Frequently Asked Questions
Can I switch between SIDs while listening?
Yes, SIDFX comes with 4 cables, including switch 1 which allows you to select SID chip while the music is playing.
Can I use any SID model on C64/SX-64/C128?
Yes, SIDFX is designed to detect the SID model in each socket and set voltage and filter-capacitors accordingly. So putting a 6581 into a C64C or two 8580 into a C64 bread-bin or a 6581 and a 8580 into a C128 - any combination you wish - is possible.
Does SIDFX have a cleaner audio output?
Yes, SIDFX filters the power supply voltages and thereby reduces the audible noise by up to 40 dB
(depending on operating conditions).
Are all of the 4 included cables required?
No they are not all required for SIDFX to work but for the full feature-list you must connect them all.. It depends on your needs but we provide you with as many options as possible.
Are the cables long enough for e.g. my C128D?
The standard cable length has been tailored to fit all regular C64/C64C/C128 cases but longer cables are available for use with SX-64, C128D and C128DCR.
Can the cables be installed without drilling?
It is strongly recommend to permanently install the cables in order to avoid damage. We do however understand the wish to avoid drilling holes in your computer. Consider e.g. a 3D printed blanking panel covering the user/cassette port and mount the cables there. Hardware accessories allowing switching using the keyboard also exist (e.g. Keyman64) but may require some soldering and use of our SIDFX DIY cable accessories.
No soldering required, okay...
- but am I required to assemble anything?
SIDFX ships as a complete unit but you do need to open your computer, extract your SID chip and install SIDFX in it's place. We have written an extensive manual with many photos in order to guide you through the entire process.
Please consult our online manual for further details.
Can I use $D500 for SID2 on C128 models?
No, unfortunately the C128 memory map is not fully backward compatible with the C64. In C128 mode the MMU resides at $D500. Although the MMU is inaccessible in C64 mode the $D500 address space is not mapped to the SID socket.
Does SIDFX work with MSSIAH/Prophet64?
Yes, several customers confirm that MSSIAH works with SIDFX.
Does SIDFX work with Cynthcart?
Yes, we have several customers confirming that Cynthcart works with SIDFX. Please see the related FAQ section if you require SID2 to be located at $DF00.
Does SIDFX work with C64 Reloaded MK1?
Yes, but if your C64 Reloaded motherboard has ZIF sockets and is installed in a C64C chassis then our special adapter is required in order to allow fitting SIDFX below the keyboard. If C64 Reloaded is installed in a bread-bin chassis or doesn’t have ZIF sockets then the adapter is not required.
Does SIDFX work with C64 Reloaded MK2?
Yes, but our new adapter is required in order to allow the motherboard to detect SIDFX as an 6581 SID and provide 12V to the SID 1 socket of the motherboard. Otherwise the motherboard is unable to supply sufficient power to SIDFX.
Does SIDFX work with SwinSID/ARMxSiD?
Yes, SwinSID Nano, SwinSID Ultimate, ARMSiD and ARM2SiD have all been confirmed to work with SIDFX. But you need to install our advanced SIDFX firmware which allows manual configuration of the SID types because SwinSID and ARMSiD are not compatible with the detection method used by SIDFX.
Where does the 2nd SID appear in memory?
SIDFX can be configured to map SID 2 at either $D420, $D500 or $DE00. These are the typical address spaces used for stereo SID tunes. While in mono mode SID 2 resides at $D400.
Can I map SID2 to address $DF00?
SIDFX does not natively support use of $DF00 but there is an easy workaround. If you install the yellow grabber on pin 10 of the expansion port connector (instead of pin 7) then $DF00 is used when you select $DE00 in the SIDFX configuration tool. However with the yellow grabber in the new location you will no longer be able to use address $DE00.
Can I map SID2 to both $DE00 and $DF00?
By installing the yellow grabber on either pin 7 (for $DE00) pin 10 (for $DF00) of the expansion port connector you can select at which address SID2 is mapped when you select $DE00 in the SIDFX configuration tool. If you frequently wish to change between $DE00 and $DF00 it is also possible to install a switch (SW3, similar to the ones provided with SIDFX) to toggle which pin is used as the chip select line. To do so connect the grabber to the center SW3 pin (or cut off the grabber and solder it). Then wire pin 7 to the left SW3 pin and pin 10 to the right SW3 pin of the switch. Using SW3 you can then easily select $DE00 (left position) or $DF00 (right position).
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to the troubleshooting articles on this page, please also check the FAQ section in the Details menu.
Definition of mono, pseudo-stereo and stereo
In the realm of SIDFX the terms mono, pseudo-stereo and stereo are defined as following:
Music composed for one SID chip is always considered mono. Although SIDFX allows the audio from one SID to be output onto two separate channels this is still considered mono. Mono music only addresses one SID chip. However, if mono music is played by two different SID types and output onto two separate channels this may be considered pseudo-stereo.
Music composed for two SID chips is always considered stereo. Stereo tunes are often named 2SID. Stereo music always addresses two SID chips located at different addresses with SID 1 at $D400 and SID 2 typically at $D420 (but sometimes $D500 or $DE00).
No sound from SID 2 after installing SIDFX
This may happen when you attempt to play standard mono SID tunes while SIDFX is configured for one of the stereo operating modes. What happens is that music data addressed for both SIDs (at $D400) only reaches SID 1 because SID 2 is located at either $D420, $D500 or $DE00 due to the chosen stereo operating mode. Please always configure SIDFX for either "Mono Auto" or
"Mono SID1+SID2" operating mode before playing standard mono tunes.
