(Topic ID: 333586)

Hesitation around owning 90's or earlier machines

By BW1029

1 year ago


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  • 42 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Rarehero
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    I finally moved to a place where i have space for some machines of my own, and am now the proud owner of a James Bond Prem. I'm already plotting on what the next addition should be and am wondering as a novice how scared I should be of some of the 90's games. There are a handful of games that I've always loved (Theatre of Magic, Whitewater etc.) but I'm a little nervous about the maintenance and issues that may crop up. The alternative is obviously another NIB like Godzilla, Jurassic Park etc.

    Im open to learning, and starting to tinker, learning to solder etc. My big concern is that I end up with constant issues or just issues I'm not equipped to handle and will always have an unplayable machine.

    Appreciate any insights, words of encouragement and or tips to convince a spouse that a 2nd, 3rd and 4th machine is a good idea.

    #2 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    My big concern is that I end up with constant issues

    If you have an issue. Fix it right the first time. Then you won't have constant issues.

    Quoted from BW1029:

    just issues I'm not equipped to handle and will always have an unplayable machine.

    Then you'll need to get quipped. Learn what you can do. Find friends or collectors in your area to help you learn more.

    LTG : )

    #3 1 year ago

    I am new to pinball as of a couple years ago. My budget (and nostalgia) limited me to older machines. I started with a 1986 High Speed and then added a LW3. I had no real knowledge of how to work on machines but start with one that is in decent shape. In general my HS requires relatively little maintenance. I had one fuse issue that turned out to be a flipper button end of switch problem. YouTube is a treasure trove of help, as are the forums here.

    In short, don’t worry too much, just invest a little extra in one that appears well cared for and you should avoid most major headaches and get a chance to learn over time.

    18
    #4 1 year ago

    I can fix 90s pins in my sleep. Lots of info on when something goes wrong how to fix it. Parts are (for the most part) still available and easy to replace. The newer stuff is what scares me. I hope I never have a node board issue.

    #5 1 year ago

    These classic 90s games are going on 30+ years old now. 80s games are almost as old as I am.

    That’s old as shit for equipment that was built to last a decade or less.

    Unless you are willing/interested to get your hands dirty, tinker, and have machines be down for long periods of time while you figure this stuff out, id follow your instincts; avoid.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    I can fix 90s pins in my sleep. Lots of info on when something goes wrong how to fix it. Parts are (for the most part) still available and easy to replace. The newer stuff is what scares me. I hope I never have a node board issue.

    This.

    There’s so many resources for older games, so many reproduction parts boards and many people know these games inside and out. A TZ, STTNG can be rock solid only if the owner chooses to do so. Like LTG was saying fix it right the first time. Opto issues can crop up all over the place on STTNG if you are reactive on your fixes. Any original optical transmitter should probably be replaced at this point.

    Anything from the mid 80s and earlier probably needs plug work.

    As Levi says above it’s going to be work if it’s all original components. But CAN they be made as reliable as a new machine? Yes. As easily as a new machine? No.

    #7 1 year ago

    I've always had an interest in taking things apart and seeing how they worked and (sometimes) fixing them. So, I basically started out by picking up a dead game, used my existing set of basic hand tools, learned about fixing my game, and I added a few tools to my tool kit. Then I picked up another broken game. And another. And another. And along the way I grew my collection of tools, parts, and supplies. It didn't happen overnight.

    A pinball machine has thousands of parts, many of them moving and banging around. So, things are going to come loose, wear out, and/or break. It's the nature of pinball. Even brand new games aren't immune to it.

    But, if you start out with a vintage game that has been maintained and cared for, there are probably going to be fewer things that you need repair than if you grab a project game.

    But, I'm cheap and I like to tinker, so I picked up cheap dead games to bring back to life.

    If you want a reliable machine, Gottlieb system 3 games are built like tanks. I like bringing system 3 and system 1 games to shows since things rarely go wrong with them (but for system 1 games, only after they have been properly gone through and bulletproofed). Granted, the games on those platforms aren't generally as well liked as WPC titles.

    #8 1 year ago

    Spending the time to find out what is wrong with your WPC and how to fix it is more fun than waiting for a node board to ship. In some cases, faster too.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Unless you are willing/interested to get your hands dirty, tinker, and have machines be down for long periods of time while you figure this stuff out, id follow your instincts; avoid.

    This is the advice for owning pinballs, period. NIB won't magically get you free of it.

    90s games are easier to fix than modern ones. First piece of advice? Put your location in your account. Where you are makes a difference with how easy it is to get local technical support.

