I'm contemplating buying my first pin. I do like to tinker with things, and don't want to buy a NIB or spend thousands. Looking thru the local CL listings (Phoenix area) and found these two within a mile of my house, same seller for both.
"Silver Ball Mania pinball machine by Bally, 1978. Appears all original with few repairs made. Back glass, deck and cabinet are in excellent condition considering the age. It plays without any audio and needs all rubber pieces. Includes repair manual. Key broken off in door. This game looks very complete and an excellent option for restoration. $600.00"
"Flash pinball machine by Williams, 1979. Makes noise and lights up but nothing more. Has original manual. Coin door needs repair and back glass is losing some paint. All rubber parts need to be replaced. Deck and cabinet in good condition. $300.00"
I played Silverball Mania quite a bit in college, and remember liking it. I've never played Flash, though I saw it at ZapCon this past weekend, should have tried it then. I expect there is a VP version of it, so could try that and see what I think.
Guessing that Silverball Mania would be an easier fix since it's working other than audio. but after reading up on both games, here and elsewhere, sounds like Flash is the more fun game. Would either of these be a good first fixer-upper? I'm an electrical engineer, and have built a MAME machine from scratch, but haven't touched the inside of a pinball machine.
The other potential option is I played a Stars (Stern) at ZapCon over the weekend that is for sale for $1100. Of course I didn't write down who was selling it, so it may not be available anymore. That table was a lot of fun.
Of course, I'm not sure where exactly I'd put one, short of losing some furniture in the living room, as Phoenix summers are too hot for a garage. One friend suggested putting it on my wife's side of the bed, since she wouldn't be there anymore...