Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

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

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-23 @ 17:11

jesolo do you have the NX Pro in a working computer for testing?
It seems that the NX Pro has the PCM sounds reversed in comparison even to Aztech MM Pro 16.
I would really appreciate if you check this.
Even if you only have Doom or TIE fighter that will do.

I also noticed that the NX Pro is extremely sensitive to the CPU speed maybe because it doesn't have an onboard 14.318MHz oscillator like all other cards do.
I have to disable L1 and L2 to get my Pentium to 386 speed so that Prince of Persia and Supaplex will not freeze.
Are you familiar with this kind of behavior from the NX Pro?

EDIT (Oct 28, 2016):
Actually it is only the Aztech NX Pro which is reversed, all other cards are alright including the CT1330A.
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50539
Last edited by James-F on 2017-5-06 @ 04:40, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-23 @ 17:41

I recently tested the NX Pro with the X-Wing CD setup menu and the stereo is definitely reversed (the Tie Fighter sound is coming from right to left instead of left to right).
The same applies to when I play back MOD files (just using an old MOD player called Inertia Player 1.22) under MS-DOS 6.22 as well as a demo called "Panic" from Future Crew (at the intro section, where you have a panning from left to right, or right to left in the case of this card).

My test system has been an AMD 386DX-40, since this would have been more or less the target system for these older sound cards. However, I briefly tested it with a Pentium Overdrive 83 MHz as well and it exhibited the same symptoms.

Just be aware that Socket 7 motherboards (let alone anything faster than a Pentium 66 MHz) wasn't around by the time that these cards came to the market. So, I wouldn't be surprised if you pick up all kinds of problems with these older sound cards.
I seem to recall that I did, at one time, experience "speed issues" with by Sound Galaxy Basic 16 sound card (which is based on the same generation of sound cards as the NX Pro) in a Pentium MMX 166 MHz system. Hence, why I prefer not to use these older cards in anything faster than a 486 based system.

I'll see if I can test the NX Pro in my AMD K6-2 450 MHz system (I'm currently testing my CT2950 & CT3980 in that system and it's not playing nice with me when I start up DOTT, but I'll discuss this in your other thread).
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-23 @ 17:44

Thanks.
Do you have Doom to test if the sounds are reversed, and Prince of Persia to test if the game freezes?
These are the two most common problems with the SBPro cards, reversed stereo and speed issues.

DOTT actually goes completely crazy with the SBPro2 CT1600 Rev.06 with anything faster than a 486, so I have to disable L1 cache on the Pentium.
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-23 @ 18:38

Yes, I have both the Ultimate Doom (v1.9) and Prince of Persia (played that game extensively on my father's old 386, which is the same one that I used as a test machine).
I'll post my DOTT results in your other thread.
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby Panties » 2016-10-28 @ 02:04

HI Guys,

Just to share, I found an Aztech Modem / Soundcard Hybrid, ATZ2320 Chipset Yesterday. Here's some photos..

The Card:-
Image

Front Part:-
Image

The ATZ2320 Chipset:-
Image


Sorry for the picture blurness, but that's the best shot I can take from my mobile phone.
In my experience, the sound quality from this card.. is not really that good. It has some background Noise (even if I Mute Line In, CD and MIC), it still has some "ssss" noise (But hey, the card is old... so that could also be another reason... *Wear and Tear*)
It's not an entirely a bad card, but I believe, it should had done better..... so im selling it to my friend.

The Modem still works...but these days, we all using Broadband connection....


