(Topic ID: 50762)

Metallica owner's thread


By swampfire

6 years ago



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#5401 4 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

Always interested in do it yourself mods.
That is how I got my flipper buttons lit up cheap.
So post away.

Really simple just take the adapter that you would plug into your car and cut it off their will be a red wire and a black wire i put alligator clips take the red wire and connect it to the orange wire on the sparky flasher then take the black wire and connect it to the black wire and thats it your done on the wiring i took a screw driver and wound the wire real tight on the post and put a peice of tape on it and let sit for a day to keep its shape i havnt found a sparky cap just yet but im sure ill find something that will work at homedepote ill post that later but this should get u started feel free to ask any questions ill do my best to help ps the pics of sparky are before I wrapped the elwire on the screw driver

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#5402 4 years ago

ebay.com link hers a link to elwire

#5403 4 years ago

I just ordered the "SAM subwoofer kit" from Lorenzo's company. I currently have the alligator clips going from cabinet sub to the Polk external sub under my Metallica. I read where it sounds better with his rca wires vs little alligator clips it's no comparison. Just looking to improve my sound. Question: what do I do with the cabinet speaker or does it still work with Lorenzo's kit? Do I just toss the alligator clips setup when installing this sub kit? Thanks

#5404 4 years ago

I get what seems like static from the alligator clip method. Do you get that too?

#5405 4 years ago

I used alligator clips on my pinball cabinet speaker right to the input in the sub and it sounds awesome and clear. Make sure you have solid connections.

#5406 4 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

I just ordered the "SAM subwoofer kit" from Lorenzo's company. I currently have the alligator clips going from cabinet sub to the Polk external sub under my Metallica. I read where it sounds better with his rca wires vs little alligator clips it's no comparison. Just looking to improve my sound. Question: what do I do with the cabinet speaker or does it still work with Lorenzo's kit? Do I just toss the alligator clips setup when installing this sub kit? Thanks

It is much better, the sound connection is being directly tapped from the original source board as a pure signal.

It's INDEPENDENT and ISOLATES the different speaker systems. The PCB daughtercard allows you use BOTH simultaneously via direct signal with no interference or feedback. Throw the alligator clips in your tool box. You may need to adjust phasing on your subwoofer to prevent distortion, or at worst case diconnect your cabinet mid-range speaker completely. You will know when you adjust the volumes. I disconnected my subwoofer (card is still on the board), as it make walls shake and pisses off my neighbors fiercely even in separate houses.

Permanent use of alligator clips in pinball machines except for testing, is no different that using electrical tape and wirenuts, instead of soldering and shrinkwrap. It leads to problems.

#5407 4 years ago
Quoted from TKDalumni:

I get what seems like static from the alligator clip method. Do you get that too?

See post above for a baseline explanation in non-technical terms.
It is always better to use proper electronic solutions than bubble gum and bailing wire. This way circuit boards are PROTECTED.

#5408 4 years ago

i would never use alligator clips for any mod !!!!

the risk is to high that it get loose

#5409 4 years ago

Yep, had to replace the CPU board already because my sound went out. Thankfully even though my Metallica was out of warranty, Stern still covered it. Probably was the two clips touched and popped the CPU. The wires with the alligator clips do come from the backbox on CPU board. There's a plug that's plugged into in bored with red and black wires. Remove and throw away?

Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:It is much better, the sound connection is being directly tapped from the original source board as a pure signal.
It's INDEPENDENT and ISOLATES the different speaker systems. The PCB daughtercard allows you use BOTH simultaneously via direct signal with no interference or feedback. Throw the alligator clips in your tool box. You may need to adjust phasing on your subwoofer to prevent distortion, or at worst case diconnect your cabinet mid-range speaker completely. You will know when you adjust the volumes. I disconnected my subwoofer (card is still on the board), as it make walls shake and pisses off my neighbors fiercely even in separate houses.
Permanent use of alligator clips in pinball machines except for testing, is no different that using electrical tape and wirenuts, instead of soldering and shrinkwrap. It leads to problems.

