I had a X52 Pro set for three weeks. What I found was that the spring noise was there. Also the spring felt very weak (there is a simple fix on Youtube for this). I also read and confirmed that the DIN connector between the joystick and throttle is a weak point and it is hard to keep it from coming loose. Also I have read that you need an almost perfect USB source to power them and if it is weak (USB voltage gets lowered when plugged in) then wacky things can happen like the LED panels as well as Windows just not seeing them without a reboot. So make sure your plugging it into a high quality powered HUB.
Oh and then there is the HUGE dead space issue (again another more complex fix on Youtube) that voids your warranty. I am so happy I did not do the fix as my X52 Pro set died in 3 weeks. I was fortunate to be able to send them back for a full refund and not deal with the poor Saitek service.
I loved the stick layout and really loved the throttle. It is a shame that for a joystick that costs a lot of money it had so many things going against it. This was last winter so it is possible they might have fixed some of these issues since then.
I now have a Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS now which is simply amazing. Well built with high craftsmanship. A gift from my wife. I also enjoy flight sims so my pit gets used for a few different games/sims.
Thanks for sharing your expierience OverDhill.
I hear now many guys saying about the spring noises, so that comes me down. It really isn't that big of a problem for me, as long as I know it's just the normal behaviour of the architecture of this joystick, and not a defect of my particular unit.
The connector, I have to tell you, is suprisingly very well hold in place. I read about it, and almost all the reviews mentioned it as the main con of this set, but the unit I have, I have to say, the cable holds in very, very well. I even have a problem disconnecting the cable and I have to put a little force to it, so I don't know if I'm just lucky with this unit, or if Saitek adjusted that in later batch of these units. No problem here then
Also, not an issue for me with USB. I have Silverstone powered usb 3.0 external card plugged into PCI Express 1x with it's own power cord which I connected with the usb3.0 port on the front case, and also I have 2 external usb's on front of my PC case that are connected directly to the motherboard, and those cannot have problems with power.
The dead-space, this is peculiar thing, because for many the way the stick behaves is big advantage, for others it isn't. For the first group that this dead space doesn't bother it's a hude advantage due to the fact, that there is no problem of centering even after many years of usage, and I can see why. Also, this little lack of accuracy is not as big issue in space sims (which I only play
), as it would be for the sims in earths athomsphere.
I did do my study on Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS, and was considering for a while, but it had couple issues that I found on the web. First obviously the price, which is (by what I paid for x52 pro) 3-4 times higher which is insane for the amount of time I play these games. Second people say it is very heavy (the stick). Third, apparently the hand holder on the stick is very small, and for some people it was too small to feel comfortable with the hand resting there. Fourth it has no Z-axis on the stick, and me not using pedals at all, and not wanting too, that was an issue, as I'm used to using it a lot in freespace for instance. Fifth is that it is modeled for a-10, which means the writings are all done for this particular usage. All in all I opted for x52 pro from all the options I had in mind.
Personaly, I looked into my options a lot, watched a lot of reviews, read people's opinion and this set came on top for me, and simply I love it from the time it arrived. The throttle is amazing, so is the stick, and the leds are ideall for the "futuro" feeling of the space sims. Also, there is this SDK thing, that can alter the leds of the joystick on certain conditions, and me being computer scientist, I know I will go into that some day when I have some spare time and feel like it. For instance, I would like to change the led's color on mode switch, that would be nice for me.
the spring on my x45 groans a little as it's compressed, and the plastic base can squeak a bit also. i consider it completely normal. the plastic rubbing noise can be fixed (temporarily) by rubbing a dryer sheet on the lip of the base and underside of the plate. this also smooths out the action considerably. i keep a dryer sheet on the desk next to the joystick for just this.
Thanks a lot for sharing and for the tip!