(Topic ID: 115464)

Journey from a Stern Hater to a Stern Lover... Anyone else?


By 27dnast

4 years ago



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  • 87 posts
  • 71 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by VolunteerPin
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    #51 4 years ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I have owned many major B/W pins tz IJ cftbl totan STTNG t2 and bop
    Thought I'd give Stern a try bought potc and still own that, all my B/W have left replaced by newer Stern.
    I'm a condition snob meaning if I have a 20 year old game, that was on location I could see some damage, fade or wear so I'd rather have a 15 -20 year newer game with minimal wear. Plus I don't fix my own pins so I prefer the newer less trouble of Stern. My potc has had zero problems in 8 years and looks like it just came out of the box.
    Maybe I'll get a remake or find some minty older games but so far I'm rocking all Stern now.

    You don't work on your own pins AT ALL ??????

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    #52 4 years ago

    You don't do any of your own repairs?? That's half the fun.......

    #53 4 years ago
    Quoted from Caucasian2Step:

    I don't care when it was made, by whom, who designed it, who did the art package, the music or when the game came out. IF the deck is hot. I want to play it!

    Best post of the thread

    #54 4 years ago

    Personally, I still hate the crappy look of the blocky red DMDs on the modern games. Looks so cheap. I'll consider buying Stern again once they go LCD in the backbox.

    #55 4 years ago

    i like the sterns i own, but still prefer the b/w feel.

    #56 4 years ago
    Quoted from tpn2011:

    Look at my history owned just about all of the b/w pins at some point and time some multiple times now I'm not looking back gonna be nib sterns or bust pretty much from here on out for me !!
    Just picked up a huo Avatar with 150 plays and am loving it not the best theme but great game play !!!!Also nib Iron Man and Walking Dead premium thinking about mustang premium as well
    You can see the trend

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    I know somebody who has a Mustang Premium.
    Kidding.

    #57 4 years ago

    Tron changed my mind about Stern Pinball, but I still for the life of me can't figure out why Stern pins (and DE before them) just do not seem as substantial nor feel as good in your hands as a Bally/Williams...

    #58 4 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    There seems to be two camps when it comes to games.
    There's the guy who always wants the newest, best "thing", and they like installing tons of mods and LED lighting to "bling" their games out. They like playing, but don't like fixing or cleaning machines. They tend to be mid-30s or so, and only got into pinball recently, perhaps from playing pinball simulators on iPads.
    That's the Stern customer.
    On the other side, there's the guy who is handy and likes building or fixing things - perhaps works on old cars, does home renovations, or fixes electronic junk. Often they like fixing more than even playing the games, or don't mind the maintenance because they can enjoy the playing. They probably got into pinball in the arcade or on location years ago, and discovered you could buy old pinball machines for your house, and you could get them really cheap if they were broken.
    That's the Williams customer.
    Now, it's not a hard and fast rule, obviously tons of people overlap quite a bit (including myself). But there is definitely two different types of pinball collectors separated by generation.
    On a side note, it seems like Stern people love putting their games in dark rooms with blacklights, like it's a night club. What's up with that?

    Probably not a bad summary...although I totally straddle that line. I love shopping and reviving old games...I also love the bling of Stern's. Really what it comes down to for me: If it's a wicked good table, then I want to play it. Bias no more.

    #59 4 years ago

    I like pinball.

    #60 4 years ago
    Quoted from Geocab:

    I don't know if I can agree with reliability being better. I've seen old Williams tables on location in better shape than Sterns at the same location. Maybe in a home environment that won't matter, but that's how I see it.

    All depends on the operator...

    #61 4 years ago

    We can discuss reliability when these modern Sterns are 35 years old!

    My personal preference is for the Modern Sterns. Love the code depth (Once it's completed!), the lighting, etc etc.

    I haven't owned many classic pins (I have a TZ and a STTNG), but have played almost all of the top tier pins. None were "I must own this" for me. Totally love playing CV, MM, MB, SS, etc etc... I just don't think any of them are "worth" the premium it takes to bring them home these days. Glad a few of my pals have them though!!

    Good pinball is good pinball. I don't care what era it's from. Love my BOP, my BSD, my WOZ, and my ACDC!

    #62 4 years ago

    Pretty much the same story for me. I started out with 8 B/W titles from the 90s, because they were familiar to me. I wasn't too terribly impressed with Stern at first, but then Tron won me over. Almost added one, but couldn't work out the trade for TOM. Then I bought an AC/DC Premium from Black_Rose, and just added IronMan. Next will be Stern Star Trek.

    I've really come to appreciate the difference in gameplay with the Sterns vs. B/W. That's not to say it's better, just different, which keeps things fresh in the game room.

    While FH, BoP and ToM have left, with SWEP1 a short timer, some B/W titles won't be leaving. I'd like to have a good balance between new and classic.

    #63 4 years ago
    Quoted from SuS:

    I'd like to have a good balance between new and classic.

