Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

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

Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-14 @ 09:19

I have an opportunity to buy Packard-Bell sound card with OPL3 (ymf262-m chip) and Crystal (cs4231a-kl) for like 7EUR / 8USD. Is it worth it? Based on chips alone it should be decent one, but perhaps someone has actually tested it?
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-14 @ 11:55

Chances are that this is a rebranded Aztech Sound Galaxy sound card.
Is there an FCC ID printed somewhere on the PCB? Normally starts with I38-...
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-14 @ 12:08

I cannot find one, but I've googled indeed it looks similar to Aztech Galaxy cards. Photo attached.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-14 @ 12:17

So, would you recommend to go for it and buy it?
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-14 @ 12:24

Appears to be one of the 3rd generation models utilising the AZT-2316 chipset but, difficult to say since the chipset is obscured by the Packard Bell sticker.

It should be a capable Sound Blaster Pro II clone.
Just take note that it's missing the headphone out jack (was sometimes omitted for cost reasons) and, since we don't know what model this is, you'll have to do a bit of trial and error to find the right driver set.

I'll try and identify the card for you.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-14 @ 12:40

Looks like a Sound Galaxy Washington 16 or Nova 16 to me. Should do only Adlib, SB Pro 2 and WSS. No Convox or DSS support, so nothing special, really.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-14 @ 13:31

It's model number I38-MMSN837, which is one of the Aztech Multimedia Pro 16 range of cards (I have drivers for all of them so, no worries about finding a driver set).
I'm just not sure which one is for this particular model but, with a bit of trial and error, it should be easy to figure out.
Sometimes, on the back of the card, there is a sticker which indicates which MM Pro card it is.
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Aztech_3nd Generation_I38-MMSN837_V1.2_Packard Bell.jpg
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby oeuvre » 2017-10-14 @ 14:07

They're alright if you just need OPL3
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-15 @ 10:08

Thanks a lot for all the replies. Seems like a mid-level SB Pro clone, so nothing special, really.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-15 @ 11:43

It all depends on your needs and what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a capable Sound Blaster Pro II clone, with a Wave Blaster header, real OPL3 synthesis and no MIDI hanging note bug via it's MPU-401 MIDI interface , then this would be a good buy.
These models also works quite well with SoftMPU.

Otherwise, as you've said, nothing really special about it.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-15 @ 13:59

Thanks, jesolo. I am actually looking for a decent Sound Blaster clone for DOS gaming. I intend to put it in Toshiba T3200SX (luggable with ISA slot and plasma screen). The key things are compatibility and price, then the sound quality.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-15 @ 14:58

OldCat wrote:Thanks, jesolo. I am actually looking for a decent Sound Blaster clone for DOS gaming. I intend to put it in Toshiba T3200SX (luggable with ISA slot and plasma screen). The key things are compatibility and price, then the sound quality.

I consider the Aztech range of sound cards to be one of the best Sound Blaster clones that were around in the 90's (especially the ones with the AZT-2316 chipset, like this model).
I have a number of them and they have served me well over the years (my first sound card was one of the 1st generation models).

The Toshiba T3200SX is able to take one full size 16-bit ISA card, so it shouldn't be a problem to fit the sound card in there.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-16 @ 08:17

jesolo wrote:I consider the Aztech range of sound cards to be one of the best Sound Blaster clones that were around in the 90's (especially the ones with the AZT-2316 chipset, like this model).
I have a number of them and they have served me well over the years (my first sound card was one of the 1st generation models).

The Toshiba T3200SX is able to take one full size 16-bit ISA card, so it shouldn't be a problem to fit the sound card in there.


Thanks a lot, this is much appreciated.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-30 @ 09:53

I bought this card for 7EUR/8USD, including postage. It has just arrived. Could you suggest where to get DOS drivers for it?

I tried googline " Aztech Multimedia Pro 16 Dos Drivers" but all I could find was http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=6 which does not open for some reason and http://www.soundcard-drivers.com/compan ... &bng=7&o=2 where the only Multimedia Pro drivers (163, not sure if this number matters) are for Windows 95.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-30 @ 11:37

Finding drivers these days for these Multimedia Pro cards is quite difficult, since Packard Bell no longer host these on their server, nor does Aztech Labs.
However, I've been able to track down various drivers over the years from other sources.

Unfortunately, in the case of this model (I38-MMSN837), I'm not entirely sure which one of the Multimedia Pro driver sets is for this card but, it should be one of these two that I've attached below. Both of these has support for the 3D surround sound function.
I'm inclined to say that the MP163D6 driver set is probably the one.

Try installing the first set first and see whether the installation program recognises the card. If not, try the other set.
If the first one works, try the other one as well, as I would like to establish which of these driver sets actually does work with this particular model number.
Attachments
MP163D6.zip
MP163D6
(1 MiB) Downloaded 7 times
MP162A6.zip
MP162A6
(952.74 KiB) Downloaded 6 times
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby oeuvre » 2017-10-30 @ 12:46

Some more info that might be handy https://ilovepa.ws/2017/06/08/aztech-sound-cards/
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-10-30 @ 12:55

Excellent, thank you very much! I will test the drivers as you asked and share the results.

Please be patient, though - my time with my retro machines is very random and I have a business trip planned this week. So if I don't manage to do it today, the earliest next option is some time next week after the weekend. But I will do it for sure.
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Re: Packard-Bell sound card - worth it?

Postby OldCat » 2017-11-08 @ 12:34

Rest assured, I haven't forgotten about this thread and testing the drivers. However, the floppy drive malfunctions and I cannot move drivers to the machine in question. Will have to circumvent it, but this can take a while.
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