Obviously given my username here you avoid my YT channel like the plague....

Started by Madcommodore, 20:09, 06 July 22

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Madcommodore

....but I do actually have another channel apart from madcommodore (which is named after a character in an old Atari 800XL UK advert a bit like the Mac vs PC adverts with Justin Long not because I am a C= fanboy).

I have done quite a few real hardware Amstrad CPC 464 tape game videos (about 20 hours worth split into 2-2.5 hour chunks) and I am slowly putting the individual segments up on my non Commodore-centric Retrotronics channel if you would like to check them out. 

I had a lot of fun playing with the CPC + cassette adaptor + CDT images, some games were truly a work of art. I like ALL 8bit games that are good, I bought a C64 because the 48k Atari 800 was double the price in 1983 ;)

channel is here if you would like to check them out,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSPb-aq4xCc_0CUfjGjoJhg

I don't have money to burn so the camera is neither 180 degrees horizontally aligned to perfection (cardboard boxes not expensive tripods) not the best picture quality (I only have 1 camera, my own personal use digital camera that also happens to do average quality video recordings not some super expensive set up)

To be fair I would like to point out if you are evaluating games using an emulator it is nothing like the experience of me playing games on a real CPC with the sound coming out of the 2cm speaker in the case and the game window, which can be as small as the damned SX-64 built in 6 inch screen sometimes on games like Road Runner etc when displayed on an original Amstrad 14" colour monitor. Then again to be fair 99% of you had this set up (sometimes green screen) and even with the very rare Amstrad TV modulator the sound still comes out of the CPC unless you also add a spare VCR into the mix to get composite video signal to pair up with the audio output from the mini-jack on the CPC...which I bet nobody did ;)

The CPC 464 is probably the best example of being better off using an emulator connected to a decent TV of all the retro hardware due to the weird way it was designed and marketed compared to everything else..........it probably isn't for everybody :)

When my house is finished the CPC will be connected to a huge CRT via a VCR with composite video and audio going into the TV for my own personal tastes.....we are a VERY long time away from my house being that 'finished' so I have to make do with what I have. 



Gryzor

Flak incoming in 3...2...1...

Just kidding. You're very welcome here and I look forward to checking out your bids. 

Will write more tomorrow, but for now: a common setup was a SCART cable that also took the sound to the TV by adding an audio jack. 

Madcommodore

Quote from: Gryzor on 20:18, 06 July 22Flak incoming in 3...2...1...

Just kidding. You're very welcome here and I look forward to checking out your bids.

Will write more tomorrow, but for now: a common setup was a SCART cable that also took the sound to the TV by adding an audio jack.
lol I expect people to disagree with any reviews I do, be it VCS, C64, Amiga, CPC, SNES, Megadrive, been told I am a harsh reviewer....but praise where praise is due like CPC Golden Axe, Ikari, P-47, Moon Cresta etc etc all better on the CPC than on the C64. 

Must admit never saw a SCART cable in the 80s for the CPC, see them all the time on ebay now and I actually need to get one for a 464plus I bought 'untested' about 2 decades ago with no monitor to see if I actually have a working 464plus. 

Me and my friends all moved onto 16bits by 1988 (ST/Amiga) or 1990 (Megadrive) so back then for us it was playing games on the Amstrad monitor (Elite looks cool on the greenscreen) or via the very hard to find 464+Ams RF Modulator with built in PSU in the mid 80s when we did play Atari 800XL/C64/CPC/MSX games together.

My friend only needed the CPC+modulator setup, he already had a Fergusson 14" portable TV from his Atari VCS/Colecovision days and it was pure luck Woolworth had that setup in stock. For him the CPC was a much better fit for the sort of games he liked to play, seeing Sorcery running on the CPC in Woolworths and the modulator and CPC464 being in stock when he had his refund from the C64 he blew up in his pocket (pliers touched the cartridge port pins!) it was a perfect storm moment.

There was never a 'best 8bit computer' just 'best fit for you'. To be honest, after sitting down with my 464 for a week or two, I was reminded there are 3 8bit computers I would have been happy with back in those days.

It could always be worse, you could have got one of those Sharp micros like my cousin.....boy were those visits to his house NOT fun lol poor sod, I bet the whole home gaming revolution passed him by lol

eto

Quote from: Madcommodore on 18:45, 07 July 22to see if I actually have a working 464plus. 
Simple test: Attach a headphone or speaker, plug in the BASIC / Burning Rubber cartridge, turn on the computer, press F2, then you should hear the Burning Rubber title music. 

