Here's my modest collection of Creative Labs cards that I collected over the years.... took these pics months ago but finally got around to mess with them.
Let's start with my rare, brand new CT1779 SB16 SCSI-2 that was made in 1995, with a newer mixer chip and a 4.13 DSP... card says "CT1770", but Creative Labs internally referred to it as the CT1779 for inventory/cataloging purposes because it did not come with the ASP/CSP chip
The real CT1770s (which has the ASP/CSP) were out of production after 1994, so this one I have makes it one of the last ones they made, with slightly updated packaging, long after the AWE32 came out! It outlived the CT2230 (SB16 MCD) too!
Inside, you will see that it didn't come with the large hand held mic like the earlier CT1770/CT1779 retail versions did. It came with the same desktop Labtec mic the AWE32 did. The floppies came with probably the last versions of the drivers and utils that Creative made for this particular card. Many files are dated July 1995. It came with EZ-SCSI Lite 3.03 also.
As you can see, it came with the CT1745A-S mixer chip, which is what makes this particular card a rarity because the majority of these cards had the original, but noisier CT1745A chip. Some had the CT1745A-TBQ chip in mid 1994 builds, which are still more common than this one. This was marketed as a premium sound card by Creative, so it only made sense that they gave it the best chips possible without redesigning the card during its production run because sales volumes were very low compared to the others. The CT1748A ASP/CSP did not come with the card. I own the rare upgrade kit also, so I transplanted the chip from my messed up CT2239 (which was my first sound card) to it!
A close up of large chips. The DSP 4.13 chip is barely readable. Contrast enhanced for better legibility.
Click for full sized image!
This card was made around the 31st week of 1995 as shown on the card. It has a very high numbered serial number too.
So how much I paid for it? $37 from ebay 12 years ago!
Next is the rare "ASP" chip upgrade. I forgot how much I paid, but it was a hefty amount of money. What a lie Creative made regarding voice recognition in their SB16 manual. They said you needed the chip for that function. I bought an OEM brown boxed CT2239 which didn't come with VoiceAssist. It was one of those gimmicks that were very cool back in the 90s. Once I got this kit, I found out there was NO ****ing VoiceAssist in the box, only TextAssist and Mosaic (that had an additional QSound bitmap for the game), which I didn't really care about. I later found out that VoiceAssist just worked no matter what sound card you had and it didn't require this rip off chip. But, I was happy to find out that QSound made a difference in gaming back in the 90s, and later on with MP3s. It just made things sound a little better with those crappy computer speakers.
But hey, it's nice to own a rare piece of PC history... but boy would I love to own the CMS upgrade kit! As for VoiceAssist, I eventually did manage to get it after someone gave me a copy of the retail SB16 disks that came with it.
There was no difference between the drivers that came on those 2 floppies than the single disk version found on the BBS/FTP. The 2nd disk just added TextAssist and Mosaic, all run by the same installer (not separate like you'd find in a SB16 package). Want to know what is inside that QSound manual? Download my "super" ISO. Nothing really cool to see, just telling you how to setup/configure the QSound using the utils.
Ahh... the useless HSC InterActive SE. It took many months of fighting and countless phone calls to Creative Labs to finally get them to mail it. Each time I called, I would tell them I'd like to register my CT2239 over the phone (remember I bought the OEM version, so no registration card to mail in). Each time they took down my information and said I should get the software within 2 weeks. Nope. I think it was about 8 months before I got this! I think it was somebody else who threatened to sue before they got their asses together to make more of these to ship out (as evidenced by the newer Creative style manual and floppy disk). I got my CT2239 for Christmas '93, I found out about the HSC InterActive SE "offer" in summer 1994 while roaming a store, was this big sticker stuck to a retail version of the CT2230. Then through my friends who also had SB16s, saw that the registration card said I could call in to register instead of mailing the card. Cool, I thought. Called and called and called, you know the story from there. Interestingly, they mailed another one of these to me a couple of months before. It was the older printing, which had the plain white cover for "HSC InterActive" with a very plain white label for the floppy. I gave that away to my friend who still has it. Any of you who have this, will know what I am talking about. Many of the HSC InterActives Creative gave away were these first pressings. So why did I want this useless crap to begin with? I wanted to find out what it was and I felt entitled to it since I paid more for a card they said it was something I was supposed to have!
