Sound Blaster 16 Clones

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

Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby Mithloraite » 2015-9-21 @ 21:10

PeterLI wrote:rarely notice the hanging note bug with my CTs to be honest.

The story of true horrors of using Creative SB16 family is found :) This comprehensive study by Queststudios members has it all, thanks to the help of WayBack Machine archives.
Shudder, and behold... :)

from the first dilemma to the bottom. It deals with Creative Vibra, SB16 and AWE32 bugs.

http://web.archive.org/web/201409041831 ... 24793.html

old AD&D games said it well,

"The last warning is festooned with dead birds and a broken sword. It reads, "I'd turn back if I were you!" :)
Perfection is the key. Fatality is the key. (c)
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby Mithloraite » 2015-9-21 @ 21:26

gerwin wrote:
Jolaes76 wrote:From the 1st page of this topic it has been pointed out that the CMI8330 has problems with earlier games (up to the 1st generation of SB16s, CT17xx). SB16 is compatible with itself AND SB 2.0. CMI8330 is not.

The failed tests need to be redone to get system speed out of the equation. Meaning i need to test these games on a slower system.

What are these 'tricky' earlier games by the way?
I could use a slower system and a Diamond Yamaha bearing clone to test it.
Perfection is the key. Fatality is the key. (c)
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby Jolaes76 » 2015-9-22 @ 04:58

" Chaos engine (SB not detected in setup), Mortal Kombat (not all speech seems to work?). "
"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima iactura arte corrigenda est."
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby PARUS » 2015-9-22 @ 12:08

If you are having only interest for the earlier games bugs it is good. If you have to use the CMI8330 as SB/SBpro for all earlier games it is not good. Forget it and do not make yourself a headache, that would be better. If you want spdif connection for best sound quality the best decision is EWS64->AV310->SPDIF Reciever. It gives you SBpro, SB16 and analog-in sources in very high quality digitizing. If you don't want spdif connection I don't understand interest to CMI8330.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby 386SX » 2015-9-23 @ 19:09

Hi,
for my high 386 between the ESS688, ESS1868 and ESS1869F what should I choose, the latest? Cause the old ESS688 has got two nice chip on it, less capacitors that could eventually broke and also a volume register on the back of the card.
I know I should use a Soundblaster but the AWE64 seems too much for it and the SB16 I have has got the IDE connector I would like to use in another 486.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby badmojo » 2015-9-24 @ 20:52

Why did you post that question in this thread?

An ESS1688 is the way to go:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=37497&start=40#p341216
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby Caluser2000 » 2015-9-25 @ 23:13

386SX wrote:I know I should use a Soundblaster but the AWE64 seems too much for it and the SB16 I have has got the IDE connector I would like to use in another 486.
An ESS card is most likely a better option anyway IMHO. A lot of ESS cards have IDE headers as well and tend to be more compatible and better quality out put than some Sound Blaster products. An added bonus is you don't pay a premium for them.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby derSammler » 2017-4-22 @ 19:07

Jolaes76 wrote:From at least 2009, there are several comments on the ALS100, 120, 200 and + variants here on Vogons' that align with your observation. Too bad, really.

I got an ALS100Plus latety and it had the same problem - noise was louder than the actual audio. However, that was *very easy* to fix! Disable PnP (at least temporarily), then run A3CONFIG.EXE from the driver disk (won't run with active PnP). Now go to to "Volume" and make sure levels are set to 25. Confirm and save. Run A3INIT.EXE afterwards. For me, this completely fixed it and I no longer have to turn up the volume of my speakers to 100%. :)
Last edited by derSammler on 2017-4-22 @ 20:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby dondiego » 2017-4-22 @ 19:50

I've got two Avance Logic (ALS100Plus and ALS120) cards and no problems here, both are very compatible and have very good sound quality. Volume level is a bit low on the 120 but that's not a problem either.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby derSammler » 2017-5-07 @ 14:18

Just got another ALS100Plus and can confirm that you *must* use a3init.exe so that volume levels get set correctly. PnP init is not enough. It will make the card work but with such a low volume that the background hiss is louder than the actual sound output.

I found two problems with both ALS100Plus cards, however: there's no quartz crystal on the card(s), so in an overclocked ISA bus, wave audio using DMA plays too fast (very noticeable in my 486DLC running ISA bus with 11 MHz). Second, stereo channels are swapped?!
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby badmojo » 2017-5-07 @ 22:51

derSammler wrote:Just got another ALS100Plus and can confirm that you *must* use a3init.exe so that volume levels get set correctly. PnP init is not enough. It will make the card work but with such a low volume that the background hiss is louder than the actual sound output.

