(Topic ID: 249870)

Continued playfield issues with JJP and Stern


By f3honda4me

11 months ago



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18
#3751 7 months ago

I do not believe the dimpling is due to the wood. I am a woodworker and have a number of hardwoods on hand, including, walnut, sapele, white ash (which baseball bats are made of), white (quarter sawn) and red oak and cherry. This is hardly scientific, but I dropped a pinball on all of the unfinished species multiple times from a couple of inches in the air and they all dimpled, including sapele, which is the hardest of the bunch. They didn’t dimple in the same way, but they all showed noticeable damage.

I dropped the ball on unfinished wood, but I also tested on a few finishes I use, including Behlen’s rock hard table top varnish, minwax polyurethane, hood finishing water-based poly and water-based lacquer. The varnish did not hold up as well with much deeper divots. I would expect this as varnish is not as hard. Both the water-based and minwax poly held up better with shallower divots. The water-based lacquer seemed to hold up the best, but there too I could see the impact from the ball.

The conclusion leads me to believe that it is not necessarily the wood causing the issue, but may be more related to the type of finish being used. Nevertheless, across the finishes, you still see damage.

I am thinking that the faster a game plays and thus the harder the ball contacts the playfield and the more airballs you get, the more you may see damage. I don’t recall many bw games having many persistent airball issues (I may be wrong) and they are not as fast as today’s games. My tspp, which I’ve owned since 2003, shows very little dimpling, it has no airball issues and isn’t nearly as fast as GB, Met or ACDC. My RS and wh20 also show almost nothing. I don’t buy the argument that dimples even out over time, no way that’s true.

Only the manufacturers know how their processes have changed and none will share it so we are left in the dark.

#3752 7 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I do not believe the dimpling is due to the wood. I am a woodworker and have a number of hardwoods on hand, including, walnut, sapele, white ash (which baseball bats are made of), white (quarter sawn) and red oak and cherry. This is hardly scientific, but I dropped a pinball on all of the unfinished species multiple times from a couple of inches in the air and they all dimpled, including sapele, which is the hardest of the bunch. They didn’t dimple in the same way, but they all showed noticeable damage.
I dropped the ball on unfinished wood, but I also tested on a few finishes I use, including Behlen’s rock hard table top varnish, minwax polyurethane, hood finishing water-based poly and water-based lacquer. The varnish did not hold up as well with much deeper divots. I would expect this as varnish is not as hard. Both the water-based and minwax poly held up better with shallower divots. The water-based lacquer seemed to hold up the best, but there too I could see the impact from the ball.
The conclusion leads me to believe that it is not necessarily the wood causing the issue, but may be more related to the type of finish being used. Nevertheless, across the finishes, you still see damage.
I am thinking that the faster a game plays and thus the harder the ball contacts the playfield and the more airballs you get, the more you may see damage. I don’t recall many bw games having many persistent airball issues (I may be wrong) and they are not as fast as today’s games. My tspp, which I’ve owned since 2003, shows very little dimpling, it has no airball issues and isn’t nearly as fast as GB, Met or ACDC. My RS and wh20 also show almost nothing. I don’t buy the argument that dimples even out over time, no way that’s true.
Only the manufacturers know how their processes have changed and none will share it so we are left in the dark.

Ok then explain why in all the dimple pics you Rarely see any in the insert areas only on the painted wood surfaces? It’s the Wood. Yes clear is soft and causes issues (dozen threads to prove that) but not the dimpling.

#3753 7 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Ok then explain why in all the dimple pics you Rarely see any in the insert areas only on the painted wood surfaces? It’s the Wood. Yes clear is soft and causes issues (dozen threads to prove that) but not the dimpling.

Not sure and hadn’t considered that, but I do see some minor dimpling on the coffin insert in front of the captive ball on my Metallica pro, same as rest of the pf. It may be there are airballs coming off that captive ball, not sure. Maybe try dropping the ball on to some of your inserts to see if you get any divots.

Like I said though, all wood dimples, at least what I tested, so even switching to another wood I don’t think fixes anything.

