Notes on the Most Common ASCs and Vendors

Before proceeding, please read:

This section is a compilation of several of the most popular ASCs (arcade-style controllers) along with their respective vendors. Alongside this, this guide includes any aspects worth noting from usage over the years to help potential buyers make an educated purchase. For the most part, this section aims to inform buyers more of negatives and problems above all else, so expect the focus to be more negative as it's important to note all the potential problems one may come across with ownership over the years.

Lastly, certain bits will repeat across controller categories. Please treat each controller's section as its own individual list of noteworthy elements.

IIDX

DJ DAO FP7 EMP

This controller works really well, the spacing is accurate to the arcade between buttons and the turntable, obviously the turntable size is reduced which is often noticed as a minor nuisance to players that play both at home and on cabs.

One minor aspect that's appreciated are the feet of the controller, which hold up really well on all kinds of surfaces with a stable grip, alongside the fairly hefty weight of the controller it's rather unlikely it's going to budge even a little bit during play.

This controller is not without fault though, one of the first things to go is the turntable sticker in the middle, it starts to peel pretty much instantly for several people. While some people have kept it on despite the peeling, some have ended up scratching their pinky fairly significantly on it, so it's worth considering its removal or finding a better adhesive.

The rubberized turntable grip itself is also susceptible to peeling, but it's far more reliable, perhaps miscare or improper installations from Dao lead to problems sooner, but for many it will last several years without a problem.

Another concern is in only in having a START and EFFECT at the top of the controller. IIDX utilizes 3 buttons in menu navigation, namely START, EFFECT, and VEFX so the limited option is a bit troublesome. However, the solution to this problem DJ DAO utilizes is the ability for the EFFECT button to take multiple inputs as separate bindings. To simplify this further, enabling this option allows single, double, and triple taps of the EFFECT button in rapid succession to be 3 different bindings, alleviating the need for another button.

Unfortunately though, this does add latency to the button, it also doesn't feel too natural, and many owners use more responsive custom firmware over DJ DAO's firmware that, at the time of writing, doesn't support this multiselect feature anyways, meaning the problem is still present. Many users choose to upgrade from the default USB board to a custom one (Arduino, Arcin) since the button lights can't be controlled via software and it's only polling at the default 250hz. Of course that also means you can't use the original board's PS2 connector anymore.

One thing to note with the rubberized turntable grip, this controller gets gross. Dead skin will build up around the edges of the turntable itself on the metal and along the edges of the rubber grip. Regular cleaning is required.

All in all, this controller has a few minor problems but is often regarded as the best balance between price and performance, as it matches arcade play at a great price.

PHOENIXWAN

The Phoenixwan, sometimes jokingly referred to as the wang, or phoenixwang, is a rather odd controller. It fills a niche that wasn't needed (Gamo2's site was already selling 6 different IIDX controllers) but still manages to be the smallest full-sized beatmania controller offered on the site.

As expected, the spacing between the buttons and turntable is arcade accurate, and the turntable is full sized unlike the FP7. Moreover, 4 buttons are present for menu navigation this time around.

The controller is also very flashy, with a customizable turntable LED that emits 16 million different colors, turntable sensitivity adjustment, and an audio light mode that tries its best to "dance with the music" in fanciful fashion, it's a neat gimmick. Lastly for maximum portability, this controller is very light and even features wire storage at the bottom.

However, with the flashy style this controller brings it unfortunately takes a few steps backwards in other areas. One of the most perplexing areas are the feet, there's no other way to put it, some surfaces it's great and some it sucks. With the reduced weight, this controller will slide across some surfaces with ease leading to a really unpleasant experience. It would not be surprising if with improper play that the controller could be moved very easily by accident.

Onto one of the more defining features though, the turntable grip. Gamo2's site says it's made of liquid silicone and space aluminum. The grip is fantastic, it's incredibly grippy and a lot of fun to stop on a dime back and forth on your hand. But this material doesn't come without some faults unfortunately, it gets turned into a fingerprint magnet right out of the box, and some users have reported the grip wears off and becomes flat after heavy usage. One could also argue that making a controller trying to replicate an arcade experience (hence arcade-style) that it's a bit backwards to deviate away from the arcade experience as well, but that's more semantics than anything.

