That is, the Low sound Workaround described here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ad ... Workaround
It also sounds horrible when I boost PCM with the newly-added "Pre-Amp" slider in alsamixer.
Still, without it, anything below 80% is too low, and even 100% isn't anywhere near as high as it should be (compared to that in Windows for instance). I frequently have to right-click mate-volume-control-applet in the notification-area, click "Sound Preferences" -- to open mate-volume-control, and increase output volume to 130% or higher.
Still, I notice sound is consistently higher in youtube videos / flash in plugin-container of firefox, than desktop applications using pulseaudio.
So I installed "pavucontrol" (PulseAudio Volume Control), and there's hope. I can also boost sound of running applications, to around 130% without losing much sound quality.
However, unlike applications that use the alsa plug-in (ex. flash in ff's plugin-container), I lose the amplification I set in pavucontrol if I lower volume in the respective application and increase it back to 100%.
To explain further: Suppose I set "Alsa Plug-in [plugin-container]" to 150%. I can lower and increase volume in flash, and it doesn't change what I set in pavucontrol for it, so the amplification on the whole volume range in flash is persistent, which is great! Now there's actually a use for volume levels lower than 80%, at least in flash.
But, after I set Banshee (which uses pulseaudio) to 150% in pavucontrol, lower volume in Banshee, then increase it back to 100%, it will be reset to 100% in pavucontrol. i.e. I lose the amplification I set for it in pavucontrol, and I'd have to reopen it (pavucontrol) to get that amplification back. This is of course very annoying, and I'd greatly appreciate any solution/workaround for it.
Edit: Changing the output-volume in mate-volume-control changes both the alsa plug-in and banshee levels (provided they're still open) to the same level. So if set to 100%, both the latter will be set to 100%. Change to 130%, both will follow, to 130%. Change the volume independently in the apps, flash will maintain the amplification, banshee won't. Hope this makes sense.
Pic showing differences between pavucontrol and mate-volume-control (the latter missing the much-needed amplification present in pavucontrol):
If it matters:
# cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | grep Codec
Codec: Conexant CX20590
Codec: Intel PantherPoint HDMI
Obviously I'm not the only one with this codec and low volume issue in alsa: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... ug/1001678
# dpkg -l *pulse* | grep ^ii && dpkg -l *alsa* | grep ^ii
ii gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio:amd64 0.10.31-3 GStreamer plugin for PulseAudio
ii libpulse-mainloop-glib0:amd64 2.0-3 PulseAudio client libraries (glib support)
ii libpulse0:amd64 2.0-3 PulseAudio client libraries
ii mate-media-pulse 1.4.0-1+wheezy MATE media utilities (PulseAudio backend)
ii mate-settings-daemon-pulse 1.4.0-2+wheezy daemon handling the MATE session settings (PulseAudio version)
ii pulseaudio 2.0-3 PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-module-gconf 2.0-3 GConf module for PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-module-x11 2.0-3 X11 module for PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-utils 2.0-3 Command line tools for the PulseAudio sound server
ii vlc-plugin-pulse 1:2.0.2-dmo3 PulseAudio plugin for VLC
ii alsa-base 1.0.23+dfsg-4 ALSA driver configuration files
ii alsa-utils 1.0.25-3 Utilities for configuring and using ALSA
ii gstreamer0.10-alsa:amd64 0.10.36-1 GStreamer plugin for ALSA