First post, by CesarDRK
Currently, I have both of these cards at my disposal (CT1600 and a CT2950).
From what I've read, it's a consensus that the CQM (CT2950) is crap and the real OPL3 is best (CT1600). So I did a bunch of recordings of both cards and tried to see the differences.
For listening, I use only my headphone, a Sennheiser HD-555 "modded" to the HD-595 (foam mod).
I have recorded the audio of a few games on both: Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis, Descent, Doom, DOTT, Duke 3D, Lemmings, Monkey Island II, Redneck Rampage.
To be honest, without nitpicking I only found the CQM worst than the OPL3 in Doom music. But in almost every other test the SB PRO 2.0 sound effects sounded muffled to me, and way noisier than the SB16, especially in Redneck Rampage. Besides the muffled sound, the SB PRO 2.0 still requires me to disable the L1 cache to be able to play some games (without it the game crashes or produces random noises, because it is speed-sensitive, while the SB16 is not). So my choice, for now, is the SB16 over the SB PRO 2.
Here are both recordings in playlists:
I have the option to purchase another SB16, the CT2830 (real YMF-262M chip on the board) or the CT2290 (I'm not sure, but I think it has a real OPL3 as well).
So, my question is will it be worth it to replace the CT2950 with the CT2830/CT2290 to potentially have the same quality, low noise (SB 16), and without speed issues (SB PRO 2.0) with the real OPL3, mixing the best of both?
Here are the cards i have: