GameRoom Articles
GameRoom Web Store
RetroBlast Reviews
RetroBlast Articles
Game Room Links
File Downloads
Site and Contact Information


Part 2: What's a SuperGun?

...and Why You May Need One


Quick Jump:


MAS Systems - Mas Supernova

MAS Supernova Supergun

Some of the features include:

Composite Video and/or S-Video Inputs, and to an Audio Stereo system using standard RCA connectors.

A built-in 3-inch speaker

two single individual Arcade Controllers for Player 1 and 2

Heavy Duty construction using real 3/4 inch thick High Density Particle Board Wood

Street Fighter II 6-button Control Panel layout to support most Arcade games

Ultimate Joystick with reliable and long lasting Cherry switches from Happ Controls

Ultimate Push Buttons with vertical-mount Cherry switches from Happ Controls

JAMMA Ready with Auxiliary connector for easy access to additional Push Buttons

Built-in 3-Inch speaker

Stereo Audio outputs: RCA jacks for both Left/Right channels

Video formats available: Composite Video, S-Video

Two Quality Arcade controllers with universal connections and Street Fighter 2 button layout.

Both Composite Video and S-Video cables included

Powerful DC Power Supply : +5V (15A), +12V (2A), -5V(1A)

Input Voltage : 120VAC (50-60 Hz) or 220VAC (50Hz) (selectable)


MAS Systems SuperGun Slideshow

How well does it work?

Video - Excellent. From the first time I hooked it up to my SVideo on my Sony TV I was really impressed. The colors really pop, the visuals are very crisp and I find the video to be arcade monitor perfect.

The SuperNova is missing the color pots that are featured on the GW unit, but I have to say that the plug/play color quality is higher than the GW unit making it much easier to use as you don’t have to do color adjustments.

Sound -The sound quality is good, but I do get some crackling when the music gets loud or there are very loud explosions.

This may be due to the built in speaker bleeding off some of the signal. The SuperGun itself has a built in 3” speaker that’s wired to be always on. I guess I could see the point of needing this speaker if you’re using a true arcade monitor (or other monitor without audio) but in regular use it’s kind of annoying. It would be easy enough to simple clip the speaker wires (and use quick disconnects to reattach later on); but again I don’t see the point.

The built in speaker works fine (it’s not that loud, but an OK volume) in the event that you are using it as your primary sound source though.

Build - Very good. I was immediately impressed by the overall quality of the physical components and the parts used. It looks like they used a nail gun to put it together and they did a neat job on the build.

The physical design of the SuperGun itself isn’t the sexiest and could be more interesting looking, but they did use standard ¾ MDF and leather textured T-Molding on the controllers which I like a lot. The machine itself is covered with a basic grey speckled formica that’s a bit boring to look at, but it’s a durable surface.

The sides of the controllers are painted with black and what appears to be a Ms. Pac Man blue. There’s a slight texture to it and I would have preferred a nice smooth surface personally. On the physical parts that aren’t in view there are areas of extra paint and overspray (from spray paint) but again these are minor nit picks.

The surface of the joystick control panel is some sort of very glossy material in black. The upside is that it looks cool. The downside? It shows off sweaty hand prints. I think I may upgrade this with a standard control panel overlay at some point.

Joysticks - Happ Competition Joys and buttons.

Not much else to say. These are real arcade parts and perform at that level. The joystick is mounted using standard bolts that aren’t the nicest, but they are super secure that’s for sure. I would have preferred black ones, but that’s aestheics not a performance issue. This joystick will take a lot of abuse.

Internally, they used scotch tape to hold down the excess wire. I would have preferred to see hot glue or cable ties, but again this should not negatively effect the unit as the connections as mentioned are soldered securely.

I have opened it up (see photos) and the wiring is neatly done. I would have preferred to have seen at least 18 gage wiring, but it is neatly wired with the connections being securely soldered into place rather than the usual quick disconnects you see in items like this for home use.

I also happen to like the physical design. It feels very comfortable on a table (it has rubber feet to avoid slips during active play) and while a bit large feels OK on your lap.

It really reminds me a lot of the X-Arcade solo in physical size, weight and build/design.

Hooking it up - Not much to say here. You have the choice of SVideo or Composite video; and RCA jacks for stereo out to your TV or home amp. The power cord is a standard PC power cord and the powersupply seems much more substantial than the Happ style one in the GW SuperGun.

Also, this one has no fan so it’s much quieter than the GW one which I appreciate.