#5411 4 years ago

Snake mod finally got here. Love it. Definitely cannot see the top rollover lane inserts, but I think it's a fair trade-off. I also took the heat gun route, and heated it to raise up in the back to meet the ramp.

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#5412 4 years ago

When I get some time I want to pull of my snake head for a custom paint job and some LED eyeball action. Looks a little plain next to my Sparky and hammer.

#5413 4 years ago

And a fine hammer it is . I was considering painting that silver metal piece by the top fangs and the one under the bottom jaw black just to make them kinda disappear. Would regular model paint stick on that metal?

#5414 4 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

Remove and throw away?

I think your MPU failure was more than what was mentioned.

Alligator clips are great for board testing, why would throw them away?

I keep telling people NOT to use alligator clips for subwoofers, but some don't seem to understand by being CHEAP is not just about them getting loose and touching conponents. Static electricity can fry your MPU board in dry winters, using those things, they are not isolated, nor grounded. It's bad business. The same goes for tapping high voltages off the power solenoid driver board without isolation for things like installing real knockers. DON'T DO IT! There are actual BOARD solutions you can use.

I do not understand why a person would spend $300 or more in some cases on a subwoofer and then use alligator clips, except if they are complete "homeys"?

BTW, Pinnovators SAM PCB Subwoofer daughter board although good in concept has one flaw in design. The actual sound speaker connector is LESS THAN 1/4" from one the primary heatsinks due to orientation. You will understand shortly. Keep this in mind, or even better, I recommended mounting it separately with standoffs and a molex extension.

#5415 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

I keep telling people NOT to use alligator clips for subwoofers, but some don't seem to understand is not just about them getting loose and touching conponents. Static electricity can fry your MPU board in dry winters, using those things, they are not isolated, and grounded.

I've had alligator clips on most of my subs for almost 3 years now and have had no problems.

#5416 4 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

I've had alligator clips on most of my subs for almost 3 years now and have had no problems.

"To each their own".
$500 MPU boards versus $2 alligator clips.
This is not a CARPGB decision here.
Even soldering is not going to protect the board, NO isolation.

I only use this example in comparison to say WPC95 Audio/Visual Boards which are VERY hard to come by with non-existent components, not to mention expensive to repair. If people want to use clips, that is their risk. The same thing will eventually happen with Stern boards.

Ask yourself a simple question with no disrespect.
Do you hook up your home theatre system or car audio with alligator clips?
If you do, then I guess we do not have an issue.

#5417 4 years ago

Well if I soldered them on so they didn't fall off how would I isolate it then? How do you do yours?

#5418 4 years ago

My METLE has so many alligators it's like the Nile River down there I guess I really gotta figure out how to solder... That will prevent them from coming off but does it really isolate them?

#5419 4 years ago

Soldering does not isolate anything from electrical discharges, it simply prevents things from coming loose.
If a person owns more than 10 machines, and has not learned to solder properly, or done some training, "there be trouble down the pinball road in the future". I am not talking about circuit board repair.

Electrical isolation requires a interrupting or bypass circuit in the form of a daughter board PCB with fuses, separate grounded signal which is built into the device itself (with no "open" wires such as alligator clips), or a combination of resistors and diodes to prevent electrical signals for power moving in the wrong direction or interference noise "feedback" in simple cases (people create their own with "green boards"). That is why some people hear "hum" in their subwoofers with alligator clips.

Hum is not a real problem, that is a sound signal unless it is REALLY LOUD.
Static, squelching, or other horrendous noises on the other hand is BAD because that is electrical discharge.

In the case of my subwoofer (which is currently disconnected, and 3.5mm end plastic shielded), a PCB daughter board (with fuses), insulated 20 gauge wire, and molex connectors.

