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  1. #1
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    Product quality regarding gaming peripherals and merchandise (mice especially)

    I recently made a topic where I wanted to discuss further two set mice that had been recently announced/released. The response wasn't very overwhelming and the recently released Tt eSports Level 10 M seems to be a fairly lack-luster product. Along with recent threads discussing gaming mice in general it got me thinking about product quality when it comes to the major gaming peripheral brands (and just brands in general) and how poor some products really are (or rather, how low standards the general population seem to have). It's not that there is an overwhelming amount of bad products, it's just that there's an overwhelming amount of mediocre products.

    Allow yourself to be a bit elitist when reading the following because I'm trying to pinpoint some "not so obvious" flaws and ask the question what a really good gaming mouse should be in terms of overall features and quality.



    I'll start by listing my bar minimum requirements when it comes to a gaming mouse. These are things essentially every single product should have to be regarded as good, period. None of the functionality below should be "premium" - it's stuff that every single gaming mouse should have.

    Ergonomic design:
    An ergonomic design where grip and feel is prioritized over looks. A mouse can look as excellent and spectacular as it wants on display, but if it doesn't feel great in the users hand after a set amount of gaming hours it gets the boot no matter how great it looks. Function really should be prioritized - there's no excuse for it. I won't go into detail discussing certain models here, but generally any uneven surfaces, miss-match of parts that create cracks or an unergonomic design means the manufacturer prioritized looks over function. This is, no matter how you put it, true for a lot of gaming mice that are on the market today.

    Of course, the above hugely is impacted by user preference. While some might find the obscure design of the R.A.T. mice from formerly known Saitek, now Cyborg Gaming, comfortable by themselves it doesn't eliminate the fact that these mice aren't designed entirely with user comfort in mind; some compromises have been made to make these mice look the part. I'm also thoroughly convinced that those who own and find the R.A.T. mice comfortable (here only used as an example) would find mice with better ergonomics more comfortable after prolonged use. I used a MX518 (now G400) for a good 7 years and found it to be extremely comfortable, but upon changing to a better ergonomically shaped mouse I realized that the left-hand side of the mouse wasn't optimally designed for my ring-finger and pinky (at least not for my grip).

    Overall component quality:
    Good components, which is not necessarily limited to a good sensor (and good software/firmware that controls that sensor) and the switches used. Everything from the cord, to the surface, to the materials of the buttons, to the teflon patches underneath the mouse, to the components inside the mouse - it all matters and is all of great importance. The components inside are just as important as the components you interact with. Having inconsistent buttons, even slightly, should be a reason alone to call a mouse mediocre.

    Sensor quality:
    I'll make this a separate point because it is so utterly important; the sensor. Since this is essentially the source to the users input it is by far the most important piece of hardware in a mouse, especially for first-person shooters (and perhaps less for MMO-gamers). And don't focus on the wrong thing here; high DPI is useless for 99.9% of gamers. 3600 DPI has proven to be the maximum of what most gamers use. What is more important is the polling rate (Hz), the absence of jitter, the ability to set or turn off acceleration and calculation and to have a linear performance of the sensor at any given DPI interval.



    With the above each manufacturer can start to add premium features to their mouse, like macro functionality, more buttons or a weight system - but that's not what I want to discuss. What I want to point out is that if the above criteria isn't met it doesn't matter how fully featured a mouse is with extra features because it will still essentially only reach "mediocre" status.

    I find myself looking for mice that meets the above criteria but it is actually really hard. Some mice come extremely close, but fails due to jitter issues or sensor issues at certain DPI settings (or other, seemingly minor, flaws).



    Currently, I list 6 mice as recommended in the peripherals section of my sample builds. Let's look a bit further into those - mice I have researched for more than a couple of hours and that come close to or actually meet the above criteria. Note that the below mice are by many considered to be the top segment of mice to date, of course with some personal opinion playing part.

