The Beatles - how to make this "modern EM" even more fun!

By EM-fan

February 03, 2021

This story got frontpaged on February 16, 2021

2 years ago

As an EM lover, I always had an eye on "modern" EM-style  machines. Hence I was really happy to get a chance to get my hands on a "The Beatles" about two years ago - where I wrote the "official" German review.  Since then, I was closely following this particular machine.  

As to my understanding, all three versions of the games are technically identical and as I am not looking at it as an invest or collectible, I was looking for the cheapest, the "Gold" version.
And there it was - just 350 games on the counter and looking like new with only minor flaws, that I could easily fix. Cutting a long story short, it ended up in my living room looking to be made "just perfect".  But what in the world does that mean?  Preserving and enhancing the contemporary "EM like" style, while being maximum fun. 

To be blunt - this is no EM at all. It also does not feel like any EM at all - and I know quite a few. It is also not at all feeling like a "Seawitch", which it got its layout from.  For both, it is much too immersive, fast and complex. Of course, complexity is nothing against modern machines - but it well shows the advancement during the past 40 years: many more features, modes, combinations and a completely different game goal. What it has from an EM perspective are the really important basics: you can see all balls in play at all times. There is a single  level of playfield, no major gimmics or installations, a classic shooter, and (luckily) a lack of hyper-modern features. It has the simple and intuitive layout, that beginners like so much in EM and early SS as well as a good number of shots from each flipper finger, that we value in the best of EMs. 

I am not the person to add little figurines everywhere - and it was a joyful journey to find out those enhancements that I like and appreciate most. Thus here is what I applied, not only targeting the EM feeling, but just great for essentially all modern machines!

  • knocker - make it real and get rid off that artificial sound
  • shaker - easy to install - shake it for the fun.  Imagine a shaker in an EM - thus we are looking at THE advantage in in moving to solid state. 
  • white playfield plastic nuts - replacing these "modern" lock nuts. And yes - this is for home use only, as they are getting loose more easily
  • violett flipper rubbers - just look so much cooler than the original red ones - while still being close to the original
  • coin mechanisms - this is part of the game: make it ready for being out in the wild - even though it might never make it out there
  • "silent" CPU fan replacement - EMs made plenty of noise - but never this one.
  • playfield glas - we praise the invention of the anti-reflective coating
  • topper - the original Stern topper is really nice and animated
  • playfield protector - is this adding or just preserving the value?
  • cup holder - the modern equivalent of the classic "cigartette holder" - you just need a place for your bottle!
  • Convolux playfield plastic protectors - green seemed to fit best. Ideally they would have been purple. Not really matching the complete idea - but so great to protect the plastics!

Do you have any other ideas or suggestions?  Please share!!!

Story photos

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2 years ago

sorry - submitted the article before it was finished! Please send back!

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