#3754 7 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Haha yeah ok. I grew up when pinball was in its hay day. I've probably played more older games than you. Today's stern games are far more faster and wild than Funhouse ever thought about being.
Dont mistake what I am saying either as to the quality of the playfields. I know the playfields were alot bette made back then but the other truth is they didn't take the beating that today's games take.

Quoted from Lermods:

I am thinking that the faster a game plays and thus the harder the ball contacts the playfield and the more airballs you get, the more you may see damage. I don’t recall many bw games having many persistent airball issues (I may be wrong) and they are not as fast as today’s games. My tspp, which I’ve owned since 2003, shows very little dimpling, it has no airball issues and isn’t nearly as fast as GB, Met or ACDC.

This completely tracks with what I've seen. Older pins had much less speed and airball mayhem than a modern Stern. Even the JJP and Spooky titles I've played have never shown the crazy speed that recent Sterns have. I'm almost surprised anything stays in one piece, pinballs are non-trivial in the weight department, and all they do is slam into things thousands of times over. Crikey.

#3755 7 months ago

The Pinball Industry could easily switch to "Engineered Wood". Plenty of facilities in the USA now make Engineered Plywood.
It's made identically like plywood, but laminated using Isocyanates or other derivatives. HARD stuff. So much so that it's used
as support beams, or headers.

#3756 7 months ago
Quoted from m00nmuppet:

Older pins had much less speed and airball mayhem than a modern Stern.

Have you ever played High Speed? Fish Tales? EatPM has airballs galore. Never played one that didn't.

Speed and airballs are not new.

I'd actually be interested in seeing how many modern games have their flipper height set properly, though. A lot of times that is all it takes to calm down a lot of airballs.

#3757 7 months ago

I am sorry but if it was the speed of the ball in modern Sterns causing these dimples wouldn’t they ALL have the same degree of dimpling. Some seem to have very little to none. How is that possible if ALL the machines are fast. Materials have been degraded across the board with Stern and others. The playfield issues are just an extension of the overall downgrading of materials.

#3758 7 months ago
Quoted from Extraballz:

I am sorry but if it was the speed of the ball in modern Sterns causing these dimples wouldn’t they ALL have the same degree of dimpling. Some seem to have very little to none. How is that possible if ALL the machines are fast. Materials have been degraded across the board with Stern and others. The playfield issues are just an extension of the overall downgrading of materials.

For the few years that I have been into the hobby the dimpling seems about the same to me.

#3759 7 months ago
Quoted from Extraballz:

I am sorry but if it was the speed of the ball in modern Sterns causing these dimples wouldn’t they ALL have the same degree of dimpling. Some seem to have very little to none. How is that possible if ALL the machines are fast. Materials have been degraded across the board with Stern and others. The playfield issues are just an extension of the overall downgrading of materials.

Exactly. When you produce nearly 15,000 games per year, some % of the parts (not just PF’s) are going to be flawed. My last 4 NIB Stern’s had a grainy PF, bad CPU, node board, & coils stops.

On the JP2 thread, someone had 2 JP2’s (a Pro and an LE). One suffered from bad dimpling, the other did not.

As someone recently pointed out, until Stern decides to open up on this topic, we are all in the dark.

No doubt that air balls might be worsening the situation, however air balls SHOULD be uncommon. None of my games produce a lot of air balls. None. I briefly owned an AFMrLE and it had a ton of air balls (when the flipper firmware was poorly programmed).

#3760 7 months ago

I can drop a hammer off a ladder onto my solid bamboo floor and not dent it. 5000 on Janka scale.

Also, Phenolic sheet will not ever dent. Doesnt warp in the heat, either.

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#3761 7 months ago

Johnny Mnemonic is arguably the fastest game in the DMD era. You hit that orbital 3 or 4 times in a row, and it is nearly timing and sheer instincts to keep it going. Sooner or later, you lose the ball, and it is careening off something. In 25 years of existence, my JM PF has zero craters like newer Sterns.....

#3762 7 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

Phenolic sheet will not ever dent. Doesnt warp in the heat, either.

