(Topic ID: 169781)

Modern vs Vintage


By PapaJohn

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by ForceFlow
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 3 years ago

    Well, in the recent past I have owned mostly all newer or solid state pins but lately I have purchased and fully restored a few EM pins. The EM pins are all around 42 years old. They all worked before the restoration process and of course better now. So, does anybody expect a newer Stern pin to be fully working in 42 years? Just asking. John

    10
    #2 3 years ago

    I don't expect to be working in 42 years.

    #3 3 years ago

    I restored a solid state game from 1975--one of the first solid state games ever built (now 41 years old!). It was dead when I found it, though, so it was not in constant service throughout its lifetime.

    Components were built to last back then--not so much today, unfortunately. Plus, since modern boardsets have done away with through-hole components, future repairs will be exceedingly more difficult for the average hobbyist. If the boards in that game I restored were all SMT's, it would have been difficult to tackle.

    Then on modern games, the systems are pretty much completely digital, with all sorts of sophisticated controller chips that are essentially black boxes. Additionally, The MPU is basically a stripped down computer, and you can usually get about 5-15 years out of them before a catastrophic failure of some sort.

    Long story short, no, I don't expect these games to last 4 decades. One decade, maybe two if we're lucky. Then they will start needing significant repairs/replacements to boardsets.

    By that time--who knows--maybe there will be replacement boardsets like P3-ROC for Stern Spike systems.

    Heck, right now, Stern node boards are failing early on for some game owners, and those node boards seem to be tough to obtain even through a warranty replacement.

    #4 3 years ago

    They will make some fancy coffee tables, if nothing else.

    #5 3 years ago

    If people like them, they'll make replacement parts using modern components. Like the Pascal boards, or Pinbox.

    #6 3 years ago

    There is no part that can't be reproduced if demand is there.

    And they will probably be better than the ancient part they are replacing.

    #7 3 years ago

    I think in terms of reliability and longevity, we've really refined the electrical engineering that goes into newer SS components, or I'd like to at least think that we have.

    Doping materials for silicon is better now than it was 30+ years ago, transistors are smaller, run much cooler, and therefore last longer with a lower TDP, thus produce less strain on cables and connectors, and so on.

    I think the major issue with modern components is that they're all surface mounted, which severely limits the repairability of some things, at the cost of being small, efficient, and inexpensive; but I think that fact is offset by the strides we've made in electronics since the early days of computing.

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from Air_Pinball:

    There is no part that can't be reproduced if demand is there.

    Lockbars.

    #9 3 years ago

    I think they'll absolutely be working. It will all be replacement parts you print at home or at the corner 3d extruder store, and all running off a teeny tiny chip only made visible by the size of the connector adapters, but will be playing.

    #10 3 years ago

    Is this true? What am I missing?

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Is this true? What am I missing?

    Pretty much the only lockbars being produced are the ones on modern games currently in production.

    Pretty much everything else is used, NOS in rare cases, or refurbished/re-plated.

    #12 3 years ago

    At least if I don't want to play them now I probably won't in 40 years (In all serious, I do like the new games too.)

    It is kind of crazy seeing where technology is going these days. Obviously we are now a very "throw it out and replace" society and pinball manufacturing has represented that as well, and as depressing and expensive as that is now, the real problem obviously comes when they stop producing certain things (like circuit boards).

    Let's be honest. As much as we say "It's not right! Think of the future of pinball!" in the end it's all about the money. I am sure the manufacturers care about their customers but are not losing sleep on machines that are out of the warranty period/off of the production line. Simple business, unfortunately.

    I don't see this changing. If I was in that position, I don't know if I would make the decision to change it either, to be honest. Taking a constant and consistent financial hit to help preserve machines for 30 years from now probably wouldn't be seen as better than taking a financial hit assembling a new single entire circuit board/extra batches in advance for a machine in a short warranty period.

    #13 3 years ago

    Realistically unlike older machines modern machines have been further redesigned to be comparative to "throw away pinballs".

    It is still easier to find game specific parts for games built between 1977-1985 than a Stern game built in 2000.

    There are plenty of examples.
    The next generation is accelerating further with Stern's "The Pin" 2.0.

    Many EMs and woodrails are built like tanks in comparison to most modern games.

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Pretty much the only lockbars being produced are the ones on modern games currently in production.
    Pretty much everything else is used, NOS in rare cases, or refurbished/re-plated.

    Aw, c'mon! You know in a couple of years people will be 3D printing those things in their own home.

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    Many EMs and woodrails are built like tanks in comparison to most modern games.

    Well... yeah. How many of those factories had just been making tanks for WW2 when they switched back over.

    But seriously, to someone who grew up in the era of everything being made of plastic, these old EM's are very interesting to see how more robustly built things were back then. (Granted they would have cheaped out if they could have; they just didn't know how yet)

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    Realistically unlike older machines modern machines have been further redesigned to be comparative to "throw away pinballs".

    Yet they are double or triple the cost now....