    Worst case I've got a tech that will bulletproof any 90s boards you send him. It's not a big deal.

    #10 1 year ago

    Older machines you can repair without too much fuss. Good luck to you when a propriatary node board goes out. I think you are worried about the wrong vintage.

    #11 1 year ago

    If a 90s B/W game is shopped out & well maintained, it’s not going to have many issues. They were well designed & built. I’ve had more issues with NIB games than most of my classics. As long as you’re not buying a beater, you’ll be fine. At this point, most of the beaters were bought & restored.

    #12 1 year ago

    If your willing and interested in learning repair skills there's a ton of resources to help.

    I will say that not all issues are simple. Sometimes the older games have multiple issues that complicate troubleshooting. But generally once you get a game running they tend to be reliable.

    #13 1 year ago

    interesting range of views here. One man's easy is another man's nightmare I personally want to play and not tinker so I've put alot of effort into getting games to run well and not owning games that constantly screw up!

    My most reliable games by a mile are NIB CGC games. They just need cleaning and the odd screw tightening.
    Next is Stern NIB or nearly new. Spike 2 range occasionally needs a tweak or a part swapped but they are pretty bullet proof (stern sadly put crap coil stops on but thats fixable quickly), its why most games on locations are Stern games. After than Spooky and JJP (!0 need a lot of work and tend to be the new games with the most issues.

    In order then my most reliable games are my late 70/80s games, Stern Classics / Bally Classics. Simple game play no complex mechanisms, straight forward electronics, now when you get one of these it usually needs some work to get the kinks out but once you've done that they are super reliable, flippers need rebuilding on these but thats about it. Repin the connectors and stick new boards, I recommend the weebly ones, and you are good to go.

    The worst games for reliability are the so called "golden era games" - the 90s stuff. complex electronics (for the time), complex mechanisms and from that loads of issues. Of all the games in our club the 90s are the ones that need the most work to keep running. Games to avoid in my view, any WMS wide body game with the exception of Indiana Jones. TNG is a nightmare to keep running. Some early TAF's are a total shitshow also. CV lots that goes wrong with the jester dood and parts are unobtainium.

    WPC95 stuff is pretty good but age often means you need to do alot of work on the switches. I had a very good condition Monster Bash but the switch actuators (the things the ball rolls over) were all worn to the point alot of the switches needed work. I ended up selling it and buying a CGC remake and I've had to do ZERO to that game.

    Also find the late 80 stuff like the black knight 2000 era can be problematic and often are hard to work on.

    So if you want a low maintenance 90's game get a remake. if you want low maintenance avoid 90's games with complex mechs, JD, JM, TNG etc. Whitewater and Theatre are pretty reliable. WW you need to dial in the upper flipper but once done its fine. Theatre, I recommend replacing the box electronics with some of the new ones with fixes and replacing the magnet/detect boards with new ones. Get the power board rebuilt and both of these games are quite reliable but someway off NIB.

    Neil.

    #14 1 year ago

    Most boards on 90's era Bally/Williams have been reproduced, so you don't need skills, just deep pockets

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    I finally moved to a place where i have space for some machines of my own, and am now the proud owner of a James Bond Prem. I'm already plotting on what the next addition should be and am wondering as a novice how scared I should be of some of the 90's games. There are a handful of games that I've always loved (Theatre of Magic, Whitewater etc.) but I'm a little nervous about the maintenance and issues that may crop up. The alternative is obviously another NIB like Godzilla, Jurassic Park etc.
    Im open to learning, and starting to tinker, learning to solder etc. My big concern is that I end up with constant issues or just issues I'm not equipped to handle and will always have an unplayable machine.
    Appreciate any insights, words of encouragement and or tips to convince a spouse that a 2nd, 3rd and 4th machine is a good idea.

    I have fallen off the deep end in this hobby with over 50 machines rotating through my basement in the past 4 years. It has been my experience that any game made at or after 1985 with the advent of the System 11 pinball machine is pretty much rock solid. I have had the type of maintenance nightmares you are talking about, but they are all on early solid state (1978-1984) games, and even then they make new board sets. There are a few exceptions to this rule (recent build Spooky games on certain board sets).

