VOGONS


Sound Blaster 16 Clones

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Reply 80 of 224, by jwt27

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Nice timing! I just found one of these cards on my sound card stack and was about to try it when you posted this! 🤣

Also if by "fake OPL3" you mean that LS262 chip, I'm pretty sure that's the IDE CD-ROM controller. The OPL clone is integrated into the ALS100 chip.

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Reply 81 of 224, by gerwin

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There is no IDE connector soldered to my card, just solder spots for it. I have the LS262 there, with a small companion chip. I still think this is an OPL with its DAC.

Last edited by gerwin on 2014-02-06, 19:53. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 82 of 224, by jwt27

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That's weird. On this card most of the traces from LS262 lead to the IDE connector. Do you have a picture of your card?

Will post a picture of mine but I'll have to charge the camera battery first...

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Reply 83 of 224, by gerwin

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Yes, here it is.

The ALS100 datasheet-set says things like this:
"provided by the built-in support for external Yamaha OPL3 FM synthesizer"

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Reply 84 of 224, by jwt27

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Looks very different from mine. Where did you find the ALS100 datasheet?

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Reply 86 of 224, by jwt27

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Oh, wow. Obscure file formats. Will see if I can find a way to read it.

I did find this: www.eserviceinfo.com/downloadsm/4006/Av ... LS100.html
If I'm reading this right, an easy way to check if it's an OPL3 clone would be to check if pin 8 on the "OPL3" is connected to 58 on ALS100, which is not the case on my card. But then this schematic might be for ALS200 only.

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Reply 87 of 224, by jwt27

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I can't find a way to open these files, unless I download and install a trial version of some huge Adobe program - and even then I don't know if it will read these old file formats. If you're able to open the datasheets, could you convert them to something more common like PDF for me? 😀

Here are some pictures of my card:

ldbe.jpg

1lvy.jpg

Somehow I can't get it to work. BIOS detects and identifies the card correctly, but the drivers don't, saying an ALS110 card is not installed. This is using the "ALS100plus" drivers found on vogonsdrivers.com. Do I need different drivers for ALS100?

edit: nevermind, I found some other drivers that do work. Now let's see if it's any good...

First impressions:
I am NOT impressed. This must be the noisiest card I ever heard. In many cases the noise can even be heard over the actual sound!
Besides, it sounds muffled and there's no bass at all - as if I swapped my headphones for tin cans. I think "cheap" would be a good word to describe the overall sound.

I can confirm its SB16 functionality, and the OPL clone seems accurate... But that's the only good thing I can say about it. Seriously, this card makes my ears hurt!

Something very unusual I noticed is that adtrack2 produces complete garbage on this card. I don't know what it's trying to do, but it doesn't even remotely resemble music.

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Reply 88 of 224, by gerwin

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If you look up cards with CMI8329A chip you will also see the same Fake OPL chip next to it (predecessor of the CMI8330). On some soundcards there is a chip 'DSP24S', which is also known as being an OPL3 clone.

Don't think there is any way to properly open these ALS100 documents without Framemaker 4, like you said. I don't have enough interest to do that.
Yeah the weak signal and noise level are a real show stopper. It did not make my ears hurt though, just not that enjoyable.
So I guess we can conclude that all cards with an ALS100 chip are flawed in this regard. To the point that there is no reason for wanting to use one.
But credit where credit is due; the combined SB, SB2.0, SBPro, SB16 and MPU401 compatibility seems better then creative ever managed to get it (cause it retains proper stereo and has no hanging notes/slowdowns in TIE Fighter).

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Reply 89 of 224, by jwt27

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gerwin wrote:

If you look up cards with CMI8329A chip you will also see the same Fake OPL chip next to it (predecessor of the CMI8330). On some soundcards there is a chip 'DSP24S', which is also known as being an OPL3 clone.

I know another one: LSI-525, found on an Opti 82C929A based card.

gerwin wrote:

Don't think there is any way to properly open these ALS100 documents without Framemaker 4, like you said. I don't have enough interest to do that.
Yeah the weak signal and noise level are a real show stopper. It did not make my ears hurt though, just not that enjoyable.
So I guess we can conclude that all cards with an ALS100 chip are flawed in this regard. To the point that there is no reason for wanting to use one.

I'm wondering if this noisy signal is caused by the ALS100 chip itself, or is added somewhere in the analog part. It does sound a bit like DAC noise but most of it is certainly bus noise. Perhaps the noise levels could be improved by replacing the analog parts with higher quality components, which could make these cards much more useful.

gerwin wrote:

But credit where credit is due; the combined SB, SB2.0, SBPro, SB16 and MPU401 compatibility seems better then creative ever managed to get it (cause it retains proper stereo and has no hanging notes/slowdowns in TIE Fighter).

I must say though that stereo was reversed for me in Duke3D.

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Reply 90 of 224, by gerwin

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jwt27 wrote:

I must say though that stereo was reversed for me in Duke3D.

SB Pro mode right? In SB Pro mode stereo is often reversed because there were conflicting specifications/implementations with the original SB Pro. DOS SB Pro drivers are usually accompanied with a swap stereo option because of that. I meant proper stereo in comparison with a SB16/AWE card, which will fall back to mono in SB Pro mode.

jwt27 wrote:

Perhaps the noise levels could be improved by replacing the analog parts with higher quality components, which could make these cards much more useful.

