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(Topic ID: 249870)

Continued playfield issues with JJP and Stern


By f3honda4me

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 day ago by Saddath
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There are 6538 posts in this topic. You are on page 110 of 131.
#5451 3 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Or buy a playfield protector.

Gross

#5452 3 months ago
Quoted from Sako-TRG:

Hi there,
Shows how much I know - I had to go check but yes, def around the inserts I have silver trim so I guess it’s def LE plus see attached photo.
Just to be clear also, the play-field is dull but not extremely so. Just compared to the likes of my more modern Sterns which have more thicker clear coats.
[quoted image]

Does your PF look like mine? Mines got a pretty good shine to it. Take a peak at the reflection of the ramp lights.

20200623_151646 (resized).jpg

#5453 3 months ago
Quoted from littlecammi:

So your avatar is constantly mooning us?
I may have to down vote you for that.

nah, ghostbusters was my first machine and i love slimer.
since it seemed to obvious to use slimer as avatar i wanted to do something different, no bad intentions
and you have to admit slimers ass looks great! no?

0O4JZ50 (resized).jpg
#5454 3 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I did this when I used to collect pez dispensers. One open to display and eat the candy and one in the package in storage.

Do you get Pro's or LE Pez Dispensers ? Were the LE's hard to get ? Did you have to wait for them ? Cool you had the money to buy two of each !

Did the LE dispense differently, have more features or was the LE just prettier ? Who was your favorite Pez designer ? How about bar coder ? Did they bitch about a guy named Dwight on the Pez Forum ? Totally undeserved. Dwight is alright in my book.

#5455 3 months ago

Well, we can debate for years as this is a « normal » effect.
Then,
complaining will be useless because it will not change. So either dimpling is accepted or we buy a pp.

#5456 3 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Well, we can debate for years as this is a « normal » effect.
Then,
complaining will be useless because it will not change. So either dimpling is accepted or we buy a pp.

So, topic over?

#5457 3 months ago

I think it's time for a new normal, I understand this is expected for the product they are selling. That is exactly why I am not buying. It's just Stern being Stern they won't do anything until they are on the verge of collapse. The least they could do is offer some kind of factory built in protector for an additional cost. Maybe acknowledge that they want to improve, tell us they are investigating new materials, technology, something, anything. It's just a complete crap shoot. I don't believe the issue is behind them at all, a couple machines down the line they are going to try some other cost reduction and start all over again.

#5458 3 months ago

As per the description of the wood they order and use for playfields, several posts ago, if I read that correctly, stern could spend $12 more per pf and have a tough wood laminate on both sides of the pf not just the underside. That might go someway towards alleviating the issues but they don't and thats why they get my jazz hands even when amazing games like tmnt make we want to spend my money with them...

#5459 3 months ago

post #5372

"Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does."

#5460 3 months ago
Quoted from DerGoetz:

I 100% agree with him, would look best with lights off

lol

#5461 3 months ago
Quoted from JonCrox:

post #5372
"Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does."

Shit everyone would pay that extra money.

Bean counter move.

#5462 3 months ago
Quoted from JonCrox:

As per the description of the wood they order and use for playfields, several posts ago, if I read that correctly, stern could spend $12 more per pf and have a tough wood laminate on both sides of the pf not just the underside. That might go someway towards alleviating the issues but they don't and thats why they get my jazz hands even when amazing games like tmnt make we want to spend my money with them...

That would logically seem like a no brainer for stern but i'd expect it would be a case of "$12? too expensive" meanwhile "where are those $600 toppers?"

Or maybe they could offer a "premium playfield wood upgrade : $600". Is a 50 times markup enough?

#5463 3 months ago
Quoted from jdoz2:

Didn’t you just give everyone in this thread an award for whining? And now your whining because you were chosen to receive a playfield but just haven’t gotten it yet?
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/continued-playfield-issues-with-jjp-and-stern/page/109#post-5711090

Well there's nothing whining about my post. I was giving him info that I got directly from Stern.

Whatever

#5464 3 months ago

You know what's gross? Shit playfields

#5465 3 months ago
Quoted from koops:

Or maybe they could offer a "premium playfield wood upgrade : $600". Is a 50 times markup enough?

Man, you should have started at $300 for the upgrade. Stern employees take note of these ideas

#5466 3 months ago
Quoted from cpr9999:

Shit everyone would pay that extra money.
Bean counter move.

We are paying extra money with the last price increase anyway. An improved playfield would be welcome.

