soft mat preservation

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jonjetjon
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soft mat preservation

Post by jonjetjon » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:04 pm

alright, last week i purchased two of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IB ... e=&seller=
i want to ask a few things, first of all, was this purchase the one i should have made? second, what can i do to make these pads last longer after buying them, and to keep them in good condition, 75 dollars isn't too bad, but it's a lot of money to waste in a few weeks.

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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by JzN » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:40 am

I wouldn't say i'm an expert but i did own the soft mats (1st generation ones back in 2000). try to use them on hard surfaces and stick them down. Using them on carpet, i found you slip more and you tend to split the layers of the mat. I also found, when you fold the mat, it does affect the play area.

I've seen people bind them to hard surfaces http://www.ddrfreak.com/library/faqs-modding.php which ensures the play area is even and can use it on carpet, which is simple enough.

If you were looking for someting with an arcade feel though, you'd have to mod them, see this site for many variations http://zenius-i-vanisher.com/v5.2/viewt ... 350&page=1.

Again, in my experience, the soft pads, all the ones i had owned, the buttons all got stuck or non responsive. They tend to not last too long at semi frequent use, but that's only my experience.

There are metal versions too which i believe may be a whole lot more durable and going for $180US on amazon.

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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by Merk » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:31 am

If you're playing at home to get good scores then there's no soft pad on the market that will not cause a miss or two. If you bought the pads to just play the game for the sake of playing it / exercise then yeah, $75 is a good price introductory price and you'll probably save money in the long run from the arcade trips you won't have to take to play DDR.

Like JzN said, the best practice to extend the life of your soft pad and to make it more reliable is to mount the soft pad onto a hard surface. The most common method is to get a wooden board that's about the size of your soft pad, staple the four corners to the board (make sure it is as taut as you can get it), and then wrap the entire thing in hardwood floor covering.

Your soft pad is going to die or you're going to get so frustrated by pad misses that you won't want to play anymore. The best home pad ever was the Cobalt Flux pad but they do not make them anymore - if you have money to spend and can find one on eBay then go for it because you won't find anything better.
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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:44 am

I did what JzN had suggested, but I know people that regularly use those pads with foam inserts. They're definitely good enough to play for fun, but pad misses are inevitable. If you can get any kind of extended warrantee, I strongly advise it. I purchased something from EB, bought an extended warrantee that would cover replacement for any damage, and burned through at least 6 pads before the warrantee expired.

I had a Cobalt Flux pad, and that thing was $300 well spent. It took on helluva beating. I don't know what metal pads are good these days, but if you can find one with really good reviews, I'd say go for it. There were some old threads talking about the Blue Shark, but I don't know if that's still a thing.

Basically play it, enjoy it, and if you like the game enough, invest in some real hardware. It might seem crazy expensive, but so is a decent instrument, a great pair of running shoes, sports gear, ect.
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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by DAVE101 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:52 am

JzN wrote:I wouldn't say i'm an expert but i did own the soft mats (1st generation ones back in 2000). try to use them on hard surfaces and stick them down. Using them on carpet, i found you slip more and you tend to split the layers of the mat. I also found, when you fold the mat, it does affect the play area.

I've seen people bind them to hard surfaces http://www.ddrfreak.com/library/faqs-modding.php which ensures the play area is even and can use it on carpet, which is simple enough.

If you were looking for someting with an arcade feel though, you'd have to mod them, see this site for many variations http://zenius-i-vanisher.com/v5.2/viewt ... 350&page=1.

Again, in my experience, the soft pads, all the ones i had owned, the buttons all got stuck or non responsive. They tend to not last too long at semi frequent use, but that's only my experience.

There are metal versions too which i believe may be a whole lot more durable and going for $180US on amazon.
Merk wrote:If you're playing at home to get good scores then there's no soft pad on the market that will not cause a miss or two. If you bought the pads to just play the game for the sake of playing it / exercise then yeah, $75 is a good price introductory price and you'll probably save money in the long run from the arcade trips you won't have to take to play DDR.

Like JzN said, the best practice to extend the life of your soft pad and to make it more reliable is to mount the soft pad onto a hard surface. The most common method is to get a wooden board that's about the size of your soft pad, staple the four corners to the board (make sure it is as taut as you can get it), and then wrap the entire thing in hardwood floor covering.

Your soft pad is going to die or you're going to get so frustrated by pad misses that you won't want to play anymore. The best home pad ever was the Cobalt Flux pad but they do not make them anymore - if you have money to spend and can find one on eBay then go for it because you won't find anything better.
Wow neither of you took the time to check the link to see the pads he bought. They are thick foam pads, how is he supposed to "staple it to a board" or do a similar mod? Just such worthless posts making you equally worthless people. You should feel really, really bad. You could probably learn a thing or two from Fluffy, someone who actually puts thought into his posts.

Edit: removed some hurtful material.
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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by Riot » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:45 am

I don't really think any soft pad unless really anchored down somehow is going to last or at least give you results you'd want past standard mode. I had a soft pad (mind you, this was back in 2002 so it was probably a LOT worse) that I tried the whole wooden board and schload of tape and bolts, but it was stomped to death pretty promptly. The thicker foam pads like you bought are probably a lot better, but the main problem will be them shifting and moving around on the ground underneath you as you play anything above standard like I said.

I eventually got a crappy metal pad that I regretted since the wiring got smooshed pretty quickly. Cobalt Fluxes were good but I doubt you can get one anymore. I've seen some decent looking metal pads on eBay, but again, I haven't followed the home market since 2003. I was pretty underwhelmed at all home products and just found the arcade a much much better experience, even if it costs a little more.

I guess that's why half the people that post on this board own their own machine now... I didn't want to mess with any substitutes or shoddy products. So yeah, what's your skill level? If you're just starting out or a casual player, those pads will do you good, but IMO as you grow as a player don't spend money on soft pads anymore. It seems most metal pads sold on the internet are relatively garbage too.

Here's a link if you're thinking about modding or building your own, which is what I'd recommend if going to the arcade is just impossible:

http://zenius-i-vanisher.com/v5.2/viewt ... 350&page=1

edit: oh whoops jzn already linked this, but uh... yeah!
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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by Merk » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:53 pm

Wow neither of you took the time to check the link to see the pads he bought. They are thick foam pads, how is he supposed to "staple it to a board" or do a similar mod? Just such worthless posts making you equally worthless people. You should feel really, really bad. You could probably learn a thing or two from Fluffy, someone who actually puts thought into his posts.

Edit: removed some hurtful material.
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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by JzN » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:00 pm

Wow neither of you took the time to check the link to see the pads he bought. They are thick foam pads, how is he supposed to "staple it to a board" or do a similar mod? Just such worthless posts making you equally worthless people. You should feel really, really bad. You could probably learn a thing or two from Fluffy, someone who actually puts thought into his posts.
I don't know if that was sarcasm or not? Are you saying that those pads can't be stuck down (they're just inserts which you can probably just take out anyway)? My original pads came with some strong double adhesive stickers (not sure if this was something that the retail place gave or if the manufacturer supplied) to stick onto hard surfaces. Foam insert or not, you'd be able to use this (or duct tape).

How was it worthless to mention you can mod your soft pads? Actually funnily enough, i was looking to mod the pads myself, as they looked like a fun project until i found a cab going for $600 (which i fixed up with the help of this community) and i never looked back!

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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:20 pm

$600?! That's like $540 US. I feel like I got ripped off paying $1100.
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Re: soft mat preservation

Post by MonMotha » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:46 am

Yeah, they're pretty much not even worth their scrap value at this point. Kinda sad.
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