Sound cards - from best to worst

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby fillosaurus » 2010-2-12 @ 23:03

I got sound-crazed in the past 2 months and aquired a lot of (mainly) PCI soundcards. Up to several months ago I had just 5 PCI cards: 1 SB Dead!, 2 Vortex 1 (Genius Soundmaker 64 and Aztech PCI 338) and 2 ESS Solo (Terratec OEM and a no name).
Now I have a lot more: 2 SB PCI 128, 1 ForteMedia FM801, 1 Crystal 4280, 3 Yamahas (724, 744, 754) and the afore mentioned Philips PSC703.
Received today an ESS 1788 ISA and I have ordered one of those DB60XG clones.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby ux-3 » 2010-2-13 @ 11:56

I have read through Gerwins list but still have a few problems:

I have a couple of cards with a daughter bord connector, that is too close to the bottom for my boards to fit. Is there any practical solution?

Gervin lists some cards with WBH (Waveblaster header), some with MPU-401. In order to use a DB50XG, do I need both?

I was considering an ESS1868 with an DB50XG, but I am not sure if this would work. Gervin doesn't list MPU-401 for the terratec gold 16/96.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby gerwin » 2010-2-13 @ 14:48

ux-3 wrote:I have read through Gerwins list but still have a few problems:
I have a couple of cards with a daughter bord connector, that is too close to the bottom for my boards to fit. Is there any practical solution?
You mean this issue, and my workaround at the last post;
Vogons: The Yamaha OPL YMF718-S chipset

ux-3 wrote:Gerwin lists some cards with WBH (Waveblaster header), some with MPU-401. In order to use a DB50XG, do I need both?

I was considering an ESS1868 with an DB50XG, but I am not sure if this would work. Gervin doesn't list MPU-401 for the terratec gold 16/96.

You have to read the list like this, look up the card first, e.g.:
Gold 16/96: ESS 1868, WBH, IDE (brown PCB, gold colored backplane)

Then as the chipset is listed, go to the ESS chipset list and see what it says:
ES1868: Controller+Codec 16-bit 44KHz, Integr. OPL3 clone, MPU-401, PnP, dual joystick, Full-duplex, IDE


So in many cases I don't go repeating all features of a card when I can just refer to the chipset.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2010-4-04 @ 15:28

Does anyone here has a Soundscape Elite? How does it sound? Is it just as good as SC-55 or different?
I already have a SC-55, MU-50, CM-64 and I'd like to fine something "new" and different, just to try.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2010-4-04 @ 18:51

Great Hierophant wrote:I have recently thought of this topic again. I would like to make a few points:
A GUS (ACE) is also highly recommended, as is an intelligent mode-supporting MPU-401 interface card.


Intelligent mode is needed for MT-32 games. But GUS ACE doesn't have a midi port at all. So what did you mean by that? :)
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby ratfink » 2010-4-06 @ 09:30

I think the quote you are referring to was not specifically about midi. The ace model was designed to run alongside an sb with few/no conflicts. So you get gus support with less headaches. And a gus ace can play midi files.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2010-4-20 @ 16:08

What are the prices on Roland LAPC-I and SCC-1 on ebay.com now? If you'd see them ofcourse :)
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby lastninja » 2010-4-24 @ 14:06

I have an RME Hammerfall 9652 which was quite cheap to get on ebay - it's a bit of an old card, but does the job for me.. but I use onboard sound for all my dosbox and games, as its more a recording/production sound card.

I've had issues with older Creative cards going corrupt since so old - then giving me lots of blue screens, then driver corruptions.

So onboard for me.. plus my Hammerfall is my baby, I wouldn't dare put some other soundcard next to it in my PCI .. not to mention my PCI is already full hehe.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Sephoude » 2010-4-25 @ 02:00

im soooo lost ,,maybe i can find help here ..all i want is to play warcraft 2 on windows vista (pulls last bit of hair i had outa my head)
i know nothing about computers im just a game player so if sombody could help me ....
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby robertmo » 2010-4-25 @ 05:10

so start a thread in a proper place first
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby gabrielnoah » 2010-6-08 @ 10:57

ASUS Xonar DX ($79.99) or HT Omega Striker ($99.99). Blows the old ExtremeGamer out of the water, quite frnakly.