    Logitech G400:
    Reported to be completely jitter free since a change earlier this year (April?) and arrive with a 1000Hz polling rate out of the box. Sensor is reliable and performs as it should with prediction turned off (again, with later models). No distinct problem at different DPI intervals. Design can be argued to be a bit on the less-ergonomic side, but fact remains that this mouse sits neatly in most users hands. Large teflon feet make for a great glide across most surfaces. Has also since April(?) started to use off-brand switches but these are reportedly not of less quality than the previously used (now using Himake instead of Omron switches).

    CM Storm Spawn:
    Jitter issues around 800 DPI and 125MHz polling rate. Has slight prediction. It also seem to have inconsistent acceleration when comparing left to right swipes. Simply put, it doesn't meet the criteria.

    Zowie Gear AM:
    Inconsistency between left and right buttons where left often is a lot firmer than right (most likely due to a manufacturing issue where the left and right buttons almost touch). Issues with tracking zone (if the mouse is raised slightly above the surface erratic jitter can occur - also referred to as lift-off issues). Slight acceleration. Otherwise darn close to meet the criteria.

    Corsair Vengeance M60:
    Arguably an ergonomic design flaw (the back of the mouse can feel erratic and doesn't offer great support regardless of palm or claw grip). Has prediction, and can act "twitchy" according to some - regardless of DPI settings. Lift-off issues. Doesn't meet the criteria.

    SteelSeries Sensei:
    Acceleration, although very slight (might have been resolved through firmware updates). Design can be argued to fall in the same category as the G400, but it's made to fit almost any need. Bar the acceleration issue, this mouse meets the criteria.

    Mionix Naos 5000:
    Lift-off issue out of the box, although this can be adjusted and corrected for in the software. Ergonomic shape for palm grip. Uses a good sensor that has reportedly no jitter with the ability (through the software) to set acceleration and polling rate.


    So, out of the six mouse that I have found to be the ones I want to recommend, there's only really one or two that meet the criteria completely. If we count the ones that come close the number rises to four (Logitech G400, Zowie Gear AM, SteelSeries Sensei and the Mionix Naos). I can think of one other mouse that might fall into the category of what I would call "good mice", the Razer DeathAdder 3.5G, but Razer's inconsistency with product quality forces me not to recommend it.


    Essentially, are there other gaming mice out there that actually fall under what should be the minimum standard?

  2. #2
    I'm using a razer Imperator, aside from the initial jitteriness (which required an upgrade), it's perfect. My Razer Naga; however, sometimes 'jumps', and requires being re-plugged in every time I restart my PC. I don't use it anymore
    My friend has the exact same problem, and we bought different Nagas at different times.

  3. #3
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    RAT 7 everyone can tune/shape it for max comfort, good options and very solid performance
    only con i know is the lack of support for sidescrolling being default (but with some own lines of code it works like a charm for certain programs)
    also for keyboards those standard issue dell ones survive anything (had mine for 15 years and still using it as my OC board because my blackwidow does not work for bios tweaking QQ)
    Last edited by shroudster; 2012-11-03 at 09:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Immortal Dezerte's Avatar
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    Qpad 5K?

    http://www.corporate.qpad.se/modules...hp?storyid=230

    Hands down(no pun intended) the most comfortable mouse I've ever used.
    To declare that a personal, inner experience gives certainty about the workings of the universe is to assign far too much value to one’s subjective sense of conviction.
    I’m not that arrogant.

    The brain, marvelous instrument though it is, isn’t infallible. It can misfire, seize or hallucinate, and it can do so in a way that’s utterly indistinguishable from reality to the person experiencing it.

  5. #5
    I have an older Razer mouse I cant remember the model but it hold up to years of use and abuse no problem, the Naga I tried felt flimsy.
    Logitech G11 keyboard is bulletproof but can be a pain to clean.

    Had 2 Razer headsets, one the earphone died on one side, the other snapped in half.

