Long before I trolled these forums I owned a Hori stick for Saturn. I’ll admit ignorance, but I hated the thing. The stick felt extremely loose and drove me nuts. Ever since then I haven’t touched a Japanese stick. Well it’s coming up on tax return time and I’m willing to give it another try.
Is there anything of the Japanese variety that can meet my lengthy list of demands?
I don’t want a TE stick. I’d rather buy something cheaper and swap parts from Lizard Lick. That being said I don’t want anything that’s perceived as cheap.
I strongly prefer a heavy base. I don’t want something bouncing around my lap.
I want a stiff spring if possible. If this is my ignorance speaking feel free to correct me.
I need the option of bat top since this apparently exists. I don’t have a real problem with ball top; I’d just like to be able to interchange the two.
I’d also like something that can take different gates so I can join in the heated square/octagonal debates.
Button wise I prefer the variety I can rest my fingers on as I do with my Happ concaves. I remember reading that some were like this and others triggered with the slightest touch.
Quick disconnects are a must.
The system doesn’t matter since the PCB will be gutted. I will however need enough room in the case for a PS1 DS and 360 PCB.
Swappable art is a plus but not required.
I’m not trying to make a Japanese stick play like Happ. I’ve read a couple of posts saying that was a losing battle. I’m really just trying to expand my stick horizons.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions or thoughts.
JLW without Battop and circle gate already very close to a Happ feel due to its stiffer springs. Do the same mod as the JLF ultimate to the JLW by adding spacers in the micro switches to make the deadzones smaller.
It’s true, with Per’s Aki-Shop mod, a JLF will feel stiffer than an LS-32, and that’s definitely true. However, I can’t see any particular reason why one can’t just coil another LS-32 or LS-40 spring into an LS-32 actuator and have effectively double the tension and something that’s comparable to a JLW. That’d give you the just-right sensitivity of the LS-32 and the stiff spring of a JLW.
fsckyle, here’s my thoughts on your criteria.
1 and 2. If you’re looking for a heavy base on a retail stick without going Tournament Edition stick, you could try buying a HRAP from the Trade Outlet or somewhere and mod it out with Lizard Lick bought parts. Most people will tell you to buy a Mad Catz FightStick Regular Edition, but I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that that tiny little thing weighs comparably to a HRAP case. Either way, you’ll have a semi-straight button layout that you’ll feel comfortable with as an American stick player.
It’s not ignorance you’re speaking from, far from it. I’d say it’s preference and a slight phobia of the comparable looseness of Japanese parts to American parts. To be very truthful, if you want the Japanese joystick with the absolute stiffest spring, ulovemikeroch already gave the joystick with said spring, the Sanwa JLW. You absolutely cannot get a stock Japanese joystick with a heavier spring unless you go do spring mods or get American parts.
Truthfully, I’d say that trying to retain the bat-top will lessen the Japanese stick experience for you. They might not have been the first to do so, but Japanese arcade parts are known for two things. One is being incredibly responsive to very light presses or pushes. The other is the ball-tops on their joysticks. Since you want to give the whole Japanese stick business a try, I’d say the experience would be more authentic if you have a ball-top and for this reason, I say get a Seimitsu LS-32/LS-32-01 (same joystick, different PCB and mounting plates). If you REALLY insist on having a bat-top be an option, then again, get a Sanwa JLW.
This one’s a bit tricky to match up to your other criteria since the only joysticks that have the option for an octogonal gate are the Sanwa JLF and the Seimitsu LS-56. The LS-56 is probably better for fitting your other criteria since it’s got a heavier spring and throw and engage distances similar to an LS-32 or iL Eurojoystick, but I don’t exactly know how compatible it is with many stock mounting plates.
Regarding buttons, if you’re wanting buttons you can rest your fingers on, definitely go Seimitsu. Their buttons have a nice clicky sound to it and are just less sensitive enough that you can rest your fingers on them comfortably without engaging. No contest here.
Whether you get a Mad Catz FSRE or a HRAP, you’ll be getting something with QDs. You’re safe if you stick by those two.
The HRAP definitely has enough room for dual-PCBs. The Mad Catz FSRE, you’ll have room enough, and if you get a X360 one, you’ll have a common ground PCB right there (allegedly) though I believe you’re gonna need to do some dremeling to get a hole big enough for 2 cords to come out of.
This is where no retail stick except the Mad Catz FSTE can really help you. If you were to get a HRAP, you could order an acrylic and metal control panel from SRK user vocalninja, but it’ll be a few months before he takes another batch of orders, so instant gratification isn’t gonna be there.
So what should you get in the long run? Most people will say get a Sanwa JLF due to popularity. Logically, you would get a Seimitsu LS-56 or a Sanwa JLW. I say you should get a Seimitsu LS-32. The reason is that the LS-32 is, in my opinion, the best Japanese joystick to help an American stick player transit to the Japanese stick world while still retaining authenticity of having Japanese parts. It’s got a comparable engage to an iL Eurojoystick, has a spring strength in-between an iL Eurojoystick and a Sanwa JLF, and it’ll be the best joystick to have for multi-arcade game genre usage (i.e. you could use it for both fighters and SHMUPs).
