(Topic ID: 64568)

ANN: Saturn(tm) Urethane Pinball Rings - Next Gen of "Rubber Rings" - Here now!


6 years ago

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  • 336 posts
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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Crash
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    Topic poll

    “Which Saturn Ring Color is your favorite (not the fluoro ones)”

    • Standard Colors (Red, White, Black, Yellow) 22 votes
    • Teal 6 votes
    • Green 7 votes
    • Orange 11 votes
    • Violet 8 votes
    • Blue 14 votes
    • Brown 1 vote
    • IFPA Maroon 7 votes
    • Other ... I want a new Color! 7 votes

    (83 votes)

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    There are 336 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 7.
    #1 6 years ago

    After many many months of development and testing, we are happy to announce Saturn(tm) Pinball Rings and immediate availability of Standard Flipper Rings and Shooter Tips, more rings coming soon!


    Saturn(tm) pinball rings are specially formulated Urethane Synthetic Rings which we have worked as much as possible to replicate the key characteristics of traditional 'gum rubber' rings, and eliminating the negative issues that are seen with them.

    The new synthetic 'rubber' products:
    - replace existing rubber rings
    - last longer, wear much better
    - does not leave bits of rubber on the playfield
    - easy wipe off cleaning
    - come in 3 different hardnesses (durometers)
    #1 - similar to the traditional 'red' rubber, lower durometer, softer, etc
    #3 - similar to the traditional 'black' rubber, high durometer, harder, etc
    #2 - the 'new' inbetween which shows really good bounce, great wear, etc.
    - come in (currently) 17 different colors - including fluoro (UV reactive) colors
    - we control the quality, and they are made locally (in the US)

    They are now avialable on PPS store and will be at selected distributors (AU, Europe) soon:


    Also, the color can be in any hardness, so NOW you can have black rings with a 'red' hardness on your game, etc.

    Some pictures here (sorry, too much flash!):
    - Standard Colors: http://www.pinball.com/saturn/SaturnFlipper.jpg
    - Fluoro Colors: http://www.pinball.com/saturn/SaturnFluoroFlipper.jpg
    - Shooter Tips: http://www.pinball.com/saturn/SaturnShooterTips.jpg

    The issues with gum rubber have long been documented, from inconsistencies in formulation, to early breakage, to color variations, etc, etc, etc. Gum Rubber rings are not going away anytime soon, but we feel that these rings are far better in most categories, which will provide more consistent game play, improve operating costs (game uptime and cleaning), and give some more customization options ...

    We have been working on these for some time, and have had them on test with IFPA/Josh Sharpe, Pinball Hall of Fame/Tim Arnold, and Jersey Jack Pinball / Jack Guarnieri (see their feedback in the 'flyer') ... so these are some of the tougher critics as we wanted something that was as good or better in most every category that we felt important!


    #2 6 years ago

    I'm liking what I'm reading.

    #3 6 years ago

    It's like LED's for pinball rubber

    #4 6 years ago

    Man, those teal flipper rubbers would look just awesome on a WCS94!

    #5 6 years ago

    Very cool, I just ordered a few. This should help a lot in keeping a game continuosly clean since the rubber won't be rubbed off into fine bits, spread back over the playfield.

    #6 6 years ago

    any plans to do mini flipper ones too (the 1" x 1/2" size)?

    #7 6 years ago

    yes, in a couple weeks ...


    #8 6 years ago

    I'll second the request for the mini ones -- they'd be -real- nice on the ACDC lower playfield.

    Speaking of which, I have a test set of these on my ACDC -- not sure which hardness I have, but I will say one thing about them:


    There's a handful of folks in the DC metro that have some of these on their games.
    I'm going to go buy a bunch in a few minutes for my games - I can't recommend them enough.

    #9 6 years ago

    Definately going to have to try florescent on SM and FG since I have a black light in the ceiling that I never use anyhow. I'm looking forward to florescent sling etc rubbers someday too. Thanks PP.

    #10 6 years ago

    You really have to see the fluorescent Green to appreciate it. It's out of this world like as in AFM Green!

    #11 6 years ago

    Man - those are awesome! What color do you recommend for the Medevial Madness remakes?

    #12 6 years ago

    Awesome, this is a much needed innovation IMHO. Definitely going to check these out.

    Is the plan for "more rings" to include slingshots etc? And will those be in the range of colors? Fluorescent green slingshots comes to mind for games like SS or EATPM.

    #13 6 years ago

    I can't wait to see the fluorescent under black light.

    #14 6 years ago

    These look great. I bet these will be hugely popular.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    I can't wait to see the fluorescent under black light.

    I was imagining a Tron LE with the blue fluorescent rubber played in a dark room with only a blacklight on. How cool would that look?

    #15 6 years ago

    I think I just had a heart attack. Once my wife sees this we are going to have to re-shop STTNG! CRAP!

    #16 6 years ago

    I ordered a couple sets of the fluorescent ones in the normal softness just to check them out. Figured I'd get the crazy colors as long as I was trying them.

    #17 6 years ago

    Is this the same type of material used on Cliffy's post sleeves?

