> This is only a suggestion, but you can start MAME with the -cheat trigger (cheats) > enabled to add volume level adjusters to the Slider Controls menu for YM, DAC, OKI > sounds. This will allow you to tune the game as you see fit to your ears. Perhaps > with adjusted volume levels+settings with real numbers there may be something a dev > can do about changing the source to better fit your assertions. At the very least, it > gets fixed on your end.
I did this already, the settings I'm using are in my first post. I didn't actually ressurrect the thread to seek help for myself, but to share awareness about this issue with the community (99% probably don't even notice and just assume it's really supposed to sound that bad).
Thanks for the tip anyway, it's a confirmed working solution.