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Bought these (retro) hardware today

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Reply 43440 of 45411, by Kahenraz

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I had an AWE32 in my collection from a tag sale pickup in my youth, but I sold it a couple years ago to cover some expenses. With rising prices, I got worried so I snapped up a couple different models recently.

The AWE32 is a very interesting beast, indeed.

Reply 43441 of 45411, by HanSolo

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fosterwj03 wrote on 2022-03-23, 00:51:

I bought a Sound Blaster 32 (CT3670) on eBay last night. It's coming with 2MB of RAM installed as well.

I probably paid more than l would have liked for an ISA sound card, but inflation. I remember wanting an AWE32 very badly in the mid - 90s, but I couldn't justify the expense. Now, I figured, why not?

The CT3670 is pretty much an AWE64 in disguise and in my opinion a great card. Some turn it down because it hasn't the original OPL3 but I think Creative's CQM isn't half as bad as some people make it. And one of the many features of the CT3670 is that it supports FM-routing through EMU8000 which allows for nice enhancements of FM audio. But of course that's only personal preference.

Reply 43442 of 45411, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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fosterwj03 wrote on 2022-03-23, 00:51:

I bought a Sound Blaster 32 (CT3670) on eBay last night. It's coming with 2MB of RAM installed as well.

I probably paid more than l would have liked for an ISA sound card, but inflation. I remember wanting an AWE32 very badly in the mid - 90s, but I couldn't justify the expense. Now, I figured, why not?

How much did you pay for it?

I got one myself. Won it in autumn 2020 as part of a scrap lot. CT3670, Vibra16 with OPL3 (forgot CT number) and a Voodoo3 2000. 60€, shipping included. And they all work. 🤣 One of my best hauls so far.

Reply 43443 of 45411, by fosterwj03

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RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-03-23, 02:18:
fosterwj03 wrote on 2022-03-23, 00:51:

I bought a Sound Blaster 32 (CT3670) on eBay last night. It's coming with 2MB of RAM installed as well.

I probably paid more than l would have liked for an ISA sound card, but inflation. I remember wanting an AWE32 very badly in the mid - 90s, but I couldn't justify the expense. Now, I figured, why not?

How much did you pay for it?

I got one myself. Won it in autumn 2020 as part of a scrap lot. CT3670, Vibra16 with OPL3 (forgot CT number) and a Voodoo3 2000. 60€, shipping included. And they all work. 🤣 One of my best hauls so far.

I paid just under $80 US shipped including sales tax. It includes 2x 1MB SIMMs which I didn't need (but I don't mind having) and an install CD.

I'm going to use it in a Pentium MMX build. I don't mind the CQM sound. I had a Vibra 16 back in the day because I couldn't afford a card with an on-board wavetable.

Reply 43444 of 45411, by Ligend

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I bought this SIS 315-based AGP card recently. It was so cheap (~6 EUR with shipping) I was unable to resist. The card itself is not a big deal; regardless of hardware TnL engine, it is much slower than a GeForce2 MX200. I assume mostly because of the 64 bit SDR memory, clocked to only 143 MHz.

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Reply 43445 of 45411, by Kahenraz

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I try to avoid buying any cards that use a 64-bit bus, if there is a 128-bit version available. The performance difference is often striking. You can sometimes identify this by counting the RAM chips, but there are actually 4-chip cards with a 128-bit bus. It depends on the memory used and can be hard to tell. It's best to research the card and see if variants with more or less memory chips exist, then go from there.

There are even some cards with a 32-bit bus, if you are extremely unlucky.

Reply 43446 of 45411, by appiah4

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HanSolo wrote on 2022-03-22, 18:52:

Not that I would need it, but I just can't turn down a good deal on old ISA soundcards.
This one is from the German manufacturer Miro: a SB-Pro compatible MiroSound FM10 with original OPL2. As far as I know it's not really rare, but doesn't show up very often and I simply like its looks 😀 And it's always nice to have something different in the collection.
MiroSoundFM10.jpg

Looks like an Opti 929 MAD16 Pro card but the Codec chip is not familiar to me (the one obscured by the sticker). The ones I have are either Analog Devices AD1846 or Crystal CS4246 - can't tell what this one is.. I guess it might be AD1846, but seems to have a different printing than mine, probably a newer batch with a newer logo. Regardless, looks like a card with pretty good build quality.

Also, that is an OPL3 not OPL2 😉

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Reply 43447 of 45411, by Cuttoon

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RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-03-23, 02:18:
fosterwj03 wrote on 2022-03-23, 00:51:

I bought a Sound Blaster 32 (CT3670) on eBay last night. It's coming with 2MB of RAM installed as well.