Lastly and most critically, a fair batch of buyers reported PCB problems where the board seemed to flat out die after just a few months. Apparently a firmware update can be pushed to work around some issues, but there's not much that's definitive as a solution in regards to this issue at the time of writing.

Overall, the Phoenixwan is probably the best option in terms of portability and style, it's a very flashy device and great to take over to a friend's for some fun. But, with it comes a heftier price tag that might not be worth it for people looking to simply enjoy the game. With some critical issues, this controller might just be style over substance.

YuanCon IIDX

YuanCon's IIDX controller looks rather plain, doesn't it? But the controller works really well, the spacing is of course accurate to arcade, and the turntable is full size as well. Obviously, it features 4 buttons for menu navigation too, which is incredibly convenient.

The cost is very reasonable too, by default it comes with dubious microswitches labeled "Chinese" on the site, it's important to note that if a buyer upgrades to Omron switches on the site, it's a bit cheaper than buying Omrons separately later down the line. The "Chinese" switches are definitely not recommended and feel bad.

This controller oddly uses an acrylic turntable as well, while it's a nice attempt it's somewhat disappointing overall. At the very least, it's fairly easy to modify the turntable and place something more proper such as an EMP mat on it for a better experience. Just note that the screws are not countersunk around the center of the turntable.

Some people may be dissatisfied that the turntable has no lights too, an obvious cost cutting decision.

The default buttons are typical cheap Chinese ones, these risk occasionally getting stuck around the enclosure's corners but it's less common than Chinese buttons for use on other games such as Pop'n and some users don't end up with any problems at all. Depending on a buyer's level of tolerance they may find these buttons fine or desperately yearn for an upgrade.

One big positive for many is the detachable USB cable, it uses just one USB port which is quite handy. This comes at some costs though. The biggest issue is the lack of PS2 support, the lights are also dimmer than Dao's offerings which utilize 2 USB ports.

Yuan's IIDX attempt is solid, but it's not without fault. Regardless, just about any buyer would be more than satisfied playing and enjoying the game on this controller regardless of the few minor faults it has.

IIDX Arcade Parts to Consider

IIDX controllers have a lot of options to choose from and it can be daunting, especially if you've never played before. I'll try to cover springs, microswitches, and buttons to the best of my ability.

I've also documented many of the parts that I talk about and where to buy them here

  • Buttons/Keys

    The most commonly used buttons are Sanwa, Gersung, and DJ DAO/Yuan Chinese buttons.

    I can't really speak for every arcade in Japan, but both in Japan and US almost all arcades use Sanwa buttons. The Samduck buttons are a Korean variant that can be found in Korean arcades, but are still superceded by Sanwa buttons. The DJ Dao/Yuancon buttons are cheap Chinese clones that feel less satisfying both in physical feedback and audio feedback. Some players find them servicable, but I ultimately recommend upgrading when possible. The travel distance is different on Dao buttons for example due to the inaccurate construction having a different height than official parts like Sanwa, so the feeling will be significantly different in using them.

  • Microswitches and Springs

    If you buy the keys sepearately it's worth noting what spring and microswitch setups they come with:

    • Sanwa keys come with 100g springs and 100g Omron switches.
    • Samduck keys come with 20g springs and 65g Gersung switches.
    • DJ DAO keys come with 40g springs and 20g Honeywell switches.

     

    There are also many other cheap Chinese variants that I won't bother listing because I insist you do not play on them. Please stick to Omron or Gersung microswitches for an enjoyable play experience! The Honeywell microswitches for example are an incredibly cheap feeling switch that often breaks easily.

    With this in mind, the most common switch and spring setups are 50g/20g, 50g/60g, and 50g/100g setups (microswitch listed first, then springs in this case). However, you will find arcades around the world using a myriad of setups.

    By default for a new or inexperienced player, I would recommend a 50g/60g setup as it's a safe setup that won't require frequent maintenance, has a nice weighted feeling that will help build stamina, and isn't too light for charts with heavy amounts of jacks. That said, it ultimately comes down to user preference, with lighter setups running the risk of more maintenance, but being easier on one's hands especially for dense charts, and heavier setups being more sturdy, but easily tiring out one's hands, 100g/100g for example however, is too extreme for the grand majority of players and simply exhausting and painful to play on.

