Product Reviews

Parts and product reviews to assist in your decision making with a project direction and creating your ultimate setup/s. 

We utilise a scorecard rating system out of five (5) Dolph Lundgrens - a system coined by the late DUS Cub (a fighting game afficionado + all round great guy). 


 Seimitsu 0.13N, 0.25N, 0.50N button springs: by NFG WORLD, February 2024

Most people who play arcade games start to tinker with the controls after a while. Whipping up the perfect interface for your favourite games is immensely satisfying. When I was building the ultimate control panel for my Astro City cabinet I opted for Seimitsu buttons. Generally speaking arcade buttons have weak return springs, so when pressed they can feel a little lifeless.

So when I found out Seimitsu offer stiffer buttons with the addition of springs, I ordered a stack for my panel. They had two options, 25% stiffer than normal, and 50% stiffer. I went for the 50% option, which they measure as 0.5 Newtons. I figured 150% would feel like the microswitch buttons I loved in the old days.

Once installed however I found them to be too stiff for most of the games I play. I like my shooters and rapid-fire games, and my hands and wrists would quickly tire with the 0.5N springs.

So I decided these heavier springs weren’t for me. But I recently received a bag of Seimitsu’s HORO (hologram) buttons, which use a .13N spring, making them 113% stiffer than the standard. And now I have the whole range, 13%, 25% and 50%. Time for science!

The 13% springs are awesome. Buttons feel a little less rattle, more “thunk”. It gives the impression of precision; you know you pressed ’em. And for non-rapid games, they’re quite satisfying.

The 25% springs are much easier to use than the 150% springs. It still takes some additional effort and so I don’t like them on my primary shooty button, however on special or bomb they are excellent. They make the button sound more satisfying when pressed.

As for the 50% buttons… I can absolutely see them being great for fighting games – the idea of increasingly stronger springs for weak, medium and strong attacks is very appealing. But they’ll also be great for games where a special attack or other less-used button benefits from feeling a little different. You’re also much less likely to activate them accidentally.

The heavier springs are really fun to experiment with. I feel like the 13% buttons make everything feel just a little bit more solid. The 25% buttons are very satisfying for any game where rapid fire isn’t required. The 50%… They’re a slightly more difficult recommendation. Absolutely great for special buttons, but I think anyone who installs them will want to think about how often they mash it during a game. It doesn’t sound like a lot but after a few minutes of frantic button mashing, you can feel the difference.

Aside the springs, the HORO buttons look gorgeous. The holograms catch the light differently from every angle, changing pattern and colour constantly. They use a clear outer shell, and a unique lightly smoked inner button, under which is the hologram panel.

But if they’re not your jam, the springs can be easily removed and put inside most of the other buttons that uses the same switch.

Swapping springs is easy. There are two tabs on either side of the buttons which, when pressed, allow the button to slide out of the housing. The spring can be pulled out and placed in another button in seconds.

A numerical score is a tricky thing because it’s gotta be based on the use: Fighters – 4, Shmups – 2, everything else – personal preference.

A solid 3.5/5 Dolph Lundgrens.


Product links - Seimitsu MM9-3 spring for push button (0.13N tension) – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (

Seimitsu MM9-3 spring for push button (0.25N tension) – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (


KDiT ALU Aluminium bat top: by NFG WORLD, January 2024

I love me some novelty items on my control panel. I’ve always had a few Sanwa bat tops in my knob sack, and I’ll throw them on from time to time to recapture that oldschool feel. When I found CQB Arcade had some KDiT aluminium bat tops in stock, I immediately picked up a pair.

They’re gorgeous, anodized aluminium bats that are roughly the same size as the Sanwa product, and about 25% taller than the Seimitsu Bullet tops. Some of that height extends below the bottom of the shaft thread though, so they’re only about 10% taller overall.

The KDiT also includes a thread size adaptor, much like the Sanwa bat, and I have NFI why they do this instead of just making it the right size. No one’s used the larger thread for a millennia, maybe two. Did they just do it because Sanwa did? Weird choice. It makes installation slightly more involved, and I can never remove the bat top without leaving the adaptor behind.

But they’re made of metal, and that’s an important thing to remember for two reasons.

First up, aluminium is a soft metal, and the anodized coating is slippery. So, when you tear open the bag they arrive in, and you immediately drop it onto the tile floor, it’ll bounce with some enthusiasm and become permanently flattened where it hit the floor. It’s not a big flat spot by any means, but where a plastic bat might get a mark but not deform, the metal wears this impact forever.