Anyway, the summary for my case is protection at the board, protection through the wire, and protection at both ends via my methods. Nothing should be exposed. The subwoofer is already grounded.

Using alligator clips is like stripping a grounded plug and directly inserting it into a wall socket, each wire attached to its own screwdriver in terms of protection.

However, it really depends on the application on how severe a power short back to a board can be.
In the case of a static discharge or non-grounded short back to the MPU using alligator clips or other MacGyver methods, DEAD board.
I guess that seems quite serious to me.
If you are talking about a light shorting out due to a bad diode (not as much of problem with LEDs anyway), not much is going to happen unless EVERYTHING else fails upstream.
The real problem is you have to LOOK at the schematics to see where in this case Stern cut corners in terms of where electrical vulnerabilities were in the building of a pinball machine. Stern did not consider people hooking up externally powered 2000 watt sound systems when they designed their games.
The sound system IS a vulnerability.

DKPinball has made some really good 5/12v PCB cards with fuse protection for use with Stern type mods. He even did several as proper power taps directly off the main boards. I have not see anything for 50v though or subwoofers, but it has been while since I checked. Might be a good idea for him.

Finally, don't use CHEAP electrical surge protectors for external protection, they do NOTHING.
Either spend a little more money and buy something with actually overload protection like an APC, unplug your machines via master cord, or install a dedicated, electric circuit interrupter in combination with your home breaker system. You will thank me later.
Right now, I have to keep my entire "master pinball collection" unplugged because I am renting a home after my first retirement, and I cannot install another 220v master outlet with override protection.

#5420 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

When I get some time I want to pull of my snake head for a custom paint job and some LED eyeball action. Looks a little plain next to my Sparky and hammer.

I really need to finish taking photos of my machine.
It is starting to become for me a documentary.

#5421 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

I keep telling people NOT to use alligator clips for subwoofers, but some don't seem to understand by being CHEAP is not just about them getting loose and touching conponents. Static electricity can fry your MPU board in dry winters, using those things, they are not isolated, nor grounded. It's bad business. The same goes for tapping high voltages off the power solenoid driver board without isolation for things like installing real knockers. DON'T DO IT! There are actual BOARD solutions you can use.

Never hooked up a sub, but am considering. Are you referring to hooking the clips right to the leads at the speaker can fry your MPU or are you referring to a different application where the clips are directly connected to a board? Sorry for the ignorance here. Thanks.

#5422 4 years ago

All of this makes me glad I snagged a Pinpac5. The subwoofer connection came standard.

#5423 4 years ago

Has anyone experienced any problems from using alligator clips from the cabinet speaker to the subwoofer?

#5424 4 years ago
Quoted from sudsy7:

Has anyone experienced any problems from using alligator clips from the cabinet speaker to the subwoofer?

Nope. They worked great for us. But we now have Pinnovators headphone jacks an all our games with a sub output.

#5425 4 years ago
Quoted from bridgeman:

Never hooked up a sub, but am considering. Are you referring to hooking the clips right to the leads at the speaker can fry your MPU or are you referring to a different application where the clips are directly connected to a board? Sorry for the ignorance here. Thanks.

Alligator clips (open leads) to the leads of the speakers.
One reverse discharge sends the electricity DIRECTLY back to the board, and nothing to stop it, there is no intervening protection to the board. The grounding is BYPASSED.
The speakers can be damaged as well, which if you look closely at Subwoofer packs from makers such as Pinball Pro and Flipper Fidelity there are mini daughterboards there as well for multiple reasons.
I shudder to visualize "daisy chained" (parallel or series) alligator clip setups to subwoofers.
Like I said before, "to each their own".
If owners do not believe there is risk, no problem.

However, if people are connecting alligator clips to the main CPU board in ANY capacity except for testing on ANY GAME, well, that is just beyond electronic belief to me.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to $2-20k dollar luxuries.
As a technician, I have seen some "interesting" things.

"A non-working pinball machine is a 300 lb doorstop".

