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Upscalers, CRTs, PVMs & RGB: Retro gaming done right!

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sixteen-bit

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Maybe a bit off topic... but I'm suddenly curious how RGB -> Component converters look on a CRT.

I have a CRT with component, and I don't imagine I'll find an RGB monitor any time soon, so...
Consumer grade Sony Trinitron KV-27FS120 CRT SDTV
Saturn RGB transcoded to component YUV on the left and PS2 over component on the right
Also a good example of 240p sharpness vs 480i blurriness when displaying a low-res game. Saturn 240p (RGB->Component) vs PS2 480i (Component) on the same TV

 

Vark

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This topic speaks directly to me.



My K7000 standard res is being repaired right now but RGB console gaming on an arcade CRT has always been great.

I also have a RGB SCART to component converter to simplify things, slightly less soldering involved.
 

encephalon

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Nah, they are $20. Maybe the japanese official 21 cable is $100 (perhaps, more) but really, a simple well-shielded SCART cable is less than $20. A SCART-to-JPN-21 covertor cable is about $10.

And yeah, if you have the official JPN-21 RGB cable then sell that shit off pronto and get the ghetto off-the-shelf SCART solution for a fraction of the cost. No sense keeping your money tied up in wiring when the inexpensive version functions identically.
Last time I bought an inexpensive version it didn't work at all. : (
 

Peagles

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Systems which support RGB right out of the box/no modifications needed:

  • Sega Master System
  • Genesis
  • Saturn
  • Super Nintendo
  • Neo-Geo
  • Sony Playstation 1
  • Xbox 1 (i believe?)
  • MSX
  • Atari Jaguar
might be more, but those are the ones i know offhand. those that don't & need to be modded:


  • Nintendo Entertainment System - this one's a bitch, and i'm currently in the process of shopping around to have it modded. it's an expensive mission, but there's at least one guy trying to find an alternative. either way, from screenshots, it looks goregoups when it's done right.
  • Nintendo 64 - This one isn't too tricky/expensive, I picked up an amplified RGB modded unit (apparently the early models work best) for about $60 shipped with a controller; to be honest, this early 3D is hard for me to revisit on composite so this was a godsend.
  • Turbografx/PC Engine - My latest addition was an RGB modded Duo-R, and let me tell you, the expanded color palette of this system really shines. There's a seller on ebay known for this, as well as RGB modded 3DO's.
More to come!
So all I need to get RGB on that list above is the right cable? I'm thinking of RGB for my SNES (SFC) since I play it a lot, but I always thought you needed to do some soldering inside.
 

sixteen-bit

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So all I need to get RGB on that list above is the right cable? I'm thinking of RGB for my SNES (SFC) since I play it a lot, but I always thought you needed to do some soldering inside.
Depends. If it's the original model SNES or SFC than you don't need to mod it. If it's the much more scarce 2nd model known as SNES Mini / SFC Jr. then you have to mod it for RGB.
 

Peagles

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Depends. If it's the original model SNES or SFC than you don't need to mod it. If it's the much more scarce 2nd model known as SNES Mini / SFC Jr. then you have to mod it for RGB.
Yeh it's just a regular looking Super Famicom. Any idea what I need to make it work? Do I need a certain input on my telly? I don't have enough dosh for an XRGB just yet hehe, trying to get a PVM instead.
 

Yes Boss!

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This topic speaks directly to me.



My K7000 standard res is being repaired right now but RGB console gaming on an arcade CRT has always been great.

I also have a RGB SCART to component converter to simplify things, slightly less soldering involved.
Yeah, I've got an exceptionally nice new 27" Nieman Displays Tri-sync Arcade Monitor sitting back in laguna niguel at the parents. Untouched, and been in storage for a couple of years.

Very curious to get it back in my gameroom and throw all kinds of things at it. Even if it is in a closet retro game setup. Gonna go collect it next summer when I grab all my other gaming stuff.
 

Chacranajxy

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Yeah, I've got an exceptionally nice new 27" Nieman Displays Tri-sync Arcade Monitor sitting back in laguna niguel at the parents. Untouched, and been in storage for a couple of years.

Very curious to get it back in my gameroom and throw all kinds of things at it. Even if it is in a closet retro game setup. Gonna go collect it next summer when I grab all my other gaming stuff.
Are those still obtainable these days? I'd like to get a CRT monitor, but ideally one that's new... cuz you never know what kind of DNA evidence you're gonna find in that thing...
 