Second, it’s much heavier than the Sanwa or Seimitsu plastic bats. At 60g it’s damn near double the 32-34g weight of the plastic bats. And that has a very noticeable effect on the performance.

I picked up one of Sanwa’s newest sticks, the JLX, and put it into my arcade machine along with the KDiT bat top. It was… Weighty! It felt good, it felt smooth. The mass of the bat means the stick floats and flows, it doesn’t bump and bounce.

But that lack of bounce means it’s not returning to centre as enthusiastically as I’m used to. I suppose I might get used to it, but I felt like it was slowing me down a smidge.

The JLX is compatible with Sanwa’s modding widgets, so I threw their red max-stiff spring in, and the problem was immediately solved. With a stiff spring the return speed of the heavy KDiT bat is similar enough to the normal spring and half-the-weight knobs that I didn’t notice any difference at all.

The slippery coating is matched well by the mass, where I think if a lightweight knob used this coating it would squip right out of the player’s hand. The heavy KDiT bat slaps into place with enthusiasm.

Ultimately, I love it, but I think it absolutely must be matched with a heavier spring.

If installed with a heavier spring, I give it a 4/5 Dolph Lundgrens.


Product link - KDiT ALU Aluminium bat top – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (


Seimitsu SELS-70X-01 Joystick lever: by TJamma, December 2023

With Seimitsu’s LS-5X/6X series having become firm favourites of mine, the release of the SELS-70X series had me all weak at the knees. Could it compete with, or indeed best, my treasured LSH-56-01 for SHMUPS? Only the points tally would bear it out! Well… that and build quality/feel, insomnia levels, the weather, annoying neighbours... Anyway, I grabbed one and these and here are my short term findings:

Right off, what a great looking lever! Nicely turned out, compact body in semi-opaque white, nicer quality finish on the flat mounting plate than the LS-5X/6X series and came with a very tidy white Special Edition ball top, with a classy lookin’ foil Seimitsu logo atop. The non-rotating pivot, inspired by the NOBI sticks was the next thing I noticed. A high level of precision to be sure, and certainly feels tight and reassuring. The adjustable height shaft comes standard with the SELS sticks and I took few mm off the top right away. One thing I will mention, is that the spanner flats on the spacers and base of the upper shaft are two to three mm in width and may require a very thin spanner to properly customise, depending on your chosen config.

I did wonder how the non-rotating shaft would feel after so long on a traditional free spinning stick, but it was much less distracting than expected. There is a small amount of rotational “float”, which eased the transition.

The restrictor gate is an intriguing one. I actually purchased another octo’ gate at the same time, half assuming I’d switch to “ol’ faithful” pretty quickly, but I really dig this new design! It retains much of the smooth rotational feel of the octo’ gate, only with much more defined diagonals. I can see it being a fantastic all rounder and sure hope Seimitsu end up offering this part for purchase separately. It’d be a greatly appreciated option for fans of Seimitsu’s LS-56 and other compact sticks.

Speaking of the LS-56, the SELS stick uses the exact same actuator, only with a much longer spring squished in there. I have to admit, this feels like lazy engineering. If a tighter feel was the aim, a higher spring rate part, with the appropriate proportions of the LS-56 spring would have been more elegant. Considering all the babbling I did in my LSH-56-01 review, it’ll come as no surprise that I swapped out the SELS’ stock spring for a softer (and shorter) LS-58 part. No, the sky didn’t fall, and it feels spot on for me. Nicely assured return to centre and no unwanted opposite inputs. Out of interest, I did try adding one spacer from the LS-5X/6X KOWAL short throw kit, but in the end reverted to standard. It seemed almost too short on the throw… Perhaps my perception is off, or maybe the new shaft and pivot config alters the throw geometry a wee bit on this new stick. Not quite sure...

All in all, a lovely bit of kit, and potentially a very solid all-rounder, particularly with that new restrictor gate. The adjustable height shaft included as standard is really top shelf, though being ummm... “girthier”, it can’t be paired with shaft cover sleeves like many of Seimitsu’s other levers, reducing customised aesthetics. The non-rotating element, while nicely realised, is wasted on me. Though I can see it being more relevant in fighters, particularly to Tekken players.