#5426 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

However, if people are connecting alligator clips to the main CPU board in ANY capacity except for testing on ANY GAME,

I don't do that, I only clip them to the cab speaker and run that to the sub.

#5427 4 years ago

If ya spent ~5k on the game and ~100 bucks on a powered sub just do yourself a favor and spend the 35 on the pinnovator sub output board. I've got em on 2 games and they rock, much better than ghetto gator clips. Less than 5 min install, and you can pull it out just as fast to plop in another game for experimenting, or sale. Side note I had a pioneer sw-8 that was laughable runnin gator clips. Off the board it's formidable, big difference. Not a clue y

#5428 4 years ago
Quoted from tilted81:

If ya spent ~5k on the game and ~100 bucks on a powered sub just do yourself a favor and spend the 35 on the pinnovater sub output board. I've got em on 2 games and they rock, much better than ghetto gator clips. Less than 5 min install, and you can pull it out just as fast to plop in another game for experimenting, or sale. Side note I had a pioneer sw-8 that was laughable runnin gator clips. Off the board it's formidable, big difference.

You have my interest, got a link.

#5430 4 years ago

No wonder I couldn't find it, I was spelling Pinnovators with a "ers". I should have known better. Thanks

#5431 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Alligator clips (open leads) to the leads of the speakers.

I hear you, but there's probably hundreds of machines hooked up like this with no reports of any problems yet (I have 3 of them like this myself). You would think someone out there would have messed something up by now if it was vulnerable issue.

-1
#5432 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Soldering does not isolate anything from electrical discharges, it simply prevents things from coming loose.
If a person owns more than 10 machines, and has not learned to solder properly, or done some training, "there be trouble down the pinball road in the future". I am not talking about circuit board repair.
Electrical isolation requires a interrupting or bypass circuit in the form of a daughter board PCB with fuses, separate grounded signal which is built into the device itself (with no "open" wires such as alligator clips), or a combination of resistors and diodes to prevent electrical signals for power moving in the wrong direction or interference noise "feedback" in simple cases (people create their own with "green boards"). That is why some people hear "hum" in their subwoofers with alligator clips.

I don't need a PCB to address your concerns.. 'separate grounded signal'?? You mean coming from the same same ground that the entire game chassis is using? Separate grounds between your sub and game would be bad in the first place.. for risking ground loops. Now we could be talking about signal ground vs electrical ground.. but we're talking a simple audio signal here, not sensitive filtering. Isolation is to provide protection against ground loops due to your household wiring.

People hear hum because of ground loops between the game and the sub's power, their wiring acting as an antenna, or noise on the ground plane being fed to the sub's input.

The rest of your argument is basically just 'exposed connectors' and the risk that causes. Yet most people are using hooded clips anyway, and the risk/problem is really just wires swinging around.. which is easily addressed without your preaching of using PCBs.

Your whole lecture can be summed up as 'avoid shorts with your wiring'. The rest is garbage. I can't remember anyone who has ESD damaged their game by discharge to their speakers while working in their backbox or cabinet.. which would be just as vulnerable as any sub.

Alligator clips are a cheap way out.. vs proper taps or bridging in.. but russian roulette? No. PCBs as the answer? Not for that problem. The PCB solutions are generally better because of where they tap, providing reliable connectors, and can offer some designed protection against accidental shorts. They provide additional value... not that the alternative is bad or dangerous.

-1
#5433 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

I really need to finish taking photos of my machine.
It is starting to become for me a documentary.

So what was your last pinside account name?

#5434 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

So what was your last pinside account name?

I have no other account, as I recently retired the first time, and had no time for PS.
I was RGP since 1996?98? (It was in its "infancy" as a newsgroup, and dial up modems were still being used).
It certainly was not the Google monstrosity of today.
I do not even really remember at this point all the details.
I used the same name forever for the past 25+ years of collecting.