I found two problems with both ALS100Plus cards, however: there's no quartz crystal on the card(s), so in an overclocked ISA bus, wave audio using DMA plays too fast (very noticeable in my 486DLC running ISA bus with 11 MHz). Second, stereo channels are swapped?!


I might keep an eye out for another one and see if it's any better with regards to the hiss - I don't think volume control was the issue with the one I tried tho, the hiss kicked in the instant the machine was turned on.

What's the OPL3 clone like in these things?
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby James-F » 2017-5-24 @ 04:54

derSammler wrote:Just got another ALS100Plus and can confirm that you *must* use a3init.exe so that volume levels get set correctly. PnP init is not enough. It will make the card work but with such a low volume that the background hiss is louder than the actual sound output.


Interesting.
What about the ALS100 (non Plus) it has ALSINIT.EXE in the driver package?

badmojo wrote:What's the OPL3 clone like in these things?

According to AmoRetro [link] ALS100 has a 1:1 klon of the OPL3 but the ALS100+ and up has a "Deviating from the original replica" .
I recently picked up a ALS100 (non +) and will do some testing to confirm the "1:1 OPL3 clone" actually sounds like the OPL3.
I am also interested to confirm/bust the noise issue of these cards.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby derSammler » 2017-5-24 @ 08:11

I guess alsinit.exe for the ALS100 is the same as a3init.exe for the ALS100+. All my cards are ALS100+, however.

I tested the OPL3 clone using my own selection of songs for the Reality ADlib Tracker and didn't notice any noticeable difference to a real OPL3. For games, it might be different, though. Have not compared any so far.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby olivil » 2017-8-28 @ 05:21

Is there a YMF71x model that is confirmed to fit a NEC XR385 without making a custom cable?
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby badmojo » 2017-8-28 @ 23:07

olivil wrote:Is there a YMF71x model that is confirmed to fit a NEC XR385 without making a custom cable?


Yes they exist but I don't have a model / make for you I'm sorry. The half height card is 1000x more common unfortunately.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby betamax80 » 2017-10-21 @ 00:32

CMI = C-Media. The CMI8738 was the onboard solution for many until Realtek took over in the mid-00's. the CMI8330 was the first I remember seeing, often on-board PC Chips Baby-AT boards, and the CMI8338 more on Pentium II slot boards - also sold on cards as seen here. I think the 8738 was PCI based rather than ISA so possibly lost compatibility. I think site used to be www.c-media.com.tw maybe worth archive.org
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby yawetaG » 2017-11-06 @ 11:55

betamax80 wrote:CMI = C-Media. The CMI8738 was the onboard solution for many until Realtek took over in the mid-00's. the CMI8330 was the first I remember seeing, often on-board PC Chips Baby-AT boards, and the CMI8338 more on Pentium II slot boards - also sold on cards as seen here. I think the 8738 was PCI based rather than ISA so possibly lost compatibility. I think site used to be http://www.c-media.com.tw maybe worth archive.org


I've just bought a system with an Asus motherboard that includes the CMI8738 chip on-board, and according to the manual it is SoundBlaster 16-compatible, with an FM emulator and DLS wavetable synthesis (not sure what that means, software-based FM & wavetable?). It should also support MIDI through the gameport.

Also, a warning: Using archive.org on that website brings up a site with nude pictures. :lol:
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-12-06 @ 22:41

So what about those integrated into motheboard CMI8738 solutions?
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2017-12-27 @ 00:42

olivil wrote:Is there a YMF71x model that is confirmed to fit a NEC XR385 without making a custom cable?


One of the models in question appears to be an older revision of the same Addonics/Audician 32 card that everyone seems to have. I don't have mine in front of me, but I think it even has the same part number. It's not a perfect fit, because some of the DB still hangs over the ISA slot, but it more or less "fits" without a custom cable.
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Re: Sound Blaster 16 Clones

Postby yawetaG » 2018-1-18 @ 19:44

The Serpent Rider wrote:So what about those integrated into motheboard CMI8738 solutions?


Once I source a hard disk (or hard disk replacement) I'll be able to tell more about the one integrated in my Asus motherboard. There appear to be 3 different versions of the chip: CMI-8738 SX, LX, and MX, all supposedly with the same specs (SX is oldest I think. The Asus board has an SX chip). The driver CD I have includes drivers for DOS, Windows 3.x, 9x, NT, 2000, and Linux.
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