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Because SID Clones are cool and from time to time a new one appear, this List could be helpful to get an overview.

Feel free to add new or further Information where to buy/whatever... (Technically they are no real Clones they are emulations on microchips)

SwinSID http://www.swinkels.tvtom.pl/swinsid/ (DIY possible)

Arduino/Atmega based Replacement, cheap but simple

Mostly sold on ebay (about 15-20€)

SwinSID Ultimate

Improved SwinSiD

Full describtion https://www.polyplay.xyz/SwinSID-Ultimate

FPGASID 

An FPGA based SID ;) further Infos: http://www.fpgasid.de/

Forum http://midibox.org/forums/topic/20289-the-fpgasid-project/

ARMSID

ARM Cortex M4 based SID

Info and shopping https://www.retrocomp.cz/produkt?id=2

FREESID (DIY)

Teensy 4.0 (ARM Cortex M7) + PCB
Possibility to modify/recode the Firmware. 
Stereo SID Emulation (Early Alpha, PCB available from the builder here:https://www.uni64.com/c/pcb-platinen/free-public-domain)

Dual 6581 SID Emulator (DIY)

Teensy 3.5 (ARM Cortex M4) + PCBs (no good Plug and Play for MBoxes, look at the Dimensions)
Code is based on ReSID Engine which is the Soundengine of the VICE C64 Emulator
Infos: https://hackaday.io/project/159917-dual-6581-sid-emulator

It is possible/necessary to configure SwinSID Ultimate, FPGA and ARMSID (6581/8580 mode, Filter mode) you need a working C64 for this and a sd2iec or something similar. Keep that in mind. Read with which configuration they will be shipped and may ask the seller if he can configure it to fit your needs.

Edited by Noise-Generator
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Nice list! One I’d like to see added is the great sounding SID implementation that Gideon from the Ultimate 1541 / Ultimate 64 project (https://ultimate64.com/) has made with a Xilinx FPGA.

I don’t think he’s been persuaded to consider selling it as a separate product yet however. 
 

I hear that SwinSID ultimate is very good, but they’re nowhere to be found and the creator has gone a little mad from what I understand (https://www.facebook.com/262253294115914/posts/798860600455178/?d=n&substory_index=0)

 

Regular SwinSIDs are cheap as chips and seemingly easy to come by (eBay, etc.), but there’s lots of complaints about sound quality online. 
 

What’s the verdict on the ARMSID? I haven’t heard much about them?

 

Cheers.

 

Edited by dwestbury
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I don't know whats up with the gideon fpgasid, maybe this project is frozen meanwhile because the "other" fpgasid is out.

You have to take a look sometimes at the ordering page for the swinsid ultimate, this c64 products are sold out from time to time but the chance is good that they get back in stock because they mostly produce small stacks.

The swinsid is useful but sounds boring after a while. There is an alternative firmware for mbox sid with higher parameter spectrum http://www.swinkels.tvtom.pl/swinsid/ but have not tested this one (did not know that)

 

Follow the link to armsid there is a link to an order page, there you get audio-demos https://retrocomp.cz/produkt?id=2

There you can hear much of em...

There is also an arm2sid, a double sid and it does also fm. https://retrocomp.cz/produkt?id=20

It's an emulation of this (OPL2) FM Chip https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YM3812

I guess it would be possible to use this with a mbox sid but it sure needs some adjusting. Maybe it's possible to put an alternative firmware inside a slave core. But, no, I don't think so because you would have the same parameter Menu than the Master. By the way, the MBox FM uses an OPL3. 

 

What's fine about these chips is the possibility to build some custom design with an exclusive sound but for this you need the know how (I don't have)

Also, if you would build an alternative chip you would need to modify the mbox sid software.

All of those listed sid clones have some pros and cons but sound very similar cause they are designed for the c64 community as replacements.