I specified differences between a sound signal and an electrical discharge.
You might not have ever seen something happen to their game with ESD, but I have.
Sometimes just the sound board gets components cooked, sometimes more, sometimes you just get lucky.
Why would you take a chance, if it can be avoided?
Why have to replace ICs on surface mounted boards and costly repairs when circuits upstream get hit?
Why have to replace a $500 "dead board"?
You CAN protect against shorts with PCBs that are designed for the function, or you can "Scooby Doo" it in a pinch that is still better than clips.
I am not preaching jack $#%@.
A person asked me a question, and I answered them.
Why anybody would plug another powered device into a pinball machine without consideration of my points that was never designed for it in the first place, I do not understand.

Fortunately for most older gamers the sound boards were separate, but not anymore on Stern.
The older a game gets the more vulnerable the components, in terms of them to be able to handle voltage overloads including static or ground shorts.

Whether a person chooses to use "alligator clips" or believes nothing will ever happen is their business.
It might be 1 out of 1000, 10,000, or even 100,000, but that ONE time is all that is needed.
The old saying in pinball goes something like this: "Anything can break on a pinball at any time. The only thing you can do is prepare for the time when it comes."
It makes no difference if you don't "believe me", I am just providing examples of my experience.

I do a whole lot of other things to protect my machines as well, this was just an example.
For example, how about in line fuse protection molex bypass wiring for the magnets on MET LE/Premium?
Or would a person prefer to "test fate" and have a transistor lock on, and the magnet burns the playfield and maybe even the PDB?
People said that would "never happen" either, but TAF shows plenty of examples over the past 20+ years.
Takes less than five minutes to install, and the magnets, playfield, and board are protected.
You can buy a TAF set from PinballLife, change the molex connectors and pins to the right size, and you are good to go.
Things to consider, but never "mentioned" either.

#5435 4 years ago

My snake ate the alligator clip know my lights are stuck on green

image_(resized).png

#5436 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

For example, how about in line fuse protection molex bypass wiring for the magnets on MET LE/Premium?

There is a F7 magnet fuse already on the I/O board. Why doesn't this provide adequate protection to those circuits?

#5437 4 years ago

Musician and Audio/Recording enthusiast here. I would venture to guess, humming or buzzing is caused by one of the folowing.

Ground loop. Usually this is resolved by introducing a ground lift mechanism. In these situations this is typically resolved by plugging both the pinball machine and external subwoofer into the same circuit.

Noise can also be introduced by resistance introduced into the circuit by fluorescent lights and dimmer switches for example.

Also there is difference between line level and speaker level. All sounder leaving the stern Sam cpu/sound board is speaker level meaning already amplified. If plugging this into an external subwoofer expecting line level you will be amplifying the signal 2x. Add an unshielded cable to this (amplified signal to be amplified again) and you will also experience humming.

The pinpac board combines both the left and right speaker signals (I believe) and creates a "mono" channel. It also adds a 200ohm 1/4 watt resistor to each channel. Based on tbk's posts.. you could add this resistor to each channel to get the desired effect of the board (note, not my recommedation one way or the other). I believe this is their method of attenuation the signal.

All that said I have used alligator clips on tons of machines and experienced no issues. I have always done this at the subwoofer though, not at the MPU.

#5438 4 years ago

I installed the Pinbits protectors (Love em) Now I want to install the Mezelmods Cemetery arch, but there is no more room on the post. It's barely hanging on with the protectors. Any suggestions?

#5439 4 years ago
Quoted from Butch2099:

I installed the Pinbits protectors (Love em) Now I want to install the Mezelmods Cemetery arch, but there is no more room on the post. It's barely hanging on with the protectors. Any suggestions?

Get 2 short hex posts, put them on then put the arch on.

#5440 4 years ago

Hello all,

I am excited to announce I have officially joined the owners club with a pro model. I have played this machine non stop since I picked it up on Saturday. Has some mods already installed, but more to come! Early production 2013 model with wood backbox. Has led's installed. Has anyone else noticed ghosting? I have some inserts ghosting and plan to change those led's out with non ghosting ones.

