(Topic ID: 125465)

**How to** Addition of Boss Equalizers to Stern Machines


By NPO

4 years ago



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  • 21 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by MustangPaul
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#1 4 years ago

So, way back when, metallik gave an awesome suggestion on how to really make a Stern machine sing by addition of higher quality speakers, an external subwoofer, and Boss amplifiers.

Since he did this, a few of us have copied his setup, but details have been rather minimal with few photos and vague descriptions.

This thread hopes to turn that around, and empower other Pinsiders to duplicate metallik's setup and have their machines truly sing.

I hate to do this, but here's the mandatory "You dun screwed up" disclaimer: These instructions, photos, and videos assume you understand basic wiring component work. The work itself is nearly identical to installing a radio into a car. The equalizer is your radio, and the pinball machine is your car. If you are NOT comfortable with doing this, DON'T. I am not responsible for any damages incurred on your property if you choose to do this upgrade. I am also not responsible for any injury or death you caused. You break something - or mame, hurt, injure, or kill something/someone - blame yourself.

Ok, now that that crap is out of the way, let's begin.

So, the first thing you want to do is buy everything in this picture:

20150322_030740.jpg

The Pyle speakers can be found here: http://www.parts-express.com/pyle-plg42-4-coaxial-speaker-pair--267-717

** - NOTE - ** - the Pyle speakers are plug and play so as long as you do not mind removing the stock Stern speaker grills. If you do not, the speaker cones extend too far out and will push against the speaker grills. If you want to leave the speaker grills in place, you'll need to devise a way to mount them with some metal spacers. I don't care about the grills, so I have not devised such a setup.

The Pyramid speaker can be found here: http://www.parts-express.com/pyramid-wx85x-8-white-poly-woofer--290-272

The Boss amplifiers (total of 2 needed, one of the translite speakers and another for the cabinet speaker) can be found all over the internet. Amazon is one good place to get them: amazon.com link »

Any basic desktop computer power supply. This one from NewEgg for about $20 should work fine: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152019

** - IMPORTANT NOTE - ** Some power supplies will run with a load attached, and some won't without a load. When you get your power supply, you will want to locate the 24 pin connector. Find the solid green wire (power on), and to the immediate right or left of that wire, there will be a solid black wire (ground). You want to jumper these wires together. Basically, it acts as a fail-safe, insuring that your power supply will run with or without a load (your speakers). For a quick visual, see this diagram: ATX_24pin001a1.png

Have basic tools on hand: crimpers, wire strippers, electric twist nuts, speaker wire, insulated male and female connectors, etc.

Now, first thing to do is access the back of your Stern speaker panel, remove your old ho-hum factory speakers and install your new Pyle in the left side. Now, don't put the factory wiring back on your new speakers, no no no. Take the red w/white stripe wires and the red w/orange stripe wire and connect the two together.

From there, follow the red w/orange stripe wire, and you should see it run to a capacitor. From the other end of the capacitor, the wire should now be solid red leading to the other speaker on the right side of the machine. Now, get rid of the other factory speaker and put in your new Pyle on the right side. When removing the factory speaker, you should see the other end of the red wire we were just talking about as well as a pair of red w/black stripe wires.

Focus on the red wire first. We want to get this wire to the solid orange and solid yellow wires on the high level inputs on the Boss equalizer. The easiest way to do this is to introduce a wire from the end of the red wire and run it to BOTH the solid orange and solid yellow wires. Once this is done, go back to the pair of red w/black stripe wires, and run a similar jumper wire to the orange w/black stripe and yellow w/black stripe wires. In doing this, you have broken the circuit of the sound system and introduced the Boss amplifier as a new component of your Stern pinball's sound system. Just think of your pinball machine as a car, and the equalizer as a car radio headunit; it is pretty much the exact same thing.

Now, we need to get power to the Boss equalizer. to do this, get your computer power supply and put it somewhere in the machine where the slide rails will not interfere with it. On your computer power supply's wiring, you'll need to locate a 4 pin connector that has a pair of yellow wires and a pair of black wires. These are 12V power wires - solid yellow being power and black being ground.