Madcommodore

Quote from: eto on 19:48, 07 July 22
Quote from: Madcommodore on 18:45, 07 July 22to see if I actually have a working 464plus.
Simple test: Attach a headphone or speaker, plug in the BASIC / Burning Rubber cartridge, turn on the computer, press F2, then you should hear the Burning Rubber title music.

I don't have any way to power on the 464plus though to test it but it was something silly like 20 quid in 2004/2005 ;)

GUNHED

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Madcommodore

Quote from: GUNHED on 18:44, 08 July 22Today you can get a 5 Euro PSU for it.  :)
Indeed, I am sure the SCART kit for it with PSU is more like 20 of your english pounds though so no point getting just a PSU. 

Only have one GX or CPCplus game, the Burning Rubber+BASIC (?) cartridge that came with it and that might not even work either anyway so it will have to wait. 

GUNHED

Depends what you prefer. I like the original monitors (GT65 and CTM644) for best possibilities in hardware tricks and working 100% of all demos. Also the hardware antialiasing effect is awesome.  ;) :)
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Update: 2022.03.09)
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Madcommodore

Quote from: GUNHED on 16:04, 14 July 22Depends what you prefer. I like the original monitors (GT65 and CTM644) for best possibilities in hardware tricks and working 100% of all demos. Also the hardware antialiasing effect is awesome.  ;) :)
The tube in the Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 colour monitor is no better than the cheapest TVs on sale in 1984, they are as naff as the Commodore 1701/1702 tubes. There is also no speaker (incredibly stupid idea when your competition is the crushingly superior SID based C64 already) AND you can't even adjust the brightness and contrast individually making it one of the most pathetic monitors ever sold. Nostalgia is great but I am a TV engineer. I only have these monitors for aesthetics for photographic purposes. 

The way some games are coded on the CPC you also need a 24 inch CRT tube to get the same game window size as on the rival ports like Road Runner.

eto

Quote from: Madcommodore on 08:46, 21 July 22Nostalgia is great
100% agreed. I never understood why people like the CTM. I also never understood why the speaker was in the computer and not in the monitor. 

Yeah.. the window size... how often have I seen a full screen game on the C64 just to see a reduced size on the CPC - AND then they also added border graphics to limit it even more. 

Gryzor

I guess putting the speaker in the monitor would also mean getting a bigger speaker (otherwise what's the point), and that would be a few more pennies out of Sugar's pockets?

GUNHED

Quote from: Madcommodore on 08:46, 21 July 22
Quote from: GUNHED on 16:04, 14 July 22Depends what you prefer. I like the original monitors (GT65 and CTM644) for best possibilities in hardware tricks and working 100% of all demos. Also the hardware antialiasing effect is awesome.  ;) :)
The tube in the Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 colour monitor is no better than the cheapest TVs on sale in 1984, they are as naff as the Commodore 1701/1702 tubes. There is also no speaker (incredibly stupid idea when your competition is the crushingly superior SID based C64 already) AND you can't even adjust the brightness and contrast individually making it one of the most pathetic monitors ever sold. Nostalgia is great but I am a TV engineer. I only have these monitors for aesthetics for photographic purposes.

The way some games are coded on the CPC you also need a 24 inch CRT tube to get the same game window size as on the rival ports like Road Runner.

The CPC's monitors were great for their time and I like them today. The CPC had stereo sound, so put it to a real stereo, not small monitor speakers.
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Update: 2022.03.09)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.12.26)

Madcommodore

Quote from: GUNHED on 17:22, 21 July 22
Quote from: Madcommodore on 08:46, 21 July 22
Quote from: GUNHED on 16:04, 14 July 22Depends what you prefer. I like the original monitors (GT65 and CTM644) for best possibilities in hardware tricks and working 100% of all demos. Also the hardware antialiasing effect is awesome.  ;) :)
The tube in the Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 colour monitor is no better than the cheapest TVs on sale in 1984, they are as naff as the Commodore 1701/1702 tubes. There is also no speaker (incredibly stupid idea when your competition is the crushingly superior SID based C64 already) AND you can't even adjust the brightness and contrast individually making it one of the most pathetic monitors ever sold. Nostalgia is great but I am a TV engineer. I only have these monitors for aesthetics for photographic purposes.

