Expert Opinions Needed. HRAP3 "SA" vs Madcatz TE

I’m at a crossroads between purchasing the HRAP 3 SA (Special Addition) vs the Madcatz TE (Tournament Edition) fightstick for the PS3 and would like any advice from those who has experience using both sticks.

The only one I know who has both sticks is Markman, who gave the TE a slight edge over the HRAP3: SA in his stick ranking chart. However, he did not factor in price in his judging criteria and also factored in the cable storage capability of the TE (which is of little concern to me, but still quite cool to have).

The things that DO concern me are:

  1. Price
    TE: Retail: 150. Final: 270 (Realistically the price I will end up paying with shipping to HK)
    HRAP SA: Retail: 105. Final: 160 (After yen conversion, shipping costs, and a bribe to my friend to ship it to me from Japan to HK :rofl: )

  2. Availability
    TE: We all know the difficulty of acquiring a TE. There’s pandemonium on the internet retail scene with unfulfilled backorders, overselling, failed promises, eternally changing stocking dates etc. I see TE’s trickling in here and there from physical stores but because I am not stateside at the moment, the only way I can acquire one is through a net vendor and everyone seems to be backordered till May, and who knows what might happen come that time.

HRAP SA: According to HORIstore, my stick gets shipped out on 4/30. Unlike, I do not expect them to renege on this confirmation since in Japan you must be accountable for your actions less your boss ask you to perform seppuku ???

  1. Dual mod ease.

I want to eventually use my ps3 stick on my friends’ xbox 360 some day. In the event that there is no lag-free converter available on the market, I’m looking to dual mod the stick. I am inept at these types of activities and would like the mod to be easy and pain-free. If anyone has experience with dual modding either stick and would like to comment on the ease/difficulty/impracticality of the procedure, please do so.


  1. Authentic feel of Viewlix joystick.

I’ve played SFIV on both blast city and the deluxe viewlix cabs and for some obvious reason the Viewlix cabs felt better with its plush seats and widescreen, but I am wondering if it was also better suited to my hands. Since I intend to play Tekken 6 and Blazblue as well, I am wondering if the Viewlix setup will feel awkward on these games. I guess the important question is this. Will Viewlix be the new standard and is it best to convert now? Or will blast city always be here to stay.

TE: Viewlix
HRAP3SA: Sanwa button/stick (Same as viewlix), but blast city layout.

  1. Quality

Madcatz: even though it seems they got it right this time, since its release there have been some stories of even TE’s breaking down (not to mention the absolute SE debacle.) Searching through this forum for stories, there seems to be scratches straight out of the box, buttons sticking, poor stick PC/PS3–>PS2 BC recognition etc etc. As time goes on, can we expect Madcatz poor track record to surface yet again and more product failure? They’ve already botched the product allocation and I’m a bit concerned that overall this company doesn’t have it quite together. Many seem reluctant to return their faulty sticks back because the service and turnaround time take too long.

Hori: Customer service has always been good to me, though their in-house buttons are downright SHIT. Some complaints of joystick failure are visible on SRK but not to an alarming degree.

  1. Seimitsu compatibility

In the future I want to try out an 8-way Seimitsu lever and buttons. I know on the HRAP3 regular edition the LS-32 stick is not compatible, but the HRAP3:SA may be different since it is top-opening and its internals may be different. Does anyone know if HRAP3:SA can take seimitsu?

HRAP3SA: According to Markman, YES.

Once again, if anyone can comment on which stick is “better” according to the criteria listed above please share your experience. If markman has updated his opinion since the initial release of the TE and factored in the small (but growing?) number of complaints, your opinion would be priceless. I am sure I can’t go wrong with either stick but since I only want one, I must make a decision with SRK’s help.

Thanks in advance~! :rolleyes: :wgrin:

no contest…HRAP SA is the superior product

namco stock ps1 > anything by madcatz

I played on both sticks and I agree 100%. As far as changing the parts, I have no clue about which one would be easier, but I don’t see why you couldn’t do it with either. again, I don’t know anything about changing parts.

can you give me your reasons as to why the HRAP: SA was better?

Much Love for the responses thus far.

