beatmania IIDX Lightning Model vs. Old Cabs

Table of contents
  1. Appearance
  2. Differences
  3. Which cab, then?
    1. If you’re in America (Round 1):
    2. If you’re in Asia, outside of Japan:
    3. If you’re in Japan:
  4. References

This is a short summary on lightning model cabinets vs. legacy cabcabinets for new or returning players.


Lightning Model cabinets look like this:


“Legacy cabs” look like this:

legacy cab

There are slight revisions over the years (e-amusement reader on the sides or integrated to the VEFX panel) - but it’s not important.


Lightning Model cabinets have:

  • 120Hz screen
  • Consistent offset (monitor model selection limited to a few)
  • Turntable that is more responsive, and has variable resistance setting that can be adjusted
  • New grippy material on turntable surface
  • Touch screen which gives you access to Lightning model exclusive features
    • Note that some of the LM-exclusive features are Japan / PASELI only (video recording, lane gacha tickets…)
  • Lightning Model exclusive songs (< 10 songs as of 2023)
  • Dedicated headphone ports
  • Start button is easier to reach
  • Fancy cosmetic LED effects

Legacy cabs have:

  • 60Hz screen
  • Inconsistent offset across cabinets due to many different monitor models including after-market ones
  • Turntable that is not as responsive
  • Classic “EMP” material on turntable surface

Speaking purely from gameplay perspective, Lightning Model is superior in every way, the only exception being the turntable surface material which is subjective.

Which cab, then?

If you’re in America (Round 1):

  • In most stores, LM cabs are only slightly more expensive than legacy cabs (8 credits vs. 7 credits). This difference is negligible since you can get 4 songs per credit on LM vs. 3 songs max on legacy cabs.
  • LM cabs are US region, legacy cabs are Japan region. Refer to Game Modes page for details, but you are locked out of many important features on the legacy cabs. Namely, Extra Stage, higher-tier Step Up folders, Premium Free mode…
  • Since legacy cabs are Japan region, they go through e-amusement maintenance during the afternoon (1-3pm PST), which is extremely inconvenient. US region cabs perform maintenance early mornings, when R1 stores are closed.
  • System voice is only available in the Japan region cabs due to licensing.

Therefore, LM cabs are strongly preferred; there are practically no reasons to play on the legacy cabs.

Note that as of 2023, American Round 1 locations are phasing out legacy cabinets, eventually being completely removed from all locations, as they did not purchase any GELDJ-JX upgrade kits required for IIDX 31.

If you’re in Asia, outside of Japan:

  • LM cabs are often more expensive per-play than legacy cabs due to scarcity of LM; usually 1.2x to 2x per credit.
  • Both LM cabs and legacy cabs are in the same region (Asia region), so there are no weird regional differences like in the US.

In summary, it depends on the price of LM in your area.

If you’re in Japan:

  • LM cabs are almost always the same price as legacy cabs.
  • You get access to all the LM-exclusive PASELI features.

Unless you are in some remote location with zero access to LM cabs, there is absolutely no reason to play on legacy cabs.


LM cab info

CB cab info

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