Beginner looking for his first stick/parts

Hello, first I would like to ask you not to flame me too much, I did the research and I read lots of threads about sticks, but couldn’t find an answer to my questions.
The problem is, I have never used an arcade stick before. I’m from Poland, so I couldn’t even play arcades when I was young - there was simply no such thing here, at least in my neighbour. Honestly, till yesterday I didn’t even know that such controller like an AS exist and I was playing SFIV on PC using my Logitech Chillstream.
I think I would prefer an american style stick (circle/octagon, right? anyway, this type), cause I heard that those are easier to get used to if you have never used sticks before, is that true? I am looking for something where I can “feel the click” on every of 8-ways, and basically that’s my biggest requirement. I dunno, maybe all sticks are like that, as I said never had the opportunity to use one before.

The only sticks I found in Poland:
Genius MaxFighter (looks like crap, costs something around 6.99$… and it’s PS2 only)
TRACER TRJ-200 DEFENDER (this one looks better, but couldn’t find any reviews - 30$)
Mayflash Arcade Stick Fighting (heard a lot about this one, I think I would take it - 50$ here)

I was also looking for a stick on many online shops, there is only one problem - shipping to Poland from USA, Japan or Korea costs around 60-70$ and takes 5-6 weeks…

Also I could try to build my own custom stick, but there is the same problem - lack of parts and well, lack of knowledge. If I was to do it anyway, is it really a good idea for beginner?
Also, do you know any online shops in Europe where I could buy the parts or just an arcade stick?

Thanks in advance…

TL;DR version:
Beginner wants to buy his first arcade stick, couldn’t find anything in my country, looking for some help with finding a good online shop in Europe or something like that. Thanks.

you can find the list of online retailers here : (parts mostly) also alot of tutorials for new builders/modders in that thread.

on the other questions i dont know :S i know square gate is usually standard so i havent really used the others, personally i dont mind the square gate but im still getting used to it (even after 2 3 weeks of playing around with it :O)

The first two sticks are garbage. The third one isn’t that great, but it’s moddable at least. I imagine the Madcatz SE/TE sticks are rather hard to find in Europe, right? Maybe modding a mayflash is your best bet, but maybe some of the users here from your neck of the woods could tell you better.

Also, look into the Hori real arcade pro line. You might have a similar availability problem, though.

Don’t worry about square/round/octo gates and what not. Stock square gates work fine. Dealing with the gate is the least of the awkwardness you’ll have to deal with when you first start using a stick.

Maybe a european stick maker is more for you? Would cost you a lot less in shipping at least.

I’m having Bencao74 from Germany make me a stick., go check out his work.

Okay, after doing research I decided to try to make my own AS. I’d probably go for Seimitsu buttons, but there I’m a little lost - what’s the difference between each type of them, PS-14-GN, -KN, -BN, -G-BK? I only found that -GNX are 5 times more durable. Not sure yet about the stick, as I said I thought it might be a better idea to go for american sticks, with octagon or circle instead of the square. Is it true that those sticks are easier to get used to for people who have never used an AS before?
Found an artice with differences between Seimitsu stick types, but I’m not sure about Sanwa. And those are all Japanese sticks with the square…

I’d suggest reading through it will answer most of your questions.

You might want to see if

will ship to Poland. Shipping should be reasonable since it is Germany.

Most folks say that you can’t go wrong with a Sanwa JLF and Sanwa OSBN-30’s. Also some OSBN-24’s for he smaller buttons.

I also thought about them, and that is probably where I will buy the parts, but about the shipping cost… 20? sure seems reasonable, yeah >_> Well, there is nothing cheaper anyway.

There are few more things that confuse me, and I can’t find the answer anywhere - layout for example. I think I would go for japanese layout, but then what’s the standard button config? Is it:

ppp hp mp lp
kkk hk mk lk
(that’s how I imagine it)

or maybe
lp mp hp ppp
lk mk hk kkk?

ppp lp mp hp
kkk lk mk hk?

hp mp lp ppp
hk mk lk kkk?

I know it might be a funny question and matter of personal preference, but it really bothers me.

Also, can you recommend any particular stick models with circle/octagon? I am really afraid of that square thing.

One last thing that bothers me is my base gamepad. Manta DualShock 2, PC/PS2, it has two analog sticks, auto mode and clear button - isn’t it a little too advanced? Or it does not really matter?

btw, thanks for the link ChaoticMonk, that sure is helpful!

Don’t be afraid of the square gate. It will make you a better player.

Does anyone really do this?

That is so backwards.

Standard for any Fighting Game is Soft to Hard going Left to Right.

There is no PPP or KKK in arcades.
So you just put them on any side you want.
Some people do on left, some people do on right.

since i do worldwide shipping, don’t mind visiting my website?

When it comes to SFIV there are actually shortcuts that make it easy to do moves with a square gate (check out this vid)

If you still want an octo/circle gate you can get a JLF + Octo Gate or a JLW + Round Gate/LS-32 + Round Gate

Thanks for your offer PillarOfHeaven, but I would really like to try making my own stick.

About the parts:
I decided I will go for Seimitsu PS-14-GN buttons, still not sure about the stick. I would like to try the octagon, so I have to choose between JLF-TP-8YT and LS-56, which one would you take and why? I read lots of reviews, but I really lack the knowledge to compare those two.

I also opened my gamepad to look at the PCD, and it’s kinda scary, looks weird - and there are two PCB connected inside, screens here:

Can I use it or I should just buy a simple pad for 10$?

Having used both a JLF with octogate and a LS-56 with octogate, I HIGHLY prefer the LS-56. The LS-56 remains very tight and responsive with it, while the JLF becomes a lot more loose and increases throw with one. This is mainly due to the difference in design between the Sanwa and Seimitsu octogates. Even all my friends, who are square gate loyalists, loved it while they HATED my JLF that had one.

As for that pad, it looks like it’s common ground (you can tell because of the traces that come off of one side of the button connectors come together) so you should be good. A lot of PS1/2/3 pads have two PCBs setup in that fashion, but it shouldn’t present a problem as far as padhacking goes.

Kinda off topic but…

What kind of controller uses wooden dowels for analog sticks? Jesus.

Hello everyone, does anyone know where i can buy a sanwa “pivot” piece and a E-clip?