However, I believe this card is *Rare*, because I never seen a Modem + Soundcard Hybrid Soundcard before.... :) FYI....
User avatar
Panties
Member
 
Posts: 111
Joined: 2016-3-28 @ 09:18

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-28 @ 07:33

The Aztech NX Pro was very popular replacement for the SBPro but it had its stereo Digital sounds reversed to the real Sound Blaster Pro (CT1330A & CT1600), but FM and CD were correct.
This probably generated a lot of confusion back then because its popularity and most probably was the cause of the "Reverse Switch" in some games.
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-28 @ 10:02

Just as a matter of interest.
Apart from using the reverse cable method, couldn't one write a small tsr to "program" the DSP to flip the stereo output of the Sound Blaster Pro part of the NX Pro (or any other card that exhibits reverse stereo on certain games)?
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-28 @ 10:17

Actually it wouldn't do much, most games reset the DSP before and after the game starts and quits.
Reversing the cable fixes the NX Pro digital audio to sound like the SBPro but reverses the CD and FM audio.

Note that the Multimedia 16 ABO (2316) I own do not have the reverse stereo issue, it is correct just like the SBPro.
But it has the extra-bye issue where Quake and LBA will be reversed to the the real SBPro.
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-28 @ 10:54

Yes, that makes sense.
The CD audio problem can probably be overcome by also swopping the CD audio cable that connects to the header on the sound card.
The reversed FM synthesis might not be a major issue.
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-28 @ 11:51

Note that I have the Rev 1.2, while you have 3.1 which might be fixed.
Care to run a few tests jesolo?

The NX Pro is very special card, so please find the time to take the tests in this thread: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50539#p536104
Descent, reverses the stereo on the second sound test... which is definitely a DSP bug only on the NX Pro.
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-28 @ 12:08

I will definitely perform some tests over the weekend again.
I might just test it again in the AMD 386DX-40, but I definitely have reverse stereo output, but I'll use the tests as per the above thread.
Do you want me to test in the K6-2 450 as well? Not sure it will yield any different results, apart from perhaps just exhibiting all sorts of weird behaviour, since the sound card and many of the older games weren't designed for these faster systems.
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-28 @ 12:13

Well, most of the games on this test will not run on a 386, so the K6 will be more suitable choice.
I know Prince of Persia and Supaplex freeze after a couple of seconds of gameplay on the Pentium with the NX Pro but not with any other SBPro clone I have, might as well test that.
It will be useful information for this thread.
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-29 @ 21:44

James-F wrote:Note that I have the Rev 1.2, while you have 3.1 which might be fixed.
Care to run a few tests jesolo?

The NX Pro is very special card, so please find the time to take the tests in this thread: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50539#p536104
Descent, reverses the stereo on the second sound test... which is definitely a DSP bug only on the NX Pro.

Finally had some time to test my Sound Galaxy NX Pro (I38-SGNXPRO) card in my K6-2 450MHz PC.
As I already suspected, with the L1 cache enabled, the sound card doesn't function properly (for example, in the Sound Galaxy diagnostics, it doesn't want to play back digital sounds).
It's quite clear that this sound card was not designed for fast systems (meaning anything above a 486 based PC).
As such, for all tests performed, I had to disable the L1 cache, using SETMUL.
Also, as soon as I start up the PC, I can hear quite a large amount of noise (static) being picked up by the sound card. Strangely enough, I did not experience this on my AMD 386DX-40 based PC. This can be attributable to a number of factors, but this sound card is obviously not properly shielded.

I've attached my test results (I didn't test all the games), but my results are the same as yours.
Interestingly enough, with the SBCHECK utility, it identifies this sound card as an ESS clone and not as a Sound Blaster Pro 2.
Attachments
NX Pro test results.xls
NX Pro test results
(31 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby James-F » 2016-10-30 @ 04:12

Thank you very much for testing, indeed the NX Pro is the only reversed SBPro clone.
The NX Pro is very sensitive to system speed, it freezes the system in various games like PoP and Supaplex with anything faster than 486 (disabled L1 cache); but the SBPro does not exhibit such sensitivity.
Yes mine too is identified as an ESS, and sometimes as SBPro1 or SBPro2 with SBCHECK, don't mind that, I use it only to identify the DSP version.