    #18 6 years ago

    lol...Eddie, I was kind of wondering the exact same thing. That was the first thought I had when I saw how shiny they were. AFAIK, Cliffy's sleeves are an extruded plastic, so I don't think it's the same, but I could be wrong?

    I was wondering if the colored rings are going to be shiny as well or if they will have a matte finish?

    #19 6 years ago

    They can be made with a shiny or matte finish, we've made them with a little shiny of a surface per some feedback. For now, I think having 17 Colors and 3 Hardnesses is a good start.

    The #3 is requires some muscle to get over the bat, but has same durometer as the black rubbers, we see the #2's as a 'new' interesting durometer which has some good bounce to it.


    #20 6 years ago

    Any comparison to ABC rubber with the #2s? The ABC stock at my disposal is dwindling and it's hard to do an entire game because I'm missing a few crucial sizes. I like the way the ABCs play and I'd love another option color-wise.

    #21 6 years ago

    Cool. I was hoping for shiny, but gotta see how they look on the game. Can't wait for actual rings instead of just flipper rubber!

    #22 6 years ago

    wow those look cool,
    does the fluorescent rubbers react under a blacklight?

    #23 6 years ago

    Tim Arnold (pinball hall of fame) is very high on ABC rubber, but I think the main difference is rubber vs non-rubber - rubber (ABC or otherwise) has so many 'bad' traits relative to the new stuff, it's in a different class. If you didn't see the the comments from Tim on the flyer, here it is (in true tim fashion!) ...

    “We have tested these new rings at the Pinball Hall of Fame here in Las Vegas on our highest traffic games in the front row, new Stern titles that get played 12 hours a day every day. They are a vast improvement over the crappy rings being sold now, ALL of which seem to come from the same factory in China. The old rings shed rubber crumbs from the toe of the bat like crazy. This rubber dust is ground into the playfield by ball action making your machines look dirty after just a few hundred plays. The new rings are MUCH more durable and do not wear nearly as much as the old ones. THEY WILL STILL NEED TO BE KEPT CLEAN and rotated. The black stains that turn the old rings to garbage quickly also happen on the new rings, BUT THESE NEW RINGS CAN BE WIPED CLEAN. The stains do not go into the rubber. They do retain the shape of the flipper more than the old rings and must be rotated a few degrees toe-to-heel each time they are cleaned. They do NOT stain the bats like the old rings. No more scrubbing red goo off your clean white bats. We tested RED White and BLACK colors and the colors were pleasing to the eye and consistent across the whole surface. NONE of the rings burst during the test. This is always a problem with the old rings which got old and brittle very quickly. Keep in mind that ANY ring will still need to be cleaned, rotated and after a time, thrown away. This new product is not a license to ignore your games some more.(Standard operator bullshit). I am not a competition player, but the really good players we have here at the PHOF were told they were playing on a test ring and none of them had any negative comments about the GRIP or BOUNCE of the new rings. For far to long this industry has taken the stance that the only thing that matters is lower priced parts from the Orient. Parts that are spec only on price has led to machines that fail on location turning players off to playing pinball. It is time for operators and collectors to step up and pay more for quality stuff that lasts longer and works better. These new rings are a step in the right direction. We buy em, you should to. “ – Tim Arnold, Pinball Hall of Fame

    #24 6 years ago

    Hello all. The florescent colors will glow under a strong enough black light. Probably the yellow and green, more then the rest.

    #25 6 years ago

    The material is Machine cast urethane. It can't be extruded or compression molded. There are millable Urethane's that can be compression molded and extruded but they can't achieve the same properties. The saturn martial costs 3 times as much as the raw gum rubber material.

    In response to ABC rubber. The soft Saturn rings meets the hardness spec of the ABC low durometer ring. It has been observed by some that the #1 saturn ring plays like the original old school Williams ring. Just an FYI, all of the rings from a certain somebody are all the same durometer even though the colors are different. This is not how it's suppose to be. Traditionally black was high and red was low. I can only speculate that this was done to save money and make an inexpensive rubber but as they say, you get what you pay for. The truth is that a good quality gum rubber would not cost much less then Saturn rings and still not have all the added benefits. These are industrial quality urethane's we used. They are not just Urethane so beware of imposters. If it's cheaper, then it probably is cheaper! Also The shooter tips currently out there are not in spec. They skimped on quality and material.

    #26 6 years ago

    With the money we put into machines it's hardly going to break the bank to drop a couple dollars on flipper rubber. I for one don't mind paying for quality and choice.

    Anything you can tell us about plans for the rest of the playfield rubbers? Just options for new colors for those alone would be awesome, and if the other benefits play out like you say then that's icing on the cake.

    #27 6 years ago

    Back in the day, white rings that were dyed black were available.

    When you opened the bag, they smelled like Nigrosin.

    #28 6 years ago

    So here's a fun question that's only mildly relevant... has anyone tested the durometer of Pinballcenter's clear rubbers? They're tough as nails and don't have any of the downside of black/white rubber, but can tear/pop if stretched too far beyond "spec". When I had it on Tron it was impossible to get the mini-post rubbers on the posts without breaking them.

    #29 6 years ago

    One shop I service has a vertical pneumatic durometer; I wonder if they would run some tests?

