SHH Shifter Review | Long term review | €100 Shifter
I have been asked countless times to review this product, and for some reason I just keep putting it off. I think that the reason is, that I think it’s such a good value product that it’s very difficult to do a critical review of it and ultimately, I’m going to tell you all to buy one, if you’re in the market. I did, and I love mine.
However, I do need to back up my opinion with some facts and information, so today we’ll be looking at the SHH Shifter in a LOT more detail. I’m Laurence, welcome to the channel.
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The SHH shifter is a largely 3D printed shifter manufactured and shipped from Spain, in Europe. Their goal is simple. Create an extremely affordable shifter with the best possible driving experience for the money. They started creating shifters in 2014 and the shifter featured here is the 5th incarnation of this product known as the NEWT. This product may be new to most people watching this video, but having used the product extensively in my streams and previous videos, across multiple sims and disciplines, I can feel their 7 years of experience and 5 generations of wisdom in the product.
- First impressions
At a glance, it is quite obvious that efforts have been made to keep the costs as low as possible. What’s surprising is that this thing punches far above its weight. It’s highly configurable, surprisingly durable and very reliable and rewarding to use. It looks good, has a nice compact footprint and plenty of mounting options for everyone from table clamps to rig mounts. Unfortunately though for console users, this is a PC only product.
While in use, it’s relatively clunky and noisy. It’s a gearbox after all, but the noise comes partly from the tight mechanism which offers a good resistance and the rest of the noise comes from the relatively hollow 3D printed housing. It’s noisier than a TH8a or a logitech shifter but not quite as loud as a Fanatec shifter. Instantly, the shifter is quite intuitive to use. It’s either in gear or it’s not, there’s no in between. There’s very little play and it just feels like a well engineered product.
There are 2 knobs supplied with the SHH Shifter. One smaller one which feels great for h-pattern driving, and a taller one which is ideal for sequential shifting. Both knobs are quite obviously 3D printed. They’re quite light, but very durable and functional.
This is the party piece of this product. I don’t know if I can think of a better value sim racing product than this. For many, H-pattern shifters and sequential shifters are for occasional use only, and they don’t want expensive dedicated hardware cluttering up their rig. At €100 it’s difficult to justify NOT owning one of these shifters. It’s a beautiful addition to any rig and its functionality puts it up to some of the bigger players in this sector, while wiping the floor with logitech and thrustmaster’s products.
There are plenty of additional extras available. You can customise a logo into the casing of the shifter which is pretty cool. There are different mounting options as shown and you can even choose different top plates to block off certain gears. Every shifter allows for 7 gears plus reverse, however most racers may only want a top plate for 6 gears plus reverse, as shown. There’s also a dedicated sequential plate, which i’ll cover in more detail later. I definitely would spend the extra €11 to buy a sequential top plate if this is going to be a dedicated sequential shifter. If you are looking to frequently swap between the two, the h-pattern top plate will cater for both.
This unit is so affordable though that it’s quite easy to justify buying two and using one for sequential, one for h-pattern.
- Build Quality
It feels quite light and it is largely 3D printed. However, it seems very well engineered and is extremely hard wearing. The only thing that indicates that mine is not new is the marks on the shaft from banging it into gear thousands of times.
The shifter plate is the only thing that guides the gear mechanism. Without the gate, the gear stick is able to move in any direction almost like a joystick. This reduces a lot of friction as well as the number of moving parts. The xin-mo board that they use allows for 13 inputs. 8 for h pattern and 2 for sequential. The other 3 are unused.
The metal thread used for the gear knob thread is pretty soft, so be careful when making adjustments. Again, I’ll cover those adjustments in more detail in a later section.
There’s no software installation required, this device is plug and play for Windows 10 users. The physical installation of this unit is very easy. For the purposes of this review, and the price point, I opted for the table clamp model even though I mounted it to my Simetik K2. The clamp has 3 threaded bolts with a handy loop at the end of each bolt which allows for a tool-free mounting option. That’s especially handy for temporary rig setups or desk use where it’s not a dedicated sim rig. When installing, I was conscious of maybe over tightening these bolts but I was relatively confident that I could put some pressure on them. Throughout the past few weeks of using this shifter, I didn’t have to tighten the mounts once, which is a great testament to the quality of this product.
The USB-B cable plugs into the right hand side of the unit. Cable placement is always tricky with these devices but the cable sticks out quite a but when plugged in. It is held quite snug by the housing so i’m not worried about it getting damaged but it would be nice if it was more flush with the unit.
Out of the box, the weight of each gear shift is a bit light, but it’s also a very clear and mechanical feeling movement which makes it very pleasant to use. I’ll explain how to adjust the weight in a later section in this video. All gear shifts are consistent in throw and weight and it’s immediately intuitive to use this product in anger. Downshifts and heel-toe movements feel great as the top plate and mechanisms are designed in a very ergonomic way. Finding gears is easy and there’s minimal play.
H pattern is the strongest mode for this shifter. How they’ve created such a good product at this price point is quite impressive. It is very reliable and puts up with a fair amount of abuse. It punches above its weight and honestly makes it difficult to justify spending 3 times as much for a Fanatec shifter. Don’t get me wrong, the Fanatec shifter is better, but not 3 times as good.
