Asus N75SF, external subwoofer and alsa

Asus N75SF turned out to be a pretty cool piece of hardware.
However, subwoofer didn’t work out of the box. So time to open up kate and hack the support for it.

The following patch adds a new model: asus-n75sf, set it as a parameter to intel-hda module and you are good to go.

Or in modprobe.d
options hda-intel model=asus-n75sf

Other features include:

* Automute toggling for headphone plug
* HP jack retasking for mic-in/hp-out/line-out/line-in.
* Subwoofer amp toggling (off in 2 channel mode => saves battery)
* LFE volume regulation
Those retarded ‘genius’ guys from asus decided to wire the internal mic to the jack on the codec that can be configured as line-out, while external mic can only work as a mic.

Sensing of subwoofer presense doesn’t work either. I just couldn’t make sense how it works: it’s not acpi, not codec’s GPIO, not regular pin presense of PIN 0x16.
The draft patch is here. I didn’t yet test line-in, mic-in. SPDIF is muxed with hp-out (see youtube videos). Dond’t have hardware to test. Never used it actually. Obligatory screenshot:

For upmixing K900 made this asoundrc. Lot’s of kudos to him.

pcm.upmix21 {
type route
slave.pcm surround41
slave.channels 5
ttable.0.0 1
ttable.1.1 1
ttable.0.4 0.5
ttable.1.4 0.5

pcm.!default upmix21

The lucky guys using agilia linux will have this patch shipped with the next kernel update.
This patch also works for N55SF, proved by K900.

P.S. You’d better not even boot the preinstalled shit called Win7HP. I couldn’t get my money back for it (Thanks to morons from russian ‘АСК-Сервис’ ). I don’t know if asus has any Q&A, or if this is considered usable. Compared to KDE4 the GUI is damn unresponsive. After I realized I’m not getting my money back for that shit, I booted it and wasted an hour tuning it. Disabling aero, removing tons of bloatware (32-bit in parts on a 64 bit system – way to go!) it didn’t get me any better. Still crappy gui with zero usability for anything more serious than giving skyrim a try.

8 thoughts on “Asus N75SF, external subwoofer and alsa

  1. Hello…

    What distro are you using ?

    I was trying to install Mint 12, no way to do it, neither with DVD, nor with USB, because of the Optimus architecture. I tried to install in another computer, then switch my harddrive into that computer : blackscreen…

    Also, thanks a lot for that tutorial, it will help me when I will figure out how to install mint…

  2. Also, for the S/PDIF out, it is like many other computer in the market (same jack as hp-out). It’s working as-is if it is snd-hda-intel.

  3. I’m currently using Agilia Linux 8 (Which already has this patch shipped along with the kernel in `stable`), had no big problems installing although haven’t yet set up bumblebee. Intel works just fine for now.

  4. Oh, okay, did not see for “agilia”.

    Also, Mint 12 won’t let me install it at all, because it searches for a screen on the nvidia card… Which has no physical screen attached…

    Have to find a way to bypass this in the install disc.

    Maybe I will install Arch, or maybe compile everything from source… Dunno.

    Thanks a lot.

  5. Hey, sorry to annoy you again.

    I (finally) managed to recompile the kernel, applied the patch and installed the stuff.

    When I put the subwoofer in, I now ear slight noise coming from it.

    I putted snd-hda-intel model=asus-n75sf in the alsa-base.conf.

    alsactl init gives me the right module (alc_663).

    alsamixer gives me many more options (surround, lfe, s/pdif, mic jack source & amp, …).

    …but the upmix does not seem to work at all. Even with the whole pcm.dmixed config… Nor does any 5.1 or 2.1 file…

    Any idea ?

    1. Hm, there goes my current config for dmixing:
      There’s also an issue. If you have N55SF – then it’s not LFE, but digital as K900 pointed out. Try the config with
      mplayer -ao alsa:device=upmix21 somefile.mp3

  6. For the dmixing, I had this exactly too.

    I think the problem comes from Arch linux, seems Alsa uses pulseaudio as “final renderer”………

    Gonna try to uninstall pulse, and download/build alsa from scratch.

  7. Okay, I managed to get the sound in the subwoofer, by going in alsamixer, then selecting “3ch” instead of 2.

    …But the subwoofer takes sound only from the right channel… not from the left. It’s not really disturbing but may become when playing kinda one-sided sounds.

    Other way to get it running correctly is setting my alsa to 4.1 or 5.1 channels. This way the subwoofer is working in its separate channel…

    …but this is useless, as I always connect my laptop to the 7.1 home cinema when I watch movies, so the sub is unused…

    Gonna try some workarounds.

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