Bought my first stick and looking to mod it


So yesterday I ordered one of these from Amazon as I heard its a good beginner stick. I play Blazblue and P4A, so i’d like some opinions on which parts would be the best for these games. From my research I see that Sanwa buttons and a Seimitsu stick would be the best option, but all the posts and videos I see are from 2+ years ago. So long story short: What are the best parts for a Madcatz Se fightstick in 2014?


Uh, how about playing on the stick first before spending money on it? You may not like stick and then you’ll have put money to something you are not comfortable with. On top of that, you may get parts based on other’s feedback when you don’t even know what it’s like, so how will you know what to look for in parts?


“Best parts” is pretty subjective.

All Sanwa is the “standard”, but you might not like the standard. Long story short, you are supposed to try out all these parts before you make a choice… if you have friends in the scene this should be relatively easy, if you are an online warrior… not so much.

Ask around on Tech Talk, read the stickies… Try to get an idea in your head whether you like long throw or short throw, how much engage force you want on your buttons, etc.

Because it’s personal preference there’s no easy answer aside from “try them all” or “guess”. I use a Hitbox because I can’t work a stick to save my life. (There goes my promotion.)


moving to tech talk

please read the stickies before posting


Lets stop right there. Try out the stick as-is first before modding. Make sure the thing even works first.

And I guarantee you now that nothing has changed, the Mad Catz Brawl stick mods the exact same way as the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV SE did in 2008.
All the Sanwa and Seimitsu parts install the same way, same mods. Only real additions are a new model of Korean Joystick (Crown CWJ-303A / CWJ-303FK) and the Hori Hayabusa.


There is no such thing as “best parts”, only what parts you like and feel comfortable with.
We can recommend the standard mods, but like Drake Aldan mentioned above, you might not feel comfortable on it.

I fail to understand why people who, literally as soon as getting their first stick, seem adamant in upgrading to “best parts”. It’s like getting a learner’s permit for driving, and then asking for help picking out a Ferrari tomorrow without ever having driven anything.

Play with the stock Brawlstick parts; they’re by no means top-of-the-line, but they’ll definitely do for someone starting out. Get a feel for the whole joystick thing first, get good and comfortable with that, THEN concentrate on upgrading parts. Great parts won’t make you a better player; only practicing the skills will.


If it is your first time playing with a joystick realise you will loose… ALOT! So realise that if you buy new parts it without playing and getting used to how sticks work it’ll make you salty to drop money on something and still loose.


Well, to be honest, there IS some benefit upgrading parts for comfort’s sake – AFTER you demo parts when the opportunity comes. Most people on SRK will never demo before they buy. Most people don’t have a dealer or local tourney that has a convenient set-up to demo parts from different vendors.

There’s a huge difference between the OEM buttons in the lower-end joysticks Mad Catz and Hori make versus the standard Sanwa pushbuttons that they equip the FightStick Pro, Tournament Edition, and Real Arcade Pro joysticks.

I was amazed at the difference in button sensitivity in the higher-end. They’re just much better parts than what the average newbie has been exposed to. Arcade parts were not that sensitive or comfortable for people used to playing on American and European machines with the Happ/iL parts. Before Hori introduced the Real Arcade Pro series of joysticks, nobody was regularly producing joysticks WITH (Japanese) arcade parts. Production joysticks with arcade parts in general were very intermittent prior to the debut of the HRAP series in 2004. It’s a worldwind of difference! You wouldn’t get me to go back to playing with the crud used in the Hori Fighting Sticks or the Mad Catz Brawl/SE joysticks.

To be honest, I’d never recommend starting with a lower end stick to “save money for the eventual upgrade” unless you just don’t have the budget and are really hard up on cash. In that case, the Mad Catz Brawl/SE joystick might be the better buy than the Hori Fighting Stick which has no credible upgrade path short of some Dremeling, lots of desoldering, and twisting and bending arcade parts to fit in the itty-bitty Hori FS case most people are familiar with. Either lower-end joystick model generally becomes a proposition that ends up being more expensive than buying the higher-end units used or on sale…


The difference between stock brawl stick parts and real sanwas is pretty noticeable. The stock parts are decent, but I could definitely see someone being soured on sticks altogether if their judgment was based on them. I bought a bs last year and ordered sanwa parts at the same time, used the stock parts for a day before switching. Certain combos I was having lots of trouble with stock came out with ease after upgrading the parts.

As for what’s “the best”, it’s a very subjective thing. Beyond stock mad catz parts, American arcade parts (from back when you could still find arcade games all over), and a couple snes sticks, and the nes advantage, I’ve only tried the JLF so far. One big benefit of starting there is that there are tons of very simple, very inexpensive mods you can do to it in order to experiment.


Fyi, you can find a few Hong Kong based sellers on eBay who sell the JLF with a 30mm buttons (all of which will fit perfectly in your b.s.) fit about $50 shipped.


Well before anything else test to make sure your stick is working before you think of modding.
If the seller says the stick is working fine, it better work when it reaches your home. If not, get a exchange or refund.


