VOGONS


First post, by hard1k

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Hey guys,

There are several highly praised prototype cards that never got it to the market, but are present in some private collections. The most famous is the 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000 AGP, and its "retail box" was replicated by a vogoneer from Canada (although the artwork used would correspond to the Voodoo 5 5000, but that's not that important).

Another pearl of this kind (however much less frequent) is the Aureal SQ3500 Turbo, and its retail package could only be found on a picture from the Comdex '99:

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The only other picture was at some moment posted on the Aureal webpage:

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Well, it actually was true until this moment - when I got my SQ3500 2 years ago, I knew that I would end up replicating its allegedly "original" retail packaging and all its contents.
Of course, there were several steps to consider:
0. Recollection - getting all available artwork for the SQ3500 Turbo and reading the available text under magnifier 😁
1. Investigation - a close look at both retail boxes that Aureal did manage to design (SQ1500 and SQ2500), finding similarities and differences, thus identifying the unknown parts of the SQ3500 Turbo box to be reconstructed.
2. Assumption - looking into all available press-releases and information materials available for all three products (SQ1500, SQ2500, SQ3500 Turbo) in order to get a clue about what text they might have put on the box if they had ever got to it.
3. Compilation - drafting the exact task for the designer, with all available artwork, graphics (vector and raster), text (reconstructed, copied and drafted from available sources).
4. Investment - hunting down a complete-in-box SQ2500 (it finally showed up in Sweden, was quite a difficult deal I should say) that was needed to get high resolution scans of all sides.
5. Negotiation - finding a good designer with a brilliant portfolio and closing the contract.
6. Logistics - the designer and the SQ2500 box are in Russia (but in different cities), and I'm in Argentina with only 1 overnight stay in Russia. And another SQ2500 box is very hard to find, so quite difficult part as well.
7. Supervision - the easiest part (but that's thanks to the great designer I found, no problems here).
8. Correction - just did that already.
9. Production - will produce a single box (as I don't know any other owner of the SQ3500 Turbo).
10. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
I'm currently on the item 8 - rather close to the end, heh.

Please have a look (this is not yet final, only the first draft - there are several misprints and other minor errors, so please consider this as work in progress that is somewhat ready to be shown to the community):

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So, let me suggest 3 subtopics for this discussion:
0. Your opinion about the project.
1. What other unreleased prototypes that are somewhat present in our collections do deserve the redesigned "semi-original" retail packaging? Please keep in mind that we have to have at least some idea about what the original packaging might have been.
2. What released hardware does deserve a complete replica of the original retail packaging? Adlib Gold 1000 and GUS ACE come to my mind first.
3. What DIY enthusiast hardware does deserve a newly designed retail packaging? ARGUS and some Dreamblaster devices are the first on my list.

Last edited by hard1k on 2017-10-30, 20:18. Edited 2 times in total.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 2 of 14, by hard1k

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Anyone is welcome, do you also have an SQ3500?

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 4 of 14, by hard1k

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Extremely difficult - much harder than getting a V56k. That's why I didn't really bother to crowdfund my project.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 6 of 14, by hard1k

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Thanks! 😀

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 7 of 14, by hard1k

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Hey guys, after these 3 years I have an update 😀
The original designer left the project on the way, just lost interest or something.
And after a long yet very pleasant and successful cooperation with Batyra, let me present you this:

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The design is done, the quest for the print shop begins!

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 9 of 14, by hard1k

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Sure! I think it'll go through at least one prototype printing in order to further align it with the original SQ1500 and SQ2500 boxes. So, if I keep the current pace, I will get to the final version just to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aureal's bankruptcy 😁 😁 😁

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 10 of 14, by Doornkaat

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That's certainly a labour of love and I don't mean to be rude but I'd be much more interested in the card/the daughterboard. Could you do a Q&A thread?
Some Qs to start off with: 😉
Did you ever get the combo to run? How is driver support? What are the real world merits compared to the SQ2500 alone? Does the hardware acceleration actually make a difference (on slow or fast systems)?
I could find some (partially contradictory) info on the matter online but I would really love some first hand report on this card/combo if you find the time to do so. 😃

Reply 11 of 14, by hard1k

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Hi there!
Thanks for your questions! Well, to be honest, due to the real life issues my collection is stored too far away from my actual place of residence. So, I only have a couple of days per year to mess with it, and there are always more important retro HW related tasks than the real testing of my SQ3500. I mean, I've been planning to test it since I acquired it back in 2015, but never could find time or opportunity. But one day I will, I promise 😀
In fact, when I got it, I asked similar questions myself and got this reply:

ZanQuance wrote on 2015-09-20, 20:16:

You should be able to test the stratdsp provided in the 2050beta drivers and see if you get a DolbyDigital tab in the Aureal control panel. A3DVerb would also be done on the Daughterboard hardware rather than in the A3DAPI via software. I took a look into the Daughterboards microcode (stratdsp) and it looked rather incomplete, but my disassembly was far from perfect. So the only way to know for sure is to test it on the real thing, and considering how rare those boards are...

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 12 of 14, by Doornkaat

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hard1k wrote on 2020-10-19, 12:09:
Hi there! Thanks for your questions! Well, to be honest, due to the real life issues my collection is stored too far away from m […]
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Hi there!
Thanks for your questions! Well, to be honest, due to the real life issues my collection is stored too far away from my actual place of residence. So, I only have a couple of days per year to mess with it, and there are always more important retro HW related tasks than the real testing of my SQ3500. I mean, I've been planning to test it since I acquired it back in 2015, but never could find time or opportunity. But one day I will, I promise 😀
In fact, when I got it, I asked similar questions myself and got this reply:

ZanQuance wrote on 2015-09-20, 20:16:

You should be able to test the stratdsp provided in the 2050beta drivers and see if you get a DolbyDigital tab in the Aureal control panel. A3DVerb would also be done on the Daughterboard hardware rather than in the A3DAPI via software. I took a look into the Daughterboards microcode (stratdsp) and it looked rather incomplete, but my disassembly was far from perfect. So the only way to know for sure is to test it on the real thing, and considering how rare those boards are...

Oh man, I know far too well how collecting hardware and testing/utilising it are two very different animals; especially with stuff that probably won't just work out of the box.😅
Still great if you ever get around to test and share your results with us. 👍 My current reliable info is basically just what you posted: In theory it may work to some extend but we need somebody to test the darn thing before we know for sure.
Thanks for your reply and have a good one!

Reply 13 of 14, by Batyra

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Thanks hard1k for this opportunity- that was really a challenge and great fun to work with!
Hope to make more replicas in the future...

Honestly I thought of Intel Tillamook 266 box... as the fastest socket 7 CPU from Intel.

Visit my website: http://www.collection.batyra.pl
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Reply 14 of 14, by hard1k

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It's happening!

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New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)