Advice on 1st stick

I read through the sticky threads on modding but what I really want to hear from some experts on what the best route to go for the best stick.

I should mention that I’m in college for electrical engineering and so I’m really not worried about the difficulty of the electrical side of modding and I have a budget of around $300 to work with and this stick will be for SFIV on xbox 360.

So far it appears I have 3 options…

1. Buy the Madcatz TE fightstick: I already would’ve done this but I didn’t preorder in time and wasn’t able to get my hands on one. The downside is rolling the dice on Madcatz quality, who knows how they’ll be holding up a few months down the road?

2. Buy a stick for the case and replace the components with JLF components: This sounds like a fun prospect but I cringe a little at paying $60-$80 for just a case that isn’t necessary my ideal shape and texture.

3. Manufacture my own case from scratch and install JLF components: This sounds really fun but I haven’t worked with wood or metal since woodshop in junior high (16 years ago). I’ve done finish carpentry in the past so I’m good with clamps and a saw, but an ergonomic and gnarly stick is a different ball game and some of the awesome sticks I’ve seen here made out of cherry or mahogany have really blown my mind. Has anyone ever tried molding their own case with fiberglass and smoothing it down with bondo?

What option would you choose to get the best stick?

3 = custom = personal preference all met

follow slagcoin’s guide if you need help, not hard to do (well i havn’t tried em yet but seems simple enough)

I’d rule your chances at getting a TE very slim. Therefore, leaving us options 2 and 3. Honestly, you’ve figured out your own problem with the bolded statement.

dude, if you’re in electrical engineering, just get a Hori Real Arcade Pro for ps2 (preferably one with the new layout) and a madcatz arcade controller (atari looking one) (and sanwa buttons if you didn’t get one with sanwa btns already) and dual mod it.

later down the road, if you really want a 360 TE, just sell you baby and get a TE, and or game or two with the extra bucks.

Keep in mind they’ll be producing more to fill preorders until march and start shipping for retail around april. If I don’t want to wait til then there’s always ebay so #1 is still definitely an option. If you had the choice would you choose TE over a custom?

Problem is that they’re having difficulty filling the first orders. Take LizardLick for example; MadKatz dropped the ball and LizardLick, which should have had its TEs by now, is not receiving any of its order until late March to early April. Chad has stated that he has over a thousand pre-orders over the first shipment. Note that LizardLick is somewhat of a small business, and it has that many pre-orders, so eBay is your only option. Mind dropping $300 to $400 on a $150 retail product? That’s the selling price at the moment on eBay.

I honestly believe you’re better off making a custom or buying another stick and modding it. But if you’re so adamant in getting a TE, go for it.

I’d choose the TE over a custom if I only had to pay $150 and didn’t have to wait, yes, but that’s just me.

The best? That’s rather subjective, and you didn’t specify what kind of criteria you have in mind. If you can specify what features of a stick are most important to you, it would help.

In my opinion, the absolute dream, money is no object 360 stick would be a curved premium hardwood case from Norris Arcade (curly maple especially) with a cleanly installed pcb from one of the new MadCatz sticks. (alright, maybe a wireless, but those almost never look as clean through the transparent bottom) Take the MadCatz pcb, desolder the ribbon cable connections off and replace with some sort of terminal block, like some of the spring loaded ones I’ve seen. But it’d probably be too pretty to play on; I’m hard on my toys.

So sit tight and wait for a MadCatz TE stick. Building your own case will cost more and be inferior to one made by pros. Hacking a case will end up costing the same as the TE stick, and you’ll definitely prefer the pcb inside the TE to any hacked pad.

This is actually a pretty damn valid idea.

Just get the Hori RAP Ex for the 360 if you’re gonna go through all that hassle. The Madcatz TE is not the only prefab stick you can get at that price range. Why mod a PS2 model when the 360 one is good to go already for your purposes?

just don’t forget that if you get an HRAP EX, dual modding it will be a pain, and cost you more. (you need to remove the hori pcb a go with a new one)
(the stick doesn’t have a 5pins harnest either)

if you really plan on sticking to 360, go for it.

Thanks for the recommendation, I didn’t know you can order cases and norris arcade seems pretty rad, except they’re also sold out until the middle of march. :wasted: I think I’ll take your advice and wait for a TE while I collect parts for a custom stick.

I decided against hrap ex because TE has pretty much won every head-to-head comparison review.

I’ve made the decision to wait for a TE while I start building a custom stick. Thanks for your input.