First post, by mil

User metadata
Rank Newbie

(sorry for the long post)

I have been lurking around here for some time, and have been bitten (more like re-bitten) by the retro bug... thanks a lot Mau1wurf1977 😉
Recently I have been thinking about building/rebuilding the following two systems, and I could use some advice.
Mostly about the GUS and if the amount of sound cards is in any way realistic (IRQs, etc).
I do not need all of them to work at the same time, but would like to be able to switch between them without removing any cards. I will of cause add and test them one at a time over an extended period to test each before adding more cards. I will maybe try my hand at doing some recordings (I have little to no experience in this area).

IBM PS/1 486 system
Machine/Motherboard: IBM PS/1 2168 (8xISA) (can't remember the specific model)
486-DX4 100 @75Mhz
On board: Cirrus Logic 5430
RAM: 64MB (currently, will leave it unless it causes issues)
Storage: Currently a 249MB IDE drive (I also have a bunch of different CF to IDE adapters). 3.5" Floppy.
ISA: Sound Blaster 1.0/1.5/2.0 with CMS
ISA: Sound Blaster Pro 2
ISA: Gravis Ultrasound? (which model/version?)
ISA: Sound Blaster AWE64 (non Gold) (maybe, probably not, first to go in case of issues)
MIDI: Roland MT-32 (old) + Roland CM-32L + Roland SC-55 + Yamaha MU90R (all connected together with an MOTU MIDI express)
LPT: Disney Sound Source or OPL2LPT
Mixer: Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602
OS: DOS 6.22 / Win 3.11

Super Socket 7 system
Machine/Motherboard: Asus P5A (2xISA) (AOpen white/blue case)
(I got this system from vogons user brostenen with a Matrox G400 and an AWE64 (non-Gold), and I have been very happy with it)
CPU: K6-III+ 450Mhz (currently K6-II 500 Mhz, I think)
RAM: 384MB (currently 128MB)
Storage: I have a bunch of IDE drives (currently some 8.4 GB IDE drive, I think). 3.5" Floppy.
AGP: Matrox G400 Max (currently).
- Else: TNT2 Ultra, Quadro2 Pro, Voodoo 5 5500, PowerVR Kyro II, ATI Rage Fury MAXX, XGI Volari V3, or something else. I have many cards to choose from, and I may decide to prioritize DOS compatibility (scrolling, etc.)
ISA: Yamaha Audician 32
ISA: Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold
PCI: Aureal Vortex2 (Rev. B0) SQ2500
PCI: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
PCI: 2 x Orchid Voodoo 2 (12MB) (unless i choose the V5)
PCI: (Maybe) a SCSI card connected to a Fibre Channel router/bridge connected to a SAN. (I will make another post about why if anyone is curious)
MIDI: Roland MT-32 (old) + Roland CM-32L + Roland SC-88 + Yamaha MU128
LPT: OPL2LPT or Covox Speech Thing
Mixer: Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602
OS: Windows 98 SE, DOS 6.22 or DOS-mode.

Outstanding issues...

Gravis Ultrasound
I need to decide what GUS I am going to get (hunt down/buy).
Here I am thinking about trying to reduce conflicts and maximize compatibility. I do not care about any SB compatibility and stuff like that.
I have no experience with these cards.
I care about gaming (DOS) and maybe playing with trackers and demos.
After hearing how Settlers sounds with the GUS ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHSNlysy3Hk ), I knew I needed one 😀

Sound Blaster 1.0/1.5/2.0 with CMS
I used to have a 1.0 or 1.5, but I can not find it. I do have some Philips SAA1099 chips. I will see what I can find on ebay, etc.

I just need to solder and test these. I will probably use them in some of my older laptops most of the time. But I will also test them on these systems.

Matrox G400 Max
Works, but is very loud.
I am waiting for a 5V fan and some JST PHR-3 cables with connectors 1.25mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm (all variants that I could find, not sure which one is needed and they are good to have)

Other AGP cards
Verify AGP voltage before using/testing any of them.

Power supplies
I need to check them for bad caps before I put in any more of that lovely hardware.

MIDI module batteries
Check Roland CM-32L's, possibly other modules for internal battery leakage.

Missing pieces
I already have all the hardware except for:
The second Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602 mixer (or maybe one with more channels and use it for the IBM PS/1)
A second MIDI patch bay of some kind (preferably also one that can be controlled/configured with SysEx like the MOTU, though I have not tested this yet).
Covox Speech Thing (I will probably build one, maybe from a kit).
HardMPU (on it's way)
The second Roland MT-32 (old) (on it's way)
I also have an itch to try and find a Korg NS5R or NX5R. But I am trying to constrain myself... not doing well so far 😀

Note: It may be unrealistic to have all those cards in the systems at once. But I will try to see how much will be possible and then adjust my plan as necessary.

Any advice or feedback would be welcome.

Reply 1 of 12, by Jolaes76

User metadata
Rank Oldbie

The original GF1 is the logical choice for a mid-range 486. Of course, it is not as capable as the AMD chip, yet most GUS-aware games and demos of the period support it "natively" (there is some mambo jumbo here and there, but at least you do not need to patch each and every old game - remember, the AMD Interwave just emulates a GF1...)
For best compatibility, the GF1 GUS ACE is easier to use along 2 or 3 more sound cards (though it can be done with a GF1 GUS Classic as well). The Adlib port on an ACE disables gracefully via jumper, you only need to manually disable the phantom joystick port (a special version of ultrainit does that)

The PnP Interwave card was more oriented to Windows 95 than DOS and very has strong competition in the MIDI department (Roland, Yamaha, Ensoniq, TB etc.)
In Windows, there are many other good choices for digi (you have already mentioned the CT Audigy 2 ZS and Vortex2 - remember, the Audigy 2 ZS has poor DOS compatibility; if necessary works by a hack, but only on certain motherboards).