Yes Boss!

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Are those still obtainable these days? I'd like to get a CRT monitor, but ideally one that's new... cuz you never know what kind of DNA evidence you're gonna find in that thing...
I would not really know. Website still seems live:

http://www.niemandisplays.com/

It was probably back in 2009 and I just emailed the owner and he put me in contact with the New York distributor (they are a Canadian company), and $450 later it was UPSed to my doorstep.

(It is a pure and raw arcade monitor...but in a nice arcade monitor frame...and flat like an Egret 3 or Atomiswave monitor)
 

IrishNinja

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handjobs for XBLA points, that's a hard knock life

Irish,

You can do everything that is done on the remote with the face buttons on the unit. A bit cumbersome, but it is all there!
haha that occurred to me a little while back too, i'm just being obtuse but you're right...my other problem is my habit of spending my nights off drunkely booting up classic games which leaves me in piss poor condition to manage such actions, heh

After owning a Panasonic GT50 Plasma, I could never go back to a CRT for anything! They look atrocious! My girlfriend has my old Trinitron, and I realized how bad it really is. Even Gamecube through Componet looks like poop compared to on my Plasma.
pretty bold statements! i havent had access to a trinitron since my old roomate had one in the DC days, they're fairly cheap down here sometimes on craigslist so god knows when i have a house/room one day i might just do a side by side comparison for my own benefit...but yeah, so far some of this thread's effort has at least been refuting the notion that retro gaming on an HDTV must be laggy, blurry crap

By the way, I saw this image earlier in some other thread, but I forget what the details were behind it:

Seriously. That looks ridiculous. I think that was dark10x's shot, but I could be wrong... but in any case, what hardware was used to make this happen? Because I want it.
A $250-300 Playchoice 10 PPU and a very complicated mod.
yeah, my man bapho had it right - it's this dude Shining, real good guy in some of the retro threads (at least i recall it being his). its my personal template now: when i finally get to see PPU replacement/NES HDMI shots, if i don't see the potential for that, i'm out

Great thread, Irish, and thanks for the OP. Can't believe we haven't had one before. I think there was a "retro gaming on HD TVs" thread but it doesn't include all the cool gadgets and mods we have now. I've had my sights on XRGB mini for a while now, despite having a nice Sony Wega CRT that I got for next to nothing just sitting on a shelf in my basement because....
yeah man, i think you might be referring to NES on an HDTV, can it look nice?, which i got most of the pics in the OP from, great thread but we totally needed a catch-all for this stuff!

Secondly, would you ever be able to use a single one to hook up multiple retro consoles?
ehh...kind of? here's what i do:

HDMI 1 - Dreamcast (VGA > HDMI, with audio in the av ports nearby
HDMI 2 - Neo Geo X Gold cause whateer
D Link w/Component Plug - alternates Gamecube & PS2
RGB - EU SCART adapter, with plugs next to it for Genesis, SNES, Saturn, N64 and PCE
Composite - NES for the time

i even printed out logos to put on the SCART's to help identify, swapping takes seconds and its off to the corner of my unit so it's drunken-reaching distance and not blocking anything. again the more i research SCART switches, the more it seemed only expensive powered ones would maintain the quality i was after, and even then it was usually like 3 ports so i decided against it for now.

PS3, 360 & WU are HDMI'd into the receiver cause why bother? debated WU over the mini just for Wii games but ive read it's not a good look, and i just don't care enough at the moment to hook up my Wii just for those titles.

So all I need to get RGB on that list above is the right cable? I'm thinking of RGB for my SNES (SFC) since I play it a lot, but I always thought you needed to do some soldering inside.
what's your TV like? you of course gotta make sure you can accept a SCART cable, or get an adapter! wait i think this was already answered
 

Yes Boss!

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Here is how I make it easy for knowing what goes in the RGB port on my mini. I hook the Wii/PS2 via the component...all the other systems SCART. Been too cheap to drop the $100 on a Selecty-21. I got a gold and a silver sharpie and marked the edges of each. Everything Silver pipeline is Euro SCART. Everything Gold pipeline is JPN-21.

Makes it very simple for me.

 

IrishNinja

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^interesting - so you mix em up, and only use the adapter for the EU ones? what do you have over JPN, and why'd you split formats outta curiosity?

really debating just grabbing another SNES EU one off whoever at this point, i was waiting for retro_console_accessories to come off her hiatus mid-july but still nothing, and even her site's gone now...
 