4/5 Dolph Lundgrens


Product links - Seimitsu SELS-70X-01 joystick – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (

Seimitsu SELS-70X-F joystick – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (

Seimitsu SELS-70X-S (silent type) joystick – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (


Seimitsu LSH-56-01 Joystick lever: by TJamma, November 2023

Having heard whispers across SHMUPDOM of the almost magical properties imbued within Seimitsu’s LS-56 lever, I splashed out on it’s slightly saucier sibling, hoping to hone my humble skills on a few personal favs. I’ve been drawn to this infernal gaming niche since I was a pup, and while I’d never suggest I was particularly “decent”, I dared to wonder if I could simply “blame the tools” I’d been using to date for having stalled my ascendance to international competition GLORY! Okay, so that’s all bloody ridiculous, but I had, for the longest time, been banging away on Sanwa’s JLF, having arrived rather late to the Seimitsu party.

On build quality, the LSH presents well, with a rigid, very compact body and tasteful frosted clear shaft cover paired with black dust washer. Nice to see a liberally greased pivot from factory, but a little disappointingly, much sharper burred edges on the flat mounting plate to what I’m accustomed from the competition. Fairly tall, above pivot shaft height, but very similar to what I’m used to with Sanwa’s JLF, so no biggie.

Onto the feel; a light, perhaps overly light return spring when wiggled, but this is where things get interesting. This LSH spring is tightly coiled at one end, with more familiar loose windings at the other. Flipping it, toggles a snappier return to neutral, or easier switch engagement. The marketing material complicates this element I feel, as it’s really just two tension characteristics in a single spring. It’s 10mm longer than a standard LS-56 spring to provide enough material to allow this custom coiling wizardry. To accommodate the longer spring, the actuator features a deeper hollow, but aside from this, matches the typical LS-56 actuator spec.  It must be noted that in either orientation, the return spring has a considerably lighter feel than a typical LS-56. I get on really well with the loosely coiled end facing upward, toward the pivot, the firmer of the two settings. Your mileage may vary on the tension front, but if you’re not into fighting heavy spring tension, particularly in SHMUPS, this feels properly Goldilocks.

I have to take my hat off to Seimitsu for their octagonal restrictor gate. It stings a little to admit, but it is just so far ahead of the Sanwa alternative. Truly like comparing apples and oranges. The scalloped shaping of cardinals and diagonals with buttery smooth transitions is absolutely superb! Micro-dodging in donmaku SHMUPS is a delight. This, of course, comes standard with the LSH-56-01, as does the 5-pin standard microswitch PCB, denoted by the “-01”. Speaking of the microswitches, they’re the levered style Seimitsu uses across it’s range, though stumpier to fit the more compact form factor. It’s easy to overlook the contrast this style of switch makes to sweeping, rotating motions when compared to Sanwa and similar non levered switches, with their more abrupt rise and fall off in activation as the actuator sweeps by.  I have never witnessed such perfectly balanced eight-way switch activation/deactivation from any other lever. It feels/sounds like eight perfectly sequenced clicks at 45° a piece. This is the special sauce for SHMUPS, from my perspective.

The LS/H-56 is famous for its short throw, and certainly delivers on that front. I did end up installing one plate from the KOWAL short throw mod kit to tighten that up a little more, and the end result is truly hard to beat.

While I can’t comment on the LSH-56-01 re: vs fighting games, I can’t see why it wouldn’t perform admirably, though a square or perhaps “squircle” gate would better define the diagonals for this type of thing.

With the kind of money and time I’ve spent trying to make a Sanwa JLF perform well for SHMUPS, I could have bought three of these sticks. They make a stronger case straight out of the box with no extra mods. A truly great bit of kit, particularly if you’re into shooters. Compact and easy to fit, very nuanced response with amazing clarity of input make for an easy recommendation from me. I never give perfect scores, but...

5/5 Dolph Lundgrens!


Product link - Seimitsu LSH-56-01 joystick (irregular spring variant) [Limited Editio – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (


The LayLax Multi Gaming Ruck: by waifusticks, July 2023

LayLax is a Japanese company that designs and manufactures custom parts for the airsoft gun market. They do not limit themselves to creating just airsoft parts however, as they are a maker and stockist for other survival goods and consumables. To this end, they have expanded into gaming accessories such as this gaming rucksack which shares some similar design concepts from their airsoft gun backpacks and range bags.