I’m surprised Stern and others haven’t thought about making something like this available as an upgrade. They could easily market more durable playfields to home collectors.

#3763 7 months ago
Quoted from Amused_to_Death:

I’m surprised Stern and others haven’t thought about making something like this available as an upgrade. They could easily market more durable playfields to home collectors.

The problem is figuring out the method for adding artwork and then protecting it when you start entertaining thoughts of new playfield materials.

#3764 7 months ago

Maybe we can use the force to even the dimpling out?

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#3765 7 months ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

Maybe we can use the force to even the dimpling out?[quoted image]

I don't think that I could force myself to play that game enough to even the dimples out.

#3766 7 months ago
Quoted from Amused_to_Death:

I’m surprised Stern and others haven’t thought about making something like this available as an upgrade. They could easily market more durable playfields to home collectors.

Maybe this is the RAZA secret sauce that's gonna make their playfields so much stronger.

#3767 7 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I don't think that I could force myself to play that game enough to even the dimples out.

It's embarrassingly barren. I have spoken.

#3768 7 months ago

I can hear it now, "dimples caused the ball to flow uneven right between the flippers and so and so lost the PAPA finals"

#3769 7 months ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

Maybe we can use the force to even the dimpling out?[quoted image]

These are not the playfields you are looking for...

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#3770 7 months ago

Has anyone been bowling? Real or synthetic lanes, I have never seen dimples on a bowling lane like I have on these playfields.

#3771 7 months ago
Quoted from chad:

I can hear it now, "dimples caused the ball to flow uneven right between the flippers and so and so lost the PAPA finals"

If the dimples were large and deep enough they might cause a slight change in direction.

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#3772 7 months ago
Quoted from mjsbowl:

Has anyone been bowling? Real or synthetic lanes, I have never seen dimples on a bowling lane like I have on these playfields.

I had been in leagues for several years. Bowling lanes do not dimple. I have seen lofted balls 2 to 3 feet , no problems.

#3773 7 months ago
Quoted from chad:

I had been in leagues for several years. Bowling lanes do not dimple. I have seen lofted balls 2 to 3 feet , no problems.

but keep your street shoes off the damn lane!

#3774 7 months ago

Wooden lanes dimple. They are made of maple on the approach/pin deck and pine for the rest of the lane. They used to sand them every few years to remove the dimples and even out the lanes for leagues/tournaments. When they sanded them down to a certain point, they would replace them just like real wood flooring. All wood dimples under the right circumstances! The smaller the pressure point/greater the weight/impact, the more likely the wood will dimple. Humidity, temperature and age of the wood all affect wood and it’s hardness. Along with what type of sealer you put on the wood.

And yes, most of the oldest trees/best aged wood have been cut down. They provided the best wood for manufacturing. No wants to wait 75 to 200 years for them to grow up. Don’t get me wrong, they still exist in some places in the world. But the wood is not cheap and all maple trees are not the same.

#3775 7 months ago
Quoted from LukyDuck:

Wooden lanes dimple. They are made of maple on the approach/pin deck and pine for the rest of the lane. They used to sand them every few years to remove the dimples and even out the lanes for leagues/tournaments. When they sanded them down to a certain point, they would replace them just like real wood flooring. All wood dimples under the right circumstances! The smaller the pressure point/greater the weight/impact, the more likely the wood will dimple. Humidity, temperature and age of the wood all affect wood and it’s hardness. Along with what type of sealer you put on the wood.
And yes, most of the oldest trees/best aged wood have been cut down. They provided the best wood for manufacturing. No wants to wait 75 to 200 years for them to grow up. Don’t get me wrong, they still exist in some places in the world. But the wood is not cheap and all maple trees are not the same.

This is true. Wooden bowling lanes do dimple. The thick oil layer on top minimizes the damage but lanes need regular maintenance to remove the surface lacquer, sand the wood, and refinish.

Since the 80’s it’s pretty much all synthetic material that wears differently.

