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Best Gravis Ultrasound for MS-DOS demos?

category: offtopic [glöplog]
I'm looking back at MS-DOS gaming/demos, seeing as many (most) demos from that time used the GUS I was wondering which was the best (most compatible? most common?) one I should buy.
Any insight would be gladly appreciated :)
added on the 2011-09-21 02:09:10 by olivil olivil
Either an original (aka "Classic") or Max should work well. Of course, buying one these days can be expensive, I see many for around US$100 on eBay. And make sure they already have 1 MB (full RAM upgrade), as finding the right chips can be a pain.
added on the 2011-09-21 02:33:39 by phoenix phoenix
Never had any problems with my gus extreme.
I have all that GUS models but really use only one of them: GUS Viper (I won it on Hornet's Music Contest 6, by the way). It combines classic GF1 chip with 1 Mb on board and Sound Blaster. This way I can use FM (AdLib) and PCM (GUS) instruments in Scream Tracker 3 at the same time.
All demos (GUS, AdLib and SB) works well.
added on the 2011-09-21 05:31:36 by Manwe Manwe
Ive got many GUS too, Im thinking about selling some. Basically, any GUS (even ACE) will do great if it has at least 1 meg.
added on the 2011-09-21 09:15:16 by nula nula
There was only one demo which always refused to work with my Gus PnP (namely this).
On the plus side it had proper windows drivers and ran mods > 1mb.
added on the 2011-09-21 09:34:57 by hfr hfr
I had the basic GUS Classic and when that broke down, a cheapo GUS Ace. Both worked perfectly with all demos I ever tried them on.
added on the 2011-09-21 09:40:57 by Preacher Preacher
I've actually had issues with the GUS Ace and the Max when it comes to demos. I went through two regular GUS cards (the 3.14 and 3.4x revisions -- the ones made before it was re-released as "Classic") which always worked perfect with demos. That said, then it comes to DOS configurations and soundcards, the blame can easily be found in the rest of your hardware as well. Some early AMD configurations were known to suck ass, and several motherboards based around the 386 and 486 series of processors were also utter garbage.
added on the 2011-09-21 10:01:54 by gloom gloom
From the Wikipedia-page:
Gravis realized early on that the demo scene support could be a sales booster and they gave away 6000 cards for free to the most famous scene groups and people in the scene.
I can't believe there is no "Citation needed" on that line, because I'm sure as hell that 6000-number is not even close to being true.
added on the 2011-09-21 10:04:37 by gloom gloom
haha, i doubt that there were 6.000 PC demo sceners back then :P
Who says they went out to 6000 different people? Maybe they just turned up at every Future Crew member's house with a skip full of them. :-)
added on the 2011-09-21 11:15:05 by gasman gasman
GUS PnP worked well for me, too (never had compatibility problems); only downside was the actual sound - the InterWave chip was a bit on the noisy side, and to dig out a Monty Python reference, it sounded too tinny. The original GUS should have been called GORN in comparison :)

Then again, it's also Windows Sound System compatible, lots of players back then supported that.

added on the 2011-09-21 11:20:42 by kb_ kb_
I still have a GUS MAX, the only downside was perhaps the 512k but as soon as you can dumpsterdive yourself one of those old S3 cards, you can just upgrade it to 1MB.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:19:42 by Gargaj Gargaj
I can't believe there is no "Citation needed" on that line, because I'm sure as hell that 6000-number is not even close to being true.

They gave away shitloads of cards though, so I wouldn't surprised if the number comes close.

Also, still have a Classic and a GUS clone (a GAS!) somewhere. Both worked fine.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:28:26 by okkie okkie
Okkie: I highly doubt that they gave out 6000 cards -- and even if that number should prove to be even marginally true, they weren't given exclusively to sceners. Even rounding up 6000 sceners in 1993-94-95 was a hard enough task on its own.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:31:03 by gloom gloom
I don't think there could be a citation unless someone digs up John Smith, the guy who I was told to be the mastermind behind the whole sponsorship thing (and who unfortunately has a rather ungooglable name). The whole operation seemed to be undocumented and unannounced, my only info comes from a brief email exchange with Charles Scheffold.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:32:48 by Gargaj Gargaj
I know the handout existed because I met Gravis-people at The Party in the 90s and it was pretty well documented in the BBS-scene that cards were in fact being handed out, but that they were so "loose" with them as to have given out 6000 cards.. I find it hard to believe. I personally just know of three people having gotten cards, all coders in the Norwegian demoscene at the time.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:35:42 by gloom gloom
I remember John Smith attending x'95 and talking to Logic Design. When he heard who they were he left a whole bunch of GUSes on their table.

This is all hearsay though, so no idea, but those dudes were everywhere back then.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:44:08 by okkie okkie
It's a shame that he has such an interchangable name (and hence basically impossible to find), he'd be a brilliant interview subject 15 years down the line.
added on the 2011-09-21 13:53:40 by Gargaj Gargaj
i'm surprised if they actually even gave out more than 100 cards. 6000 free cards would mean that every active scener at the time would've had one or more cards
added on the 2011-09-21 13:54:22 by nosfe nosfe
Okkie: "GAS" clone? Never heard about it. Could you please give some info about it?
added on the 2011-09-21 14:52:37 by Manwe Manwe
Manwe: this thing! AltraSound lol!
added on the 2011-09-21 14:55:13 by okkie okkie
Yeah, 6000 is probably closer to how many cards Gravis sold, not gave away. :)

FWIW, I have a GUS ACE (1 MB) in a working Athlon XP system (though I have to re-seat the card sometimes) which I used to test recent DC5 demos, and a Synergy Vipermax (GUS Extreme clone) in a 386-40 that I haven't tried for years, although last I did it worked well, for both GUS and SB demos.
added on the 2011-09-21 15:32:48 by phoenix phoenix
I got a MAX w/1MB. No shoes no shirt no problems.
added on the 2011-09-21 16:42:09 by superplek superplek
If you need extra RAM for your GUS you might be able to find extra memory on old graphics from that time. I had a GUS PnP with 512kB afair and ripped the memory chips off a S3 Trio32 or Trio64 card. Worked like a charm.
added on the 2011-09-21 17:10:01 by raer raer


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