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So... tell me about the Gravis Ultrasound?

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I didn't include the FM-synth only cards, but some are extremely collectible too.

 

Adlib = very rare

 

[...]

 

Basically, any 8-bit sound card (Adlib, SB 1.0, PAS) will be rare. I sold a no-name 8-bit card a while back for $100.

 

I had no idea that these old sound cards were actually worth anything.

 

Back in about 1996, I bought an original AdLib card CIB for like Cdn$5 at an electronics flea market. It was used (and a bit dusty), but it included all of the original manuals and software. Even then, finding Windows 3.1 driver software was something of a challenge -- the default drivers would play music but not sound effects. My PC did not ship with a sound card, so this was my very first experience installing and configuring a card.

 

That PC ultimately went to friends of the family a few years later when I moved and upgraded my hardware. I assume that it was long-ago recycled.

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I had no idea that these old sound cards were actually worth anything.

 

Back in about 1996, I bought an original AdLib card CIB for like Cdn$5 at an electronics flea market. It was used (and a bit dusty), but it included all of the original manuals and software. Even then, finding Windows 3.1 driver software was something of a challenge -- the default drivers would play music but not sound effects. My PC did not ship with a sound card, so this was my very first experience installing and configuring a card.

 

That PC ultimately went to friends of the family a few years later when I moved and upgraded my hardware. I assume that it was long-ago recycled.

 

I think the Adlib was music only; the deal with the Sound Blaster was that it added digital effects to the same music you got from the Adlib (Yamaha OPL2). Plus, the SB added a 15-pin gameport, and the rest is history.

 

In general, ISA bus 8-bit sound and 8-bit video cards are quite collectible. When you get to 16-bit ISA cards, they tend to be more common, with the exceptions I noted in a previous post.

 

Europe, along with the US, is a huge market for the collectible cards.

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It's a nice vindicating feeling that these things are now collectible and valuable. Certainly makes the time I spent rummaging through boxes of loose computer cards at liquidation specialty stores feel worthwhile.

 

The nice part about these is it tickles a very specific geekery reward when you get them to work. The music on them sounds amazing. It's the same rewarding payback of fixing a pinball game or getting an old game console or computer to work. Or even comparable to the first ride of a restored motocycle, or catching a fish with a refurbished rod and reel. I wonder if there's a name for this specific kind of payback.

 

So yeah, makes sense the cost of them is ballooning.

 

Hmm... amongst the rarer cards I have is a boxed Roland PCIMCIA sound canvas card. Ok Google... what's the model name... SCP-55 (thank you google... didn't even have to hit Enter). Also got breakout cables and instructions, and the box too I think. You think this is worth anything, given that it's a laptop card?

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It's a nice vindicating feeling that these things are now collectible and valuable. Certainly makes the time I spent rummaging through boxes of loose computer cards at liquidation specialty stores feel worthwhile.

 

The nice part about these is it tickles a very specific geekery reward when you get them to work. The music on them sounds amazing. It's the same rewarding payback of fixing a pinball game or getting an old game console or computer to work. Or even comparable to the first ride of a restored motocycle, or catching a fish with a refurbished rod and reel. I wonder if there's a name for this specific kind of payback.

 

So yeah, makes sense the cost of them is ballooning.

 

Hmm... amongst the rarer cards I have is a boxed Roland PCIMCIA sound canvas card. Ok Google... what's the model name... SCP-55 (thank you google... didn't even have to hit Enter). Also got breakout cables and instructions, and the box too I think. You think this is worth anything, given that it's a laptop card?

I feel the same way about getting old hardware to work. So satisfying!

 

That SCP-55 is worth a lot, especially if you have the breakout box. My estimate is $300-$500, maybe more if someone really wants it. If you sell it, start an auction at $300 or so with no BIN. It could go for a lot more than a high BIN.

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I had no idea that these old sound cards were actually worth anything.

