Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

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Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by SPNarwhal » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:30 pm

Hey guys, new member here. Just had a quick question for someone and a response would be absolutely appreciated!

I'm about to purchase a DDR Machine locally (DDR Extreme) - an it's a japanese model.
What is the difference between the Japanese model and the American model?
Would you advise buying one over the other? And would one be cheaper than the other?
Bigger point, is one better than the other?

Also, how much do these typically go for?

Thank you so much!

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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by JzN » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:50 pm

Hi, I too am a newbie on this site although with my research i have found that the Japanese models are of better build quality. They have slightly different periphials in them but in essence the same.

I'm fairly sure i read somewhere the korean cabinets were the ones distributed worldwide whereas the Japanese ones were only in Japan. If you found a Japanese cabinet, you are lucky as supposedly they would've only been imported direct from japan?

Again, it was build quaility between the two, i'd go for the Japanese one if theya re the same price. In Aus i bought the game and cab for $1100 AUD.

i'm guessing someone else will correct me if i'm wrong, but this was just from my memory and google search findings.

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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by MonMotha » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

To which American model are you referring?

The only difference between a Japanese early-era (1st-Extreme) and US region early-era (1.5 or USA) is that the US version has a step-down transformer in it to take US standard 120V and drop it down to Japanese standard 100V internally. This is rather unnecessary as everything in the cabinet is perfectly happy with 120V. The US region ones also seem to have come with a two-slot coin door. Everything else is completely the same between the two. The US machines appear to have been imported from Japan: they even use the (essentially impossible to obtain stateside) Japanese size fluorescent tubes for the marquee light and also the same monitor.

If you're talking about the Betson distributed Supernova-era cabinets, they're quite different from the original Japanese/US model. The cabinet is of cheaper material (1/2" MDF instead of 3/4" plywood), and the wiring is totally different, though not particularly bad (compare the early-era Korean cabinets which have awful wiring). The monitor is highly capable and looks decent, but its reliability is somewhat suspect. This is generally true of all late-model arcade CRT monitors. The stage generally worked fine once it was broken in, which has always been true. The design of the stage is essentially identical to the old cabinets, though material may be a bit cheaper.

The US DDRX/X2 era cabinets are hunks of junk. Stay away.

In general, the Japanese cabinets of all Bemani games are substantially higher quality than the models built in other regions, but the cabinets exported from Japan to other regions are identical to the Japanese model modulo a step-down transformer. If you have your choice between an early-era Japanese DDR cabinet and an early-era American DDR cabinet and don't care about what software is on them, go with whichever one appears to give you the best deal in terms of price vs. wear and tear. They're built identically.
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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by SPNarwhal » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:25 pm

Yeah, this one has japanese writing on the front of the machine and in game, although most of it is in English, some is in Japanese. (I'm assuming the Korean / Worldwide ones would have the writing in English in the front of the machine, I think it's the whole warning sign or whatever it is underneath the select buttons.

This is $1,800 USD though, and I'm pretty sure I've seen American cabs go for around $2,500+ online.
$1,100 AUD is only $1141.03 USD, so that seems pretty cheap in comparison here.

All the functions on this machine work, all the lights flash, screen is nice, pads are sensitive, and speakers work.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with it, but would like some insight before I pull the trigger on this much money.

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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by MonMotha » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:02 am

The easiest way to ID a Korean cabinet from the pictures most sellers provide is the coin door. If it's got a small upper door (nearly square) and a large, tall, rectangular bottom door for the coin vault, then it's Korean. If the two doors are equal size rectangles, then it's Japanese. There are other cues that can be seen from the outside, too, in the trimwork or also by looking at the back. If you can get a picture of the buttons/volume controls behind the upper coin door, that's very definitive. The Korean ones will have two square buttons, one red and one white. There will also be Korean writing indicating what the various controls do. The Japanese cabinets have three round buttons that are all red. There will also be monitor controls behind the coin door on Japanese cabinets, though these are sometimes removed if the monitor is swapped (there will still be a gaping hole where the controls were). Korean cabinets have monitor controls that are only accessible by removing the back door.

Korean cabinets aren't nearly as nice as the Japanese ones of the same era, but the stages are the same. I suspect the stages were exported from Japan while the cabinets were built in Korea.

A fully working cabinet will go for $1000-2500 in the US these days. It varies highly with market and phase of the moon. Heavily distressed cabinets, especially those not working, can easily go as low as $250-500 which is a bit mind boggling to me (the scrap value of the stainless steel alone is probably a couple hundred bucks).
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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by SPNarwhal » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:08 am

MonMotha wrote:The easiest way to ID a Korean cabinet from the pictures most sellers provide is the coin door. If it's got a small upper door (nearly square) and a large, tall, rectangular bottom door for the coin vault, then it's Korean. If the two doors are equal size rectangles, then it's Japanese. There are other cues that can be seen from the outside, too, in the trimwork or also by looking at the back. If you can get a picture of the buttons/volume controls behind the upper coin door, that's very definitive. The Korean ones will have two square buttons, one red and one white. There will also be Korean writing indicating what the various controls do. The Japanese cabinets have three round buttons that are all red. There will also be monitor controls behind the coin door on Japanese cabinets, though these are sometimes removed if the monitor is swapped (there will still be a gaping hole where the controls were). Korean cabinets have monitor controls that are only accessible by removing the back door.