#5467 3 months ago
Quoted from NoQuarters:

We are paying extra money with the last price increase anyway. An improved playfield would be welcome.

As long as sales are strong and they aren’t losing money on PF replacements, I doubt it will happen. And allowing an upgrade option would acknowledge that some playfields are substandard, which they won’t do.

#5468 3 months ago
Quoted from zaphX:

So, topic over?

Just for me as I have stated as it about this problematic.

Regarding LE model, don’t know if stern couldn’t sell them with a better clearcoated pf.

#5469 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Does your PF look like mine? Mines got a pretty good shine to it. Take a peak at the reflection of the ramp lights.
[quoted image]

Thanks for sharing your Tron image, yes I can see the clear ok, looks good!
I guess what I’m def seeing between my Tron and other pins:-
1. My Tron is def not as shinny clear as my other pins - it may be because the clear coat is thinner so I may be mistaking dull with lack of depth
2. I have minimal dimples - it’s like Tron has a very shallow mottled appearance on the playfield. My other much newer pins with low plays have deep crater dimples. You cannot miss them. I put this down to thicker clear coat

Sorry for confusion, my Tron has clear but there is definitely a lack of depth to the clear. I would certainly not say my LE has an extra clear coat. Unless by standards 2015-2019 they dumped a whole tin on!
See my Tron attached and my much deeper finish to Kiss. Not sure they come out well on photos though.

3626A591-12E7-4DE6-BB88-BA96DDA3DFEF (resized).jpeg9995EB1B-15AA-4E26-B30F-8B3B305ECB3E (resized).jpeg
#5470 3 months ago
Quoted from Sako-TRG:

Hey guys - on the subjects of dimples. Only been into the hobby a few years but....
No bullsh*t
I have purchased 5 NIBs and they are all dimpled pretty much as expected.
They all have one thing in common. A very good clear-coat.
Now - the only pin I have purchased which was not NIB, relatively recently was a Tron LE.
It doesn’t have what I would say is a good clear coat applied, in fact very, very minimal to be honest. This pin probably has most plays being multi owner.
It has no dimples that I can see.... before you say, all the dimples have merged....absolutely no way. The play-field just looks different to all the others on how it’s finished. It has a dull like appearance.
I believe firmly, this is due to the lack of clear coat.
Hope this helps.

The wood they used on Whitestar/SAM games was harder with better prep. My oldest, most played Stern (LOTR) looks better than my KISS Premium with 300 plays. LOTR has over 10000 plays! And no, the dimples didn't "even out" over the past 15 years. My 2 TRON's and AC/DC also look great.

Guys, the bottom line is Stern's cost cutting explains the less-than-great PF's. Spike was largely about cost cutting. Now they apparently brought PF production "in house" to save $$. Since the market isn't growing much, they are focused on increasing margins all around to afford fancy diggs and lots of new employees (so they can crank out more games).

Wood grain, softer PF's with cratering are the "new normal". It's just a matter of degree...some PF's are REALLY soft and some are not-so-bad. If they cared about quality, each PF would be tested for density and adhere to a strict standard that they would publish. Unfortunately, they just don't care.

IMG_0362 (resized).jpeg
#5471 3 months ago

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever attempted to raise these QC observations publicly with Stern on either Twitter or Facebook? Would be curious to hear what their public statement is to these as to whether they actually consider them to be defects or normal and what (if anything) they're doing about them. I'd have to imagine they'd post some type of official response if their reputation is questioned publicly which could have sales implications - but perhaps I'm wrong!

#5472 3 months ago
Quoted from snaroff:

The wood they used on Whitestar/SAM games was harder with better prep. My oldest, most played Stern (LOTR) looks better than my KISS Premium with 300 plays. LOTR has over 10000 plays! And no, the dimples didn't "even out" over the past 15 years. My 2 TRON's and AC/DC also look great.
Guys, the bottom line is Stern's cost cutting explains the less-than-great PF's. Spike was largely about cost cutting. Now they apparently brought PF production "in house" to save $$. Since the market isn't growing much, they are focused on increasing margins all around to afford fancy diggs and lots of new employees (so they can crank out more games).
Wood grain, softer PF's with cratering are the "new normal". It's just a matter of degree...some PF's are REALLY soft and some are not-so-bad. If they cared about quality, each PF would be tested for density and adhere to a strict standard that they would publish. Unfortunately, they just don't care.[quoted image]

Spot on ...