 

Back in about 1996, I bought an original AdLib card CIB for like Cdn$5 at an electronics flea market. It was used (and a bit dusty), but it included all of the original manuals and software. Even then, finding Windows 3.1 driver software was something of a challenge -- the default drivers would play music but not sound effects. My PC did not ship with a sound card, so this was my very first experience installing and configuring a card.

 

That PC ultimately went to friends of the family a few years later when I moved and upgraded my hardware. I assume that it was long-ago recycled.

 

 

It's weird... I think it's worth a lot solely for the collectability of them. The basic adlib doesn't offer anything that any other non-PnP OPL2-based card offers. So, if someone was just looking for Adlib sound, they could get that from literally any 8-bit compatible sound card that was available in the mid to late 90s.

 

But, it's period correct in a newer 8088 or an 80286 computer.

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How about an Ensoniq SoundscapeDB wavetable daughterboard? :-D

I havent seen one of those on eBay maybe ever. The good Soundscapes (not Vivo or Opus) sell for about $150, but the DB would be a nice addition to a SB-compatible card (the Soundscapes have terrible SB emulation).

 

Id say $200 at a minimum, maybe $400 near the top range, depending on whether there is a bidding war.

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I havent seen one of those on eBay maybe ever. The good Soundscapes (not Vivo or Opus) sell for about $150, but the DB would be a nice addition to a SB-compatible card (the Soundscapes have terrible SB emulation).

 

Id say $200 at a minimum, maybe $400 near the top range, depending on whether there is a bidding war.

 

I guess that makes today a good day =D

 

post-7524-0-06117600-1540941007_thumb.jpg

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Anyone interested in looking for a GUS or something like it for their retro rig might be interested in this trade thread I just started. This is targeted at an owner of an Another World Jaguar cart, but I guess I'm willing to entertain ideas.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/291574-trade-your-another-world-jaguar-cart-for-my-rare-sound-cards-gus-roland/

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I use a SB Pro 2.0... I stick with FM because I'm a shmup fan and Tyrian needs FM... It sounds like ass in General MIDI. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't support the GUS anyway. Also for Adlib Tracker II...

Edited by DragonGrafx-16
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I use a SB Pro 2.0... I stick with FM because I'm a shmup fan and Tyrian needs FM... It sounds like ass in General MIDI. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't support the GUS anyway. Also for Adlib Tracker II...

 

Tyrian does support the GUS. You have to load ULTRAMID first. It sounds great, IMO.

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Yeah... Tyrian ! I think I got it to work on the Roland Sound Canvas. Might have been the AWE. I remember it sounds great.

 

That's one of the games I had to really monkey with to get past the Runtime Error 200 glitch (on a computer that's too fast, I think a result of using Borland Pascal). Had to hexedit the thing.

 

Anyways great game for fancy sound cards.

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Yeah... Tyrian ! I think I got it to work on the Roland Sound Canvas. Might have been the AWE. I remember it sounds great.

 

That's one of the games I had to really monkey with to get past the Runtime Error 200 glitch (on a computer that's too fast, I think a result of using Borland Pascal). Had to hexedit the thing.

 

Anyways great game for fancy sound cards.

 

Yes, Tyrian is a tricky game to configure for wavetable cards in general.

 

Here is Tyrian with my GUS Ace:

 

https://soundcloud.com/user-306991531/gusace-tyrian

 

Here is Tyrian using the Pro Patches Lite patches:

 

https://soundcloud.com/user-306991531/gusaceppl-tyrian

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Yes, Tyrian is a tricky game to configure for wavetable cards in general.

 

Here is Tyrian with my GUS Ace:

 

https://soundcloud.com/user-306991531/gusace-tyrian

 

Here is Tyrian using the Pro Patches Lite patches:

 

https://soundcloud.com/user-306991531/gusaceppl-tyrian

Yeah still sounds way better in FM...

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Occasionally when I'm bored, I go looking on eBay, and the Gravis UltraSound cards always sell for INSANE prices... I mean totally insane. The crappiest one usually goes for $300 bucks... like... no one would ever even want it. There's a MAX for sale right now that's over $900 bucks.