Korean cabinets aren't nearly as nice as the Japanese ones of the same era, but the stages are the same. I suspect the stages were exported from Japan while the cabinets were built in Korea.

A fully working cabinet will go for $1000-2500 in the US these days. It varies highly with market and phase of the moon. Heavily distressed cabinets, especially those not working, can easily go as low as $250-500 which is a bit mind boggling to me (the scrap value of the stainless steel alone is probably a couple hundred bucks).
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/32/ddrfront.jpg

Image

Here is a photo of the front, showing the coin mech. Also shows the writing by the select and arrow buttons.
Does that give much insight as to the specific cab I would be purchasing here?

The machine works fully, seems to be in nice shape, the only problem is that it might need a new battery since I guess the scores won't save if turned off? Not sure if that is a big problem, but doesn't sound like one.

Would 1,800 seem fair?

I mean it seems random on pricing, seeing as this other one on e-Bay is already selling for 2,500 and isn't even over

http://www.ebay.com/itm/190825755868?ss ... 1423.l2649

Which that one requires a battery as well I would assume. (they're saying it doesn't save records either)

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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by MonMotha » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:30 am

Assuming that front panel is original, the card slots indicate that it's Japanese. Those were never available on Korean or American cabinets, though you could potentially install them with secondhand parts (and yes, it does work on the Korean 3rd mix - the prompt to use the card is even in English).

The coin door has been replaced as have the woofer speakers and stage umbilical.

If it doesn't save scores/settings, you have to replace the RTC/RAM chip. It's kinda a pain since it's soldered onto the 573 mainboard (NOT in a socket).

The replacement "LED" monitor on that eBay one is actually kinda annoying. LCD (including LED backlit) tend to exhibit ghosting and scaling artifacts that are particularly undesirable on DDR, though not as bad as on e.g. IIDX, and I'm guessing it's widescreen, so the aspect ratio will be wrong and the image substantially smaller than it could be since the opening was designed for a 4:3.

$2500 is pretty high these days. I'd suspect some of those may be shill bids, but who knows. eBay makes it quite impossible to tell, these days.
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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by SPNarwhal » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:14 am

MonMotha wrote:Assuming that front panel is original, the card slots indicate that it's Japanese. Those were never available on Korean or American cabinets, though you could potentially install them with secondhand parts (and yes, it does work on the Korean 3rd mix - the prompt to use the card is even in English).

The coin door has been replaced as have the woofer speakers and stage umbilical.

If it doesn't save scores/settings, you have to replace the RTC/RAM chip. It's kinda a pain since it's soldered onto the 573 mainboard (NOT in a socket).

The replacement "LED" monitor on that eBay one is actually kinda annoying. LCD (including LED backlit) tend to exhibit ghosting and scaling artifacts that are particularly undesirable on DDR, though not as bad as on e.g. IIDX, and I'm guessing it's widescreen, so the aspect ratio will be wrong and the image substantially smaller than it could be since the opening was designed for a 4:3.

$2500 is pretty high these days. I'd suspect some of those may be shill bids, but who knows. eBay makes it quite impossible to tell, these days.
That e-Bay link isn't to the one I would be purchasing. Are you saying the coin door, woofer speakers, and stage umbilical have been replaced on MY unit? (the one in the photo) or on the unit that's in the e-Bay auction?
And if referring to my unit, how do you know this? And is that a good or bad thing? (Increase or decrease value?)

Thanks!

Also, I wouldn't be paying 2,500, I'd be paying 1,800 for mine.

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Re: Difference between Japanese and American DDR Machines

Post by MonMotha » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:46 pm

Yes, the picture you posted above has a replacement coin door, speakers, and umbilical. I can tell because they are visually quite different from the OEM parts. I may be wrong on the umbilical and speakers, but the picture makes them look non-OEM. The coin door is definitely not original. Looks like a Happ.

The umbilicals get damaged eventually and do have to be replaced. The replacement looks to be of questionable quality, though. Likewise, the speakers dry rot and need work, though it would have been nice to get something more visually similar to the originals. The originals aren't of overly high quality or anything, so not a huge deal other than cosmetics.

$1800 is in the right ballpark if it's otherwise working. If it's in "good" condition, it's probably even a bargain, though the large number of externally visible replacement parts is somewhat offputting from a collectable POV.. If it's a project in need of extensive work, then $1800 is perhaps a bit high.

In general, the biggest issue these days is the monitor. The Japanese OEM monitors were high quality but they are over a decade old and starting to break at this point. I'd still rather have a broken OEM CRT monitor than some crappy TV modded in like has started to happen.
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