The pics are from my cell phone so they are not the greatest quality. I put up 2 high scores in 2 days. Sill working toward the grand champion.

Met_Pro_1_(resized).jpg

Met_Pro_2_(resized).jpg

Met_Pro_(resized).jpg

#5441 4 years ago
Quoted from Redknight87:

Hello all,
I am excited to announce I have officially joined the owners club with a pro model. I have played this machine non stop since I picked it up on Saturday. Has some mods already installed, but more to come! Early production 2013 model with wood backbox. Has led's installed. Has anyone else noticed ghosting? I have some inserts ghosting and plan to change those led's out with non ghosting ones.
The pics are from my cell phone so they are not the greatest quality. I put up 2 high scores in 2 days. Sill working toward the grand champion.

Met_Pro_1_(resized).jpgMet_Pro_2_(resized).jpgMet_Pro_(resized).jpg

Hey congrats, just leave the leds in it and get the OCD board for it. You will be amazed how good it will look.

#5442 4 years ago
Quoted from damageinc55:

This fixed the issue for me immediately.

Quoted from TimeBandit:

It is the correct fix and works really well. 99% reduction in rejects.

Can you post a link to the metal post, I need to order one.

#5443 4 years ago

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3591

Quoted from Concretehardt:Can you post a link to the metal post, I need to order one.

#5444 4 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Get 2 short hex posts, put them on then put the arch on.

I was thinking that, but then with the protector I was afraid it would be to be too tall. I know without the extra protector it was close when I had a pro

#5445 4 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Hey congrats, just leave the leds in it and get the OCD board for it. You will be amazed how good it will look.

I will look into that option. Thank you for the suggestion. I was also reading that installing the metal post like the person above is looking for will prevent "bounce outs". I was getting quite a few when the ball was traveling around the left upper lane. The post would come up, ball hits the post, then rolls back out the lane. Looks like I will be purchasing that as well.

#5446 4 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

However, if people are connecting alligator clips to the main CPU board in ANY capacity except for testing on ANY GAME, well, that is just beyond electronic belief to me.

Pretty sure nobody is connecting their subs this way. The clips connect to the positive and negative terminals on the factory sub. Not sure why anyone would connect directly to the board...

#5447 4 years ago
Quoted from sudsy7:

There is a F7 magnet fuse already on the I/O board. Why doesn't this provide adequate protection to those circuits?

It will not trip due to a transistor lock on direct from the PDB. A magnet can still burn based on schematic review. The design of the solenoids was better than TAF however on the I/O. Remember you can choose whatever fuse value works best. I use 2 1/2 not 3 amp SB. 2 amps can trip if the game is played a lot in short sessions. Fuses are cheap, PDBs, magnet assemblies, and playfields are NOT.

#5448 4 years ago
Quoted from Butch2099:

I installed the Pinbits protectors (Love em) Now I want to install the Mezelmods Cemetery arch, but there is no more room on the post. It's barely hanging on with the protectors. Any suggestions?

Use thinner locknuts, dependent on remaining post height is another option.

#5449 4 years ago

Help me out guys, on the fence deciding Premium or Pro , is there a big difference?
What about the big hammer blocking your view?
Let me know your personal preference and why.

#5450 4 years ago
Quoted from golfingdad1:

Help me out guys, on the fence deciding Premium or Pro , is there a big difference?
What about the big hammer blocking your view?
Let me know your personal preference and why.

Spinners..
Color changing GI..
Hammer..
Physical Locks..
Lockdown.. etc

The premium has a lot of value, but Metallica is an example where the Pro is solid enough that its a worthy purchase on its own. I think it boils down to are you willing to throw another 1500-2000 at the game. It's really only money.. the Pro's coffin arguably plays better than the premium/LE.

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