I’ve played with a TE, HRAP EX (later modded with Sanwas) and HRAP 3 (modded w/sanwas). After playing with both for a week on SFIV I found that the HRAP’s were not as responsive and just plain didn’t feel as good as the TE. Hori loyalists can bitch and whine all they want but it’s true. The final straw was when I was playing against my bro (we’re about equal level players) and I had a TE and he had a HRAP. I was in the zone on the TE beating him 20-0. After getting tired of his bitching about the “Hori not feeling right” (he owns a TE himself and complained that I handed him the Hori at first) I laughed and said he was full of shit. I wanted no excuses and changed sticks and he beat me right away. Just a fluke right? He went on to beat me 3 more time before I barely squeezed out a victory which took me 3 rounds. All sanwas in this HRAP mind you so I was pissed. Something about the PCB or whatever but it’s just superior when you add in all the other little perks like cable storage. I’ve never played on a HRAP 3 SA but tried to find one like a madman before giving up because all retailers proclaimed that Hori was not making anymore because it was limited run. I love the look of it but in the end after modding my HRAP EX and HRAP 3 with Sanwas only to find out that it was inferior I sold all my HRAP’s after scoring 2 TE sticks. Just my honest experience but you may have to try a TE and HRAP 3 SA out side by side to find out for yourself. I was shocked too but it’s just how it is. Madcatz finally got thier shit together on this one bottom line.

fuck this t.e. bullshit. people treat this thing like some sort of holy grail. i have both, and i used the t.e. for about an hour before putting it back in the box and going back to my hrap3sa. it was a waste of money, and i look at it as a collector’s item, nothing more.

if money is not an issue, then get a prrrrecious t.e. and enjoy a wonky button layout.


yeah, my win count also shoots through the roof when i think about that cable storage.

hi moocus, thanks for your input. In this economy money is very much an issue.

Can you comment on your reasons behind shelving the TE? I understand that you did not like the viewlix layout, is it a very drastic change from the blast city/HORI layout?

They both use the **exact same parts **and the hori is cheaper and less likely to be broken out the box. Before anyone says it’s a small chance, my TE stick was broken out the box, so chances don’t matter when you end up getting a broken stick. (I bought it two weeks ago, so it wasn’t a first run stick.)

All that aside, the main thing is the hori is cheaper.


I lean towards the HRAP sticks, because I prefer the Sega Blast layout over Taito’s Viewlix button layout. I certainly would take a TE stick if someone made a Sega Blast panel for it. (Has anyone made one?)

? Waste of money…but you bought one. Holy grail, no, best stick out of box on the market…perhaps. I like the button layout on the TE much better. Just my opinion. I’m sure you went right back to your HRAP 3 SA because that’s what you accustomed yourself to therefore it would be a bit of a disorienting experience for the memory of the muscles in your hand. I was lucky to find a TE and mod my HRAPs all within a week of each other.

it boils down to preference. the only difference between these sticks are button layout and aesthetic appearance. i put the stick back in the box because in my case, after using it for about an hour, i just felt that the stick is an item for me to collect, because i can always just buy another hrap if i wanted one. my case is different than most people’s, though, because i didn’t have to save up a month’s worth of lunch money to get it.

like i said, if you have the money to burn, go ahead and get a t.e. if money is tight and you don’t have much experience with arcade button layouts, then just get a hrap. they have quick disconnects and are easy to mod, just like the t.e.

although your win count might drop since it doesn’t have cable storage.

EDIT: i forgot about defects. my s.e. was defective, and many others have bought defective tournament editions, including someone a few posts above. seriously just buy a hrap. also, the mic port on mad gayz sticks make your voice sound distorted, unless that’s just a defect mine has. reguardless, don’t fuck with defects and buy a hrap that has the same internals, please.

I think both are great sticks. It seems like this is a big decision for you pal so let me help you out.

  1. There are no GOOD converters for ps3 to xbox 360, your best bet is to get a 360 stick and mod it with a chtulu/imp board so you can play both systems.

  2. TE uses the viewlix layout. HRAP uses blast city layout. Both are great and is based on preference none are superior. I prefer the viewlix layout personally but this is personal preference.

