(Topic ID: 285650)

Buying a NIB Stern sucks (and I really want to like it)!

By e4wesley

10 months ago

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  • 284 posts
  • 118 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by StoneyCreek
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders


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    #217 10 months ago

    I'm relatively new to the pinball scene; my first machine was a 9 y.o. SM in 2016 with my 2nd being a NIB AIQ two months ago.

    Luckily, I found Pinside when I was researching my first buy. Echoing many comments above: I had done my research to know what I was getting into. Soon after purchase, I needed to rebuild my pop-bumpers (thanks VID!), learned how to do basic maintenance, bought a soldering iron, leaf switch adjuster, etc... For me, this was an undiscovered pleasure: tinkering with my toy.

    Fast forward to Nov 2020, and I got the green light to buy AIQ NIB. Even after 4 years of tinkering, I had WAY too high of expectations for the contents of my big Stern box. Suffice to say, I spent a good month of adjusting and 're-installing' aspects of the game to get it to work as I liked (and as it should.) I'm still waiting for a date for my replacement (unpopulated ) playfield.

    Point being: I thought I knew what I was doing. I naively thought there might be a loose connector or two, but I did not expect playfield pooling, or about 8 different issues that are likely tied to poor manufacturing/QA.

    I thought of suggesting some kind of 'white glove' service (or SquareTrade warranty) for folks new to the space. But if that is $300 for my kid's $1,000 laptop, I can't imagine a newbie paying an $1,800 premium for a $6,000 (pro) toy. I always wondered if LE's came with additional attention to detail. I guess not.

    I enjoy both of my toys, and I enjoy my tinkering. However, I've checked the NIB 'box' off my bucket list and will be looking for lightly used machines from people who don't want to be a 'pin technician'...

    #222 10 months ago
    Quoted from PinFever:

    great First Game to own except that games you pick afterward may not be as fun .
    Only Because SM is one of my top 5 fun pinball machines to play of all time .
    I may never sell mine it is that fun and timeless and never a problem mechanically .

    I do love my SM. He's not getting as much attention as he used to with his newer, shinier brother, but I have to play at least one game every time I'm in my 'mini-gameroom.'

    As much vitriol as there is in this thread, I have no doubt everyone who has a machine in their house is very glad it's there (in today's world).

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