CSL-DD Reviews and their impact second hand wheel prices

Hardware News Opinion Pieces Simracing Hardware

– an unofficial Wolf’s Guide to being a Frugalitarian Part 3

So I was recently looking for a friend at T300s, and looking for a good price, to replace his G27, that has developed some issues in regards to calibration.
I think that’s related to the infamous optical encoder disc cracking, a rather easy, but time consuming and convoluted fix.And since he was on medical leave due to being burnt out recently, I can understand why he’s not wanting to faff around with it.

Interestingly I was watching Ermin Hamidovic’s review on the CSL DD today,  and it just clicked as to why. The new reviews for the CSL DD have come out, and while it’s release is still a few months away, the first CSL Dds will be available on November the 23rd, 2021, it seems to already have an impact on second hand hardware sales.

And he is not the only one that has dropped a Review, fellow Australians of Boosted Media have done so as well.

The CSL-DD in short

Now, if you don’t know what the CSL-DD is it’s Fanatec’s new “Entry” Direct Drive wheel, retailing in the 5 Newton Meter variant for 349,99 €. That is a very low price for a direct Drive wheelbase, basically what we Germans call a “Kampfpreis” or a “combat price/challenge price”, a price that is a direct challenge to all other manufacturers. Especially given that almost all Direct Drive Wheelbases cost at least double the amount of the CSL-DD.

And yes, I do say Wheelbase for a reason, as that is just the Wheelbase, the Force feedback Motor and mounting unit for the wheel rim, the actual steering wheel itself.
To actually use it you either need to already have a compatible wheel rim and, at least, Pedals, or buy them additionally, and while the Fanatec Rims are awesome in regards to functionality, they are rather pricey. Especially if you look at the licensed ones with a lot of funtionality.
So “Entry” for Fanatec, or rather it’s Ecosystem, is still quite expensive.

Interestingly the new “midrange” wheel is even better than the DD1 High-End Direct Drive Wheelbase, at least according to Hamidovic, who claims to prefer it over his DD1.
Isn’t it funny, that what is considered midrange now, something starting in the price class of a T500 or TS-PC racer, used to be considered high-end a few years ago.

It’s interesting to see the effect those reviews have already, though I think the effect of it will only be fully felt once it release in November. If it’s as good as it’s touted, there might be more than a few simmers willing to sell their old gear.

The Thrustmaster side

So far I have seen, on Ebay Kleinanzeigen (Ebay Classifieds in Germany), a T300 base for around 70 Euros, a 599XX Wheel (yep, the Alcantara one) for 70-12 Euros or a set of both 175Euors.
Furthermore, a set of T3PA-Pro Pedals can be had for around 100 Euros, even if it has Loadcell mod! There were about about 8-10 Listings for T3PA-Pros, both modded and unmodded.
This means you could get a rather decent wheel with decent to good pedals for under 300 Euros. In fact you are competing rather closely with the Logitech G923 Wheel and Pedal set, while having additional features like swappable wheel rims.
Add to that an SHH Shifter, a great piece of budget Hardware whose performance punches way about it’s sticker price and you’re good to go for around 400 Euros.Which is about the same price as a new T300 with the 599XX Wheel and the standard plastic T3PA Pedals, but no shifter.

Incidentally the production period for an SHH Shifter  is a shade under a month right now. If ordered today the 9th, it would be done on the 7th, with shipping after that, so best time to grab one is now.

I got mine recently, and I must say it’s awesome, especially for the price, perfect shift throw and I only had two misshifts in the first lap with a 6 speed manual car. 5th and 6th were a bit tricky, but after that it was fine. Totally unlike the Logitech G-Shifter, you are totally confident that it’s in the right gear. First car I drove in Pcars 2 was the 330 P4, and I was perfectly comfortable heel and toeing that, unlike with the Logitech G-Shifter where I was happy to have the autoclutch. Same goes for the Miura I drove later, just perfect.

Also twist push down, twist 90 degrees, boom you’re in sequential mode, flip a switch for extra buttons for the Sequential shifter.You can do this in 5-10 seconds if you don’t change the top plate, 40-50 if you do.
Pre-load is adjustable, so you can dial in the shifting to feel as heavy as you want.
Admittedly it is 3D printed housing, but other than that it blows the TH8A out of the water.

A review will follow, after I’ve had some time to use it for a few months.

The Fanatec Side

Back on Topic, even the Fanatec Hardware is dropping dramatically, I’ve seen CSL Elite Pedals (2-Pedal) sets for as low as 60 euros.

CSL Elite F1 sets (so CSL Elite base, F1 wheel, 2 Pedal set) for 800-1000 Euros. The higher priced ones included some seats like the Playseat Challenge. Now the question is if that seat is really worth it, but the other hardware in the set might make it worth to take it along.

CSL wheelbase+Rim for about 490…
Fanatec Clubsport F1 Wheels for around 200-250.
Someone is even selling a full rig with the CSW 2.5, F1 Esports wheel, the Clubsport V3 Pedals with Performance kit for 1.100 Euros.
And a Fanatec/Thrustmaster combo, CSW V2, Formula Carbon and TC-LM Pedals for 580 Euros.
A CSW 2.5 Wheelbase for around 530 Euros.

I’m not too firm on the the Fanatec pricing system, but preliminary checks on the prices of the Fanatec Hardware make some of them rather good. Still usually there is no harm in Haggling.
There is something like 10-20 pages of listed Fanatec Stuff, not just wheels and pedals, but also shifters, wheelrims and other Fanatec Paraphernalia.

As I predicted earlier in the year, both in the circle of my friends and in the Comments section of various youtubers, it seems like the CSL DD is having a rather nice effect on the second hand hardware market, at least as far as the buyers are concerned.

So if you want to buy simracing hardware cheaply, keep your ear to the ground about new Hardware releases, even if they are from brands other than the one you want, or slightly outside your budget range, it might just lead to prices sliding into it.

P.S. I also feel the need to warn you about a lot of current main E-Bay prices for Sim-racing hardware, especially the Thrustmaster TC-LM Loadcell Pedals, some of the new offerings on Ebay are currently about 20-40 Euros more expensive than even Amazon listings, which is normally among the highest priced ones.
Same goes for SSDs, some of the recent Ebay prices are cheeky to say the least. In one case the same SSD cost about 50 Euros more than on the site of a renowned PC parts store.

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