Let him make up his own mind!
And btw, that’s YOUR opinion, not shared by everybody else… The opening poster has already said he doesn’t care for the JLF! Why are you trying to be a Sanwa salesman to him? Let him choose what’s comfortable!
No amount of spring modding will shorten the throw on a JLF or make it recenter as fast an LS-32, LS-40, or LS-56/-58. It just isn’t engineered to do that.
IF the only games you’re going to play are Street Fighter IV, SF Vs Tekken, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, or Tekken 5/6, then the JLF will probably be okay. Earlier games – CPS-2 fighters, SNK Neo Geo games, 2-D shooters – not so comfortable to play with the JLF. Those games are faster-paced than the polygon fighters of today. When you need speed and the ability to do fast-tap dash moves, the Seimitsus are far easier to come to grips with – and that’s without having to do all those ridiculous mods people talk about for the JLF!
There are differences between the LS-32 and LS-40 and they’re supposedly the closest Seimitsu joysticks in feel. I know because I actually have both of them! The -40 engages a bit quicker and with less force; the -32 is generally easier to play with and more forgiving with inputs. The -40 definitely DOES NOT jump the gate or its pivot but requires a lighter touch to use well. They use the same spring but the -32 has the advantage that it can be doubled up with an extra spring for a bit more tension. I haven’t seen how you can do that with a -40 yet without making it impossible to move.
The LS-40, btw, is the joystick most commonly used in the SNK Neo Geo AES cabinets in Japan. Several of the early to mid-1990s joysticks like the Capcom CPS Fighter also used LS-40 clones or modded LS-40s in them. LS-56’s were also used in the Konami Hyper Fighter joystick and early production versions of the revised (2nd version) Sega Saturn Virtua stick and Saturn Twin Sticks.
Your opinion on the LS-32 is NOT shared by a lot of people who have used it and swear by it. It is by default the alternative to the JLF whether you recognize that or not… Ragging on the -32 because you hate it doesn’t change that fact. The LS-32 would be the joystick most of us would recommend trying first before going off and trying the other Seimitsu’s. Yes, the jumping gate is a known fault in the -32 but most people get used to it after a while and don’t whine about it all the time. They learn not to jump the gate and get used to the eccentricities of the lever.
The -32 is excellent for both fighters and traditional sidescrolling shooters. Is it perfect? No, no such joystick lever exists but it’s the closest to a nice, generic all-round flexible good-learner stick and lots of people still use it in competitive play.
It’s easier to play “stock square gate” with an LS-32, LS-40, and practically every other Seimitsu stick in the line than it is a Sanwa JLF. The fact that people are still buying octogates in droves for the JLF should say something about how comfortable the microswitch layout and feel is on the JLF for many players!
There’d probably be more people swapping out parts if they weren’t so expensive to begin with and collectors and gamers weren’t so hell-bent on getting “the same thing everybody else is using!” I totally understand about the cost of parts – $24 on average for a replacement joystick lever is nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand, people might want to give alternative hardware a second glance because by the time you get done doing all those ridiculous mods on stock hardware for TE’s and Hori’s you would have been halfway to affording a new joystick lever or buying a used one off the Trading Outlet forum!
Also to consider are the third-party clones available of the LS-32. There are several companies that sell joysticks that while not exactly identical to the LS-32 have a similar feel for one-third the price. Not guaranteed to last as long but that’s another alternative…