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New Fanatec Video Explains Direct Drive Technology in the CSL DD


Fanatec has released the first in a series of videos showcasing the technology behind their popular CSL DD wheelbase.

Every year there are steps forward in sim racing hardware. As sim racing becomes more popular and its economy grows, the quality of gear generally increases while the price of the gear trends toward being affordable for more sim racers. Perhaps nothing in memory has demonstrated this quite as well as Fanatec’s CSL DD wheelbase.

The CSL DD aims to bring direct drive sim racing wheel technology into the affordable realm. And while there is discussion to be had about the definition of “affordable”, there’s little doubt that bringing a €349 (plus an optional €149 boost kit) direct drive wheelbase to the market is impressive. For those who already own compatible Fanatec gear and a belt driven wheelbase, the inclusion of the CSL DD into their rig should be a cost-effective upgrade, but even those who buy a lower end set of pedals and steering wheel from Fanatec will still likely see a final tally lower than most other direct drive solutions on sale today.

We’ve seen several content creators already get their hands on the unit, including Damian’s YouTube review of the CSL DD for RaceDepartment, but the big wave of having more of the public get their own CSL DD is still to come. In fact, that wave is imminent. With that timing in mind, Fanatec have shared a video on their own YouTube channel showcasing their market-rattling product.

The video begins with a breakdown on what makes direct drive superior to other sim racing wheel technologies like gear or belt drive. Clever demonstrations are used to showcase the various force feedback systems, helping the viewing visualize what's happening beneath the shroud of their wheelbase while sim racing.

Fanatec also used this introductory video to provide an overview of upcoming videos that will break down the features that they feel sets their wheelbase apart from others on the market. The marketing focus seems to be the compatibility with other products in the Fanatec ecosystem, along with the CSL DD sharing many of its features with the higher end DD1 and DD2 wheelbases.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts on the CSL DD in the comments below. Is this something you plan to own? Why or why not?

And if you do decide to buy the Fanatec CSL DD wheelbase, please consider using our link to do so.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

Hi Mike, Thrustmaster user here of course. I desperately want to try out Fanatec to see what the hubbub is all about. It seems whenever I see some of my favourite sim racers they literally have to have their rig positioned so that the Fanatec logo endorsement is prominently displayed just to own it.

I understand the concept of DD and I get that its supposed to be superior tech' but the price points are such a turn off.
 
Hi Mike, Thrustmaster user here of course. I desperately want to try out Fanatec to see what the hubbub is all about. It seems whenever I see some of my favourite sim racers they literally have to have their rig positioned so that the Fanatec logo endorsement is prominently displayed just to own it.

I understand the concept of DD and I get that its supposed to be superior tech' but the price points are such a turn off.
Its the same price as the CSL Elite was or the TGT1/2.
 
just checked "Thrustmaster TS-XW Servo Base" which would be a comparable high end belt driven base (if I am not mistaken). Sells for 399 Euro, so slightly more expensive. As I am in the Thrustmaster camp, here's hoping they'll introduce a comparable DD base in years to come, so all the other stuff links up easily (wheel, pedals). Or have they already?
 
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To piggyback on the idea of value, the CSL DD is comparable to the CSW v2.5 in specs with the 8nm power upgrade, I asked in another thread a owner of the CSW v2.5 who purchased the CSL DD if the purchase was a definitive upgrade in which he said with no doubt it was.
Having said that, hats off to Fanatec for a worthy replacement to the belt drive at a price of the outgoing technology.
Would like to hear more feedback from people that upgraded from the CSW v2.5 to the CSL DD.
 
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To piggyback on the idea of value, the CSL DD is comparable to the CSW v2.5 in specs with the 8nm power upgrade, I asked in another thread a owner of the CSW v2.5 who purchased the CSL DD if the purchase was a definitive upgrade in which he said with no doubt it was.
Having said that, hats off to Fanatec for a worthy replacement to the belt drive at a price of the outgoing technology.
Would like to hear more feedback from people that upgraded from the CSW v2.5 to the CSL DD.
i went from the CSWv2 to the CSL 8NM and it's a good step up. more consistant ffb, much more detailed and it feels better put together and of course it's also completely silent. on the other side, i have problems getting it configured in some games like F12021 (just read about the compatability mode so i will need to test that out now.
 
To piggyback on the idea of value, the CSL DD is comparable to the CSW v2.5 in specs with the 8nm power upgrade, I asked in another thread a owner of the CSW v2.5 who purchased the CSL DD if the purchase was a definitive upgrade in which he said with no doubt it was.
Having said that, hats off to Fanatec for a worthy replacement to the belt drive at a price of the outgoing technology.
Would like to hear more feedback from people that upgraded from the CSW v2.5 to the CSL DD.
I had a CSW 2.5 for 8 months before I bought a CSL DD with boost kit. The CSL DD is way more quiet (no fans at all), more detailed, smoother, more compact, more convenient peripheral connectors (horizontal instead of vertical), more mounting possibilities (bottom and side) and has no belt that will become looser after years of use. Although I was happy with the CSW 2.5, it was not a hard decision to sell it and replace it with the CSL DD.
 
