A noobz take on Sanwa vs. Madcatz partz

When I say noob, I refer to my knowledge and use of hardware, I have been playing Street Fighter since back in the day when I was a teenager, I also used to own a Mas arcade stick with Happ parts.

I received my Sanwa JLF joystick and 8 pearly white sanwa buttons today from Akirahaba, and so the mod began.

First of all, it could not have been any easier. I don’t understand how people are complaining about sore fingers, things went in and came out with ease. Seriously, the Madcatz SE is a total breeze to mod. Most of you know this but someone may be on the fence reading this, if you can plug in and screw, you’re good to go.

Anyway, I have said this before in other threads, I glued down the silly washer on my Madcatz the second I took it out of the box, and it worked flawless ever since.

Reading on this forum, I figured that the parts were really junk and that using a Sanwa joystick and buttons would feel like night and day, well…not really.

Once I had all my new parts in there I sat down to play (oh, I also added the spring from the Madcatz to my Sanwa and it did make it a lot stiffer, which I like)

I notice the Sanwa joystick clicks a bit more and has less resistance noise than the madcatz stick, but the buttons feel nearly the same, as does the joystick really. I feel a little better about the longevity of the stick now that I have “name brand” parts in there, but if you blindfolded me and had me compare, I probably would fail at picking what was what.

I know some of you arcade stick fiends are going to bash me and say I don’t know what I’m talking about, and you’re probably right. However there are a lot of people out there who are pretty good at Street Fighter, but not hardcore enough to know which joystick is which. This post is for those people. I was really curious just what the difference would feel like going from the Madcatz parts to the Sanwa parts, aside from peace of mind, I play the damn same and really don’t notice that much of a different feel. I think piece of mind is worth the 60 bucks I spent on parts and shipping, but if money is tight and your stick works, I say leave it alone until you need to replace a button or the joystick. Just one mans opinion, don’t flame me for not wanting to dry hump my sanwa buttons.


nice to read some different opinions on these boards for a change :wink: can’t wait until i can get my “noobz take on sanwa vs madcatz vs seimitsu partz”^^

but first the godforsaken stick needs to become available in germany -.-

Seimitsu would have had a more solid feel, but you’re basically comparing brand new parts with brand new parts. After 2 weeks of playing with the Mad Catz buttons, my buttons were getting stuck at the edges and losing a lot of spring. The Mad Catz stick and buttons were made to be Sanwa knockoffs, so you will see some similarities in them out of the box. The MC stick though will lose tension quicker than the Sanwa and I already mentioned the buttons. You’re paying for quality and reliability with Sanwa.

The Seimitsu stick/buttons would have had a more “distinct” difference than the Sanwa. But rest assured, you got a higher quality product. If you REALLY don’t think it’s such a big deal, just sell your JLF and Sanwa buttons and regret it later when your buttons need to be double tapped to get out of their sockets and your stick feels looser than the lead cheerleader on promnight.

haha no no, I’m not selling these babies, I did say that piece of mind is worth the extra cash for me.

I have had my Madcatz for about a week and a few days, so it really isn’t brand new. You’re right, for all I know the Madcatz could start shitting the bed in another week. I am just talking about what I experienced today.

Like I said, if you buy Sanwa parts, chances are good your stick will last longer, but that is just an educated guess. Sticky buttons are defective buttons, all products have defective units. Hell my IPhone 3G has been flawless but when that first came out, over at macrumors.com you would have thought all Iphones had issues, only because people with problems post about them, people without them are too busy using their product.

I’m happy with my Sanwa parts and the piece of mind they bring, just don’t think the feel, as is right now, is much different than what I was using. I’m rambling now…

Good to read your reactions OP, as I’m about to do this mod myself too. And my MadCatz SE has been working fine since the game release(I never modded or even opened it).

btw, oh your Sanwa, did you get a 8-way restrictor? Or is it the default 4-way(square) restrictor.

Both are 8 way, the default in the madcatz is square, and yes I ordered the Octogon. I grew up using the Octogon in the arcades and I thought I would prefer the circular shape of that gate, but I think I actually may go back to the square. I find jumping via the diaganols easier with the square gate and kind of got used to it on the madcatz.

