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Best Mega Drive Harware/set-up

#1 User is offline doc eggfan 

Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:10 PM

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With so many variations, what is the best mega drive hardware set-up in regards to picture and sound.

I've always had a soft spot for the model 1 with the built in headphones. You seem to get better sound direct from the hardware, but it does make setting it up with the mega cd and 32-X more fiddly. The model 2 is neater in that regard.

I thought the laseractive was supposed to have the best picture as I thought it had component video outputs, but, although I don't have mine yet, it doesn't appear to be the case. Do the wondermega's and the multimega's have better video? What about the terradrive and the megatech arcade board?

The Nomad is alright, but the screen does suffer from ghosting and blur. I did appreciate hooking it up to my tv to play sonic 2 in full-screen 60Hz NTSC for the first time. PAL sucks hairy balls.
This post has been edited by doc eggfan: 01 January 2012 - 07:28 PM

#2 User is offline Miles Prower 

Posted 01 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

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Yeah, the PAL version basically sucks. At the time, Sega did not bother about the games' speed, so we got a slow Sonic in PAL territories. Oh well.

Both the Megadrive I and II have a RGB output. The Megadrive II tends to actually have a clearer, better sound output (see this and this) albeit a bit lower in volume, but Sega's SCART cable ruins it. Follow both those tutorials to fix it : http://www.obsolete-...dossier-63.html and http://www.obsolete-...ossier-114.html
Some more stuff on Igrekess' SegaKore as usual: http://www.segakore....le_rgb_md2.html

Keep in mind that there are various Model1 designs too.

Don't know about the other hardware variations.
This post has been edited by Miles Prower: 01 January 2012 - 09:28 PM

#3 User is offline Flygon 

Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:04 PM

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CCAMed Mega Drive II's and a good Sega CD II. I can't really think of anything better, unless you want to pay someone to shove a 32x inside the Mega Drive II case as well.

I've found that the image (especially when using Composite and S-Video) tends to vary wildly depending on the TV, however. Granted, you need to get modifications on the Mega Drive to obtain S-Video, but I've found that when using it, some TV's will show the image as being extremely close to RGB, yet others will show it as a blurry mess, as with Composite would generally be. Despite being able to handle RGB perfectly fine.

I'm guessing some TV's just have incredibly bad S-Video/Composite decoders.
This post has been edited by Flygon: 01 January 2012 - 10:07 PM

#4 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:22 PM

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View PostMiles Prower, on 01 January 2012 - 09:18 PM, said:

The Megadrive II tends to actually have a clearer, better sound output (see this and this) albeit a bit lower in volume
After listening to those examples, I think I like the model 1's sound better. =\

#5 User is offline Miles Prower 

Posted 01 January 2012 - 11:04 PM

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Turn up the volume a bit when listening to the MD2 samples.

Oh. Here's my setup.

Posted Image
This post has been edited by Miles Prower: 01 January 2012 - 11:19 PM

#6 User is offline The Taxman 

Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:13 AM

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If we're talking stock hardware:

- Model II's tend to have a bit more distortion (especially with DAC samples) and don't have as rich bass sounds to an early Model I unit.

- The Multi Mega / CDX has nice crisp sound quality, and offers 3 ways to output sound: headphones, line out and through the 9 pin video out (SCART, composite etc)

- RGB from the 9 pin connector is the best video quality regardless of model but if you're stuck with composite only, a 32X will give you the best output by far.

- Both Wondermega models (but not the X'Eye) offer s-video as an output. I think the sound quality is meant to be excellent, but I've never heard one with my own ears.

#7 User is offline TmEE 

Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:52 AM

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X'eye has loud PSG and somewhat muffled FM. S-video can be very easily added, you only need a S-video connector, a knife to cut the hole where s-video connector should be and 2x 75ohm resistors, plus little bit of soldering. Results are awesome.
Best sound comes form a CDX, when it comes to unmodified machines, it is bright and crisp, but has slight bit of video noise in the sound.

#8 User is online cornholio857 

Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:18 PM

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The Nomad is also supposed to have pretty good sound. Comparable to early Model 1's IIRC. But out of the consoles you have a few options:

  • Early Model 1's have a better sound circuit but lesser video quality compared to some Model 2's. Rainbow Banding is notorious on Model 1's.
  • If you want better video and sound a CCAM'ed Model 2 would be the way to go. (It was mentioned already)
  • The X'Eye is good but as TMEE said "has loud PSG and somewhat muffled FM".


