Analogue DAC Pre-Orders, Mega Sg Cartridge Adapters

Analogue have just re-opened pre-orders on their DAC:  A Digital To Analog Converter that allows for Composite, S-Video, Component Video and RGB output from all compatible Analogue devices (currently the Mega Sg and Super NT).  Depending on your region, the total price including shipping is around $100:

They also announced that their Mega Sg cartridge adapters will be up for sale by the end of this week.  The cartridge adapters should allow you to use original cartridges from the Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000, and SC-3000.  While the jailbreak firmware supports ROM loading from all of those consoles, there’s something to be said about using your original games.  I imagine many people will be thrilled and I’ll certainly be purchasing the Game Gear one!

As for the DAC itself, I have mixed feelings.

Good (actually, excellent):

First and foremost, the DAC outputs an extremely high quality signal!  Its my opinion that buying a Mega Sg and a DAC is a cost-effective way to get clean RGB (or S-Video) output from your Genesis games!  At the moment, the only way to get an RGB signal that performs as well, is via modding, which can be expensive and a lot of work.  As an example, to get the same performance and features as the Mega Sg + DAC, you’d need a Genesis that’s been modded with the Sega Triple Bypass ($150 – $250), an OSSC ($130) and an Everdrive ($50 – $175).

That’s $330-$555 for the complete Genesis setup, vs $315 (ish) for the Mega Sg (with jailbreak firmware) and DAC.


Cost Implications / Criticism:

On the flip side, a Super Nintendo….especially a “1CHIP” will offer similar RGB performance with no modding required, for the cost of just the DAC itself; You can generally find 1CHIP SNES’ for around $100, meaning if SNES is your focus, a Super NT and original 1CHIP SNES might be a better fit for your setup.  Or not, totally situation based!

Also, there’s no dual-output option, meaning once the DAC is connected, the only signal you can get is analog.  Lastly, there’s no digital audio option, so no gaming on an RGB monitor, but enjoying clean SPDIF audio from your receiver.


Overall thoughts:

Bottom line:  You can’t go wrong with the DAC.  I’m overly-critical of it, just to play devil’s advocate and provide a level-headed view, but your decision should be based on cost and overall setup:  Do you already own a bunch of RGB-modded consoles?  Do you want to leave your original consoles untouched and focus on these excellent FPGA re-creations from Kevin Horton?  Are you starting from scratch and want a no-fuss RGB solution?  Will this setup be overall easier than an RGB setup running through a gscartsw, dual outputting to am RGB monitor and scaler, allowing for a “push-button” solution?

The decision is 100% yours to make, but at least there’s so many excellent options these days!

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