Choices of sound cards for specific machines.

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

Choices of sound cards for specific machines.

Postby pentiumspeed » 2019-1-10 @ 03:51

I was trolling this sound forum and searching the ebay turned up several I can purchase to add sound to my computers I'm building up for vintage gaming.
What I need: ISA card for pentium 200 (plain) or 233mmx. And either ISA or PCI for PIII 500, and finally PCI only for 1GHz PIII motherboard with SB-link connector.
DOS for Pentium, maybe occasional 98SE, For PIII, both DOS and win98SE.
This took me days and days of reading and researching many forums and vogons here as well. Some of them will get the wavetable daughterboard someday later on.


Already bought a SB0100 Live! 5.1 card PCI.

What about x-Fi (later on this is for XP gaming box).

Key is absolutely lowest noise and clearest as I can go as I have poor hearing, clearer the sound easier for me to enjoy better.

How is this one on ebay link it has YMF262 with YAC512, does it still have shill scream or noisy?
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Rare-Sound-Blas ... rk:35:pf:0

I can modify and improve any as I have oscilloscope and soldering tools, components and can obtain some chips.

Also I dug up short list of cards:

CT2290 has good chip (CT1703A) still has high speed dma bug?

X-Fi Xtreme Music SB0770 7.1

X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion

(Does the x-ram matter at all even at 16MB even 64MB?)

ES1688F with solder pads for YMF262, YAC512 and LM324 (ISA Formosa MPB-000016 - SC1616). Can I add this parts to this card and gain good OPL3?

Terratec EWS64XL I found one, how is it for early games that is particularly difficult to work with?

What about this?
ISA-sound-card-Aztech-Sound-Galaxy-Washington-16-non-PnP.

Sound thing really opened up giant earth sized tangled ball of string to unravel. :P I feel frustrated at Creative being so lazy at quality that sound mattered most to us? Years back, I played SQ games and had all of them and had WC1, Doom and 2 etc. But interested to do again and finish them too try out many more games to play with too once I have them up and running.

Cheers, Pentiumspeed.
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Re: Choices of sound cards for specific machines.

Postby chinny22 » 2019-1-10 @ 12:46

This is NOT an easy question as you have discovered.
Generally speaking newer the card cleaner the sound. This is why the AWE64 Gold is considered the ultimate card for dos by some, even the standard AWE64's have less noise then other Sound Blaster variants.
However they are all noisy compared to your SB Live. and this is noisy compared to an Audigy 2 ZS, The final card with Win98 support.

Win9x is easy. I'd just go with a Audigy 2 ZS and call it a day.
DOS, is a mine field.
Do you require true Yamaha OPL? AWE64, If you do the AWE64 is no longer an option
How about SB16 compatibility? Now the YMF cards are no longer an option.

Sounds like your good with a soldering iron, you could always do something like this
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=57746
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Re: Choices of sound cards for specific machines.

Postby pentiumspeed » 2019-1-10 @ 21:52

Ordered CT3990 (has CT1703-A) and yamaha chips, 33.868Mhz crystal oscillators from ebay.

Sound cards from suggested creative models are getting more expensive and harder to find on ebay.

Okay, what about another sound card serving as wavetable daughterboard host or MPU401 card clones (could not find any on ebay?) to run wavetable card.
I could get dreamblaster but I would love to have real deal external or internal.

Cheers, pentiumspeed
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Re: Choices of sound cards for specific machines.

Postby chinny22 » 2019-1-11 @ 16:32

yes everyone want's the same thing, but in all honesty it doesn't make that much difference in the big picture.
My vw beetle has the "fast 1600 engine" end of the day its still a slow vw bug though, the cleanest sounding isa card is still going to be noisy :P

What your actually looking for is simply another sound card with a wavetable header. As long as it has the connector it can act as a "host"
Likewise any card with a Midi port could host an external device.
Older games (thing Roland MT32 generation) needed a midi port that supported "Intelligent Mode" I think some had these by default but most didn't. lucky softmpu gets around this problem now
http://bjt42.github.io/softmpu/

It's actually pretty common to have a second card for your midi device as it also gets round the hanging note bug issue. The Yamaha YMF cards are a favorite as they are easy to find, but if you can get a better deal on something else just confirm it has a wavetable connector/midi port.
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Re: Choices of sound cards for specific machines.

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-11 @ 18:48

I second that. It's a challenge kinda. In the 90s, I used a PAS16 and everything worked fine for me. No headaches, just worked (beware: needs -5v).
However, I had no MIDI module at that time and I also like my SB2 and SB16 (CT1740) cards.
One has an OPL2 and the right FM/DAC balance levels of the time, while the original SB16 type has that deep, bassy sound.
Sure, it's muffled, but so is the original Sega Genesis (aka MegaDrive).. :D

Other cards also are interesting for sure. The EWS64XL has a good sound I heard and is supported by a few interesting titles also.
The SoundScape also was interesting from what I read. The TTSolo cards (PCI) do support SB-Link and enhanced FM,
which would at least be interesting in Windows or AdlibTracker (if it was supported there).

Edit: Some typos fixed.
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