Decided to make this thread dedicated to what is now my favorite low-cost stick (sub $30 new), the Playtech Pro Arcade.
Why do I love this? The difficulty of modding is just right. It’s got the perfect balance of being able to add in decent parts while still requiring a bit of work. The stick is a JLF clone and using the mounting plate that comes with it will let you easily mount an actual JLF. The buttons holes are somewhere between 28mm and 29mm in diameter and can easily be widened. The only major case modification is the need to shave a bit from the bottom to allow a JLF to fit and removing the pegs that hold up the PCB for the buttons. Some soldering is required for the wires, but the job is easy enough (and can be made easier by using the eTokki harness for the Paewang boards). All in all, it’s a perfect stick for anyone who wants to learn stuff beyond just slapping in new parts.
The other reason I like it is because of the design. It’s one of the few mass produced sticks in the market that puts such a great distance between the stick and buttons. This space can either be used for design work or, if you’re handy enough with a dremel, interesting and functional design features.
The only real downside is that there’s no separate top panel to stick art on. That said, this can simply be a good excuse to learn how to paint.
Here’s my own mod (for a friend) - Project TwinTail.
My build thread on this can also serve as a guide for anyone wanting to mod one of these.