I got a little box of goodies from Focus Attack and dove right into my first stick mod. One of the big selling points of the Q4, for me, is that it comes with Sanwa parts, a JLF and OBSF-30 buttons.
The JLF is a very popular stick for fighters and the generic advice is that fighters prefer Sanwa sticks and STG players prefer Seimitsu, with the LS-32 considered an entry point followed by LS-40 -> LS-56 -> LS-58 as you move toward pure STG play. But while I was researching all this I noticed a number of STG players remarking on the JLF with two specific mods: a 2-lb spring and a Kowal 1mm oversize actuator. This is $10 in parts, less than half the cost of a new Seimitsu stick, so I was very keen to try it.
I also picked up 3 Seimitsu PS-14 buttons for the bottom row just to compare. They were easy to install, I only had to remove the bottom metal plate. The buttons snap right out of the metal top plate and the connectors can be removed with a little pressure. The Seimitsu buttons are definitely firmer and feel like they have a narrower surface area somehow. I haven’t decided if I have a preference, but the PS-14 is available in a nice purple color so +1 on aesthetics.
The JLF comes with a square gate. I swapped in an octagonal gate and loved it. No contest there, I’m never looking back.
I added the spring and actuator together because the e-clip was kind of a PITA, but the modding itself was quite easy. The stick is much more resistant now. It’s amazing how much $10 in parts can change the feel of a stick. I tested on Mushihimesama Futari God Mode and liked it so far. I need to get back in there and try the actuator and spring separately to get a better feel for how they differ from the stock parts, but as it is I’m happy with the changes and quite pleased I was able to mod the existing stick this way.