First post, by retro games 100

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My head is spinning ATM about thinking of all of the really cool old ISA sound cards ... that I don't own! 😢 🤣

So, I'm taking a break from this research (just for a day or two!), and want to think a little bit about good ol' Windows 98.

Which leads me on to the subject of the Terratec DMX6 sound card - does anyone know if it's worth getting? I have an Audigy 2 ZS, but what the heck, it's always nice to buy from the 'opposition' as well! 😉

Reply 3 of 10, by rumbadumba

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There's a very positive review of the DMX6 on guru3d.

From the look of it, its kind-of an updated EWS64XL, which I have and which is just brilliant for tinkering with (and good sound too).

Reply 4 of 10, by Targaff

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I've got a DMX 6fire with a DB-50XG in the breakout. It's really, really good: I have had a couple of minor driver issues, but I suspect this was related to installing them via nlite rather than the usual way. Other than that it sounds faboo.

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Reply 7 of 10, by bestemor

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Hmm, those look xpencive !

I got this Terratec EWS64 XL (ISA, with front module)... not sure how this one compares to the DMX 6fire ?
'rumbadumba' says something about the 6fire looks like an "updated" version of the XL (?)

Seems to have a MIDI connector in the frontmodule, but haven't had time to test any of it yet...

Which one of the 2 is best for retro machines ?

And, compared to cards like TB Santa Cruz, ESI Juli@, Onkyo PCI200, M-Audio2496 etc, how does it fare on 'modern' computers/systems (XP) ?
(gaming AND just music)

BTW, here's a new release ! :


Reply 8 of 10, by Silent Loon

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Just in short what I know:

- DMX 6 fire is pci, 64xl is isa
- Codec chip on ews64xl is Crystal CS-423X (I'm not sure if it is 4232, 4236 or - most likely CS4237 - EWS64S has an Analog Devices 1816 chip) which should be 100% SBPro compatible (and from my experience is).
- I don't know the DMX6 fire, but EWS64 series comes with a program that lets you initialize and configure the card under plain dos, and also load up (terratec-) soundfonts and complex mixersettings (including effects) and use them in dos. That's a rare feature I guess. Also SNR and general sound quality is far ahead of most if not all other ISA soundcards, AWE64 included. However it is not easy to configure the card (the best way to do this is from win98) and there are also issues about using a wavetable daughterboard (in the front-modul) within dosgames (soundblaster/ digital effects seem to mute, perhaps also together with CD-music). The question is if you really need a daughterboard in plain dos (I think in win98 it works), as the onboard synth sounds really good and is GM/GS compatible.
Both cards don't have a real Yamaha OPL3 onboard, but the EWS64 does fm quite well.
DMX 6fire is based on VIA Envy24 chip and has advanced converters with far better SNR than every EWS64. I've read somewhere, that this chip is still SBPro compatible, but I fear no manufacturer uses this feature.
So the DMX 6fire seems to be a good option to play old games with dosbox, also because you can attach a midi daughterboard in the break-out box / front-modul. I f you use the latest drivers, you can also use your EWS64 front modul with the DMX 6fire. So if you have the EWS64XL you just have to get a DMX 6fire LT (version without break-out box.)

Last edited by Silent Loon on 2008-12-02, 00:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 10, by Silent Loon

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EWS64S was the budget version, and - yeah it's true - the AD1816 was also used on many crap noname cards. So better get an EWS64XL.
On the other hand I was a long time content with my 64S before I bought the XL version. Maybe the codec is not all? It still seems to be a lot better than the AWE64 standard version:

And here are some measurments of the XL compared to other cards: