Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

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

Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby kikendo » 2019-6-10 @ 14:38

I recently found an ES1370 and I was excited as I saw it recommended as a good option for PCI audio compatible with DOS, and it's absolute trash!
I mean, the sample reproduction is ok, but have you heard the MIDI implementation? No matter what wavetable set I use, all music sounds out of tune.

Why is it recommended? An SB Live! with its SB16 emulator sounds a million times better than this and works with most DOS stuff.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby Jo22 » 2019-6-10 @ 17:30

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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby kikendo » 2019-6-10 @ 20:00

Jo22 wrote:https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?p=618846#p618846
viewtopic.php?p=536530#p536530
viewtopic.php?p=634906#p634906

Don't quite understand your post. The first two links seem completely unrelated, the third one just confirms what I said: the FM emulation is absolute trash. So WHY do people recommend it as a good card for DOS stuff where you need that to be on point?

Even my old crap Crystal card sounds better.

Not all games you can use a GM-like driver. Yeah when you use that it sounds decent. But what do you do with the rest? Again the SB LIve! with SB-16 emulation will also emulate an MT-32 and in general sound ten times better.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby Jo22 » 2019-6-10 @ 21:06

kikendo wrote:Why is it recommended? An SB Live! with its SB16 emulator sounds a million times better than this and works with most DOS stuff.

"DOS compatibility was better than Creatives own PCI cards, and that's why Creative bought Ensoniq and resold these AudioPCI cards under various model numbers."

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=26252
viewtopic.php?p=200526#p200526

kikendo wrote:So WHY do people recommend it as a good card for DOS stuff where you need that to be on point?

https://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/attributeId,77/ ?

features.jpg

Features -> http://ftp.kolibrios.org/users/Asper/so ... ES1370.PDF
https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Ensoniq

kikendo wrote:Not all games you can use a GM-like driver. Yeah when you use that it sounds decent. But what do you do with the rest?
Again the SB LIve! with SB-16 emulation will also emulate an MT-32 and in general sound ten times better.


viewtopic.php?f=62&t=63646
OPL3 cards -> ftp://retronn.de/docs/soundcards%20ISA.txt
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-6-23 @ 19:49

You've answered your own question without realising it, The Es1370 and Live drivers are 1 in the same.

Go buy a Sound Blaster 16 PCI and see how that works out in pure dos (spoiler it wont, at all)
Around the same time Ensonic released the ES1370 which by your own admission the dos emulation can sound decent.
So Creative Brought out Ensonic and in a year or so released the Live which uses the exact same emulation slightly updated.

And while I'll agree a Live sounds better then the ES1370, You'll find most people round here rate the midi on both pretty terrible.

its not like you have much choice for PCI and pure dos, Ensonic, Live/Audigy's, Aureal Vortex in that order, and that's it.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby Srandista » 2019-6-23 @ 21:31

Don't forget ESS Solo-1 and Yamaha YMF-7x4.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-6-24 @ 02:50

kikendo wrote:Why is it recommended? An SB Live! with its SB16 emulator sounds a million times better than this and works with most DOS stuff.

The AudioPCI family (including SB Live cards) are cheap and available even if their compatibility and sound quality isn't the best across the board. As hinted at in earlier posts, Ensoniq Soundscape support differentiates the ES1370 from the other cards in the family.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby dionb » 2019-6-24 @ 13:43

chinny22 wrote:[...]

its not like you have much choice for PCI and pure dos, Ensonic, Live/Audigy's, Aureal Vortex in that order, and that's it.

Hardly...

You're missing ESS Solo-1 and Aztech 3328, both of which are at least as painless as the Ensoniq 137x (and the Solo-1 supports wavetable header, one of which I soldered on last weekend letting me use my Korg wavetable under pure DOS), and Yamaha 74x, which really needs SB-Link to work well, but offers a real OPL3 and excellent SNR.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby swaaye » 2019-6-25 @ 00:14

It does seem like there is always an active thread about some form of AudioPCI (that's ES137x) card. Like continuously over the last 10 years lol

They are pretty lame. I thought so in 1997! It works better with Win9x than a Ensoniq Soundscape but the MIDI sounds worse even with 4x larger patch set.

The most interesting aspect was probably the support for A3D and DS3D (even if CPU powered), and 4.0 speaker output for games that used them. That was the first surround sound gaming I experienced. SBLive is much superior though.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby Kamerat » 2019-6-25 @ 15:40

chinny22 wrote:Go buy a Sound Blaster 16 PCI and see how that works out in pure dos (spoiler it wont, at all)

It's based on the Ensoniq AudioPCI so it will work.

chinny22 wrote:its not like you have much choice for PCI and pure dos, Ensonic, Live/Audigy's, Aureal Vortex in that order, and that's it.

DOS compatible PCI sound chips not mentioned yet: Trident 4DWave series, Avance Logic ALS4000, VLSI/Philips Thunderbird series, Forté Media FM801-AU, C-Media CMI8738, Crystal CrystalClear SoundFusion series, OPTi/Ectiva MachOne, S3 Sonic Vibes, Rockwell RipTide, Creative AWE64D, ESS ES19?? PCI series (not only the Solo-1).
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby Srandista » 2019-6-25 @ 17:37

Kamerat wrote:DOS compatible PCI sound chips not mentioned yet: ESS ES19?? PCI series (not only the Solo-1).

Just small note, those ESS cards, which came after Solo-1 (Allegro-1 and Maestro-1) don't have ESFM chip, so even though they works in DOS, they doesn't sound that good.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby swaaye » 2019-6-26 @ 18:23

The other factor that seems to rarely be talked about is stability issues caused by the complicated techniques most PCI cards use to appear as an ISA sound card for programs.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby kikendo » 2019-7-11 @ 14:54

chinny22 wrote:Around the same time Ensonic released the ES1370 which by your own admission the dos emulation can sound decent.

I did not say such thing. I said it of the SB Live! I have. Which I believe is some software based SB16 emulation, not an on-board emulation. Maybe we're talking different SB Live! cards, but the one I have sounds just like an SB16 with MIDI and completely not like the ES1370. It does introduce issues with its emulator not letting some games run, but sound quality-wise it's a million times better than the ES1370.
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Re: Why is the Ensoniq 1370 recommended? it's trash!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-7-11 @ 15:50

kikendo wrote:I mean, the sample reproduction is ok


Not disagreeing with anything else you said though
The Ensonic was always a budget card, where as the Live! was a premium product so you would hope the quality is better.
My main point I was trying to make is its the same emulation software, just slightly updated for the Live! and in this regard neither are great.

I do stand corrected on alternative cards though, ignoring cards that require the SB-Link as that limits you on choice of motherboard, still few more options then I realized.
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