1. Strip a pair of these wires
2. Connect the red wire and the orange wire from the equalizer to the yellow wire of the computer power supply.
3. Connect the brown wire and black wire to the black wire of the computer power supply.
4. Plug the computer power supply to the service A/C outlet in the bottom right of your Stern machine and make sure the machine has power (you do not need to fire the machine up).

You should now see the equalizer lights (green) come on. Once you've verified this, unplug the power plug to your computer power supply for now.

Now, we need to run speaker wiring back to your Pyle speakers in the speaker panel. Get your extra speaker wiring (some should come with the Pyle speakers and is PERFECT for this part). Strip the solid green wire and the green w/black stripe wires, crimp the speaker wiring to each of these wires, and run the speaker wiring back to your Pyle speakers on the left side. There is no polarity, so either wire should be able to go to either speaker spade terminal. Do the same for the right Pyle speaker; I used the purple and purple w/black stripe wires. You are now done with the translite speakers. Fire your game up and make sure they are operating before moving onto the cabinet speaker (it's easier to correct something now then later when more stuff is hooked up).

Now for the cabinet speaker - get rid of the factory and introduce your new Pyramid speaker. The machine's wiring should be a yellow w/black stripe wire and a yellow w/white stripe wire. Introduce these wires to either the orange and orange w/black stripe wires OR the yellow and yellow w/black stripe wires. You only need one pair as you are only hooking up one speaker.

Get your second amplifier in place and hook up the power and ground using the other pair of yellow and black wires as you did for the first amplifier (you should have one remaining pair of solid yellow and solid black wires left ready for this).

Now, run speaker wires from the equalizer to the speaker as you did for the translite speakers.

**- IMPORTANT NOTE here -**: match the inputs with the outputs here. If you pick a "left" input, pick a "left" output. So if you use the orange and orange w/black stripe wires for your input (right side), MAKE SURE you use either the solid gray and gray w/black stripe wire pair or the solid purple and purple w/black stripe wire pair (both right side speaker outputs). If you go mixing left inputs with right outputs or vice versa, you'll get VERY MINIMAL sound, and you'll be very disappointed with the results. Trust me on that one.

For the external subwoofer, run speaker wiring from the subwoofer and you can simply alligator clip them to the spade terminals of the cabinet speaker, or you can connect the sub to the equalizer through the use of RCA cables. Both the sub and the equalizer will have the proper connectors; you just need to supply the RCA cables.

I can take pictures of all of this for anyone who needs them.

I uploaded a series of videos documenting this visually with my GoPro. There are a total of 3 of them.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

If you have any questions about this setup, you can always PM me. I can answer questions about THIS setup. If you introduce other amps, I'll try to help - just please know this is the setup I use and am comfortable with answering questions.

Metallik originally did this on his Metallica LE and ACDC Premium, and I was so impressed I replicated it on my AC DC LED Pro and Metallica Pro. I'll never look back - definitely worth it!

Cheers .

#2 4 years ago

Awesome. Thank you for this. Would simply doing a panel speaker upgrade help with sound?

#3 4 years ago

This does bring a question to mind. Before your mods, was your acdc sound at least clear? My Metallica premium sounds so nice ask I did was add an external sub, but my acdc pro was always crackly. So I put a 12" powered sub inside the cabinet, added 40w pyle speakers in the back box, then added a 40w amp with a low level converter to it. The sound is a little better, alot louder, but still sort of crackling. I'm wondering if some of these sound boards just suck or if I simply made a bad choice with the back box amp and level converter. Any thoughts? The parts were cheap enough, but I don't want to buy more to try without at least knowing someone else had good luck with it.

#4 4 years ago
Quoted from damageinc55:

Awesome. Thank you for this. Would simply doing a panel speaker upgrade help with sound?

You're welcome .

Yes, upgrading your speakers would absolutely help. The stock ones from Stern are absolutely minimal. Upgrade your speakers, and they will sound stronger. It won't be an insanely crazy difference, but you'll definitely hear "more strength" behind the speakers.