The way some games are coded on the CPC you also need a 24 inch CRT tube to get the same game window size as on the rival ports like Road Runner.

The CPC's monitors were great for their time and I like them today. The CPC had stereo sound, so put it to a real stereo, not small monitor speakers.

No they weren't. the CRT tube in them when turned off is medium grey for a start so you will never get high contrast outside a darkroom and the picture on those tubes would never do anything other than warm colours unlike JVC, Panasonic, Sony or even Hitachi tubes of the time. The crappy 80 quid Triumph portable TV which was a rebadged Grundig I had back then in 1983 was no worse than these Amstrad things. Don't confuse RGB analogue video input into a crap tube vs Composite/RF input into a Quintrix/Trinitron etc superior tube. Amstrad were making a fortune off these monitors just like Commodore were with their 17xx series. I have 25 or so CRT TVs/monitors of various makes and eras, the only awesome tube in any OEM monitor was the one inside the 1901 Commodore monitors I have and the one inside the rare JVC built Atari SC1224 I don't have, the rest are average quality or much worse.

It's not a problem when you can get them for peanuts like 15 years ago but I see no reason to spend loads of cash on them now except to get the nostalgic look, probably the same cost to get a Trinitron + SCART kit today.  

There is also the odd situation where you can't keep your CPC turned on but turn the Amstrad monitor off, what was the point of even having a power switch on the CPC computer if turning off the monitor cuts power to the CPC? dumb design, pure nostalgic value. 

The mono YM chip in the CPC has one channel wired to the left, one to the right and one to both, has no benefit to games players back in the 80s and sound weird on my Pioneer stack system. It is not stereo, it's a mono sound chip wired up in stereo by Amstrad as a gimmick. Unless you are deaf in one ear as a games player you will be more inclined to get a mono cable to use with the CPC.  Had zero benefit to gamers back then, probably detrimental. 


Madcommodore

Quote from: Gryzor on 10:18, 21 July 22I guess putting the speaker in the monitor would also mean getting a bigger speaker (otherwise what's the point), and that would be a few more pennies out of Sugar's pockets?
The speaker inside the CPC is about 25% the size the one inside the BBC Micro, which is about the average size for a TV speaker on a small portable TV. The quality of the speaker in the CPC is also about the same as your average GPO British landline telephone earpiece and the case will always add resonance (which is why identical chinnon disk drives inside A500 sound much more noisy compared to those inside the Amiga 1000 better designed case).

I guess they had already decided the monitors would be RGB video display only units and the RF modulator was an afterthought (which is why there was no composite video or S-video option for the CPC back then I guess and it makes it easier for the engineers if the sound just gets wired into a speaker in the case)

I think the SX-64 is the only computer with an internal speaker that is almost up to the quality of the medium price tape decks like those used in offices or to load Spectrum/Acorn tape games :). I doubt it's on purpose, the SX-64 case is just a bit more forgiving than the BBC/CPC etc style plastic cases. tl;dr it's always a horrible design idea to have an internal speaker on a home computer you have to connec to a TV/monitor.

Animalgril987

@Madcommodore . You are incorrect. The Amstrads use an AY chip, not a YM. And if you have 2 separate channels, then that is dictionary definition of stereo.

Axelay

I remember Dark Star used the stereo on the enemy firing sound effects so the sound tracked left or right with the on screen position of the shots.  I always thought that was pretty neat, and a bit of a shame no other game I came across back then did anything like that.

andycadley

I think a lot of developers ignored it, since the default configuration didn't have stereo speakers. Burnin' Rubber on the GX uses it to pan the sounds of opponents cars, probably because Amstrad wanted to push the fact the Plus monitors had stereo sound. It works remarkably well, especially if you use headphones.

Axelay

Quote from: andycadley on 14:40, 10 August 22I think a lot of developers ignored it, since the default configuration didn't have stereo speakers.
Oh, sure, I understand that.  I've since had for various consoles, mice, multitaps & link cables, all terribly supported!  :laugh:

GUNHED

Quote from: Axelay on 14:10, 10 August 22I remember Dark Star used the stereo on the enemy firing sound effects so the sound tracked left or right with the on screen position of the shots.  I always thought that was pretty neat, and a bit of a shame no other game I came across back then did anything like that.
Yup, use that for my games too. Of course the CPC does have the 3,5 plug to be used. The internal speaker is just for regular work.  :)
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