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Review of the QanBa Q4RAF dual mod joystick by EventHubs

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • September 26, 2011 at 7:31 p.m. PDT
Review of the QanBa Q4RAF dual mod joystick by EventHubs EventHubs staffer, Who Is Alpha, has written up a review of the QanBa Q4RAF dual mod joystick. If you want to know why this product is a good alternative to the Mad Catz Tournament Edition FightStick line, along with it's pros and cons, check out this review.

Hit the jump to read everything.

Overview

This is dual mod stick, meaning it can play on the PlayStation 3, PC and the Xbox 360, it uses Sanwa buttons and the stick is also Sanwa as well.

It's simple to mod like the Mad Catz Tournament Edition FightStick, has a velvet bottom to keep it from sliding around on your lap, and it has a handle to make it easy to carry during tournaments.

What comes with it

The Q4RAF comes in a nice looking white and red box with designs across it. The whole package contains the stick itself, a soft cloth to wipe it clean, a headset, instructions, and a set of caps that cover the buttons you do not wish to use (3x Punch and 3x Kick).

Size and style

The size of the stick is very familiar to me mostly because it's just about the same size as the original Mad Catz Tournament Edition Arcade Stick. The Q4RAF's dimensions are as follows:

Width: 10" 1/4ths
Length: 16" 1/8ths
Height: 2" 9/16ths

The original TE FightStick's dimensions are:

Width: 9" 3/8ths
Length: 15" 7/8ths
Height: 2" 3/8ths

In the end, the Q4RAF is a little bigger than the TE FightStick, but the weight seems to be just about the same.

Some notable differences between the TE and the Q4RAF is that the latter product has the start button on the face of the arcade stick and also has a handle where the USB cable usually would be. The compartment for the USB has been moved to the side of the stick to make room for the handle which is very convenient.

The USB cable itself seems shorter than the TE's by about 2 feet which isn't too big of a deal at a tournament, but could be an issue inside of your home if you sit far away from the screen. The length of the USB cord on the QanBa is 9 1/2 feet long.

The Q4RAF has a velvet bottom making it stick to your lap nicely. Some people would ask why they would add something like that, but trust me when I say it's a nice addition — just like the handle.

These two modifications to the classic design make the stick more tournament friendly from a convenience stand point. The handle itself is very nicely done and has a grip shape to make sure your fingers fit perfectly against it.

The last thing to note it is entirely Sanwa except for the start button. This is conspicuously not a Sanwa button, but I believe the reason for this is it sticks out further than a Sanwa does, which makes it easy to notice when your hand has strayed a little too far from the 8 actual attack buttons.

I should also note that the headphone jack is bigger than normal and you will need to get an adapter to convert your old headset's jack to make it fit. The stick came with a headset that fit though, so that'll help tide you over until you go buy the converter.

The Dual Mod

The dual mod is installed already so right out of the box you can use the Q4RAF for any of the current generation consoles — except the Wii.

The way to switch from console to console is by flipping the switch at the top of the stick and pressing Home. It's fairly simple and is extremely convenient for any players looking to play in tournaments.

I have one gripe with the dual mod though, it feels that sometimes on the PS3 it takes a while for it to find the arcade stick and assign it to the console, but that's just a small issue that doesn't happen too often.

Modding

To get into the stick you have to remove the 8 screws on the bottom of the base, not including the legs, and pry off the bottom.

This is different from a TE FightStick where you remove the top of the case. The buttons and joystick are pretty easy to replace. They have quick disconnects and once disconnected you simply push the button out.

The stick is pretty much ready straight from the box when it comes to quality and if you need to mod the stick to suit your needs it's ready to go.

Closing thoughts

The stick is very good. It shocks me how cheap it is despite the mod and the Sanwa parts. The stick runs for $149.00 on FocusAttack.com (shipping costs may vary) and easily rivals the Mad Catz TE FightStick.

For the price, convenience, and design I give the Q4RAF a 9/10. The reason it didn't receive a perfect score is because of the placement of the start button, a slight issue with the PlayStation 3 taking awhile to recognize it, and the headphone jack being incompatible with the Xbox 360 headsets (including my PX5 Turtle Beach).

It's just a complete package that offers everything you would want from a tournament grade arcade stick, while offering a few more conveniences that will hopefully become a staple in the future.

Score:
9 / 10

You can order the QanBa Q4RAF from these sites:

FocusAttack.com — $149.99.
Play-Asia.com — $129.99.

Here are more shots of the joystick.


Click images for larger versions

Comments

ButterKnife said on September 26, 2011 at 7:33 p.m.

Anyone ever hear of the Hori VX-SA Stick? This guy has a fair review.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sd6vi...

#1
ShadowKnight28 said on September 26, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.

Nice review. I held one of these in my hands before, and it seemed like a solid alternative to a TE.

#2
BluePepsi said on September 26, 2011 at 7:43 p.m.

I own this. Its absolutely fantastic.

