(Topic ID: 264767)

Do newer games really have less problems?


By crujones4life

3 months ago



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  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Jmckune
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    #1 3 months ago

    I have built a dream arcade in my home after many years of collecting, buying, fixing, selling to get what I want. I have unfortunately been working on my pins way way more than playing them and it's starting to get to me. I have been kicking around the idea of trading/selling off a couple older pins (BOP and PZ) for a SW Pro. My hope is then I would be playing more than fixing. People with newer pins...are your pins always giving you grief or do you actually get to play them without pulling the glass every day?

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    #2 3 months ago
    Quoted from crujones4life:

    I have built a dream arcade in my home

    Yes, you have, looks amazing!

    My nib games over the last few years have been 99% problem free. If you can, splurge and try a nib sometime.

    99.9% of the time I only have to pull the glass to get a airball unstuck.

    #3 3 months ago
    Quoted from crujones4life:

    I have built a dream arcade in my home after many years of collecting, buying, fixing, selling to get what I want. I have unfortunately been working on my pins way way more than playing them and it's starting to get to me. I have been kicking around the idea of trading/selling off a couple older pins (BOP and PZ) for a SW Pro. My hope is then I would be playing more than fixing. People with newer pins...are your pins always giving you grief or do you actually get to play them without pulling the glass every day?[quoted image][quoted image]

    Very nice arcade Congratulations!

    We have upgraded nearly our entire collection. Sure the games are definitely a lot more reliable, we play a hell of a lot more than we fix. You do need to know, new games still do breakdown, just no where near as often.

    FYI. I would get a SW premium or LE. The hyperloop is awesome.

    #4 3 months ago

    Some NIB games can go on location and get the shit kicked out of them for 10k plays and need nothing other than rubbers. SW Pro is an excellent choice. I've had one on location since I bought it new. I'd have to look, but it has around 8k-10k plays and I literally have not had to fix anything. You should be able to go years without have to do much at all, especially SW Pro. Newer Sterns have been very good to me. Depending on the batch you may have to replace the coil stops or flipper buttons though.

    #5 3 months ago

    Yes and no. Newer games have better electronics, but when they fail it is more difficult to repair. Stern node boards? JJP light boards? This is ignoring the teething problems modern games have. Stern node boards were a lot less reliable.Woz and its multiple light board versions. Playfield problems from Stern, JJP, Chicago Coin.

    Also who built it? Heighways are not reliable. I would question Suncoast as well. We also do not know how reliable things are going to be 10 years down the road. Modern games use lead free solder, the older stuff does not. It may prove very problematic.

    #6 3 months ago

    Buy a new pinball so you can enjoy the " wheres the code " threads. ; )

    Have a fine day Shane

    #7 3 months ago

    Nice set up. I like the carpet!

    #8 3 months ago

    Have bought 6 new sterns, only issue on maiden pro was node board when I hooked up a shaker. Easy warranty claim. Game worked with no shaker just fine. I do love my older stuff too tho,,

    #9 3 months ago

    Um? you have 6 games... Of which, I could see spooksville and hot tip requiring more tweaking.
    But, with all of them, if you go through them and do all the recommended common repairs/bulletproofing in the first place, you will spend more time playing than fixing. I guarantee it.

    #10 3 months ago

    From my experience the short answer is no. I have seen EM's from the 60's and 70's that once thoroughly gone threw were more reliable then their WPC or even Whitestar counterparts.

    I have seen NIB games that had issues before their first ball plunge.

    And of coarse I have seen your average routed pin (all era's) that was a disaster and needed everything under the sun worked on before being made reliable.

    After making said pin reliable I think you can say that certain systems (Most EM's, Early SS Stern, Williams system 11, Gottlieb System 3, Whitestar, SAM) were more rugged and or had less design flaws then others but thats usually only after addressing the known issues with that system.

    To me, certain problems like (loose connections, switch errors, alignment issues, blown lights, weak flippers,exc.) are universal to pinball and I don't think of them as reliability issues. Just regular maintenance.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #11 3 months ago

    Do new cars have less problems than used ones?