It only goes so far. There is just one additional chip on my card, on the right, I wonder what it does.

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Reply 91 of 224, by Mithloraite

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gerwin wrote:
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Seller 'lusoturbo' was so kind to give me an Avance Logic ALS100 soundcard, as a bonus. Next to the CMI8330 this is the only hardware SB16 clone I know... I tested it yesterday, and was finished with it in record time.
Apparently the card works in DOS without any drivers. Just needed to figure out where the PnP BIOS had put it, then do a SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 T6.
-Compatibility seems excellent: SB, SB Pro and SB16.
-High DMA 5 is functional.
-SB16 Mixer works with it.
-It has a fake OPL3 chip on the card, which sounds OK.

May I ask if you have found a SB-16 clone with a "real" Yamaha, which turned to be a remarked fake? 😕

Normally as I understand it all SB-16 clones simply have some third-party chips, obviously not by Yamaha. Or just integrate their FM into the main chip.
Faking a real Yamaha chip with a wrongly marked third-party one, does that villainy really happen?

I thought that if we normally see a 'Yamaha OPL' -stamped chip, it is really a Yamaha OPL.
Finding that some are indeed fakes... Oh, it might be a thing quite intolerable 😳

P.S. Some obscure off-brand SBclone makers could do that I suppose.
I don't believe in their good conscience 😵

Perfection is the key. Fatality is the key. (c)

Reply 93 of 224, by gerwin

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You asked the same question before, and I still have not tested it. It is not easy to make a setup just to test this, also considering I don't really care about S/PDIF IN myself.

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Reply 94 of 224, by Mithloraite

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Any other SB-16 clones not described yet in this thread?...
The already treated here 'C-Media Audio Excel' seems mediocre and ALS100 pitiful due to its noise.

I've found a card based on a Diamond Tech DT-0196H chip that seems to support high dma.
present in this famous collection:
www.yjfy.com/images/oldhard/video/dt-0196h.jpg

The driver for this chip has the following strings in its DTSOUND.INI file:
[Resource]
SB16Base=220
SB16IRQ=5
SB16DMA8=1
SB16DMA16=5
MPU401=Enable
MPU401Base=330
MPU401IRQ=9
GAMEPORT=Enabled
ADLIB=Enabled
CDROM=Disabled

So Adlib can be just disabled huh...
BTW this card has a genuine-looking Yamaha FM chip. Though sometimes there is a clone in its place.

Any hopes, any experiences with this?

Perfection is the key. Fatality is the key. (c)

Reply 96 of 224, by Mithloraite

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Thank you for your reply! I suspected as much. Overprinting a clone with a Yamaha logo can happen. I've seen Diamond placing the same label "Model no: MF-009 FC id: J98MF-009" on 4 absolutely different sound cards. Which in no way could be the same model numbers. Their negligence is awful...

With this particular card an obvious clone in place of the Yamaha chip is very frequent.
"FT6116-100" as per this link.
www.ebay.com/itm/Diamond-Technologies-I ... 1380806708

BTW, what's the YAC512 chip?
Is it present on this genuine Aztech model, photo courtesy by Amoretro?
www.amoretro.de/wp-content/uploads/azte ... 16_pro.jpg

Perfection is the key. Fatality is the key. (c)

Reply 97 of 224, by jwt27

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YAC512 is the DAC, in theory it's not required if the CODEC chip has a digital input for YMF262.

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Reply 98 of 224, by Mithloraite

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jwt27 wrote:

YAC512 is the DAC, in theory it's not required if the CODEC chip has a digital input for YMF262.

Thanks! Good question is what's the DT-0196H chip in the first place... And what's its capacity.
As far as I have heard Creative did _not_ license their SB-16 to anyone to strangle the competition. Did Diamond create this chip in secret and place a "Model no: MF-009 FC id: J98MF-009" label (found on various Opti SB-Pro clones) to hide the fact?

please see the reverse photo
www.ebay.de/itm/Diamond-MJ-013R00-MF-00 ... 1291709652

When I get my hands on a 'Yamaha' sample, a recording must be in order... To see what kind of FM it brings to the table.

Perfection is the key. Fatality is the key. (c)

Reply 99 of 224, by PARUS

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I found! In CMI mixer program there is no available settings for option DIG.CD IN and the help screen gives no any information about correct parameters except /VA:xx,xx /C:xx,xx and /R:FA. In documentation there is no any information about it too. I decided to try only one possible way for me - to imagine keys like letters in the CMMIX.COM dialog screen and try, try, try them! It's fortunate, I found parameters for SPDIF IN! To turn on playing from digital in I type CMMIX /DIG:M and to turn on recording I type CMMIX /DIG. 😀

Here is another problem, SPDIF IN on the card doesn't want to work with digital in bracket with SPDIF->TTL converter. I have two different SPDIF brackets, both are same with the negative result. But with primordial TTL-signal (CD-ROM) it works, the sound is available. I'm afraid that other COAX->TTL schemes found in www that I'm going to make will not work too. I would like to know which schemes are most advanced and have a good chance. If somebody knows please give me a link or tell here. Thank you very much!

For information I have measured:
- CD-ROM TTL digital out is about 3 - 5 V
- SPDIF brackets both are about 2,5 V

gerwin, I remember that picture you gave me here. Do you think that is great decision to make TTL signal?