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Thread: Do different Genesis Model 1 systems have better / worse video output?

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    Default Do different Genesis Model 1 systems have better / worse video output?

    I recently purchased a second Genesis console (intended for part of a trade which will most likely not come to pass) and while testing it, I noticed something odd.

    The video quality was a lot better than my other Genesis' video quality. The video seemed a lot less blurry than my other system.

    The only difference was that this new Genesis appears to be a pre-lockout (TMSS) system with an EXT port, and my older one is a post-lockout system without a port. I'm playing with a standard A/V cable, not RF.

    So was I imagining things? Or is there really a video quality difference between the two?
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    I can't tell if we're discussing My Little Pony or Neon Genesis Evangelion anymore.
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    There is. I don't know if there are any useful topics on this board regarding the matter, but I found this very informative:

    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?p=161951

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    Oh dear fuck, you wouldn't believe how many different kinds of Genesis systems there really are. Most people think that there's only model 1, model 2, model 3, X'Eye, and CDX, but it gets far, far more complicated.

    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7796

    There's even some variants that people don't know about. Most likely, your new one is a model 1 VA7.

    On a side note, I have a model 1 VA7 and a model 2 VA3. Both are unknown variants - they have the Sony CXA1145 video encoder.

    <EDIT> Gah, beaten to the guide.
    Last edited by BetaWolf47; 01-18-2010 at 10:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    There's even some variants that people don't know about. Most likely, your new one is a model 1 VA7.
    Wait, my newer, BETTER one is the crappy one?
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
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    No, I jumped the gun. Your non-TMSS system is the better one. How's the audio on each of them? It's a weird case sometimes: some variants have good video and bad audio, and vice-versa.
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    I honestly don't know.

    I hated the Genesis' audio when I was a kid, and it doesn't sound any better now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    I can't tell if we're discussing My Little Pony or Neon Genesis Evangelion anymore.
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    I see someone found my guide on Sega-16.

    Now, on a Genesis Model 1, the picture quality is the same, however, the non-TMSS models contain some really cheap capacitors that are starting to dry up. This has caused some sound problems on one of my non-TMSS Genesis Model 1s(both VA3s), and there's a possibility it also causes "rainbow banding," where thick vertical rainbow-colored strips appear on the screen. Both of my non-TMSS Genesis Model 1s and my Japanese MegaDrive Model 1(VA5 motherboard) show signs of rainbow banding. The VA7 Genesis Model 1 is the big turd, and up in my part of Canada(Montreal), it's the most common Genesis Model 1 there is. I either find that or a non-TMSS model. I haven't seen a VA6 Genesis Model 1 aside from my modified VA6 in a LONG time.

    But the Genesis Model 2 in general sucks. Most revisions sound like absolute crap(VA0, VA1, VA1.8), can't get the volume balance correct(VA2, VA4(to a lesser extent and easier to fix)), and have absolutely rotten Composite video. I tell you: out of about 50 different Genesis Model 2s I've come across, only 2 had good video AND audio quality. While the ones that sound like absolute crap can get better sound using a new sound circuit developed by Sega-16's Genesis modding guru TmEE, there is no way to fix the bad video unless you get a new video encoder, which, on the Genesis 2, is a small surface-mounted chip, and replacing those is a real hassle.

    Could you take a picture of your two Genesis systems(front, back, and if you have a Genesis 2, the bottom)?

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    I don't have a Genesis 2 (I used to but I think I gave it away). And both my Genesis 1s have the EXT port on the back. How difficult is it to fix the capacitors on these? I didn't have any issues with rainbow banding on this system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
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    Electrolytic capacitors are fairly easy to replace. However, there isn't a list of all the various capacitors on the Genesis Model 1 anywhere, so I'll compile a list of capacitors you need. I won't be able to do so now, but when I can, I'll open up my Genesis Model 1s(take a picture of the motherboards in your Genesis Model 1s so I know which ones to open up; I've got a few different Genesis Model 1s here) and make a list of all the capacitors on the motherboard.

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    Very Informative thread. Thanx. I have a Model 1 HD without the TTM. Plays and sounds great. I will watch for the rainbowing now of course.

    I guess the one with it would be a little better becuase of the rainbowing. But I picked it up years ago without any of this knowledge. Could have done worse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace View Post
    Electrolytic capacitors are fairly easy to replace. However, there isn't a list of all the various capacitors on the Genesis Model 1 anywhere, so I'll compile a list of capacitors you need. I won't be able to do so now, but when I can, I'll open up my Genesis Model 1s(take a picture of the motherboards in your Genesis Model 1s so I know which ones to open up; I've got a few different Genesis Model 1s here) and make a list of all the capacitors on the motherboard.
    Oh, don't bother on my account. I can't fix anything, I don't know how to solder.