    Generally, answer will always be yes

    #12 3 months ago

    Most reliable pins you can buy today:

    Sterns SAM and newer

    CGC remakes

    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from Blake:

    From my experience the short answer is no. I have seen EM's from the 60's and 70's that once thoroughly gone threw were more reliable then their WPC or even Whitestar counterparts.

    I have seen NIB games that had issues before their first ball plunge.

    And of coarse I have seen your average routed pin (all era's) that was a disaster and needed everything under the sun worked on before being made reliable.

    After making said pin reliable I think you can say that certain systems (Most EM's, Early SS Stern, Williams system 11, Gottlieb System 3, Whitestar, SAM) were more rugged and or had less design flaws then others but thats usually only after addressing the known issues with that system.

    To me, certain problems like (loose connections, switch errors, alignment issues, blown lights, weak flippers,exc.) are universal to pinball and I don't think of them as reliability issues. Just regular maintenance.

    Thanks
    Blake

    Sorry, Blake. This answer is bananas.

    #14 3 months ago
    Quoted from crujones4life:

    I have built a dream arcade in my home after many years of collecting, buying, fixing, selling to get what I want. I have unfortunately been working on my pins way way more than playing them and it's starting to get to me. I have been kicking around the idea of trading/selling off a couple older pins (BOP and PZ) for a SW Pro. My hope is then I would be playing more than fixing. People with newer pins...are your pins always giving you grief or do you actually get to play them without pulling the glass every day?[quoted image][quoted image]

    Does your bride give you issues? Mines been a tank after I addressed its initial problems when getting it!

    #15 3 months ago
    Quoted from brenna98:

    Um? you have 6 games... Of which, I could see spooksville and hot tip requiring more tweaking.
    But, with all of them, if you go through them and do all the recommended common repairs/bulletproofing in the first place, you will spend more time playing than fixing. I guarantee it.

    If you look at my history you will see the majority of my games have been EMs. I actually really like working on EMs but none have been keepers except Hot Tip (which I love) and Spooksville (which I will probably keep no matter what for its novelty if nothing else). Finding broken EMs, fixing and selling them has allowed me to buy the newer pins I really enjoy...when they work...lol.

    #16 3 months ago
    Quoted from Jmckune:

    Does your bride give you issues? Mines been a tank after I addressed its initial problems when getting it!

    No. It had a bunch of switch issues and power resets but I have addressed all of those (as well as full top side tear down and cleaning) and it plays great! PZ if giving me issues right now...☹

    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from crujones4life:

    I have built a dream arcade in my home after many years of collecting, buying, fixing, selling to get what I want. I have unfortunately been working on my pins way way more than playing them and it's starting to get to me.

    You built an arcade.

    You have arcade problems. Pins are always more work than video games.

    You don't have the arcade income. It is still an arcade.

    LTG : )

    #18 3 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    You built an arcade.
    You have arcade problems. Pins are always more work than video games.
    You don't have the arcade income. It is still an arcade.
    LTG : )

    Wow. It has never been put to me that way...lol. I am running an arcade with no income from said arcade. My tech is mediocre at best too.... Damn...lol.

    #19 3 months ago

    wait till ya get in to the 10-20 range of pinballs owned, then you will get the full effect of always having to work on something.

    #20 3 months ago
    Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

    wait till ya get in to the 10-20 range of pinballs owned, then you will get the full effect of always having to work on something.

    I think I've had up to 9 before. My current setup only allows for 7 pins. I would have to sell some arcade machines to make room for anymore. Unless I put some pins in the middle of the room. My hope is that 7 is enough...we shall see.

    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from stevevt:

    Sorry, Blake. This answer is bananas.

    Here is my reasoning:

    - EM's - Properly rebuild or refurbish line cord, steppers, switches, score reels, flippers and other mechanical assemblies in the back box, lower cabinet and playfield and you will have a TANK of a machine that stays in better working condition the more you play it. And your issues will be minor, cost less and usually quickly resolved.