Garbled sound from SID 1 and no sound from SID 2 while playing stereo tunes
This may happen when you attempt to play stereo SID tunes that expect SID 2 to be located at $D500 while SIDFX is configured for the "Stereo $D420" operating mode. What happens is that music data addressed for SID 2 are also received by SID 1 because of memory map mirrors. Please always configure SIDFX to the "Stereo $D500" operating mode before playing stereo tunes requiring
SID 2 to be located at $D500.
No pseudo-stereo with SW1 in center position
This may happen when you use an intelligent SID player, for example SIDPlay64 and the built-in 1541U/Ultimate64 SID player.
The issue is caused by the mentioned SID players, which both have specific SIDFX support. They use the SIDFX API to detect which SID chips are installed and automatically selects the SID model for which the tune was composed. This provides the listener with the highest degree of authenticity and is in most cases the desired behavior.
However, the lack of pseudo-stereo may take some fun out of listening. We are not aware if the auto-detect/select feature can be disabled in the players, so unfortunately we must refer you to the respective authors with this question. Alternately use an older version of the player without SIDFX support to work around the issue.
No stereo output when SIDFX is connected to external mixer/amplifier
This may happen when you connect SIDFX to external equipment, regardless of SIDFX configuration and SW1 position.
The issue is usually caused by mono cables, mono adapters or mono inputs on the external audio equipment. Mono cables/adapters/inputs typically use one SIDFX channel and pass it to left and right at the output. SW1 may select which SID is active, but due to mono conversion only one SID is audible, also with SW1 in the center position.
Avoid using mono cables/adapters/inputs if you require stereo output from SIDFX.
Audible hum or slow moving video disturbances when connecting SIDFX stereo output
This may happen if multiple devices in your system are connected to earth ground. The issue is usually caused by ground loops in the audio or video cable which couples noise into the signals.
This issue is typical if you replaced the original C64/C128 power supply with a modern version with earth ground connection and you have another device, e.g. monitor or audio mixer which is also connected to earth ground.
To solve the problem try to lift/disconnect earth ground from one of the devices, for example using a ground lift adapter or an extension cord without earth ground connection. An audio isolator may also solve the issue without disconnecting earth ground.
Software detects an incorrect SID type
Software detection usually involves configuring voice 3 and reading the $D41B register. With two SIDs mapped at the same address space only one SID is allowed to respond to reads. Which one responds depends on the operating mode, switch 1 position and SIDFX batch (CPLD code revision).
Generally SID 1 responds when SIDFX is configured for "Mono SID1 only" or "Mono SID1+SID2".
Generally SID 2 responds when SIDFX is configured for "Mono SID2 only".
For early SIDFX units (CPLD code revision 68, sold October 2016 to June 2017) the above behavior applies regardless of the switch 1 position.
Based on customer feedback we decided to change this in order to make the detection behavior more intuitive.
For later SIDFX units (CPLD code revision 6A, sold November 2017 onward) the above behavior applies only when switch 1 is in the center position. Otherwise software detection follows the sound, i.e. SID 1 with switch 1 in the left position or SID 2 with switch 1 in the right position.
Our latest SIDFX configuration tool (version 1.2) is able to report the CPLD code revision by pressing the ‘?’ key. The latest configuration tool is available from our download page.
We offer a CPLD code upgrade for units with CPLD code revision 68 in order to give them the improved behavior of all newer units. Unfortunately the CPLD code is not user upgradeable so you need to send in your SIDFX unit if you choose to get it upgraded. We only charge a negligible service fee per unit plus return shipping. Please visit our online shop for more information and to purchase the SIDFX CPLD code upgrade service.
SID types are detected as unknown in the configuration tool
SID chip detection involves configuring voice 3 and reading the $D41B register. In case you have one or more SwinSID devices installed please refer to the section on SwinSID further down. In rare cases voice 3 or $D41B may be partially defective. Usually this would be audible but this may not always be the case. If you experience that genuine SID chips are detected as unknown then please contact us for help on how to solve the issue.
SwinSID is not detected in the configuration tool
SID chip detection involves reading the value of the $D41B register. This register is not implemented on SwinSID Nano and is not cycle-accurate on SwinSID Ultimate. As a result the SwinSID generations are incorrectly detected by SIDFX and shown as "NONE" (SS Nano) or "UNKN" (SS Ultimate) by the configuration tool. For SIDFX to support SwinSID the advanced edition of our firmware is required which allows manual SID type configuration. After installation use the configuration tool to manually set the SID type of any installed SwinSID to either 6581 or 8580 depending on the emulated SID type. Always leave any real SID configured to Auto. An incorrectly configured SID chip will not operate correctly and may be permanently damaged. The advanced edition of the firmware is available from our download page.
SIDFX is not found by the configuration tool
Please verify that SIDFX is properly installed in the SID socket of your motherboard. The orientation of SIDFX (the notch on the motherboard socket and on the SIDFX pin-header must match up) must be correct and all of the SIDFX pins must be fully seated in the socket. This may also happen if the SID socket of the motherboard does not offer a reliable electrical connection.
SIDFX seems to be faulty
Most often any problems that you may experience are related to installation-, configuration or system issues. Please always consult us prior to returning a seemingly defective item. With a bit of debugging help from us 99% of all problems can be solved. In the rare case that an item is actually faulty we will provide you with a RMA reference number and instructions on how to send in your item.