The older alsa version sort of worked, but the driver and the hardware clearly had a few disagreements. The main problem was that the volume level (with all mixer channels fully juiced) was about half of what was achievable in windows, really only an issue when listening to music or watching a dvd.
Well, I successfully compiled all the alsa packages but was greeted by this ugly mess:
# modprobe snd-hda-intel
WARNING: Error inserting snd (/lib/modules/22.214.171.124/kernel/sound/acore/snd.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)
WARNING: Error inserting snd_timer (/lib/modules/126.96.36.199/kernel/sound/acore/snd-timer.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)
WARNING: Error inserting snd_pcm (/lib/modules/188.8.131.52/kernel/sound/acore/snd-pcm.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)
FATAL: Error inserting snd_hda_intel (/lib/modules/184.108.40.206/kernel/sound/pci/hda/snd-hda-intel.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)
I spent a while on scroogle and from what I can understand the kernel drivers are different from the alsa-driver package and cannot be used together, meaning I need to recompile the kernel with alsa disabled.
How did you manage to get around having to do that, Headacher?