(Topic ID: 142885)

Looking for 1st pinball machine


By Evilive69

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 26 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by fosaisu
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    #1 3 years ago

    I am looking to buy my first pinball machine and have been reading quite a bit so I least have some knowledge of what I am getting myself into. Being in my early 40's I grew up in arcades and have narrowed my search criteria down to an older SS machine. I would like some input or feedback on reliability, play ability and maintenance on a few machines that I am interested in.
    These are the machines I am interested in:
    Black Hole
    Haunted House
    Mars - God of War
    Sorcerer
    Grand Lizard
    Gorgar
    Volcano

    #2 3 years ago

    Welcome and I hope u have room for more than one bc they multiply very quickly lol. Some good pins listed there I really enjoy haunted house and black hole . I may have a very nice haunted house for sale soon . All pins need maintenance no matter how nice they are or how good they have been gone over.

    #3 3 years ago

    My wife already knows that one is just a start, and the second one will follow along quickly. I am a computer geek by trade so I am not afraid to get my hands dirty but there are a lot more boards involved than what I am used to. I guess it's all part of the learning curve.

    #4 3 years ago

    Pinball is fun and rewarding. I'm in IT and I can say you will be hooked. For knowledge and parts this a great time to enter the hobby but for 'value' you will be challenged to find a good deal. I would say the Grand Lizard and Volcano will be the biggest bang for your buck. Haunted House and Sorcerer are the most sought after on your list

    Have fun

    Mike V

    #5 3 years ago

    Of all the machines you have listed Grand lizard and Sorcerer will probably be the easiest to troubleshoot and keep running. The Gottliebs may be the hardest.

    #6 3 years ago

    All the games on your list are good ones, IMHO. You really can't go wrong with any of these games in decent condition. Gorgar is probably the least desirable, but should also be the least expensive for comparable condition.

    You have probably figured this out, but BH, HH, MGOW, and Volcano are all Gottlieb System 80 games, while Sorcerer, GL and Gorgar are Williams System 6-11 games. System 80 is not necessarily bad, but can be more tricky to work on. The Williams games might be easier to work on and troubleshoot when they go wrong.
    And don't think a game will not have issues. They all do, sooner or later.
    Having said that, my Black Hole has been rock solid since I bought it a few years ago, and I love it.

    #7 3 years ago

    System 80 may not be a good choice for a first machine. I suggest williams system 6/7 and classic Bally. Both are easy to work on, the Ballys are less problematic than the williams.

    My Black Hole worked great when I first got it...for two days. I spent another couple months getting really familiar with the hardware Not that its necessarily bad, just many needed upgrades to make them more reliable.

    #8 3 years ago

    From what I have read the Gottlieb System 80's would be harder to work on, but I really dig BH and HH. I remember playing them years ago and since my 10 year old daughter is becoming a pinball junkie I know she would love them as well. I am definitely looking for more of a value pinball for the first two, just to make sure they actually get used. My wife bought her ex a pinball when they were married and after a year it did nothing but collect dust. He still has it sitting in his basement. I have seen pictures and it looks to be a really nice condition Riverboat Gambler. I made mention of buying it from him, but she refused saying she didn't want to buy the same one twice...hehehehehe.
    I think to start I would like to have an old Gottlieb and a Williams. That way if one is down I still have one to play.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Evilive69:

    From what I have read the Gottlieb System 80's would be harder to work on, but I really dig BH and HH. I remember playing them years ago and since my 10 year old daughter is becoming a pinball junkie I know she would love them as well. I am definitely looking for more of a value pinball for the first two, just to make sure they actually get used. My wife bought her ex a pinball when they were married and after a year it did nothing but collect dust. He still has it sitting in his basement. I have seen pictures and it looks to be a really nice condition Riverboat Gambler. I made mention of buying it from him, but she refused saying she didn't want to buy the same one twice...hehehehehe.
    I think to start I would like to have an old Gottlieb and a Williams. That way if one is down I still have one to play.

    If u can get riverboat gambler for around 1200 that be a decent first pin if u can stand the theme , as long as it works correctly it sld be easy to move or trade when done for around the same price

    #11 3 years ago

    was going to respond a couple hours ago, but i'll just echo what others have said - system 80's will be more of a challenge to work on as a first pin. if you got one in really awesome playing shape, then i'd say go for it and learn as you go if you're really into the game. however - how far do you want to get in pin repair? does the aspect of repairing really interest you, or do you mainly want to play them and only fix as necessary?

    i will also echo that classic bally's (-35 in particular) are a great starting point into the SS world.

    do you play a lot currently? might be worth getting in touch and in with FSP to experience a bunch of games first-hand.

    #12 3 years ago

    BigD...I can probably pick it up for around $1000, but the wife won't let me and I really don't like the theme. If anything I would buy, play it for a few weeks and sell it.