#5473 3 months ago
Quoted from mcvetyty:

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever attempted to raise these QC observations publicly with Stern on either Twitter or Facebook? Would be curious to hear what their public statement is to these as to whether they actually consider them to be defects or normal and what (if anything) they're doing about them. I'd have to imagine they'd post some type of official response if their reputation is questioned publicly which could have sales implications - but perhaps I'm wrong!

Pretty sure these type posts on Facebook get deleted on Stern ads.

#5474 3 months ago
Quoted from snaroff:

The wood they used on Whitestar/SAM games was harder with better prep. My oldest, most played Stern (LOTR) looks better than my KISS Premium with 300 plays. LOTR has over 10000 plays! And no, the dimples didn't "even out" over the past 15 years. My 2 TRON's and AC/DC also look great.
Guys, the bottom line is Stern's cost cutting explains the less-than-great PF's. Spike was largely about cost cutting. Now they apparently brought PF production "in house" to save $$. Since the market isn't growing much, they are focused on increasing margins all around to afford fancy diggs and lots of new employees (so they can crank out more games).
Wood grain, softer PF's with cratering are the "new normal". It's just a matter of degree...some PF's are REALLY soft and some are not-so-bad. If they cared about quality, each PF would be tested for density and adhere to a strict standard that they would publish. Unfortunately, they just don't care.[quoted image]

+1

mcvetyty
stern never responds to such things, it works out for them...
if there is an mistake in the prodution they just change it without mentioning it, you have to dig to find the changes.

#5475 3 months ago
Quoted from mcvetyty:

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever attempted to raise these QC observations publicly with Stern on either Twitter or Facebook? Would be curious to hear what their public statement is to these as to whether they actually consider them to be defects or normal and what (if anything) they're doing about them. I'd have to imagine they'd post some type of official response if their reputation is questioned publicly which could have sales implications - but perhaps I'm wrong!

Social media isn’t the proper forum. Maybe a topic of a Q&A with Stern and one of the major podcast or streamers. That makes it an intelligent discussion and not a childish attack. Same reason they don’t respond to this thread. Stern employees definitely lurk on pinside and sometimes respond.

#5476 3 months ago
Quoted from gblack:

Social media isn’t the proper forum. Maybe a topic of a Q&A with Stern and one of the major podcast or streamers. That makes it an intelligent discussion and not a childish attack. Same reason they don’t respond to this thread. Stern employees definitely lurk on pinside and sometimes respond.

Stern is a privately held company and doesn't need to answer to anyone. Social media allows people to vent and make their own decisions. Many of us get mad and say we'll never buy another Stern and then behave differently when a new game comes out.

No podcast is going to motivate Stern to engineer quality into their games. They are the only pinball manufacturer that's figured out how to make a business out of making pinball machines. Sure, Spooky's a cool mom/pop company, but they aren't playing on the same playfield (with their very modest production capabilities).

The distributors have leverage, but I've talked to many of them over the 16 years I've been in the hobby and Stern treats them with the same apathy they treat us. The build quality has arguably suffered but they still build great, fun games. I'm really doubtful the pendulum will swing back to LOTR/TSPP/ACDC/TRON level quality. As my distributor has told me, sketchy PF quality is the "new normal". If it concerns you, don't buy NIB.

I realize it's therapeutic for everyone to continue babbling about all this...I'm as guilty as anyone, but "it is what it is".

#5477 3 months ago
Quoted from snaroff:

Stern is a privately held company and doesn't need to answer to anyone. Social media allows people to vent and make their own decisions. Many of us get mad and say we'll never buy another Stern and then behave differently when a new game comes out.
No podcast is going to motivate Stern to engineer quality into their games. They are the only pinball manufacturer that's figured out how to make a business out of making pinball machines. Sure, Spooky's a cool mom/pop company, but they aren't playing on the same playfield (with their very modest production capabilities).
The distributors have leverage, but I've talked to many of them over the 16 years I've been in the hobby and Stern treats them with the same apathy they treat us. The build quality has arguably suffered but they still build great, fun games. I'm really doubtful the pendulum will swing back to LOTR/TSPP/ACDC/TRON level quality. As my distributor has told me, sketchy PF quality is the "new normal". If it concerns you, don't buy NIB.
I realize it's therapeutic for everyone to continue babbling about all this...I'm as guilty as anyone, but "it is what it is".

I agree. My “maybe” should have been capitalized as I don’t think they would waste the time but if they were to entertain discussing that I think those are the only ways they would do that.

#5478 3 months ago
Quoted from gblack:

Social media isn’t the proper forum.

