Sound Blaster amplifiers

Created by Olli Niemitalo on 2010-10-03, last modified 2012-04-04

For a project of mine, I needed a stereo amplifier. I had some old Sound Blaster ISA cards (and later got more, which are also now listed here), with different amplifiers:

card name model number year amplifier IC Power output
Sound Blaster 16 CT2290 1994 TEA2025B 2 x 2.4 W
Sound Blaster 16 Value CT2779 1994 TEA2025B 2 x 2.4 W
Sound Blaster 16 CT2940 1995 TDA1517P 2 x 6 W
Sound Blaster CT4170 1997 TDA1517P 2 x 6 W
Sound Blaster Vibra 16 CT4180 1997 TDA1517P 2 x 6 W

I liked TDA1517P, because it had so few additional components.

The amplifier part (left) of Sound Blaster 16 CT2940, cut off with a diamond cutting wheel. Jump wires were soldered to route input from Line In, and wires were added for 12 V power input (shared ground with signal). Two pins of the TDA1517P amplifier were shorted to enable the chip. A voltage regulator was also removed, as it was not used by the amplifier.

Seems to work fine!


  1. Oh my goodness, perfectly good OPL ISA interface board torn apart. What a shame :)

    Comment by Jani — 2010-10-21 @ 22:01

  2. Haha, oh well… I think these would be headed for shredding of some sort anyhow. :-)

    Comment by Olli Niemitalo — 2010-10-22 @ 09:08

  3. I was going to ask if you would snail-mail the unused card half to me, but I may already have a SB with YMF289. I think I’ll leave my card intact, But I could salvage the YMF289 and control it with parallel port or microcontroller in some project.

    Do you happen to have extra sound cards with OPL2 chips by the way? I think I have enough OPL3 chips already..

    Comment by Jani — 2010-10-22 @ 16:26

  4. Drop me an e-mail with your address. I can mutilate the card further and send you the section that interests you. I have an Adlib, but if you want it then you have to give a really good reason… :) I’m thinking I’d some day measure the impulse response of its output. For that authentic sound you know!

    Comment by Olli Niemitalo — 2010-10-22 @ 21:53

  5. fuckin asshole! destroy some crappy ESS or Crystal soundcards but not the classic soundblasters!! Q_Q
    they’re getting harder and harder to find..

    Comment by adasdd — 2011-02-24 @ 01:19

  6. Ouch, one of the more desirable Sound Blaster 16’s with the combo of Vibra 16 Pro CT2502 and discreet OPL3-L. I just paid a decent chunk of cash for one!

    Comment by Jope — 2013-01-06 @ 14:35

  7. Geez, someone just sold an Adlib for 200 USD on eBay. I got to hold on to mine with a death grip!

    Comment by Olli Niemitalo — 2013-01-06 @ 14:41

  8. You going to Hell!!! (

    Comment by Anonymous — 2015-04-07 @ 18:45

  9. I made the cut very fast so the card did not suffer MUCH.

    Comment by Olli Niemitalo — 2015-05-03 @ 10:34

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