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A Nifty Stereo Composite Cable for the Model 1 Genesis

Sega Genesis Model 1 Stereo Composite cable

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#1 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2018 11:05 PM

Hey there guys and gals! :) I hadn't seen it discussed on here before so I thought I'd point out a neat product I learned about though one of my favorite YouTube tech podcasts:




https://coolnoveltie...ereo-sound.html


It seems like a really nice clutter-free way to get stereo sound out of your Model 1 Genesis without a tangled mess of RCA cables, and at $15 shipped to the US it's quite affordable. I went ahead and ordered one and I'll let you folks know what I think of it once it arrives in the mail from the UK in a week or two. :)

#2 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2018 11:54 PM

You can splice a Midi cable (Din 5) with a shielded rca cable. The middle pin is ground, outermost pins are composite and mono audio. Solder the video and audio leads with fine heatshrink, then coarse heat shrink over the whole thing. I like to repair the shielding of both cables with a small piece of aluminum foil to prevent signal loss. Make sure the two remaining unused wires in the DIN cable are tucked away and terminated such that they cannot make contact with the foil shielding. One of them is a vcc signal and could fry your console if shorted to ground.

For the audio cable, use a 1/8" stereo phono cable to rca and route it to the tv or to an external sound system. Set the volume slider to halfway for distirtion free sound. I have a va-7 model 1 which badly distorts the mono sound output on the av multiout or rf jack. It sound crystal clear through the headphone jack.

#3 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 12:08 AM

You can splice a Midi cable (Din 5) with a shielded rca cable. The middle pin is ground, outermost pins are composite and mono audio. Solder the video and audio leads with fine heatshrink, then coarse heat shrink over the whole thing. I like to repair the shielding of both cables with a small piece of aluminum foil to prevent signal loss. Make sure the two remaining unused wires in the DIN cable are tucked away and terminated such that they cannot make contact with the foil shielding. One of them is a vcc signal and could fry your console if shorted to ground.
For the audio cable, use a 1/8" stereo phono cable to rca and route it to the tv or to an external sound system. Set the volume slider to halfway for distirtion free sound. I have a va-7 model 1 which badly distorts the mono sound output on the av multiout or rf jack. It sound crystal clear through the headphone jack.


Yeah, I could, but that sounds like a total pain in the arse and I'd rather pay $15 for a really nice, clean, factory built cable than ghetto rig one myself. :lol:

#4 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 12:40 AM

I thought the whole issue with Ver1 Genesis and stereo was not with the cable, but that internally there wasn't a stereo signal output...unless you tapped off the headphone jack. I've seen those kinds of cables before. If this manages to do it all from the regular jack in the back, I would be very interested.

Edit: oops, just saw the video...lol. nevermind!

Edited by atarilovesyou, Wed Aug 8, 2018 12:47 AM.


#5 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 12:47 AM

I thought the whole issue with Ver1 Genesis and stereo was not with the cable, but that internally there wasn't a stereo signal output...unless you tapped off the headphone jack. I've seen those kinds of cables before. If this manages to do it all from the regular jack in the back, I would be very interested.


If you don't feel like watching the whole video just skip ahead to 3:45 and you'll see how the cable works. It does pull the audio from the headphone jack then splices it into the regular composite output jack on the back of the system so you only have one cable running out of the system and don't have to deal with a rat's nest of cables to get stereo audio with your composite video. :)

Edited by Jin, Wed Aug 8, 2018 12:49 AM.


#6 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 12:52 AM

Gotcha...quick side question, do all Ver2 Genesis output stereo natively?...as there's no headphone jack? Or is it mono output like the AV outs on an NES? I heard thar most Ver2 Gens have lesser sound quality than the high def graphics versions of the Gen V1, but I have both and can't really tell.

#7 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 1:13 AM

Gotcha...quick side question, do all Ver2 Genesis output stereo natively?...as there's no headphone jack? Or is it mono output like the AV outs on an NES? I heard thar most Ver2 Gens have lesser sound quality than the high def graphics versions of the Gen V1, but I have both and can't really tell.