    If you are worried about parts being hard to get... don't be. You can buy brand new electronic boards for those 30 year old machines all day long. The parts that are prone to breaking all pretty much have kits ready made to replace them. The exception to the rule are games that use alot of optos for sensors, and even these are fixable. The one game in your era I would recommend you steer clear from a maintenance concern is Star Trek, the Next Generation. As a general rule, you can get an idea of how reliable a game is by looking at the pinside map and seeing how many of that particular title are on location compared to how many are in home collections. For example, there are 1900 STTNG in people's collections, and only 155 out on public location. By contrast there are 1500 Fish Tales in people's collections but 282 public locations where you can play it. So, despite there being a third less Fish Tales left in existance there are twice as many out on location as they are rock solid reliable.

    All in all, I wouldn't sweat it too much. I would only caution you that it is much easier to have a working machine that breaks and troubleshoot it to get it working than to buy a non working machine to try and fix up... especially the first time.

    Edit to ad:

    Don't know where you are, but if you ask around here or even check ebay there are multiple places you can mail in your boards for "bulletproofing" or you can buy brand new boards (Google "Rottendog board" and "Altek board". Of note, there are a few different small businesses throughout the US that specialize in taking in old pinballs, refurbishing them, and selling them. A few hang around here. The most reliable older games I've gotten have all had "Refurbished by TNT amusements" stickers in them. I've had maybe 5 pins that have been refurbished by them sometime in the last decade rotate through my basement and they've all been rock solid. https://tntamusements.com/ Lots of other companies do this to. This generally means that the solder has been reflowed on the connectors on the old boards, the batteries have been taken off, some of the capacitors have been replaced. Shoutout to toddtuckey and everything he's done for pinball in the past few years.

    #16 1 year ago

    Best part of the hobby , tinkering till its right.
    First one is the hardest.

    #17 1 year ago

    You will be changing the same wear items anyway, like flipper mechs and new games break as well. Just get a game that plays 100%, not a project.

    #18 1 year ago

    I appreciate all the insight. I think this was the motivation I needed to move forward with another machine.

    I don't mind tinkering and am totally onboard with learning as I go. I think having pinside and other resources is the confidence I need to move forward. I'm not worried about the game being down for a bit, I was more worried about buying one and it being a dud. That was the case with the Spring Break I had in my basement growing up. Though in hindsight I think that was mostly my parents lack of interest or focus on maintaining it.

    Interesting that in all the advice no one gave me the most important piece... how to get the wife on board?!? She loves to play too, but having 50 machines? She's given the OK for a prime location in our house for James Bond but its going to take a little more convinving to add several more in the basement.

    #19 1 year ago

    The thing is.... you could practically build an addams family from scratch with a Marco order that you’d get within days in the mail. Parts for wpc and system 11 stuff is 90% readily available.

    Try ordering out of stock parts for new stern’s, or even a spike 2 cpu board. See how frustrated you’ll get waiting for that stuff. I waited 3 months for a cpu for a beatles. I have a friend that has a black knight LE with a broken shield linkage, that stern does not carry the part for. On a 4 year old game. That will never get rerun. Can you say 3D printer?

    I’m more afraid of the new stuff, tbh.

    #20 1 year ago

    Find a local pinsider that can pop over to give you some guidance from time to time. The rest is forum and YouTube.

    As to your wife, it's simple, let her pick the next game

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    I appreciate all the insight. I think this was the motivation I needed to move forward with another machine.
    I don't mind tinkering and am totally onboard with learning as I go. I think having pinside and other resources is the confidence I need to move forward. I'm not worried about the game being down for a bit, I was more worried about buying one and it being a dud. That was the case with the Spring Break I had in my basement growing up. Though in hindsight I think that was mostly my parents lack of interest or focus on maintaining it.
    Interesting that in all the advice no one gave me the most important piece... how to get the wife on board?!? She loves to play too, but having 50 machines? She's given the OK for a prime location in our house for James Bond but its going to take a little more convinving to add several more in the basement.

    Note that you are likely to like the hobby even more once some new code comes in for your James Bond.

    Your questions I can answer. What state do you live in?

    Pinball machines are a pain in the butt to move, but they are relatively easy to sell. In order to get the mental okay to get more pins, I had to prove to myself that I could bring them in, enjoy them, then let them go for about what I paid for it. You can't do this with NIB games reliably, but you can do this with 90s games pretty reliably. Take a game home, throw LEDs in it, change the rubbers, clean it up real good, play it for 6 months then let it go for a few hundred more than you paid for it, rinse and repeat, leaving it nicer than you got it and selling your "sweat equity" at below minimum wage prices. Having $50,000 worth of pinball machines as a sunk cost in your basement seems crazy to me, but I could unload my pins in a week if I needed to. I sold my first pin, a World Cup Soccer 94 a few months after buying it to prove that point.

