2010/6/18 Bearcat M. :
The alsamixer colors are, as you suspected, simply preprogrammed and
don't in themselves say anything about how the sound would sound or
whether the card is being overdriven. Whether a given card experiences
clipping or power supply related issues is based on how much headroom
the design has.
In your tests have you accounted for Fletcher-Munson? If not please do
and then re-report your results.
If you have accounted for Fletcher-Munson then possibly there's
something in the card design that makes a difference but I suspect
that until you get sound volume levels up to around 80db (measured
with a good db SPL meter) that you may be 'hearing the human ear'...
Just a guess. (NOTE: an 80 db SPL is considerably louder than I
normally listen but I can attest that it does sound noticeably
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