    #17 3 years ago

    Yea, throw away pinball machines since we are living in the consumer age. Have you noticed kids aren't curious these days to fix stuff? All the stuff these days are made to simply throw away and buy a new one, Sterns are no different and so it pains me to see people buy new pins for HUO at these price points. Gottlieb, B/W will be around but this new stuff won't be

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from Wahnsinniger:

    Well... yeah. How many of those factories had just been making tanks for WW2 when they switched back over.
    But seriously, to someone who grew up in the era of everything being made of plastic, these old EM's are very interesting to see how more robustly built things were back then. (Granted they would have cheaped out if they could have; they just didn't know how yet)

    It's not that they didn't know how to cheap out, Engineering evolves and machines have always been made based on a result of function.

    #19 3 years ago

    The cabinets have been the comparative since the late 1930s, with the exception of cabinets made in 1980s during the video game era (particle board). Once upon a time most cabinets were painted or silk screened. Granted there were exceptions, but some know how those turned out in the long run. Glue delamination happens faster than the past, and construction quality has decreased including using particle board bottoms. Hell even AGC cabinets are better construction quality than modern games, even with paint flaking problem.

    Playfield production has remained consistent in standards since the late 1940s, only the hard coatings have changed. The equipment to make them was produced after the Second World War, which as someone pointed out companies like GTB DID make parts to support the war out of directive and necessity.

    What has changed are the quality of other components, especially metals and wiring, not necessarily the SS electronics. Connectors for games have continued to get cheaper and poor quality, that is why edge and IDC connectors and associated non coated pins were used for a very long time, and why they burn and fail.

    It good to see that some people are finally realizing that the cost saving measures being utilized today result in many games being thrown in the trash in less than 20 years. People are spending a LOT of money on crappy non-bulletproofed games because they do not know what GOOD looks like. The first time they buy an older game prior to 1984, some get surprised at the difference in construction.
    It is not insignificant.
    I spent nearly 100 hours, "bulletproofing" my MET PR to fix potential pitfalls and problems.
    This had nothing to do with the PCBs.

    Stern has for example moved toward a ensuring that modern parts are not available for even titles made in the past five years, or made the parts so monopolistically expensive that it forces operators to buy new games.

    For many new collectors, they simply do not care, as they will not be around to care in the short time anyway. That is the honest direct truth. There are reasons why dealers do not like to work on specific manufacturers past certain periods of time, not exclusive to lack of parts, but also experience, or simply lack of profit.

    Anyone that owns a IPB BBB will know the extremely level of quality they provided in building this game which eclipsed anything that Capcom provided at their factory. IPB even put BLY/WMS to shame in terms of their construction.

    Times continue to change.

    Cost of NIB games have NOT "marginally outpaced economy inflation".
    Those that believe this are uninformed, do not wish to believe, or as I stated just don't care.

    Know what you are buying for "$10,000", it is not a classic motorcyle sorry to say.
    If I was, it would be a masterpiece.
    It is all fun, until it starts to slowly (or rapidly) fall apart in front of a person's eyes.

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Pretty much the only lockbars being produced are the ones on modern games currently in production.
    Pretty much everything else is used, NOS in rare cases, or refurbished/re-plated.

    Your scaring me... I'd like to get one for my TAF but not for another year..

    #21 3 years ago

    Oh man just about gave me a coronary and I noticed the price is down from 125 I paid 2 years ago.

    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/A-18240

    #22 3 years ago

    Compare a part for any GAME SPECIFIC Stern game made in the last five years.
    This includes lock bars.
    I am not talking about the generic powdercoated black lockbar with tournament button hole plug used in the 2000s.
    Prices are 150-200% higher.
    Some game specific parts from the factory are over 350% production cost.
    They are not going to get any cheaper as they disappear.

    Don't expect Stern to loosen their grip for reproduction either.
    If someone loves their "holy grail" pinball machine they had better go through a distributor (lower price) and buy that stock part now.
    It 10 years in will be "unobtainium" more than any BLY/WMS part today.

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from Nighthawk128:

    Yea, throw away pinball machines since we are living in the consumer age. Have you noticed kids aren't curious these days to fix stuff? All the stuff these days are made to simply throw away and buy a new one, Sterns are no different and so it pains me to see people buy new pins for HUO at these price points. Gottlieb, B/W will be around but this new stuff won't be

    That is why some willing be making "big money" in home repairs in the next 5-10 years.
    I look forward to the change of times again as the market reshifts once again, either for repair or purchase.
    There simply are not that many people who really understand how to tech machines from 1955-2015, and they number is not outpacing the number of collectors.

    "A pinball machine that does not work is a 300 lb doorstop."

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Pretty much the only lockbars being produced are the ones on modern games currently in production.
    Pretty much everything else is used, NOS in rare cases, or refurbished/re-plated.

    If you own a vintage Gottlieb, many of the lockdown bars have been reproduced.

    If you own an older Williams or Bally, you are pretty much screwed trying to find a replacement.

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    If you own a vintage Gottlieb, many of the lockdown bars have been reproduced.

    1940s-1960s, yes--most are just wood with some hardware or caps. The all-metal ones for 1970s-1990s games, not that I'm aware of.

    I did notice Sys3-7, sys11, WPC, pin2k, DE, Sega, classic bally, and various modern sterns on pinballlife. Not sure if those are NOS or reproductions. I'm guessing those popped up somewhat recently.

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