    - Early SS - Properly rebuild the rectifier board, power supply, install new header pins (male/female) on the MPU and driver boards, cap the sound board, new flipper mechs and kick out assemblies. These games will be rock solid. Replacement parts will be available both new and used. Lots of folks in the community available to help troubleshoot if needed.

    - Williams System 11 - These games have one of the best hardware systems of any pin era and when properly rebuilt they are work horses. Say no more. The documentation and reputation speaks for its self.

    - Gottlieb System 3 - Quite possibly the most rugged mechanical assemblies ever built. Most of these games were built with superior materials and often times resemble their premium or LE counterparts (Look at a Stargate if you doubt me). The boards in these games often times have no visual scars from aftermarket rework. The connections unlike Gottlieb System 80 are rugged and quite often need little more then a quick cleaning with your fiber glass eraser. Flippers in these games after a fresh rebuild are absolute rockets. And of coarse we can't forget silk screened parts locations on the bottom side of the playfield. Everyone wishes this was the norm.

    I could keep going. And of coarse the opinions will too. But to say that my statement is bananas tells me you probably didn't read everything I said.

    Everything has problems. You maintaining the Co-op know that better then most. But after things are brought back from the dead then the systems I mention are in fact strong contenders for reliability. I will admit, most folks would not and do not go through the machine in the briefly described manor I suggest. And often times revert to quick solutions such as reflowing solder rather then replacing it, cleaning up headers rather then replacing them, repinning connectors rather then buying new ones, leaving old fuse clips or caps installed, so on and so on.

    Anyone with the new Stern or JJ argument can take a quick peek at the dozens of threads created for the shit show that is NEW pinball (lack of) quality.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #22 3 months ago

    You've never owned new machines. You're basing 100% of your opinion on new machines on what you're reading on Pinside, where people come to get help for their problems.

    I agree with your assessment of older stuff being able to made more reliable, but until every single thing is replaced on an older game the old stuff is going to give you more problems. Age and vibration take their toll on everything.

    #23 3 months ago

    While I don't have many machines anymore, new machines were clearly more reliable. Even old machines that I had which were professionally restored and gone through to be made bullet proof would still have random issues. It's just the nature of the beast, the old machines have so many old ic's, connectors, boards, etc that inevitably some part or connection will fail. They were never designed to last this long, so failure on them is inevitable.

    #24 3 months ago
    Quoted from stevevt:

    You've never owned new machines. You're basing 100% of your opinion on new machines on what you're reading on Pinside, where people come to get help for their problems.
    I agree with your assessment of older stuff being able to made more reliable, but until every single thing is replaced on an older game the old stuff is going to give you more problems. Age and vibration take their toll on everything.

    Have you been in my game room Steve? If you could give me a run down on the pins that I own I'll give you two quarters next time I'm at the Co-Op. Same two quarters I give my son when he surprises me.

    I've unboxed, setup, FIXED and played enough NIB pins to know they still have problems. And as long as these companies continue to put lower quality products into certain aspects of their high end pins, these problems and others will continue to pop up. No different then previous eras. The biggest difference between them and their 30+ year old counterparts is whether or not you can afford to fix them.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #25 3 months ago

    Pinball machines have problems new or old especially when there is more the one and always before and during parties. My only nib game other then code and quote "normal playfeild dimples" only had a subway trough issue its been fine meanwhile the 25+ year old games have the typical old age problems. Now the pinball joint i hang at the old games have their issues but they get played a lot. Meanwhile the new games have issues out of the box including the top notch no glue cabinets broken optos,bad boards etc.

    I think some get lucky with new games and some get the nib usual problems that have become the new normal we see.

    #26 3 months ago

    At least with nib you do have a warranty, and can insist on parts and help for free.

    Unless it is playfield chipping/pooling/etc,. which luckily I never had any of that anyway.