This is a lengthy post, I know, but hopefully it helps. If you’re too lazy to read…
Majority recommendation: Sanwa JLF
Recommended based on your criteria: Seimitsu LS-56 or Sanwa JLW
My personal recommendation: Seimitsu LS-32
Button recommendation: Seimitsu buttons
The JLF mod will make the stick feel very tight. So if you’ve never tried a Jap stick it will be easy for you to transition to.
However personally I thought the JLF modded stick was too ‘tight’. It was so stiff that I didn’t like it. I was used to American sticks as well and I went to a Seimitsu LS-56. I prefer it much more than a Happ and even a JLF. I’d recommend it.
You’re a saint for writing that much. I’m at work until midnight on the weekends so I have nothing but time.
You touched on the authenticity which brought up a good point. Am I Americanizing the stick by wanting it to be stiff? It sounds like the Seimitsu LS-32 is a good compromise without hacking the thing apart.
The HRAP also sounds like a good starting point due to the weight. From what I could find they’re in the $100 range on the low end. Does that sound about right?
Well, in my view, you could call it Americanization, but again, whether it’s sticks, pads, golf clubs, tennis rackets, anything that is used for any game or sport boils down to what sort of equipment you prefer. Let’s look at American and Japanese style sticks as two different styles of equipment. Clearly, you can’t expect one to perform remotely similar to the other and even with modifications, there’s only so far you can go to make one style of equipment emulate another. This is a terrible analogy made even worse by the fact that I don’t play the sport, but let’s look at baseball bats. Let’s say you wanted to get a wooden bat to feel and play like an aluminum bat. You could buy a bat made of cork, and coat it in the material, but you’ll never truly get the same feeling as the real article. It’s the same kind of thing here. Naturally, since you prefer American parts, you like how they feel a lot and can’t imagine anything better. However, by the very nature of you wanting to try out Japanese styled parts, you’re expecting something different from the feel of an American stick. If one tries to emulate American parts with what Japanese parts are available, I can only think that one would feel slightly disappointed at how radically different the part style is despite it being arranged in such a way to emulate an American part. Thus, you might as well go the full nine yards and go with the whole deal; sensitive buttons, ball-top, square gate, looser stick, etc. That’s my take on it, and it may be different from your views.
And yes, it’s my very honest opinion that the LS-32 is the best Japanese joystick despite the fact that most people are Sanwanized. I’d say it’s worth more than a Sanwa JLF any day of the week. I’m certain you’ll be pleased with one. When I bought my HRAP2:SA, I, like you, was used to American styled parts and when I used a Sanwa JLF for the first time, I was first surprised at the extremely loose spring and the huge throw. Naturally, I got very frustrated at it since the feel was just WORLDS different from an iL Eurojoystick or a Happ Super. So, I went the LS-32 since it’s claimed to be the perfect transition stick from American parts to Japanese parts and since it’s got specs that let it be used as a high-end part for multiple genres of games. And I like my SHMUPs and arcade side-scrollers just as much as I like my fighters, which is a plus. I think you mentioned in some thread that you enjoy Galaga, and the LS-32 would be great to give you the Japanese take on how to play it since the LS-32’s stock gate comes with a 2-way option on top of the regular 8-way.
Yeah, most HRAPs are generally in the $100.00 range assuming you don’t get it from anywhere that overcharges and charges crazy shipping like VideoGameCentral or Play-Asia. I’d try to net one off the Trade Outlet or buy one off of Amazon. For the sake of cost, it’d probably be best to get a Tekken 5 10th (I think?) Anniversary stick since those have a HRAP case. The thing is, I don’t think the LS-32 can fit in their without drilling the control panel a little. If you really want to go the full mile for the Japanese experience, try to land yourself a HRAP2 because those have the Sega Blast/Astro City layout built into them which has been the standard Japanese control panel scheme for YEARS. The HRAP2 also happens to have a mounting plate that is compatible with most if not all Seimitsu and Sanwa sticks so that’s a big plus. Only downside is that most places that sell them are pretty high-priced. Of course, Trade Outlet is your friend in this case.
If you like American parts, then just get a custom stick with an IL Eurojoystick and whatever convex buttons you like (Sanwa, Seimitsu, IL, Happ, whatever). Arcade in a box makes good stuff. Go with them. If you don’t want Arcade in a box then get a custom or a MAS stick from arcadeshock.
Everything in sticks can be changed around like gates, springs, microswitches, actuators, etc. But one thing that most/all Japanese-style sticks have in common is that the spring is part of the shaft assembly (whereas in most American-style sticks, it’s part of the housing). This is why Japanese sticks are so much easier to ‘twist’ than American style, and is the main source of my difficulty with Japanese sticks.
If you are the same way, then you might want to actually get a lighter spring, like the one from a Seimitsu LS-33. The reason why is because if you put a tighter spring on a Japanese stick, then of course it’ll have more resistance and it will be harder to twist. But it really doesn’t matter because it’s really about the amount of twist in proportion to how hard the stick is to move. So if you get a tighter spring, it will require more force, and therefore more likeliness of twisting and loss of grip. Just something to think about.
It also helps to insert paper in between the shaft and the on-moving parts on the shaft (pivot cylinder, actuator) so they are super-tight and don’t spin interdependently of the shaft.