So, let's go on with the new stuff. Here is my new rig:
Fanatec Club Sport Wheel Base
Fanatec Club Sport Formula Rim
Fanatec Club Sport Pedals v2
Fanatec Club Sport Table Clamp v2
Thrustmaster TH8 RS shifter
First of all, delivery time was excellent. Ordered on Friday night, shipped on Monday morning and delivered the day after (when I wasn't at home ).
The first impression when I started unpacking was excellent. You immediately feel that the quality is excellent. Great materials, solid and heavy, very nicely made. Looks great, I've to say.
Great touch with the packaging, with a nice cover for the components. (you can see some videos in this wonderful review, in italian).
On the contrary, I've been really disappointed by the lack of paper documentation in the package nor a cd with drivers. Just a small leaflet without real useful informations.
Assembly isn't difficult, but when you are exicted like a baby unwrapping his gift on the xmas night, you would love to have something that helps you out with clear steps to follow.
I've done 3 mistakes:
1. I didn't know that was better to connect the pedals via USB and not directly on the wheel (better resolution with usb)
2. I didn't know that I had to fill the brake chamber with the fluid. I thought it was prefilled
3. I didn't know that you can disassamble completely the table clamp, so it was easier to put the screws on the base.
Nothing major and nothing I couldn't fix later on, finding videos or reviews on youtube, obvioulsy, but I think it's not nice that, for a wheel that costs so much, you have to find your way to assemble it, eventually risking to do mistakes.
The formula rim is really nice. All the buttons and paddles have a really nice sound. You can tell that there is no compromise on quality. It looks and feel extremely professional and it feels great in your hands.
The alcantara on the handle is really nice as well, although I think I'll have to wear some gloves (although I may seem ridiculous with them) otherwise it might wear out. From the other side, it's good to wear gloves also because it's pretty hard, especially in long races with strong force feedback.
There are a lot of buttons, the 2 little joystics are really nice as well. Nice that you can tweak your settings in game, and that you can configure 5 different presets for different games/cars.
The only disappointment is that you don't have a nice program like the Logitech Profiler, in which you can choose what action (also writing text) to assign to every button, and have different profiles for a different games.
Furthermore netKar PRO doesn't support as nicely this wheel as for the Logitech. If you change from a 500 Abarth to a Formula 2000, you need to manually set your wheel from 900 to 400 degree of rotation. Luckily you can use a preset, and you can switch between them in a second, with a button on the wheel. Not a big deal.
A small note: I decided not to buy the other rim, the BMW rim, because it's way to big and heavy, and even the force feeback is weaker. The formula rim is not perfect to use for a GT car, but when you're driving you don't even notice it. It's just a bit tricky in extreme situations, but you will get used to it. Not a big deal.
The Wheel Base gives a very strong force feedback. Really powerful engines. It's beautifully made, and nice that the top is transparent so you can have a look inside.
It is extremely silent, and works at a very low temperature. Even after an intense use, it keeps throwing fresh air from the inside. The force feedback is a bit different from the one of a G25/G27. It took me some time before I could go back to the times I did with the previous wheel. At beginning I was 2-3 seconds off my pace. After some good training I finally got used to it, and I got back to my previous times.
I'm really happy about the overall feeling of this wheel. It's really nice on curbs, and gives a really powerful an well defined effects. It's a pity that in netKar PRO or iRacing, you can't feel all the effects you feel with a G25/G27. The Fanatec wheel is very good with strong effects such as curbs or when you are going off track, but doesn't shine on less stronger effects, like smaller bumps, or when you loose grip. You feel them, but thoose effects are not so well perceived as with a Logitech wheel. I was very disappointed about it on my first laps with the CSW. I've to say that this is a problem just for the first day, when you switch from a wheel to the other. It's pretty evident that Logitech does much better on this, but after a while, getting used to the way the Fanatec implement them, everything seems normal and well balanced.
From the other side, you'll immediately notice how precise is this wheel.
After a long race, I my first though was how immersive the experience have been. I think that they have done a great work on balancing the way the wheel feels in your hands.
To be honest, the first impression wasn't that great. I was happy, but I expected more. It took me few days and some tuning before I could start appreciating it for real. I'm now pretty satisfied about it.
Table clamps: not much to say about it except that are for sure it's build with great quality and it's extremely stable. Full metal, really nicely painted, and very heavy. No doubts that your wheel will not move of an inch.
Club Sport Pedals V2. one word: WOW!!! Guys, I would recommend this to anyone without doubts. Tons of possibility to tweak every single pedal to your liking, really nice feel on the brake, expecially if the game support the rumble when you lock the wheel. Great feeling with the load cell. You can slam on the brake and control it with micro movements. That's really cool.
As soon as you unpack it you will understand that this is really different from a G25/G27 pedal set. Very heavy, all metal, a lot of attention to details. Really nice how you can tune the brake pedal, changing spring preload, and viscosity of the fluid inside the piston. It's a great fun to experiment with it. I think this is nice for the first week. After a while you will keep using always the same setting, but it still really nice to have all those options. Great quality, looks great and professional, great feeling while driving. I can't really find a weak point.
It's a pity that, nk doesn't support this pedal set at it full potential. The rumble of the pedal when locking doesn't work.
I think this is instead implemented nicely in F1 2012 (some times you find something nice where you will never expect!!!). This give me huge confidence on how this wheel/pedals will feel in Assetto Corsa that will be optimized for the Fanatec products as well as Logitech and Thrustmaster's.
Thrustmaster TH8 RS shifter: really nice piece of equipment as well. Solid, stable, really nice feel, really nice how the gear goes into place, nice Gallardo style gear grid (that only was good reason for me to choose this shifter ). Good software to calibrate your shifter. You are even able to determine when your gear is selected, using a short or long stroke. You have 2 grids, one for an H-shifter with 7 gears + Reverse, and one for a sequential shifter. I didn't try the sequential, yet. It's also possible to tweak the resistence of the gear shift. I haven't yet tried that either.
At the beginning it takes some time to get used to it. It's easy to do mistakes at the beginning, but once you start getting us to it, you'll be fully satisfied with it. It has a very realistic feel. Huge difference with the g27 shifter, that although it works fine, it always felt fake and pretty fragile. I think this shifter is a great value for money.
The only cons in my view is that the reverse goes in just like all the other gears. There is nothing that prevent to engage the referse by mistake.
The gear stick is a bit high, so if you mount it on your table, just as I did, it's a little bit too high, but you'll get use to it easily.
So to sum up, I'm pretty happy about my new equipment. Every morning when I wake up, and I look at them I feel satisfied. It's beautiful to look at, looks professinal, feels great and for sure boost the immersion while driving. I've been thinking a lot if it was worth spending so much money for this, but now I'm sure I've done the right thing. It makes me happy, and I think it's the right equipment for my hobbie.
I still think that the G25/G27 still offer the best value for money. Fanatec Club Sport is 5 times more expensive and for sure it's not 5 time better. What Fanatec is offering is a completely different product, pushing the bar a lot higher on the quality level. At the end it's just up to you to decide what it's important for you. You just have to set your expectation right. What you'll find in a Fanatec wheel, at least from what you can feel at the wheel, it's not a completely different planet from the G27. It's better for sure, but not something that will blow you away as soon as you try it. The more you use it, the more it will be clear for you that it's not only about how the wheel reacts to any single bump, but the overall feeling, including the emotional one. This wheel ticks all the boxes for me on those last two items, and I'm sure that with a proper sim with full support of Fanatec products, it will be even better.
Last edited by Andrea Lojelo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:39 pm; edited 2 times in total