Edited by Noise-Generator
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  • 5 months later...
On 4/2/2020 at 9:34 AM, Noise-Generator said:

There is also an arm2sid, a double sid and it does also fm. https://retrocomp.cz/produkt?id=20

It's an emulation of this (OPL2) FM Chip https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YM3812

I guess it would be possible to use this with a mbox sid but it sure needs some adjusting. Maybe it's possible to put an alternative firmware inside a slave core. But, no, I don't think so because you would have the same parameter Menu than the Master. By the way, the MBox FM uses an OPL3. 

It's much cheaper to buy the ARM2SID pair than getting two individual ARMSIDs and you get the added benefit of FM capability. Although, I'm not sure it's possible to take advantage of that with any of the current mbox firmwares?

This side-by-side sound comparison shows pretty good sound quality too: http://kompjut0r.blogspot.com/2018/04/sid-8580-vs-armsid-vs-swinsid-ultimate_12.html 

Is anyone actually using ARM2SID's in their mbox SID yet? Wondering what level of customization would be required to get the basics operational? 

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No big deal. It's the same thing with all the stereo SIDs. You need to connect J14 of the second SID module of a Core to the additional input of the SID. I show you but you need to figure it out for the mb 6582. 

http://ucapps.de/mbhp/mbhp_8xsid_c64_psu_optimized.pdf

I don't have on, already, if I had one I would describe this more precise but this is how it should work. 

 

For FM I don't even have found a program for the C64. There is a demo out there which plays FM but no editor.

I don't know how much possibilities you have to edit some FM, if you can, you will not see it correctly. So if you turn a knob it is possible that there are changes in sound but not the correct describtion in the lcd. I'm sure the FM engine is close to the SID, like same parameters for ADSR and stuff. However it is also very lack documentated and by saying that, I mean no documentation.

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Doing a little digging with the mbhp_core_v3 schematic, I can see that J14 should be accessible from the PIC's RD4 pin:

http://www.ucapps.de/mbhp/mbhp_core_v3.pdf

5f720ac4c4f94_ScreenShot2020-09-28at11.4

 

Following the relevant trace on the base PCB schematic shows this:

http://www.midibox.org/dokuwiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=mb-6582:mb-6582_base_pcb_r2_color.pdf

5f720e505d208_ScreenShot2020-09-28at11.5

 

Which is tied into the CS pin of U2_SIDx :

http://archive.6502.org/datasheets/mos_6582_sid.pdf

5f720f40852be_ScreenShot2020-09-28at12.0 

 

Would I need to reroute this to make an ARM2SID pair work in U1_SID1 and U2_SID1 of my MB-6582?

 

Thx,

-Darrell

 

Edited by dwestbury
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  • 3 weeks later...

Two quick updates:

First, I decided to order some ARM2SIDs to try out in my MB6582, so I should have them in a couple weeks, assuming all goes well with import customs, etc.

Second, it looks like Poly.play has a fresh batch of SwinSID Ultimates back in stock ~$44.50 USD (€38.02).

https://www.polyplay.xyz/SwinSID-Ultimate?jtl=v

From what I've read and heard, these sound (subjectively) closest to the real SID and they support external sound input, so you can use them with your distortion pots!

swinsid-ultimate_1.jpg.b2b6f3ba22b02151ed0e79de438a389e.jpg

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18 minutes ago, Noise-Generator said:

 

Question: Can you edit your ARMSID with Vice + Midibox via asid? Then I can add this to the Main Info.

 

I was planning to configure them using my Ultimate 64 (https://ultimate64.com/Ultimate-64)

I can certainly give the Vice + ASID thing a try (Hmmm... Interesting)

 

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10 hours ago, Rio said:

I tested it with my real sids with the mbsidv2 .. it worked.

 

I’m guessing that SID playback should work, since that already works well to a MB-6582 or sammichSID using MIDI Patchbay and TK’s ASID mod for SIDPlayer.

 

However, using MIDI encapsulation to manage the ARM2SID config is an altogether different animal...

Waiting for a window of free time to give this a try though...