    One thing worth noting is many tournaments in Japan have utilized a 25g/60g setup as well, with the heavy springs being beneficial for jacks, just as one example.

    Your springs will also naturally lose resistance over time, so if you played at an arcade with a heavily worn setup I'm sure you'll find it feels very different to your brand new home setup even if you have the same weight ratings.

    Experimentation is strongly recommended regardless as you become a more developed and experienced player. If you love the game, don't be afraid of traveling to try out different setups or dropping some more cash on parts to experiment.

Sound Voltex

DJ DAO SVSE5

The SVSE5 is a pretty straightforward controller without much to worry about, the sizing is very compact while retaining proper arcade spacing between the knobs and buttons at a very reasonable price, most of the gripes with this controller will come based on what parts are used. It uses the same firmware/board as the SVRE9 and also lacks HID-controlled lights.

Dao's SDVX buttons are especially prone to sticking and getting stuck under their holders, notably more than their IIDX counterparts. Thankfully, this problem can be alleviated by sanding down the corners of the buttons but they still obviously do not feel as nice as Sanwa buttons and it requires taking apart the controller, which while simple, is a minor inconvenience.

The default encoders (listed as Knobs Structure on the site) are horrendous, there's no nice way to put it. Please avoid these at all costs if you wish to enjoy the game or upgrade to Copals ASAP. But, it's worth noting that paying the upgrade cost when buying your controller ($30 at the time of writing) is cheaper than buying a set of Copal encoders separately (around $60+).

Dao's SVSE5 is honestly somewhat odd to write on solely because there's not much to say, it's about as standard as it gets. The SVSE5 functions well and when avoiding the default encoders buyers will end up with a controller that's able to be enjoyed just as well as any other with minimal problems.

YuanCon SDVX

YuanCon's SDVX controller has quickly become the most popular option for Sound Voltex players and is inarguably their best controller yet. The controller feels great in your hands thanks to its light weight and good sizing. Like the SVSE5, it matches arcade dimensions perfectly as well, so anyone can transfer their skills from home to the arcade 1 to 1. One other noteworthy convenience is the detachable USB cable, making transportation and storage a little more enjoyable.

One of aspects people comment on a fair bit is the metal casing, after years of Dao's tacky glossy acrylic designs a lot of buyers have welcomed this addition with open arms. Yuan's SDVX controller is as durable and sturdy as any other out there.

Yuan's stock SDVX buttons suffer the same problems as Dao's and are especially prone to sticking and getting stuck under their holders. While some people don't end up with any issues at all, others do, it's a mixed bag presumably based on luck on how the plastic mold came out. Thankfully, this problem can be alleviated by sanding down the corners of the buttons but they still obviously do not feel as nice as Sanwa buttons and it requires taking apart the controller, which while simple, is a minor inconvenience.

The stock encoders on this controller are interesting to note too, they're a surprisingly decent option to use, they feel very smooth and function well during play, but it's worth noting not everyone likes how they feel. Of course they don't feel like the arcade experience, but they're more than suitable for enjoyment.

Overall, YuanCon's SDVX is a very enticing option for many, it's a great controller with minimal issues. There's little negative outside of some minor gripes to say, and at this price range, buyers would be hard pressed to find a controller that's definitively superior.

DJ DAO SVRE9

The crown jewel for many Sound Voltex players, the SVRE9 is designed to match the dimensions of an arcade cab as best as possible, providing both maximum luxury and performance. This controller includes arcade knobs out of the box, offering no alternative and is no doubt a part of the heftier price tag.

This controller is a monster, both in size and weight, it is probably one of the most inconvenient Sound Voltex controllers to transport but even still it's not honestly not that bad, make sure you have enough space to safely place the controller on any surface before playing. One positive about the greater size and weight is that there's almost no risk of it moving around when accidentally bumped.

Dao uses a custom harness for the arcade knobs to connect with the encoders, it's an odd contraption but it works well enough. However, it is worth noting that the encoders themselves have a plastic shaft, if tightening the inner screws holding them in place make sure to not tighten them too much as the screws will end up actually drilling into the plastic and destroying the encoder beyond repair.