    As to space, multiple pins, and a prime location, I PERSONALLY can't really enjoy more than 4 or 5 pins at once. I have 6 in my lineup going back 40 years and thats as many as I can enjoy and maintain. I have 3 or 4 longer term pins and rotate one or two... sometimes with temporary trades. I do not have my pins in the kitchen, I have them in my basement. I have been to people's houses where pins were clearly a point of marital strife to the point of them competing with the family's kitchen/dining area. I don't want to do that. If I had asked my wife for the okay to put in 6 pinball machines at the start I probably would have had a bad time. What I did do was get blessing to make a designated area of our basement into the gameroom, and then I slowly expanded from there. I've got a pool table, some one ups, 6 pins, decorations on the wall. It's great, but I can't really expand and enjoy it without taking something away. In other words, I would recommend against asking for 3 pins and steer you towards a designated corner to be your game area and go nuts within that space. You don't have to start with all NIB LE/CE, and I personally have had just as much fun running through older games as newer ones. I'm starting to shy away from pre 1985 games (YMMV), but anything system 11 and newer I've had a great time playing and when I get bored of it I can just trade it for something else. So long as you live in a populated region they are pretty easy to switch around. I've got a Bond Premium just like yours at home, but this morning I played Whirlwind in my Pinball time. Tomorrow I'll probably play STTNG. They are both just different, and I could have both of those for the price of Bond Premium.

    Anyways... welcome to the hobby. If you are considering 90s games I would strongly suggest going to a local/regional pinball show. Texas Pinball Festival is pretty much the world's greatest and is this weekend. The Allentown Pennsylvania show is coming up in May. Both will have hundreds of different 80s and 90s pinball machines on freeplay with many available for purchase.
    ,

    #22 1 year ago

    doh, didn't realize my location was hidden in settings... updated... I'm in NJ

    #23 1 year ago

    Learning to fix them is part of owning them. If you don’t want to do that this isn’t the hobby for you. That said, if you want to learn, parts are available and there are tons of resources to learn. And once fixed they will be fine. I have several 90s machines and often go years with no issues.

    #24 1 year ago

    Will mostly repeat what others already said but anyway, don't be afraid of the great 90s games just because of their age. There are plenty of spare parts around and a huge knowledgebase available for repairing these games.

    On the contrary, games manufactured the last years have a hard time sending spare parts like node boards and similar.

    Also, if you have an electrical problem on the 90s games you can solder it easily, but the new pins have surface mounted boards that are much harder to work with and need special tools to repair.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    doh, didn't realize my location was hidden in settings... updated... I'm in NJ

    Go to the Allentown Pinball show 5-6 May. https://www.pinfestival.com/

    You can get eyes on, look inside, and play hundreds of games you've never seen. Many/most will be for sale. There should be 20-50 DMD era games mixed in.

    #26 1 year ago

    Good god man, you should have led with that. You are in pinball collectors heaven. Anywhere in NY, NJ, PA and the surrounding areas are chocked full of pinball goodness, all kinds of machines to be found and in all kinds of states of nick. Move to the pinball desert here in AZ and the deals are few and far between. You have no worries finding or getting rid of machines.

    #27 1 year ago

    I would not hesitate to add some 90's machines because there are so many great games. I always liked working on them somewhat based on my budget but I would recommend buying one that is shopped and working 100%. You could own it for years without issues although you never know. You can also buy a brand new pin and have to do some work just dialing it in too.

    #28 1 year ago

    Unless you buy a project game or one with known issues, any working 90's game has been kept working since the 90s. I don't know that it's any better or worse than any other era of game to work on, each era is different. Odds are good at this point, if a game from the 90s is still going strong you aren't going to run into anything that just turns your game into a paperweight you can't fix yourself or worst case pay someone else to fix if you can't or just don't want to mess with it. I've had 90s reimport games that made multiple trips in cargo containers and probably got beat to hell in bars and still played fine. Unless your game burns to the ground, it can be kept running.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    These classic 90s games are going on 30+ years old now. 80s games are almost as old as I am.
    That’s old as shit for equipment that was built to last a decade or less.
    Unless you are willing/interested to get your hands dirty, tinker, and have machines be down for long periods of time while you figure this stuff out, id follow your instincts; avoid.

    Agreed, issues will come up; some could be minor like Soldering, others could be major...Why not just get a CGC remake and call it a day? Might not feel exactly like B/W, but pretty damn close, best of both worlds for you.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from NeilMcRae:

    TNG is a nightmare to keep running. Some early TAF's are a total shitshow also. CV lots that goes wrong with the jester dood and parts are unobtainium.

