(Topic ID: 196176)

Advice on MAME cabinet purchase


By Nyxon

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by TheLaw
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 2 years ago

    Hello Fellow Pinheads,

    I'm looking to give my basement full of pins a little more old-timey arcade cred by adding a MAME cabinet. I have a question to ask, and I'm looking for the Second Best Answer, because I know the Best Answer is "build it yourself": any good recommendations for places to buy a solid MAME cabinet, to which I could add ROMs?

    I've got neither the time nor the ability to build one myself - I can barely keep up with maintaining the pins I have. So that said, where should I look to purchase one?

    I need to sell one of my pins -a Road Show - to make room for this, so I'm not in a huge rush, if that makes a difference. But any guidance from your collective wisdom appreciated.

    #2 2 years ago

    Pm sent.

    #3 2 years ago

    I would also be curious about this too... anyone ever use arcade shop for a complete build game ?

    #4 2 years ago

    I built one about 10 years ago and have decided it's time to upgrade. I'm with you though, I don't really feel like building another one from scratch. The Xtension arcades seem to have decent reviews and are very tempting to me right now:

    http://www.recroommasters.com/

    #5 2 years ago

    Are those... just the cabinets? Maybe I'm stupid, it's hard for me to tell.

    #6 2 years ago

    Sorry, yes it's just a cabinet and controls, you'd need to add a TV and either a PC and/or gaming console. I guess I read that you were looking for a cabinet and missed the part about only wanting to have to add ROMs. Whoops!

    #7 2 years ago

    Depending what you have access to, "building" one can be as easy as getting an empty cabinet and putting a PC/Raspberry Pi/whatever in and mounting a monitor in. My best advice is build it yourself (sorry!), so my second best advice is to see if someone local that you trust can. Alot of these scratch build places charge through the nose for low quality builds and are selling you ROMs they got for free and you'll end up paying 2-3K for something with terrible art that you'll NEVER get your investment back out of. I would avoid these "retail" places like the plague and check with local collectors. I'd bet you can get something better built and looking for 1/4 the cost from someone.

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    and are selling you ROMs they got for free

    I looked into setting up Hypervisor at one point to have a cool front end and it involved renaming 3,000 games or something that would've taken me days to do. I think if I paid for anything, it would be for a cheap computer that already had all of this preloaded on there, despite the fact that the roms were free.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from skywelker:

    I built one about 10 years ago and have decided it's time to upgrade. I'm with you though, I don't really feel like building another one from scratch. The Xtension arcades seem to have decent reviews and are very tempting to me right now:
    http://www.recroommasters.com/

    This is what I have and it's great. I use an XBox with CoinOps and Vision, a regular television and computer speakers/sub. Add some decals and you have a decent rig for a good price.

    Shipping and customer service with recroommasters was great. Highly recommended.

    #10 2 years ago

    My buddy makes these...and local... ...........Joey

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    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from playboywillis:

    I looked into setting up Hypervisor at one point to have a cool front end and it involved renaming 3,000 games or something that would've taken me days to do. I think if I paid for anything, it would be for a cheap computer that already had all of this preloaded on there, despite the fact that the roms were free.

    This is true, it can depend what you use. I have all dedicated cabs but I know hyperspin can be a nightmare to configure. Depending how many games you want (I mean how many of those 3000 are you REALLY playing) you could do a raspberry pi setup with Retro Pie and it's literally drag and drop. I can see paying to save your time for sure and totally get that aspect, but I'd bet you can still find a local collector to do it that has done it already for themselves for alot cheaper than a retail site.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    I have all dedicated cabs but I know hyperspin can be a nightmare to configure. Depending how many games you want (I mean how many of those 3000 are you REALLY playing) ...

    Yeah that was the issue with mine...You want MORE!!! but then the issue is you have way more than you need. Then people come over to play and you're constantyl going out to the main menu and searching through endless games and blah blah it juts becomes really complicated.

    #13 2 years ago

    I used these guys when I wanted to build mine: http://www.mameroom.com/webstore_home.asp (I did the Ultimate Arcade II)

    Note that I used them for Cabinet only, I did the PC and Control panel myself, but I believe they can do as much or as little as you need, but get pricey. I had a PC, TV, and speakers available so that cost was $0. (If you choose to build, I recommend the following as your guide: amazon.com link »)

    For cabinet only, you can order the pre-cut pieces and plans and put together, or just the plans and cut/construct your own. Went together fairly easily, but the finished product is VERY heavy and a little big. Which is great because it's stable, but difficult to move around and complete the construction alone. Mine has survived a couple house moves though and I've been very happy with it.

