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

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