#3776 7 months ago
Quoted from jellikit:

These are not the playfields you are looking for...[quoted image]

Wow. I'm surprised that mine doesn't look like that. Build date is March of 07 and it was routed to death until I got it in 2015

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#3777 7 months ago
Quoted from sohchx:

Wow. I'm surprised that mine doesn't look like that. Build date is March of 07 and it was routed to death until I got it in 2015[quoted image]

Hit and miss from all I've seen over the years in terms of date of manufacture, amount of plays, etc.

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#3778 7 months ago
Quoted from jellikit:

Hit and miss from all I've seen over the years in terms of date of manufacture, amount of plays, etc.[quoted image]

Do you know if this is an original or remake playfield? BTW this one doesn’t look too bad. Just some slight dimpling.

#3779 7 months ago
Quoted from Extraballz:

Do you know if this is an original or remake playfield? BTW this one doesn’t look too bad. Just some slight dimpling.

Original. And yes, the dimpling isn't exceptional on it. This one isn't either or over time it has seen overlapping compression, I can't say.

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#3780 7 months ago
Quoted from Amused_to_Death:

I’m surprised Stern and others haven’t thought about making something like this available as an upgrade. They could easily market more durable playfields to home collectors.

The problem with them making any kind of pf upgrade is it would be acknowledging normal pfs have a problem.

#3781 7 months ago

tna is fast as hell and tons of tna machines have no dimpling. i dont think that argument about new games being faster holds any water. its not the amount of airballs as much as the damage they're causing. brand new stern games that immediately start cratering with every airball.

after thinking about it the issue has to be the clear again. something with the formula thats preventing pooling/chipping but now super soft to airballs. there was dimpling before but never as bad as im seeing with elvira/stranger things. i havent seen a single machine yet without major problems out of the box.

#3782 7 months ago
Quoted from donkadelic:

tna is fast as hell and tons of tna machines have no dimpling. i dont think that argument about new games being faster holds any water. its not the amount of airballs as much as the damage they're causing. brand new stern games that immediately start cratering with every airball.
after thinking about it the issue has to be the clear again. something with the formula thats preventing pooling/chipping but now super soft to airballs. there was dimpling before but never as bad as im seeing with elvira/stranger things. i havent seen a single machine yet without major problems out of the box.

You haven’t looked hard enough then. Posts about dimpling go back Years on most every pin. Thousands of posts.......

#3783 7 months ago
Quoted from donkadelic:

tna is fast as hell and tons of tna machines have no dimpling. i dont think that argument about new games being faster holds any water. its not the amount of airballs as much as the damage they're causing. brand new stern games that immediately start cratering with every airball.
after thinking about it the issue has to be the clear again. something with the formula thats preventing pooling/chipping but now super soft to airballs. there was dimpling before but never as bad as im seeing with elvira/stranger things. i havent seen a single machine yet without major problems out of the box.

Can I ask you how old you are and how long you have been in this hobby? I'm not being a smartass I promise, but I'm just curious.

New games being faster and having more flipper power absolutely makes a difference. You are never going to get a game that doesn't dimple somewhat. I just want the playfields to stop pooling and chipping and having the artwork lifting off of them I honestly could care less about dimpling and I'm very very picky about my games.

-17
#3784 7 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Can I ask you how old you are and how long you have been in this hobby? I'm not being a smartass I promise, but I'm just curious.
New games being faster and having more flipper power absolutely makes a difference. You are never going to get a game that doesn't dimple somewhat. I just want the playfields to stop pooling and chipping and having the artwork lifting off of them I honestly could care less about dimpling and I'm very very picky about my games.

New games being faster....has no impact on cratering scientifically, so you're wrong on that.

No games that don't dimple...also just plainly wrong, plenty of recent spooky machines with none.

How old am I and how long have I been in the hobby? None of your god damn business, sorry.

-7
#3785 7 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

You haven’t looked hard enough then. Posts about dimpling go back Years on most every pin. Thousands of posts.......

Ah so that makes it acceptable then? Sad state of affairs in this hobby when customers accept these kind of trash products.

And again, plenty of modern machines that don't dimple and aren't branded Stern, why is that?