Quoted from BillR:

This does bring a question to mind. Before your mods, was your acdc sound at least clear? My Metallica premium sounds so nice ask I did was add an external sub, but my acdc pro was always crackly. So I put a 12" powered sub inside the cabinet, added 40w pyle speakers in the back box, then added a 40w amp with a low level converter to it. The sound is a little better, alot louder, but still sort of crackling. I'm wondering if some of these sound boards just suck or if I simply made a bad choice with the back box amp and level converter. Any thoughts? The parts were cheap enough, but I don't want to buy more to try without at least knowing someone else had good luck with it.

My ACDC did have perfect sound before using this setup. I would say that if you're using one amplifier, there could potentially be some electrical noise that is being picked up by the high inputs of your amplifier and is being heard. Problem with that theory is you said the sound was crackly with your ACDC from the factory? That being the case, I wonder if you have a bad solder joint on a component on your ACDC's sound card, or maybe a component was bad from the factory. I would advise checking your sound board components. It'll be a bit systemic and tedious, but if you were getting crackling sound from factory, that is my first guess. Good luck!

#5 4 years ago

I was thinking the same thing, but I needed a push in one direction or the other. I'll play with the sound card first. It was always a crackly, distorted sound, AM radio sounding. I really didn't know if that was normal, it's the only acdc I ever played and everyone says the stock speakers suck so bad.

#7 4 years ago
Quoted from BillR:

everyone says the stock speakers suck so bad.

The stock speakers are almost the equivalence of having two cans with a string attached. For what Stern charges, you would THINK you'd get some kind of solid sound setup.

#8 4 years ago

I was pretty surprised that modern music pins have such cheap sound. I guess they have to leave us something to play with.

#9 4 years ago

This is wonderful write up. Thanks so much, I'll be trying on my next new pin.

#10 4 years ago

J - you write up some really cool (and informative) posts.

3 months later
#11 3 years ago

Ahh....here it is !! Thanks J for taking time to do this. Just out of curiousity, any specific reason for choosing Pyles ? Will any 2.4" speaker work ? I just would like to have my grills back on after, without washers.
Hopefully see ya at Metalliks later this month man !

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from Gryszzz:

Ahh....here it is !! Thanks J for taking time to do this. Just out of curiousity, any specific reason for choosing Pyles ? Will any 2.4" speaker work ? I just would like to have my grills back on after, without washers.
Hopefully see ya at Metalliks later this month man !

Honestly, no real one reason. With PartsExpress being local in Dayton, they are super cheap and easy to get. I would strongly assume any 4" speakers would be good; I was just lazy for convenience's sake .

1 month later
#13 3 years ago

Killer How-to by NPO, thanks for taking the time to put together this detailed guide. I would highly recommend this mod to anyone that is looking to upgrade their sound system more than just adding aftermarket speakers.

The only thing I don't like about it, and I'm hoping there is a solution, is that I always have a constant "white noise" type of sound coming out of the speakers as long as the game is powered on no matter if it's in attract mode or if I'm playing and it doesn't go up or down with volume level. Does anyone know what this could be and is there a way to get rid of or even minimize it?

1 month later
#14 3 years ago

Pindude, my bad, I meant to answer this and then "life happened" and I forgot.

So, what I would do is bring all the settings on both equalizers to "mid line". Then, I would take my game's main volume inside the coin door down to zero. At this point, you should not hear any white noise. Now, slowly raise your volume on your game's main volume control. As you do this, adjust settings on your equalizers. Alternate these two actions until the white noise returns, and then step your main volume down by 1-3 digits.

It is probably going to be a mixture of the volume settings of both the main control and the equalizers, and the most rational way I know to fix it is to adjust those two settings by trial and error. I know the noise you're referring to, and that is how I got rid of it. Sorry I don't have a more technical or methodical answer

#15 3 years ago

NPO, no big deal, I was taking time off of Metallica and playing my newly acquired Mustang anyways.