    Then after the first few months, nib seems to be 100% fine for thousands of plays.

    My experience anyway.

    #27 3 months ago

    I'm not gonna lie to you and say newer games have more problems. Of course these new machine are made to a better specs that I wish for and much less problem if any the whole time I've had my nib games. and I love bally/williams.

    #28 3 months ago

    I stopped buying older games completely and only buying NIB games because I don’t like fixing stuff. I want to play my games. I hate seeing a dark game in my collection.

    And worst case scenario if there’s an issue I call the company whether it’s stern, JJP, CGC, and they mail me a part and I pop it in.

    Yes this costs more money to do but that just became what I planned around.

    #29 3 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    I stopped buying older games completely and only buying NIB games because I don’t like fixing stuff. I want to play my games. I hate seeing a dark game in my collection.
    And worst case scenario if there’s an issue I call the company whether it’s stern, JJP, CGC, and they mail me a part and I pop it in.
    Yes this costs more money to do but that just became what I planned around.

    Isn’t this essentially what you do on older games? Get the new $2 part or however much it is and pop it in? A great deal of the time it’s something simple that’s easy to figure out on these older games.

    #30 3 months ago

    Worrying stuff:

    Spike boards.
    Gimicky tech stuff. Will you be able to get a new dragon for the hobbit in ten years? Phone for dialed in?

    #31 3 months ago
    Quoted from Jmckune:

    Isn’t this essentially what you do on older games? Get the new $2 part or however much it is and pop it in? A great deal of the time it’s something simple that’s easy to figure out on these older games.

    If you have refurbished/rebuilt your game in a proper fashion then this has been my experience. The more time you spend initially will pay huge dividends in the end.

    Example: A friend of mine is very fond of older EM's, both pinball and arcade/amusement. This portion (yes he has more) of his collection probably has an average age of about 1965 - 1970, with a number of machines coming from the 50's. Probably a dozen machines. I can honestly say that these machines play flawlessly and were a big reason EM's now excite me. From the gun games, to the horse racing, to the pinball, his machines just seem to keep your interest.

    Why? Because they play the way they were intended too all those years ago. And that only comes from bringing a 50 year old machine back up to that level. You can't grab an old machine put it in your arcade, do the minimal and expect it to be as reliable as one made in the last ten years. If thats what this topic is inquiring about then I misinterpreted the question.

    But if you do decide to go through a machine, and I mean really go through it. Not necessarily spend a bunch of money, but certainly a bunch of time. Then I think you can have some very good success playing the hell out of an older (50's-90's) machine and not see it break down in the manner some folks would have you believe.

    I feel bad for the folks who have not seen these examples in the hobby. They are missing some real treats

    Thanks
    Blake

    #32 3 months ago

    ^Agree, every single one of my games has had problems at some point. I take the time to go through and address the problem. The most advanced thing I’ve done was for my Bad Cats. It has played reliably for YEARS in a home environment. I knew the prior owner of the game personally and before giving it to me it never needed anything other than routine maintenance. Shortly after I got it, the display took a poo poo. Noting that it came back on after a few power cycles I determined it wasn’t the fuse and the display itself was good. With the help of the folks on here I gathered the courage to do some board work. The problem was traced to the high voltage section on the power supply board. I recapped the thing and rebuilt the high voltage. Game fired right back up faithfully as it had for years before that. Went through after that and replaced every rubber, cleaned every post, adjusted switches, cleaned the dirty target and it’s back to being the beast that System 11s are known for.

    #33 3 months ago
    Quoted from Jmckune:

    ^Agree, every single one of my games has had problems at some point. I take the time to go through and address the problem. The most advanced thing I’ve done was for my Bad Cats. It has played reliably for YEARS in a home environment. I knew the prior owner of the game personally and before giving it to me it never needed anything other than routine maintenance. Shortly after I got it, the display took a poo poo. Noting that it came back on after a few power cycles I determined it wasn’t the fuse and the display itself was good. With the help of the folks on here I gathered the courage to do some board work. The problem was traced to the high voltage section on the power supply board. I recapped the thing and rebuilt the high voltage. Game fired right back up faithfully as it had for years before that. Went through after that and replaced every rubber, cleaned every post, adjusted switches, cleaned the dirty target and it’s back to being the beast that System 11s are known for.

