Throwback Operator (OPL3 VGM)


This product has been discontinued indefinitely. You can still build your own by visiting the github link!

A Video Game Music (VGM) player featuring a genuine YMF262, AKA the OPL3. No emulation here, this is the real sound chip!

The throwback operator is only slightly larger than a credit card and provides clean line-level FM sound. You can also play OPL2 (YM3812) and original OPL (YM3526) soundtracks with this player as the OPL3 is backwards compatible with both!

Please note: This is not a Sega Genesis Video Game Music Player – That’s an entirely different family of Yamaha sound chips ;)

Out of stock

SKU: TBO01 Category:


Genuine Yamaha Sound Chips

Ever wanted to relive the days where FM still reigned supreme in home PC sound sources? The Throwback Operator features a genuine YMF262 FM sound chip paired up with its original YAC512 DAC. Forget emulated sound that falls short, with the Throwback Operator, you’re listening to old-school PC and arcade tracks straight from the source. If you at one point owned a Sound Blaster Pro 2 or a Sound Blaster 16, you’re already familiar with the rocking power of the OPL3.

Backwards Compatibility

One of the perks of using an OPL3 is that it can be programmed to operate in “OPL2” (YM3812) mode. That means your favorite Adlib and original Sound Blaster tracks will sound even better through the greatly improved OPL3 FM sound source. Further still, since OPL2’s are backwards compatible with the original OPL chips, you can also play soundtracks featuring the YM3526.

How do I Use It?

Simply grab a FAT32-formatted microSD card, load it up with uncompressed VGM files, pop-in the card, and plug in the USB/Audio cables. You can find VGM files all over the web, but a good starting point is

If you download any VGZ files, simple use a program like 7Zip to extract the uncompressed VGM files. Note: VGM files don’t require a “.vgm” file extension to work. As long as the file contains valid VGM data, it will work.

Open Source Hardware

The source material for this project can be found here.


California Residents:
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm
associated with materials used in circuit boards and solder.

Additional information

Weight 2 oz
Dimensions 3 × 2 × 0.75 in

1x Assembled Throwback Operator Module & 1x Plastic Backplate

FM Sound Source

Yamaha YMF262 (OPL3) paired with Yamaha YAC512 DAC


Micro SD
Mini USB
3.5mm Audio Jack

File Format

Uncompressed VGM


Please note: All devices are made by hand. If you order a product that is out-of-stock, you will be placed in a manufacturing queue. Orders can not be canceled after they have been put into production. If the product you have purchased was in stock, it will ship within two business days. Made-to-order products will take longer.