 

The ACE, the last one I had, is probably so insanely rare that if it popped up on eBay, it would be over $1,000 bucks.

Wow! Thanks for the heads up. I think I still have an ACE that I don't use. Time to sell maybe :)

 

Other than Star Control 2, there was never a single game that I could find that ever used the Gravis Ultrasound natively. For those who have ever played Star Control 2, it's crystal clear with the Gravis Ultrasound, where as you get a constant fuzz from the Sound Blaster and every other card.

 

 

So aside from Star Control 2... what is the huge demand for that card? What am I missing that I'm not understanding? Why are they commanding such high prices?

My memory was quite a lot of games in the 90s supported Ultrasound natively. There were hacks for those that didn't, but I never had to use the hacks.

 

It was a popular card then, Advanced Gravis gave free or cheap cards to game developers, and this caused the card to be widely used in games and the demo scene. But the card

itself was nowhere near as mainstream as the SB16. That's probably the reason for the high-prices. It's a card that causes nostagic feelings, but there isn't a huge supply of them.

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Back in the day when the gus came out, i couldnt afford one but got two friends who did.

One had a Gus classic the other one a Gus ace. Think he still has the Gus ace. I already told him not to get rid of the card because of its rarity.

A few years ago I found 2 unknown green Gus clones. After years someone at vogons forum posted this about my card, (traded on for a sb awe32 with memory expanded and 2 voodoo2 12mb cards)

 

User peklop wrote

Little more info. I finaly found UltraWave specifications. In archived pages is not link from main product site, but still is hyperlink from different products, from ALS cards:

 

page named 3D SOUND about True 3-D holographic sound with our RAM-BASED 16-bit multimedia wavetable synthesizer card

http://web.archive.org/web/199701120501... -sound.htm

 

Found older deleted Product page with only 3 ALS cards and 2 waveblasters but still with GUS:

http://web.archive.org/web/199701120459... d&b-pd.htm

d&b-pd.htm , d&b products

 

Check new logo. J.J.L , again different company name?

Image

 

At main 1997 website is Ultra Wave deleted in prodct list. But when i go to any of six ALS based cards:

http://web.archive.org/web/199706180654... 0wave.html

 

Official specifications from website:

 

ULTRA WAVE CARD

 

 

 

True 3-D holographic sound with our RAM-BASED 16-bit multimedia wavetable synthesizer card

 

 

* A Microsoft Windows Multimedia (MPC-II) sound card for music, multimedia and business applications.

* RAM-based wavetable synthesis allows reproduction of an unlimited number of sounds with incredible accuracy.

* It sounds far better than other low-priced cards; one of the easiest to install.

* Support full-package drivers for Windows, DOS, utilities, lengthy demo programs, popular games and CD title.

*

A sound card for games, supporting Roland MT-32, Roland Sound Canvas, Adlib Sound Blaster and UltraSound

games for the best.

*

A digital sound card capable of simultaneous recording and playback, with up to 32 simultaneous digital channels,

full-mixing capabilities, and built-in interface IDE (ATAPI) CD-ROM drive.

*

Optional BIOS for LBA function to control IDE channel one (primary address) and channel two (secondary address),

so even older mainboards can support HDD larger than 528MB.

* Full 16-bit general MIDI patch set comprising 192 instruments and sound effect.

* Full 16-bit CD quality sound and 16-bit DMA to transfer sound data for recording and playback.

* 16-bit stereo playback and 8-bit recording up to 44.1 KHz.

*

8/16-bit playback in all Windows 3.1 WAV formats (i.e., 8-bit, 16-bit, mono, stereo, 11025 Hz, 22050Hz, 44100 Hz,

48000Hz).

* Software setup for DMA, IRQ and game ports; enhanced joystick speed and sensitivity.

* Full MIDI IN/OUT capabilities.

* Plays WAV, MID, RMI, MOD, SND, ULT, POP and other sound files.

* True 3-D holographic sound.

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The whole "SoundBlaster 16 ecosystem" was enough for me. I had just gotten my 486, and was beginning to fill the ISA slots. The SB16 was my first add-on card for the system IIRC.

