Here are some of the reviews that we have recieved that were posted publicly. There are some e-mail comments and I'm sure comments I haven't come across yet but we are really happy with the responses from everyone, thanks so much for supporting Precision Dance Pads!!
Sonia (Omega GX) (April 13, 2013) - I ordered this through their website, before they got this on amazon so at first I was skeptical. I was scared it was just another rip off like ddr a game or something. But, after talking with the owners through email and recieving excellent customer service my nerves calmed down. Recieving the pad and finally being able to see it, it really shocked me. Its incredibly thin, lightweight, but the real shocker was that its hand made, so you definately see it on the pad. But, does it work?
Initially testing it, even though you can't see it there is some sort of divider in between panels when you press down. This is a big deal as many people buying this h ave been playing on recessed panels and this is an easy transition. The surface is quite slippery for my taste but a good pair of sneakers quickly fixes that problem. The pad is extremely responsive with little pressure needed to activate the panels. You can play with and without shoes or socks. I really like the quality of this mat. I do believe its a little pricey but keep in mind that the quality of the mat and the length of time you will be playing plays a role on whether you think it's worth it. This is good for beginner players too. The mat is way better than a soft mat, its on par with the ones at the arcade.
Christin (Omega GX) (July 8, 2013) - "I'm an enthusiast first, businessman second."
That is a recurring theme in my conversations with the designer and builder of these dance pads. I think it is appropriate. It is very obvious that the driving force behind this product is a desire to build something that will work, last and be a pleasure to use.
- Bit of background about me and my purchase:
We are a couple who, after not playing DDR for years, decided to get back into the game. We were wanting to find some sort of metal dance pad, or something high-end that would withstand extended play. We are not "pros", but care very much about the quality of anything that we purchase. I first heard about these on a forum for a popular dance simulation program. The reviews were great, and the builder was very good about responding to all of the threads/topics on the forum.
I read on their site that there was a discount for local pickup, and I was thinking something like this would be based out of California. Lo and behold, they were in my state (TN)! This led me to ask about arranging a pickup. The owners of the business were excellent about responding to my emails and giving me really clear answers, which was really appreciated. There were no weak answers from them whatsoever.
After making the 3 hour drive from Nashville, we arrived at their home and workshop. These are made out of their home and each pad is tested thoroughly. Again, they care about their product. After some time with the pads, we were sold.
Again, I want to reiterate that I am not a pro, so you may want to check some other reviews if you're a 15 footer kind of person!
As far as how I am using this : Running Windows 7, 64bit, using StepMania 5.0.
- Looks :
It's obvious that this is a homemade pad, and it is very thin. It is a layer of Lexan (clear material used in aircraft windows, ice hockey visors) over the design, sensors, on top of some thin piece of flexible wood). In my short time with the pad, I've found that this is fantastic for storage. With my old bulky metal pad that I used to have, it was difficult to store, and LOUD. The thinness may be off-putting to someone who thinks "I spent $300 on this, I want it to weigh 300 lbs.". This was not my primary concern. I wanted something that will last and is going to be supported by the manufacturer. Going back to my original comment, the builder made a product that will last because that is what he wanted.
- How it feels :
Awesome. I have been playing with socks because it just is easier to go where I want to go, and it's quieter. There are dividers between each sensor, so it's very easy to feel where you are. You can play with shoes as well, but I find that the pad is more stable with socks. As far as slippage on the floor, this is not really a concern if you use the mat that comes with the pad. I feel like there may be a better solution, as the non-slip mat doesn't really cover the bottom of the pad completely, but so far it has worked fine.
- How it plays :
It is obvious where each sensor is, and I have had maybe one time when I first started playing where it didn't register something - I chalk that up to the fact that I hadn't played in literally 4 years at least. After about 20 minutes, I was hitting every step with ease. Very low learning curve, since the sizing matches the arcade! I played about 5 hours combined over the weekend, including double-play. The pads are designed with enough spacing in between each pad for double-play, so it's very easy to go back and forth if you're used to the arcade. I had an easier time doing double-play with these pads than with the arcade, by the way.
The light toe taps/heel taps are more accurate and easier to register. The best comparison I can make is this : Think of using an old Palm/Windows phone/GPS with a resistive touchscreen (pressure sensitive). Then compare that to a capacitive (skin contact touchscreen) such as any modern phone. The difference is night and day, and the pads register with only a pound of pressure (maybe less). I have no idea what he uses for sensors, as it is definitely not capacitive... but that's what it feels like, it's just that good!