I really appreciate the detailed response, it didn't work in my situation, but it did get my wheels spinning! Before changing any adjustments on the EQs I turned the game volume all the way down and noticed the white noise sound didn't change. I ended up goofing around with the EQ settings and figured out what was causing my noise was the very last two EQ adjustments on the right for the backbox speakers, in particular the last one on the right was very sensitive and controlled most of that noise. So after experimenting for a little while what I ended up doing was with the game in attract mode I adjusted the last two for the amount of white noise I considered tolerable and didn't get on my nerves, then I turned the game volume up pretty loud, 50 I think? I played a song using the jukebox feature. I left the last two settings on the right alone and adjusted all the other EQ setting to the sound I liked the most.

I do have to say I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't turn the last two up much because to me they add to the way I like the audio to sound, but that white noise REALLY got on my nerves to where I didn't want to play the game or even have it turned on. I was talking to Metallik last night at his get together about this and he and I were trying to figure out where the EQ was picking up the sound at, was it off the power supply, at one point he suggested using a in-line filter, which I think would be worth trying, is it a very sensitive channel on the EQ or I was wondering if maybe just the audio feed from Stern isn't super clear and the EQ picks it up and amplifies it?

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from pindude80:

NPO, no big deal, I was taking time off of Metallica and playing my newly acquired Mustang anyways.
I really appreciate the detailed response, it didn't work in my situation, but it did get my wheels spinning! Before changing any adjustments on the EQs I turned the game volume all the way down and noticed the white noise sound didn't change. I ended up goofing around with the EQ settings and figured out what was causing my noise was the very last two EQ adjustments on the right for the backbox speakers, in particular the last one on the right was very sensitive and controlled most of that noise. So after experimenting for a little while what I ended up doing was with the game in attract mode I adjusted the last two for the amount of white noise I considered tolerable and didn't get on my nerves, then I turned the game volume up pretty loud, 50 I think? I played a song using the jukebox feature. I left the last two settings on the right alone and adjusted all the other EQ setting to the sound I liked the most.
I do have to say I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't turn the last two up much because to me they add to the way I like the audio to sound, but that white noise REALLY got on my nerves to where I didn't want to play the game or even have it turned on. I was talking to Metallik last night at his get together about this and he and I were trying to figure out where the EQ was picking up the sound at, was it off the power supply, at one point he suggested using a in-line filter, which I think would be worth trying, is it a very sensitive channel on the EQ or I was wondering if maybe just the audio feed from Stern isn't super clear and the EQ picks it up and amplifies it?

Sorry to bypass your whole reply, but you were at Metallik's lastnight???? So was I!!!! I was there from 3pm-8pm - dang wish I had known!

I noticed his IMVE tends to "sing" in attract mode as well. I can hear it everytime I stand close to it; I don't think anyone else catchs it though. I wonder if his IMVE "noise" in attract mode is the same as what you're referring to.

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Sorry to bypass your whole reply, but you were at Metallik's lastnight???? So was I!!!! I was there from 3pm-8pm - dang wish I had known!
I noticed his IMVE tends to "sing" in attract mode as well. I can hear it everytime I stand close to it; I don't think anyone else catchs it though. I wonder if his IMVE "noise" in attract mode is the same as what you're referring to.

I think you were hanging out with Pete most of the time? I thought you might have been NPO, but wasn't for sure, was going to come over and ask, but you were gone before I knew it.

Yeah, the Ironman definitely makes some noise just sitting there. I opened the cabinet and noticed that on one of his amps one of the two EQ settings was turned up pretty high so I'm betting that setting is causing his to do it also.

#18 3 years ago

Isn't the audio of the game mono? Could you get by using just one amp/eq?

#19 3 years ago

I'm not sure on the audio being mono, but I think the reason to use two amps is to be able to adjust the EQ independently between the backbox and cabinet speakers.

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I'm not sure on the audio being mono, but I think the reason to use two amps is to be able to adjust the EQ independently between the backbox and cabinet speakers.

Absolutely correct!

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