Crown CWJ 303 A Review & Comparison


#1

#2

Can’t watch because I’m at work, but I’ve been hoping someone would do this. Great stuff, cheers.


#3

Shortly after the Crown CWJ303A was released, someone said (maybe Markman) it was possible to replace the original Crown shaft with a JLF shaft IF you wanted to used a balltop handle. Crown does not currently sell a version of the CWJ303A/303-FK compatible with Japanese-style ballhandles… You have to do a shaft mod if you want to use your “bling.” I have no idea if the shaft cover would be useable but you’d have to use a Sanwa dustcover or other dustcover compatible with the JLF shaft.

BTW, Crown isn’t calling this the CWJ303A for the US release. The designation is Crown 303-FK (or 303-N) for the semi-official American release. Focus Attack is the first American arcade parts vendor I’m aware of carrying the new Crown joystick. Latest update is that they’ll have in stock around mid-June. And yes, they will have the harness adapters for this joystick available, too. The pricing is around $24 for the joystick alone, an additional $2.95 for the harness adapter which is not bad at all!

The Crown adapter has 0.187 Quick Disconnects for the tabs on the joystick. Unless the wiring’s too short on the Crown adapter, the same harness adapter should work on the original PCB-less versions of the Seimitsu joysticks (LS-32, LS-40, LS-55, LS-56, and LS-33 = no =01’s in designations) and perhaps the JLW joysticks. You might want to ask Jaleel (jmanDMC at Focus Attack) if it’s possible to double-check and verify what I just wrote.

(I asked ParadiseShop whether their wire harness would work with the LS-32/Zippyy joysticks and they went ahead and did test because they honestly didn’t know. Yep, it fit!)

P.S. – Good review! Lots of info that people need to know before they get into this…

The Crown, in all honesty, resembles the Seimitsu joysticks more.

For a first-timer, an LS-32-01 or LS-56-01 might be a better joystick to get if they don’t like the JLF.

In my instance, I noticed a HUGE difference with the LS-32-01 and haven’t looked back since… I’ve since adopted the LS-40-01 as a fallback alternative and just recently got an LS-58-01. Conclusion on the LS-58-01: good joystick but a stiffer spring would be better. Buy an LS-56-01 and get an MS Mounting Plate for it, or buy the LS-58-01 and swap the original spring for the LS-56 spring. The LS-58 and LS-56 are basically the same joystick with different springs. The mounting plates are NOT compatible between the types since the LS-58 was designed to fit into Japanese style plastic joystick cases from the start.)

My thinking has been to get a mix of Seimitsu types, a Zippyy’s for a silent mod or two, and maybe one or two of these newer Crown joysticks.


#4

Thanks for all the in depth info - Yea the crown is definitely an experience - but Im sure a Seimitsu can suffice depending on the game your playing Thanks again


#5

Good video OP! I’ve never used a K-stick before so somewhat tempted to get one.


#6

I’ve had the Crown CWJ303A since February and what Punisher said about movement in Tekken and those grown man inputs in KOF is spot on! This stick is amazing for those two games…if your on the fence about picking one up, don’t be. The only thing that sucks about the Crown is the fact that it has to come all the way from Korea. I’m waiting on my 2nd one as we speak.

Nice review!


#7

Saw Markman mention this while doing research on sticks and at least in theory I would like to try this so yay, mid-June is almost here. Focus Attack’s shipping will make it about the same price as getting it from Ettoki but hopefully that means it won’t be coming straight from Korea and taking six months to be rowed across the pacific.

Now, I’ve never used a Seimitsu stick only the Sanwa and whatever was in a cheap Hori stick so I don’t really have a frame of practical reference beyond what I’ve read. I’m not a complete first timer, had a stick with a JLF before, but I haven’t really done the fighting game thing in several years. At least from watching the OP’s videos and what little reading I can find the Crown stick sounds like a Seimitsu but better, but that’s a rather novice interpretation I’m sure. Are there particular reasons why you suggest a Seimitsu for a less experienced stick user? I know there’s going to be a new learning curve to travel with the Crown, but when I’m starting again with a fightstick that curve is going to exist with a Sanwa or Seimitsu anyway and I would rather just learn again on what I’m going to be using long term rather than switch after the fact and be back at square one but with that additional baggage. Well unless the Crown just isn’t going to work as well for the games I’m going to play (which are Injustice, Street Fighter x Tekken and Persona 4 Arena).


#8

If you read all the threads and see ALL the mod parts being sold for the JLF you’ll see why I’d recommend an LS-32 over the JLF.

I mastered the LS-32… can’t say the same for the JLF. And it had been years since I had used a joystick. Make no mistake, the JLF is generally better than the 1990s joysticks manufactured for home systems, but it’s not for everyone any more than the LS-32 is.

Yes, there are people who excel with the JLF… I only got to a certain point and could do decently with SF IV but NOT the older games I like to play – the SF Alpha series, Darkstalkers, and SNK fighters.