"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima iactura arte corrigenda est."

Reply 4 of 12, by mil

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Jolaes76 wrote:

the GF1 GUS ACE is easier to use along 2 or 3 more sound cards (though it can be done with a GF1 GUS Classic as well). The Adlib port on an ACE disables gracefully via jumper, you only need to manually disable the phantom joystick port (a special version of ultrainit does that)

Thanks. I could not find an ACE. So I will try a GF1 GUS Classic. I have one on the way in the mail. I think I will try/test all the base addresses, IRQs, DMA's that I can in the 486 with only the GUS installed so that I know what conflicts are related to other cards when I add them. Maybe I should do this for all of the cards and then try doing "Base Address/IRQ/DMA sudoku" on paper to see what is most likely to work.

If I need to, I will build more systems. I just found two AOpen AX59Pro boards (with CPU's) that I didn't know I still had during the weekend.

Reply 5 of 12, by Obiwan

User metadata
Rank Newbie


I run a GUS "classic, 3,74" along with a SoundBlaster 16. there is no problem 🤣 . If you don't mind about recording while playing, you can't duplicate GUS's IRQ & DMA. Hence the GUS will need only 1 I/O adress, 1 IRQ & 1 DMA. Check it out: Finicky Gravis Ultrasound Classic

Note: the installation program is buggy: it finds non-existing conflict (cf link)

Note 2: You should change the default IRQ from 11 to 9. here a comprehensive review: http://www.retronn.de/imports/gus_config_guide.html

Just one question: why so many Creative Labs cards? I'm pretty sure they all request the same I/Os, IRQs & DMAs. There are so many other fine sound cards... 😊

Reply 6 of 12, by carlostex

User metadata
Rank l33t

A GUS with a Sound Blaster can work fine, but a SB Pro 2 with another non PNP SB is a recipe for disaster. I also do a lot of multi Sound card systems and i've definitely leatned through the years.

Reply 7 of 12, by Phreeze

User metadata
Rank Member

I hijack this thread, if it's getting too much offtopic, i'll ask to create a new thread and move the responses:

i have a smiliar problem:
I want to use my GUS 2.4 (i think this is important, it's a 2.4! ) with 4.11 drivers together with a soundblaster oder sb compatible card.
setup: SB vibra16, or Pro AUdio SPectrum or Terratec (which doesn't even require drivers, only a set blaster) on PnP settings, GUS with jumpers on A240.

First setup try:
GUS 240,
Vibra16 with ctcm (which defines it on 220 d1 i5

run setup.exe from ultrasnd dir. Ultrasound setup detects a sound blaster and also detects the used IRQ and DMA used by it. I then chose 7,7,7,7 as gus dma and irq and tests are all cool.
the ultrasound modifies the autoexec and sets:
set ultrasnd=220,7,7,7,7
set blaster =a220,i7,d..... sth
set ultradir....

the GUS ultrinit.exe detects the card and it works. i use duke3d setup to test. but the soundblaster is never detected, with any setting. When i run ultraem, ofc it works, but i don't want to use the SB emu because it's crap (hence why i want to use a physical sb16)

If i modify the autoexec.bat to tell the gus to use adress 240, it's not detected. even if i set the blaster to a240, niet.
The hardware jumpers ARE correct (all set, jumper 6 open), according to the jumper layout. checked 5 times already! This seems to be a major problem! Also i NEED to set blaster before calling ultrinit, else no card is detected. if init the gus, and then later set blaster to the real soundblaster, gus is not working anymore.

any real cool ideas before i just sell my 200eur GUS ?

ArGUS Parts list: http://bit.ly/2Ddf89V

Reply 8 of 12, by Obiwan

User metadata
Rank Newbie


The GUS setup is tricky: it changes the Blaster variable to allow the GUS's SoundBlaster emulation. Hence your real SoundBlaster card will be ignored. So the Blaster variable should be modified to fit with your physical SoundBlaster card: get it back to the previous values: I/0 220 d1 i5...

Duke3D should detect your SoundBlaster now 😎 . Don't run again the GUS setup programm, it would change your settings.

Some useful readings: http://www.retronn.de/imports/gus_config_guide.html

Reply 10 of 12, by Phreeze

User metadata
Rank Member

2 things:
A) i realled messed up the jumpers on the board, they were set to 220. I doubled checked this, must be blind.
B) STILL even with the jumpers on 240, it doesn't work with plug and play cards.

Solutuon: using an AWE32 now. GUS is loaded first, awe 2nd.
Now i have to play around with aweutil and GM,MT32 emulation as colonization crashes if i select mt32 (it asks for a music irq?! none of them all worked. emm386 gives me an error when i start the game).

ArGUS Parts list: http://bit.ly/2Ddf89V

Reply 12 of 12, by Phreeze

User metadata
Rank Member

i told you it works for now; i don't want to mess around with plug and play cards. also the gus classic seems to be picky with them, not like the other gus cards

ArGUS Parts list: http://bit.ly/2Ddf89V