    My STTNG has had zero issues since 2008. I’ve had my TAF since about the same time - just finally developing a trough switch issue, before that it needed one new part for the book case. I sold my CV last year, but that also had zero issues for over a decade.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I've always had an interest in taking things apart and seeing how they worked and (sometimes) fixing them. So, I basically started out by picking up a dead game, used my existing set of basic hand tools, learned about fixing my game, and I added a few tools to my tool kit. Then I picked up another broken game. And another. And another. And along the way I grew my collection of tools, parts, and supplies. It didn't happen overnight.
    A pinball machine has thousands of parts, many of them moving and banging around. So, things are going to come loose, wear out, and/or break. It's the nature of pinball. Even brand new games aren't immune to it.
    But, if you start out with a vintage game that has been maintained and cared for, there are probably going to be fewer things that you need repair than if you grab a project game.
    But, I'm cheap and I like to tinker, so I picked up cheap dead games to bring back to life.
    If you want a reliable machine, Gottlieb system 3 games are built like tanks. I like bringing system 3 and system 1 games to shows since things rarely go wrong with them (but for system 1 games, only after they have been properly gone through and bulletproofed). Granted, the games on those platforms aren't generally as well liked as WPC titles.

    Came here to say this. I owned a SFII for almost 10 years and I only had one issue on the game...broken left slingshot. The problem? Loose wire that had to be resoldered.

    #32 1 year ago

    This is one thing I am noticing about new folks in the hobby. They only own new Stern or JJP games. I have had better luck with a 30 year old machine than the newer ones. node board issues, cheaper parts, playfield chipping and other issues.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    This is one thing I am noticing about new folks in the hobby. They only own new Stern or JJP games. I have had better luck with a 30 year old machine than the newer ones. node board issues, cheaper parts, playfield chipping and other issues.

    this is something i've observed as well. so many ppl new to ownership are missing out on the historical experience and variety of games. just pop into the gameroom thread and its nothing but a gallery of sterns that retailed in the last 3-4 years... how the old games feel and their experiences still hold up. They may not be huge story, deep mode games, but they stand their ground for different reasons.

    #34 1 year ago

    Pffffft. Like any pin, just find a nice example of a game you like and go for it. WPC is super easy to own now that replacement boards and common parts are available. They are easier to own than system 11 in my opinion… better diagnostics.

    They might look intimidating to work on, but that’s because they’re PACKED!!

    #35 1 year ago

    Older games have a lot of charm that newer games just cannot duplicate. If you have interest in getting one go for it. I was scared of maintenance for a while as well. Once you fix a few problems you see things are not that complicated. 95+% of problems are minor like a loose wire. When I get an older game, I like to tear down the pf and do a full shop. Fix any issues big or small, replace broken parts, rebuild flippers, etc. Bag and label all fasteners and take plenty of pictures. After doing all that you will be familiar with the game mechanics and game should be trouble free for a while. Plus the game will look great. If you have bigger problems like boards that need repairs, you can always ship them to someone that can fix them or find someone locally. Sometimes it's just easier to buy new parts but added cost. Having to buy new parts is the biggest problem with older games imo. You can easily spend $1000 or more on new ramps, plastics, upgrades, etc. Just something to keep in mind when buying a game.

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    I finally moved to a place where i have space for some machines of my own, and am now the proud owner of a James Bond Prem. I'm already plotting on what the next addition should be and am wondering as a novice how scared I should be of some of the 90's games. There are a handful of games that I've always loved (Theatre of Magic, Whitewater etc.) but I'm a little nervous about the maintenance and issues that may crop up. The alternative is obviously another NIB like Godzilla, Jurassic Park etc.
    Im open to learning, and starting to tinker, learning to solder etc. My big concern is that I end up with constant issues or just issues I'm not equipped to handle and will always have an unplayable machine.
    Appreciate any insights, words of encouragement and or tips to convince a spouse that a 2nd, 3rd and 4th machine is a good idea.

    You should not dis include the era imo. Buy a sound machine and then you can learn to repair on it when it breaks occasionally. I did that on my theater of magic.

    The instructions and help here on pinside is all you need besides tools and a machine. Best luck.

