VOGONS


First post, by Sly_Botts

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So I purchased an Ensoniq Soundscape S-2000. I made sure all the jumper settings were default and that everything matched in windows and Dos (as far as configuration goes). Here is the issue.

The sound is very low and mostly only coming out of the left speaker. It comes out of the right side too but you can't really hear it at all and the left side I have to turn my volume all the way up, and even then its not so good. What could be causing this? Please help.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 1 of 11, by Tiido

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Probably bad capacitors. Show a photo of the card please ~

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
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Reply 2 of 11, by pancakepuppy

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I'm also betting bad capacitors. I was having the same symptoms on mine. Extremely quiet output, could barely hear it. The caps hadn't leaked out a ton of gunk, but you could see some crust on the solder joints. I replaced the caps (haven't retested it yet, getting a case to put the whole system into first) and the parts I was removing measured *terribly*, lots of ESR and barely a few nanofarads of capacitance left. That'll definitely cause quiet output.

Reply 3 of 11, by Sly_Botts

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Here it is.

If it is bad capacitors, I may need help finding out which ones to get. I then will try to find someone to do it for me as I have never soldered anything before in my life. I paid a lot for this card too so I don't mind having to get this done.

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Reply 4 of 11, by mkarcher

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Soundscape 2000 cards are known for developing bad caps, so my bet is also on bad capacitors. More precisely, it's about the electrolytic SMD caps, that's the silver cans with "45 10 16V" or "46 1 50V" printed on them. Your card has 16 of the former type and 4 of the latter. You would need proper tools to find out whether all of them are bad, but as they are all from the same batch, I recommend to have them all swapped. Thus you need 16 pieces of 10µF 16V SMD electrolytic capacitors and 4 pieces of 1µF 50V SMD electrolytic capacitors. These parts are available as new stock at all major electronic distributors, and manufactured by multiple manufacturers. I wouldn't worry about the specific make or model as long as the main specs match, but there might be small audible differences. You definitely should not get bi-polar (aka unpolarized) electrolytic caps as replacement, even if they are sometimes advertised as "audio caps". You don't need the advantage (the caps work with positive and negative equally well), but you pay extra for that property and risk getting higher distortion as a side effect.

Reply 5 of 11, by Sly_Botts

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mkarcher wrote on 2022-02-02, 22:47:

Soundscape 2000 cards are known for developing bad caps, so my bet is also on bad capacitors. More precisely, it's about the electrolytic SMD caps, that's the silver cans with "45 10 16V" or "46 1 50V" printed on them. Your card has 16 of the former type and 4 of the latter. You would need proper tools to find out whether all of them are bad, but as they are all from the same batch, I recommend to have them all swapped. Thus you need 16 pieces of 10µF 16V SMD electrolytic capacitors and 4 pieces of 1µF 50V SMD electrolytic capacitors. These parts are available as new stock at all major electronic distributors, and manufactured by multiple manufacturers. I wouldn't worry about the specific make or model as long as the main specs match, but there might be small audible differences. You definitely should not get bi-polar (aka unpolarized) electrolytic caps as replacement, even if they are sometimes advertised as "audio caps". You don't need the advantage (the caps work with positive and negative equally well), but you pay extra for that property and risk getting higher distortion as a side effect.

Thank you! This is extremely helpful.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 6 of 11, by Tiido

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mkarcher wrote on 2022-02-02, 22:47:

... and risk getting higher distortion as a side effect.

Distortion is a lot lower on bipolars (and much higher voltage rating capacitors) and not going to be higher, due to the thicker coating on the electrodes. I'm not completely sure what the mechanism is but measurements done by some people (such as Douglas Self) clearly show significantly reduced THD levels. It is still only low freq distortion where there's any improvement, in the cutoff freq region where voltage across the capacitor is greatest. I'm not sure you can even get bipos in this package anymore. Even such through hole parts are being EOLd, some stuff I have been using suddenly became not available 🙁

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It definitely looks like there's bad capacitors on the card, all the solder joints of them are off color compared to other things and it looks like it is affecting nearby joints too so this card should be fixed sooner than later or there will be corrosion damage that may be difficult to repair if allowed to presist. If you have never soldered in your life, doing this on your own without any experience is going to result in major difficulties that may not be easy to fix such as ripped traces and pads. The leaked stuff tends to loosen up the copper from laminate

I could do the repairs and restore the card to former glory but shipping etc. might be expensive since I'm in europe.

