db-elec’s Upcoming Power Base Converter Brings The FM Sound Back To Sega’s 8-bit Classics

db-elec-FM-Sound-Power-Base-ConverterWe've all used Sega's impressive Power Base Converter to enjoy 8-bit classics on the Mega Drive - but believe it or not we've only been sampling half of the Master System's true output. db-elec's all new clone of the Master System to Mega Drive converter aims to remedy this with FM Sound compatibility.

If you're wondering what this FM Sound may be, you're not alone. For the European and North American releases of the Master System, Sega unfortunately removed the Yamaha YM2413 FM synthesis chip from the console. While there was still a fairly memorable sound chip present - the same one the Japanese console also had on standby - the deep and richer sounds of the YM2413 were nowhere to be heard.

Master System games by default make use of the built-in SN76489 PSG chip, the same one present in the Game Gear, however, a selection of 8-bit classics instead make use of the YM2413’s full potential. To name but a few, Double Dragon, Fantasy Zone II, Golvellius, OutRun, Phantasy Star, R-Type, and Wonder Boy in Monster Land all had more enhanced soundtracks only a select part of the world had access to. What makes this more interesting is that the European and North American releases of these games still contained the code needed to activate the YM2413 chip - which brings us round to today’s news.

db-elec’s upcoming Power Base Converter with FM Sound is set to gift retro gamers the chance to finally hear the true sounds behind their favourite 8-bit games. Compatible with both the Sega Mega Drive and Mega Drive II (and Genesis counterparts), this upcoming aftermarket accessory is one audiophiles don’t want to miss out on. While no release date has been set, db-elec have shared a video of their latest prototype in action, along with clear recordings of the sound differences.

db-elec’s Upcoming Power Base Converter with FM Sound

Those wanting the more authentic experience on the original hardware instead are also in luck. While it’s not something db-elec are currently offering, you can purchase and expansion board for the Master System to bring the YM2413 chip back home.

Link: db-elec's Official Website

Last Updated ( 30 July 2014 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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