Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

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

Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby AlessandroB » 2019-5-09 @ 19:07

I have read a lot about the difference between SB16-SBPRO-SBPRO2, the fact that exhist OPL2 OPL3 ecc...

in a discussion I read that the sound blaster pro2 has opl3 but is not used as an opl3 like the sound blaster 16 (audio mono ecc..)but as the double opl2 of the sound blaster pro1. Practically the system looks like a double opl2, is it correct?
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby Scali » 2019-5-09 @ 19:59

No, the SB Pro 2 is a full OPL3 card, and basically exactly the same as the SB16 in that respect.
The SB Pro 2 is NOT compatible with the SB Pro 1 for that reason.
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby AlessandroB » 2019-5-09 @ 20:23

So, having SbPRO2 and SB16 is pratically the SAME????

I have found a SbPRO2 for 25$/€, is a good price? SB16 cost less...if is the same...
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby Scali » 2019-5-09 @ 20:30

AlessandroB wrote:So, having SbPRO2 and SB16 is pratically the SAME????


The FM synthesizer is the same, yes.
The SB16 just has a 16-bit DAC (which is not compatible with the SB Pro stereo mode, and suffers from clicking/popping with legacy SB 1.x stuff), where the SB Pro has an 8-bit DAC.
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby AlessandroB » 2019-5-09 @ 20:52

Scali wrote:
AlessandroB wrote:So, having SbPRO2 and SB16 is pratically the SAME????


The FM synthesizer is the same, yes.
The SB16 just has a 16-bit DAC (which is not compatible with the SB Pro stereo mode, and suffers from clicking/popping with legacy SB 1.x stuff), where the SB Pro has an 8-bit DAC.



you mean pro1 or pro2?
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-5-09 @ 21:07

SB Pro 1:
  • 8 bit
  • Samplerate: 22050 Hz stereo ------- 44100 Hz mono
  • Dual OPL2
  • Yeah it's cool but SB Pro 2 is the same but with OPL3 which is better. Most stuff doesn't support Dual OPL2, and even if it does, it also supports OPL3 - to my knowledge nothing supports only the Dual OPL2

SB Pro 2:
  • 8 bit
  • Samplerate: 22050 Hz stereo ------- 44100 Hz mono
  • OPL3
  • Generally considered most compatible DOS card, but not necessarily best, and definitely not best sound quality

SB16:
  • 16 bit
  • Samplerate: 44100 Hz stereo
  • OPL3
  • Not compatible with SB Pro 1/2 stereo mode
  • Best sound quality card, but not necessarily most compatible! Will work in most cases
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby Scali » 2019-5-09 @ 21:08

Pro 1 and Pro 2 have the same DAC, only the FM synth is different (Pro 1 has dual OPL2, Pro 2 has OPL3).
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-5-09 @ 21:08

Basically, for games that were written to take advantage of the Dual OPL2. it is better to have the SB Pro 1.0. For games that were programmed for the OPL3, it is better to have something with an OPL3 chip.

See here for some more detailed info.

https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50222
https://web.archive.org/web/20120201161213/http://queststudios.com/smf/index.php/topic,3341.0.html
http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2012/07/observations-on-8-bit-video-and-sound.html

Also, the dual OPL2 setup is slightly more powerful than the OPL3 setup. Creative moved to the OPL3 setup pretty quickly because it was cheaper.
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby Scali » 2019-5-09 @ 21:18

cyclone3d wrote:Also, the dual OPL2 setup is slightly more powerful than the OPL3 setup.


I think that is debatable.
OPL2 only has 2-operator sound generation. The SB Pro 1 is basically just two AdLibs, one on the left, one on the right.
OPL3 can be switched into 4-operator mode, which allows better synthesizing of instruments. I don't know of many games that actually tried to use OPL3 to its full potential, but there is still an active tracker scene for OPL3, with AdLibTracker II and such, and they create pretty amazing music, that you could never get with dual OPL2.
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby AlessandroB » 2019-5-09 @ 21:48

Thanks a lot!!! VOGONS is really a site of high skilled retrofan, i'm proud to be part of it!
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-5-10 @ 14:10

keenmaster486 wrote:SB Pro 1:

[*]Yeah it's cool but SB Pro 2 is the same but with OPL3 which is better. Most stuff doesn't support Dual OPL2, and even if it does, it also supports OPL3 - to my knowledge nothing supports only the Dual OPL2[/list]


I have never owned a dual OPL2 card, but from what I understand the original Pro Audio Spectrum was an 8-bit card that also had dual OPL2s, and certain Sierra titles took advantage of it. In the past I heard that these games did not support OPL3, and only supported better midi if you had the PAS. Does that still hold true, or have these games been patched for OPL3 support?
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby pan069 » 2019-5-15 @ 22:14

Also, checkout page 37 of this document:

https://pdos.csail.mit.edu/6.828/2008/r ... laster.pdf
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Re: Sound Blaster PRO1 vs PRO2

Postby SirNickity » 2019-5-16 @ 19:37

Police Quest III is one example. It supports 2xOPL2, where you will get panning effects. It does not support 4-op OPL3, so stereo OPL2 is basically the best you can do. However, most games that support 2xOPL2 don't support the SB Pro 1.0 without a patch. (Hm, well... most that I cared about, at least. YMMV.) So really, the best option is a PAS. ;-)

It's kinda like the SBPro vs. SB16 compatibility argument. I've never run into a game that supports SB Pro in stereo that doesn't natively support SB16, so it's technically true but not very important, IMO. Although TBH I don't remember for sure if Wolf3D might have been one of those cases. I had a PAS 16 between my SB Pro and an AWE32, so I lost stereo support (since the PAS 16 only emulates SB 2.0) until well after I had moved on to Doom and friends anyway.
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