Cheers
 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally found a little window of time to plop a set of ARM2SIDs into a MIDIbox SID to play with some patches, and.... WHOAH...  

In my humble opinion, they perform exceptionally well.

I tested them with default configs (i.e., dropped them into a MIDIbox SID with no config changes), and can say that they combine a very low noise ceiling (e.g., nonexistent), and produce very accurate SID sound emulation, with reliably consistent volume levels, across all voices and various patches (So, Win-win-win.... ).

The price-point for an ARM2SID set is ~$48 USD, which is a bit more expensive than purchasing 2 * SwinSIDs (which avg. ~$15-$20 each on eBay, or $30-$40 for a pair), but ARM2SIDS sound very accurate and produce consistently powerful output levels, irrespective of the patch chosen.

I'm more than happy to share sounds from some patches or a popular SID track, if anyone is interested.

 Best,

-Darrell

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dang that's pretty impressive to my ears! Especially the baseline. Delta sounded good but maybe not quiiiite what I read when I bust that out on my C64 (though that's using a 6581). But super close! Seems like a pretty great alternative to real SIDs! Sorry if I missed it but does it fixed the ADSR bug or is that an optional toggle? As I recall, SwinSID fixes it (though I could be misremembering there)

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As far as I know, ARMSID emulates the latest 6581 and 8580 releases (R4AR and R5 respectively), so the best sounding versions of each chip.

Delta was definitely composed for the 6581, whereas my ARMSIDs are setup to emulate an 8580, so there's going to be some character differences there.

I also have a pair of SwinSID Ultimates coming in the mail (one of these days) from Poly.play, so it'll be interesting to hear how they stack up.

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Ah forgot about Delta being 6581 so yep that probably explains some of the differences there. Fortunately I was able to find some of my 6582 SIDs stuck in the back corner of one of my hardware parts drawers. Never got to use them much before the CS of my first MB6582 attempt started giving me issues :/

Even so it'd be fun to experiment around with some of these. Using these when one needs to work around the ADSR bug and such could be useful. The drum engine might be better fit for one of these over a real SID in some ways methinks. Anyways curious what you end up finding when you're able to compare to SwinSID Ultimate but yeah sounds like ARMSID is a super compelling option! I'd like maybe like one FPGASID but I agree it's cost prohibitive to populate an entire MB6582 with them. I know TK hinted at driving them with a CORE32 which sounds exciting!

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  • 1 month later...

Question: Why should you go for an ARM2SID with second 2SID? 2x ARMSID would work just as well, right? the price difference is not that huge.

@dwestbury: Did something on the PCB have to be changed to connect the second 2SID? Does the 2SID only work in conjunction with the other chip?

 

Edited by Rio
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5 hours ago, Rio said:

Question: Why should you go for an ARM2SID with second 2SID? 2x ARMSID would work just as well, right? the price difference is not that huge.

@dwestbury: Did something on the PCB have to be changed to connect the second 2SID? Does the 2SID only work in conjunction with the other chip?

 

The recommendation to modify the board was based on speculation. This turned out not to be necessary in my testing... You can simply drop the Arm2SID set into the required sockets and jam away.

The second (dummy) Arm2SID is basically only there to intercept the Chip Select signal and pass it along to the active Arm2SID, which performs it's double-duty, then passes the audio-out for the second SID back via the bridge cable.

I'd imagine that the only real reason that someone might want to purchase an Arm2SID over two regular ArmSIDs is to save a little money. The Arm2SID set costs ~48 eur versus two separate ArmSIDs @ 28 eur each or 56 eur for the pair.

So really only a modest savings of ~8 eur per pair, but when you multiply that by the four cores for a fully populated MB-6582, now you're up to a 32 eur build cost difference.

 

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I guess I should also add that the Arm2SID is capable of emulating up to 3 SIDs and includes FM synthesis capabilities...

These features won't matter much for a MIDIbox SID build, but hey, they're solid extra features for your C64 ;-)

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