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Turtle Beach Montego 2 Quadzilla (Page 1/1)

Posted: June 27, 1999
Written by: Don "Sine" French
Estimated retail price: $99.95

Computer sound is a hot issue nowadays - there's no point in having a $200 vidcard when all you can hear is low-quality audio. Let's see how Turtle Beach's latest soundcard stacks up against the other cards in the market. This card is an Aureal Vortex 2-based card, just like the Diamond MX300.


I removed my SoundBlaster Live Value and installed the new card. I put the small daughtercard above it and connected the cable between them. The daughtercard doesn't connect to a bus, so you just screw it in somewhere. The daughtercard houses the rear speaker out and the digital out connector (which is RCA, not optical). There is no SP/DIF input though.


  • Four speaker support
  • SPDIF out
  • A3D 2 via the Vortex 2 chip
  • System-wide equalizer
  • 64 voice hardware MIDI, 256 voice software MIDI, total 320 voice MIDI
  • DirectSound acceleration
  • 96 simultaneous audio streams
  • Low CPU usage
  • Header for an add-on wavetable MIDI card
Overall, the specs should be nearly identical to a Diamond MX300, since they're based on the same chipset. The features differ a bit from the Live. In my opinion, the Live is superior to this card. The Live has an infinite amount of effects that you can apply to the sound, in addition to positional audio with Live!Ware 2.0. The Live!'s chip is programmable, which means you can spend $45 (for a Value) once, opposed to $100 every 6 months for a whole new card. The Live also has a really cool mixer.


Test System
    Celeron 266 @ 400
    ABit BX6 mainboard
    64 MB PC100 SDRAM
    3Dfx Banshee
    Montego 2 Quadzilla
    Altec Lansing ACS48
    Windows 98
The sound quality of the card is very good. The lack of simple bass/treble controls was annoying, but made up for by a 10-channel equalizer. The software supplied with the card is hard to use, however. The mixer supplied with the SB Live is easier to use than AudioStation 32. The Live also has far more effects (due to EAX), in fact you can't use any effects with the Montego 2 except chorus/reverb for MIDIs.

The card has slight distortion at very high volumes, but it gets quite high volumes indeed. The card has a lot of power when you crank it up.


The Montego 2 Quadzilla is a good card but the supplied software (two mixers, each with pitfalls, and the ugly control panel applet) should be worked on to be more user-friendly. I'd wait for the price to come down before buying this, since the Live Value and MX300 have been around for awhile already and are cheaper.

[+] Good
  • High-quality card
  • Supports A3D positional audio
  • Good audio quality
  • Cool equalizer
[-] Bad
  • Daughtercard takes up a slot
  • Software isn't very friendly
  • No simple bass/treble sliders, have to use the equalizer
Overall Rating: 8.5

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