Looking at the Laylax Multi Gaming Ruck, it is probably what I would think of as a luxury item, at least in the context of gaming accessory bags. It has a huge array of small features that add up to an impressive package, but sometimes I wonder how many of them are really needed regularly.

My initial thoughts are the material is good, construction fantastic. Even down to small things like how nice the straps feel. Strong feeling bottom layers. Excellent zips. Soft padding. Dozens of pockets and layers. It’s large, very large. Maybe too large? I think it really nails its objective which is transporting multiple delicates. It’s probably the best bag for carry on if you’re traveling with an arcade stick (and other bits and pieces). The first compartment has a laptop slot, some slim pockets and a headphone holder. The laptop slot is probably less padded than I’m used to, however not inadequate when referencing the rest of the bag being over padded. There is a headphone holder here as well which I’m not really impressed with. Lots of premium headphones don’t have swivelling cans and this headphone holder requires that. The second compartment is probably what I think is the best part of this bag. Extremely soft modular padded area with lots of little straps and holster/anchor units. My only critique here is that I’d like more straps.

In practise, it’s easy to fit a keyboard, small sound bar, all my wiring required to bring a setup to "locals" (FGC in-person offline tournaments/meet-ups). An extremely generous zone. The third compartment is a large padded space with a hole that extends into the second compartment. In the FGC context this is where your stick can protrude through multiple layers and be safe from harm. It’s again, a pretty generous area and will be able to fit most pre-bought sticks with the exception of the maybe the HORI Viewlix.

I’ve used this bag on and off for maybe three months. It’s truly excellent for carrying a lot of things, but I think it’s far too big for my daily carry. Even if I consider my work laptop, tablet, battery, bits and pieces etc, I absolutely can’t even fill up 1/2 of the bag. Friday night for locals however it can really shine. I can pack personal items in the front compartment. Second compartment has all my PS5 wiring, sound bar, Brook Wingman, etc. and the third compartment can take my fightstick in full. It’s probably worth noting that getting in and out of the second and third compartment easily requires you to lay the bag down flat and open it right up. You need quite a bit of floor space to achieve this. I believe the best use case for this bag will be for travelling to interstate/international gaming tournaments. For example, you can bring your stick as carry on for safety, and still manage to fit in all your personal belongings and paperwork etc for the flight. This bag would easily be the best example I’ve seen for FGC travel. In saying that, I’d probably still consider a smaller bag to use at your destination.

My final thoughts are the Laylax Multi Gaming Ruck is an incredible bag for what I consider to be its intended purpose. However, it isn’t some silver bullet of backpacks due to its huge size. Anyone who is considering regular travel might consider this as a genuine investment to know their delicates are going too and from safely. I find it difficult to score out of 5.

For a work bag it was a 2/5 Dolph Lundgrens at best. On a Friday night for locals meets however, it’s a clear 5/5 Dolph Lundgrens. 



The Seimitsu PS-14-K-HORO 30mm holographic pushbutton: by carbuncle, June 2023

The Seimitsu brand is a manufacturer of a wide range of amusement parts, based in Japan. The company has been well known to arcade users for a very long period, however in 2019 there was a shift to also focus on the increase in fighstick ownership as amusement centre popularity declined. 

Seimitsu is regularly innovating and pushing the envelope of creativity with pushbuttons, joysticks and quality of life additions to their expansive product range. 

This particular button is a transparent bodied and transparent plunger 30mm snap-in pushbutton, featuring a 13% heavier spring installed by default. In this instance, the holographic insert is placed under the plunger, but can be removed and reorientated by the user, for creative effect. 

I have no previous experience with this brand but am familiar with other buttons.

My initial observations were that the buttons snap-in for a tight fit. They feel really sturdy and stiff and require a lot more pressure to activate the switch than say, a Sanwa, with the button springing right back with force following a press. I noticed there is more travel distance than Sanwa buttons and in addition, these buttons sound different. Not any better or worse, just different.

In bright light at the right angles, the holographic colours are wild, but here’s where I’m conflicted: I never play games in the kind of lighting that would show off the buttons to best effect! Without the right lighting, these buttons are a nondescript grey and have nothing going for them in terms of aesthetics.

Based on the sturdiness of the spring within the button, I predicted that maybe these stiff buttons will give my fingers a good workout? Additionally, I believed there would be no chance of accidental button presses since the switch requires very deliberate pushing to activate.

