An Overview of Arcade Parts and My Arcade Purchase/Modding Experience


This is a quick write-ups on my journey of getting know more about arcade parts. As time goes I will be attempting to perform better mods for my arcade parts.

Overview

Arcade parts are generally categorized into two market: (i) Asian/Japanese market which uses the highly reputable Sanwa or Seimitsu parts; and (ii) the American/European market where Euro IL is the more iconic among others competitors such as Suzo-Happ.

Some history about Happ and Euro IL

Originally Happ and Euro IL are joint companies. But they later split and Happ is merged and rebranded as Suzo-Happ whereas Euro IL is still operating in their own. Euro IL parts are typically regarded as having higher quality due to their own manufacturing and production line in Switzerland. Suzo-Happ, on the other hand, manufactures their parts in China. So the quality might be questionable here. This also explains the reason why Euro IL parts tends to be slightly expensive comparing to Suzo-Happ parts despite them being the same thing. For example:
- Suzo-Happ Competition Joystick vs EuroStick IL
- Suzo-Happ Competition Push Buttons vs EuroStick IL Short Stem


Arcade Parts

The Best That $$ Can Buy

  • Japanese Arcade Parts - Sanwa and Seimitsu
  • American/European Arcade Parts - Euro IL 

Push Buttons

Push buttons varies in size, with the most common ones being 28mm (found in US/EU arcade) and 30mm (found in JP arcade). Other smaller or larger size exist too such as 24mm that is used as the 'Start' button in some of the Arcade Stick.

Should I get the Japanese (Sanwa/Seimitsu push buttons) or EuroStick

Before answering this question, you might want to find out which region is your arcade stick or arcade cabinet. Most arcade fight sticks from major manufacturers such as MadCatz, Hori, and Qanba are having the 30mm push button hole size. American bartop cabinet usually came with 28.5mm (1 1/8 inch) button holes.

My Suggestion

Personally I prefer the JP Sanwa buttons much more than the Euro IL. Not that the Euro IL is inferior in any way (it is the best arcade parts manufacturer in the US/EU), but the button pressing experience that is totally different. The Sanwa buttons requires much less activation force before the input is registered, in fact, it is registered even if you slightly touches the edges of the buttons. Having accustomed to the habit of using controllers which typically uses less force to press the buttons, I found the sensitivity to be the very sweet spot. Euro IL buttons do requires a slightly larger force before it is activated.
If you were to ask me for an analogy, I would be comparing a WWF SuperStar wrestler against martial art fighter. The former would prefer the Euro IL whereas the later would prefer the Sanwas.


Where to Purchase

Here are some of the online store where I purchased my arcade parts. They are listed in no particular order of preference.


FocusAttack (US)
  • Very reasonably priced items
  • Very fast shipping, and I meant it especially when using the DHL Express shipping options. I managed to got my parts just within 5 days (including weekends) when shipped to Malaysia. Their DHL Express shipping option is cheaper than USPS Priority Express too since they partnered with DHL.
  • Method of contact: FaceBook. The store owner himself will personally respond to your PM in time within 12 or at most 24 hours. Great customer support!
ParadiseArcade (US)
  • A highly recommended store and the owner is very active in Shoryuken forums too.
  • Offers a wide variety of customized in-house arcade parts not found elsewhere such as the Kaimana RGB LED Board, coming OBSF switches that uses Cherry MX switches, etc.
  • Offers a very competitive price too for their parts.
  • I've still yet to purchase anything from them since they had closed their store due to relocation and will only open in August 1.
Akiharaba (JP)
  • Stocks a wide range of reasonable priced Japanese arcade parts. In fact you'll find that their prices are probably the cheapest among all stores since the parts are made in Japan.
  • Notably famous for their in-house design dual mod PS360+ PCB controller board which works with either PlayStation or X-Box 360 home gaming console.
  • Offers the cheapest EMS shipping options in Asia. Again that might be different if you are shipping it to US or Europe.
  • It might takes anytime between 3 weeks to 1 month or more for them to send out the items, especially when the items are not in stock. They just started to ship it today because some of the items are unavailable at the time of my order (their website doesn't reflect this though). It is best to order elsewhere if you want to get your parts in a hurry.
  • I bought most of the screws, nuts, mounting plates, Sanwa and Seimitsu ball tops and joysticks from them since I am in no hurry to get them. It would cost me probably 50% more if I were to purchase the same parts elsewhere.
  • Best contact method: Messaging system in their ordering history
ArcadeWorld (UK)
  • They stock some of the arcade parts that you can't find elsewhere such as Ultimarc SpinTrak (a high resolution rotary spinner). I actually placed my order on these
  • Offer DHL and airmail (if total items weight below 2KG). I chose airmail to save up the cost and it turned out to be my worst choice ever. It's been almost a month now since they shipped it and I've still find no traces of the tracking updates... Definitely choose DHL if I were you.
  • Best contact method: email. Their customer support is top notch and they would be more than happy to help you purchasing the parts you need. In fact I've been using email to communicate with their staff Andy over 2 weeks before finalizing my purchase!

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