Retro Duo NES Audio Correction Tutorial

Thinking of buying a Retro Duo or already own one? Hate the off-pitch sound the system produces when playing NES cartridges? You’re in luck – the audio can be fixed to sound no different than the real hardware.

For this tutorial you will need the following

  • Clean work space
  • Star screwdriver
  • Cup to place screws in
  • Retro Duo system
  • Small amount of solder
  • Solderiong Iron
  • 1x 2.2Kohm resistor
  • 1x  0.1uf ceramic capacitor (104)

As always, I take no responsibility for any adverse consiquences of preforming this mod. I am not resonsible if you destroy your system, burn your house down, or begin to enjoy Michael Bay movies. You have been warned.

1. Flip over your Retro Duo and remove the four star screws in the four corners. If you have never disassembled your Retro Duo before they may be a little stubborn, so keep at it.

2. Remove the screws and store in your bowl. All of the Retro Duo’s screws are identical in size and shape, so don’t worry about mixing them up.

3. Flip the console so it is facing up once again. Gently lift and remove her top. [thank you Nintentoaster tutorial] There is a small LED board that indicates when in 8-bit or 16-bit modes. You can unscrew this if you wish, but it is not vital.

4. Ignore the large SNES board entirely unless you feel the need to unscrew it to work on a completely flat area. Your focus should be on the small NES daughterboard on the back, secured by two screws at either end of the cartridge slot. Remove them and gently lift up on the board so it is virtual. As mentioned, you can solder in this position, but if you feel uneasy completely unscrew the board and lay it down flat.

5. It’s time for soldering. Plug in your soldering iron to allow it a few minutes to heat up. Gather your solder and the two components you will be adding.

You’ll need a common 0.1uf ceramic capacitor and a 2.2Kohm resistor. The resistor has the striping red/red/red and the ceramic capacitor can easily be identified by its “104” marking.

Both components can be found on the cheap from any electronics supplier, but I personally recommend scavenging parts from old electronics you might have lying around. Both of these parts are commonly found on old VCRs and other household electronics. Simply desolder the old components and reuse. I wholeheartedly recommend every hobbyist have at least one scarp VCR for parts. Their massive motherboards are goldmines for these kinds of components.

 

6. It’s time to solder. I unfortunately made this tutorial long after preforming the mod, so I only have after images to show. Solder the resistor and the capacitor as shown. Don’t worry about polarity – resistors do not carry polarity and it does not matter which way you place ceramic capacitors as these types of capacitors have no polarity either. It is for this reason you shouldn’t use an electrolytic capacitor for this application.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

7. Once the components are in place and secure, place the board(s) back in their positions and screw them down. If you unscrewed the LED board, take care not to overscrew it – you can actually puncture the top of the casing doing this.

8. Put her top back on and rescrew the four corners. Test it out and you should be in business!

That’s it folks. Check out my Retro Duo videos to see just how good the audio can sound once you preform this simple mod!

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6 Responses to “Retro Duo NES Audio Correction Tutorial”

  1. Hey this is really great. I was ready to can my Retro Duo for what is does to the audio of Journey to Silius and my Castlevanias. Now there is hope!

    Can you provide a more detailed explanation of where exactly the capacitor and resistor go on the RD/NES board? I can’t quite make out form the photos where the legs of each are attached. Thanks!

  2. Dennis Hammack Says:

    Thank you so much for the help on fixing the sound on my retro duo. It took me a couple trys but i got it right. now Super Mario 3 and Zelda sounds just like it’s suppose too.

  3. Would it be possible to fix the SNES part sound too? For me, the Retro DUO snes sound is VERY wrong: original SNES has a clearer and softer sound. What do you think?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      There is no such fix. The RetroDuo (2.0 at least) has a 1:1 soundchip clone. There is no difference whatsoever.

      • I know: samples are well decompressed and effects are the same: it’s the filtar that’s not the same. SNES audio comes out soft, as if it’s somehow interpolated in a different way. The RetroDUO Snes sound is crisp, sharper, more dirty. You should compare, if you haven’t done already. But, if you did, did you notice the differente I am talking about?

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