  3. HRAP is more reliable pcb then TE no doubt. Ppl have problems with both however you’ll notice more complaints with the TE by taking a look at this forum. However, none of the pcbs for either stick gives my friend and I issues

  4. From what I’ve read, it is alot easier getting a Seimitsu stick into a TE. It’s not impossible to get a SE stick into an HRAP but trust me, Markman designed the TE to be able to place a seimitsu easily in it.

  5. Price is up to you.

  6. So far: Both are equal to me, I like the Viewlix style better, but the HRAP quality of pcb build is superior.

  7. However, one last factor that is very very important to me, AND MAY NOT be important to you. I like it that the TE stick has the start/select button away from me.

  8. In the end, what is my favorite stick? Easy, my Virtua Stick High Grade “Version S” :slight_smile:

  9. Good luck with your purchase, I hope this helps. Whichever stick you choose, I’m sure you’ll be happy with. Enjoy Street Fighter pal


May I point out that many people have reported faulty HRAPs on this forums as well. I should say that I actually prefer the start/select/back buttons being on top rather than the TE’s placement on the back end. If it comes to price for you then I was just settle for the HRAP 3 SA. HRAPs are great sticks I just witnessed how the TE outperformed it so I was converted at that moment not that everybody needs to.

I was in the same boat as you are a few months ago when HRAP3 SA was announced. I ended up getting the HRAP3 SA which actually cost me a lot more than getting the TE stick after shipping. My only reason for choosing HRAP3 SA over the TE was MAdcatz’s track record, I’ve had the original HRAP (until it was stolen) and HRAP2, both sticks were heavily used, and never gave me a single problem. Judging by all the problems people are having with the SE and TE sticks, why take a chance?

Get the hrap:sa because it is more superior than the te in most aspects as members pointed above. Also, what’s with the win counts and cable storage? I don’t see any correlation between the two.

thanks for all the help thus far. Madcatz track record is a bit troubling, but to be fair, there are some reports of HRAP (3’s and SE’s) malfunctioning, though the HORI complaints seem to be fewer, just based on my cursory inspection of all the threads.

I forgot to mention that I already have an HRAP 3 (regular edition, not special). Is a HRAP 3 modded with sanwa buttons identical to an HRAP 3 SA? So far the only other thing I can find is that the SA can be opened from the top.

If this is not important, would it be best to just purchase the Sanwa buttons and do the mod myself, or is the SA worth purchasing in itself.

I will continually check this thread and assess all the complaints for both HORI and Madcatz TE.

I can’t believe someone made off with your stick. I am wondering out of pure curiosity, if the burglar had a weight limit and could only pick one HRAP3SA or TE, which one he would steal?

^ I think that was an attempt at sarcasm towards people who like the’s Te stick’s cord compartment.

Yes, a HRAP 3 modded with sanwa buttons is identical to an HRAP 3 SA. If you already have a HRAP3, just mod it. I was using HRAP2 with adapter on my PS3, and I wanted another stick for the PS3, that’s why I bought the SA. As far as which one the thief would steal given the chance, the TE no doubt because of the fancy looking box. When I had my HRAP stolen, it was actually in the box for the Tekken 5 stick, so that must’ve caught their attention. :looney:

Both are the same stick just TE has some thing that puts it above feature wise.

Cord storer, Ability to turn off home buttons. Start and Select/Back buttons are on the side instead of on top of the stick so you don’t have to worry about hitting start buttons.

Thats about it. As far as the button layout its personal preference.

If you really want to dual mod, it’s better to buy a 360 stick and start from there. If you’re serious about that you’ll be saving yourself a lot of grief… that is if you manage to find a 360 stick in a first place. :slight_smile:

Benjiedude and Moocus might sound rambling and incoherent, but I can guess to why they feel that way. People that are new to sticks or have primarily stuck to one type can get really thrown off when they are forced to use something else. I own the ps2 SC2 stick and a couple of hraps, and after getting used to the smaller stick for travel purposes and using one or the other, I can pretty much get the hang of any new stick thrown my way within a few games.

Basically it comes down to this. It really doesn’t matter which one you get for ‘feel.’ You’ll get used to after a while, it just depends on how much you’re used to something else previously and whether it bugs you too much to overcome it.

Personally, if the price was similar, I’d get a TE because I already have early HRAPs, but in your situation and with the massive price difference, I’d say get the HRAP.