Yep, all Model 2 Genesises (Genesai?) output stereo sound. I had been using one of the 3/4 motherboard VA3 Model 2 systems for the last few years until last week when when I got a High Def VA6 Model 1 and the sound is definitely nicer out of the Model 1 to my ears. It's got more of that deep bassy twang that's so distinctive to the Sega Genesis and the high notes sound toned down a little so they're not so harsh on the ears. The big difference to me though was graphics. On my old Model 2 the pixels always had some blurriness around the edges, text was hard to read, and colors were pretty oversaturated; whereas on my new Model 1 the pixels all look really sharp, text is clean and easy to read, and the colors are all bright and vibrant without being oversaturated. That is on a CRT TV though, I never tried either system on a modern LCD TV, so your results may vary if you game on a modern television.

Edited by Jin, Wed Aug 8, 2018 1:15 AM.


#8 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 1:59 AM

You can splice a Midi cable (Din 5) with a shielded rca cable...

Yeah, I could, but that sounds like a total pain in the arse and I'd rather pay $15 for a really nice, clean, factory built cable than ghetto rig one myself. :lol:


Apologies if my initial response sounded a bit jerky. What I should have said was that I know you make great looking cables, but cable making is not a talent of mine so if I tried doing that it would probably come out looking really trashy; especially when we start talking about wrapping things in aluminum foil. :lol: For me personally, buying a pre-made cable is a much more sensible (and vastly less likely to fry my system) option.

#9 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2018 12:00 PM

Apologies if my initial response sounded a bit jerky. What I should have said was that I know you make great looking cables, but cable making is not a talent of mine so if I tried doing that it would probably come out looking really trashy; especially when we start talking about wrapping things in aluminum foil. :lol: For me personally, buying a pre-made cable is a much more sensible (and vastly less likely to fry my system) option.

You can only get mono audio output from the DIN AV port. There exists premade cables for Genesis Model 1 you can buy on Amazon but they are unshielded and have terrible build quality. I got an AV cable once and the picture was worse than the RF jack. Went to Radio Shack and spliced my own, and it was night and day difference.

 

The audio jack needs a 1/8" to RCA stereo cable for stereo. You can buy those anywhere.



#10 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2018 12:14 PM

You can only get mono audio output from the DIN AV port. There exists premade cables for Genesis Model 1 you can buy on Amazon but they are unshielded and have terrible build quality. I got an AV cable once and the picture was worse than the RF jack. Went to Radio Shack and spliced my own, and it was night and day difference.
 
The audio jack needs a 1/8" to RCA stereo cable for stereo. You can buy those anywhere.

If you don't feel like watching the whole video just skip ahead to 3:45 and you'll see how the cable works. It does pull the audio from the headphone jack then splices it into the regular composite output jack on the back of the system so you only have one cable running out of the system and don't have to deal with a rat's nest of cables to get stereo audio with your composite video. :)



#11 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:43 AM

I watched and I find his story about receiving a Genesis for Christmas instead of SNES to be quite comical. Not quite as bad as the kid who asked for an NES and got an Atari Jr. Or remember those $20 knockoff Wii clones with built in 16-bit motion sports games they sold at drugstores circa 2008? Yeah, someone's Christmas was ruined... :lolblue:

The cable looks rather thin in photos. Anytime the cable itself is thinner than the rca peg, the build quality may be suspect. If the cable is not properly shielded, it is worthless IMO. Generally (but not always), 3rd party console cables can be poorly constructed.

Somewhere online (I forgot the link), there was a Midi Din5 with quad rca outs and thick shielded construction. You simply cut the cables not needed. Yes, this involves two separate cables, but I usually route the audio to an external sound system anyway.

You could also utilise these DIN cables for AV jacks on certain 8-bit computers and Japanese Coregrafx (stereo). FYI, these consoles have different pinouts for A/V so one cable does NOT fit all. Bottom pin is always ground though. For Genesis, the 5v lead needs to be cut and properly terminated to avoid potential short circuit on the power supply.

#12 icemanxp300 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:19 PM

http://atariage.com/...headphone-jack/



#13 Yakumo1975 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:34 PM

That's a typical solution but with a crappy video option. I've been using RGB cables with the exact same solution for 30 years now. It's a great way to get Stereo out of a stereo TV and keep the ultra high quality RGB image.