    I love mine, goes great with Pins, luck!

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    (I mean how many of those 3000 are you REALLY playing)

    That is a really good point, and a drag and drop would be great. That's kind of how I thought this would all be, until I looked into Hyperspin and realized the complexity and just dropped the project. (Don't want the keyboard and mouse setup-already have a dedicated emulation computer on the TV). But recently I realized just how long I've been out of the MAME game. I'm probably wrong but it seems like you need ten different versions of MAME on hand for different games that may or may not have been updated in the past. This one plays Die Hard, this one plays Street Fighter, this one plays Soul Calibur 5. Just seems like it would take a LOT of reading to get back into the know on this stuff.

    Or just pay a guy.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from playboywillis:

    That is a really good point, and a drag and drop would be great. That's kind of how I thought this would all be, until I looked into Hyperspin and realized the complexity and just dropped the project. (Don't want the keyboard and mouse setup-already have a dedicated emulation computer on the TV). But recently I realized just how long I've been out of the MAME game. I'm probably wrong but it seems like you need ten different versions of MAME on hand for different games that may or may not have been updated in the past. This one plays Die Hard, this one plays Street Fighter, this one plays Soul Calibur 5. Just seems like it would take a LOT of reading to get back into the know on this stuff.
    Or just pay a guy.

    I set up a Retro Pie for my living room a few weeks back. Took about 20 minutes with two YouTube tutorials and a $35 Raspberry Pi. Give it a look, it's super fun and incredibly easy to swap ROMs, you literally drag and drop onto/off of a USB stick.

    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Yeah that was the issue with mine...You want MORE!!! but then the issue is you have way more than you need. Then people come over to play and you're constantyl going out to the main menu and searching through endless games and blah blah it juts becomes really complicated.

    I realized this when a buddy was telling me about the hours and hours he spent setting up 3DO and Atari Jaguar games on his hyperspin. It was cool to open and go "oh yeah the Jaguar, what a piece of weird garbage" and then never play it again, but probably not worth the week and a half it took him to do it. Especially in a cabinet, people will want to play some classics and some fighters, maybe Golden Tee if you have a trackball set-up. Alot of the "play 7000 console games!" cabinets these places sell are 98% stuff no one will ever touch or maybe load up to remember what it was like and then never touch again. I'm not trying to come off like a dick but more just offer a "make sure you're getting what you pay for and actually want" clause.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    I realized this when a buddy was telling me about the hours and hours he spent setting up 3DO and Atari Jaguar games on his hyperspin.

    Too true. And for me it's just crazy with that many ROMs...and then you have the list that reads them and actually shows them in HS. So I really only wanted the games with attract animation in HS so I open this list using C++ that I had to learn what was going on and then edit this list of 400 pages etc etc I mean what a nightmare. And then you gotta get a spinner right? I mean of course you need both a trackball and a spinner etc etc...it never ends.

    EDIT: Actually it did end i ripped the thing apart and replaced it with a Pin

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Too true. And for me it's just crazy with that many ROMs...and then you have the list that reads them and actually shows them in HS. So I really only wanted the games with attract animation in HS so I open this list using C++ that I had to learn what was going on and then edit this list of 400 pages etc etc I mean what a nightmare. And then you gotta get a spinner right? I mean of course you need both a trackball and a spinner etc etc...it never ends.
    EDIT: Actually it did end i ripped the thing apart and replaced it with a Pin

    Lol pretty much! I totally get the labor of love/doing it for the sake of doing it thing, but I had to take a "better you than me" stance on that one. I'm not one of those anti MAME guys by any means and it's a cool nostalgia trip, but for the time and/or money it's a tough sell for me personally.

    #18 2 years ago

    I built a custom cabinet using about a dozen different veneers, see pic below.

    I am using a Pi with Piplay. However, the front-end is confusing to people. I've thought about converting to Jamma; however, the mix of games I have/want make the Pi the better option. I really like the front ends on the Jamma boards that allow you to quickly and easily page through games with a preview. What do people think is the best front-end for the RPi?

