New qanba q4raf - Jlf stick travel inconsistency question


So, I just picked up a new stick, after getting the fighting game bug. Played for a bit on controller. Went from trying to use the analog stick, figuring out that a proper dpad was better, but being from a pc background, figured a stick was going to be a better way to learn in the long run. (Although I’m not sure that a hitbox would have been even more up my alley. But having played with a stick, I think I’d miss it. Something about manipulating that stick around until you pull off a move is very therapeutic and satisfying.)

Anyway. I’m loving the stick experience. So much more intuitive for me. Loving the qanba q4raf too. The weight, the feel. It’s all pretty nice. Except. . . going through the challenges in ssiv I noticed that I was having a very difficult time with 236 type moves, and wasn’t sure why, so I decided to try the same moves from the other side. I can pull off the same moves very easily if I’m facing left.

This led me to take a look at the stick. I’ve determined that the stick has quite a bit more travel on the right direction, vs the others. the left is the most responsive, top and bottom are a hair further, but the right goes almost completely to the gate before the microswitch engages.

How normal is this for a sanwa jlf?


How common is it for a jlf stick to have massively more travel in one direction than the others?


It’s your grip/technique. I’d wager it’s pretty normal for most of us to have an easier time doing certain motions in one direction than the other- chances are, you’re not going all the way to forward when you roll. Practice will ultimately solve your issue, but you could also try an octagonal gate ( or ). Lots of people here snub their noses at octo-gates, but what you use should ultimately come down to your preference.

In case you’re wondering why I provided two links, the plate, while more expensive, is an easier swap with no risk of damaging your stock plate. I’ve swapped inserts plenty of times without trouble, but I did have one plate tab break while swapping.


While I’ve done some comparisons with different hand positions, etc, and I do realize that hand position plays into it, there’s an actual difference in throw and switch feel there.

Okay, so while I was typing this up, I looked at it again and did some more analyzing. The biggest reason there’s such a difference, is that it’ll drop the diagonal unless it’s pretty much riding the gate in the corner.(one switch is disengaging before the other engages) The lower left corner, in contrast, is very easy to do a slight roll and get the diagonal in there. (I’m doing slow and consistent movements while looking at the stick, this is measurable stuff, not me just assuming something is wrong because I can’t pull off a move.)

This isn’t a “Why didn’t this stick make me ubur-fighter?” Issue, I’ve no illusions about what a stick will do. I don’t want to be learning bad habits like riding the gate when I don’t have to, or having to fight sloppy/lopsided inputs. The whole point of purchasing a moderately priced stick was because I wanted as high quality hardware as I can afford.

I have an oversized actuator on the way that I was going to try out(the deadzone felt quite large from the getgo for my taste) but that’s not going to correct the unevenness of it. just trying to figure out if this is normal for these sticks.

I appreciate the input.


It’s possible that the right micro switch is faulty or misaligned if it’s not engaging as early as the left. You could open the case (your warranty will be voided, but I’m assuming you’re not worried about that since you’re replacing the stock actuator) and take pictures/video to show the difference in engage - video would be better to clearly demonstrate where the click happens.

If it’s misaligned, you could remove the switch in question and re-solder it so that the posts are properly centered. If it’s already properly aligned, I would try a new micro switch. Replacing the whole jlf pcb is an easier, but more expensive (~$12) option if you can’t solder.


Right now I’m trying to see if I can get any kind of warranty action going on this, as I just purchased it. I’ll see what happens. Didn’t want to pop it open just yet.

I can indeed solder, and have good general mod/mechanical skills so that’s definitely an option. Which makes me kind of wonder why I didn’t decide to build one of these myself. I think wanting one dual modded “right now” was one driving factor. I may have to try out my hand at putting together a hitbox if I feel the inclination to see what that’s like.

I may have to mod whatever stick I get anyway, if there’s any noticeable inconsistency in switch placements. I’m a stickler for precision, and will notice it unless it’s pretty dead on. (This one isn’t me being a stickler though, this is pretty badly off - imho).


I may be wrong, but I believe the jlf is the only big name lever that has its micro switches attached in a fashion where it’s possible to misalign while connecting (due to the way it’s soldered into the board). You might want to try something levered like a seimitsu, they’re generally designed for faster engage, and the levers most definitely assist in hitting those diagonals.

All this said, if there’s actually a problem with your stock JLF switches’ alignment, that’s a very uncommon problem as far as I know. Definitely worth seeing if you can get a replacement. Sanwa is pretty well known for their quality, they didn’t make it where they are by having shitty qc.


I was wondering if there was possibility of misalignment during manufacturing. Could be inconsistency in the switches themselves, I suppose.

I’ve looked into the Siemitsu sticks, but the slop/popping issue with the ls-32 is something I knew would drive me crazy. The ls-40 seems to be indicated as one too tight for fighting games, but maybe I should look back into these. If the switches do have the ability to be shifted, the upside is that theoretically I could de-solder and reposition to get them just right.


Yep, assuming you don’t actually have a bad Omron switch. Pretty simple fix, and if the switch is bad, you can replace a single switch for <$3.

Here’s a video demonstrating how to replace one:


i’ve had this happen to me with both a JLF and LS-32. both sticks had been used for years but suddenly i noticed i would get hit in a crouch-block every now and then or get dropped combos. the down and right microswitches were disengaging or shorting out. it drove me nuts because i thought it was the pcb so i replaced that and the problem was still there. i replaced the JLF with an old LS-32-01 and yet the problem remained. a brand new stick solved the issue for me but in your case, you should complain to Qanba to see if they’ll send you a new JLF. i know they have a thread somewhere in the Tech Talk section.


That’s another possibility, but I’d suspect alignment first if he’s feeling a big difference in where the switches engage.


Also, going back a step, I’d like to add that I think the LS40 is a great stick, I don’t have problems using it on fighters. If anything, the sort throw and fast engage will force you to learn good stick control.


Yeah, going to go through with trying to get a replacement. Talking to eightarc about it now, figured I’d go with who I bought it from and see what they said the next step was. Been looking into the Siemitsu’s a bit more, seems like most people who had similar complaints to mine(slop/deadzone/etc) and disliked the jlf loved the ls56.

I’m thinking I really need to give one or the other a shot. The hardware nerd in me is having a blast. I want all the sticks just to try them. :stuck_out_tongue:

The nice thing about having a spare stick or two is that I’ll be able to fiddle around with making another unit(box? Doesn’t sound right to say stick twice) if I want to. Going to have some extra buttons, as I’m giving some Siemitsu’s and OBSF-30RG’s a try to see what I like.

Now to figure out which one. . ls40, ls56, or ls58 - and pcb or non. If I’m not careful, I’ll just end up buying them all to try them, but my wallet might not take it. >.>

I know that I like close sensitivity. The lower left corner of this stick is the most sensitive, it’s easy to stay far away from the gate and roll a quick 214 214 ultra. Feels great.


as far as the LS-40 goes, the throw to the gate is normal but the engage is incredibly short. this threw me off and i could never get used to it. i have it as a backup stick in case i need it but went back to LS-32. good luck with Eightarc and i hope they replace it for you.