Seimitsu LS-32 vs. LS-40, and whatever else; replacing a Sanwa JLF

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of research on a replacement joystick for my Sanwa JLF. After visiting a local arcade and using a Seimitsu LS-32, I felt as if I was totally comfortable with it, moreso than my JLF. Yet, I have been searching various forums, including SRK, only to find mixed opinions on any Seimitsu joystick, sorta like a bias. It’s been clouding my purchase decision.

Essentially, I have decided that the JLF is not boding well for me at all after using an LS-32 in a cabinet. I am seeking a replacement joystick, but I do not know which to choose. I am currently deciding between the Seimitsu LS-32 and the LS-40 from my research gathered. I am seeking a joystick that has, out-of-the-box, a shorter throw distance and a bit more tension than the JLF, and my findings point towards those two joysticks. Yet, others say that the LS-32 and the LS-40 feel either completely different, or very much the same. I haven’t been able to find some neutral ground. I want enough tension to where I can perform clean inputs, but not jerk the stick in a direction just to get an input; the JLF feels way too sensitive to me; poking it gently with a finger is enough to throw it all the way in a certain direction.

My joystick grip is sliding the shaft between my pinkie and my ring finger, using the other four fingers to move the joystick while the pinkie stays planted, if the grip matters at all. I tend to ride the gate a lot, but not all the time. With this in mind, I have came across some information about the LS-32 and a “pivot issue”, which I don’t really know what that means. The joystick I used on the arcade cabinet felt fine, and judging from the age, I can bet that the joystick in the cab is more than a few years old. It makes me concerned about durability and such, but yet again, I can’t find any solid information.

I’m also trying to look up information regarding the other Seimitsu joysticks. I can’t really find any solid leads to piece together an impression on them. I’ve read this chart as well as this chart, but numbers can’t really determine whether or not a joystick is certainly right for me. So far, I’m leaning toward the LS-40, but I’ve also considered the LS-32, yet the “pivot issue” comes to mind if that becomes a potential problem down the road.

I’d appreciate any suggestions people can pitch to me, as well as any suggestions regarding the other Seimitsu joysticks and any others besides the LS-32 and the LS-40. Also, apologies for another thread like this if necessary; I’ve read many threads like this post, but I still couldn’t come to a conclusion.

I used to keep two HRAPs: one with a JLF for fighters and one with an LS-32 for shmups. The tension difference you’re concerned about was the reason why.

I tried the 40 after a few people on this forum recommended it, and found it a good middle ground between the two. I still prefer a JLF or LS-32 for those specific genres, but the 40 is a good enough compromise for me to use just one stick for anything when I’m looking for convenience.

You may have noticed the LS-32 is “stubbier” (shorter shaft) than the JLF, along with having higher tension. I find the 40 has height more like the JLF, with tension in between the two and that intangible “feel” which is much closer to its sibling the LS-32. For me, these characteristics make it easy enough to whip around for fighting inputs, yet not so loose as to feel sloppy in shooters like the JLF does. If that sounds appealing or if your play preferences sound at all like mine, you should try the 40. Otherwise, if the tension and throw of the LS-32 you tried seemed just right, you should probably stick with that. The mixed feelings you mention hearing about Seimitsu are only personal preferences. If you like the 32, nobody else’s feelings are going to change that.

As to the “pivot issue”: the way the 32 is designed, if you pull too hard on the stick when already on the gate, you can feel the whole lever start to pull up and out of the panel. It’s like there’s some play in the way the shaft is held in place and it will “rise” out of the assembly. It stops after a certain point and the stick isn’t going to break off in your hand, but I can see why the feeling would be disconcerting to anyone who likes to pull on the stick really hard. My guess is, if you didn’t notice this on your own while playing on the cab, it’s not going to be an issue with your play style. If you liked the stick enough to buy it after that test, I wouldn’t worry about this.

Last quick summary of the LS-40 in my mind: Form factor of the JLF with tension and feel closer to the LS-32. Hope all this helped.

I personally went
JLF --> LS-32 --> LS-40

It’s usually relatively hard to determine based on spec numbers and people’s testimony if a stick is right for you.
The best option is to actually buy/try 'em all out.

Yeah, everyone is different. Have you tried modding your jlf yet? 2lb spring and oversized actuator seems to be a good setup for alot of ppl.

Im personally a Fan of the LS32. I just ordered afew oversized actuators for the ls32 so im very interested in seeing how different it feels, dont expect too much though. Really wanted them for the fact that they are aluminum.
Ive actually been using the LS38, like the stiffer spring. I have a LS40 on player 1 and a LS32 on player 2 of my Neo Geo cab. I prefer the LS32. The LS40 feels good, but i just prefer the 32.

I really suggest modding ur JLF first before switching. Most ppl are happy with it, plus its the standard when you play somewhere

I have the LS-32 in two of my sticks, Sanwa JLF in one, and Hori Hayabusa in my main stick. I like the LS-32 but with 1mm actuator and LS-38 spring to make it stiffer. Like someone said you may just want to try modding your JLF first. Get a 2lb spring, and 1mm actuator to see if that gives you the feel you’re looking for. That’s what I’ve done with my Hori Hayabusa lever and it’s made it my favorite lever over them all. Check it out.

this knockoff (similar to the zippy but it is not the same shaft is short)

no have problem with pupup on pivot but have longer throw (another restrictor gate) and crap micro (long activation point and bad lever angle)
You can use the original PCB -01 and gate from LS32

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I’ll definitely be exploring more options within time. For now, I’ve purchased a Seimitsu LS-40 to experiment with. I’ll hang on to my JLF for potential modding in the future, and also take up on Kowal’s suggestion; that seems like a relatively cheap modifiable joystick.