    IMG_2115 (resized).JPG

    #19 2 years ago

    Is that Colonel Sanders?

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    This is what I have and it's great. I use an XBox with CoinOps and Vision, a regular television and computer speakers/sub. Add some decals and you have a decent rig for a good price.
    Shipping and customer service with recroommasters was great. Highly recommended.

    That's great to hear, I just love the idea of them sending the cabinet with graphics and controls already installed. I'd like to do that and then add MAME with the ability to switch to XBoxOne/PS4.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from skywelker:

    That's great to hear, I just love the idea of them sending the cabinet with graphics and controls already installed. I'd like to do that and then add MAME with the ability to switch to XBoxOne/PS4.

    Here's my setup. Definitely a budget build. X-Arcade controls, recroommasters cab and decals and a normal TV. XBox with Vision and CoinOps. I love it.

    IMG_1326 (resized).JPG

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Here's my setup. Definitely a budget build. X-Arcade controls, recroommasters cab and decals and a normal TV. XBox with Vision and CoinOps. I love it.

    I sold my other massive Slikstik cabinets and "downgraded" to this same setup. Much smaller footprint and works great and was a local deal at $400.

    #23 2 years ago

    And yeah, Hyperspin is WAY overkill in my opinion. Very fun to show off and just have running in the background playing all the game clip movies. But not an easy interface to navigate at all.

    I normally just use an old MAME32 GUI because it's easy to scroll thru games; add favorites; filter by year, genre, etc.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from PoMC:

    I sold my other massive Slikstik cabinets and "downgraded" to this same setup. Much smaller footprint and works great and was a local deal at $400.

    Kinda the same here. I built my own cab, but it was enormous. I wanted something smaller with the same functionality.

    The recroommasters setup was the perfect size for me, but you don't get the same cabinet 'feel' as other MAME setups.

    Lots of options out there.

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from Nyxon:

    Hello Fellow Pinheads,
    I'm looking to give my basement full of pins a little more old-timey arcade cred by adding a MAME cabinet. I have a question to ask, and I'm looking for the Second Best Answer, because I know the Best Answer is "build it yourself": any good recommendations for places to buy a solid MAME cabinet, to which I could add ROMs?
    I've got neither the time nor the ability to build one myself - I can barely keep up with maintaining the pins I have. So that said, where should I look to purchase one?
    I need to sell one of my pins -a Road Show - to make room for this, so I'm not in a huge rush, if that makes a difference. But any guidance from your collective wisdom appreciated.

    You can buy mine for 2k. Excellent build. Hyper spin.

    image (resized).jpg

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    You can buy mine for 2k. Excellent build. Hyper spin.

    image (resized).jpg

    #27 2 years ago

    Northcoast Custom Arcades; they do good builds and have a quick turnaround, of 10 days.

    However, you are better off just buying a dedicated, they are cooler to look around, and nothing beats playing on a dedicated original control panel; there are usually 20-30 games max that people will want to play; and guests are usually overwhelmed by MAME setups; too hard to figure out how to just play a game.

    If you must have variety; I would recommend an Arcade Legends 3, or a Capcom cab with a Pandora's box 4splus.

    #28 2 years ago

    PS, if you are looking for a dedicated, buy from TNT; Todd Tuckey does the best work on arcade cabs barnone.

    His prices are retail; but worth it; nothing beats a dope dedicated cabinet; good luck.

    #29 2 years ago

    One more pic of mine....lit up

    image (resized).jpg

    #30 2 years ago

    I would check out DreamHomeAracdes which has apparently changed names to ExtremeHomeArcades.

    http://www.dreamhomearcades.com/home.aspx

    They make all sorts of different format cabinets, and you can get them customized with all sorts of artwork. They have a pretty extensive gallery of past cabinets as well on the website.

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    I set up a Retro Pie for my living room a few weeks back. Took about 20 minutes with two YouTube tutorials and a $35 Raspberry Pi. Give it a look, it's super fun and incredibly easy to swap ROMs, you literally drag and drop onto/off of a USB stick.

    This.

    You could "probably" find an SD card, formatted with Emulation Station, and all the ROMs/Games already there on Ebay, for around $25. So all you would need is the cab/tv/controls stuff. That Pi3 would cut costs down considerably so you could find a decent cab. Heck, I'd suggest a cocktail table set up, but that's me.