Vark

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Yeah, I've got an exceptionally nice new 27" Nieman Displays Tri-sync Arcade Monitor sitting back in laguna niguel at the parents. Untouched, and been in storage for a couple of years.

Very curious to get it back in my gameroom and throw all kinds of things at it. Even if it is in a closet retro game setup. Gonna go collect it next summer when I grab all my other gaming stuff.
That's awesome. The monitor pictured is my Makvision which isn't great, but it's one of the last CRT's anyone was selling. It's great for the dreamcast with just a bit of a brightness hit (I really just need to build an amp). Standard Res it has some geometry issues that i'm not sure psyched about but are only noticeable in games with slow scrolling backgrounds .

My Wells Gardner on the other hand is beautiful, or was up until one of the components blew (which really was my fault anyway). I'm not confident enough to fix it myself, but luckily here in Austin we have a really large arcade that specializes in restoration and will actually repair it for me. They just have a bit of a wait list so I'm making due for a few months.
 

Shadow Hog

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really debating just grabbing another SNES EU one off whoever at this point, i was waiting for retro_console_accessories to come off her hiatus mid-july but still nothing, and even her site's gone now...
I'm pretty sure she did come off of her hiatus. It's just the cables sold out in less than 24 hours.
 

gate stormer

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Reading this thread makes me wanna say eff next gen.

I recently picked up a Sega Genesis for a $1 at the flea market along with 20 Genesis games for around $20. Some great stuff with highlights being Contra Hard Corps as well as Battletoads/Double Dragon.

I've been reading up on the SVIDEO mod for the Genesis. I have a model 2, however it has a SAMSUNG chip, and from what little I've researched so far seems to indicate it's not too easy to do the SVIDEO mod on those compared to the Sony chips.

Any thoughts?
 

IrishNinja

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^if you don't get a good answer here, you might in the Genesis thread!

I'm pretty sure she did come off of her hiatus. It's just the cables sold out in less than 24 hours.
...for real? damn, that's what i get for sleepin...guess ill be checking in more often! she does quality work, really makes me wanna keep buying, despite her lack of replying to emails & such.
 

IrishNinja

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A second question about the XRGB: How does it handle PS2, Gamecube, Wii? Because they don't look very hot on an HDTV either but aren't 240p.
It's not really "night and day" for more recent consoles, because your modern TV is probably not that bad at upscaling 480i and 480p.

That said, the scaler in my plasma made PS2 look a little dirty and it didn't look quite right. Now that I have the XRGB, it creates a more pleasing "digital" image.... It's not unlike how PS2 looks on a backwards comparable PS3, or how Wii looks on a Wii U. My gf was playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and it looked like she was playing the most perfect PS2 emulator, rather than a muddy analog mess. I love how it looks.

I'd say you spend the money to upscale really old consoles, because it is "night and day" difference. Then as an added bonus, it will clean up more recent consoles. But I'm not sure if I'd recommend it just for recent consoles....
^boco gave a much better answer than i could've!
 

Peagles

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what's your TV like? you of course gotta make sure you can accept a SCART cable, or get an adapter! wait i think this was already answered
We currently have a 50 inch Panny Plasma (ST50 I think?). So I get a SNES SCART cable? And then something to convert the SCART to Component or something?
 

baphomet

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Reading this thread makes me wanna say eff next gen.

I recently picked up a Sega Genesis for a $1 at the flea market along with 20 Genesis games for around $20. Some great stuff with highlights being Contra Hard Corps as well as Battletoads/Double Dragon.

I've been reading up on the SVIDEO mod for the Genesis. I have a model 2, however it has a SAMSUNG chip, and from what little I've researched so far seems to indicate it's not too easy to do the SVIDEO mod on those compared to the Sony chips.

Any thoughts?
Yea, as far as I know you're out of luck. I'm running my Model 2 with the Samsung in RGB and do the svideo mod on any older models I come across. It's not worth the hassle when you can try and find a model 1 and mod it in 10 minutes for region/stereo av/and svideo.
 

baphomet

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I assure you that it does not. It looks the same as the Wii minus the widescreen on most games.
I assume you're using component then? When I read your other post I just figured you were using composite, but I was reminded cube has component cables. Very expensive component cables at that.

Edit: didn't mean to double post
 

theSlacker

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...for real? damn, that's what i get for sleepin...guess ill be checking in more often! she does quality work, really makes me wanna keep buying, despite her lack of replying to emails & such.
Yeah, shit went fast. Think she only put up like 5 more of any cable though. Glad I was able to get some.

