Thanks for the articles about shielding. However...
But I doubt that any of the above will help you if the noise problem is a result of the sound card's own generated noise from using parts with low Signal To Noise (S/N) ratios. You can't make the components do more than they're designed to do. The above shielding will only eliminate noise that isn't supposed to be inherent in the card's design (ie, noise resulting from interference with other cards). The shielding won't make poor components on your card perform better than their design allows.
According to dirkmirk and DonutKing, background noise is inherent in the Sound Blaster Pro's design...
That said, with a SBP2 (not SBP1) and passive speaker, the sound is pretty decent on my Pentium III (see my previous topic: www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=38428). There is still noise, but not so much than on my 486. On my Pentium III, setting volume at high level is enough to make sound apparently "perfect": background noise is completely drowned out by music.
Therefore, shielding the sound card may improve the result in my 486, but I am not sure it will be enough : perhaps I should buy a vintage and expensive PSU in addition, and others components... I've already spent an insane amount of money to get my three Sound Blaster Pro's on eBay (roughly $100 for two SBP2's, and $150 for the SBP1 alone). For the price, I expected to enjoy fantastic sound quality in DOS games. I'm clearly disappointed.
Bristlehog recommends me MediaVision Pro AudioSpectrum sound card. But I noticed there are pricey too :
Finally, perhaps I would follow the DonutKing's guideline: Sound Blaster 16 (at least CT2800 and CT2900) are supposed not suffer from background noise and are much cheaper
I've three questions about Sound Blaster 16's:
- CT2800 and CT2900 are actually "Sound Blaster VIBRA 16". According to Wikipedia, some models of VIBRA 16 have "integrated a cost-reduced replacement for the OPL-3 FM support termed CQM synthesis, which largely emulated the features of the OPL-3 chip. However, as it was not a true OPL-3, its output tended to sound noticeably different from that of a real OPL-3". Is it true ?
- Do the earlier (not VIBRA) models of SB16 suffer equally from background noise ? Should I buy an early SB16 instead of later VIBRA to enjoy a more authentic experience ?
- SB16 is mostly backward compatible with older cards, whereas SBP is fully backward compatible with older cards. In concrete terms, what's wrong with SB16 ? Which games have problem with it ?
Sorry for the long text, and thank you in advance for your answers.