    Have a G35 thats ~6months old, its bulletproof

  6. #6
    At this point in time more and more people want the basics to be perfect before adding in a ton of fancy function, from an MMO standpoint more buttons > precision as your not likely to care about accuracy except few points here and there meaning the naga and g600 etc could get away with being subpar. If you refer to an avid FPS gamer then being 1 myself I hate my g600 in FPS except the gshift key, it seems fairly accurate and I have personally witnessed no glitches in motion or imperfections w/ an 800 DPI sniping mode and a 5000 dpi standard mode. I do feel it is made a bit bulky for most folks tho, so comfort is out the window for a wide variety of people.

  7. #7
    Older Logitech mice were arguably better made (my MX300 still works to this day, although the grippy coating wore off it). About the only one I like (and use) is the G9x.

    I don't like mice that "fit my hand" as I don't like mice that are huge and need to be palmed (hence my long search for a replacement for the MX300). That's a personal decision I know.

    I'll only cover the negatives as it will make this shorter.

    Ergonomics:
    - The forward side button can be a bit hard to hit.
    - The DPI setting buttons can be a bit hard to hit (all the mouse buttons can be rebound in the drivers)
    - Can be a bit heavy (I got used to it, and many modern gaming mice are MUCH heavier...it's a personal choice)
    - Middle mouse button is hard to use because you're actually pushing down both switches for the tilting scroll wheel

    Overall component quality:
    - The different grips can be a little loose fitting.
    - The softer grip has a coating on it (like my old MX300) that will probably eventually wear off.
    - Rougher grip is of a bit different shape and is missing the teflon insert that the softer grip has on the side. The area is smaller, but it seems to drag sometimes (I use a foam backed cloth mousepad)
    - Cord is quite long and a bit stiff. It's one of those cloth wrapped ones that likes to attract dust.

    Sensor quality:
    - No issues.

    IMHO the other thing to bring up is drivers. This mouse stores it's settings in the mouse. Annoying part is that I had an issue with the driver software and had to do a clean reinstall of the drivers. The driver software wants to re-associate with the mouse, but that will put it back to defaults instead of reading the settings off the mouse (not good). It's a well known issue of their software, and they don't seem to want to fix it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Milkshake86 View Post
    from an MMO standpoint more buttons > precision as your not likely to care about accuracy except few points here and there meaning the naga and g600 etc could get away with being subpar
    This. I LOVE my naga for wow playing, but it is light and plasticy and not big enough. Despite this it is the best mouse I have used, simply due to the 14 additional buttons it has. Not only is it fantastic for wow, but other programs as well. Composing documents in word is so much easier when the 14 most common tasks are a thumb click away.

    Yeah, i wish it was heavier and bigger. I wish it had side to side and faster scrolling. I wish it looked better. But all of that pales in comparison the utility of all the thumb buttons.

  9. #9
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    RAT series mice fail after a year or so, most commonly on of the side buttons will fail, i've seen this on 3 separate RATs used by 3 separate owners, purchased 3 separate times, so its not a user, or batch issue, it's a quality and design issue, i don't recommend them anymore

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  10. #10
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    Let me add one more mouse in the mix:

    Logitech G9x

    Ergonomic Design: I would say, that this mouse obviously falls into the category "function over design". It looks kind of ugly and on first glance you can't imagine that this mouse lays good in your hand. But the opposite is true, this is one of the most comfortable mice i have ever held in my hand, and it is adjustable via interchangeable shells for bigger/smaller hands or different grips. Compared to most other mice, the thumb buttons are a little bit farther back, which makes them more reachable for my fingertip grip.

    Build Quality: Very solid. It feels very compact and not as hollow as some other mice. Buttons work very precise and dependable. There are only 2 very minor things, that i want criticize:
    - The coating of the smaller shell is not very scratch-resistant. At the position where i have my pinky finger, the coating has worn off from my finger nail. But it is only a localized problem and doesn't peel off further (the flaw came after only a usage of a few weeks, but has been stable since then)
    - If you keep the right button (mouse button 2) pressed for a longer time and don't keep a constant pressure on, it can rarely happen that the switch "de-registers" (as if you let go of the button). Again, this is only a minor concern and happened to me only a few times during Diablo 3***

    Sensor Quality: In roughly 2.5 years i didn't even once have a sensor failure, at least i can't remember a time, where my sensor acted out of the ordinary. Lift-off is very precise and accuracy is perfect (no prediction or jitter that i could notice.) I actually don't know, at what dpi i use the mouse. I don't have the Logitech Software installed, because the features i use work without. On the mouse i use the middle dpi setting, and in Windows the movement speed is set also in the middle.

