The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby Ageve » 2018-8-10 @ 21:52

Not sure if this is the right thread, but I recorded a few samples of the OPL-emulation
on Creative AudioPCI 128, aka Soundblaster 16 PCI or Vibra 128.

It's so bad, it's funny. But the OPL sound is still better than the PCM/Soundblaster
compatibility (most games crash or distort the sound).

The card works better in Windows.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby flecom » 2018-9-30 @ 06:23

this is pretty awesome, is there a db like this for comparing midi sound modules?
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby Salient » 2018-10-02 @ 14:24

Kind of. :)

See my signature.
MIDI comparison website: << >>
(Always) looking for: Any Wavetable daughterboard, MIDI Module (GM/GS/XG)
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2018-11-02 @ 13:57

Does the Sound blaster CT2230 play MIDI files in DOS mode ?
Is it better than the Sound Blaster Pro-2 or AWE64 ?
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-11-06 @ 16:21

For software that uses the MPU-401 interface to output MIDI, the CT2230 will require an external module or device (such as a PC with a software synth) for MIDI sound. As for their strengths and weaknesses, here's a few.

The CT2230 and AWE64 both support 16 bit / 44.1 khz playback (most useful for Windows and a handful of specific DOS programs). Both these cards don't support all SB Pro 2 audio modes, although the real value of this is still being debated.
The AWE64 has the EMU MIDI synthesis engine onboard (most useful for Windows, although it does function in DOS and is even used directly by a handful of games).
Both the SB Pro 2 and CT2230 have an accurate OPL3 implementation onboard for FM synthesis.
SB 16 cards including the AWE64 have some noise/distortion issues, although the AWE64 is generally better for this.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby martinot » 2019-2-20 @ 12:54

MaxWar wrote:
The Sound blaster 16 CT2290!!![/size]


Allright, I wrote a nice little review of it on the Grand Opl3 Comparison run page, but as usual, let the sound samples speak for themselves.
Update your collection now:

I still invite you to go and visit the official page:

But if you are lazy here is the bit i wrote about it.

Alright guys, you like sound blaster cards? Yeah sure I love them too, but I've never been a massive fan. Creative Labs just have too many damn CTnumbers and many of them are somewhat lackluster.
But then I tried CT2290. Now that's a quality sound card!
This makes me forget some of the prejudices I have about creative labs. Looks like they can give you a No-Compromise product when they want to!

Ok, I might be stretching it a bit, Creative labs made a bunch of very cool cards but if you want to invest in a sound blaster 16, this one is a sure value.

Firstly, It has one of the best FM sound i have heard so far. Its on par with cards like the Rock16. Very clean output, wide and clear spectrum range. The FM out of this card will please your ears.

I was actually very troubled deciding if i liked this card or the Rock16 better. They are both of very good acoustic quality but have different default coloration, or default EQ if you prefer. In the end I decided it did not really matter as it amounts to personal taste and you can always EQ them to your need.

I think that the Rock16 might be a little more "natural" sounding but it does not matter, this Card beats the Rock16 as an overall package.

It has superior compatibility. The Rock16 is excellent for a clone card but the CT2290 is a cut above. It worked with the more anal games out there like Comanche maximum overkill and provided a glitch free performance in everything I tried.

Talking about glitches, this card did not exhibit the hanging note symptoms. It has DSP 4.13, which has mixed reports about it however i can vouch that this card passed the Hexen Test with flying colors.

It also has very good digital Audio. I got some very clean results with my digitized sound tests. Its always harder to test old ISA cards for this type of performance using games but I can say its better than your average card. Just listen The Dig, much better than say, the AV303 right? Ok it may not be as clean as the ATI stereo F/x but that does not count.

As usual feel free to comment and add up on it, this project is very much Open :)

Thanks for your great work and initiative! :)

Look like CT2290 might be the card to go for!

Any version of it that supports CMS (or have sockets for the Philips chips needed)?
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby martinot » 2019-2-20 @ 12:57

HighTreason wrote:I had an nForce 2 board with onboard SoundStorm... It never worked right that board.

So far as I remember, the SoundStrom boasted a lot but did not deliver, barely being anything more than the run-of-the-mill ALC650 from that era but at a higher price tag. It did have wavetable synthesis - and I use that term very lightly - but with DLS files which, of course, nobody ever used. I have only ONE replacement DLS file and its samples are not complete.

Wasn't this sound device the one used in the original "teh hueg" XBOX? Gives me more reasons to think I was right not to buy one, PS2 all the way, Gamecube is for losers.

Edit; Love how the "Hueg like XBox" meme is credited to 4Chan... In 2001. I'm not even going to explain why that statement is wrong on so many levels.

I have not own, and not even played on an original Xbox (PS2 I played a lot on at a friends one), but from YouTube videos and Xbox OG users I have not heard about this sound problem issue you say. In what way did you have a problem with it, and how did it manifest?
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby doom666 » 2019-4-13 @ 18:53

Here are some samples for OPTi 82C931 OPTiFM synth:

FPS Games:
Adventure Games:
Various games:

IMO it sounds decent in most cases.
And remember: CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just 4 hours.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-17 @ 06:15

Here are recordings of how the Fortemedia FM801 chip's FM synthesis sounds: ... -synthesis
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