#3
shin_ono said on September 26, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.

i too have this, and is perfect, i love being able to jump from one console to another

10/10

#4
DeathQuote44 said on September 26, 2011 at 7:52 p.m.

are the prices always expensive cuz I'd like to get 1 but the prices are always 100 dollars or more?

#5
Teemo said on September 26, 2011 at 7:53 p.m.

I actually ordered one on Friday from Focusattack.com . These are hard to come by, but come with everything you could ever want in a tournament stick in one package. I'm anxious as hell to get it, seeing as my SE dual mod is dropping inputs :(

#6
AS_Columbo said on September 26, 2011 at 7:57 p.m.

i couldnt stop laughing when i saw the 78$ shipping fee.
good job american dudes.

#7
GamePirate420 said on September 26, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.

Yeah...but is the stick octo or square gate?

#8
DrewGrimey said on September 26, 2011 at 8:29 p.m.

Very nice looking.... But why the hell would you want the start button on the front?

#9
shin_ono said on September 26, 2011 at 8:33 p.m.

@8 octo

#10
Zanomaru said on September 26, 2011 at 8:34 p.m.

I'll wait for the future models with modifiable buttons layout.

#11
General_Awesomo said on September 26, 2011 at 8:41 p.m.

@ #1

That was the s****iest review I have EVER seen.

#12
General_Awesomo said on September 26, 2011 at 8:46 p.m.

That review made me want to reach across my screen and punch OldTexasPete in the face.

#13
cthulhusandwich said on September 26, 2011 at 8:53 p.m.

@8 @10
I own one and it definitely came with a square gate sanwa stick

#14
cthulhusandwich said on September 26, 2011 at 8:56 p.m.

Also, on mine, that little piece of metal that labels the buttons on the top right of the stick came off within a few days. Nothing that some glue can't fix; or if you mod your artwork, you can incorporate those top button labels into the art itself.

#15
jupiter said on September 26, 2011 at 8:59 p.m.

ahahahaha! shipping is absurd. no thank you.

#16
ichigeki said on September 26, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.

im in Canada and for play-asia the shippings nuts...but there doesnt appear to be any shipping for focusattack. can anyone in canada confirm that?

#17
ichigeki said on September 26, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.

is nuts***

#18
Teemo said on September 26, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.

Yeah I'm pretty sure its Square, a player at my local casuals has one and it is square. That and from the pic in the review you can tell its square

#19
DR_Jam said on September 26, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.

Nice review, very effective.

I'd love to know if there are low-entry sticks that don't "suck." I've been a controller user all my life, and never did well on arcades. Still, I'm thinking about buying a stick just to entertain the idea of possibly mastering it. But I don't want to a lot of money because I don't even know if I'll use it.

#20
shin_ono said on September 26, 2011 at 9:38 p.m.

@20 just go for it, it is a tough decision if you are comfortable with a pad, but you will get the most out of ssf iv series with a stick, i found it hard anyway but i do not regret it!

and my bad, it is square not octo :/

#21
JUUUUUUN said on September 26, 2011 at 9:46 p.m.

@17

If you're willing to wait for next shipment you can buy them here: http://www.canadianjoysticks.com/qanb...

#22
Teemo said on September 26, 2011 at 9:54 p.m.

@20

This is the best low-entry stick in the market by far.

http://www.amazon.com/Xbox360-Fightin...

I'm sure you can find it cheaper, I remember seeing it for $60 before. It doesn't have standard Sanwa parts, but they are leagues ahead of the SE chinese parts. I've seen many good reviews on SRK too, I think this should be the next review as I think it appeals to the crowd similar to @20.

#23
Mune said on September 26, 2011 at 10:07 p.m.

Fantastic stick. A friend has one that I've spent a few hours with over the course of the last 2-3 months, and I recommend getting one over a TE stick if you plan on going anywhere with it.

#24
xRELLIKx said on September 26, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.

I take it this PCB allows you to play PS2/1 games withthe quanba on PS3?

It's always nice to pop in some Raiden or Rampage and play, cept TE's don't do this >=(
Hence I'm looking at getting one of these....

#25
My25CentsUp said on September 26, 2011 at 10:50 p.m.

It's a quality stick. The dual mod circuit, Sanwa parts, removable faceplate for custom art, button caps and quick disconnects. It's the only way to compete. I would love to see prices drop. I'm still rocking my Hori rap ps3 stick.

#26
Coderius said on September 26, 2011 at 11:38 p.m.

I never got a headset with mine, no joke I literally got a pair of iPod earbuds and that was about it. I don't even know what I'm supposed to think of that.

#27
Poe22222 said on September 27, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.

This stick looks nice.

As for switching over from pad to stick, I'm definitely a believer in sticks, but then again I grew up spending many hours in arcades, so it just feels a lot more natural and responsive to me. I don't know what your money situation is like, but honestly I would strongly recommend the TE stick. If someone has a solid suggestion for a second tier stick (I don't know much about what sticks are out there in general), maybe you could give it a try, but I feel like if you're gonna be putting hours into learning it, what's the difference between $75 and $150 when the latter stick will give you the absolute best quality parts in the world? If you love playing on stick, you'll probably want a TE within weeks, and if you don't, then you'll wonder if you'd like playing on a TE stick (or the equivalent) much more. Of course, if you could just go to an arcade or some tourneys to try playing on stick for a few weeks, then that might answer your question, but hopefully you already thought of that.