    All in all, i would say that this mouse passes on all the essential criteria.


    *** I have an "endless tempest rush" monk with tempest rush bound to right click. So it is a common thing to run around with the button pressed for several minutes.


    P.S.:
    Damn, Poodles beat me to it
    Let's take the chance and address some of his complaints:
    Forward side button hard to hit: I don't have this problem at all. Seems to be a personal hand-shape connected matter.
    DPI buttons hard to hit: I can concur on this. But i don't use them... ever... so for all i care they could be on the bottom of the mouse
    Hard middle mouse button: This one slipped my mind in my list. Yes, initially the middle button (wheel) press is very heavy, and i had to concentrate as not to accidentally scroll with the wheel. But this issue resolved itself after a certain time (it took several months). The wheel press is still fairly heavy, but i don't have any problems now.
    Loose fitting grips/shells: My G9x doesn't have this problem. Might be an issue with his piece.
    Not so durable coating: Confirmed. See my complaint above.
    Stiff cord: While this is true, it is actually a good thing. Because the cord is so stiff, it runs in a zig-zag line over your table, which in turn gives you slack to move your mouse. If it would run in a straight line, you would pull it permanently along the back edge of your desk.

  11. #11
    Think we might need a thread like this specific to other peripherals

  12. #12
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    Razer Imperator: (Mentioned by RH exact)
    The 2012 iteration has an issue with the main power connector coming lose, meaning the mouse will randomly turn itself off. Also, just a quick Google search will return various threads on different forums where a number of issues are outlined (not only sensor related).

    Cyborg R.A.T. 7: (Mentioned by shroudster)
    The freeze/stuck issue is a fairly common problem with the R.A.T. 7. If this issue has been fixed I'm not sure. It's correct that the mouse can be customized, but the crevices created by the design makes for a fairly lack-luster overall grip - especially compared to other mice. The R.A.T. 7 can also suffer from pretty irregular jitter.

    QPad 5K: (Mentioned by Dezerte)
    Same OEM as the Naos 5000 (they originate from the same specification sheet and the same original manufacturer). It uses cheaper plastic (argued to be worse) than the Naos and as such I've decided to recommend the Naos instead. They are however extremely similar due to obvious reasons.

    Logitech G600: (Mentioned by Milkshake86)
    I agree entirely. This is a very good mouse for MMO gaming, but I still feel it - by using the criteria above - falls under "mediocre". It has slight jitter issues due to the "overclock" of the sensor (Avago A9800) and it has acceleration that I don't think can be adjusted or turned off.

    Logitech G9x: (Mentioned by Poodles, Biernot)
    The G9x has a fairly large amount of positive acceleration that I believe is yet to be fixed (as it uses the Avago ADNS-S9500, same as in the G500). Come to think of it, the G9x is probably a better choice than the CM Storm Spawn, although the spawn only has major jitter issues at 800 DPI, 125MHz polling rate.
    Last edited by Marest; 2012-11-04 at 09:19 AM.

  13. #13
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    What about Corsair M90?
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    Razer Imperator: (Mentioned by RH exact)
    The 2012 iteration has an issue with the main power connector coming lose, meaning the mouse will randomly turn itself off. Also, just a quick Google search will return various threads on different forums where a number of issues are outlined (not only sensor related).

    Cyborg R.A.T. 7: (Mentioned by shroudster)
    The freeze/stuck issue is a fairly common problem with the R.A.T. 7. If this issue has been fixed I'm not sure. It's correct that the mouse can be customized, but the crevices created by the design makes for a fairly lack-luster overall grip - especially compared to other mice. The R.A.T. 7 can also suffer from pretty irregular jitter.

