First post, by BeastOfSoda
I am finalizing a P3 retro PC for DOS and Win98 gaming; I am looking to roughly cover the time period between 1988 and late 90s. I am going for a dual ISA sound card setup, with the main one being a Sound Blaster 16 CT2230. the reason I chose it is because of the low noise output and for the FM synth timbre, which I really like.
In order to get around the dreaded hanging note bug, I am looking for a companion card on which to mount a wavetable daughterboard (that won't cost me an arm and a leg). After searching high and low, I have more questions than I started with, so it's time for me to turn to your collective expertise.
The most important thing for me is to have a clean output, but I'd also like it to have competent FM and PCM audio (so that it may substitute for the SB16 if something is incompatible). It doesn't necessarily need to have a real OPL3 synth, as long as it's serviceable.
My research so far has brought me to exclude a few contenders, but I am open to reconsidering them if my conclusions were hilariously misguided:
- Another SB16: while this is an option, owning two of the same thing would limit versatility in case of incompatible games, as stated above.
- AWE32: I found that the only viable models, due to noise concerns and actual presence of a WT header, seem to be the CT3900 and CT3980, which are way overpriced. Also, I am not really interested in AWE specific features, so that's a no go.
- YMF719: I have concerns about the stated incompatibilities with this card, which while expected might just be a few too many. Also, as I understand there are some PCM distortion issues, and the audio output is reversed?
- ESS 1688: while this looked almost perfect, I have read reports that the wavetable output is noisy, which has put me off. Maybe this also depends on the specific brand/model?
- Orpheus: good all rounder, but muffled PCM turned me away.
Thanks in advance!