The NX Pro is also sensitive about the systems noise and it varies from system to system, but all cards do.
For example on Sound Blaster 8-bit Playback Quality blog post on Nerdly Pleasures I can hear a lot of thinking noise not present on my system from the CT2230 card.
The noise on the CT2230 example is as high as the sounds themselves, I would call that unlistenable, but my CT2230 on my system is one of the quietest cards I own.
Shielding will help prevent RF noises but it will not help with "thinking noises" that are on the motherboard GROUND that reach the ISA ports, which is the origin from where most noises on a sound card come from.

Other major contributor to noise is just stock Mixer settings.
Usually the mixer settings are default at boot which is halfway on all slider on the SBPro.
Turning the Digital, FM and Master volumes of the mixer up will bring them higher than the noise floor of the system thus maximizing signal-to-noise ration.


Anyway, considering that the NX Pro is very sensitive to system speed, has reversed digital audio, and is very sensitive to noise, we can say that it is not one of the best SBPro clones to chose from.
The 2316 based Aztech cards lack a lowpass filter but they are far more successful SBPro clone.
Do you not agree?
User avatar
James-F
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 2015-11-30 @ 04:10

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-30 @ 08:13

Yes, I agree.

I also prefer using one of the AZT-2316 chipset based cards in my earlier retro PC's.
Although, the NX Pro's 16-bit cousin (the NX Pro 16 - I38-MMSN803) might be another good alternative - I'm just not sure whether it has a low pass filter (I've been looking out for one to test out, but no luck yet).

Also, if you do want to use the NX Pro as an alternative to a real Sound Blaster Pro, then an easy workaround would be to just swop the cables around.

Another card that I've come across that exhibits the same behaviour, is the Sound Galaxy Pro 16L Extra (I38-MMSN812). But, functionality wise, it is identical to a later AZT-2316 chipset based card. So, you're beter off just getting one of these.
Last edited by jesolo on 2016-10-30 @ 12:57, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby keropi » 2016-10-30 @ 11:13

So what Aztech card would be good for a ss7 machine? Kinda want to test some.... :)
User avatar
keropi
l33t++
 
Posts: 7297
Joined: 2003-9-08 @ 06:45
Location: Greece

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2016-10-30 @ 12:48

Any Aztech card with the AZT-2316 or AZT-2320 chipset (the latter is Plug 'n Play). The ones with the AZT-1605 chipset should also work, but their DSP is only version 2.01 (meaning Sound Blaster 2.0 compatibility), but they all have an OPL3 synthesis chip.

I prefer the ones with the AZT-2316 chipset as the Plug 'n Play ones are sometimes a bit more tricky to set up under DOS.

Model numbers of the AZT-2316 chipset that comes to mind are: I38-MMSN824, I38-MMSN830, I38-MMSN845, I38-MMSN846, I38-MNSN850 & I38-SN96103 (to name a few).
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby keropi » 2016-10-30 @ 15:22

^ thanks for the info!
User avatar
keropi
l33t++
 
Posts: 7297
Joined: 2003-9-08 @ 06:45
Location: Greece

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-5-13 @ 16:36

Did some tests with mentioned Aztech Sound Galaxy Multimedia 16 ABO. Can't call this card quiet at all, at least with low-impedance headphones.
User avatar
The Serpent Rider
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1756
Joined: 2017-3-25 @ 19:07
Location: Stagnant Demesne

Re: Aztech Sound Galaxy cards

Postby jesolo » 2017-5-13 @ 22:25

The Serpent Rider wrote:Did some tests with mentioned Aztech Sound Galaxy Multimedia 16 ABO. Can't call this card quiet at all, at least with low-impedance headphones.

Depends on what you're comparing it against. Bear in mind, the sound card is more than 20 years old and technology has improved over the years in terms of signal to noise ratio, etc.
Also, some of the capacitors might need replacement.
User avatar
jesolo
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1726
Joined: 2014-6-24 @ 19:04
Location: South Africa

PreviousNext

Return to Sound

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: matze79, Tronix and 7 guests