#28
chippedwood said on September 27, 2011 at 12:46 a.m.

I got mine at PlayAsia.com, loving it! i think alot of people wont buy this because of the design, but look at what my modded one looks like: http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphoto...
And it's real easy too, so dont be scared to try this one out!

#29
Goos said on September 27, 2011 at 3:26 a.m.

Why would the headphone jack not fitting the crappy xbox-headsets be a bad thing? That means that it's probably 3.5mm and takes normal, good headphones that you normally use with your PC without a converter.

Finally.

#30
MadMetalSlayer said on September 27, 2011 at 4:15 a.m.

looks nice. i don't know about that start button though

#31
DemonDethchase said on September 27, 2011 at 4:21 a.m.

@chippedwood
that is some nice art you've got, miles better than alt cover for UMvC3, is it an offical art just a fan art?

#32
Asmiliz said on September 27, 2011 at 4:43 a.m.

#20 A controller has its strengths too.
I use Makoto, and i can do her fukiage(uppercut) way faster on reaction with a controller and her Axe kick comes out extremely low, but using her hayate (dash punch) cancels effective in a match is almost impossible for me on controller. A character like Viper is almost impossible on controller too. So it depends on your playstyle, the character you use and the time you are willing to spend in the lab.
The Arcade Stick is a better tool overall, cause you got the execution wich leads to better mixups and better combos, and its easier and faster to learn new characters once you know how to use the arcade stick, and you make less mistakes.
The controller gives u an edge on speed for your reversals and setups. At least thats my experience.

#33
PropLeXed said on September 27, 2011 at 5:09 a.m.

Bad place for the start button.

#34
ichigeki said on September 27, 2011 at 5:14 a.m.

@22 cool thanks. would you happen to know when theyre gonna re-stock?

#35
JIHADJOE said on September 27, 2011 at 5:26 a.m.

Start button in front is the way it is in the arcades. Why would you want it anywhere else?

Also you can probaly re-wire it to the back button and use it to plink. =P

#36
SteadiestShark said on September 27, 2011 at 5:30 a.m.

@ #34

Only if you're a retard that can't control their hands.

#37
MODOKKK said on September 27, 2011 at 6:02 a.m.

#33 it's "almost impossible" to play viper on pad? what about wolfkrone...

#38
Sasuga said on September 27, 2011 at 6:11 a.m.

This is a good one, I have one too. The only reason i'm not using it is because the stick needs to be played in or something. My execution is not as good on this stick as on my TE-S stick. But I might just swap the sticks.

I do feel that this stick has a slightly cheaper feel to it than the TE-S. And I felt as if it dropped some input. I think it just needs to gain my trust:)

Mine came with an square gate but I ordered an octagonal gate with it and replaced it within 5 minutes. I takes 8 screwes to uncover it. No further hassle.

I would have liked a longer cable, though.

#39
Virtua_Kazama said on September 27, 2011 at 6:12 a.m.

That stick looks really sexy. I've seen one of my friends use it for MvC3 at my college.

#40
Starcharger28 said on September 27, 2011 at 6:57 a.m.

I got this stick weeks ago and I haven't looked back. It is such a steal for fricken 120$. Dual Modded, the velvet bottom to stick to my lap, and the overall presentation and feel of it, It is as advertised and then some. In spite of my big hands having to adjust to the close button layout, it was a perfect fit for me. I highly recommend it. 9.5/10 for me.

#41
slipperysim said on September 27, 2011 at 7:20 a.m.

can you use the 3x punch & kick buttons in torneys

#42
Asmiliz said on September 27, 2011 at 7:25 a.m.

@ #38
Yeah i said almost impossible.
But wouldn't you agree that it's freakishly hard to control Viper on Pad? I would say shes the hardest Street Fighter character to learn on Pad and i do think its almost impossible. And again. Thats my experiance. I certainly cant talk for everybody, but i do am pretty sure that im right on this.
Wolfkrone and FANATIQ are freaks of nature and i have a lot of respeckt for their execution on Pad.

#43
Girugamarc said on September 27, 2011 at 7:53 a.m.

LOL @ the start button. That has got to be one of the dumbest places you can put it.

#44
bboyKdash said on September 27, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.

@#44

You've clearly never played on a candy cab before.

#45
fawaz said on September 27, 2011 at 10:56 a.m.

Well if this stick works on 3 platforms than it's "Trinal", not dual. But nice review ;)

#46
Choy said on September 27, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.

For inquiries and orders of Q4 RAF in Argentina and Latin America please contact
http://www.facebook.com/ArG.ArcadeClub/

#47
NewtypeDan said on September 27, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.

Mine came with a Sanwa start button.

#48
Radi said on March 24, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

Check out this Soul Calibur joystick, it is also amazing, almost like a QuanBa. :) http://japan-best.com/en/accessories/...

#49


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