    My three children all love medieval madness. Their favorite.
    I am partial to the shadow.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    I have fallen off the deep end in this hobby with over 50 machines rotating through my basement in the past 4 years. It has been my experience that any game made at or after 1985 with the advent of the System 11 pinball machine is pretty much rock solid. I have had the type of maintenance nightmares you are talking about, but they are all on early solid state (1978-1984) games, and even then they make new board sets. There are a few exceptions to this rule (recent build Spooky games on certain board sets).
    If you are worried about parts being hard to get... don't be. You can buy brand new electronic boards for those 30 year old machines all day long. The parts that are prone to breaking all pretty much have kits ready made to replace them. The exception to the rule are games that use alot of optos for sensors, and even these are fixable. The one game in your era I would recommend you steer clear from a maintenance concern is Star Trek, the Next Generation. As a general rule, you can get an idea of how reliable a game is by looking at the pinside map and seeing how many of that particular title are on location compared to how many are in home collections. For example, there are 1900 STTNG in people's collections, and only 155 out on public location. By contrast there are 1500 Fish Tales in people's collections but 282 public locations where you can play it. So, despite there being a third less Fish Tales left in existance there are twice as many out on location as they are rock solid reliable.
    All in all, I wouldn't sweat it too much. I would only caution you that it is much easier to have a working machine that breaks and troubleshoot it to get it working than to buy a non working machine to try and fix up... especially the first time.
    Edit to ad:
    Don't know where you are, but if you ask around here or even check ebay there are multiple places you can mail in your boards for "bulletproofing" or you can buy brand new boards (Google "Rottendog board" and "Altek board". Of note, there are a few different small businesses throughout the US that specialize in taking in old pinballs, refurbishing them, and selling them. A few hang around here. The most reliable older games I've gotten have all had "Refurbished by TNT amusements" stickers in them. I've had maybe 5 pins that have been refurbished by them sometime in the last decade rotate through my basement and they've all been rock solid. https://tntamusements.com/ Lots of other companies do this to. This generally means that the solder has been reflowed on the connectors on the old boards, the batteries have been taken off, some of the capacitors have been replaced. Shoutout to toddtuckey and everything he's done for pinball in the past few years.

    Thank you very much for the acknowledgement! Todd

    1 week later
    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from Guidotorpedo:

    ...you could practically build an addams family from scratch with a Marco order that you’d get within days in the mail. Parts for wpc and system 11 stuff is 90% readily available.
    Try ordering out of stock parts for new stern’s...See how frustrated you’ll get waiting for that stuff...I have a friend that has a black knight LE with a broken shield linkage, that stern does not carry the part for. On a 4 year old game. That will never get rerun. Can you say 3D printer?
    I’m more afraid of the new stuff, tbh.

    There's a lot of truth in this statement. It seems to me that due to the big market for revitalizing popular 80s/90s tables, you can even build many of them from scratch (see Shredder's Addams Family thread: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/addams-family-scratch-build, or several other threads). Sure, you need some diligence, luck, and a friendly demeanor, but you get the impression everything is available, versus brand new machines where you don't think about what's not available, because hopefully nothing is breaking down. I've noticed many people sell their brand new pins at ~250 games (maybe they want something fresh, or maybe they don't want to replace the "oil" or change the "tires"?).

    Regardless, it's great Pinside connects so many talented, knowledgeable, and friendly people that all seem ready and able to assist you. Resources (and I'm leaving out a lot), like Marco, PBResource, PinballLife, Mirco, CPR, Mantis, Cliffys, vid1900 (experience/knowledge), DumbAss (PCBs), rockwell (Wiring), ibis (Boards/Rails), Davi (Wire Form Ramps & PCBs), Sonic (MRS) are just a few of the indispensable resources that immediately come to mind that make working on older machines possible. With the wealth of knowledge and resources out there, I wouldn't be scared of a 90's pin one bit.

    More specifically to the question of the thread - if an older game grabs you, I say go for it. It will initially or inevitably need work, but don't worry, because you already found the best resource that helps you learn, grow, fix, and revitalize Just keep one of those new pins on hand to play while you tinker

    #39 1 year ago

    EM'S FOREVER............lol just thought I'd throw that in,good luck go for it

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    Interesting that in all the advice no one gave me the most important piece... how to get the wife on board?!? She loves to play too, but having 50 machines? She's given the OK for a prime location in our house for James Bond but its going to take a little more convinving to add several more in the basement.

    Be rich and/or let her go free with her hobbies. When she buys a LV purse, don't complain.

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    My STTNG has had zero issues since 2008.

    Aint no fuckin way.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from Gryszzz:

    Aint no fuckin way.

    Why would I lie?

    Reply

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