My list of recommended cards:
ASUS:
Xonar DX
Xonar D2/D2X
Essence ST/STX
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby CrisGer » 2010-6-19 @ 03:10

Swaye thanks so much that is an EXCELLENT summary

I want to put in a special word for :

Wavetable Synthesizer Modules:
•Roland MT-32
•Roland CM-32L

Kyrandia I ..one of my favorite games of all time had a wonderful sound set up using the Roland, WESTWOOD was really trying some amazing things:

This single soundtrack CD features the original "Legend of Kyrandia 1- Fables and Fiends" Roland MT-32 soundtrack, with Roland Sound Canvas SC-55mkII, Roland SC-8850 ED and Yamaha MU100R XG enhancements (primarily, the MT-32 and SC-8850 mixed together)! *

Here is the original sound track recorded on authentic "period" cards and systems for Kyrnandia to give you a flavour.

http://www.sierramusiccentral.com/lok1cd/
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby DOS_Boy » 2010-6-19 @ 04:18

This Genius Sound Maker, is this a good card? I have one laying around, it is PCI. Just want to know if it is worth a try.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Anonymous Freak » 2010-6-19 @ 07:23

Well, first off, "Microsoft Windows Sound System" is Windows' generic sound card driver, not really any particular card.


Yeah, I know, I'm replying to a five-year-old post, but...

I beg to differ. While "Windows Sound System" was meant to be a standard that many sound cards could adhere to; Microsoft did make a reference card of the same name.

How do I know?

Image

(I have the box lying around somewhere, too.)
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2010-6-19 @ 13:53

I was meaning to ask about the actual Microsoft Windows Sound System cards. Supposedly with the right software driver, these can emulate SB Pro and SB16 in DOS (driver versions 2.0 and 3.0 respectively). Does anybody have first hand experience with one of these boards. I am wondering about the size of the TSR and the level of SB compatibility.

Also of note, these cards appear to have real OPL3 chips.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby h-a-l-9000 » 2010-6-19 @ 14:17

The AD1848 itself has no soundblaster emulation capabilities. I.e. the Opti 82c929 chip provides the SB interface and is used together with an AD184x so it can also do WSS. The card depicted above doesn't have another chip that looks smart so it can only do WSS.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2010-6-20 @ 02:18

From what I understand, the windows sound system card can infact emulate sound blaster through software. Supposedly the 1.0 driver release allows it only through a dos box in windows 3.1. The 2.0 driver is supposed to emulate SB Pro under DOS in real mode only. Supposedly the 3.0 driver can emulate SB16 under DOS, though I'm not sure if it works with extender games or not.

The driver is supposed to be called "WSSXLAT.EXE". I don't own one of these cards, but somebody who does should look into it.

*EDIT*

It seems that a post I read about a v3.0 driver is not correct. There are drivers 1.0, 1.0a, and 2.0. It seems the problem with the emulation problem arises from the fact that you need to load a special version of EMM386 in order to run WSSXLAT. Games that use their own memory management can't use the WSS.

But I am wondering, is it possible for both SB Pro and real WSS card to coexist in a system? It sounds like a pretty useful combination.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Great Hierophant » 2010-6-20 @ 15:13

But I am wondering, is it possible for both SB Pro and real WSS card to coexist in a system? It sounds like a pretty useful combination.


For digital sound capabilities, you sure can if you have enough free resources. However, they both have OPL capabilities, and assuming they are in the same location (388h/389h) on each card, this could lead to issues with Adlib detection programs.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby CosmoJoe2 » 2010-6-28 @ 02:18

Hi Folks,

Does anyone have any comments or firsthand experience with the original Soundblaster Audigy card? I am thinking of putting this into a retro box that will be running Win98SE, and playing Glide games from the Need for Speed II SE era (97-98).
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby sliderider » 2010-6-29 @ 22:23

swaaye wrote:
Anonymous wrote:AWE64 ISA > *


Not if you have a SB32 or AWE32 with 8MB+ of RAM :) Creative went into ultra-marketing mode with the AWE64 and built expensive custom RAM modules that you can hardly find anymore.


Isn't it amazing what you can find when you look hard enough?

http://simmconn.tripod.com/ :wink:
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