VOGONS


Reply 20 of 27, by Joseph_Joestar

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BeastOfSoda wrote on 2021-05-23, 13:02:

Sooo... After searching high and low, I'm considering this one. I really didn't find any with the LM386 amps as well as a dedicated oscillator

I wouldn't get a sound card that doesn't have a dedicated oscillator.

Relying on the ISA bus clock for that purpose can be problematic on certain motherboards.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 VirgeDX / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 21 of 27, by BeastOfSoda

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-05-23, 13:23:
BeastOfSoda wrote on 2021-05-23, 13:02:

Sooo... After searching high and low, I'm considering this one. I really didn't find any with the LM386 amps as well as a dedicated oscillator

I wouldn't get a sound card that doesn't have a dedicated oscillator.

Relying on the ISA bus clock for that purpose can be problematic on certain motherboards.

It does have a dedicated oscillator, hence why I chose it 🙂 look next to the IDE header on the left side.

Now, about that op amp...

Reply 22 of 27, by cde

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The opamp is only one part of the equation. The filtering of electrical noise from the rest of the system, in particular CPU activity, is quite important. I'm not expert on the matter, but the simplest is to buy the card and return it if you think the noise is not acceptable. A good way of testing the noise level is cranking volume to the max while doing a CPU intensive task and listening with headphones (but be careful not to play actual sounds or you will damage your hearing).

About the hanging note bug, I am using the CT2290 with DSP 4.13 on an Athlon XP and I've never encountered the issue, which I believe happens with slower CPUs (but, YMMV). This card has very low noise and non reversed wavetable header.

Reply 23 of 27, by Cyberdyne

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Tiido, find me a known game, that ES1xxx cards can not handle. I have plenty of ES1868 and ES1869 based cards, never had a game, that crapped out with them. Yamaha OPL-SAx cad do have some issues, not only Duke Nukem 2. Have few Sound Blaster 16 and AWE 32/64 cards and ALS100 cards, but have not used them so extensively.

Tiido wrote on 2021-05-20, 16:24:
BeastOfSoda wrote on 2021-05-20, 12:18:

- YMF719: I have concerns about the stated incompatibilities with this card, which while expected might just be a few too many. Also, as I understand there are some PCM distortion issues, and the audio output is reversed?

There shouldn't be any sort of distortion issues unless there's a physical fault on the card and the most common Labway made card (Audician trademark) has reversed waveblaster input, but most other cards using the chips don't. There are about 20 cards using this chip, including one I made a while back. There are some games that don't work but there's no single card that works with all games unfortunately, you always trade some problem with another so ideally you probably want to have more than one sound card anyway.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 24 of 27, by Joseph_Joestar

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Cyberdyne wrote on 2021-05-24, 11:46:

Tiido, find me a known game, that ES1xxx cards can not handle.

Rambo 3 doesn't play FM synth music on an ES1868F.

There's a report about it here and I have since confirmed this on my own card as well. It's a fairly old game, so I'm guessing it expects Creative's Adlib/FM synth driver or some such.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 VirgeDX / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 25 of 27, by BeastOfSoda

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-05-24, 12:00:
Cyberdyne wrote on 2021-05-24, 11:46:

Tiido, find me a known game, that ES1xxx cards can not handle.

Rambo 3 doesn't play FM synth music on an ES1868F.

There's a report about it here and I have since confirmed this on my own card as well. It's a fairly old game, so I'm guessing it expects Creative's Adlib/FM synth driver or some such.

Judging from another thread that I can't seem to find right now, that seems to be a general problem with Taito ports from that era; some other games that had this issue were Bubble Bobble, Operation Wolf and Arkanoid. They most likely use the same audio driver that doesn't play well with ESS chips, but that's about all I found so far.

cde wrote on 2021-05-24, 11:29:

The opamp is only one part of the equation. The filtering of electrical noise from the rest of the system, in particular CPU activity, is quite important. I'm not expert on the matter, but the simplest is to buy the card and return it if you think the noise is not acceptable. A good way of testing the noise level is cranking volume to the max while doing a CPU intensive task and listening with headphones (but be careful not to play actual sounds or you will damage your hearing).

About the hanging note bug, I am using the CT2290 with DSP 4.13 on an Athlon XP and I've never encountered the issue, which I believe happens with slower CPUs (but, YMMV). This card has very low noise and non reversed wavetable header.

Well, we aren't talking about extremely valuable hardware, so returning a card worth less than back and forth shipping would be a hilarious waste of everyone's money. But in the case of "computer thinking" noises, maybe I can get away with using ground loop insulators; I already have a couple that I could try, one of them was able to silence my fairly noisy SB Live (with the other one being more intended to lift ground loops from USB powered audio interfaces, but I may as well give it a shot too). That's why I'm more curious to know if the op amp is decent, as I might be more easily able to deal with a proper ground loop than with a poor op amp.

Oh, also: this sound card will run alongside a CT2230, which I am planning to use for exactly one thing, and that is authentic Yamaha FM synthesis with that model's specific sound signature. It's not really good for anything else, as it's got the single cycle DMA clicking bug and as I'm purchasing a secondary sound card specifically to prevent the hanging note bug (of course I trust you when you say you haven't had this issue, but I'd rather keep MIDI and SFX separate either way, mainly for making my life easier with mixing separate audio sources). Down the line, however, I am planning to use the SB16 to complement the ESS with a secondary wavetable: I am mainly looking at the McCake project, as my setup would be lacking a proper MT-32 implementation.

Finally, the reverse stereo point is no longer as important, since I'm planning to run the wavetable board using an external adapter; also, I am planning to get a Dreamblaster to begin with, which has an option to swap stereo channels anyway, so I should be golden.

Last edited by BeastOfSoda on 2021-05-24, 22:56. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 26 of 27, by cde

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Sounds awesome BeastOfSoda. You might also be interested in Resound OPL3 which could potentially be easier to setup than a full CT2230 and still provide genuine OPL3 FM. Sadly it seems out of stock ATM. OTOH the Resound 2 OPL3 is available but has less features (in particular, no internal oscillator).

Reply 27 of 27, by BeastOfSoda

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Posting an overdue update. Thanks to your collective incredibly useful feedback, I have decided to go with a Labway 111-810, which is an ES1868f board. Here's a crappy pic, courtesy of my cheap phone.

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I haven't been able to test it because I'm still waiting for my ISA board, but it ticks off all the right boxes: separate speaker and line outputs, dedicated osci, and most importantly, what looks like on paper to be a good op amp, the Philips TDA151. It is specced very similarly to the revered LM386, while also outclassing it under some aspects. Also, it doesn't show in the picture, but the board is pristine: it looks like it just came out of the factory, and there are no visible issues with it.

The stereo reversed wavetable issue will be taken care of thanks to an externally connected X2GS wavetable board, so I'm golden under that aspect. Now it's all a waiting game before I can actually use these babies, but I think I've got a winning combination on my hands.