Do Stern's Balls Still Suck?

(Topic ID: 225966)

Do Stern's Balls Still Suck?


By jorge5240

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 46 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Goonie
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 months ago

    In the past when I buy NIB I never use the balls that come with the game. They used to be horrible. I had a whole stock of the pinball life shiny balls but I am out and I don't see them on their site anymore. Have the quality of the stern balls improved? If not where is the new go to for the best balls? Thanks, Mike

    #2 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    In the past when I buy NIB I never use the balls that come with the game. They used to be horrible. I had a whole stock of the pinball life shiny balls but I am out and I don't see them on their site anymore. Have the quality of the stern balls improved? If not where is the new go to for the best balls? Thanks, Mike

    Replace them. I kept hearing everyone say to toss Stern balls out, and then I saw this last week in an IMDN Prem on location.
    Balls1 (resized).jpg

    We use these in our games - https://ksarcade.net/new-used-pinball-boards-parts/balls-fuses-other/balls/turbo-shotz-magna-shotz-premium-pinballs-1-1-16-5-pk.html

    #3 4 months ago

    What's the last NIB you are using as reference? My last NIB was Ghostbusters and the balls were pretty good. Certainly not pitted like stories of older games that I heard.

    #4 4 months ago

    I have a Deadpool on order and that is the one I am wondering about the balls since I am out of the ones from pinball life. All my other games I didn’t even look at the balls provided, just threw the ones form pinball life in there.

    #5 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    I have a Deadpool on order and that is the one I am wondering about the balls since I am out of the ones from pinball life. All my other games I didn’t even look at the balls provided, just threw the ones form pinball life in there.

    There's no need to risk it. You're already out over $5.5K+, what's another $12?

    #6 4 months ago

    I'm really not sure if this is an issue ATM. Unless you have a routed game. Most of us HUO folks shouldn't worry about it.

    Just be sure you go and do your yearly ball check. Replace as needed.

    #7 4 months ago

    Now that Pinball life doesn't have the shiny where are the best balls?

    #8 4 months ago

    Stern got their pinballs improved a couple years back. They are perfectly fine out of the box now.

    #9 4 months ago

    I've thought about it and I've decided that no one cares. Defective ball(s) seem plausible to me. No jokes required below... I've seen this happen many times but it's not just in Stern machines. It's more random and usually only one or two balls in a game are defective.

    #10 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    Now that Pinball life doesn't have the shiny where are the best balls?

    The Ball Baron’s “Ninja Ball” has been my go to. They’re flawlessly shiny, and are 100% chrome. Good price too. He sometimes has specials where if you buy a bulk order, you get a bonus of some sort.

    https://ballbaron.com/product/ninja-super-shiny-chrome-pinball-g10/

    #11 4 months ago

    In my NIB Iron Maiden (which is used HUO) the balls were terrible and had to be replaced within a week. So I would call reports of this problem being resolved BS. The playfield is also a complete joke with terrible wood grain right out of the box, almost like there was no QC whatsoever.

    #12 4 months ago

    Speaking of QC, this is my favorite Stern QC video ever. I've posted it before...

    Skip to the 11 minute mark.

    Guy Giving Tour: "Yeah, we have this awesome light table to make sure we can spot ghosting insert issues." "Can we show them how it works?"

    Guy Doing QC: "Uh, this thing is supposed to be plugged in?"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=UR2WflOczwU&app=desktop

    #13 4 months ago

    Don't know, don't care, wouldn't use them.

    -1
    #14 4 months ago
    Quoted from Maken:

    In my NIB Iron Maiden (which is used HUO) the balls were terrible and had to be replaced within a week. So I would call reports of this problem being resolved BS. The playfield is also a complete joke with terrible wood grain right out of the box, almost like there was no QC whatsoever.

    No issues with the balls in my last two purchases.

    No issues will balls among my friends in the community in the last couple of years.

    So I would call your comment BS.

    #15 4 months ago

    honestly, I have used the ones that come from stern, jjp, chicago gaming and American pinball. I also purchased new balls from PBL and one other source that escapes me right now. I have never been able to tell the difference either by sight or gameplay.

    so if it is an issue, I have either been very lucky to not run into it, or I simply suck that bad at pinball and cant tell the difference.

    just my .02

    #16 4 months ago

    Ive used them and they are fine. Always inspect them closely and wipe them off though just like any other balls that you put in your game.