Might be effective even if it isn’t proper. They case by case this shit and do as little as possible and the general public knows little. If Stern defects were trending it might raise more of an alarm than a pinball podcast watched by 20 people. Of course all this is dependent on them caring and not having the market by the balls.

#5479 3 months ago
Quoted from Sako-TRG:

Thanks for sharing your Tron image, yes I can see the clear ok, looks good!
I guess what I’m def seeing between my Tron and other pins:-
1. My Tron is def not as shinny clear as my other pins - it may be because the clear coat is thinner so I may be mistaking dull with lack of depth
2. I have minimal dimples - it’s like Tron has a very shallow mottled appearance on the playfield. My other much newer pins with low plays have deep crater dimples. You cannot miss them. I put this down to thicker clear coat
Sorry for confusion, my Tron has clear but there is definitely a lack of depth to the clear. I would certainly not say my LE has an extra clear coat. Unless by standards 2015-2019 they dumped a whole tin on!
See my Tron attached and my much deeper finish to Kiss. Not sure they come out well on photos though.

Your Kiss will most diffidently have a thicker clear than your Tron. Stern started making thicker and thicker clear coated games over several years. When the pooling issue happened they went back to the think clear from what I can tell (My JP, Maiden and DP all have much thinner clear than my GOT for instance. The clear of my JP, Maiden and DP all have the same thickness that my TFLE.

#5480 3 months ago
Quoted from snaroff:

The wood they used on Whitestar/SAM games was harder with better prep. My oldest, most played Stern (LOTR) looks better than my KISS Premium with 300 plays. LOTR has over 10000 plays! And no, the dimples didn't "even out" over the past 15 years. My 2 TRON's and AC/DC also look great.

Not so sure I can be there with you on this. My AC/DC had tons of dimples. They weren't real noticeable due to the huge insert in the middle of the game and my Tron very much has dimples. Quite honestly it's has just as many as all my other games. The only game in my collection that I don't see any dimples on is my MET but if I get real close in the right light I can see them there as well. I think a lot of it has to do with the art and lighting on how noticeable it may be. I will never argue that there are some PF's out there that dimple more than others as I've seen some just about ridiculous BM66, Munster's and even a WOZ but it just feels more like discrepancies in the batches of wood being made into PF's.

For instance - Here is my Tron at players position. You really don't notice much. But if you zoom in (like most of the pictures that are posted) on the same exact picture you clearly see the face of a golf ball.

tron (resized).jpgtron 2 (resized).jpg
#5481 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Not so sure I can be there with you on this. My AC/DC had tons of dimples. They weren't real noticeable due to the huge insert in the middle of the game and my Tron very much has dimples. Quite honestly it's has just as many as all my other games. The only game in my collection that I don't see any dimples on is my MET but if I get real close in the right light I can see them there as well. I think a lot of it has to do with the art and lighting on how noticeable it may be. I will never argue that there are some PF's out there that dimple more than others as I've seen some just about ridiculous BM66, Munster's and even a WOZ but it just feels more like discrepancies in the batches of wood being made into PF's.
For instance - Here is my Tron at players position. You really don't notice much. But if you zoom in (like most of the pictures that are posted) on the same exact picture you clearly see the face of a golf ball. [quoted image][quoted image]

Hmm. I have 2 Tron's and while there are dimples, they are extremely shallow and *really* difficult to see (even when being super critical at different angles). My LE has the clear rubber on the disk which throws the ball around at scary speeds and the PF still looks great.

I "get" that all PF's dimple...especially if you look closely enough. The issue is more about dimple depth...some calling them craters.

And the visible wood grain that's become "the new normal" was never an issue on the older Sterns. Have no idea if it's poor sanding, art application, or clear coat. All I know is some of the photos in this massive thread are pretty ugly (and probably just the tip of the iceberg, since many people don't feel comfortable talking about a flawed game they paid big bucks for).

It's really "hit or miss". I have a couple JP2 Premiums and the PF's on both look great despite minor dimpling (which is no big deal).

Until Stern has real competition, nothing will change.

#5482 3 months ago

even the insert looks dimpled

7e6bdecd42059db0b0967b1416a469d82526e792 (resized).jpg
#5483 3 months ago
Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

even the insert looks dimpled
[quoted image]

It is. That is because the clear is dimpled. I wish I still had my AC/DC prem as it was clear as could be on that game that the clear dimples too. Which is why I feel some of Stern's newer games can look so much worse as the clear is much thicker. The dimple on the wood and clear combined makes it deeper plus the clear being thicker like that will exaggerate the negative appearance.