To piggyback on the idea of value, the CSL DD is comparable to the CSW v2.5 in specs with the 8nm power upgrade, I asked in another thread a owner of the CSW v2.5 who purchased the CSL DD if the purchase was a definitive upgrade in which he said with no doubt it was.
Having said that, hats off to Fanatec for a worthy replacement to the belt drive at a price of the outgoing technology.
Would like to hear more feedback from people that upgraded from the CSW v2.5 to the CSL DD.
HI,
me too have upgraded from csw 2.5 to csl dd (boost kit). Also I owned thrustmaster T500, T300, Ts-PC in the past.
I can confirm that csl dd is a game changer.
Go for it without esitation :)
 
waiting for csw dd, the wait will be long but can't afford buying csl dd while waiting. simucube 2 would be my choice but damn those wheels are expensive and few choices.
 
How good is the CSL DD compared to the Podium DD1/2? I know Ermin H. on YT made the switch and didn't go back. Anyone here who can comment on this from 1st hand experience?
 
Hi

Had mine now since the start of September. going from a csl eliete to this is a game-changer.

I have used a friend's top-end wheel and this feels extremely similar to me when it was set to low force feedback. just the power is not the same as a higher-priced wheel the track feel and kerb etc feel almost the same to me.

this is the perfect wheelbase for me. If you are on the fence about this product I would say dive in. The power pack is a must I believe if you are looking for a more realistic and immersive experience.

I cant personally use my wheel on 100% for more than 1hr I have to have it around 85-90% for that sweet spot of realism and usability.
 
How good is the CSL DD compared to the Podium DD1/2? I know Ermin H. on YT made the switch and didn't go back. Anyone here who can comment on this from 1st hand experience?
i have used a friends DD1 and i also have my own CSL DD now (had since september). i would say that the only thing that is different is the maximum force feedback you can get out of it. but with the CSL DD on 100% force, i get tiered after 40min to be fair, so I have to turn it down to around 85%-95% so i can use it without getting an arm pump.

i do have the boost kit. i went from a CSL elite to this and it was night and day for me. made F1 2019 feel so much more immersive. also used it on ACC, very impressed.

i know i am going to get ribbed for this but it has made me faster! not on a one-lap but over a race, as i am spinning a lot less as i can feel the limits of the car and also catch mistakes better. also as i feel the wheel is more enjoyable to use i am on the sim a bit more so this is helping bring down my times too.
 
waiting for csw dd, the wait will be long but can't afford buying csl dd while waiting. simucube 2 would be my choice but damn those wheels are expensive and few choices.
unless you are actually training to be a racing driver and need the peak force feedback i would say just get the CSL DD with the boost kit. i have used a simacube and a DD 1 and this is very close to them in car and track feedback but obviously lacks in the power front, I don't feel that it is not powerful enough i only run mine at 85-90% or i get arm pump.
 
unless you are actually training to be a racing driver and need the peak force feedback i would say just get the CSL DD with the boost kit. i have used a simacube and a DD 1 and this is very close to them in car and track feedback but obviously lacks in the power front, I don't feel that it is not powerful enough i only run mine at 85-90% or i get arm pump.
yeah I agree, my main concern is if I put a heavier wheel with csl dd then I loose the feedback and snappiness
 
I made my order yesterday! Since I became aware of the first DD wheel, I always wondered if a DD wheel would be worth it or not... What put me off was the price tag of the first models and the fact that they were nearly experimental kits. Hopefully things have evolved and now we have high-end products and also this entry-level kit of a "well-known" brand.

Regarding the maximum torque, on paper 5nm or 8nm looks humble compared to the big brothers that have 20nm or so... but as I read somewhere, the analogy of a speaker is in my opinion, pretty spot on. You can't just judge a speaker based entirely on its maximum power (RMS watts for instnace) because a good HI-FI speaker should be able to deliver all the nuances of the music regardless of the maxium power it can get (in a very simplied way, the more power, the more sound pressure level... but that doesn't translate into quality sound). What I mean is that it doesn't matter so much if it can go up to 150W or 300W. Of course if you plan to have a big party in a large room you would need powerful devices, but for the average usage, good speakers with not so many watts can deliver hi-fi music. So getting back to the point, a DD wheel should be seen like a good hi-fi speaker, even if it doesn't deliver so much power (torque) it can still "play" the music (FFB signal) with accuracy due to its ability to change rapidly to output.

I'm "only" two months away!
 
yeah I agree, my main concern is if I put a heavier wheel with csl dd then I loose the feedback and snappiness
You're going to need to damp and apply friction via software anyway. It shouldn't be so "snappy" that slightly more wheel rim mass will be an issue.
 

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