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Author Topic: Chromalite/Spectralite Button review  (Read 4069 times)

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releasedtruth

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Chromalite/Spectralite Button review
« on: February 03, 2011, 07:28:59 pm »
In the interest of comparative reviews, I purchased a full set of Chromalite buttons from Groovy Game Gear. As always, shipping was fast and product arrived in short order. GGG has always been on the mark and Randy's quick with support. During unpacking, I got a good look at the units. First, remember that they're only $2.35/unit with the 12v LED and base included and Soft Touch microswitch, which makes a difference as you'll soon learn. On to the full review.

Physical Appearance:
Physical appearance is good. Having used Sanwas and Happ Comps before, I would say it's certainly not of the same caliber. The chrome processing is pretty good and you'll see in the close-ups that there are some noticeable imperfections, but you'll never see them at distance. The blue color is quite nice, definitely more teal than navy. The led and bayonet snap in and are definitely snug. The spring is more compact than the Happ spring so it's likely a different setup than you're used to. Some of you won't like the chrome or the lack of a deep concave surface, but it fits my motif. I rate the unlit appearance 7/10.

Lit appearance:
This is where the Chromalite/Spectralites really shine, no pun intended. Using the 12v connection you get a very bright, almost disturbingly so, glow from the center of the button. With the chrome ring you get a crisp circle of light and it is strongly teal when connected at 12v. I found it much more pleasing to connect it to the 5v on my PS, toning down the color and intensity, but still producing a vibrant blue color. My previous setup was translucent Happs with custom mounted leds. This is a far simpler solution. The bayonet handles .25" disconnects and I daisy chained them for constant on. none of the pictures did this service, but once my DSLR comes back from the shop, I'll capture the true visual. My rating is a 8.5/10.

Function:
Now we're getting to the important part, the function. First, they are stiffer than you'll expect. I have them paired with the default Soft Touch switches, which offer sub-20 gram activation, very important with these. Without a light switch activation, you'd find them to be a very tough press. Action is short and crisp, but very firm in comparison to my Happs (cherry) and Sanwas. I found I could pound them pretty well, but did notice a little fatigue after extended gaming. I haven't noticed any wear as they're only a few days old, but look to stand up well. One important note, they do squeak sometimes. The plunger grates against the sides and it can be annoying and slow down your pounding. Randy quickly suggested a little silicone spray during install and that does help quite a bit. Comparing them to others I've used, I'll give them a 6.5/10

Value:
They are winners in terms of value. At the price you really can't go wrong, but I can see many people using them for just admin and pinball functionality, which is what they were really designed for. I'll use them on my CP until I have any issues, but am quite happy with the value proposition. The look is right, they connect easily and you can vary your experience by changing the switch as needed.

Overall rating: 7/10
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 08:24:13 pm by releasedtruth »

releasedtruth

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Follow-up
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 03:30:05 pm »
Just a brief follow-up after using these for several weeks. I'm still loving the color and feel. They aren't as stiff as the Happ/Cherry combo, but have a good resistance using the lighter microswitches in combination with stiffer spring. They look great, too. In fact, I will up my overall score to:

8/10 due to great price/performance. Worth a look.