Yeh it's just a regular looking Super Famicom. Any idea what I need to make it work? Do I need a certain input on my telly? I don't have enough dosh for an XRGB just yet hehe, trying to get a PVM instead.
If your tv accepts scart and rgb, then you are set since that is how most of the custom cables are made. If you get a PVM you will need a SCART -> BNC adapter.
 

Peagles

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Yeah, shit went fast. Think she only put up like 5 more of any cable though. Glad I was able to get some.



If your tv accepts scart and rgb, then you are set since that is how most of the custom cables are made. If you get a PVM you will need a SCART -> BNC adapter.
I think it does but it needs an adapter. It's a Panasonic ST50 and it came with two adapters to plug in composite and component, so there might be an adapter for SCART too... Or I can get a SCART to component adapter maybe?
 

Gillian Seed

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I assume you're using component then? When I read your other post I just figured you were using composite, but I was reminded cube has component cables. Very expensive component cables at that.

Edit: didn't mean to double post
Yeah Componet cables. Composite stuff would definitely look worse than on a CRT.
 

televator

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Reading this thread makes me wanna say eff next gen.

I recently picked up a Sega Genesis for a $1 at the flea market along with 20 Genesis games for around $20. Some great stuff with highlights being Contra Hard Corps as well as Battletoads/Double Dragon.


I've been reading up on the SVIDEO mod for the Genesis. I have a model 2, however it has a SAMSUNG chip, and from what little I've researched so far seems to indicate it's not too easy to do the SVIDEO mod on those compared to the Sony chips.

Any thoughts?
If it weren't for the fact that I've made pretty incredible finds at Goodwill myself, I'd say I refuse to believe believe you. :p Great finds man!
 

dark10x

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Reading this thread makes me wanna say eff next gen.

I recently picked up a Sega Genesis for a $1 at the flea market along with 20 Genesis games for around $20. Some great stuff with highlights being Contra Hard Corps as well as Battletoads/Double Dragon.

I've been reading up on the SVIDEO mod for the Genesis. I have a model 2, however it has a SAMSUNG chip, and from what little I've researched so far seems to indicate it's not too easy to do the SVIDEO mod on those compared to the Sony chips.

Any thoughts?
S-video? Come on, man, you can do better without modding.

Buy a cheap SCART to component transcoder along with a SCART cable for the Genesis and you'll be set.
 

Yes Boss!

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^interesting - so you mix em up, and only use the adapter for the EU ones? what do you have over JPN, and why'd you split formats outta curiosity?
Well, you gotta use and adapter either way since it needs to go into the Minin through that mini plug.

I basically leave the SCART->Framemeister in all the time sine all my cables for all ghe system are Euro. I leave the gold JPN adapter out (the one that comes with the mini) since my Supergun's RGB cable is JPN-21 and waspricey...although even now a UK store sells a SCART RGB cable for my Sigma for about $20.
 

IrishNinja

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ohh, makes sense...i should check the box, i don't even remember it coming with one, heah. by the way, you or somebody should consider a supergun/JAMMA etc board thread, i don't know a thing about them beyond that i now kinda have the option to run them, and that they could kill me if i'm careless!
 

STG!

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by the way, you or somebody should consider a supergun/JAMMA etc board thread, i don't know a thing about them beyond that i now kinda have the option to run them, and that they could kill me if i'm careless!
Nah, superguns are pretty easy to use. I've used my supergun for 12/13 years, never had an issue with a PCB or the unit itself even when I didn't know much about it early on. Just treat your hardware carefully. The only thing they can kill is your wallet, heh.
 

dark10x

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The Retron 5 is a fascinating machine but I still have reservations over its ability to properly emulate each console. I've yet to experience a single clone capable of delivering fully issue free gameplay. They are never as accurate as the best software emulators often suffering from sound issues or, even worse, performance issues.
 

Kokonoe

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The Retron 5 is a fascinating machine but I still have reservations over its ability to properly emulate each console. I've yet to experience a single clone capable of delivering fully issue free gameplay. They are never as accurate as the best software emulators often suffering from sound issues or, even worse, performance issues.
Yeah, I'm hoping to see some impressions myself. I'd love for this to work as they describe.
 

sixteen-bit

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The Retron 5 is a fascinating machine but I still have reservations over its ability to properly emulate each console. I've yet to experience a single clone capable of delivering fully issue free gameplay. They are never as accurate as the best software emulators often suffering from sound issues or, even worse, performance issues.
I hope it works out. The Retron5 uses android-based OS and is capable of firmware updates, so if it's not good out of the gate I hope people write better emulators for it.
 