Approx. street cost - $350. to $450. depending on the upgrades.


Overall thoughts?

From what I’ve read (no scientific survey here folks) it seems that of the two readily available SuperGuns in the US (MAS and GW) the MAS is the preferred choice for those that have some SuperGun experience and a bunch of MVS Neo Games and JAMMA boards.

I would have to agree with that assessment.

The physical build, video and controls are superior to the GW on many levels; but it comes at a higher cost.


So which one should I buy?

Well, this isn’t a cut and dry choice between the GW Trading and MAS SuperNova’s. There are actually quite a few out there that you may choose from. Some of the links below direct you to vendor sites that carry other versions (Please note neither, I nor is RetroBlast recommending any of the vendor sites below as I have no experience with them. Buyer’s use your own judgment on the quality of the vendor)


Other Available Superguns

VEGA 9000


SEGA BLAST CITY SUPERGUN - as seen on a post at Killercabs

US VENDOR of the Blast City

JAPANESE SUPERGUNS - Comprehensive vendor site with a lot of choices.


Various SuperGuns Slideshow


What Can I Play on my New SuperGun?


Neo Geo MVS, JAMMA, and You

I have a feeling many of you will want to play NEO GEO MVS carts using a SuperGun as I do.

The only easy way to do this is to make sure you pick up a 1 Slot MVS board. The reason for this is that, that is the only fully Jamma compatible board.

Unfortunately, the 2, 4, and 6 slots (see for much more on this topic) require an adapter or altered pinout that you would have to do yourself. The problem is that the pin outs for MVS and JAMMA are off just slightly (requiring arcade operators in the "day" to buy a MVS cab from Neo Geo if they wanted a multi game cab) and will require some sort of adapter.

Some folks have made their own harnesses to adjust for this minor wire change, but I personally felt it was too difficult for my limited soldering skills to do on my own.

You may wish to visit for more information on this topic.


JAMMA Boards

It’s important to note that while virtually every JAMMA board will work on your SuperGun some won’t without a thing known as a kick harness. The problem is that over the years some manufacturers wanted to add more buttons (Street Fighter anyone?)….and the JAMMA standard just didn’t account for those extra buttons. Those boards were known as JAMMA +.

The way to get them to work with existing JAMMA standard cabs were simply extra wires from the JAMMA cable that powered/wired up those extra buttons.

You’ll notice that both the MAS and GW SuperGuns already have the 6 button layouts. But to utilize them you would need to use the kick harness.

Kick harness

Once again Wikipedia comes to the rescue:

“The kick harness, also known as the extra harness or plus harness, is a set of additional connectors that allow arcade PCBs to have extra controls beyond what the JAMMA wiring standard allows. A JAMMA PCB supports up to 1 joystick and 4 buttons for 2 separate players. JAMMA boards that require this extra harness are called JAMMA+ or, alternatively, JAMMA plus.

The kick harness connects directly into the PCB, having its own ground loop and power connection. In the case of Capcom's CPS-2 board set, the kick harness is a 34-pin connector that plugs into the side of the 'A' Board.

The most commonly found kick harness is for the additional 6 buttons used in most fighting games, made standard by the Street Fighter series. Unlike JAMMA, kick harnesses are not standardized and even when PCBs require the identical additional controls the wiring will most likely be completely different. For instance, even though Street Fighter and Street Fighter II have the exact same buttons and they are both produced by Capcom, they use completely different pinouts (this is also due, in part, because they use separate PCB styles, namely CPS-1 and CPS-2, respectively).”


You can see the kick harness connector on this CPS-2 board in white, between the JAMMA pins and the audio white and red plugs.


For a great tutuorial on JAMMA and more details on the differences between JAMMA Standard and JAMMA+ , please visit the site.


Want to build your own or learn more?

Check out these links to sites that discuss how to go about this and what materials you may need:

  • How to build a SuperGun - here and here
  • What is a SuperGun? - here

I hope that I’ve peaked your interest in this fascinating area of hardware collection for home use!

About the Author

Mitch Gerson, 37 years old, resides in Manhattan with his wife of 4 years. He discovered the magic of MAME™ around November of 2002. Two years and two complete arcade cabinets (one stand up and one cocktail, both built by the author) later he’s still going strong coming up with various custom peripherals for his arcade cabs with no end in sight. His home arcade has now expanded into Pachislo machines and now includes Metal Slug, Jet Set Radio and Tekken as his favorite new toys.


Back to Reviews