As a side note, I've read this does not work with carpet. So build a stand or play on a hard surface.
If you like tightening screws, re-adjusting metal siding, plugging a cord in and out to try to get the pad to register, installing drivers, and just generally fiddling with a dance pad trying to get it to work... then get another pad.
One of the points of pride for Precision Dance Pads is their maintenance-free design. From what I've understood, the pad itself is designed to never fail. In my time perusing the internet for reviews, I have yet to see any report of the pad failing. The primary concern with something "not working" is due to the controller (the part that connects the pad to the USB/PS2 port). The controller is something easily replaceable, and so far I have had no issues, but it is the one thing that I have seen mentioned maybe once or twice online. The builder has informed me that they are working on a more dependable solution for USB, so I'm sure that will no longer be an issue in the near future.
Overall, a very great product made in the U.S. by a small business, with small business level support (AKA, they actually care about their product). I am very impressed by the accuracy of the pad. Aesthetics are definitely a work in progress, but if you want something that works well made by an enthusiast, there is no option. Do not order a foreign made metal pad that will break in 2 months and require constant maintenance.
When it comes down to it, I'd recommend this product. The true test will be how it holds up to time and frequent use (because I will be using this every day!).
Cereal Killer (Omega GX) (April 30, 2013) - Let me start by saying that before I committed to buying this pad just like all of you, I had my worries. I haven't exactly had solid experiences playing on home dance pads in the past (with the cobalt flux being one of the few exceptions), so when I found out recently that someone was making their own high quality home dance pads for sale, I was intrigued. So I guess the real question is, are these pads as great as everyone claims? Is this worth the high price tag? The short answers are yes and yes. Let me break down some of the pros and cons of this thing.
- Awesome customer service! These people were very polite and quick to answer my questions (and believe me, I had a TON of questions), both via email and through their official facebook page.
- Very easy to store, even after I made the simple plywood base mod for it.
- Feels solid, despite how flexible it is.
- The arrows are very responsive. They respond to only a little pressure. I also have yet to find any dead spots on any of the arrows.
- Despite the fact that the pad is flat, you can still feel where the arrows are. Guessing this has to do borders inside of the pad or something.
- Supports PS2 and PC. The detachable control boxes are very nice!
- The new black design looks great. Simple yet fun looking.
- Great community. Despite the fact that this dance pad is fairly new, it already has a decent sized community that supports it. There are some great base/bar mods out there already.
- So far, the only downside to this pad is it does not play well on medium/thick carpet. This is easily fixed by securing the pad to some plywood. Thicker chair mats will also work great. Or of course, you can play on solid or hardwood floor.
If you're looking for a great, functional dance pad with all of the advantages and almost none of the disadvantages of a metal pad, look no further. This pad is sleek, stylish, very responsive, and easy to store. And while it's true you may have to fork over a bit more money for a quality dance pad than you had originally planned, I can say with confidence that this pad is worth every penny.
Doug (Omega GX) (April 27, 2013) - This will serve as a truthful, critical, and in-depth review of the Omega GX
First and foremost I feel the most important aspect of any business model is to adequately and effectively communicate with customers in a way that both makes them feel valued as well as sought after, PrayerWarrior (who i will now refer to as PW) is a professional and passionate individual. He was willing to answer my many questions and discuss ad nauseum his design implementations, materials used and other various characteristics of the Omega GX (now refereed to as the GX). His promptness in messages (the majority of which were via Facebook, which may or may not be his preferred method of communication) was very impressive as were is obvious dedication and enthusiasm regarding his product. First and foremost PR is a consumer of his product. He owns and plays every day on the ORIGINAL GX.
PAD BUILD QUALITY:
This is certainly the most impressive aspect of the pad. The pad is constructed from a 35X35 inch piece of 1/8 inch thick hardboard attached to a sheet of lexan. This material is optimal for a dance surface as it is highly impact resistant, flexible, and extremely durable with respects to abrasions and wear. A full surface image is under the lexan where the sensors rest sandwiched between the two main surfaces. The border of each pad is attached internally without screws and the pad is completely sealed from moisture and foreign debris entering the pad.