The knobs unfortunately risk shipping damage wherein the knob will have a grinding feeling when being rotated, it's extremely unpleasant but thankfully solution is simple, it requires lubricating the inner parts of the knobs by taking apart a bit of the controller, a minor inconvenience.

Dao's SDVX buttons are especially prone to sticking and getting stuck under their holders, notably more than their IIDX counterparts. Thankfully, this problem can be alleviated by sanding down the corners of the buttons but they still obviously do not feel as nice as Sanwa buttons and it requires taking apart the controller, which while simple, is a minor inconvenience. One could argue that in choosing to purchase a luxury product like this, it's questionable to skimp on button quality however.

Another thing to note is that the default firmware registers itself as keyboard (buttons) and mouse (x/y for knob movement. This, the fact that it doesn't support HID-controlled lights and that it polls at 250hz is enough for many to replace it's internal control board with a custom one like the Arcin or Arduino.

Overall, this controller is widely considered the "best" option solely based on the luxury factor alone. However, the cheaper options provide the same arcade-exact dimensions, parts, and experience. It's a fantastic controller, but not for those with tighter wallets as the vastly increased cost ultimately provides nothing different in terms of play experience.

SDVX Arcade Parts to Consider

Sound Voltex controllers have a lot of options to choose from and it can be daunting, especially if you've never played before. I'll try to cover springs, microswitches, and encoders to the best of my ability.

I've also documented many of the parts that I talk about and where to buy them here

  • Springs and Microswitches

    For springs and microswitches, most vendor options consist of 20g, 60g, and 100g springs. Alongside 25g, 50g, and 100g microswitches. Cabs around the world use a variety of setups but two of the most common setups are 20g springs with 100g microswitches, and 100g springs with 100g microswitches. Commonly referenced as 20g/100g and 100g/100g, though sometimes interchangably used as 100g/20g for example. (there's really no definitive order and people put the spring weight or switch weight first on a whim constantly.)

    There are also various manufacturers of these parts, arcades use Sanwa parts. Some Korean arcades use Gersung Samduck parts however, a good Korean-made alternative. There are also various Chinese parts of equally garbage quality. If you order a controller with the stock Chinese buttons, they are including the cheap Chinese springs. These are fine, it's only a spring after all! But for the microswitches, please never use Chinese microswitches, they are of garbage quality and make playing the game horrendously unfun, I am adamant you do not believe the lies of those who say otherwise.

    An incredibly light setup such as 20g/25g can result in an extremely dissatisfying feedback on button press, making it hard to get the feeling of actuation on button press. Not many people go for this setup.

    Lots of home users default to 50g/60g setups for their first time around, it's a nice balance until they become more comfortable with the game and begin to branch out a bit more and figure out their preferences.

    Furthermore, lots of Round1 arcade locations in the US use 20g spring 100g microswitch setups, so if you played at one of those, you probably felt this setting. Just keep in mind that as the springs/switches wear down the feeling will be a little different than a fresh set!

  • Encoders

    As for the encoders, they're the things that turn with the knob internally, they dictate the feeling of the rotation. The default encoders on most of the Dao controllers is the Alps 801 set, the Chinese default ones. These are beyond unplayable, with a clicky angle-snapping experience over a smooth twist. The grand majority of players opt for copal encoders, which are both incredibly smooth and sensitive. However, they are prone to breaking within about a year of moderate player.

    The YuanCon controllers use encoders that many feel are superior to copals both in feeling and durability, so they're a very worthwhile option as well.

    Lastly, the arcade encoders are extremely durable, reliable, and stiffer to turn than the other options, they're also more expensive as well.

    I've documented many of the parts and where to buy them here

Pop'n Music

DJ DAO POP ASC

Gamo2's Pop'n offering is a controller that results in a project for a lot of players. While it is a playable experience, for many, it will be dissatisfying out of the box. However, with a bit of knowledge one can turn it into a fantastic controller.