I probably paid more than l would have liked for an ISA sound card, but inflation. I remember wanting an AWE32 very badly in the mid - 90s, but I couldn't justify the expense. Now, I figured, why not?

How much did you pay for it?

I got one myself. Won it in autumn 2020 as part of a scrap lot. CT3670, Vibra16 with OPL3 (forgot CT number) and a Voodoo3 2000. 60€, shipping included. And they all work. 🤣 One of my best hauls so far.

Scrap lots are a gamble at any price but congrats - that combination and all working is tantamount to a lottery win.

Some poor schmuck bid exactly a hundred Euro for a ct3990 on Saturday. Dafuq?
Don't quite get the whole creative labs craze and made the concious decision to be content with a 32 pnp, back when it was new. (That was great for Tie Fighter and I still have it.)
And retro - so glad I got my token 64gold before it was cool so I may die in peace. 😉

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Reply 43448 of 45411, by Kahenraz

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-03-23, 16:50:

Some poor schmuck bid exactly a hundred Euro for a ct3990 on Saturday. Dafuq?

Someone paid $180 for a CT3990 a few days ago. That's pretty extreme, especially considering that this isn't even a model with a Yamaha OPL chip on it.

If you happened to spot the listing, I'm the one that sniped the CT3990 for about $100 USD last month. I wasn't looking for a CT3990, but none of my AWE32s have a wavetable header, and it came with a lot of other goodies. I watched it until the very end and submitted a sniper bid and won. The price isn't that bad (relative to current prices), considering the model, its features, and all of the accessories. But imo, outside of a collectors market I think that it's really worth maybe half this much.

The card is also in absolute pristine condition. So either the previous owner dunked it in the sink and gave it a scrub or it's barely used.

There is some kind of flaw, either on this model or this specific card. Choosing 16-bit mixing causes garbled audio output, but only with one of the three motherboards I tried it with, and only in the bottom ISA slot. Very bizarre, and there is no way to verify the problem without another card of this exact model.

Another thing worth mentioning is that there are actually two configurations of the CT3990, those with the CT1748 CSM chip and those without. It's soldered onto the board so it's not an accessory upgrade like on other Creative cards.

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Reply 43449 of 45411, by Cuttoon

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-03-23, 17:11:
Someone paid $180 for a CT3990 a few days ago. That's pretty extreme, especially considering that this isn't even a model with a […]
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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-03-23, 16:50:

Some poor schmuck bid exactly a hundred Euro for a ct3990 on Saturday. Dafuq?

Someone paid $180 for a CT3990 a few days ago. That's pretty extreme, especially considering that this isn't even a model with a Yamaha OPL chip on it.

If you happened to spot the listing, I'm the one that sniped the CT3990 for about $100 USD last month. I wasn't looking for a CT3990, but none of my AWE32s have a wavetable header, and it came with a lot of other goodies. I watched it until the very end and submitted a sniper bid and won. The price isn't that bad (relative to current prices), considering the model, its features, and all of the accessories. But imo, outside of a collectors market I think that it's really worth maybe half this much.

The card is also in absolute pristine condition. So either the previous owner dunked it in the sink and gave it a scrub or it's barely used.

There is some kind of flaw, either on this model or this specific card. Choosing 16-bit mixing causes garbled audio output, but only with one of the three motherboards I tried it with, and only in the bottom ISA slot. Very bizarre, and there is no way to verify the problem without another card of this exact model.

Another thing worth mentioning is that there are actually two configurations of the CT3990, those with the CT1748 CSM chip and those without. It's soldered onto the board so it's not an accessory upgrade like on other Creative cards.

OK, that came with a lot of rare goodies like the original MIDI cable, that's a bit of a collectible and basically a safe investment.
But boy, I've paid quite a bit for the heap over the years but nothing was three figures, on it's own. Think the MT-32 was 80 €, a dedicated luxury. I need to hear the correct SFX of UFO, some day.
And over 200 for a few dozen AMD 5x86-133 they should pay for themselves easily.
But a bare soundcard? What's it gonna do besides making sound? Improve ones karma?
That AWE64, my winning bid back then was 3 Euro. Like, you know, three.

I like jumpers.

Reply 43450 of 45411, by TheMobRules

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There's something really strange with the AWE32 cards, I've noticed that even the crap versions (PnP, no OPL3) usually sell for more than other cards that are much better feature-wise and even more rare in some cases.