I honestly can not think of a way in which this pad would become damaged unless the user intentionally attempted to damage the pad in some way with either a sharp object or by putting the pad on its side and bending the pad until it snapped. The pad certainly has a homemade quality to it, but i am confident that it will stand up to the rigors of normal play and would experience no degradation from normal wear.
I am slowly AAing every song 9foot and below on ITG and working on my perfect attack (two aspects of my game that have increased since receiving this pad)
I could simply end the review at this point and it would be entirely accurate, but this would not due the product justice. Some people are use to a raise or even recessed pad design and this pad is neither. The pad surface is entirely flat, but as opposed to a COBALT FLUX pad you can tell at ALL times where you are stepping due to the way the lexan is attached to the hardboard. Due to the full sized 11 inch sensors there are ZERO dead areas on the pad and only about 3.5 lbs of pressure are needed to activate the sensor. Passages where multiple steps occur in a row should pose no difficultly and the player should only be limited by his or her own skill level the learning curve was almost nonexistent. I initially thought it would take a week to adjust, but within about 30 minutes i was passing songs i had not passed before, and scoring new personal bests. I struggled at first because using a soft pad i noticed that instead of a consistent pad surface there are places of extreme sensitivity and insensitivity. I felt as if it took a bit more to activate the sensors, but i later realized that this was only because i was not now playing with shoes and i was relying on the weight of the shoe rather than my own body weight and pressure to activate the sensors.
Also, if anyone has any questions that are not covered in this review, or if you reside in the Hampton Roads, VA area and would like to demo this pad i would be more than willing to allow you to try it out.
(Doug also posted additional reviews on StepMania.com, Facebook, and other websites. He ordered a second Omega GX pad and is clearly a very passionate owner).
Devin (Omega GX) (April 11, 2013) - I've had a pair of these pads for a couple of weeks now. It took me a little while to get used to these, but I like them now. Coming from a raised arrow soft pad, I thought I'd miss the raised arrow feel, but I actually like the flat, and kinda slick (but not slippery) surface. It lets your feet slide easier/faster to other arrows, and there's something (not sure what it is actually) that divides each panel/button so you can feel that when you're standing on the mat, which helps you know where you are.
They seem to be quite responsive. I have gotten a lot of 500 combos and things lately where those used to be pretty rare with my other pad. I was surprised how thin they are. They're light and easy to move around, and they're pretty quiet, which I like a lot. They do have a certain homemade-ness to them, like the decals aren't aligned perfectly and they are closed off around the edges with a lot of tape, but they seem to work well, and that's the important thing, right? The big question I have is whether or not they will hold up well, and I guess only time will tell. Ultimately, if you plan to play DDR a lot and want something that is going to give you good scores (and hopefully last a long time), I think these are one of the better options out there if you're okay with the price tag.
For what it's worth, I played DDR a little bit on the PS2 years ago. I discovered Stepmania a year or two ago and played that a little bit as well. I'm by no means an amazing player. So far, I'm playing mostly 6 or 7 foot songs, although I am getting better as I play more. Right around 5-6 foot songs, the soft pads start to not be very helpful. They slide around, and the one I had was starting to have ghost arrows and it didn't always register. I haven't had any of those problems with this pad.
Chodthewacko (Omega GX) (April 10, 2013) - This pad is indeed pretty good.
My DDR skills took a big dive, and I find single pad songs pretty boring (especially since this pad doesn't support 6 arrow songs), so I ordered another pad.
It's a piece of hardboard, with a thin layer of sensors on top of it, and a short ethernet cable sticking out the top.
I was shocked how thin it is. My DX-Extreme pad, in comparison, was about 1.25" thick, and the plastic top part(control box) even thicker, maybe 2 inches thick.
This pad is half an inch thick across the board. I plan to just tuck them behind one of my doors.
When I first felt/pushed on the pads, with my hands, (testing the sensitivity), the top felt completely flat.
But you can feel the square 'boundaries' if you apply more weight (i.e. actually playing it).
The whole thing feels very solid/hard, and I feel like I shouldn't even call it a 'pad'.
Hardboard isn't metal though, so there is a small degree of flex.
At 9 pounds, it's considerably heavier than my DX-extreme, but much lighter than metal pads. Moving it around is no big deal.
Initial tests are it's very sensitive. I was tapping on the pads with my index fingers, track and field style, and it responded with no problems.
Now the killer - the price. I'm not going to lie - $300 is a LOT to pay for a pad. $500/2 is still a lot.
The real question is - is it worth it?
