Monday, 9 July 2012

Namco Cyber Lead – The One That Got Away

The Namco Cyber Lead is quite an interesting cabinet.  And in my opinion damn sexy!  The cabinet is wired for JVS, but can be used for Jamma games with the Namco JVS > Jamma harness.  The monitor is dual-resolution (15 & 24KHz) and cannot be tated.

When I visited Japan last September, they had some Cyber Leads lined up in Game Park Ramble Plaza, Ikebuburo.  I remember walking up the stairs and being awestruck at the row of Cyber Leads.

They also had a lone cab in Namco Land, Shibuya with a Paca Paca Passion 2 control panel.

Here is my Cyber Lead which I’ve sadly had to part with.  The cab is totally original.  I’ve given the cab a light clean, replaced a missing speaker and had a new PCB mounting board cut (Dimensions: L53 x W42 x H1.2 cm).  I was planning on doing a full resto but need the space.  Anyways I thought I’d share my thoughts on the cab.

The Good

1. The cab is wired for JVS so Naomi is plug and play.  The monitor is a Nanao MS9-29A with a nice Toshiba tube.  The Capcom Vs. fighters look stunning on this cab.  On my 31KHz Naomi cabinet, the backgrounds look nice but the fighters are blocky / pixelated.  I much prefer the look of these games in 15KHz.

2. It’s Namco, purple and has an awesome LED marquee!  Some Namco System 12 PCB’s such as Mr Driller, Tekken 3 and Soul Calibur have LED support, very cool indeed!

3. The sound is great! The speaker positioning at the side of the monitor is very effective.

4. I really like the control panel height.  It’s a bit higher than an Astro / Naomi.  I’m quite tall (6ft) and I find this cab very comfortable to play on.

5. There are two instruction strip panels which is another unique and very nice feature.

And The Not So Good

1. The monitor can’t be tated.  Not a problem if you have other cabs but if you only have space for one then this is probably not the cab for you!

2. The white and purple plastics are prone to yellowing / fading.  It is also common to see these with cracked / broken plastic panels.

3. The cab is a bit of a beast, having a slightly larger footprint than an Astro City and weighing in at 120Kg.  The cab is 750mm wide.  It went through my front door easily enough but the control panel doesn’t detach easily and I had to disassemble the cab to get it upstairs.  I used this thread as a guide for disassembly:

Here are some more pics of insides and stickers on the back.

Namco Cyber Lead II

The Cyber Lead II features the addition of Dreamcast / PS1 memory card readers, and a tri-synch monitor.  Details on these are sketchy and it is thought Namco simply swapped parts on existing cabs.

I think Cyber Leads are awesome and I’ll be sad to see it go.  Congrats to the new owner!

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