bloodem wrote on 2020-12-26, 16:33:
Having said that, I'm also a fan of the Yamaha YMF71x / 7x4 cards, particularly the YMF7x4 PCI, which for me has always been more compatible than the Yamaha ISA cards (*when used in DDMA or SB-Link mode). They are excellent cards, however, they're more speed sensitive than the ESS Audiodrive, that's for sure.
Sound quality on Yamaha 7x4 PCI cards are second to none, i am however baffled with the compatibility statement. Can you tell me which games you've had problems with the YMF 71x ISA cards?
Also can you try an AIL Miles driver game with the Yamaha 7x4 cards and check if it crashes? I suggest to try Dune 2 with Sound Blaster Pro digital sound.
I also like ESS cards, never had any issues with 1868 or 1869 cards, and i very much like the ESFM which is kind of a OPL3 superset.
ADPCM is only present in only 4 games i know of, and i'm not to worried about it since i don't like them to much:
- Duke Nukem 2
- Major Stryker
- Monster Bash
- The Last Eichoff
ADPCM importance is kind of overrated IMO, specially when even the most popular game of the bunch, Duke Nukem 2, has a nice patch with the decompressed files back to 8 bits, which makes all the sounds play fine on non compliant ADPCM cards.
Yamaha YMF-71X actually only support 8-4 ADPCM, it states so in the datasheet. Crystal chips additionally support the 8-2 ADPCM and ESS and ALS actually also support the 8-3 ADPCM mode (also known as 2.6 bit, doesn't make any sense to me).
So for me the best compromise between compatibility and Sound quality is the most important for me. My favorite chipset, after all these years is still the Yamaha YMF-71x, but i'd be happy with ESS and my favorite card right now is the Orpheus which is actually Crystal CS4237 based.