I was tired of my force feedback job from Logitech, so I went to the store and brought back three inexpensive joysticks to try side by side. An A-B-C comparison. They were:
Logitech Attack3 ($19.99)
Logitech Exteme 3D Pro ($26.99)
Saitek ST90 ($14.99)
The LE3D is full featured: throttle, twist handle, hat switch. But the spring is very strong and I wanted a lighter feel.
ST90: I really liked the feel and controllability, but it had only a pushbutton throttle that I didn't get comfortable with.
The LA3 is the one I kept. No twist grip or hat switch, but an OK throttle (bit small) and a lighter feel than its bigger sibling, without seeming flimsy. It'll do until I feel right about yoke and pedals.
I like Logitech products, I did at one time have one of the cheaper sticks of theirs. I have had their wireless keyboard and optical mouse for about five years now and had no problems with them at all.
When I went shopping for a new stick the first of this year Logitech was on my list of must look at, but my choice (and it wasn't a cheap one) was the Saiteck X-52. It just simply blew the others away. Without having it hooked up and using it it had two features that was high on my list. The movement of the stick is not only smooth, but light, and the separate throttle quadrant is a big plus.
To my pleasant surprise the precision of the stick is outstanding to. I have my null zones turned all the way down and my sensitivities turned all the way up. This is the only stick I have ever used where it was so precise I could turn the null zones all the way back.
I concur with warhawk ... you cant do better than the X-52. If I wasn't using my CH yoke and pedals, I'd still be using my X-52. If you can scrape together the cash for the X-52 you will simply be amazed.
Yes, peering at the X-52 box in the store, it was tempting. But I contemplated the forthcoming FSX round of upgrades, and self-control won out. (This time.) And really, for $20, the Attack3 isn't such hard cheese.
I also use Saitek, had the older model, and have since been using the x-52 model. I am very pleased with the response and feel. I use a rudder system from Go-Flight, the flight deck system..very large but realistic, and better than using the twist.
Bought my X52 a couple days ago, simply amazing, thought I'd miss force feedback but now I'm glad I don't have to deal with it anymore. One of my better FS9 investments.
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