#3786 7 months ago
Quoted from donkadelic:

New games being faster....has no impact on cratering scientifically, so you're wrong on that.
No games that don't dimple...also just plainly wrong, plenty of recent spooky machines with none.
How old am I and how long have I been in the hobby? None of your god damn business, sorry.

I have an ACNC with dimples on it. The magnet save between the flippers even has a dimple on it.

#3787 7 months ago
Quoted from donkadelic:

New games being faster....has no impact on cratering scientifically, so you're wrong on that.
No games that don't dimple...also just plainly wrong, plenty of recent spooky machines with none.
How old am I and how long have I been in the hobby? None of your god damn business, sorry.

New games often play faster, and restored games with heavy clearcoats DEFINITELY play faster (sometimes, unnaturally fast). If you play a "stock" AFM from back-in-the-day and play a restored HEP AFM, the speed difference is considerable (as a result of the fancy/thick/beautiful clearcoat). The speed of the ball will definitely impact wear of the PF. I had dimples on my HEP cleared, Mirco PF (which I no longer own, or I'd post a photo).

Hard to compare a company that produces ~15,000 games per year with a company that produces ~500 games per year. It would be great if Stern were more open with the data/issues, but they aren't. The alternatives to the NIB crapshoot are purchase used or sit on the sidelines. You decide.

#3788 7 months ago

Spooky pins also dimple..... not like stern pins but they do and will continue too Just like every wood playfield pin .

#3789 7 months ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Spooky pins also dimple..... not like stern pins but they do and will continue too Just like every wood playfield pin .

So all pins have some degree of dimpling so the subject is a closed case and shouldn’t even be discussed? I feel like every time someone says all pins dimple they want people to think that’s the whole story. It is not. There is a big difference in accepting some slight shallow dimples that are barely visible to a ton of huge deep craters I am seeing from Stern and others. That’s like saying someone who loses their temper once in a while is the same as someone who constantly screams at people. Those are not close. One is something you could live with and the other is not.

Spooky is at least showing they are trying to improve their quality with every title they put out. They may continue to improve quality as they go. That says something to me. That’s the formula I want to see from ALL pin companies in the future.

#3790 7 months ago
Quoted from Extraballz:

So all pins have some degree of dimpling so the subject is a closed case and shouldn’t even be discussed? I feel like every time someone says all pins dimple they want people to think that’s the whole story. It is not. There is a big difference in accepting some slight shallow dimples that are barely visible to a ton of huge deep craters I am seeing from Stern and others. That’s like saying someone who loses their temper once in a while is the same as someone who constantly screams at people. Those are not close. One is something you could live with and the other is not.
Spooky is at least showing they are trying to improve their quality with every title they put out. They may continue to improve quality as they go. That says something to me. That’s the formula I want to see from ALL pin companies in the future.

I heard a tna had some issues 1 time so all issues in pinball are totally fine and acceptable from there on out.

It's completely ridiculous. Same with "why don't you just enjoy pinball".

If you're happy paying 6-15 thousand dollars for a machine that is defective out of the box....then by all means, spend your money. But i'm not.

I am totally fine with the usual amount of shallow hardly perceptible dimpling. I am not fine with 100s of giant craters all over the pf after 2 days of play. Maybe that's just me?

#3791 7 months ago
Quoted from Extraballz:

So all pins have some degree of dimpling so the subject is a closed case and shouldn’t even be discussed? I feel like every time someone says all pins dimple they want people to think that’s the whole story. It is not. There is a big difference in accepting some slight shallow dimples that are barely visible to a ton of huge deep craters I am seeing from Stern and others. That’s like saying someone who loses their temper once in a while is the same as someone who constantly screams at people. Those are not close. One is something you could live with and the other is not.
Spooky is at least showing they are trying to improve their quality with every title they put out. They may continue to improve quality as they go. That says something to me. That’s the formula I want to see from ALL pin companies in the future.

The point I have been trying to make is this isnt as big of a deal as what alot of people try to make it out to be. Most of these pics you see of terrible dimpling are magnified and blown up to where it looks like the surface if the moon........some people are doing this on purpose to make things appear worse than what they really are.

