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#2934228 - 01/07/10 05:57 AM Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's)
Brendan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 71
Hi folks,

After a leave of abscence of over ten years I'd like to get back into flight sims. Other than the occasional attempt to play IL2 with a dodgy Logitec joystick I haven't played anything so I'm really out of things at the moment.

I've been trying to find a decent HOTAS set up and the X52 series is starting to look promising. Unfortunately I'm going to have to import whatever I decide on which is going to vastly increase to cost of the thing as well as ensure that I don't get the chance to test one out before buying it. Obviously any stick I buy will have to last me for a few years and reliability is an issue.

Keeping all this in mind I'm a little bit concerned about talk of deadzones and reliability issues with the stock X52, Unfortunately I can't find any up to date information about the standard X52 and whether Saitek has tweaked their manufacturing processes over the years to iron out the kinks. Can anyone tell me how new X52's handle these days? Is the reliability, quality and performance much worse than the X52 Pro?

I currently have Bob II, Falcon 4 : AF and EECH on order but historically I've always preferred WW 1 and WW2 sims which is why talk of a deadzone concerns me greatly.

Thanks in adavance for help you can give me.

#2934268 - 01/07/10 09:11 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Brendan]
Tbag Offline

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 1600
Loc: Haslemere, UK
I had a CH Fighterstick before I got my X52pro. I must have been really unlucky with the Fighterstick because after a year some of the buttons stopped working which is unusual for CH Products. But the button-issue aside, I prefer the X52pro because it gives me smoother control then the CH stick, especially around the center. The X52pro is a great, precise stick with lots of functionallity and I can highly recommend it.

Depending on what you want to spend, it might be worth waiting a little to see how the Saitek X65:

And the Thrustmaster Warthog:
The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams

#2934295 - 01/07/10 11:18 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Tbag]
Brendan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 71
Thanks TBag. Unfortunately budget is an issue. Exchange rates and shipping generally mean I spend doyble for items like this. The X52 Pro is already reaching the bounds of divorce worthy which is why I'm hoping to get away with the standard X52. Spending that sort of cash on a dud that I'm not going to be happy with is a major concern.

#2934305 - 01/07/10 11:47 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Brendan]
Allen Online   content

Registered: 10/13/99
Posts: 5823
Loc: Ohio USA
I have Cougar, X52Pro, and a cheap Thrustmaster PS3/PC T-Flight Stick X ($30).

All three work very well indeed.

The Cougar has a "feel" advantage due to the all metal construction, weight, and aftermarket "force sensors". Force sensors lead to very accurate control after a learning period. Cost a fortune.

The Saitek X52Pro is nimble and has the most spring-stick control because of its neutral joystick springing and many analog dials etc. Most ergonomic stick as it is adjustable to your hand -- and, the throttle feels great. I like the lights for night flying (in a dark room). More than enough programmability for a normal person (but not everyone on this site) smile

The T-Flight is cheap. Yet, it is precise as the Saetek and Cougar for all practical purposes and a darned good controller, I think. I've bought 3 -- one for me two for relatives -- they used to be called Top Gun -- the new model has an extra button.

My point. If money really is tight, the T-Flight is a good choice. It is not very programmable, but it flies the planes and you can set it up for using in-game mapping.

However, the Saetek X52Pro probably represents the most "high end" stick for the money -- if its in the budget. At the time I bought, I considered the standard X52, but decided on the Pro (heck, it will last a real long time, hopefully, due to Hall Sensors -- much longer than an expensive graphics card or CPU upgrade). Since I don't own the standard X52, I can't compare them from my own experience.

Cougar and CH topoftheline stuff winds up expensive due to the rudder pedal requirement.

Just my opinions FWIW.
Sapphire Reference RX-480 8GB - Eyefinity 5050x1440 24P-32L-24P, Samsung SD850 + 2xHP-ZR24w S-IPS, AMD FX9590 w/Swiftech Water Cooling, 16GB GSKILL PC3 @1866, ASUS Sabertooth 990FX, Samsung 850EVO + 840EVO SSDs = 1TB, 4x Seagate + Hitachi = 9TB, Lite-On DVD, OCZ ZX 850W PSU, CoolerMaster HAF922, ASUS AC66U router, TM Warthog HOTAS, TM T-Flight Stick X, TM Cougar+FSSB & CH Pedals, Saitek X52 Pro & Pro Combat Pedals, TrackIR5 w/TC Pro, Windows 10 Professional 64b