 

It was a complex affair in that it added sound input/output, a gameport, a CD-ROM interface, Midi-interface, WaveTable daughtercard, and some sort of DSP in the form of the ASP16 add-on chip. That was seriously a lot of of stuff and I was almost overwhelmed at all the new functionality. In retrospect I would call it a multi-media card except it had nothing to do with graphics.

 

All of those features were more than enough to satisfy my needs and I never went further into sound upgrades for the 486. And it blew away anything I had before, Amiga.. Anything 8-bit.. Gone! I did sample (no pun intended) higher quality cards in the computer stores of the time but I always felt some of the higher-end models like from Gravis and Roland sounded TOO GOOD. I mean sound was way more advanced compared to graphics during "multi-media's" early days. And it just felt mis-matched somehow and not quite rite.

 

Later on in the Pentium II, III, and IV epochs I would again play host to more CL stuff. A SoundBlaster Live and Audigy 2. The SBLive! card was definitely geared around Windows and I had to get an AWE64Gold to supplement it for better DOS compatibility. There was no way I was permanently stripping out the SB16 from the still operational 486 - save for brief set-up and testing purposes.

 

I still have the SB-Live in my PIII rig. I should strip it out and free up the PCI slot as I'm using the AWE64 most of the time.

 

When I had a Pentium IV rig going. Big mistake. I had purchased an Audigy - this moved even further away from DOS compatibility and I felt like I was beginning to fight to keep playing games of the 486 era. It had all sorts of high quality outputs and hi-spec DACS and all this EAX and 7-channel sound built on all kinds of proprietary specs.. And more.. and more.. It simply was "too much" sound card for me. Wayyyy tooo mmmuch! And then the Audigy 2 hit the market and I just got frustrated trying to stay "state-of-the-art" and I was seriously overwhelmed to tears. And of course none of my DOS games were working well, if it all. And that 1-inch breakout box cable was hideous. Remember that?

 

I was frustrated enough that it pushed me over the edge. I got off the upgrade bandwagon. From that point on I stopped chasing graphics and sound cards and playing the game of specsmanship. I decided that whatever was "industry standard" and "built-in" would be good enough for all PC and gaming usage. Simple basic 2.1 speakers or headphones are great and I no longer worry about sound, drivers, APIs, standards, configurations, eax surround dolby thx this or that.. Just plug the shit in and it works!

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I have a love/hate relationship with the SB Live! card. It's pretty much the only game in town if you want SB16 emulation for DOS games (and you don't have an ISA card like the AWE64). All other PCI sound cards from other manufacturers emulate the 8-bit (in operation) SB Pro 2. Its software wavetable GM is really good -- better than that of its esteemed competitor, the Aureal Vortex 2.

 

On the downside, it's extremely difficult to match a card with its proper driver unless you know for a fact that the install CD-ROM came with the card in hand. There were so many variations of the Live! that getting a loose card to work as it should can be an exercise in futility.

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I could never get my SB Live! to work in DOS mode back when I was using Windows 98... so I built a pure MS-DOS 6.22 system and bought my SB Pro 2.0...

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There were so many variations of the Live! that getting a loose card to work as it should can be an exercise in futility.

 

Not only the Live!, but all their cards overall. Was there any real reason why they made so many models?

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Not only the Live!, but all their cards overall. Was there any real reason why they made so many models?

 

There were lots, beginning with the SB Pro 2 models and then continuing into the SB16 line.

 

1. Could be used as CD-ROM interface, so you had variants that controlled only Sony drives, LMSI drives, etc. Also, SCSI interface for whatever.

2. Cost cutting. CL dropped Yamaha FM and went with their in-house clone, CQM, so you really have to check which one you've got if you have SB16, SB32, AWE32

3. Two-tier pricing. You had premium lines like the AWE32 and then the "Value" lines. With AWE64, you had Gold models and Value models.

4. OEM models. This really became an issue with the PCI cards. One model of the Live! made for Dell is actually crippled compared to the retail version.

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