Moving on... the infamous Wave Blaster II. A family friend got this for me. I'm really thankful still they did that because this thing was crazy expensive, and it turns out it wasn't that great (but still didn't realize until years later how much of a scam artist Creative Labs was... their marketing was that good!). I'm pretty sure this is a later packing release because it came with the 4 games and the crappy joystick. I think it was due to slow sales they did that. Well, that marketing trick sure worked! Man, I wish I got them to buy me the DB50XG (which costed the same) back then instead! Oh well, at least I got a used one I am using now.
Yup, instead of Cakewalk, I got games. The white EULA envelope did make mention of Cakewalk on it!
Finally, the other cards...
From top, Goldfinch CT1920, SB16 Value PnP CT2950, SB16 MCD CT2239, and the SB16 SCSI-2 CT1779. The CT2239 is bad. In 1996, I blew the amp or maybe the related caps when I hooked up a phone line to audio adapter to it to try to make some operator message recordings. That adapter was a piece of ****! It didn't suppress the voltages enough, and the connection was mono, and the card's mic input was stereo, which caused a short! Look closely, and you will see a big brown ring around the ST TEA2025B chip. It turned an already noisy card to a water fall!
So it got replaced with my beloved CT3900. Got this from a BBS. Guy ran a computer store and I met him at a swap meet, where he was running a stand. He got suckered into an AWE64 Gold. I feel sorry for him, for "upgrading" once I found out how much worse the AWE64 was. I don't remember how much I paid. I think $50? It wasn't cheap to me back in those days because I was in high school and using only my allowance money! Doesn't matter because it was still a good deal that the card came with 8MB of SIMMs. The CT1910 WB2 that was on the CT2230 went over to the CT3900 and is still with it!
This one is one of the newer CT3900s which has the newer CT1745A-S mixer chip (that my CT1779 also has) that the AWE64 Gold later on also used in the early releases, a revised CT1748-SBP ASP/CSP chip, and a 4.13 DSP. I don't know what they changed with the ASP/CSP, but I can tell with my own ears that the CT1745A-S mixer made the card quieter! This was one of the last non-PnP cards Creative made. Thank god for the "disable" jumper setting for the IDE controller. The Panasonic interface couldn't be disabled, so it wasted some port addresses, but at least no IRQs! So no stupid ass CTCM **** setup issues. Just pure fun!
Their own CD-ROM controller cards:
The large connector on the CT1810 was used for the very rare external Panasonic CD-ROM drive. I don't think they sold much of any of those kits, making it even more rare than the Sound Blaster Easy 16, which was an external multimedia kit. It was a SB16 card, with that big connector, with an external CR-563B. I saw it on ebay ages ago, but I think it was missing the card or was too expensive for me to care. I used that card for a while, solely to use the CD audio pass through out the jack and patching it into my CT2230 because it only had one CD audio input and I didn't know enough about electronics then to hack my own multi CD cable. Yes, I was using more than one CD-ROM drive.
Last but not least, my CT1320C SB 1.5... got it at the swap meet for $5 back in 1998 I think. The volume dial is a little warped. Card works, but noisy as typical of all early sound blasters.
SAA1099P chips on the way....
Others not pictured... a CT4500 AWE64 Value that's in an old P200 MMX box sitting in the attic... a CT2239C that came with the MK4021 kit I just got from ebay last week, with a brand new CR-563B.... a dead CR-563B sits under my bed with the SNES games lol
Biggest regret: not paying the $85 for a boxed CT1900 Wave Blaster 1 on ebay about 10 years ago
So biggest wants now: boxed AWE64 Gold, CT1300, CT1350, CT1610, CT1900