There’s something nice about opening a Cube Controls package. You know you’ll be impressed with whatever’s coming out of the box but that anticipation never takes any of the surprise away; there’s always an “aaah” moment when you lift the lid of a box with a Cube Controls logo on it:
And so that was my reaction to yet another very high quality sim racing wheel from our Friends at Cube Controls.
We’ve already reviewed the Formula Sport Pro (Wireless) wheel, so now it’s time to switch gears to something a little more GT focused with the Cube Controls GT Pro OMP.
The box contains the usual bright Cube Controls sticker set, the wheel controller with rim attached, USB cable (I wish these were longer!) an instruction manual and the little Cube Controls tool bag containing spare bolts, tools and tweezers.
Lifting the 320mm wheel rim from the box feels heavy (in a good way) with a nice ergonomic design. The OMP mod. Superquadro suede steering wheel is wrapped in a deep black suede which really feels and looks like high quality stuff.
The unit is about 1.6kg in weight, which is on the slightly heavy side, but in exchange you feel a sense of certainty and stiffness in the rim. It’s a nice experience to hold thanks to what feels like precisely the correct diameter. This wheel has a perfectly ideal feel for a GT, Touring or classic Sports Prototype.
Feel is everything
I compared the feel of the Cube Controls wheel to my Fanatec Clubsport GT Alcantara which I’ve upgraded recently to use magnetic paddle shifters. You’d think, in terms of features and specification, the wheels might be considered quite similar.
Perhaps they might feel similar. They definitely aren’t. The magnetic shift on the Fanatec wheel triggers a resonant vibration that travels through the wheel, and it has a lot of flex on the hub mount, and a small amount of play that no amount of adjustment can get rid of.
Our Cube wheel has no such problems. It’s a solid thing, and as we’ll learn, mounts to the wheelbase we’re using for today’s test (the Simucube 2 Pro) perfectly well. No flex, no play – just a solid sim racing wheel. It’s evidently a high end sim racing wheel by comparison.
I like how Cube Controls always seem to consider the wheel as a whole, rather than an assemblage of components. Little touches like tactility, grip material and minimal vibrations caused by other components are always carefully considered. I get the sense that other, lower priced wheels from different manufacturers are just a collection of bits, pieced together.
It’s that holistic approach to the product that I find so impressive about Cube Controls – and I think that the higher end price point of ~861,60 € incl. VAT is perfectly justified.
This wheel benefits from a carbon weave face plate on the wheel center and separate plates on the button surrounds with the usual Cube Controls logo embossed in the center. It’s very nicely lacquered and uses the same 4mm thick carbon plate that the Formula Sport wheels use.
Magnetic paddle shifters the same as the Formula Sport Wireless just with larger paddles. The paddles themselves are adjustable with the Allen keys provided.
There are 5 buttons, four toggle switches, 4 precisely machined CNC aluminum rotary encoders and a joystick. In terms of controls, there are many options and seem particularly suited for GT racing!
The buttons are brightly backlit; and the top two have a flashing led indicator, so you could map the pit lane speed limiter, or virtual safety car mode to these buttons for a visual reminder of your vehicle status.
The Cube Controls Universal Hub adapter is attached to the rear of the unit which gives you a number of mounting options including Fanatec’s Podium Hub for mounting to their CSL/ Clubsport and Direct Drive wheelbases.
The rear casing uses the same high quality CNC machined billet aluminum back that their Formula Sport wheels use.
With the correct adapters you could mount this wheel to a Thrustmaster or Logitech wheelbase or at the higher end of the spectrum, an AccuForce, Fanatec or Simucube wheelbase.
The tactile buttons, CNC aluminum joystick and rotary encoders all feel very, very high quality. The thumbwheels to the bottom left and right of the wheel are great with an easy interface while driving, even with your gloves.
Cube Controls refer to the paddles as “zero play”. The magnet is pulling the paddles towards the hall effect sensors so, unless the laws of physics changes these paddles will always have a consistent stiffness and shouldn’t develop any looseness or rattles. While driving you notice they have a very fast throw with a quiet clacking sound.
My only complaint with the non-Wireless wheels is the USB cable is too short. This is easily solved with a USB extension cable, but if you’re planning to use this wheel, do consider how far you’ll need your USB cable to stretch to your PC.
The wheel was a pleasure to use, and returning to lower budget wheels is a bit of a disappointment. Do the comparison yourself and you’ll know what I mean. The rigidity of the design, makes the unit as a whole a really pleasurable thing to use in the sim. Every one of Cube’s wheels are spectacular and if you do a lot of racing in GT cars, this one would make an excellent choice. If you’re a Simucube owner, the Wireless version of this wheel is an absolute no brainer too. Top stuff as always from Cube controls.