I have never played a CDX so I can't comment on that but I really only hear good things about it, and it's asking price. LOL My setup is a Model 1 HDG Genesis with a Model 1 SCD. I have a 32X and yes, its video output is better than my Model 1. But I only connect the 32X when I want to play a 32X game. Having to plug in three AC adapters is a bitch and because of that my 32X doesn't get a lot of play.

#9 User is offline 아힝흥행 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:31 AM

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Quote

I have never played a CDX so I can't comment on that but I really only hear good things about it, and it's asking price. LOL My setup is a Model 1 HDG Genesis with a Model 1 SCD. I have a 32X and yes, its video output is better than my Model 1. But I only connect the 32X when I want to play a 32X game. Having to plug in three AC adapters is a bitch and because of that my 32X doesn't get a lot of play.



Ya, it was a pain if you didn't have those mutil cord things. If you wanted to play 32x cd game... Well let's just say you better have one of those universal plug things :v ( I do not remember their name :v) also, I found attaching cd hard to attach on model 2 than model 1 :v
This post has been edited by 아힝흥행: 03 January 2012 - 11:33 AM

#10 User is online cornholio857 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:40 PM

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View Post아힝흥행, on 03 January 2012 - 11:31 AM, said:

Ya, it was a pain if you didn't have those mutil cord things. If you wanted to play 32x cd game... Well let's just say you better have one of those universal plug things :v ( I do not remember their name :v) also, I found attaching cd hard to attach on model 2 than model 1 :v


I have yet to try a 32X-CD game on my setup. I think I need to change that. Aside from Virtua Racing Deluxe, Knuckles' Chaotix gets the most play on my 32X. And let me tell you, the music in Chaotix sounds so good on a Model 1 HDG Genesis. :)

#11 User is offline Kiddo Cabbusses 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 05:39 PM

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View PostMiles Prower, on 01 January 2012 - 11:04 PM, said:

Turn up the volume a bit when listening to the MD2 samples.

Oh. Here's my setup.

Posted Image


My own setup is similar, except
1) US region consoles
2) Model 1 Genesis has a region-mod switch. (Unfortunately I'd need to mod my 32X cartridge slot to be able to accept the JP carts, the US CD doesn't run in JP-switched mode, and the only game I got for this is Dragonball Z.)
3) Arcadian 6-button Joysticks instead of official Sega 3-button joysticks. These are -marvelous- with Super Street Fighter II.

#12 User is offline Miles Prower 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:55 PM

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The Megadrive shown here is a HDG one, complete with a 3-way region switch, a button to halt to CPU clock at will, and a switch to overclock it and play Sonic 2 2-player mode with none of those annoying slowdowns. I do have issue with this setup and the MegaCD though, and at the moment my 32X video cable (the one with a grey jack outputing to SCART) seems to be busted. And it's freaking HARD - not to mention expensive - to find a new one.

This photo was taken at a Sega-Party we organized in a retrogaming association near Bordeaux, France, and more can be seen here right before the doors opened.

The only reason why I chose a HDG MD1 in my setup is because it looks badass. It's actually harder to plug a 32X on that beast, and MegaCD1 are sparse in Europe so it clashes a bit. Maybe I should paint the lid button greyish to fit the whole setup, and match the Reset button color.
This post has been edited by Miles Prower: 03 January 2012 - 09:01 PM

#13 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:07 PM

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Am I really the only one who likes the original MD1's stronger bass? I dare to say that it even has some charm to it...


I wish the current emulators also took these sound differences into account. =\
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 03 January 2012 - 09:08 PM

#14 User is online cornholio857 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:17 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 03 January 2012 - 09:07 PM, said:

Am I really the only one who likes the original MD1's stronger bass? I dare to say that it even has some charm to it...


I wish the current emulators also took these sound differences into account. =\


No. I love it! :) That's why I have one and as I said earlier, the music from Knuckles' Chaotix sounds so good on it. I also recorded the entire Chaotix soundtrack using my Model 1 HDG. If anyone wants a link to the OST just message me I guess.

#15 User is offline Andlabs 

Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:23 PM

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YM2612 emulators won't be totally accurate until they start behaving like the actual chip — emulating cycles and only producing one channel of output at a time. I was working on such a thing months ago; I should get back to it soon...

As far as I can tell, each individuate MD has a different filter, but all MDs in a family wire their filter components identically, thus the "MD2s have worse sound than MD1" generalization that is by the way entirely subjective — you have to find the one you like best (and CCAM IIRC is totally unfiltered).

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