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Author Topic: Ultralux Pushbutton Review  (Read 8562 times)

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Paul Olson

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Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« on: September 06, 2008, 03:19:37 am »
Disclaimer:

Andy from Ultimarc was kind enough to send me a set of the Ultralux Pushbuttons in exchange for me writing this review. I mention this for two reasons: 1) So all of the readers know that this is somewhat of a sponsored review. I am not going to review more kindly because of this, but I think it should be known. 2) To apologize to Andy for how long it took me to get this review written. Sorry about that Andy.

OK, now for my review:

First of all, these are great looking buttons! Here are a few pictures of my Defender test panel:

This is a shot of the unlit buttons:


Here is the full panel all lit up:


I am having a really hard time getting an accurate picture to show off the lighted buttons. Here is a close up that is quite a bit closer, but still not quite right. The red button especially looks bad in the pic, but is solid red in person. All of the colors are washed out a bit in the pic, but they are all as bold when lit as they are in the unlit pic above.

I will update the review with better pics if I can figure out how to capture them, but this is the best I have been able to do so far. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know, these pictures do not do these buttons justice at all.



Appearance:

As stated above, these buttons look fantastic. The colors are great, and the LEDs (I am testing the 5 volt version only) produce a nice solid lighting effect.
I intended to use only the translucent buttons, but I asked Andy to send a couple of the chrome ones as well. I'm glad I did because I really like the chrome. The effect reminds me of a jumbo version of the old Atari cone buttons; very nice.

I tested red, green, yellow, blue, and white buttons, and I am very happy with all of the colors. I don't recommend using them all together though. The darker buttons do not shine as bright as the lighter ones and it is very noticeable when they are next to each other. This picture shows the difference pretty well:


 
If you look back up at the closeup of the Defender buttons, you will notice that the brightness looks pretty even. The chrome ring focuses all of the light in the button, and it makes a huge difference. I'm not sure I really like translucent and chrome mixed like that, but it really helps the blue LEDs.

The inserts look very nice as well. They can turn, so I sometimes need to straighten them a bit, but it happens fairly infrequently. They are a little smaller than the button, but they seem to stay centered, so it is no big deal.


Feel:

Feel is very subjective, so others may have entirely different opinions. When I first started testing these, I was a bit worried about how stiff the microswitch is. It has a lot more resistance than a cherry microswitch that we are all fairly used to. I have used them for a while now, and they are comfortable to use. They are certainly not the fastest buttons, but they should be good for most games. I would suggest swapping out the microswitch on buttons that require fast pushes. I swapped the switch in the fire button on the Defender panel because this one was just not fast enough. The button tops are completely flat, which is great for the inserts, but some people may not like them. I use both convex and concave buttons, so the flat didn't bother me at all.

Quality:

These buttons appear to be very high quality. I thought that they might be weaker than a standard button, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I, and some friends, have been banging away on them for a few weeks now, and they don't show any signs of wear. I have intentionally beat on them a bit harder than I normally do just for the review, and they passed the test. The chrome buttons still look just like they did when they got here. I have picked at them a bit, and I don't think anyone needs to worry about them. The LED holders, and LEDs were all uniform in size, and I didn't have any problems assembling the buttons; quality control seems to good.

I complained about the microswitches earlier, but I want to clarify a bit. I don't like how stiff they are, but I don't have a problem with the quality at all. I am impressed by the Sanwa switches; they appear to be at least as well built as the cherries, is not better. I don't think they are the best choice for these buttons, but I appreciate why they were chosen. The quality really is great.

Overall:

If you want lighted pushbuttons on your panel, I think you will be very happy with these. I just looked over at the buttons, and they really do look incredible. Like I said at the beginning, my camera just can't capture how good these look in person. This is a high quality product, and should hold up well for a long time. I was harder on these than I think is reasonable for normal play, and they still look and work great. The switches are the only negative, but they are easily replaceable.

I will rate these an 8/10, and I would recommend them to anyone who wants LED buttons.


If you have any questions about these buttons, please ask. I will add to the review if needed. I'm sure there are a few things I didn't think of to test. I wouldn't have thought to try to scratch the chrome if it wasn't mentioned in the product announcement thread.  ::)


Ginsu Victim

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Re: Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 11:17:09 am »
Disclaimer:

Andy from Ultimarc was kind enough to send me a set of the Ultralux Pushbuttons in exchange for me writing this review. I mention this for two reasons: 1) So all of the readers know that this is somewhat of a sponsored review. I am not going to review more kindly because of this, but I think it should be known.


This is how reviews are done. Companies send their products free to reviewers. Otherwise, it would be a customer review.

As you can see by my review of the same product, I didn't hold back how I felt (I really wasn't fond of the Sanwa switches), and then later I came back and clarified my opinion of these buttons with a lower score and added complaints. So far this is the only Ultimarc product I've had any complaints about, though, given the awesomeness of the U360, Minipac, and Pac-drive.

I have since switched back to my standard Happ concave pushbuttons with cherries and am much happier with the gameplay and feel, which is more important than bling.

As for your review, very nice. Thanks for finally putting it up. I was wondering where the other reviews were, since I knew I wasn't the only person he sent these to.

:applaud:

AndyWarne

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Re: Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 03:19:11 pm »

An update on these pushbuttons: We have now changed the microswitches we supply with these, from Sanwa (which many people found too "hard") to Happ-sourced E-Switch which have a far lower spring pressure.

Turnarcades

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Re: Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 06:23:59 pm »
This is great news Andy. As you know we've recently started using these and this would be my one downfall to these buttons. Hopefully the new switches will feel a little better. Its things like this that make us go to you for our machine parts. A big thing has always been that you provide the best buttons with the best switches, whereas other suppliers use cheap imitation buttons or substitute horrible switches, which really affect the way a button feels. Could you not supply the cherry switches with these buttons? I guess as long as they're softer than the Sanwas it should be better.

Ginsu Victim

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Re: Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2010, 02:55:59 pm »

An update on these pushbuttons: We have now changed the microswitches we supply with these, from Sanwa (which many people found too "hard") to Happ-sourced E-Switch which have a far lower spring pressure.

Good, I have added this info to my review thread.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=82468.0

AndyWarne

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Re: Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2010, 01:58:31 pm »
Could you not supply the cherry switches with these buttons? I guess as long as they're softer than the Sanwas it should be better.

The Cherry switches which Happ used to supply were slightly harder than the E-Switch switches. Cherry seem to have pulled out of this market, we approached them direct as well, and they declined to supply even in large quantities.


JHFerry

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Re: Ultralux Pushbutton Review
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 07:44:37 pm »
I was under the impression that the Sanwa switched were way more sensitive then the Happs.  I have a MAS stick with the old school Happs (cherry) and the Madcatz TE (all sanwa0 and I can barely touch the sanwa buttons.  Maybe the difference is in the plunger?