#2935737 - 01/09/10 03:49 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Allen]
streakeagle Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 2736
Loc: Seffner, FL USA
The X-52 Pro is worth the extra cost over the X-52. I got mine when GoGamer had it on sale for $100. That was a fantastic deal I couldn't pass up despite having fully functional X-36 USB and X-45 sticks. The X-45 never felt as good as the X-36 due to its odd centering spring design. Somehow, the X-52 Pro has the feel of the X-36 with much more precision despite looking like it has the same centering spring design as the X-45. The return to a realistic all-black color scheme of the X-36 compared to the blue and silver focus of the X-45 and X-52 was a nice bonus too!
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#2935813 - 01/09/10 06:07 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: streakeagle]
TailFlamer Offline

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 2065
Loc: Clearwater, Fl. USA

I missed that sale frown Wish I had of known about it, great deal for a pro at $100.
I just bought mine for $152.50 shipped. It hasn't even came yet.

I have had great service from the Saitek 'X' series. A gameport version of the 36. Replaced it with my 45 the week the 45 was released. I wanted usb. I too think the 36 had a more solid feel to it than the 45. The 45 recently began spiking around center. Still usable, but failing. So having such longterm use from it, I bought the 52 pro to take its place. They are well built and last very long.
I know I have well over 1,000 hours playing with the 45. Maybe even over 2 or 3 thousand actually.
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#2935852 - 01/09/10 08:21 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: TailFlamer]
Donk Offline

Registered: 05/14/05
Posts: 626
Loc: Dudley, West Midlands
Have they got rid of that stupid hand guard yet? I used to have an x36 and it was a great HOTAS plus my first one, I then brought the x45 but I really hated that stick and it's rubbish software so I got rid of that and got my CH Products fighterstick and pro throttle and pedals. That was 9 years ago now and this year I'm gonna replace them coz the pedals are on the way out. I was looking at the Logitech g940 or the new thrustmaster a10 but because of the cost I may now got with the x52pro.

#2935920 - 01/09/10 01:30 PM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Donk]
Top Gun Offline

Registered: 01/07/01
Posts: 19285
Loc: Roch-Vegas NH
The X52 Pro is $142 USD on, you mentioned exchange rates so I'm guessing you don't live in the US. Not sure what it would cost to ship outside of the US. Free shipping inside the US.

I'm getting back in as well and think this is the what I"m looking at, just need to justify it over the the none PRO. I currently have the X36 but haven't used it in a few years and not sure if it would still work with Win 7?
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#2936399 - 01/10/10 05:44 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Top Gun]
Brendan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 71
Originally Posted By: Top Gun

I'm getting back in as well and think this is the what I"m looking at, just need to justify it over the the none PRO.

It looks like I'll also end up getting the PRO. It doesn't look like the folks here really rate the standard version.

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't ship to South Africa unless you order priority courier shipping which costs an arm or leg thanks to rampant theft in our post office.

This means my only alternative is to buy from Amazon through a third party local site which adds a hefty mark up as well.

But enough bellyaching. I'll make a plan. Where there is a will or a way. Now all that is left is to find a way of getting this past the missus' hawk eye.

Edited by Brendan (01/10/10 06:18 AM)

#3029737 - 06/12/10 09:46 AM Re: Saitek X52 vs. X52 Pro (And issues with modern X52's) [Re: Brendan]
Brendan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 71
Since I've just taken delivery of a standard X52 joystick I thought I'd update this.

The good news is that there is absolutely no sign of a deadzone except for a little bit of play in the stick when it is neutral but it is nothing too bad.

The slightly worse news is that the stick feels a little flimsier than I was expecting but that might be due to my expectations being a little high after all the glowing reviews all over the place. Another minor issue is that the stick takes more force to start moving from rest at centre than it does into move generally so you need to teach yourself to overcome that or your first maneuver tends to be overcooked. It also occasionally sticks when you move it to the right (But this seems to be happening less often as the stick loosens up.)

Then there is the issue with the profiles. Creating a new version of the profile file that is not compatibile with older profiles was a terrible move by Saitek. The least they could do is update their site so that the same .dat (The older profile version) profiles are available as .pr0 profiles.

Having said that I'm starting to enjoy flying with it and I'm getting used to it.

Edited by Brendan (06/13/10 03:09 PM)

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