One of the biggest issues with Pop'n controllers are the buttons. The Chinese default buttons are simply unacceptable, these things stick like crazy and getting Samduck buttons, a Korean alternative, is considered almost mandatory for a lot of players. It is possible to sand down the stock Chinese Dao buttons or get lucky and only have a few with problems, but the odds are heavily stacked against the buyer's favor here. The primary problem here and why Sanwas are not offered are their extreme cost, at around $40 a button it's simply out of reach for many. At the very least, one nice addition is that by default the controller comes with Omron microswitches.

Dao's controller design here also isn't the best, it's big and bulky which has its pros and cons depending on preferences, but unlike Gamo2's other options providing magnetic bottoms that are easy to remove, the Pop'n ASC has 20 screws to gain access to the internals. While buyers hopefully won't need to be digging inside all that often, it's still a tedious process.

This controller is notably loud too, any form of play is going to generate substantial noise that will annoy others in your household. Pop'n is naturally a loud game, but many attempts can be made to alleviate some of the noise. Some people play with a towel over the controller which is called toweling, but in the more desperate cases some people have filled the internals to brim with cotton balls and other various materials.

Many users choose to upgrade from the default USB board to a custom one (Arduino, Arcin) since the button lights can't be controlled via software and it's only polling at the default 250hz. Of course that also means you can't use the original board's PS2 connector anymore.

The pricing on this controller is a bit rough for many, due to the size and weight the shipping charges can be a significant problem notably more than other game's options as well, at least US buyers benefit from free shipping when it's in stock at the US storehouse. This controller is a good option, but it requires a bit of time, work, and funds to be truly great.

YuanCon Pop'n

YuanCon's Pop'n controller arrived on the scene many years after Dao's controller and seemingly has managed to address some of the more notable difficulties of its competitor at an expected competitive price point and with a sleek design.

Right away it should be noted that this controller is a significantly smaller size than the Dao while retaining the expected arcade spacing between buttons. It's also in a metal shell for added durability yet it has notably less weight than the Dao.

One big positive for many is the detachable USB cable, it uses just one USB port which is quite handy. This comes at some costs though. The biggest issue is the lack of PS2 support, the lights are also dimmer than Dao's offerings which utilize 2 USB ports. Like it's competitor, it also doesn't seem to support HID-controlled button lights currently.

One of the biggest issues with Pop'n controllers are the buttons. Yuan's stock Chinese buttons are notably better than Dao's, but Samduck buttons, a Korean alternative, are still preferred as the stock Chinese buttons don't always feel satisfying depending on preferences. Sanwa buttons are incredibly expensive at around $40 a pop for Pop'n controllers, so they're simply out of the question for many players.

It's also worth noting that this controller comes with Chinese microswitches, which is a disappointment. Many players vastly prefer Omron microswitches over the Chinese clones.

This controller is notably loud too, any form of play is going to generate substantial noise that will annoy others in your household. Pop'n is naturally a loud game and this applies to any controller, but many attempts can be made to alleviate some of the noise. Some people play with a towel over the controller which is called toweling, but in the more desperate cases some people have filled the internals to brim with cotton balls and other various materials.

Yuan's Pop'n controller and its pricing is very good, perhaps due to the known dissatisfaction with Chinese Pop'n buttons, the controller is offered to come with no buttons and switches to save further on cost, making it an extremely enticing option for anyone that would rather buy their buttons and switches separately. Compared to alternatives, the pricing on this Pop'n ASC is best in class by a significant margin and it functions just as well as any other out there.

jubeat

DJ DAO FB9

Gamo2's jubeat controller is a very fun contraption, buyers actually slide their own monitor under it in order to play. While neat, the pricing on this thing isn't for the faint of heart and unfortunately it doesn't come without some problems.

Right away the need to buy your own monitor separately should be addressed, as it adds to the already high cost and the requirements for the monitor are somewhat specific as well, further complicating things.

Dao's jubeat board is also laughably bad and skilled players notice difficulties with timing and accuracy issues compared to a cab, many FB9 owners actually swap out the board for a P4IO alternative that matches arcade play far better for a more accurate and enjoyable experience. The biggest difference is in how multiple buttons are pressed so the issue is less prominent and earlier stages in the game.

