Hi all! I'm new to the forums and I'll apologize in advance because I suspect you all get asked this kind of question a lot.
I'm considering making my first pinball machine purchase. Because of budget, it's bound to be a well-loved (but hopefully not abused) older machine. I'd like to be able to learn to do as much service and upkeep on it myself as possible. There is a local pinball parlor with some great folks who I can call on if need be. But I like to tinker, am fairly handy, and learning to do basic maintenance and even minor restorative work will be part of the fun for me.
The local market for used pins is pretty small and I may not end up with many options to choose from. But in general, would you say I'm better off with an electro-mechanical or solid state machine? Is one generally easier to learn/work on than the other? Or does that not really matter so much as the individual pin cab itself?
Or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely and all maintenance and restoration is best left to the experts?
To give a few examples, there's both a 1976 Aladdin's Castle and a 1979 Genie table that appear in reasonably good condition, are advertised as fully functioning, within a reasonable driving radius from me, and priced around what I'd be willing to spend.
I've also seen machines like SuperFlite and Funfest come up in the local market. I'm not ready to pull the trigger on any specific machine yet. But these are the kinds of machines I've seen locally that seem to be in my price range.