    QPad 5K: (Mentioned by Dezerte)
    Same OEM as the Naos 5000 (they originate from the same specification sheet and the same original manufacturer). It uses cheaper plastic (argued to be worse) than the Naos and as such I've decided to recommend the Naos instead. They are however extremely similar due to obvious reasons.

    Logitech G600: (Mentioned by Milkshake86)
    I agree entirely. This is a very good mouse for MMO gaming, but I still feel it - by using the criteria above - falls under "mediocre". It has slight jitter issues due to the "overclock" of the sensor (Avago A9800) and it has acceleration that I don't think can be adjusted or turned off.

    Logitech G9x: (Mentioned by Biernot)
    The G9x has a fairly large amount of positive acceleration that I believe is yet to be fixed (as it uses the Avago ADNS-S9500, same as in the G500). Come to think of it, the G9x is probably a better choice than the CM Storm Spawn, although the spawn only has major jitter issues at 800 DPI, 125MHz polling rate.
    I'd have to 100% agree w/ you on all of that, it seems to me the more pure the mouse the more likely it will do its main job better. @ Notarget the M90 as stated in other threads is great but compared to its competition it is not so much, the m60 would be a mouse that should be more talked about as it does have a pretty decent following and review base like the k60.

  15. #15
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    I think I might have found something in my searches...

    The Ninox Aurora, a high performance gaming mouse currently in development based on the Avago ADNS-3090. This is the same sensor as the CM Storm Spawn uses, but with a different firmware that reportedly fixes the jitter and tracking issues the Storm suffers from. A lot dials down to implementation, and how good the firmware developed is, but on paper the ADNS-3090 is an extremely good sensor.

    BST has actually released a lot of information regarding this mouse. The location of the sensor is in the exact centre of the mouse with standard orientation using a high-grade IR LED. Targeted DPI settings will be 400/800/1600/3200/4000 with a lift-off distance of 2 mm. It will also use Omron D2FC-F-7N(10M) switches for the main buttons (highly regarded as the best switches on the market) and Huano 3M switches for the rest. The scroll wheel will be mechanical (24 steps). It will have RGB lights which you can set in the software to display as you like; custom colours, pulse on/off/speed and brightness

    You can customize polling rate, acceleration, DPI and enable or disable angle snapping and smooth filtering. You can supposedly also change the scale of the X and Y axis and basically calibrate the mouse yourself.

    The things I find that can be regarded as negative about this new rodent is the actual shape and weight. Without the cord it reportedly weighs only 65 gram, and the shape is close to that of the DeathAdder, albeit smaller. Noted is also that this mouse also "only" has the standard buttons; left, middle and right, forward and backward, scroll as well as a "mode cycle" button located under the scroll wheel.



    I guess the only way to achieve a true perfect mouse is to make it yourself.

  16. #16
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milkshake86 View Post
    I'd have to 100% agree w/ you on all of that, it seems to me the more pure the mouse the more likely it will do its main job better. @ Notarget the M90 as stated in other threads is great but compared to its competition it is not so much, the m60 would be a mouse that should be more talked about as it does have a pretty decent following and review base like the k60.
    I'm interested in Marest's view on this (M90, using the criteria mentioned in this thread), I already know yours and honestly I still don't get what this "lack of performance" is you're talking about.
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  17. #17
    I found my G9X had acceleration as well as it's turned on by default in the drivers. I've turned it off and never noticed any acceleration since.

  18. #18
    High Overlord Jacus's Avatar
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    I have been very impressed with Roccat as a company in general but for mice specifically I have been using Kone+ (http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gamin.../ROCCAT-Kone-/) and I like it a lot.

  19. #19
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    I'll give you my point of view regarding the M90, but please take into consideration that my view on this mouse is based on what I've read (reviews, forums, etc) as well as my brief testing of it in-store a while back.