The rubbers for the buttons are also less than desirable, with a gummy and dissatisfying feeling that's prompted many to switch. Zhousensor provides better replacements and official ones can be bought on sites like Yahoo Auctions Japan for a reasonable price.

The controller can also slide around a bit on some less than desirable surfaces and with inexperienced play, creating a need to readjust it fairly often after songs.

Dao's buttons also have a slight rainbow effect going on around the edges inside the plastic on certain screens, some people may find it moderately distracting to see.

Gamo2's jubeat offering isn't terrible, but it's not great either. The controller is for many people essentially a project that has a far greater pricetag than the notable one their site already lists. Buyers can end up going a few hundred over the controller's individual price just to get the controller to feel like a truly enjoyable experience. With the problems listed above, it's hard to fully recommend it. But ultimately, options are scarce for jubeat players.

DDR

StepManiaX Stage

Dance games have the luxury of many pads functioning the same across a wide variety of games so while it's not specifically for DDR, this is simply the apex beyond buying your own arcade cab. At an extreme price tag, Kyle Ward spares no expense to create the ultimate controller. It's even hard to label this thing as a true ASC, as it's not styled like an arcade controller, it IS one!

Getting into the important details though, a couple of changes on the latest model feature a new sleek design, superior FSR sensors that help to minimalize maintenance, and a fleet of sleek LED customization to really help a buyer individual their product and make it look and feel like theirs.

There's really only two "problems" present. Firstly, the cost, it's a premium and then some. However, the experience is also the best of any option short of owning a cab or official arcade pads. Yet even then, there's a strong argument to be had that the newer technology present trumps some of the dated arcade parts and design.

Second, the weight. While the pad is on wheels for easy movement the listed weight on the side is 220 pounds, getting the pad up and down staircases won't be fun.

Purists might argue using the StepManiaX Stage on DDR isn't an authentic experience without brackets and no doubt the feeling is slightly different as well with the different sensors. But many prominent players prefer bracketless pads anyways and consider the design outdated. FSRs are undoubtedly superior technology as well.

Overall, it's borderline impossible to find fault with the StepManiaX Stage beyond purist nitpicking, the controller is is simply the best. An entire separate page could be written on the difficulties DDR ASCs over the years have had with numerous disasters in regards of shipping challenges and historically bad controllers to the point that this is the best option short of building your own pad, buying a cab, or buying pads off a cab. Yet even then, the experience might be found superior here.

L-Tek pads (AKA Polish Dance Pads)

In terms of functionality, these pads are totally fine for beginner to intermediate play. Compared to the pads listed above they are obviously more "home grown" feeling, but they are perfectly functional and with regular maintenance will carry you well into the DDR 15/ITG 12 range before needing to think about modifications.

Pads are availble in an array of configurations (4 panel or 5 panel variants are available) and prices, they have recently added a pad that has a bar pre installed and also offer it seperate if you would like to add it to an exsisting pad.

In terms of pricing, they are relatively affordable coming in at 184.58USD+shipping.

All in all, I'd say they are a totally acceptable pad for someone wanting to get back into the game or starting out and wanting something that will last with little upkeep.

Vendors

Gamo2

 

Gamo2 has been around for a rather long time and is still one of, if not the most popular choice for people looking to buy an ASC. Dao sells a wide variety of controllers and occasionally squeezes out a new one here and there.

Buyers can expect their controllers to arrive in secure and snug packaging, shipping time varies but is often prompt. Alongside this, Gamo2's shipping is incredibly expensive, they only ship with EMS and charge a premium for it, it's not fun. However, Gamo2 provides a US storehouse for buyers in the US to enjoy free shipping and get packages sooner as well. Keep an eye on their social media as the US storehouse offerings only happen a few times a year and sell out quick!

Some buyers have noted lengthy delays when buying from Gamo2 so it's not all good news, seemingly randomly as well without any communication too. It's worth checking if there's any Chinese holidays going on or coming up before making a purchase, as they will certainly add to the wait. Most people might be surprised how many of those holidays seem to arise at just the worst time.