    +1

    #64 4 years ago

    I generally like whatever pinball appeals to me most, that's largely based on game play and feel, another component is artwork. Like it or not you'll probably never play as much pinball as you will be looking at it in your home over the length of ownership. personally I hold a a lot of value to exterior art design. Williams and Bally really made their pinballs stand out, though gottlieb and some data east titles looked great as well. With Sterns, I haven't been too impressed, but I believe that could be with what I've played and where I've played them. Hearing everyone here mention AC/DC, I'll have to give that one another try. I tried in 3 times and had issues with it every time. It sounds like it's a good game so I'll try it at another location and see what I think. I did really enjoy Metallica both in artowkr and gameplay. I wanted to enjoy Tron as I enjoy the theme but it wasn't a great example where I played it. The next time I'm in SF I'll be devoting some time to both of those and reevaluating how I feel about them. As others have noted it's really about your experience, can't rule out a game based on one location.

    #65 4 years ago

    I didn't start listening to howard until around 2006 but now I like the show.

    #66 4 years ago

    I'd consider myself a B/W snob, but must admit plastic aprons will never rust

    #67 4 years ago

    Love my classic sterns . Love my classic Ballys . Same goes for Data East , Sega, New Stern and of course B/W line . They feel different but no issues from my perspective . Cannot slam a system 11 for not having the deep gameplay the newer boardsets can support . All good for me ! Yes I do my own repairs ( time permitting ) and do not care for the look of LEDS . To each his own . Enjoy your day . Shane

    #68 4 years ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    Sterns may not have that "Golden Era charm", but they're more dependable, deeper, faster, more intense, more addictive, better sounding, and you can easily pick them up in new or like-new condition. For me, the pros outweigh the cons.

    Repairing, restoring, part shopping and pin hunting has it's allures, but I'd rather just play.

    +1...b/w days are done for me but my next dive is alien le...see how that goes...

    #69 4 years ago

    It all depends on the game. I actually liked Stern games more a few years ago. Due to coding issues and general lack of communication now I am getting into older games more.

    #70 4 years ago

    I turned the corner on ACDC as well. More Sterns now than older Williams.

    #71 4 years ago

    Game play, rules, and lighting, I have to take Stern.
    I will give a nod to the artwork on the B/W games though.
    While the photoshopped artwork on a few titles doesn't bother me, I do prefer the playfield art of Whitewater, TZ, MM...
    Gotta give credit where credit is due.
    Metallica is an awesome looking pin. Hope we see more like this in the future.

    #72 4 years ago

    To be fair, they did make it easy to be a hater back in the day and it's just the opposite today.

    This site always reminds me of watching someone make sausage......

    I like pinball, I don't need to see all the entrails that go into it.

    Stern is certainly leading the charge these days.

    Count me as a convert.

    #73 4 years ago

    "Hey Mott. That company Stern. What do you think about them?"

    Huh?

    "You know, the pinball company. I've been hearing all sorts of things about them."

    I like pinball.

    "I know, but what do you think about them versus the other folks making them?"

    I like pinball...

    "Yeah idiot, you already said that. But, what's your opinion on which company is the best?"

    I like pinball..

    #74 4 years ago

    They make fun games, but I don't find anything they've made to be significantly better than what was made 20 years ago. It's just different.

    #75 4 years ago

    Played a few new sterns , enjoyed them but there didn't seem to be much difference between games. To be fair i did not get a lot of play time . Will they ever do any original art work and not cut and paste bands,TV,movie stuff ?

    #76 4 years ago

    I really enjoy both Stern and B/W games.

    For me, variety is the spice of life.

    Unfortunately, though Stern produces great pins, all their pins have the same feel to them - In several ways.

    Firstly, they do feel cheaper handling wise. This is not necersarily a bad thing though, as I like how they are just a bit easier to nudge etc.
    Secondly, while the rules definitely are different from game to game, it really quickly blends together, and all multiballs end up being, low jackpot, low jackpot, low jackpot, eventually building to the super jackpot. Very uniform.
    I'm not saying B/W didn't do the same in the end, (AFM, MM etc) but they also have very unique rules regarding multiball, CFTBL, Adams Family etc comes to mind.

    I like the pinballs Stern produce, I don't like the marketing that Stern use.

    #77 4 years ago

    I can lend the opinion of now operating pins on location for 8 months. So far when comparing all B/W or GTB or DE which I have gone through and torn down completely and rebuilt before going on route, vs our now 3 new Sterns, the Sterns have had more rock solid boards (likely due to age alone) but have by far mechanically been poorly designed and the most mechanical hassles.

    Ball trough issues, drop target issues, posts constantly getting loose, and cheaply built stand up stacks are all par for the course on Stern route games compared to the older stuff.

    Even when getting similar play, the B/W and GTB stuff seems to hold up MUCH better under normal route play conditions than the Stern stuff.

    #78 4 years ago

    Stern kicks ass! They are the only dependable manufacturer in the market right now and if not for their contribution, things would be bleak.