When I got an SE stick, the stock stick couldn’t even do 360 motions. Put in a JLF and everything is suddenly fine.

Also, the buttons on the SE tend to die very quickly. I’ve read complaints about it all over the net and several of mine died after just about four weeks of daily use. I’d buy replacement buttons right away, because even if they do work fine out of the box, I wouldn’t bet it will stay that way for long.


I never had problems on stock Hori parts. They were actually pretty good for what they were. I preferred them over Sanwa (Hori stick from the T5 felt much nicer to me than a JLF and had more tension and wasn’t too loose) and I in general do not like the SW-66 switches Sanwa ships with. I mean, I played on stock Red Hori buttons from a HRAP3 for a year and I had Sanwa OBSF buttons at my disposal. Unless the stock parts are breaking (and I have no idea what kind of abuse ya’ll puttin on em for that to happen) then in most cases they are fine.

In fact, the plastic on the Hori reds felt better than the OBSF and they had the same switches Seimitsu had. The Hori reds didn’t break apart as easy as the Sanwa I had because the tabs actually functioned. Call me crazy but I felt they were superior buttons.

Either way, I hate seeing people say there is a huge chasm of difference between stock parts and “real” Sanwa parts. They’re all plastic buttons with switches. If the switches are ass then yeah, they won’t feel good, but buttons are flippin buttons. Unless Hori and MadCatz buttons are paper thin plastic or something then they’ll last as long as you don’t abuse the switches in them by slamming down the buttons like they’re made to last until the entropy of the Universe. Stick mods go a bit further for a number of reasons like engage and throw (which is why someone should have experience on a stick before buying) than button mods. Hel, if you’re happy with how the buttons look then save yourself $20 and get switches instead. Then buy a Hayabusa.

Sometimes I think everyone who says “these parts or nothing!” are nothing but a bunch of Sanwa dick riders. Yo, ever play on any other brand besides stock parts? Nah? No experience and only word of mouth? Then get the fuck out of here with your non-scientific bullshit.

I ranted :frowning:


Don’t like anything that isn’t sanwa (except maybe semitsu springs). I would recommend try out the stock parts to get a feel of it and see if you really like using a stick. Then you can place an order for sanwa parts.


I too used stock Hori parts for a long time and never had any serious issues with them. Idk what you guys are doing to these buttons that you could destroy them in 4 weeks. I bought my first stick second-hand (Hori FS-EX) and I played on it for over a year before upgrading and I then sold it to a friend who has been using it ever since. Still no dead buttons and he doesn’t have any problems with it.


I was talking about stock brawlstick parts, I have no experience with stock Hori parts. And I said “real Sanwas” because the Madcatz parts, particularly the stick, are Sanwa knockoffs. Maybe the Hori parts are fine, I just know that my execution was immediately improved by upgrading the bs. No need to get your panties in a wad because someone says “Sanwa parts are good”- they didn’t become the standard by being shitty. Yeah, you may like Seimitsus and the Hayabusa more, and I might also (whenever I get around to trying them, I’m especially curious about the ls-40 and Hayabusa), but the OP wouldn’t be making a bad move by starting with Sanwas- they work better than the stock bs parts, he’ll get a feel for the “standard”, it’s easy to mod, and you can always sell it when you want to try something else. That said, I don’t think starting with a seimitsu or Hayabusa world be bad moves either, I’m just arguing that this freak out over a sanwa recommendation is misguided at best.


Older SF IV SE knock offs are kinda crudy, the joystick had a flaw where the metal washer will tear apart the switch PCB.
Newer TvC and Brawl sticks do not have this issue as the JLF clone is of higher quality. The JLF clone in the brawl stick is so close to a actual JLF you have a hard time telling them apart (not taking the factor Sanwa parts are branded with the Sanwa name).
On the SE/TvC/Brawl You don’t even need to replace the whole joystick, just a spring swap, the stupid metal washer in older models and maybe new microswitches is all you need.
And the newer Mad Catz TvC and Brawl stick uses the exact same switches Sanwa uses.

The buttons? Its what Moonchilde said. What I found with 99% (if not all) of all Hori, Mad Catz and Qanba (and even some Ascii buttons) made buttons is they can be improved just by replacing the Microswitch.
A Sanwa SW-68 switch goes a long ways.


I think the microswitches alone would solve most (if not all) of the problems I had with the stock Brawlstick parts, although the PCB design of the stick is so different that I’m not sure how well it would work.

Which switches are the same brand? I found that 2/8 of the madcatz buttons had Sanwa microswitches, but the stick switches are “ENEC” brand, definitely not the Omron switches the JLF uses.


Only on the newer Brawl stick’s joystick, the older JLF clones used different switches.
But the Sanwa TP-MA PCB Assembly will work in the Mad Catz clone joystick.


I’m pretty sure I got one of the last ones, I bought mine straight from Madcatz on clearance for $30. Maybe the switches were more of a “luck of the draw” thing, like the buttons. In any case, I’ll mess with it some more for tinkering’s sake.