    Robotoes...I am a casual player that won't mind fixing them to keep them running. However, I have said that about other things and usually end getting deeply involved. So far the place I have played is the only arcade in town...Crabtowne USA. It's kind of a dive restaurant but has about 95 games, 30 or so being pinballs. I take my daughter and we have a blast. She really can't believe that they used to have arcades everywhere, even the mall. And that our parents would just leave us there while they went shopping...she cracks me up.

    I am trying to learn all of the acronyms but what is FSP?

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from Robotoes:

    i will also echo that classic bally's (-35 in particular) are a great starting point into the SS world.

    Couldn't agree more. Providing you can get one without any battery corrosion on the MPU (main board), they are pretty straightforward to repair. Lot's of great early Bally Solid State titles.

    #14 3 years ago

    Crabtowne USA is one of the last of the classic arcades around here. Its too bad they dont maintain their machines correctly. Some are ok but many are beat so bad they are not worth putting a quarter in. I played my first game of Bad Cats there and it inspired me to buy one. I would still like to have a BK2K...do they still have that? Its been a couple years since I have been there.

    #15 3 years ago

    Riptor...I think they still have B2K2. But I dont think it was working the last time I was there.
    I will have to look at more Bally machines. I grew up vacationing at the Solomons Island Navy Rec base and the only pinball they had was Flash Gordon. I spent hours playing it and would love to find one.

    #16 3 years ago

    You might want to try and get one of these machines. They are all projects, so you can get some experience with maintenance. The good ones you are looking for have already been sold, but there are still some good machines to acquire as a "first pin" to increase your knowledge level.

    [EDIT] - here is the link - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/for-sale-time-to-thin-the-heard-project-pins

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from arpman:

    You might want to try and get one of these machines. They are all projects, so you can get some experience with maintenance. The good ones you are looking for have already been sold, but there are still some good machines to acquire as a "first pin" to increase your knowledge level.
    [EDIT] - here is the link - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/for-sale-time-to-thin-the-heard-project-pins

    Looks like he's sold everything except the Xenon which doesn't have a price yet.

    I'd recommend against a "project" machine for a first pin given that OP's main interest is playing and figuring out if his family enjoys playing. If he's sinking many hours into repairs and it's not quickly playable could poison the well with his wife (or himself for that matter). I'd recommend paying a bit more for a fully functional game the first time out.

    #18 3 years ago

    Welcome to the hobbie/addiction! I have a space station and just picked up a F-14 tomcat. Love working on these systems 11's seems to be pretty easy and deff rewarding. As for suggestion on first buy i have none jump in and go. Plenty of help on pinside!

    #20 3 years ago

    You said Sorcerer so I get to brag. This is my third pin and I just picked it up a week ago. I highly recommend it if you can find one! There was nothing wrong with it (apart from a blown fuse), but we can't all be so lucky!

    https://imgur.com/a/ed5N2

    WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY!

    #21 3 years ago

    NeedZ...that is sweet.

    fosaisu...you are correct, I definitely want something I can play when I get it. I am sure over time I will look into a project machine but first one needs to be a solid everyday player.

    #22 3 years ago

    Hello and welcome to the hobby!

    My first game was Black Hole. i love it to pieces. super fun game. i've had it for about 3 years, and i've had zero mechanical issues with it. i've pretty much only removed the glass to clean it (and add LEDs). by far the most reliable and trouble-free game i own.

    having said that, i know that's not the norm. Black Hole has a reputation for being problematic. However, there is a well-documented set of "bulletproofing" procedures that can be done to the game that turn it into an extremely reliable machine (mine is proof of that). if you can find one that has been bulletproofed, or feel up to the task of doing it yourself, then BH is not a bad choice at all for a first game.

    http://www.rogtronics.net/files/datasheets/gottliebrepair/

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from Evilive69:

    I am trying to learn all of the acronyms but what is FSP?

    FSP = Free State Pinball

    Check them out here: http://www.fspazone.org/

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    Looks like he's sold everything except the Xenon which doesn't have a price yet.
    I'd recommend against a "project" machine for a first pin given that OP's main interest is playing and figuring out if his family enjoys playing. If he's sinking many hours into repairs and it's not quickly playable could poison the well with his wife (or himself for that matter). I'd recommend paying a bit more for a fully functional game the first time out.

    Hi, I'm the person selling the projects. I still have several to list that are packed away in storage but wanted to second the no projects as your first pin. My first pin was a project Gorgar. Spent several months resurcing over the internet on how to repair it. All I can say is my second pin I bought was a nice working Gorgar.
    Still have the first one and after 15 years still haven't finished it yet.

    #25 3 years ago

    Arcademojo...not only have I come to the conclusion that a project pin won't be the first one I get, but I have been read the riot act by my wife.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    Hi, I'm the person selling the projects. I still have several to list that are packed away in storage but wanted to second the no projects as your first pin. My first pin was a project Gorgar. Spent several months resurcing over the internet on how to repair it. All I can say is my second pin I bought was a nice working Gorgar.
    Still have the first one and after 15 years still haven't finished it yet.

    Whoops, sorry, I missed that "he" was "you"! I guess you'd know best what you've still got for sale

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