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Refreshing the Sound Blaster 16! - Page 3

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Civic Protection View Post
Thank you, I appreciate it. I tried to find some datasheets on it, but I came up short in my searching. I found this picture: http://tinyurl.com/y9uwoy2

I'm treading lightly with my "modding", practising using my soldering iron.

Its too easy and generic to just go buy something new and "fresh", if you can play around with a classic from the past, make it work a little better with some tinkering.......then why not?

CP
I like your thinking... I just can't deal with slow computers anymore. Even the Pentium D 2ghz I have kicking around is painfully slow. (My new Atom netbook is faster?!?) I used to have some fun with them. About 4 years ago, I OCed a K6 to ~1.2ghz and made it glow.

Anyway, I'm off to 'work'. I have a rough idea of which caps are which, I'll try to put it on the page later or tomorrow. If you can find/snap the back of it too, that would be lovely.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrys View Post
I like your thinking... I just can't deal with slow computers anymore. Even the Pentium D 2ghz I have kicking around is painfully slow. (My new Atom netbook is faster?!?) I used to have some fun with them. About 4 years ago, I OCed a K6 to ~1.2ghz and made it glow.

Anyway, I'm off to 'work'. I have a rough idea of which caps are which, I'll try to put it on the page later or tomorrow. If you can find/snap the back of it too, that would be lovely.
Thanks! Interesting thing: I have a laptop which I do all my internet stuff with, and the cpu in it is a novel device with an interesting story.

It is an Intel Pentium M cpu. in early 2002 or so, the Pentium 4 was brand new and was a pig in regards to power usage and heat output.
They needed a low power (watt), proven chip for the laptop market, so they used the Pentium III Tualatin core.
To avoid embaresing the Pentium 4 product line, they changed the name, added more L2 cache, added some instructions from the Pentium 4, and released the Pentium M. They wanted to release a faster Pentium III and they did. Now, there was another cpu for the mobile market which was a dual core variety. I think it was called "Core Duo" and it is a dual Pentium M core chip. So in every way that matters, it is a dual Pentium III chip! Neat-o.

I researched and read the datsheets on my cpu and chipset, and did the infamous "pin mod". Manipulating a grain of rice sized strand of copper wire was tough, but I did it. Now my 1.8 Ghz Pentium M (III) is running stable at 2.4 Ghz @ 133 fsb. Fresh Artic Silver on the heatsink to replace the metal heattape too. I'm moniterine my temps with a thousand yard stare, I assure you.
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 

Wow, I didn't know this thread went on for so long afterwards; I sort of faded onto other boards or something.  Is anyone still goofing with this stuff?

 

I recently acquired a Supermicro P6DBE which I plan to use to test other ISA cards including some Pro Audio Spectrum boards I've collected and some even older 8-bit ISA mono cards.  I'm also trying to get my workplace to give me their recently decommissioned Dell Poweredge 2400 which they have no use for, anymore but which I can use due to it's ISA slot!  :D
 

post #34 of 37
Thread Starter 

It's so amusing, looking back at this thread and seeing how many people don't "get it" as far as restoring old hardware is concerned.

 

Anyway, it's been some time since I fired up that SB16, though I still have that P6DBE, and I just acquired a 486 board with ISA and VLB for use as a retro-rig.  Also, I've been scouring the local surplus places, here and there and come up with some odd 8-bit ISA sound-cards, some of which were amazing for the time, even offering I2S connectivity.  But I also found two or three Proaudio Spectrum 16 cards (YES, full-duplex!) as well as a later one using the Jazz16 chipset, with a wavetable daugher-board.

 

I'm still using the same MDR-V700's, though they are now run off an X-fi Xtreme Audio PCI.  Still not a dedicated amplifier as I would like, but I'm enjoying my listening experience so I can't complain.  I found some replacement ear-pads for these cans and they are back to being beautiful.  Yeah, I've had these cans for over 10 years and they haven't had any problems so I get the feeling a lot of people just mistreat their cans and expect them to last.  I listen to a lot of EDM, now and it sounds great on these headphones, but I also fire up that old Robin Trower album and love it up.

 

Any others been continuing to play with old hardware? :)

post #35 of 37
Well, talk about thread necromancy!

Not that I mind; this sort of thing is like VOGONS or Quest Studios Forums sound card discussion taken to the next level.

I do have an AWE32 CT2760 lying around for retrogaming use, but the amped speaker-out is unbearably noisy, so I use headphones on the line-out. Still loud enough, no noise.

Modding it for better sound quality is an interesting endeavour; I'd consider it if I knew what to change on this monstrosity of a card. Too bad that the S/PDIF output only works for EMU8000 and OPL3 FM output, not PCM digital sound output. That would've simplified things considerably.

There's also an AWE64 Gold, but I'd rather sell that as soon as I get a case that can FIT the AWE32 while having enough ventilation for the P4EE 3.2 GHz and GeForce 6800 Ultra it's being paired with. (Industrial mobo, before you ask what kind of 800 MHz FSB P4 system would have an ISA slot at all.)
post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 

Funny you should mention Vogons as I'm on there almost every day!  :)  I'll have to look into QSF.  If the amped output is terribly noisy then it's likely you are either using the incorrect headphones (wrong impedance) or your power-supply is horribly mismatched to your motherboard... or it's just old as hail and needs a recap.

 

An industrial board is exactly what came to mind when I read that.  I noticed there's a company advertising recently that builds systems of this sort as their bread & butter, though many of their boards are ECS which I wouldn't want.

 

One perk about the AWE32 or AWE64 is that they offer full-duplex so you can do kernel-streaming while listening to music, in Windows XP using Winamp or Foobar for example.  This is especially important in XP as you can bypass the crappy audio stack that XP likes to use to molest your audio stream.

post #37 of 37

The folks at QSF seem rather anti-Creative overall, surprisingly. They seem to favor Roland and Yamaha hardware, alongside assorted clone cards.

 

However, I'm not fond of clone cards after learning the hard way how Tyrian 2000 doesn't get alone with this ESS AudioDrive card I had lying around. From then on, it's been nothing but genuine Sound Blaster hardware.

 

As for XP, that's actually not where I'd use the AWE. The aforementioned P4EE/6800 Ultra system actually has no less than three sound cards, basically one for each OS/period of gaming:

 

-AWE64 Gold (DOS)

-Turtle Beach Montego II (Win9x)

-Auzentech X-Fi Prelude (WinXP)

 

Under XP, I only ever use the X-Fi Prelude in terms of audio output, though the other sound cards still have useful gameports.

 

Under Win98SE, it's all about the Montego II and that Aureal Vortex2 chipset for glorious A3D 2.0/3.0, except for when I feel like using the AWE for SoundFont support.

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