Is it because the cards are larger than the average sound card and thus more "impressive"? At this point I don't know, things have gotten so ridiculous that I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.

Reply 43451 of 45411, by Kahenraz

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I think it's because people recognize the name and don't know how to differentiate between all of the various products. And even if you know how to do so, you still may need to buy a couple of different models to cover all of the available features. Creative product models from the era is a really cluster duck.

Reply 43452 of 45411, by CrFr

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After reading this discussion, I had to check what I paid for my sound blaster cards.

CT3600: got it for free, in year 2003-2005 or so. Back then it was seen mainly as trash can filler
CT3980 (with that CT1748 chip): paid 10 euros in 2019. Reason for buying it was I thought it was cool looking card 😁 Hanging note bug ruins it for me.
CT4390: paid 15 euros in 2019 (only one of these cards that I actively use)
CT4520: 19 euros, also in 2019. I don't even remember why I even wanted this

If I didn't already have these cards, I most certainly wouldn't pay the current prices for them. On the other hand, I'm not tempted to sell them for profit either.

Reply 43454 of 45411, by BitWrangler

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I prolly have a maximum of $100 total into about a dozen ISA SBs split about in half between desirable and it merely lets the computer make noises. Highlights I guess are the AWE32s and the SBPro with the "SLI" OPL2s, SB 1.5, Goldfinch, bottom half are all SB16s. ... ... Not sure if maybe I've got a 64 in a long forgotten box. Didn't count the Live/audigy value thing. Got at least as many others, 2xALS100, couple of Crystal audio ISA, few Aztech, DSP16. Don't have a real GUS, but might find a compatible when I get everything sorted out.

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Reply 43455 of 45411, by brostenen

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Just paid for an untested RocTec RocHard 800 C external harddrive for Amiga500. I really hope it is working, as it has room for up to 8mb Ram and it has two internal IDE ports and one internal SCSI port plus one port for external SCSI devices. I found the manual and an image of the install disk online.

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Reply 43456 of 45411, by brostenen

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-03-23, 01:03:

I had an AWE32 in my collection from a tag sale pickup in my youth, but I sold it a couple years ago to cover some expenses. With rising prices, I got worried so I snapped up a couple different models recently.

The AWE32 is a very interesting beast, indeed.

I dont really like AWE cards. The default soundbank does not sound right to me. Personally I prefer any of the Dreamblaster modules over any version of AWE cards. Some people love AWE cards though.

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Reply 43457 of 45411, by HanJammer

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brostenen wrote on 2022-03-23, 22:27:
Kahenraz wrote on 2022-03-23, 01:03:

I had an AWE32 in my collection from a tag sale pickup in my youth, but I sold it a couple years ago to cover some expenses. With rising prices, I got worried so I snapped up a couple different models recently.

The AWE32 is a very interesting beast, indeed.

I dont really like AWE cards. The default soundbank does not sound right to me. Personally I prefer any of the Dreamblaster modules over any version of AWE cards. Some people love AWE cards though.

Same here. When it comes to midi in games there are 2 choices for me - OPL3 or MT-32. Everything else (dreamblaster and SC-55 included) just sounds wrong - AWE32 especially (and no soundfont can fix it).

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Reply 43458 of 45411, by brostenen

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HanJammer wrote on 2022-03-23, 22:32:

Same here. When it comes to midi in games there are 2 choices for me - OPL3 or MT-32. Everything else (dreamblaster and SC-55 included) just sounds wrong - AWE32 especially (and no soundfont can fix it).

I would love to have external modules. But the wallet and my space is not up to the task. I might switch from internal devices to external at some point, but the money and space have to be there first. I could also buy an MT32 RaspberryPI solution instead. But these things are in the future for me.

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Reply 43459 of 45411, by Kahenraz

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The best solution if you want General MIDI without any external synthesizers, in my opinion, is a PC MIDI, MPU-401, or anything with a wavetable header, and a Dreamblaster X2GS. It sounds very similar to the SC-55, is GS compatible, and will be self-contained within your computer. There are lots of PCI cards which also have wavetable headers, so you can easily supplement almost any build for this.

If you have any Live!, Audigy, or Audigy 2, there is a really good SC-55 soundfont. But it will only work from within Windows. It can also be used by DOS games for General MIDI if you install the legacy DOS device driver, but the game has to be able to run from within Windows, and not all of them can.

There is also a SCC-1 soundfont which would fit within the memory of an AWE32/64, but it's not as good as the SC-55 one. The reason this one can't be used is because it's about 48MB, and the AWE32/64 is limited to 28MB, I think.