    I'll see what I can do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    I can't tell if we're discussing My Little Pony or Neon Genesis Evangelion anymore.
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    So bottom line, what is the best version? If I was going to own a single sega genesis for playing games on, which should I own?
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    As long as you don't get a VA7 model 1, you're good to go. The VA7's sound as bad as most of the model 2's.

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    So there's no difference between the ones with "high definition graphics" and those without as long as the ones without aren't a VA7 model?
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    Fantastic guide.

    I have a few Model 1 units, and I just verified that I have the TMSS one, but with motherboard VA6.

    I also have a Model 2, but since I rarely used it, I could not make a difference to a Model 1.

    Does anyone have sound bytes to compare them to?
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    so this leads to question 2

    if you have a higher quality stock genesis, do you lose the higher quality output by attaching a sega cd or 32x?

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    i believe the 32x has the TMSS chip on it. So if you have a non-TMSS system, it basicly makes you have one, unless you unhook the 32x everytime you use it.
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    The ones that have "High Definition Graphics" on the casing are guaranteed not to have a VA7 board (since only early models have HDG and VA7 is the latest model 1), so all HDG models have good sound. There are some that don't have HDG but still have good sound. I've heard the early models have a rainbow banding issue but I mainly care about the sound quality.

    HDG model = good sound
    non-HDG model, but still has the space where the EXT port used to be = also good sound
    non-HDG model, and the space where the EXT port used to be is occupied by CH3/CH4 switch = bad sound

    FCC ID: FJ846EUSASEGA = non-TMSS (only on early HDG models)
    FCC ID: FJ8USASEGA = TMSS (all models can have this, even HDG models)

    TMSS doesn't matter as much since you can get around that with a Game Genie. All official Genesis systems after the early model 1's have this (model 2, model 3, 32X, CDX, and probably X'EYE).

    So if you want to get a model 1 with good sound, get one where the CH3/CH4 switch doesn't occupy the space where the EXT port is, or one with the EXT port. If you don't want TMSS, check the FCC ID on the bottom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mason P. View Post
    i believe the 32x has the TMSS chip on it. So if you have a non-TMSS system, it basicly makes you have one, unless you unhook the 32x everytime you use it.
    That's not true. If you plug in a 32X into a non-TMSS console, it will still boot straight to the game, not spew out the PRODUCED BY OR UNDER LICENSE FROM SEGA ENTERPRISES LTD. screen. TMSS is within the Genesis, not its add-ons(they have their own BIOSes).

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid
    so this leads to question 2

    if you have a higher quality stock genesis, do you lose the higher quality output by attaching a sega cd or 32x?
    No. In fact, the 32X has its own video encoder, meaning that the Genesis' native Composite output is completely bypassed. Instead, the Genesis' RGB outputs are fed into the 32X, mixed with the 32X's video, and then encoded into Composite and fed straight out as RGB. The quality isn't as good as a Genesis with a CXA1645 encoder, but if you have a Genesis 2 with the KA2195D, it's a MUST to have a 32X. The difference in video quality is like night and day. This also eliminates the rainbow banding on any Genesis Model 1, but it's not a proper fix for what could very well be a capacitor problem.

    As for the sound, on a Genesis Model 1, the quality doesn't change regardless of whether you have a Sega CD attached or not. But on a Genesis 2, there's a good bit of difference. If you have one of those with nasty sound output, the sound will be filtered(all hissing is gone), but the sound will still strain a bit. If you have one with clearer sound, the sound will come out even clearer than off the Genesis' A/V out, but you lose bass like that(I like high bass, so I use the A/V out on my VA4 Genesis 2(or any other Genesis 2 I have attached to it save for my VA1s and VA1.8s) rather than the Line Out on the Sega CD I have attached to it).

    EDIT: I just remembered something - one of my VA1 Genesis 2s suffers from the exact same rainbow banding as my VA3 Genesis Model 1s and VA5 MegaDrive Model 1, but to a much lesser extent. The rainbow banding could very well be caused by capacitors drying up. Only way to find out is to replace every capacitor in those systems.
    Last edited by Ace; 01-19-2010 at 10:58 AM.

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    Ah, I see the man himself has found this thread. Good guide by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckTalesNES
    So bottom line, what is the best version? If I was going to own a single sega genesis for playing games on, which should I own?
    That's in the eye of the beholder. I personally prefer VA3 or VA4 model 2 systems, since they SHOULD have the best video and really clear audio. Most people prefer non-TMSS model 1 units because of the higher bass, but I myself prefer clarity over good bass.

    Only problem is if your system doesn't have the encoders it SHOULD, like how my model 2 VA3 has an 1145 instead of a 1645.
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