience that working with bleeding edge hardware in Linux is a recipe for headaches. Maybe that is true for other OS too, but I've only ever used Linux.

I was really hoping someone would say that he bought such a such a card from such and such a vendor and that it worked out of the box with such and such Linux driver.

Let us know what you decide and how the experience is/was when you got
the card .

Ok, if and when I get a card, I'll try to remember to post here.

Regards, and thanks for the feedback.


Looking forward to know.
         Shirish Agarwal  शिरीष अग्रवाल
 My quotes in this email licensed under CC 3.0
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