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TSW 6 Speed H-Shifter Review
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TSW 6 Speed H-Shifter Review ... m_virtuemart&Itemid=1

This is probably the most expensive and least documented shifter out there. After debating for some time, I decided to purchase one. It arrived today. I will try to document all details on the shifter for the benefit of anyone else who would like to learn more about it.

Arrived in a relatively big heavy box. About 11lbs. The shifter and its accessories were tightly wrapped in paper.
The package included:
1x Shifter fully assembled to order specs.
1x Mount
4x Nuts for mount
4x Washers for mount
1x USB cable
1x Instruction manual
1x Piece of black pained wood.

Initial Impressions

1. Build Quality
The shifter is all metal. All internal components are metal. The boot is made of soft leather. Only plastic component is the external housing of the electronics which also bears the TSW logo. It is extremely solid. If you can find a way to break anything on the shifter, you need to be entered in the Guiness Book of World Records!

2. Mounting
The mount is surprisingly solid. Although from the images it doesn't appear to be stable, it is actually very, very stable! I found a way to mount it in my Obutto, and surprisingly it worked quite well. In fact, I feel that it's mounted much more solidly than my previous G25 shifter. I really don't see how anyone could yank this out of place. Interesting bit is you don't need a lot of force to tighten the clamps.

More on mounting later on.

3. Features
6 gears + 1 reverse gate.

- Reverse Gate
The reverse gate position is specified at order time. I ordered right and down. Same as G25 setup (although that's really push down into 6th.) The TSW shifter has a separate gate for the reverse. The reverse gate is spring loaded, so it takes effort to push it over into the reverse slot. That way you can't accidentally throw it in reverse.

- Gate lockout
The shifter can be converted from a 6 speed to a 4 speed. There is a nut you can tighten to prevent the shifter from going into 1st and 2nd gear. I'm guessing the lock out of the gears has to do with how you order your reverse gate position. If you order reverse gate position on the left, the lockout would probably lock 5-6 slots instead. The lockout nut and the reverse gate spring sit opposite each other on my setup.

- Neutral button switch
There is a small switch that toggles the shifter in either pressing a 7th button when in neutral, or pressing nothing. This has to do with how some games recognize the shifter.

- USB Plug & Play
The shifter plugs with a USB cable directly into the PC. There are no drivers to install. Windows automatically recognizes the shifter and maps 8 buttons to it. 6 gears + 1 reverse + 1 optional neutral.

- Mount
The shifter can be mounted a number of ways, however some positions are limited by the external electronics housing box. Best way to mount the shifter is as advertised. However it is still quite easy to be creative and find other ways of mounting it.

4. Feel
This is the probably the most important feature of any shifter. I'll break it down.

- Shifting Force
Surprisingly the shift offers only slightly more resistance than the G25's shifter when sliding it in gear. Very little force is required to move the shifter into the gates. Fanatec shifters on the other hand require much more force to put into gear. However, since it's all metal, you can bang it around as much as you want and shift it as hard as you want! Even the manual says best way to shift is hard and fast! If you shift hard and fast, you don't even notice that very little force is required to shift. In fact, it feels as if you're really forcing the shifter into the gate. Feels almost the same as when you go to the arcade and bang around those shifters. Solid as a rock.

There is also a certain mechanical feel to it, as if you're shifting metal components internally. All of this is due to the ball detent mechanism of course, and even though it is quite simple, it still feels good. Overall, provides a very pleasant feel and gives you confidence in shifting.

Turns out that if you tighten the nut on the bottom shaft it tightens the overall gate movement resistance. So you can actually adjust how easily you can throw the shifter into and out of gear.

- Gates
The gates are guided by a metal gate plate. There is a tiny bit of play in the gates, however nothing major, and certainly won't cause you to miss any shifts (unlike the 3-4 slots of the G25 shifter.) The gears are also engaged quite early when shifting into the slot, so gear changes are quite fast.

- Throw
Even though the shifter sits taller, the throw is not long at all. It's actually quite a normal throw. A bit longer than the G25's shifter. About the same as a short shifter on a real car. I didn't need much time to get used to it Feels quite natural.

- Knob
The knob is a bit small. It feels more like shifting a stick than a ball. The optional carbon style knob I ordered is actually smaller in diameter than the G25's shifter knob, and also a bit smaller in diameter than the standard ball knob available.

5. Internals
Everything inside the shifter is metal and can be seen by just looking under the shifter. The shifter housing has no bottom!

The shifter works pretty much the same way most of the shifters on the market do.

There is a ball detent mechanism that keeps it in gear, and two parallel springs that keep it centered.

The gears are guided by a metal plate which is under the leather boot.

Each gear is selected via button that has a long metal extension that is depressed when the shifter is in gear.

There is grease on the internal components so I don't advise to stick your fingers in there. ...or any other appendages.

6. Modding
So far I'm just taking guesses at what could be done to the shifter by looking at it.

Not sure how much potential this shifter has for modding, but definitely looks easy to disassemble and reassemble. Given that all internals are exposed from underneath, you don't really need to do much if you want to do stuff to it.

- Knob
It is not possible to mod this yourself. Choose carefully when ordering. The knob is attached via a very tight locking mechanism and TSW does not recommend taking it apart as the procedure is complicated. They will happily change it for you if you send back the shifter though.

- Centering spring
It looks quite possible to replace the centering springs with stiffer ones, or even shove something in them to make them stiffer.

- Gear force
Unfortunately, unlike the G25, I don't see how it's possible to mess with the ball detent mechanism to create more resistance. However, it is possible to tighten the nut on the pivot bolt to increase the overall resistance when moving the shifter in and out of gear. This would not only tighten the resistance of putting the shifter into gear, but also the resistance when taking it out of gear.

7. Value
At nearly $400 this is an expensive accessory. You can easily accomplish the same tasks with many other shifters, even mod some of them to get them to your liking. However no other shifter is made out of all metal components. It also looks very maintainable in the long run, and appears that it should easily outlive any other peripheral you may own.

Is it worth it? That depends on you. If you're going for quality, you can find a million ways to justify the cost. If you're not as serious about your sim racing gear, you'll easily find just as many ways to not justify the cost.

I'm happy to answer any questions about it, as I personally had a very hard time finding info on this shifter.

Complete picture gallery: ... aj2EQ&feat=directlink
Thanks for the detailed review and pictures, and the effort of writing it for us
Not that i'm going to buy one (i have a simple G27), but who knows ?

And i really LOVE the costom stiched leather knob and boot you made! Great work!
Very nice review! thanks!

As my wheel is about to tell me to do the driving myself.. I am keeping my eyes open to get a new one. Just so far I am thinking of buying the Logitech G27 wheel with the TR500S shifter. The G27 shifter just doesnt feel close to good to me.

This even looks more solid indeed.
#4 - isamu
I agree this is an excellent review! I'm surprised there weren't any replies when it was originally posted three years ago.

I wonder if TSW has made any alterations to the shifter to improve its resistance when changing gears since 2010? Any one bought one recently? Is it still too light?

TSW 6 Speed H-Shifter Review
(4 posts, started )