I've had some games that dimple worse than others no doubt but even the ones that looked really bad like my TWD and GOT look great right now after 1500-2000 plays. They look like a very fine orange peel and you dont even notice it unless you are actually looking for it.

Stern definitely has things to figure out and get better at as far as their playfield quality goes but dimpling is way down on the list of things to improve upon. Also you want to talk about how great these other companies are, go buy one of their games and you will quickly find out that they arent perfect either. They fail miserably in comparison to stern in the reliability department and they arent nearly as fun either.

#3792 7 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Stern definitely has things to figure out and get better at

Customer Service

#3793 7 months ago
Quoted from donkadelic:

I am totally fine with the usual amount of shallow hardly perceptible dimpling. I am not fine with 100s of giant craters all over the pf after 2 days of play. Maybe that's just me?

You should never buy a NIB game because you wont be happy. That game that looks terrible after two days of play that you are talking about will look much better after one year of play. It wont be a sheet of glass like you want it to be but it will look fine.

#3794 7 months ago

Pinside ... where the drama is bigger than Broadway and small dimples rule the pinball world

#3795 7 months ago
Quoted from chad:

I can hear it now, "dimples caused the ball to flow uneven right between the flippers and so and so lost the PAPA finals"

You won't hear that because of all the petty things tournament players whine about, the non-existent issue of "dimples" isn't one of them. This is strictly the purview of insane newbies and the people who love them.

#3796 7 months ago

Again with respect.

Quoted from Who-Dey:

The point I have been trying to make is this isnt as big of a deal as what alot of people try to make it out to be.

Your subjective opinion.

Quoted from Who-Dey:

Most of these pics you see of terrible dimpling are magnified and blown up to where it looks like the surface if the moon........some people are doing this on purpose to make things appear worse than what they really are.

In my subjective opinion. I think you are in the minority in this thinking. Maybe you should consider taking a poll to see if the community supports this stance. IMO, I believe there are more folks in total that do not.

I still submit that there are small dimples, which I freely now admit are very normal. And there are craters like we are seeing on newer Stern pins, that in my opinion are not normal.

Quoted from Who-Dey:

Stern definitely has things to figure out and get better at as far as their playfield quality goes but dimpling is way down on the list of things to improve upon.

So which is it?
You appear to me to consider the current playfield quality with respect to dimpling somewhat normal, and possibly acceptable? Maybe I am reading you wrong.

Lastly and more specifically...what aspect of playfield quality do you think they should improve upon since the dimpling issue should be lower priority on the list? Just curious.

#3798 7 months ago
Quoted from donkadelic:

Ah so that makes it acceptable then? Sad state of affairs in this hobby when customers accept these kind of trash products.
And again, plenty of modern machines that don't dimple and aren't branded Stern, why is that?

Could you please post some photos of these dimple free machines? I am not a fan of dimples either however, dimpling has been around for over 45 years that I know of. Dimpling is not a new thing. Some games dimple, some games do not.

If you look after your flippers and keep them working like new, I feel that game will have more dimples that a game that is 10 years old and still has the same flippers with zero maintenance. I also feel that different locations with different voltages affect the flipper strength and this is what causes some games to dimple more than others.

#3799 7 months ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

Again with respect.

Your subjective opinion.

In my subjective opinion. I think you are in the minority in this thinking. Maybe you should consider taking a poll to see if the community supports this stance. IMO, I believe there are more folks in total that do not.
I still submit that there are small dimples, which I freely now admit are very normal. And there are craters like we are seeing on newer Stern pins, that in my opinion are not normal.

So which is it?
You appear to me to consider the current playfield quality somewhat normal and acceptable? Maybe I am reading you wrong.
Lastly and more specifically...what aspect of playfield quality do you think they should improve upon?

who-dey has said many times on this thread he is sort of OK with the dimples but definitely not OK with the pooling and chipping.

#3800 7 months ago

So is it fair to say that pooling and chipping is now under control due to the thinner layer of cc being applied? That was my understanding from reading previous posts.

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