The Game Boy Color sound is very weak by default, with little or no bass. This is fine for gaming, but musicians need better representation in the bass department. This problem can be solved with the Game Boy Color Pro Sound Modification, described in this document.
The Pro Sound modification was invented by the reverse-engineering of Game Boy artist Timothy Lamb a.k.a. Trash 80. The modification makes the Game Boy Color sound almost as good as the big gray model. This is done by adding a new sound output that takes its sound directly from the volume potentiometer, bypassing some sound-garbling electronics close to the headphone output.
Modifying your Game Boy Color isn't that difficult if you have some soldering experience, but if you're not confident in what you're doing, you should find some one that can do it for you. Remember, you do this entirely at your own risk, no one will take responsibility if your GBC is wasted!
How to do it
- Get a soldering iron, a Game Boy Color, a pair of cutting pliers and an audio cord with a 3.5mm stereo jack in the end.
- Open up your GBC. The screws are Nintendo specials and quite difficult to unscrew. I used a small flat screwdriver that connected to two of the three corners.
- Find the volume potentiometer to the right. It has five pins. Solder the audio signal cords to pins 2 and 3 (starting from the top). (Pin 2 is left, 3 is right.)
- Unscrew the board and flip it over. Locate the connection under the headphone jack that's marked '4'. Solder the audio ground cord to it.
- Cut a small hole in the plastic for the audio cord.
- Close it up.
Your new Pro Sound output should now produce a very clean and bassy sound! If you're using Little Sound Dj, use the 'K' command frequently to kill unwanted noise from unused oscillators. Also, you can now use your wall adapter for power, since it doesn't have that annoying “hummm” sound anymore. Note that you still have to use the headphone output for headphones, since the Pro Sound output doesn't have enough power.
This modification also works well for the Gameboy Pocket!
Instead of letting the new cord stick out from the bottom of your Gameboy Color, it's also possible to fit the jack inside the boy and put the connector on the right side. There's enough space behind the speaker for this. So it would then look like this:
.-----------. | .-------. | | |./ /..| | | |/ /../| | | |__/../_| | | pocket | | + O | | O | | - - C <---- |___________|
The big advantage of this is that you can then carry around your GBC in your pocket, without having to worry that the Pro Sound cord might break.
Having just completed this mod, here's a few things to take notice of:
1. If you want to put an 1/8" jack in the suggested space behind the speaker, make doubly sure that it will fit with out hitting the speaker. The wall is curved there and will make the jack set against it at an angle, pointing it towards the speaker. A little trimming on the case and the jack solved this.
2. Pin #1 on the volume pot (from the top) is also a ground and you can use this instead of the headphone pin on the back side of the board. #1 is ground, #2 is left, #3 is right.
3. Plan the wire routing carefully and use very thin wire. I used pretty thin wire but decided to twist all three together to get some shielding. This caused some problems with getting the case to close properly. You can send the wires through the hole in the black edge pin connector for the cards and down the right side (right side when the back is up and open) and then across to the jack below the batteries. A little hot glue helped hold the wires in place in crucial areas.
4. It's pretty easy to make a Nintendo screwdriver with a nail and a Dremel tool. It might take you a few tries but if you plan on opening it more than once, it helps.
Good luck, Chester 1/2/06
Low-Gain Tutorial: http://lowgain-audio.com/GBCmod.htm Site also has an mp3 sample that should work.
another tutorial: http://the.fontvir.us/b10g/?tag=modz