#14 icemanxp300 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:46 PM

I've been using RGB cables with the exact same solution for 30 years now.

Not specific enough we shall assume you mean SCART RGB.



#15 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:49 PM

The cable has arrived! That was surprisingly quick shipping, just 5 days from the UK to the US. In any case, I promised a little review when it arrived so let's get to it! :) 

 

 

DVD1F6z.jpg

 

 

The cable came nicely packed inside a little baggy in a bubble mailer. Removing the cable from the bag it feels well constructed with no nicks, scratches, or other blemishes anywhere on the cable or connectors. The thickness of the cable is decent and feels sturdy, though nothing special. I've seen better but I've also seen quite a bit worse. Let's take a look at it next to my old mono composite cable for the Model 1 Genesis.

 

 

lwk22LZ.jpg

 

 

 The cable thickness is identical to composite cable I was using, though the new stereo cable has a softer and decidedly higher quality feel to it and is nicely reinforced at the separation point for the RCA cables. Again, nothing too remarkable though I do think it should hold up quite well over the long term. Enough waffling though, time to plug it in and see how it works! 

 

 

7feJ9Un.jpg

 

 

I plugged the cable into my VA6 Model 1 Genesis, popped in Sonic 2, dialed up the volume control on the system to a little over halfway, and holy cow does the music sound amazing! I'm not an audiophile by any means but even to my untrained ears the difference in the depth and quality of the sound and music between the normal mono audio cable and this new stereo cable is very apparent. I spent 10 minutes or so listening to the Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone music while swapping back and forth between the mono and stereo cables and the difference was really striking. Hearing the various musical effects roll back and forth between my TV's speakers in Chemical Plant Zone was especially pleasing to the ears. 

 

So it sounds great, but how does it look? Mind you I'm not big video buff but to my eyes the picture looks very nice, identical to the picture quality from my previous mono composite cable. On my Sony KV-20FS120 WEGA Trinitron CRT TV the colors look bright and vibrant, the pixels all look sharp and clean, and the text is quite readable without any noticeable blurring around the edges. Bear in mind that my camera doesn't get on too well with CRT screens so the colors will look darker than they look in real life in the picture, but this should give you a decent idea of how sharp and well defined the pixels look if you enlarge the picture to full size and check out the text in the upper left corner. 

 

lPaljHv.jpg

 

 

Well, there you have it! All in all I'm pretty thrilled with my purchase and would definitely recommend the Cool Novelties stereo composite cable to any Genesis or Mega Drive fan who is happy using composite video output. It's a big step up in audio quality over a mono composite cable for sure. :)



#16 Yakumo1975 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:25 PM

Not specific enough we shall assume you mean SCART RGB.

when I lived in the UK I started using RGB scart in 1988 but for the last 20 years have been using 21 pin RGB which looks like Scart but wired differently. All have the stereo audio breakout cable though. I always thought it was a standard feature.

#17 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:55 PM

lPaljHv.jpg


Oof.. my eyes!

RGB sure has spoiled me.

#18 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:27 PM

RBG is a pipe dream if you live in the us. most newer tvs dont even support component anymore. my tcl 4k uhdtv takes rf, composit, and hdmi. sans expensive upscalers or rare pvm monitors, 240p rgb is non-existent in ntsc territories.

#19 Yakumo1975 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:20 PM

RBG is a pipe dream if you live in the us. most newer tvs dont even support component anymore. my tcl 4k uhdtv takes rf, composit, and hdmi. sans expensive upscalers or rare pvm monitors, 240p rgb is non-existent in ntsc territories.

Japan is NTSC and we have component on all TVs. Well, I say component but its D-Terminal which is a Japan only format. Its basically component with a different cable style. I guess the US isn't seen as a place which regards quality for compatability which is a shame for all gamers.

Edited by Yakumo1975, Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:23 PM.


#20 RetroLucky OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:08 PM

Yea about the easiest trick in the US is an old CRT with component (some label as DVD in) and a scart to component box





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