    Meow meow meow meow!
    It's a fun game.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #34 3 months ago

    Yes, No, Maybe.

    #35 3 months ago
    Quoted from Jmckune:

    Isn’t this essentially what you do on older games? Get the new $2 part or however much it is and pop it in? A great deal of the time it’s something simple that’s easy to figure out on these older games.

    My experience with older games was they sat dark when I was unable to fix what the problem was (with my very limited skills). It's just not for me.

    #37 3 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    My experience with older games was they sat dark when I was unable to fix what the problem was. It's just not for me.

    I could certainly see this happening to folks. There is a learning curve on all types and eras of coin op. Pins - Vids - Jukes - Change machines - Vending. Its all intimidating at first glance. And newer pins like Stern and JJ are pushing for a "swaptronics" type of repair that allows the user to have minimal knowledge of what they are replacing or what has gone wrong and yet still fix the problem. The difference is cost. At least for the folks who own a machine out of warranty.

    I personally like having a high probability of finding and changing the one component that might have gone bad, rather then replace the entire module. But I also like Vids so what does that tell you

    Thanks
    Blake

    #38 3 months ago
    Quoted from Blake:

    they play the way they were intended too all those years ago. And that only comes from bringing a 50 year old machine back up to that level. You can't grab an old machine put it in your arcade, do the minimal and expect it to be as reliable as one made in the last ten years. If thats what this topic is inquiring about then I misinterpreted the question.
    But if you do decide to go through a machine, and I mean really go through it. Not necessarily spend a bunch of money, but certainly a bunch of time. Then I think you can have some very good success playing the hell out of an older (50's-90's) machine and not see it break down in the manner some folks would have you believe.

    One of the most personally rewarding things I've done is take complete wrecked basket cases and rebuild them to a state where they survive 3-day pinball shows with constant lines; in addition to compliments from peers and players, I've even won best-in-class awards and TV interviews over machines that were literal garbage when I got them. I even sold a couple to a local bardcade where they continued to earn day-in-day-out for over 2+ more years. So it's very possible to make an old game play new and troublefree and you might yourself be shocked at how resilient the bones of these games are, with a little (OK, sometimes maybe a lot of) TLC.

    If anyone remembers the "barn auction El Dorado" thread I opened a few years ago, that machine was GARBAGE. It took a long time to restore, and it's still far from perfect... but it just came back from Louisville Expo (last show before the covidocalypse) where the only thing I had to do for it over 3 days of non-stop play, was replace a bulb and unstick a score reel from from transit-related wire movement. Amazing, honestly. And yet not amazing at all.

    I understand not everyone is a masochist who can or wants to spend that kind of time. But it's certainly possible to make old games rock solid reliable. And not always too expensive or overwhelmingly time consuming (I just tend to like the extreme before-after projects). But you don't have to drop $7K+ on a NIB game to have something dead reliable. I'm not too far over that amount spent on my entire collection over the last few years (in fact I'm well under that if you remove the lone two games I bought fresh and turnkey), and they're rarely forced dark for extended time once I'm done with them.

    #39 3 months ago

    I think the newest games can cause the most problems:

    I managed to get in on ordering a standard R&M but I haven't told my wife about it yet. That's a big problem.
    I think the new Heist game from P3 looks terrific and I'd love to get one but I can't afford it. That's another problem.

    #40 3 months ago

    Nah, it’s pinball and you’ll always have problems.

    #41 3 months ago

    Last problem mine has wasn’t anything electronic at all. It was at the Arcade expo. My game was dark when I walked up to it and I turned it on to check. No errors. Hmmm. Went to play a game, left flipper buttons broke lol. That was easy enough to swap out

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