Dimpling is diffidently an issue with some games but I personally don't think it's really that big of an issue. What get's me (and why I even participate in this thread) are the:
- Ghosting (seems to have been resolved) - This was more during the GB and Spiderman Remake timelines but did trail into some later releases. Haven't really seen it in the past couple of years though.
- Pooling (seems to have been resolved) - I do think this was a combination of two things. Poor adherence to the PF but also exaggerated by the thick clear MFG's started putting on games.
- Graining (still a MAJOR issue) - It's really hard to tell what causes this. At first I thought it was piss poor clear but in the 3 PF's that I own with it all three are smooth to the tough (excluding popped inserts). It really looks like the wood was still retaining moister when it was printed and dried before the clear was applied thus locking in that graining. If it was just the clear you could sand it down and respray for a nice appearance. My 3 PF's that wouldn't work.
- Warpage (something not spoken about much here but seems to be fairly common to). I have two PF's that are off by about 2 degrees from side to side. To further explain. If you put a level in the middle of the PF the left and right side of your level will be off the surface. If you rock the level back and forth I get a total of a 4 degree difference. Divide that by 2 and that is where I get the 2 degree difference. I don't think most even notice something like this if you are a casual player or especially someone not tuned in on nudges in the outlanes but it is real clear if you are tuned into your games like that. Both of my games with this "feature" are outlane drain monsters as the balls literally feed to the outlanes. Not to start the next dimplegate but I'd be curious how many of you own games with this "feature" put a level on your game just above the slings that is a foot long and see if it lays flat. If you can rock it back and forth they have it to. Word of the wise, don't check for this as this is one of those ignorance is bliss moments...

#5484 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

It is. That is because the clear is dimpled. I wish I still had my AC/DC prem as it was clear as could be on that game that the clear dimples too. Which is why I feel some of Stern's newer games can look so much worse as the clear is much thicker. The dimple on the wood and clear combined makes it deeper plus the clear being thicker like that will exaggerate the negative appearance.
Dimpling is diffidently an issue with some games but I personally don't think it's really that big of an issue. What get's me (and why I even participate in this thread) are the:
- Ghosting (seems to have been resolved) - This was more during the GB and Spiderman Remake timelines but did trail into some later releases. Haven't really seen it in the past couple of years though.
- Pooling (seems to have been resolved) - I do think this was a combination of two things. Poor adherence to the PF but also exaggerated by the thick clear MFG's started putting on games.
- Graining (still a MAJOR issue) - It's really hard to tell what causes this. At first I thought it was piss poor clear but in the 3 PF's that I own with it all three are smooth to the tough (excluding popped inserts). It really looks like the wood was still retaining moister when it was printed and dried before the clear was applied thus locking in that graining. If it was just the clear you could sand it down and respray for a nice appearance. My 3 PF's that wouldn't work.
- Warpage (something not spoken about much here but seems to be fairly common to). I have two PF's that are off by about 2 degrees from side to side. To further explain. If you put a level in the middle of the PF the left and right side of your level will be off the surface. If you rock the level back and forth I get a total of a 4 degree difference. Divide that by 2 and that is where I get the 2 degree difference. I don't think most even notice something like this if you are a casual player or especially someone not tuned in on nudges in the outlanes but it is real clear if you are tuned into your games like that. Both of my games with this "feature" are outlane drain monsters as the balls literally feed to the outlanes. Not to start the next dimplegate but I'd be curious how many of you own games with this "feature" put a level on your game just above the slings that is a foot long and see if it lays flat. If you can rock it back and forth they have it to. Word of the wise, don't check for this as this is one of those ignorance is bliss moments...

What are you doing? Its bad enough selling a game and having someone wanting pictures of every post, the out and in lanes, the shooter lane, a vial of blood, Piss test, etc. Now they will be showing up with a cheap harbor freight, even worse, one of those free levels you get with a cheap tv mount checking the back and forth pitch on my playfield.

#5485 3 months ago
Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

Even the insert looks dimpled.

Kiwi saw the instruction "insert picture here" and took it literally.

