Need a guide on how NOT to use Pulseaudio on Manjaro Cinnamon

I’m currently running Manjaro Cinnamon on a system with a Sound Blaster ZxR. The card works fine, but I’m having a minor problem with Pulseaudio, that I cannot really switch between Line Out and Headphones from there (using Cinnamon’s sound settings UI). I must switch it using alsamixer as the toggle there is the one that really works. However, the settings done in alsamixer don’t survive across reboots, means I need to manually toggle the output settings every boot whenever needed.

Additionally, it appears using Pulseaudio is generally not a good idea with this card as it doesn’t map the controls correctly (the issue existed since day one). As the driver focuses mainly on using only ALSA, I’m considering removing Pulseaudio to use ALSA exclusively, preferrably with a GUI application to change ALSA options and hope it would stay across reboots this way.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be easy, either, as from this relatively old post on Mint forum, Cinnamon appears to depend on Pulseaudio and removing Pulseaudio would remove Cinnamon along with it. Not sure if apulse can be used to replace this dependency and I’m not really sure about its compatibility.