    Gene said he was going to run clear rubbers too, so it could add one more variable to the mix.

    #30 6 years ago

    If they are clear and they are urethane, they can not and will not have good properties
    but they may exhibit the benefits of as far as no flaking.clean up such. We opted to stay away from clear because the properties are not attainable.

    #31 6 years ago

    The only clear ones I've felt in person seemed like they were silicone rubber; rather soft.

    I'm not sure what Gene is using.

    #32 6 years ago

    The ones from germany are way too hard to be silicone.. it felt like it was about 30% harder than a "normal" black ring, and played fast as crap....I was actually worried they might tear posts out of the playfield if they were wood screwed in and not t-nutted..

    #33 6 years ago

    The soft ones could very well be silicone.

    #34 6 years ago

    Which online shop in Europe will be selling these?

    #35 6 years ago

    In response to other rubbers, slings are in the works to add to the Saturn line up.

    #36 6 years ago

    We are firming up distributors on this, but initially Ministry of Pinball will carry the product.


    #37 6 years ago

    in terms of plans, we are working on the small flipper 1" ring, so that is next up (TAF, TZ, ACDC, Monopoly, etc)

    in terms of colors, of the 17 different colors, I'm not sure how many other 'colors' there are in the gamut, but we are more looking at different exotic things we can do ... if there is an overwhelming 'miss' on a color, we can do that in short order ... the fluoro ones look great ...

    then as said earlier we have been testing high break rings right now which is the most critical ... in this sense, helping everyone have rings in critical areas (like slings, etc) that don't break we feel would be the best contribution especially for operating and other high play games - that's why PHOF is so much of a great testbed as these games are played all day long ...

    Always looking for additional things to do so any feedback welcome.


    #38 6 years ago

    So does that mean the plan is to mainly just do slings (in addition to flippers, etc) or are you planning to have "all" the playfield ring sizes. I love this idea, but it seems somewhat pointless from a customization standpoint if you can't do all the visible areas in matching colors.

    #39 6 years ago

    "In response to other rubbers, slings are in the works to add to the Saturn line up. "

    I was under the impression from the inital posting that you guys were going to be making these in all standard ring sizes... if that's not the case, then bummer, because it's a total miss IMO. That's the reason I never bought colored rings from Gene, because it was always like he was missing one or two stupid sizes in any given color that I'd need to do a full set and it's a pinball machine, not a pinstripe suit.

    If this material turns out only to be viable for flipper rubber, bumpers, and shooter tips... to me at that point I'm just like....who cares?

    #40 6 years ago

    I received a set of these from one of the testers, and threw them on one of my most popular games on location. They are red, if I remember it right the durometer was said to be "40" which I'm assuming is the most bouncy. I have a lot of very good, high-ranked players who play at my location, and I didn't tell any of them I was switching the rubber. I just wanted to see if they would notice.

    Within a couple of days, multiple players went out of their way to say that the rubber on that specific game felt great, and to ask where it came from. Very good sign!

    It has been a few weeks now and the tips ARE wearing down at about the same speed that traditional red rubbers (the darker ones from Pinball Resource, not the quick-wear pink sticky ones) have been wearing down on location. But the good news is, like Tim says, they are much easier to clean and don't "soak in" the filth like traditional rubber does. The fact that we can get black rubber with "red" bounciness is fantastic, as well.

    I'll be ordering a bunch shortly!

    #41 6 years ago

    we will be making all rings in all sizes in as many sizes as make sense ... how soon we get to all of will be our challenge, but we are not limited in tooling, so would not leave people with 'incomplete' setups ...


    #42 6 years ago

    sorry, that was 'making all rings in all sizes in as many COLORS as makes sense' ...

    #43 6 years ago

    Okay, I'll make sure to order a few extra sets for each game when you have full sets that I need in stock.

    Slings is a good starting point to test out how the ball plays against the three different types though, so I guess there is that to consider..once you get some inital stuff out I can order and try it out, then order full sets when the color I want is available.

    #44 6 years ago

    I have the same mind set as Frax re Rubber Rings.

    If I can't do a complete game with the same color Rubber Rings I don't really see the point in making RR's, with this caveat - unless I WANT to mix & match RR's dependent on the PF colors. But that will still necessitate making RR's in ALL the standard RR sizes in at least a few colors.

    I had the same issues with Gene's colored RR's he didn't have what I needed for most Games to be all 1 color so I didn't buy any.

    Maybe concentrate on a smaller set of colors in ALL the standard RR sizes & add colors as sales & specific color requests support them?

    Pin - K


    #45 6 years ago

    I'm happy to be patient as you figure it all out, it sounds like you get the fact that we'd love *all* rubbers in color, and I look forward to the possibilities. Thanks for the update on your plans.

    #46 6 years ago

    Any plans on making the Safecracker flipper rubbers?

    #47 6 years ago

    Yes To safe cracker.

    #48 6 years ago

    HOT PINK needed

    #49 6 years ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    HOT PINK needed

    Not that I'm arguing, just curious, what game would you put that on?

    #50 6 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Not that I'm arguing, just curious, what game would you put that on?


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