The JLF has to travel a longer distance and hit the microtabs on the PCB harder to activate a directional signal. A lot of people also have problems doing roll movements with the Square Gate, too – that’s why the Octagon Gate sales are brisk. On top of that, there are replacement springs, different-sized actuators, circle gates, and so on…
People can rationalize all they want and say, “Well, that just shows the JLF is more popular and a great stick rates more parts support for it!” ---- Uh… Yeah. Not my interpretation.
IF the joystick were so good, why all the replacement parts? Why all the mod guides?

The JLF has certain handling issues. 1) Long throw – relates back to that problem of travel to hit the microtabs.
2) the shaft doesn’t snap back and recenter as fast as other joysticks. That’s a huge deal when you’re playing games with dash moves. It’s much more difficult to do tap-tap and get your timing right.
3) The spring issue. A stock JLF is very loose. Looser than an LS-32 or LS-56. It’s hard to ratchet up the spring tension without making the shaft hard to move – which aggravates the recentering issue. Sure, it’s not that expensive to buy a new spring or combos or replacements, but what’s the perfect tension setting? How many dollars do you have to spend before you find that perfect “sweet” spot and will that tension work for every fighting game you use the joystick with?

The JLF is fine on SF IV which is a slower-paced fighting game… I don’t like it on the faster-paced CPS-2 and Neo Geo fighting games so much.

Now with the LS-32, the design has its advantages…

  1. gated microswitches. Faster activation since the actuator has to travel less distance before it hates the “gate” and activates the microtab attached to the gate.
  2. it recenters faster and is easy to do dash moves with. It took me only a day or two to figure out how to do that consistently with the LS-32. Never got that far with the JLF no matter what I did…
  3. Stock LS-32 has nice tension but still was a bit loose to me. My final solution was to cut an extra LS-32 in half and screw it onto an intact LS-32. Works for me, doesn’t affect the other aspects of stick performance, and so far it’s been good on every fighting game I own.
  4. Yes, it’s not cheap to replace the OEM control lever of the joystick case but I figure I’m still coming ahead of spending time trying to perfect the JLF when a perfectly good substitute is available. Plus, if I’m really hard up for cash or just don’t want them, the JLF’s are easy enough to sell. I even traded a JLF once for an LS-32-01… The other fellow and I both came out happy in that deal!
  5. Rolling motions are easier to do and actually helped by the gates on the PCB microswitches. I found it more comfortable to use the Square Gate on the LS-32 than the Round Gate and ended up selling all but two of my LS-32 Round Gates. I never got used to the Square Gate on the JLF.
  6. The restrictor gates work better on the LS-32 in general… The LS-32 ships with a removable blue plastic part that has every type of restrictor gate you’ll probably ever need built into it. The four-way restrictor is definitely better on the LS-32 than the JLF which is awkward at best.

Neither joystick is perfect…
In spite of its performance issues, I think the JLF is a better designed joystick. It has to be easier and cheaper to make a JLF than an LS-32. I don’t know WHY Seimitsu spent money to develop the LS-58, basically an LS-56 with a looser spring and redesigned mounting plates, instead of redesigning the LS-32 to make it both more portable and easier to manufacture!

  1. The PCB on the LS-32-01 interferes with the mounting plate. You have to remove the PCB before you can screw in the mounting plate. The PCB completely blocks the screw positions otherwise.
  2. The LS-32-01 is a bit bulky and can be more difficult to mount in certain joysticks like the newer Hori HRAP N3/NX SA. In the HRAP N3’s case, that’s really a Hori issue being that they know there is a modding crowd and the most common replacement control lever is the LS-32-01… Aside from that, the LS-32-01 really is one of the bigger Japanese PCB-equipped joysticks out there.
  3. The LS-32 shaft tends to pop up if you ride the restrictor gate too hard. I think this is really a minor issue and overstated. You get used to the joystick after a while and will hardly do that in a few weeks at most unless you really can’t develop a better sense of feel.
  4. The LS-32 has too many damn screws to remove to disassemble it! This is where I really think the JLF scores better. There are fewer screws, pop off the restrictor gate, and most of the assembly slide off.
  5. Awkward mounting plate. At least Seimitsu ships the LS-32-01 with the proper mounting plate needed for at least 95% of the joystick cases out there! However, for new people it be hard to figure out HOW to mount the LS-32 and in what direction the PCB adapter tab should be pointing. Definitely took me a few minutes to figure it out the first time around.
  6. The short shaft on the LS-32 creates its own headaches and forces the use of the awkward SS Mounting Plate. For thicker control panels, the stock shaft may be too short… Your choices are to buy a longer replacement after or a screw-on extension piece. You may have to replace the SS Mouting Plate and use the Flat RE Mounting Plate, too.
  7. An epically bad decision was made by Seimitsu to use a C-clip to hold the LS-32 joystick shaft together instead of an E-clip. You have to use a special tool or wires to remove the C-clip and bend it back on. After very few removals, the C-clip loses its elasticity and becomes useless. You’re better off pitching the C-clip first thing and replacing it with a 3/8" E-clip, 7/16" E-clip, or whatever size E-clip works for your LS-32. The LS-32 is one of the few major joystick lever designs that doesn’t come stock with an E-clip.
  8. The LS-32 doesn’t ship with a shaft cover which makes balltop handle theft easier and exposes the metal shaft to corrosion from sweat and other organic liquids (drinks).

