Choosing The Proper Genesis RGB Cable


There are many different versions of Genesis RGB cables available. Hopefully, this page will simply everything you need to know:

 

Genesis 2 Cables

I'll start with the links to Genesis 2 cables, since it's much more straightforward:  Any Genesis that uses the Genesis 2-style port (such as CDX, RGB-modded Genesis 3, etc) should get one of these cables:

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive 2 RGB Scart Cable - select 'csync' from the drop-down menu  (UK Seller)

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive 2 RGB Scart Cable  Upgrade to coax cable  (US Seller)

 

Genesis 1 Cables

If you have a Genesis 1 and there's any chance you'll ever use the 32x, buy a Genesis 2 cable, as well as the custom adapter cable discussed in the 32x section.  If you don't plan on using a 32x, get one of these cables:

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive 1 Stereo RGB SCART cable  (UK Seller)

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive 1 RGB SCART Cable csync  Upgrade to coax cable  (US Seller)

The Genesis Model 1 doesn’t output stereo through the rear A/V port; that port only outputs mono sound. Luckily, the front headphone jack does output stereo, so the Genesis 1 cables listed above have a 3.5mm headphone cable that routes stereo audio through the SCART connector.

 

Genesis 1 Audio Mod

Many people (including myself), have found the audio from the headphone jack to be distorted on some Genesis systems (most likely a result of a dirty POT over time). The best solution I found was to pull the stereo sound directly from the headphone amp on the Genesis motherboard. This way, you get a clear line-out signal from a pretty simple mod. Please follow the link below if you'd like to know how to do it and if you use a 3.5mm jack for the mod, you can still use the exact same cables listed above.

Sega Genesis Stereo Audio Mod



Other Alternatives

I've heard many cases of the CDX and 32x having issues with RGB-output when using upscalers or sensitive RGB monitors. People have claimed that amplifying the csync signal coming out of the cables solves these issues (please see the sync page for more information). I've tested and found a few scenarios where this is true, but I'm still trying to find the technical reasons as to why.  If you'd like to purchase one of these cables, you can always remove the amp if it isn't needed and just connect csync directly:

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive 2 RGB SCART Cable - Amplified sync  Upgrade to coax cable  (US Seller)

 

Sega CD

Using a Sega CD will not effect your choice of RGB cable, as it's audio is routed internally through the Genesis.  There's been lots of misinformation about this over the years, so I created a page that explains everything:  Sega CD Audio

 

Summary

It's my opinion that regardless of the Genesis model, you should get a Genesis 2 RGB SCART cable.  Then, if you have a Genesis 1, get the 32x female adapter cable listed in the 32x section.  This will ensure total compatibility across all Genesis consoles and accessories and in the long run may actually save you money.

 

 

If you're done, please head back to the main Genesis page.  If you'd like info on mods for other systems, head to the Getting RGB From Each System page or check out the main page for more retro-awesomeness.