    #17 4 months ago

    2imqxn (resized).jpg
    #18 4 months ago

    The only problem I ever had with Stern balls was that the ones that came with Metallica magnetized too easy and would then get stuck in the casket lock. I bought some other unknown ones and they looked like they have swirl marks in the finish (think of car clear coat swirls).

    Rob

    #19 4 months ago

    This thread title made me laugh. I was like "wow, no company is perfect. Somebody is really making this personal". Glad to see it was about just "balls".

    #20 4 months ago

    mabybe its me, but i cant tell the difference in any of the pinballs. silverjet, stern, pinball life, all about the same thing.

    #21 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    Now that Pinball life doesn't have the shiny where are the best balls?

    These are pretty much the same as pbl used to have. Great site and fast shipping -
    http://www.thepinballwizard.net/index.php?p=product&id=849

    #22 4 months ago
    Quoted from zaki:

    mabybe its me, but i cant tell the difference in any of the pinballs. silverjet, stern, pinball life, all about the same thing.

    I am not worrried about the balls playing differently, I am worrying about the balls being pitted and f-ing up the playfield.

    #23 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    I am not worrried about the balls playing differently, I am worrying about the balls being pitted and f-ing up the playfield.

    If they look good they will be fine, just inspect them before you use them.

    #24 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    I am not worrried about the balls playing differently, I am worrying about the balls being pitted and f-ing up the playfield.

    If you have a ton of machines, and are into fixing them up...try getting a tumbler. 2 days in a tumbler with corn cob media and flitz has the old, scratched up balls looking like new. Obviously, throw out the balls that are pitted or dented. Those Iron Maiden balls above dented like they were made of soft pine!

    #25 4 months ago

    Does Stern still suck balls or have we gotten over that yet?

    #26 4 months ago
    Quoted from Sinestro:

    No issues with the balls in my last two purchases.
    No issues will balls among my friends in the community in the last couple of years.
    So I would call your comment BS.

    LMAO

    #27 4 months ago
    Quoted from Sinestro:

    No issues with the balls in my last two purchases.
    No issues will balls among my friends in the community in the last couple of years.
    So I would call your comment BS.

    I bought a nib GOTG in June/ July and one of the balls looked like a golf ball after 300 plays. Two more started that way after 500. I replaced them all.

    I'm just lucky I guess.

    #28 4 months ago

    +1 for ball baron.

    #29 4 months ago

    Stern does not make pinballs. Whatever company that you buy pinballs from doesn't make the either! Shocking.

    #30 4 months ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Replace them. I kept hearing everyone say to toss Stern balls out, and then I saw this last week in an IMDN Prem on location.
    [quoted image]
    We use these in our games - https://ksarcade.net/new-used-pinball-boards-parts/balls-fuses-other/balls/turbo-shotz-magna-shotz-premium-pinballs-1-1-16-5-pk.html

    Golf anybody. That is bad, hardness check, quality control.

    #31 4 months ago
    Quoted from thirdedition:

    I'm just lucky I guess.

    It seems you are a liar

    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Stern does not make pinballs. Whatever company that you buy pinballs from doesn't make the either! Shocking.

    Wow... Deep.

    #32 4 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Stern does not make pinballs. Whatever company that you buy pinballs from doesn't make the either! Shocking.

    I don't think anyone here is implying that they make pinballs. People are trying to discern if the balls that come in new Stern games are having issues.

    Some are seeing issues and others aren't.

    #33 4 months ago

    The best thing I have found to do when it comes to balls is to buy a 10x Jewelers Loupe and look at each of them under magnification before installing them. I have found imperfections in some balls from every supplier I have tried so I just sort through balls as I install them and put the best balls in my better machines.

    Remember NEVER handle balls with your bare hands your skin oil contains salt which can cause issues on balls rather quickly. Typically I grab balls out of the bag or package with a paper towel look each over then drop them into a machine never touching them with bare hands.

    You will be surprised how many imperfections you will find on just about any ball when looking at it under 10x magnification. The nice thing about using a loupe to check balls is you can check used balls from time to time and decide when to replace them once you start seeing damage. Sometimes old balls in machines look better then the new ones I was getting ready to install. If that is the case I just wipe them down and drop them right back into the machine.