#5486 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

It is. That is because the clear is dimpled. I wish I still had my AC/DC prem as it was clear as could be on that game that the clear dimples too. Which is why I feel some of Stern's newer games can look so much worse as the clear is much thicker. The dimple on the wood and clear combined makes it deeper plus the clear being thicker like that will exaggerate the negative appearance.
Dimpling is diffidently an issue with some games but I personally don't think it's really that big of an issue. What get's me (and why I even participate in this thread) are the:
- Ghosting (seems to have been resolved) - This was more during the GB and Spiderman Remake timelines but did trail into some later releases. Haven't really seen it in the past couple of years though.
- Pooling (seems to have been resolved) - I do think this was a combination of two things. Poor adherence to the PF but also exaggerated by the thick clear MFG's started putting on games.
- Graining (still a MAJOR issue) - It's really hard to tell what causes this. At first I thought it was piss poor clear but in the 3 PF's that I own with it all three are smooth to the tough (excluding popped inserts). It really looks like the wood was still retaining moister when it was printed and dried before the clear was applied thus locking in that graining. If it was just the clear you could sand it down and respray for a nice appearance. My 3 PF's that wouldn't work.
- Warpage (something not spoken about much here but seems to be fairly common to). I have two PF's that are off by about 2 degrees from side to side. To further explain. If you put a level in the middle of the PF the left and right side of your level will be off the surface. If you rock the level back and forth I get a total of a 4 degree difference. Divide that by 2 and that is where I get the 2 degree difference. I don't think most even notice something like this if you are a casual player or especially someone not tuned in on nudges in the outlanes but it is real clear if you are tuned into your games like that. Both of my games with this "feature" are outlane drain monsters as the balls literally feed to the outlanes. Not to start the next dimplegate but I'd be curious how many of you own games with this "feature" put a level on your game just above the slings that is a foot long and see if it lays flat. If you can rock it back and forth they have it to. Word of the wise, don't check for this as this is one of those ignorance is bliss moments...

Nice list! Graining and Warpage would be my biggest concerns. I have really minor pooling on my Beatles and it doesn't concern me at all. Warpage isn't something I've had to deal with, thank goodness.

I realize wood is loved and retro, however it's evident that hard woods and the preparation that goes into them are expensive.

With today's advanced plastics, synthetic stones, porcelain, carbon fiber, etc., you'd think there might be other materials that would work better in a pinball machine. Would be so awesome if the quality of the PF wasn't such a crap shoot!

#5487 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

- Warpage (something not spoken about much here but seems to be fairly common to). I have two PF's that are off by about 2 degrees from side to side. To further explain. If you put a level in the middle of the PF the left and right side of your level will be off the surface. If you rock the level back and forth I get a total of a 4 degree difference. Divide that by 2 and that is where I get the 2 degree difference. I don't think most even notice something like this if you are a casual player or especially someone not tuned in on nudges in the outlanes but it is real clear if you are tuned into your games like that. Both of my games with this "feature" are outlane drain monsters as the balls literally feed to the outlanes. Not to start the next dimplegate but I'd be curious how many of you own games with this "feature" put a level on your game just above the slings that is a foot long and see if it lays flat. If you can rock it back and forth they have it to. Word of the wise, don't check for this as this is one of those ignorance is bliss moments...

Yeah, I just lost about 500$ because of this. It was a 2017 built stern machine.

After 1 hour of gameplay i wondered why i drain so much. I noticed how the ball doinig weird stuff like going down the middle with an extreme curve, but the outlanes were the worst.
If you get an eye for this you can't enjoy the game anymore. I got ball robbed once or twice a game!
i measured the PF, it was just 3mm (0.12 inch) from side to side in difference. I have had no idea how this affects the ball.
I did not use a digital leveler but my small bubble level. Perfect in the middle, on the sides completely off to the max.

Just imagine a bad leveled game on location, and add this on both sides of the PF.

there is one possibility to help with that problem. You can screw a wooden- or metal rail from below into the PF. With adjustable spacers on each side.
But, you have to SCREW the PF. Even if its just from below i do not feel good about it, so i sold the machine cheaper as i bought it and also losing 200$ transport fee.
Not worth the trouble, so no more buys for me before i check that.
2016-2017 was the time where stern changed the wood production. i hope this issue is no problem on newer machines!

PF wrap (resized).jpg

#5488 3 months ago
Quoted from snaroff:

With today's advanced plastics, synthetic stones, porcelain, carbon fiber, etc., you'd think there might be other materials that would work better in a pinball machine. Would be so awesome if the quality of the PF wasn't such a crap shoot!

It's going to be tough to find materials which meet woods stiffness to weight ratio and then be workable (drilling, sanding, holding screws, cutting out insert holes, etc.). And we're not really talking about something which can use hollow tubes, etc. for structual strength, we're talking about a flat board.

As it stands today, we probably don't want the playfield to get much heavier. And at some point, price of the material will play a big role.