Not trying to disrespect or thrash talk but this is why you dont get advice from someone who describes themselves as “noob”. You lack the experience to notice the small differences between things. For people with experience these small details make a big difference. Throw, stiffness, engage and resistance are key requirements for experienced players when choosing to build a stick for games. You may not feel the difference but the difference is there. Over time you may come to notice these things and how they effect your gameplay style, but you wont gain that experience unless you try out many configurations and find out your preference.

You’re right, I probably shouldn’t really give advice, this post is really just my experience with the parts.

Since it’s a noob modder post. Might as well toss mine out as well.

If the Madcatz stick is a Sanwa knock off. Could you double up the spring for a stiffer feel and replace the switch and board with a Sanwa?

Not that I’m going to I already ordered replacement parts for my stick. After 2 days of playing the washer killed my stick.

The spring I know you could, and I’m pretty sure the board would fit too.

If you’ve already got a JLF on the way, I’d swap the entire joystick, and then try doubling up the spring if you’re not happy with how it feels. No point in using the existing knockoff base when you’ve got the Sanwa one that fits without any modding.

Actually, feel free to disrespect him. To see he can’t tell the diffrence in parts quality after throwing such a huge fit when LL couldn’t ship his parts fast enough is just hilarious. Oh the irony, it burns us. :shake:

I have always used controllers to play console versions of fighters up until the release of SF4. With that being said, I got a Madcatz SE. After I heard about the washer problem, I took my stick apart and looked at the pcb. Sure enough it was scratched to hell. Although it still worked flawlessly because the connections weren’t interrupted. After 1 1/2 weeks of owning this stick and about 50hrs of gameplay, the buttons started sticking at the edges. Got my JLF, and my Sanwa OBSF-30’s from Japan in and immediately switched them out. It was so simple that even a complete electronics noob like myself could do it and it even helped build some experience towards my future with arcade stick modding. As for the the change in hardware, the JLF joystick has less tension than the stock Madcatz. I could tell right away. Also the response on it was lightning fast and just beautiful. My buttons are more sensitive and the texture is spot on with the Madcatz stock buttons. I haven’t logged more than probably 30 or 40 hours on the game since modding my stick but I am hoping that the Sanwa parts will last longer than the Madcatz parts did. So I would definitely say that I could tell a difference in the Sanwa vs Madcatz parts. Also I would say that it is almost entirely necessary to swap the parts at some point in time anyways because the Madcatz parts absolutely WILL diminish if your rough at all with your stick. Keep enjoying the game homies.


oh look. A troll.



I agree the MadCatz parts are not too bad, and if they iron out the issues I think the average or less seasoned player would be just fine with them… but you gotta remember most of the guys on SRK are serious players who can tell the difference. The issue is, the cheap MC parts have had major reliability issues, and while that stick is a close knockoff of a Sanwa stick it flat out has a huge defect in it! I’ve had 2 bad ones myself.

Having a TE now, and a SE, you can tell the Sanwa parts are better. When my Sanwa parts arrive for my SE, my TE will be put safely in the box until it’s needed and my SE will become my everyday stick… but for now, TE and Sanwa FTW!

Already planned on doubling up the spring if I dont like the feel of the JLF out of the box. I had just saw LL offers the board seperate at less than half the price. Had a passing thought of would it work. Figured I’d just play it safe and go with the full deal. No sense in blowing more cash later on down the road.

Already spending just shy of a TE stick. Really kicking myself in the ass over not pre-ordering. Than again I would be going through all the heartache some of the others are going through now of not knowing when I could get it.

I can see why people can get mad at you with this post considering they dropped major cash on parts. Last thing they want to hear is that stock parts are just as good. :rofl:

On the contrary, I’d love to say they’re just as good. Would have saved me some cash! But really, for most serious players the difference is noticeable.

These are my first Japanese parts after years of building and modding sticks and CPs using US style parts, and while I used to just dismiss Japanese style parts as cheap junk, once I knew what the difference was I understood why they were what they were, and why some parts are better than others.

It’s like cars and tires. The average car owner probably can’t tell the difference between high mileage and performance tires… but you can bet the driving enthusiast can!

I am curious to see how my replacement parts will fare. I’m not a joystick afficiando and I’d dare say that I play better with the fightpad. I have had the SE stick since launch and not had any trouble with it for most of the time. However, I’ve noticed that the stick has become relatively loose over the past few days and I suspect it will decline further as time goes by.