    For under $10 you can grab a decent loupe off Amazon, eBay, etc. Cheaper than a set of balls and using it will save you money for years. The ones I use came from a local friend see ebay item number 401597281274 if you are curious what I am talking about.

    #34 4 months ago

    The balls that came with my GotG Pro are nice.

    -1
    #35 4 months ago
    Quoted from thirdedition:

    I don't think anyone here is implying that they make pinballs. People are trying to discern if they balls that come in new Stern games are having issues.

    Well, the title of the OP suggests strongly that we are discussing "Stern's Balls". It's misleading.

    #36 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    ... I never use the balls that come with the game.

    Its right in the first post Sinestro... Er Snyper

    #37 4 months ago
    Quoted from Sinestro:

    Stern got their pinballs improved a couple years back. They are perfectly fine out of the box now.

    Did you not see the pic I posted? The ball on the left is dimpled to shit. This is on a game that's what, 2 months off the line?

    Painting with a broad brush and calling everything "perfect" isn't accurate. Even if 99% of them are good to go, and your 2 NIBs were fine, the issue in question can still exist.

    IMO, buyers should consider a change at unboxing, or just inspect after a handful of plays to make sure you're in the clear. It's not that hard to do, and is better than having blind faith in someone calling everything "perfect", especially as it's been a known issue in the past and these things cost $5.5K+.

    #38 4 months ago
    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    Just be sure you go and do your yearly ball check.

    I check mine once a month in the shower.

    #39 4 months ago
    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    The best thing I have found to do when it comes to balls is to buy a 10x Jewelers Loupe and look at each of them under magnification before installing them. I have found imperfections in some balls from every supplier I have tried so I just sort through balls as I install them and put the best balls in my better machines.
    Remember NEVER handle balls with your bare hands your skin oil contains salt which can cause issues on balls rather quickly. Typically I grab balls out of the bag or package with a paper towel look each over then drop them into a machine never touching them with bare hands.
    You will be surprised how many imperfections you will find on just about any ball when looking at it under 10x magnification. The nice thing about using a loupe to check balls is you can check used balls from time to time and decide when to replace them once you start seeing damage. Sometimes old balls in machines look better then the new ones I was getting ready to install. If that is the case I just wipe them down and drop them right back into the machine.
    For under $10 you can grab a decent loupe off Amazon, eBay, etc. Cheaper than a set of balls and using it will save you money for years. The ones I use came from a local friend see ebay item number 401597281274 if you are curious what I am talking about.

    Some of us don't need a microscope to see our balls...just sayin!

    #40 4 months ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    Some of us don't need a microscope to see our balls...just sayin!

    "Shit Happens" when you get old! Hell I have to wear reading glasses to shave these days. But all kidding aside don't touch your balls with bare hands!

    #41 4 months ago

    Reminds me of the last couple years or so from the Gottlieb era before they closed.

    #42 4 months ago

    I didn’t have good luck with the Ball Baron balls. They all magnetized and had rust spots after a couple weeks. I swapped them out for new and they had the same issues.
    I bought a bunch of Pinball life standard pinballs to try. They have been holding up nicely and they are much cheaper. Also, I haven’t had any issues with magnetism yet (going on 3 months)

    #43 4 months ago
    Quoted from chubtoad13:

    I didn’t have good luck with the Ball Baron balls. They all magnetized and had rust spots after a couple weeks. I swapped them out for new and they had the same issues.
    I bought a bunch of Pinball life standard pinballs to try. They have been holding up nicely and they are much cheaper. Also, I haven’t had any issues with magnetism yet (going on 3 months)

    Thanks for the review.

    Does anyone know if PBL will be bringing back the Ohhhhh Soooo Shiny Ones?

    #44 4 months ago
    Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

    Thanks for the review.
    Does anyone know if PBL will be bringing back the Ohhhhh Soooo Shiny Ones?

    Probably not. My guess is they realized any super shiny balls made now a days will get magnetized.

    Standard issue balls are just fine.

    #45 4 months ago
    Quoted from jorge5240:

    Now that Pinball life doesn't have the shiny where are the best balls?

    I asked PBL about this, they told me they are the same balls they still have, they just don't do the extra polishing on them. Check with them to verify, but I believe that is what they told me.

    #46 4 months ago
    Quoted from Insane:

    I asked PBL about this, they told me they are the same balls they still have, they just don't do the extra polishing on them. Check with them to verify, but I believe that is what they told me.

    I've been told that before too.

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