NES-101 TopLoader AV Composite Mod Kit & Instructions

Please take proper safety precautions when dealing with electronics and soldering. Have proper ventilation and a clean work area. Research basic soldering technique if in doubt.  I cannot be held responsible for any damages that could occur to you or your equipment while following (or misreading!) the procedures present on this Website.


This Kit can be purchased or installed from my store here

Why Upgrade:
The NES Toploader was a great console but lacked quality video & sound. With this AV upgrade all Modern TVs and international users will be able to enjoy 8bit gaming.   The video and Sound is crisp and clean. No static, fuzz or buzz.

Enhanced Audio:
The NES has been designed to output mono sound. You will hear the same sound in both speakers.It is possible to do better by modding the NES with "Enhanced Audio". The NES CPU (2A03) has 2 sound outputs. One carries the 2 square wave channels and the other one carries the triangle wave channel, the noise channel and the sample channel. By tapping directly on the CPU pins it is possible to direct the 2 sound outputs to different speakers, thus obtaining Enhanced stereo like audio sound. 

Power LED Instructions are found here.

Please research basic Soldering before attempting this install.  Wires will need to be stripped and tinned before soldered in place.  Proper soldering temperatures and guidelines need to be followed. 
Youtube "soldering 101" for assistance.
Read this Awesome "Soldering is Easy – Comic" for Basic 101s of soldering click here.

  • Security Bit 4.5 mm
  • Medium Sized Phillips screwdriver
  • 30w Soldering iron (preferably with a small tip)
  • Solder
  • Wire Strippers
  • Drill with 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Micro Flush cutter or some kind of mini cutters

Board Wiring layout:
  • (21) Composite Video input /  Connects to the PPU chip Pin 21
  • (C)  Composite Video output / Connects to the RCA jack that will carry the video signal.
  • (5)   Connects to 5v power source
  • (G)  Connects to Ground tabs of RCA jack
  • (AUD out)  Connects to Red and White RCA jacks for audio output. Not needed when selecting Mono option.
  • (AUD in) Connects to pins on CPU chip. Not needed when selecting Mono option.

      Before starting take time and clean a proper work area. This mod requires patience and a cluttered work area will not help you.

      (1) First step: There are four 4.5mm security screws on the bottom of the console. All screws will be represented as RED dots throughout this tutorial. Remove these and place the screws in a safe place. Next flip the console over and slowly remove the top plastic shell.

      (2) Now with the top shell removed you can see the motherboard & RF shielding. Remove all visible screws There are 3 gold tinted Phillip screws around the RF shielding and two silver screws at the cartridge slot.

      (3) Here is a quick overview photo of the motherboard connections.  All the remaining connection points will be located at the RCA jacks.

      Trim wires to desired length before soldering into place. Insure length clears RF shield.

      Once you are familiar with the soldering locations you can start wiring the Composite Kit and getting ready for the install.  The photos below show examples of a properly wired composite Kit.

      (4) The composite video source will be captured from Pin21 on the PPU chip.  For best video quality the pin must be cut. You can skip the cutting and solder directly to the leg but video will have "JailBars" aka faint vertical lines in the video

      Xuron 410 Micro-Shear Flush Cutter Perfect for trimming Chip legs.
      Tip: Rotate the snipers upside down from shown above. Makes for Cleaner cut.
      Pin is cleanly cut! Solder wire to reaming Leg

      (5) Power Source This wire powers the Composite kit. Solder the wire as shown. This wire is soldered to resistor R1, Study the photo and location carefully.

      (6) (AUD IN) Solder wire to the location shown below.  This step can be ignored if wanting original NES mono.  Mono installation shown below

      Enhanced Audio Install.

      If you wish to keep the original Mono NES audio solder your audio wire here.  The other end will go directly to the Red and White RCA jacks.  

      (7) Our next step is to assemble the RF shields and motherboard back into place.  If you are installing the Power LED follow my  other article before placing the motherboard back into placeView Here

      Make sure the wires are in the correct spot and not pinched by the RF shield. Example of proper wire placement below. Composite board is screwed into place. This step also complete the Ground circuit. The board will Not work until screwed into place.

      (8) Below we have the motherboard and RF shield back into place. You should have 4 wires that are not yet connected. If using the Mono method you will only have 3 wires remaining.

      (9) Next we need to drill holes for the RCA jacks. Make sure to read through all the steps before Drilling. Measure twice and cut once! I start by marking 3 locations 12mm apart and 10mm from the bottom edge of the case. Examples shown below.
      12mm spacing.

      Location of the RCA jacks is important. Use my photo below as a guide. Please measure and drill carefully Drill pilot holes with a smaller drill bit like a 3mm.  Then drill the final 1/4" holes. The end results are cleaner. Watch for stress on the plastic and work slowly. Set the drill at the slowest speed. Do not rush this step.

      (10) The last stages of the installation requires wiring the RCA jack.  Simply follow the images closely. Remember Yellow=Composite Video  Red+White=Audio

      Example of alternative mono installation. One wire for both audio jacks.

      Use small jumper wire and attache all RCA tabs to ground.

      Final Step: Carefully assemble your NES and pay close attention to the new wires when closing the body shell. Insert the 4 bottom screws and secure the case in place.
      Watchout when closing case.

      Done!  Play some games and test your new high quality composite. If the kit does not work re-read to instructions and double check your work.


      1. "If you are installing the stereo version of this kit (with two audio jacks Red & White):
        Attached the blue wire to addition audio jack if you ordered stereo And attached the black ground"

        Hi, this doesn't make a lot of sense. I do not know where the ground should go on the additional wire. Could you re-write the instruction or take another picture? I'm very confused.

        1. Hello I had sent my nes to you and was wondering if I could get an update on how its going could you please put a way to contact you cos I could not find ant way to get a hold of you

        2. Your console is scheduled to ship on the 17th but the project is near completion and will ship out sooner. Sat morning possibility or Mon the 16th at the latest. For Contacting please use the "contact us" option at the top right of the page. Or the contact form at the top left.

        3. Also, your console looks amazing! You selected the cleaning and polish. I plan to use the photos on my website. Your NES looks brand new.

        4. Hey just to let evey one know that he contacted me pretty fast. told me everything that was going on with my order and when I should be geting. That is really awesome

      2. If I purchase the installation service, would that require me sending in my own top loader, or would I receive one with the order?

        1. AV upgraded NES consoles for $55? Com'on Now :/
          Consoles are shipped here for upgrades

      3. My wife and I purchased a kit and modded her toploader yesterday. Everything worked perfectly. The picture quality is a big improvement. Thanks for the top-notch kit and instructions.

        The jailbar effect has been greatly reduced but is still slightly visible. Do you have any tips for reducing them further?

        1. This is an issue with most NES Toploaders and Famicoms.
          Myself and several other people have tried to eliminate the jailbars. The only true solution is an RGB upgrade but that is way more expensive than Composite.

      4. I put everything together and I'm not getting any video, just sound. I've checked all connections and they look good.

        1. Email photos of install and I will try troubleshooting.
          pandorasalespsp at gmail dot com

      5. Scenario - I'm building a custom top loader using a front load board. Would I be able to use this kit?

      6. It was a good ;)

      7. I was wondering if it's possible to obtain Famicom expansion audio through the Top Loader by any means? If so, what would that entail?


      Have Questions? Comments?