Switching to sequential is easy. A clever mechanism means that you don’t need any tools to switch from one mode to another. Simply push the gear lever downwards, rotate 90 degrees and it’s mechanically locked to sequential mode, allowing it to spring back to the neutral/center position after a sequential shift, rather than staying in gear. When in sequential mode, the gear lever can no longer travel left but for some reason, can still go right. This actually doesn’t really affect the performance but it would be nice if it was properly locked in place. A quick change of the top plate would prevent this from happening but part of the appeal of this product for me is the quick ability to change between h-pattern and sequential.
There’s also a little switch on the side which allows you to switch between manual and sequential mode. This is not essential, but it’s very handy in that it allows your sequential controls to be separate from your gear change controls. So there are 10 inputs in total. 1-8 for your 7 h-pattern forward gears and reverse, and then 9 and 10 operate as your sequential inputs. It’s nice that they went to this level of effort.
When you order this unit, you can specify your top plate. In fact, there are 21 different top plates to choose from. The top plate will determine the range of the gear lever throw but each SHH shifter has the same functionality. Most of the customisation here is colour and material though, as in reality there are 3 top plates to choose from. The 7+R which allows for 7 gears plus revers, The 6+R as shown and the sequential shifter plate.
You can specify the bracket you need based on how you’re going to mount this unit. There are 5 different mounting solutions so you’re sure to find the exact mount that you need for your rig or desk setup. As mentioned above, I got the desk clamp for the purposes of this review.
The unit is available in Red, White, Grey and the most popular colour as shown: black. You can also pay €10 extra to have your custom logo 3D printed into the casing instead of the SHH logo, and another €6 to get some custom text on there.
The unit is shipped with 2 knobs as mentioned. They can be installed without any tooling and you don’t need to be worried about over tightening them. Just screw them on until there’s no more clockwise movement. The knobs are a fairly standard thread and buying a cheap replica gear knob on ebay can really change the look of it. Just be aware that the threads may be slightly different, depending on what you buy. The cool thing is though that you can increase or decrease the height of your shift knob according to your needs, using the Allen key provided.
Changing the top plates is easy, although the Allen key size that you need for the top plate bolts is not provided with the shifter. The h-gate slips over the gear knob thread quite easily, but the sequential plate wouldn’t, so they cut it into two pieces. Once installed though, it’s still quite easy to notice that it’s made up of two pieces, as there’s a slight gap, and the mock carbon fiber pattern that they’ve printed onto it, doesn’t flow from one piece to the next.
You can also adjust the stiffness of the throw, using the little Allen key provided. This adds a surprising amount of stiffness for such a small unit. Also make sure to tighten these two bolts under the top plate as it greatly improves the mechanical feel of the shifter. However, for those of you expecting a very heavy gear throw, don’t let my enthusiasm fool you into thinking that this feels exactly like a real gearbox. This is a functional product which does a great job of simulating the real thing. The detail that you do feel is more than enough for a great gear shifting experience. I don’t think you can expect a heavier gear throw from a product like this.
- Final thought
So it’s fair to say that I love this product. I even featured it in my sim racing buyer’s guide a few months ago. This shifter is exceptional value. It’s easy to mount, highly configurable and adjustable and quickly switches between sequential and h pattern.
After adjusting the weight of the shifter throw, it feels really good for such an affordable product and being able to switch from manual to sequential so quickly is a massive bonus. I would only buy the sequential plate if using this device as a dedicated sequential gearbox. It does look good but changing the top plates to go to h-pattern isn’t really something people have time for, and it’s not essential. Perhaps if the top plates clipped in and out, instead of needing bolts it would be easier. Potentially they could have the sequential gate clip onto the top of the h-pattern gate which would be really easy for the user to install.
I’d love to see them offer a metal version of the shifter. People would easily pay another €50 for it, even if the shifter is functionally no more advanced than the 3D printed version. SHH is a company who really works hard for their money. They are rewarded with large backlogs on their orders, currently running at about 6 weeks of wait time.
The SHH is either in gear or it’s not. When compared to the TH8a’s washy and uninspiring throw, it’s a massive upgrade despite not looking as aesthetically pleasing at first glance. It’s better than both the Thrustmaster and Logitech offerings by a country mile. The SHH takes the abuse of a spirited drive in its stride. The mounts are strong and well thought out. I find it very very difficult to find flaws with this product.
When compared to the Fanatec Shifter, it’s very clear that the Fanatec is a better shifter and has an even quicker switch between sequential and h pattern modes. The fanatec shifter sounds better and is a joy to use, as far as sim racing shifters are concerned. Is it worth almost 3 times the price of the SHH? That’s a question I can’t answer. It’s definitely not 3 times as good and you wont be any quicker on track with either one.
If you are on the fence about buying the SHH and have the money, just buy it. Even if you change your mind before it arrives, someone will buy it off you for the price you paid. The only reason not to buy this product is impatience. I cannot believe that they can produce this product and sell it at such a low price.
I hope you enjoyed this video, please share your thoughts in the comments below and if you haven’t already done so, please subscribe.I’m Laurence, I’ll chat to ye later