Last edited by Tiido on 2022-02-03, 05:57. Edited 1 time in total.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 7 of 11, by Sly_Botts

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Tiido wrote on 2022-02-03, 02:43:
Distortion is a lot lower on bipolars (and much higher voltage rating) capacitors and not going to be higher, due to the thicker […]
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mkarcher wrote on 2022-02-02, 22:47:

... and risk getting higher distortion as a side effect.

Distortion is a lot lower on bipolars (and much higher voltage rating) capacitors and not going to be higher, due to the thicker coating on the electrodes. I'm not completely sure what the mechanism is but measurements done by some people (such as Douglas Self) clearly show significantly reduced THD levels. It is still only low freq distortion where there's any improvement, in the cutoff freq region where voltage across the capacitor is greatest. I'm not sure you can even get bipos in this package anymore. Even such through hole parts are being EOLd, some stuff I have been using suddenly became not available 🙁

---

It definitely looks like there's bad capacitors on the card, all the solder joints of them are off color compared to other things and it looks like it is affecting nearby joints too so this card should be fixed sooner than later or there will be corrosion damage that may be difficult to repair if allowed to presist. If you have never soldered in your life, doing this on your own without any experience is going to result in major difficulties that may not be easy to fix such as ripped traces and pads. The leaked stuff tends to loosen up the copper from laminate

I could do the repairs and restore the card to former glory but shipping etc. might be expensive since I'm in europe.

I've reached out to the seller and he generously offered to send me the capacitors.

I have no issue paying for the shipping if you're willing to repair the card for me. That would be awesome. You can PM me your details and I'll send it off as soon as I've received the caps.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 8 of 11, by Sly_Botts

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Ok, so I sent the card to a tech to get it recapped, of course he claimed to have problems with some caps and only ended recapping the ones he thought were "the worst". Really though, he took a long time to do it, (1.5 months) claiming he was "busy". So big waste of time there. I've actually been able to pinpoint the main issue here. When using Port 534 for wave output, the sound is nice and loud and clear. When using Port 330 however, this is where the problem lies. Anything on port 330 is lower volume and louder on the Lt than the Rt speaker. So maybe the capacitor related to this port jumper on the card is bad? Not sure but this is where I'm at. I've purchased a headphone amplifier for now so I can at least use that to get some more volume. If anyone has any other suggestions let me know. I may need to just learn how to solder and do it myself. The amp will come in handy for my OPL3 Resound Aldib clone though.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 9 of 11, by Sly_Botts

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Sly_Botts wrote on 2022-05-14, 01:03:

Ok, so I sent the card to a tech to get it recapped, of course he claimed to have problems with some caps and only ended recapping the ones he thought were "the worst". Really though, he took a long time to do it, (1.5 months) claiming he was "busy". So big waste of time there. I've actually been able to pinpoint the main issue here. When using Port 534 for wave output, the sound is nice and loud and clear. When using Port 330 however, this is where the problem lies. Anything on port 330 is lower volume and louder on the Lt than the Rt speaker. So maybe the capacitor related to this port jumper on the card is bad? Not sure but this is where I'm at. I've purchased a headphone amplifier for now so I can at least use that to get some more volume. If anyone has any other suggestions let me know. I may need to just learn how to solder and do it myself. The amp will come in handy for my OPL3 Resound Aldib clone though.

This has been a bit of a nightmare, I had to pay the guy an hours labour (despite making me wait almost 2 months) which he charged around 100 CAD. I've now spent around 330.00 CAD on this thing and I just want it to work 🤣. *sigh*

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 10 of 11, by darry

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Paying for essentially nothing sucks. I am lucky enough to have a multi-skilled cellphone/PC/TV/whatever repair shop 5 minutes away from where I live that can handle this kind of job reliably (I have used their services on a small scale) and I have previously met other independant repair people at places like flea markets, hopefully you might find someone similar close to where you are .

Best of luck.

Reply 11 of 11, by Sly_Botts

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Update: So I taught myself how to solder and recapped the card myself. It seemed to be working fine at first though there was some crakcling here and there, but evetually it crackling got worse and issues persisted. I thought maybe the jumpers might be the issue but I am pretty sure I have them set properly. It says (1-2 out and 3-4 in) for port 330 and so I have the jumper on pins 3 and 4 for 330 and 1-2 for address 534. Maybe I'm doing it wrong? Anyway thats where I'm at now.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.