    My biggest quirk, being a palm-grip person myself, is that the Corsair M90 is too small. I'll borrow this picture to show what I mean (note: not my hand). I would assume it works better for claw grip, but as that doesn't translate to me it is irrelevant (for my personal opinion anyway).

    Being an MMO mouse, it does try to solve the issue with the "numpad for your thumb" (or as I henceforth would like to call it; "numbad for your thumb") with the irregular buttons placed at various locations around the resting spot for your thumb. Is this better or worse? I'd say neither, as I don't like the concept from the get-go. A "perfect" mouse should have backward and forward keys in place for your thumb, as well as 1-3 extra buttons for convenience that should be programmable "gaming" keys. Location of these can be discussed. More buttons than that just confuses and causes the mouse to look and feel cluttered. Sure, there is a learning curve here that shouldn't be neglected, but no matter how I flip or turn this I still find it illogical to have 8-12 buttons assigned to your right thumb (i.e. a single finger), where a press can mean that you move your mouse ever so slightly. I do like the idea of having additional modifier keys on my mouse to add another set of 1-6 (or other) keys for use during game-play though.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's an issue with too many buttons. Regardless of how I look at it, I can easily map 20 keys on my left hand, with shift and ctrl modifiers easily accessible for another 40 (total 60). Along with that I have programmable macro keys (which I very often used, as a raid leader and guild master, to carry out common tasks such as marking an entire group of mobs with one press or trigger a set raid-wide warning/message). I probably wouldn't mind having a set of 4 buttons in addition to the ones I have now on my mouse for more "on the fly" abilities (I used mouse buttons for tasks and abilities that weren't necessarily used every minute - e.g. like swapping aspects as a hunter or to trigger Power Word: Shield as a shadow priest).

    Further, the M90 uses the Avago ADNS-9500 (same as the M60) and is unfortunately suffering from the same issues. As I mentioned earlier, minor sensor issues aren't as prominent while playing an MMO as compared to a FPS, but I also outlined what I think the minimum set requirements should be for any given gaming mouse to call it "good". If the sensor doesn't meet the criteria, I will call it mediocre no matter how fleshed out the mouse is.

    - - - - -

    My point here really is that gamers shouldn't have to "settle" for something that isn't working (close to) flawlessly. Why get a mouse that has jitter? Why buy something that doesn't work to 100%? I'm seriously confounded as to why there aren't more mice that strive to actually meet the requirements above. Is sensor implementation really that hard? Is shaping a mouse to be ergonomically pleasing for the common hand really such an advanced science? Is using what is regarded as the highest-grade hardware really that difficult for manufacturers? Thing is, I would gladly pay $200 for a mouse that holds the same set quality standards as other products I have bought throughout the years. Items that aren't necessarily perfect, but still meet what I believe the common consumer should set as the minimum criteria. My Filco keyboard is an excellent example, as is my Silverstone case. My camera, my TI-84 Plus graph calculator. Heck even my wallet falls under that category. Call it "plastic feel" if you like. I'm trying to describe that sense of quality you have when you pick up certain products. The feel that this thing is built to outlast you. I haven't had that feeling yet with a single mouse I have tried. The G400 comes close, as does the Sensei. The Naos 5000 too would be of that category, but I've had some major software and firmware issues with it (it's also a bit light, even with the weights in it), and perhaps even the G9x (I'm biased here a bit as I don't claw-grip).

    I'm sick and tired of "plastic junk".
    Last edited by Marest; 2012-11-04 at 12:30 PM.

  20. #20
    I'm left handed so, finding a mouse has it's limitations. And, don't get me started with "just learn to use the mouse in your right hand" shite. I've been there and it doesn't work for me. I've tried the left handed Razor mouse in the past and it was the biggest piece of crap ever. The mouse I'm using now is the Steelseries sensei and it's great. If you're left handed like me I'd highly recommend it.
    Last edited by neuk; 2012-11-04 at 01:43 PM.

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