    #79 4 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    On a side note, it seems like Stern people love putting their games in dark rooms with blacklights, like it's a night club. What's up with that?

    For me, it just creates a really immersive game experience. I like to enjoy the game lights. The newer games are well lit, so you can see all areas of the playfield with the room lights off. The pinballbulbs kits brighten up the old games enough to experience this as well. I also like to have the volume up pretty loud for the same reason. Dark playfields and low volume on location pins keep me from playing them too often.

    I really only like AC/DC and Metallica out of all of the new sterns. Some of the others are OK, but I wouldn't play them enough to make it worth buying them.

    #80 4 years ago

    If you're not sure if someone is a WPC person or a Stern person, see if they call them "tables". They probably played virtual pinball and started buying NIB Sterns.

    #81 4 years ago

    "Feeling different" doesn't automatically mean "cheaply made". I think B/W "my way or the highway" fanatics sometimes try to imply this.

    Case in point - RBION vs. WCS. Anyone who has played both pins for any time knows one does not feel inherently cheaper than the other.

    It goes back to the house argument. You can by a house from the 50's or the 80's. A 50's proponent would say "they don't make em like this anymore!!!" He'd be right. They also don't use asbestos and lead based paint and actually put insulation between the brick and walls in the 80's house another guy would say.

    I would think adjusting for inflation would show that today's pins cost about as much as the pins of yesteryear.

    #82 4 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I can lend the opinion of now operating pins on location for 8 months. So far when comparing all B/W or GTB or DE which I have gone through and torn down completely and rebuilt before going on route, vs our now 3 new Sterns, the Sterns have had more rock solid boards (likely due to age alone) but have by far mechanically been poorly designed and the most mechanical hassles.
    Ball trough issues, drop target issues, posts constantly getting loose, and cheaply built stand up stacks are all par for the course on Stern route games compared to the older stuff.
    Even when getting similar play, the B/W and GTB stuff seems to hold up MUCH better under normal route play conditions than the Stern stuff.

    I own and enjoy both. Going on what Whysnow was saying reminded me how amazing all the B/W's have held up over the years considering they were pretty much all on location!

    #83 4 years ago

    I was in the same boat then got my lotr and tspp, great games, still some stuff I dont like such as the clearcoat sucks, and the ball guides to the left and right on tspp are wireforms instead of even a molded plastic, lack of subways, little things, to reduce costs that at the price that these pins cost new seem kind of unnessisary

    #84 4 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    There's the guy who always wants the newest, best "thing", and they like installing tons of mods and LED lighting to "bling" their games out. They like playing, but don't like fixing or cleaning machines. They tend to be mid-30s or so, and only got into pinball recently, perhaps from playing pinball simulators on iPads.

    That's the Stern customer.

    This is me. Look at my history. You can see I've owned a number of classic "A" list B/W games and I don't miss any of them except MM. I didn't grow up playing pins (now age 47) because I had limited funds as a kid and my games wouldn't last long enough. So, I don't carry the deep nostalgia that others do. I'd rather have nicely blinged-out games which I can spend more time playing than working on. That said, I have learned a number of low-level pinball fixing skills which has been fun. I'm not necessarily a Stern guy...I'm a lower level maintenance kind of guy. If that is a Stern, so be it. JJP? Fine. B/W? fine. I just find myself more drawn to the newer games.

    #85 4 years ago

    Although sometimes wanting that "newest pin" can be a big mistake if you have to sell a classic to get it. STILL kicking myself over selling a minty HUO LOTR for that POS Avengers LE.

    #86 4 years ago
    Quoted from VolunteerPin:

    This is me. Look at my history. You can see I've owned a number of classic "A" list B/W games and I don't miss any of them except MM. I didn't grow up playing pins (now age 47) because I had limited funds as a kid and my games wouldn't last long enough. So, I don't carry the deep nostalgia that others do. I'd rather have nicely blinged-out games which I can spend more time playing than working on. That said, I have learned a number of low-level pinball fixing skills which has been fun. I'm not necessarily a Stern guy...I'm a lower level maintenance kind of guy. If that is a Stern, so be it. JJP? Fine. B/W? fine. I just find myself more drawn to the newer games.

    That's pretty much myself as well. A few pins are nostalgic to me but not necessarily the most fun to play. A game like FT is the perfect example. I like to play it for nostalgia but would never buy one because there is nothing to do but shoot the boat ramps. Prices for good title William games are almost as much or more than a new Stern. That is one of the big reasons why I bought a new Stern as my 2nd pin. The other big reason was that I loved the led lighting and gameplay.

    #87 4 years ago

    Yeah, I basically have found the pins that I really love and just keep or upgrade them. I sold my routed LOTR to get a modded LOTR-LE. I just sold (and shipping out this week) my Tron Pro to buy a heavily modded Tron Pro. Will be getting a Hobbit whenever it starts shipping. I have a really nice HUO TSPP which I vacillate on selling. CSMTP, I hope you have success on switching out your collection. It would take a VERY lopsided trade my way to get rid of my LOTR-LE

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