#9

Sorry, I was asking more about the relative merits of why you would recommend a Seimitsu over this Crown stick (at least that’s what it sounded like you meant). Still, your response gave me a lot of good info and at least going Seimitsu seems like something I might find more satisfying than the JLF I’ve use. I still like this Crown stick though and would love to know how the folks that are already using it think about it with my choice of fighters (again Injustice, Street Fighter X Tekken and Persona 4 Arena).


#10

The crown is fun, and it’s really good for finding cardinals quickly which is probably why so many 3d players enjoy korean sticks, but finding diagonals on one was (for me) an absolute nightmare. As a p4 player, you’ll basically have to re-learn how to IAD.
I don’t think its just the lack of a restrictor gate, its something with the switches, because you have to be like 100% in the corner to trigger two switches at once.

maybe the myoungshins are better at this?


#11

Hmm, that is the one thing I was a little concerned about (as far as the lack of a traditional gate goes). Is it that the Crown isn’t as good at hitting the corners, or that because it lacks that hard corner it’s just harder to know that you’ve hit it? At least in theory it sounds like the Crown should excel at moves like IAD’s, Shoryukens and rotational input because of the better neutral return and lack of gate, but if you’re missing diagonal inputs that would obviously nullify those benefits.


#12

It’s not really the lack of a gate, I think it’s mostly the the geometry of the switches and the actuator. The levers are angled, so they’re closer to the actuator as they reach the end.

Here’s a picture of the switches and the actuator at neutral:

And here’s one in the corner:

As the actuator gets to the corner, it moves toward the apex/highest portion of the right switch, and more towards the lower part/trough of the top switch, which means the right switch is going to be activated before the top switch, and the actuator is going to have a harder time activating the top switch, because it has to go that much further. That coupled with the fact that compared to a JLF, there’s almost no room to move after the switches have been activated make hitting corners pretty tricky.

This was the best picture I could find of an ls-32 microswitch set-up, I couldn’t be assed to take mine apart.

The angle of the levers is much more shallow, which goes to alleviate the problem, along with the leniency of the extra space after you’ve activated the switches. Getting a new set of shallower switches or modifying the existing ones might help. I might try it with an extra set this weekend.


#13

Ah, OK I see what you mean and that makes sense. I’ve read there’s an actual break in period with these sticks and the rubber but don’t know if that would improve hitting the corners over time. Maybe I’ll look into the Seimitsu sticks more while debating this one.

Edit- It is really hard to find much good information about anything other than the JLF and LS-32. I think I’m between this and an LS-58 with octogate though.


#14

I know this is an older thread but it’s exactly what I was looking for. Has anybody who has experience with a Crown 303-FK used the LS-56 extensively? I have an LS-56 and I love it due to the super short throw distance compared to the JLF where I was having issues getting dashes to be consistent in some games but it’s very squeaky. I also have a bat top that I put on it and I like that more than a ball top but it’s just not big enough and doesn’t quite feel right. Just looking at the Crown 303 seems more like what I’d like and according to all the reviews the throw distance is shorter and the return to neutral is much faster than a JLF but I wanted to know how close the LS-56 was to the Crown in this regard. I’d love a stick with a proper bat top and less squeaky. Thanks!


#15

Your LS-56 may just need to be lubed up a bit. I bought mine used and it squeeked until I took it apart and gave all the moving parts a molykote treatment. My only issue with the 56 is the loud switches. Never used a Korean stick so I can’t be of much assistance there. From what I understand it feels very different than a lever that is spring centered. Some people have said that it was a pain to adjust. Many have given up and went back to JP levers. Just my observations.


#16

Would this be what I need? http://www.focusattack.com/shin-etsu-silicone-grease-100g/ I did find it under the name of Honda shin-etsu on Amazon for cheaper. Or is there a cheaper alternative?


#17

Thats the stuff. Yep. Same type of stuff. Check www.paradisearcadeshop.com as well. I don’t remember what their price was.


#18

Oh, nice. Paradise didn’t have the shin-etsu grease but they did have this http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/joysticks-trackball/966-molycote-joystick-lubricant.html for $2.50.


#19

Thats what I use. It comes in a syringe which makes it really easy to apply precisely. You don’t need to go crazy with it. A pea sized amount can be used to lube everything that needs to be lubed. The syringe should last you a while. I’ve lubed 7-10 sticks with it and still have plenty left.


#20

Thank you very much iNENDOi. This should help alleviate one issue and the other I can simply get used to.