I think the simple answer is - If you play DDR at a high enough level (frequency/difficulty) that you were planning on spending $300 on a decent metal pad (because other pads are just going to break or drop too many notes), then you should definitely consider this instead. It's thinner and lighter.
Those of you who really don't want to spend that much money on a pad (and to be honest, I was/am one of them)........
Cunning Linguist (Omega GX) (April 27, 2013) - A brief breakdown:
Light and easy to setup / use
The best pad I've used to date (either in an arcade or a home pad)
Cannot be used on normal carpeting
Website support is lacking
First of all, I can say that this is easily the best DDR / dancing game pad I've ever used. Most pad's at arcade's or public venues suffer from some issue (due to wear & tear most likely), but the most common issue I've seen would be a delay in registering repeated steps. If you need to do two or more 8th note steps in a row (Abyss for instances), then a normal arcade pad will fail to register each press. With this pad, it registers repeated steps Very well; With little or no perceptible delay.
It's very sensitive. I like to tap my steps (with my toes) rather than stomp them (with my heels). I tap by placing my heel on the button and using my feel as a pivot, raise and lower the end of my foot on to the button so that my toes make contact with the button, while my heel never raises from the button. Do this on an arcade pad and it will fail a small amount of the time. On this pad, it works all of the time. I can simply brush the sensors with my foot and they will register very accurately.
Durability. This is my intuition, I will come back and post about its performance with constant use over the next several months. The pad appears to have little or no moving parts, which contributes to longevity. It's very smooth, which means that sharp edges that would absorb shocks of the players use of the pad, are non existent. The top of the pad is made of Lexan, which is renowned for its durability (air craft canopies, sports equipment, etc). And it uses category 5 Ethernet cable for its wiring. Not only is the wiring itself shielded and durable, the internal wires (8 smaller wires are contained inside of a normal cat 5 cable) are twisted together to prevent leakage of signal and themselves may be individually sheathed in some sort of coating. Overkill for the simple signal the pad needs to send, but quite durable.
Some are concerned about the flatness and lightness of the pad. As previous reviews have shown there are slight ridges built into the pad. They feel rounded and smooth, but define the buttons very accurately. Even tapping on the edges of the buttons with most of my foot on the ridge, it still registers normally.
I'm neutral on the lightness of the pad. With the "grips" they include, the pad sliding across the floor on more complex songs is minimized. Without the grip on a very smooth service (I use it on a faux marble floor), there is some small movement on complex songs.
This is vast improvement over my previous soft pad. I can again play heavy / hard difficulty songs. Results are similar or better than they would be on an arcade machine. I have tested heavy / hard difficulty songs up to and including 8 feet (Maximum difficulty being 10 feet). Once I get back into shape for 9 or higher feet songs I'll revise my post. It performed normally on Max 300, for those that are familiar with the song.
The pad is flexible enough to bend into a dimple shape when placed on a surface with give (such as all but the thinnest of carpets). On a hard surface it behaves as above.
As it stands the pad must be used on a flat surface. Since I wasn't prepared for this, I have an ad hoc solution of using it on the only hard surface in my living room, which is less than ideal. I can go forward with constructing a simple stand, but I was not prepared to have to make room for and construct a stand in my living room for use with the pad.
Facebook / PrecisionDancePads Comments
Jessica (Omega GX) (June 13, 2013) - I gave him the pads early (Father's Day Present). He was having such a bad day at work and I knew it would cheer him up...he loves them!!!
David (Omega GX) (June 12, 2013) - Awesome awesome awesome customer service! Very solid pad indeed. I see it lasting quite awhile. Nice work. I may perhaps tries socks and no shoes to. Yeah in the arcade I had to stomp so you could be right, the sensitivity may take getting used to. I was thinking of selling it (Cobalt Flux) and at some point getting another Omega GX I can play doubles on heavy on like 7-8 feet.
Allie Curry (Omega GX) (June 1, 2013) - Just wanted to say I LOVE my GX. You guys are the best with customer service. I'm an intermediate player and just play for fun and exercise, but I'm still so happy I bought this thing. I used to give up after 10ish songs because my old soft pad would just drop steps like crazy and it was too frustrating to get a good workout in. Now, if I miss a step it's because I've been playing for hours and I'm dead exhausted! Thank you!
Matty Motions (Omega PX) - He posts videos of his pad setup, I think the videos speak for themselves.