I suspect wood playfields will be with us for a while yet.

#5489 3 months ago

I think I am convinced that the big issue is related to the clearcoat, rather than the wood. I just did a PF swap on a Whirlwind, and the new PF was a NOS that had been clearcoated some time ago. I just noticed the craters (similar to Sterns) that started appearing after 30 games or so. It also appeared to have a thicker layer of CC too.

IMO, any current day CC never really "hardens" to the point where it can effectively resist a ball impact, and not dimple. The material just is NOT capable of the job that is demanded for our purposes. I would also submit that if the CC was truly hardened like we would want it to be, then the softness of the would be lesser of a variable. So I fully expect this new WW PF, to dimple like crazy going forward.

So I will say once again that the proper type of CC for our purposes has been done right before...Diamond Plate from the early WPC games in the early 90's. I will submit that this was a highly catalyzed material that true turned hard in order to resist impacts. Surely a similar material is available today, but likely is too expensive for manufacturers to use on playfields. Maybe it truly does not really exist anymore, and the likely reason for that would be the environmentalists have rid it from the planet. Regardless, I completely agree with what was stated above, with Stern cutting costs, and they are likely using an inferior cheap-ass CC, and that's contributing to the issue.

So I said it once before. Why cant they possible go the route of a hardtop type overlay, and either lay a clear piece of material over the artwork, or just install a fully painted piece over the bare wood. I now have hundreds of games on my Black Knight HT, and there is not the slightest dimple. I even dropped a ball from 12" on the HT, no dimple made, and gameplay is fabulous. Plus it sure "seems" to me that it would be cheaper to produce a painted HT, rather than a painted PF, and it could likely even be added to an even more shitty quality wood panel, and still likely do the job.

In the end, I think its proven that the clearcoated playfields have run their course, and a gorund-up new solution is needed, unless someone can reinvent Diamond Plate.

#5490 3 months ago
Quoted from Prodoshi:

Yeah, I just lost about 500$ because of this. It was a 2017 built stern machine.
After 1 hour of gameplay i wondered why i drain so much. I noticed how the ball doinig weird stuff like going down the middle with an extreme curve, but the outlanes were the worst.
If you get an eye for this you can't enjoy the game anymore. I got ball robbed once or twice a game!
i measured the PF, it was just 3mm (0.12 inch) from side to side in difference. I have had no idea how this affects the ball.
I did not use a digital leveler but my small bubble level. Perfect in the middle, on the sides completely off to the max.
Just imagine a bad leveled game on location, and add this on both sides of the PF.
there is one possibility to help with that problem. You can screw a wooden- or metal rail from below into the PF. With adjustable spacers on each side.
But, you have to SCREW the PF. Even if its just from below i do not feel good about it, so i sold the machine cheaper as i bought it and also losing 200$ transport fee.
Not worth the trouble, so no more buys for me before i check that.
2016-2017 was the time where stern changed the wood production. i hope this issue is no problem on newer machines!
[quoted image]

Not to stir the pot but I'm just tired of being quite at this point thus why I added that particular one to the thread. I'll speak as professionally as possible to share what I'm seeing to anyone that ask to try and keep a cool line of communication but I'm just about fed up. Here is my brand me JP Prem that I waited 6 months for.

If I'm just being to picky, let me know your thoughts as it could just be my expectations. I can deal with a lot and feel like I have a lot of patience with minor defects but I'd much rather have a pooled PF or even wood graining than the warp PF since it does indeed make the game play different.

***Edited as this isn't really directed at anyone specifically. I just quoted what I did to maintain the train of thought on the warp PF conversation.***

#5491 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Not to stir the pot but I'm just tired of being quite at this point thus why I added that particular one to the thread. I'll speak as professionally as possible to share what I'm seeing to anyone that ask to try and keep a cool line of communication but I'm just about fed up. Here is my brand me JP Prem that I waited 6 months for.
If I'm just being to picky, let me know your thoughts as it could just be my expectations. I can deal with a lot and feel like I have a lot of patience with minor defects but I'd much rather have a pooled PF or even wood graining than the warp PF since it does indeed make the game play different.
***Edited as this isn't really directed at anyone specifically. I just quoted what I did to maintain the train of thought on the warp PF conversation.***

LOL...I liked the end of the video best! Nice touch. You had me for a moment when I thought you were going to show the difference between two playfields by placing your level on the other machines playfield. I think it would be more telling. One playfield is level and smooth and the other is not.