    #32 2 years ago

    How powerful are these Raspberry/Retro pies? Like what year do they hit their limit? Whats the moat advanced game they can run smoothly?

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from playboywillis:

    How powerful are these Raspberry/Retro pies? Like what year do they hit their limit? Whats the moat advanced game they can run smoothly?

    I know a Raspberry Pi 2 model B can run N64 games smoothly. I haven't tried a Raspberry Pi 3 yet to see what it can run.

    I have my RetroPie just hooked to my TV (its case mimics a mini NES) and I have USB versions of the different console controllers for whatever I feel like playing.

    I loaded every NES, SNES, Genesis, NeoGeo and a few N64 games up when I first started with it.

    As for a Mame cabinet, if you shop around, you can find some decent kits that you could assemble in a day with just a few tools. Add your own PC/monitor and just install what games you want and forget the rest. Sure, you could install everything you could ever find and use Hyperspin as the front end...if you want to spend several weeks just working on configuring everything. Just start slow, and add/configure games over time.

    Just remember to create a full backup of your machine every so often in the event something catastrophic happens.
    That's how I picked up my cocktail MAME, someone I knew built it up and then some time....and a storm later, he just had a cocktail cabinet. Fried the computer and his monitor. He was going to throw it away until I picked it up and added the cheapest PC Walmart had (I completely reformatted Windows to get rid of the bloat ware) and I installed an actual 19" arcade LED screen. I just set up about 10 games within Hyperspin so I could test the rest of it out. Popeye, Pacman, Galaga, Digdug...they play fine.
    I do need to work on the controls, I think the "keyboard" input board is the reason the controls sometimes get wonky. Either that, or he used really cheap joysticks and buttons. I'll have to look at putting in some illuminated controls someday.

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Here's my setup. Definitely a budget build. X-Arcade controls, recroommasters cab and decals and a normal TV. XBox with Vision and CoinOps. I love it.

    Sweet, nothing wrong with a budget build. How's the quality of the decals? Did you have them preinstalled or go with the interchangeable ones?

    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from skywelker:

    Sweet, nothing wrong with a budget build. How's the quality of the decals? Did you have them preinstalled or go with the interchangeable ones?

    I bought them from recroommasters so they fit perfectly.They have lots of designs from in-house and previous customers. Quality is great.

    I did them myself, not preinstalled. They're basically big stickers, so no talent or experience required. I opted to kind of do an arcade medley vs one theme, but there are many options.

    IMG_1911 (resized).PNG

    #36 2 years ago

    I built a cab about 8 years ago using the tank stick. Worked great for my purpose. I've since torn down the cab but pull out the stick from time to time.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from RonSS:

    Heck, I'd suggest a cocktail table set up, but that's me.

    Yeah the issue there is they csn take up a little more space...at least more awkwardly having people on opposite sides. But damn i;ve always wanted a cocktail machine.

    #38 2 years ago

    I think it's a great place to put drinks while playing MAME or pinball

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from RonSS:

    I think it's a great place to put drinks while playing MAME or pinball

    For sure...but alas until I can extend my basement I'm out of free space.

    #40 2 years ago

    If anyone needs a full Hyperspin setup - all the emulators and roms included and Hyperspin configured - I can make a copy of the drive for you. Also will include whatever pinball emulators I have along with several RetroPi images loaded with emulators and roms.

    $170 for a 2TB external drive loaded

    or

    Send me your 2TB or larger drive and I'll copy everything for $75.

    #41 2 years ago
    Quoted from Niterider:

    I know a Raspberry Pi 2 model B can run N64 games smoothly. I haven't tried a Raspberry Pi 3 yet to see what it can run.
    I have my RetroPie just hooked to my TV (its case mimics a mini NES) and I have USB versions of the different console controllers for whatever I feel like playing.
    I loaded every NES, SNES, Genesis, NeoGeo and a few N64 games up when I first started with it.
    As for a Mame cabinet, if you shop around, you can find some decent kits that you could assemble in a day with just a few tools. Add your own PC/monitor and just install what games you want and forget the rest. Sure, you could install everything you could ever find and use Hyperspin as the front end...if you want to spend several weeks just working on configuring everything. Just start slow, and add/configure games over time.
    Just remember to create a full backup of your machine every so often in the event something catastrophic happens.
    That's how I picked up my cocktail MAME, someone I knew built it up and then some time....and a storm later, he just had a cocktail cabinet. Fried the computer and his monitor. He was going to throw it away until I picked it up and added the cheapest PC Walmart had (I completely reformatted Windows to get rid of the bloat ware) and I installed an actual 19" arcade LED screen. I just set up about 10 games within Hyperspin so I could test the rest of it out. Popeye, Pacman, Galaga, Digdug...they play fine.
    I do need to work on the controls, I think the "keyboard" input board is the reason the controls sometimes get wonky. Either that, or he used really cheap joysticks and buttons. I'll have to look at putting in some illuminated controls someday.

    I have a 3 and you can run the PS/Saturn/N64 era stuff pretty well but will want to overclock it (and add a heatsink/fan so you don't blow it up).

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Is that Colonel Sanders?

    Bite your tongue...It's the Wake Forest mighty Demon Deacon! (Seeing your location, be thankful it's not Yosef...unfortunately, Wake has to play App State this year up in Boone. I'm not feeling too confident about that one, not that any Wake fan feels particularly confident of any game)

    #43 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Here's my setup. Definitely a budget build. X-Arcade controls, recroommasters cab and decals and a normal TV. XBox with Vision and CoinOps. I love it.

    I've read a lot abut the X-Arcade, good and not so good. Here is the big question: Can you play Centipede/Millipede with that trackball and does it work just as expected?

    I have been looking at all sorts of different ways to set up a MAME system as has been covered in this thread already. There are lots of options. But to me here is the biggest drawback of the typical cabinets that are based off the original arcade games, whether you build it or buy it: They are huge and heavy. That might not be an issue for many if you have the space. But if you think about it, you really don't need all that mass. Don't get me wrong, they still look awesome. But when using modern components, you can cut a lot of it down to size. All you need is the control panel and the monitor with speakers. If you use a pi it is so small it can be stuck anywhere.

    For now I am playing some MAME games on a typical TV setup using an Xbox 360 controller. It works surprisingly well for some games. But only some, others need real arcade controls for sure.

    #44 2 years ago

    All trackball games work great with the tankstick with trackball in the middle.

    Plus, it acts as the mouse, so you can basically get rid of the keyboard once you have it set up right

    #45 2 years ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    I've read a lot abut the X-Arcade, good and not so good. Here is the big question: Can you play Centipede/Millipede with that trackball and does it work just as expected?
    I have been looking at all sorts of different ways to set up a MAME system as has been covered in this thread already. There are lots of options. But to me here is the biggest drawback of the typical cabinets that are based off the original arcade games, whether you build it or buy it: They are huge and heavy. That might not be an issue for many if you have the space. But if you think about it, you really don't need all that mass. Don't get me wrong, they still look awesome. But when using modern components, you can cut a lot of it down to size. All you need is the control panel and the monitor with speakers. If you use a pi it is so small it can be stuck anywhere.
    For now I am playing some MAME games on a typical TV setup using an Xbox 360 controller. It works surprisingly well for some games. But only some, others need real arcade controls for sure.

    Yes... with a computer setup. I'm using an XBox, so the trackball doesn't work. I bought an X-Arcade controller with a trackball because they were running a special and it was cheaper than the controller without a trackball.

    So yes, depending on how you set everything up, games like Centipede and Golden Tee will work fine.

    #46 2 years ago
    Quoted from Oldgoat:

    Bite your tongue...It's the Wake Forest mighty Demon Deacon!

    I knew what it was. Well I mean I knew it was the Demon Deacon I still don;t know what the hell it's supposed to mean But I've always liked the look.

    (Seeing your location, be thankful it's not Yosef...

    I was on a raft in a lake on probably beer 15 listening to App state beat UofM and it was one of the best moments of my life. Followed by antother 10 years of great seasons

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I was on a raft in a lake on probably beer 15 listening to App state beat UofM and it was one of the best moments of my life.

    Hmm...let me guess MSU or OSU fan?

    #48 2 years ago
    Quoted from Oldgoat:

    Hmm...let me guess MSU or OSU fan?

    Anyone that's playing against UofM fan.
    Fork that place...I'm a townie!

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