Upon testing though, it was clear that these buttons feel great for casual play and the solid construction feels like they can take a real beating. After a while however, I actually found them fatiguing to use - the extra force needed to push them down does add up over time, especially if you’re playing a fighting game or shmup. Because they take a bit more work to press, you might find it harder to mash out of dizzy/stun/holds in fighting games.

In summary, the buttons are super quick and easy to install and obviously built to last. These buttons demand to be shown off as they are so shiny and pretty. I feel like they would be perfect for a portable stick or hitbox rather than an arcade cabinet in the garage/basement. Good for quick games, however not recommended for 3-hour long Street Fighter sessions unless your fingers have serious stamina. Or maybe I’m just getting old and feeble!

3/5 Dolph Lundgrens


Product link - Seimitsu PS-14-K-HORO push button (holographic) [Limited Edition] – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (


The Samducksa SDB-202 30mm pushbutton: by carbuncle, April 2023

The Samducksa brand is a manufacturer based in South Korea and was formerly known as Crown.

Many of you may remember seeing Crown arcade cabinets situated in amusement centres toward the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The rise in “K” (Korean) lever use and development goes hand in hand with the push button evolutions from the previous Samducksa SDB-201 series. 

Samducksa have been at the forefront of Korean arcade gaming parts for many years and have evolved their series of pushbuttons from earlier models to this SDB-202 series, which utilises a Cherry MX Silver keyboard speed switch.

A huge range of solid, transparent and metallic colour tones are available and the pushbutton comes in 30mm and 24mm sizes. These are screw-in style fastened buttons which I found is standard across the entire Samducksa pushbutton range.

I have no previous experience with this brand but am familiar with other buttons.

My initial thoughts and observations were that installation is straightforward, just screw it on. My control panel isn’t perfectly flat so there is a tiny gap between the buttons and the panel, but pretty sure a bit of sanding (of the control panel) will easily remedy that. Buttons feel solid, have a good switch action, more pronounced and less mushy than standard Sanwa buttons and slightly more travel distance.

I had transparent purple coloured buttons for review, which matches the Versus City cabinet’s control panel exactly - what a bonus. My prediction was, maybe I will enjoy mashing buttons more?

During my testing, I felt these buttons have a slightly different feel to Sanwa buttons, but probably not enough to influence execution or accuracy. Definitely feels more satisfying to press these buttons though.

They are easy to install, easy to remove, perfect colour for the right cabinet, I am a fan.

4/5 Dolph Lundgrens


Product links - Samducksa (aka. Crown) SDB-202 push button [Cherry MX Silver stem] – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (

Samducksa (aka. Crown) SDB-202-C push button – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (

Samducksa (aka. Crown) SDB-202-24 push button [Cherry MX Silver stem] – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (


 The SENJO E-Sports wooden balltop: by carbuncle, April 2023

SENJO is the creation of the GEKOKUJO pro E-Sports Team (based in Gifu prefecture, Japan). Product development from SENJO has always emerged from the perspective of fit for purpose within professional high level competition.

The 35mm SENJO wood balltops are made by hand from Gifu certified wood and reportedly hold many playfield advantages for the user such as low weight, enhanced grip and microswitch translation.

SENJO have three types of wooden balltop available – cypress, zelkova and Japanese yew.

I reviewed the cypress variant (weight of 16g vs Sanwa Denshi LB-35 27g).

My initial thoughts and observations were that installation is straightforward - just screw it on. It’s much lighter than the common Sanwa/Seimitsu ball tops and the raw finish on the wood gives it a natural texture than can be a little disconcerting at first, eg, is this thing going to give me splinters?

I noted the balltop has an attractive natural wood grain, raw, unstained and unpolished finish. It would look perfect as a piece on a feature tabletop cab, perhaps less at home on a stock fighting game cabinet, but the rustic look definitely has appeal. Time will tell if the wood material will age with grace.

My prediction was the Senjo seems like it will be fine for casual use.

During my testing though, I noted it is lightweight, noticeably lighter than a plastic balltop, so it has very little adverse influence on stick motions in fighting games.

My final thoughts are it is great for anyone who wants something “different”. A fingernail pressed into the wood will create a mark, so it’s not suitable for anyone who wants pristine perfection in their aesthetics, and the raw wooden finish won’t be to everyone’s tastes. I like it though. It’s not shiny but I consider that a plus!

3/5 Dolph Lundgrens


Product link - SENJO E-Sports wooden Balltop – Close Quarters Battle Arcade (