Timeless

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Kokonoe

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Chacranajxy

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Kinda ghetto if it's just an Android box. I suppose the best Super Fauxtendo would be putting together a small PC (with fairly beefy hardware), installing BSNES, and putting a retrode on top of that sonbitch.
 

Kokonoe

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Kinda ghetto if it's just an Android box. I suppose the best Super Fauxtendo would be putting together a small PC (with fairly beefy hardware), installing BSNES, and putting a retrode on top of that sonbitch.
It actually doesn't matter what you use with the Retrode, you can even use it on the Wii, or a phone.
 

Irate Drake

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I just wish there was a mod to RGB thru my Retron 3.

I know that NES is out of the question, but SNES and Genesis are capable of RGB through system, from what ive read.
 
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Assuming one wants to do things the other way round.... Is there a way to connect VGA/DVI out from a PC (for emulators) to an old school TV through the RGB/scart connector? I am guessing that the 20 quid or so converters on Ebay aren't very good.
 

Tain

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I feel that larger HDTVs are too laggy as it is even when playing modern 720p and 1080p games, so while a dedicated upscaler would be much better than just plugging the system in, it's still going to be annoyingly laggier than just playing on an SDTV.

But that's HDTVs. Some day, when my CRTs die, I hope I can get a nice Micomsoft scaler to hook up to a low-lag monitor.
 

IrishNinja

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The Retron 5 is a fascinating machine but I still have reservations over its ability to properly emulate each console. I've yet to experience a single clone capable of delivering fully issue free gameplay. They are never as accurate as the best software emulators often suffering from sound issues or, even worse, performance issues.
yeah, as other said, most people who just wanna play their 10 favorite SNES games might not care....as a Sega fan, i'm concerned. emulating the Genesis sound chip in particular was never really a perfect science from what i saw, and i recall reading the retron 3 didn't do a great job of it, either.

if both NES RGB alternatives end up being crap & i cant afford a proper mod, i guess i'd throw it around for NES...save states/etc are pretty cool. but we're on the same page here.

I just wish there was a mod to RGB thru my Retron 3.

I know that NES is out of the question, but SNES and Genesis are capable of RGB through system, from what ive read.
they are indeed, no idea how that'd work with your Retron 3, didn't that work via software emulation/LLE?
 

RadarScope1

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Ok, question for the pros in this thread. How does the xrgb do with the following? For reference, I'd be playing these on a Panny plasma.

SNES via s-vid out
NES via composite
Genesis via composite

As I said earlier, I'm eyeing and xrgb mini but I'm not sure how much more effort I want to put into other cables and mods after dropping 400 bucks on an adapter....
 

IrishNinja

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well (admittedly not an expert, but...) i started out doing just what you're doing...still have NES on composhit but SNES/gen the same way you did. bear in mind, i know its a bit but past the $350-400 upscaler, the SCART cables (about $20 each) are a much more minor investment, and again the colors you'll get out of them are amazing...plus those 2 systems will take those cables without any modifications.

it'll work fine on your setup, and certainly look better than it did prior - but it can only do so much with the signal you're giving it. i'd imagine genesis colors will still be a bit washed out, SNES might look fine but if you see the screens in the OP, i imagine it'll eventually hit you that it could look so much better for just a little bit more, that's what happened to me anyway! just something to think about, maybe when you're done paying off the XRGB, haha.
 

RadarScope1

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Yeah that IS what I'm thinking after all - "hey, what's $20 more?"

For a while I was watching the dollar to yen exchange rate hoping to score the xrgb for less, and the prices have come down a bit it seems. But it's probably not going to go much below $400.
 

Yes Boss!

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Yeah that IS what I'm thinking after all - "hey, what's $20 more?"

For a while I was watching the dollar to yen exchange rate hoping to score the xrgb for less, and the prices have come down a bit it seems. But it's probably not going to go much below $400.
Seriously, take a look at amazon.co.jp. They have it for about $290 with free shipping to your Tokyo proxy (like Tenso if you set it up). Item is small so there is about a $25 shipping EMS added by the proxy and then another $15 for the proxy fee. It would be about $330 delivered.
 
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