Ok, enough is enough. You gotta help me out.
I can't be the only person running Linux on a Lenovo Thinkpad T410 (Conexant CX20585) that has audio volume problems. How is it that I've owned this machine for 6+ months and have tried kernel upon kernel, scoured message boards, compiled alsa from trunk, tweaked endless permutations of snd-intel-hda kernel module options, yet still can't get a reasonable audio volume from this Intel HDA audio card on my T410!? It's unthinkable!
I know, I know, the driver is still relatively "new", and the good work that *has* been done has been based on hacking some undocumented codecs without support from the manufacturers...but come on! Output volume is critical!
You see, sound works just fine...but the output power is lacking. Something, somewhere, is preventing the output amplifier from being turned on or otherwise being configured correctly. I have to *crank* the alsa master and pcm output to 100% for music or movies to even be listenable, and even then it's not quiet loud enough. Thinkpads are still considered "good", Linux friendly laptops, so how is it that people are living with this problem? Certainly I can't be the only one!
I've tinkered with hda-analyzer and hda-verb, and have some vague indication that an output amplifier is muted, but there's no apparent way to enable it.
I guess its time to dig in and try and grok the source...but I kinda dread it. Don't get me wrong, I love hacking source and learning and trying things, but sometimes I just want stuff to work. I assumed 5 or 6 years ago that the "oooooh, audio on Linux is so *hard*" problem had been solved...but I guess I was wrong. After so many years of ALSA "just working" and doing what I needed, I guess it is actually a problem again...and that sucks.
If you have any insights into this issue or want to steer me down a path, please send me an email...otherwise wish me luck.