Gamo2's in-house buttons flat out suck across every controller, these buttons are cheapo Chinese knock offs of Sanwa buttons and it shows. Depending on a buyer's level of tolerance they may find these buttons fine or desperately yearn for an upgrade. Sanwa buttons may seem overpriced, but they are well worth the investment for those looking for arcade accuracy. Sound Voltex and Pop'n Music Dao buttons are especially prone to getting stuck within the controller.

Gamo2 also provides Honeywell switches by default while charging additional for Omron switches. Sadly, Honeywell switches are laughably bad compared to Omron and the almost unanimous consensus is to not even bother with Honeywell switches, they are far too sensitive and break far too easily. Upgrading to Omron switches should be an immediate decision for anyone unable to buy them right away alongside their controller, or simply holding out until the upgrade can be included with the purchase, it's that extreme of a difference.

Finally, Gamo2's tech support is good. Dao's English isn't the best, but he is very patient and understanding, willing to work with buyers on almost any issue or question they could have.

YuanCon

 

YuanCon has grown immensely in popularity in just a short amount of time, if Gamo2 is no longer on top, then look to YuanCon as they self-report they're currently ranked first in Chinese sales! YuanCon's approach so far has been fantastic communication and utilizing their Discord server and Twitter to get their name out there as much as possible, even partnering with prominent rhythm game players.

Buyers can expect their controllers to arrive within a moderate timeframe and in fancy Yuan-branded packaging that's more than suitable. On top of this, the pricing is extremely competitive and shipping prices are more fair than Gamo2. With this however, comes a lack of availability. Controllers often go out of stock so it's important to keep up with when pre-orders and restocks are going up.

Default Yuan buttons are the typical cheap Chinese buttons that are not ideal for play, some users report less trouble with the buttons than Dao's default buttons, but Sanwas are always preferable. Yuan thankfully doesn't even bother with Honeywell switches, only offering Omron microswitches instead, a welcomed decision.

Perhaps due to inexperience or quality control issues, there has been a notable minority of people with issues that have to be acknowledged below.

Shipping times have varied widely, the grand majority of buyers get their packages promptly within 1-2 weeks, but there have been reports of some extreme cases well over 4+ weeks. This situation however was met promptly with an official statement from Yuan and his team. However, at the time of writing, I am aware of someone that has been waiting for their controller to ship for over 3 months.

Some controllers have also arrived damaged or with missing elements. One prominent example was a large number of broken panels prompting refunds and a manufacturing change.

Also worth noting that again at the time of writing, YuanCon's RGB offerings literally have LEDs that brown out and their engineer "does not want to add HID lighting." Both a comical and egregious negative.

It's worth noting that despite these negatives, Yuan and his team have made great efforts to stay very communicative and ensure that nobody ends up with a faulty product they're dissatisfied with, as shown in the above links. YuanCon's support and communication is top notch, and the future remains promising. Even if there's a small risk of initial hassle through slow shipping or quality control, buyers will ultimately end up with a fully functioning product that they can be satisfied with one way or another.

StepRevolution (StepManiaX)

 

Premium pads, spare parts and full cabinets that are designed to either play StepmaniaX or have other games run on them are for sale, there is official support for setting up a normal computer for use with stepmania or if you have the right configuration you can use Pump it up simulators with the cabinet aswell, and Kyle Ward is always very helpful for anyone who has questions!

Only downside is the pads/cabs sell out usually within minutes of them going on sale and the shipping time can be multiple months some times as they are done made to order. Buyers can expect their pads to arrive in secure pallet packaging and the few times things have arrived either damaged or non working, customer support has been excellent and issues are always resolved quickly.

American based company and every person who has purchased a pad or cabinet has been nothing short of ecstatic with it, if you have the money and don't mind waiting, this is the best option on the market, in or out of the arcade!

L-Tek

 

Pads are good starting points and most customers who've purchased them have been happy with them. Shipping is usually reasonably quick (upto a month depending on where in the world you are).

They offer a range of products, both 4-panel and 5-panel pads, acecssories (replacement panels, sensors, bar attachment) to suit most people's dance pad needs.

I have heard of cases of panels cracking under heavy use, but every case of this (I can recall one) has been resolved quickly and at no extra cost to the customer who had the pad.

If you're in the market for a dance pad, and don't want to spend SMX money or hunt down an old arcade cabinet, I'd say they're worth the money.