#5492 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Not to stir the pot but I'm just tired of being quite at this point thus why I added that particular one to the thread. I'll speak as professionally as possible to share what I'm seeing to anyone that ask to try and keep a cool line of communication but I'm just about fed up. Here is my brand me JP Prem that I waited 6 months for.
If I'm just being to picky, let me know your thoughts as it could just be my expectations. I can deal with a lot and feel like I have a lot of patience with minor defects but I'd much rather have a pooled PF or even wood graining than the warp PF since it does indeed make the game play different.
***Edited as this isn't really directed at anyone specifically. I just quoted what I did to maintain the train of thought on the warp PF conversation.***

That sucks man! I just checked mine since it was from the same batch as yours and mine is flat. My playfield has a 5/14 date on it.

20200626_111536 (resized).jpg20200626_111639 (resized).jpg
#5493 3 months ago

Unless you put the level on your floor then put the game on the floor with no legs there are too many things that could put the game off level to be sure it is the playfield

#5494 3 months ago
Quoted from JY64:

Unless you put the level on your floor then put the game on the floor with no legs there are too many things that could put the game off level to be sure it is the playfield

I'd love for you to explain this logic on how any of that could make the center of a PF be higher than both outlanes. It's a convex surface. Your argument only makes sense if my problem is getting a game with a flat PF level.

Quoted from LukyDuck:

LOL...I liked the end of the video best! Nice touch. You had me for a moment when I thought you were going to show the difference between two playfields by placing your level on the other machines playfield. I think it would be more telling. One playfield is level and smooth and the other is not.

I guess I could do that. That video was meant for Stern and I didn't want there to be concern with the quality or flatness of the surface of my level. Glass is level thus why I used it as my only goal was to show that my level has a flat surface.

#5495 3 months ago
Quoted from JY64:

Unless you put the level on your floor then put the game on the floor with no legs there are too many things that could put the game off level to be sure it is the playfield

Are you suggesting the cabinets aren’t strong enough to resist twisting from the weight of the machine on uneven ground? I’m not following the logic there. Most floors aren’t 100% level which is why the leg levelers exist.

The above seems to be from raised inserts which mine seems to have as well. You can feel it running your finger over an insert. You can also hear a ball going over an insert with the glass off proving there’s a bump. Otherwise my pf is flat left to right. The upper pf flipper is about .2 deg steeper than between the lower flippers though which seems consistent with other JP’s.

#5496 3 months ago
Quoted from MikeS:

That sucks man! I just checked mine since it was from the same batch as yours and mine is flat. My playfield has a 5/14 date on it.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Do you have slightly raised inserts? Can you feel them at all running over them with your finger?

#5497 3 months ago
Quoted from gblack:

Do you have slightly raised inserts? Can you feel them at all running over them with your finger?

Very slight on some of them because the clear is thin. I've had WPC and SAM Stern games that were this way as well and it never became an issue.

#5498 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Not to stir the pot but I'm just tired of being quite at this point thus why I added that particular one to the thread. I'll speak as professionally as possible to share what I'm seeing to anyone that ask to try and keep a cool line of communication but I'm just about fed up. Here is my brand me JP Prem that I waited 6 months for.
If I'm just being to picky, let me know your thoughts as it could just be my expectations. I can deal with a lot and feel like I have a lot of patience with minor defects but I'd much rather have a pooled PF or even wood graining than the warp PF since it does indeed make the game play different.
***Edited as this isn't really directed at anyone specifically. I just quoted what I did to maintain the train of thought on the warp PF conversation.***

sorry to hear man, i can feel you.
i just measured my new DP and JP, both are nice and flat.
Did you already play the game and feel a difference? If so, tell your distributor and play the sht out of this game until your new PF arrives.
I'm really afraid of my TMNT arrival. . .

#5499 3 months ago
Quoted from 85vett:

I guess I could do that. That video was meant for Stern and I didn't want there to be concern with the quality or flatness of the surface of my level. Glass is level thus why I used it as my only goal was to show that my level has a flat surface.

I completely understand why you placed it on the glass. Makes sense to me and I understand why you did it. I personally would want to show that another playfield could be just as flat as the glass. I have never moved a level around on mine to find out if they are completely flat. Not seeing the whole picture/video, I wonder like others about a raised insert. I could not see what is under the level (i.e. insert).

#5500 3 months ago

New from Stern, The Find. Warped playfields, raised inserts, chipping clear coats and pooling art, See what you can "Find" on your new Stern.

the find (resized).png
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