No, you got the right forum for asking about Control Panels.
It’s a technical question and Tech Talk’s the place to talk about the nitty-gritty of any piece of arcade hardware, period… We have people asking about screw specs all the time so why would a control panel question be out of place???
There’s no company in the US that I’m aware of that stocks these.
The arcade scene is dead in the US and pretty much the only people who buy these sorts of things are people repairing personal arcade cabinets or doing repairs for other people, making custom Two Player Sticks like the old Sega Saturn Twin Virtua Stick or an HRAP VLX-like single player joystick, or repairing the old Saturn Virtua Twin Stick. It’s just not a huge market to to be worth it for most parts vendors to stock such expensive and bulky pieces of hardware. Doesn’t mean though that it’s impossible to find them in the US, though.
The companies that do exist and which still special in arcade machines are generally geared towards high-end collectors now. A number of them do business in supplying authentic parts from machines that are too far gone to economically restore. It’s sort of like what happens with the planes stored in the desert… they may or may not go back into service but at least while they’re sitting their they can be cannibalized and used as a source of spare parts to keep other planes active.
There was a company or two that did stock the panels in the past or had a metalworker create the panels to spec to sell to customers. (I’m not going to bring up the names again… There are a lot of people who ordered from these companies and never got the product they paid for…) Again, these companies are long gone. You could ask someone to replicate the panel but you’d have to have the specs and a trace/pattern they could use if you want anything that’s remotely accurate cut from sheet metal. Probably wouldn’t be much cheaper than ordering a fabricated panel from Japan.
Try e-Bay, the Trading Outlet on SRK – you CAN ask for services or trade/offer to buy games/hardware but can’t sell anything there until you meet the minimum SRK post requirements which I last heard was 60 messages. Google = check for arcade service vendors, resellers of old arcade machines, etc. You could get still lucky there. I’ve seen vendors reselling used Japanese control levers that were removed from arcade cabinets. It’s a possibility they’ll be doing the same for just the panels. Just don’t count on the control panels not having some rust if they’re anything over 3 years.
Unless you can find someone who has salvaged a Sega panel from a retired Sega cab in the US, I doubt you’ll be able to avoid foreign orders and transcontinental shipping and handling.
I think Paradise Arcade Shop (in Hawaii) could probably special-order the control panel if you want it. There’s still going to be a matter of shipping cost because it’s such a large piece of hardware.
I would honestly think you’re more likely to find these locally (in the Continental US) in the Southwest/California/Texas than just about anywhere else in the country. The Asian community’s much bigger in the Southwest and a lot of classic arcade games debuted in Californian arcades back in the day. I’ve noticed a lot of Japanese cabs turn up in the Southwest including things as esoteric as the candy cabs. There are things you really wouldn’t expect to be in the US but they are there.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.