(Topic ID: 192121)

PBL Aluminum Flipper bats long term reviews?


By John_I

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by dannylite
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

I finally got around to ordering some of the brush aluminum flipper bats from PBL. I know they've been out for three years now and I was wondering if anyone who has had them on a machine for years has any comments. Obviously they are tough and accurate as heck. My only concern is that they don't flex a little like the plastic ones do and that could be hard on the bushings and links. Has anyone noticed a difference in flipper parts breakage who has used these bats for a while?

I ordered a set for the IMVE that I just got. As usual before I even played my first ball on it, I opened it up to get rid of the Competition Bands from the flippers and install real rubber. First thing I noticed is that both bats were broken internally with less than 400 total plays! You could easily flex them and hear a clicking from the broken internal ribs rubbing together. The game plays ok, but wimpy limp bats effects accuracy.

That leads me to a second question. Has anyone used these on a Monster Bash yet? Back when I had an MB, I rebuilt the flippers and it improved the Phantom Flip accuracy a little bit. I was messing around with tweaking the flipper alignment and realized both bats were broken internally, so I replaced them with nice new stiff ones. Within a couple of games the Phantom flip was so accurate it was almost no fair! You could watch it make shot after shot as smooth as silk.

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3145

#2 1 year ago

John,

I've had them on my STLE since new. I've had no issues but they just don't seem to have the "oomph" the plastic bats have.

#3 1 year ago

Interesting. I wonder if the flexing in a plastic bat adds some sort of elastic spring to the hit? Or maybe it is your imagination? I will have to watch for that. What type of rubber do you use? I'll be using red rubber from Pinball Life; not Titan or Silicon.

#4 1 year ago

Are they heavier? Maybe the weight slows them down.

#5 1 year ago

I had them in HS2 The Getaway for a couple of years. I think it's a combination of weight and less flex but they do feel slightly sluggish compared to plastic.

Didn't notice any extra wear on parts but if a flipper bushing broke I would be concerned about scratching the playfield.

I am going to try them on Tron next.

#6 1 year ago

I'm no long time expert like many of you here, but I like them. They hit hard. The ball moves fast. I use Superbands. I suppose this setup is less "rubbery" but I like them better than the plastic flippers and rubber bands they replaced.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from PanaPinResto:

Are they heavier? Maybe the weight slows them down.

These bats weigh slightly more, but compared to the weight and momentum of the pinball it is negligible. The only difference the weight might make would be on the return spring. Even then most of the weight is concentrated down by the shaft and the bat gets skinnier out by the tip where it is moving fastest.

I might need to borrow Go Pro to do a ball speed test!

#8 1 year ago

I've been using these bats powder-coated on my Star_Trek Mirror Universe one-off.

#9 1 year ago

I have a set on my METPRO....aside from them being show stoppers I feel no after effects. The look is classy and slick.

1 week later
#10 1 year ago

I did some experimenting with one flipper metal and one plastic on IM. Holding both flippers up and dropping them showed over and over that the return spring drops them at exactly the same speed every time. The metal was no slower with a tiny spring pulling it so any weight difference is negligible in the bat speed as a suspected.

8 months later
#11 1 year ago

Anyone know if PBL plans to get these back in stock, or if there are any alternatives available?

As for a long-term review: I've been using the aluminum bats on my STTNG for several years now, and I really like them. The added weight doesn't seem to slow the ball down any -- I have no trouble making any of the shots on the game. It whips around the beta quadrant ramp just fine. Every advanced maneuver seems pretty much just as doable as on a plastic bat, but I'm no expert in that department (although i was a top-4 seed in the B-division finals at Pinburgh last year, so i don't totally suck).

I'd like to add aluminum bats to a Demo Man I just picked up, but I can't find them anywhere.

oh on a semi-related note: before i switched to aluminum, i went through about 3 or 4 sets of translucent flipper bats in a year. Every single one cracked badly after a few months of home use. They look cool, but they just don't hold up (at least not to the STTNG coils).

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

Anyone know if PBL plans to get these back in stock, or if there are any alternatives available?
As for a long-term review: I've been using the aluminum bats on my STTNG for several years now, and I really like them. The added weight doesn't seem to slow the ball down any -- I have no trouble making any of the shots on the game. It whips around the beta quadrant ramp just fine. Every advanced maneuver seems pretty much just as doable as on a plastic bat, but I'm no expert in that department (although i was a top-4 seed in the B-division finals at Pinburgh last year, so i don't totally suck).
I'd like to add aluminum bats to a Demo Man I just picked up, but I can't find them anywhere.
oh on a semi-related note: before i switched to aluminum, i went through about 3 or 4 sets of translucent flipper bats in a year. Every single one cracked badly after a few months of home use. They look cool, but they just don't hold up (at least not to the STTNG coils).

I love these aluminum bats. I have 5 pins loaded with them. They hit hard and handle just fine for me, too. I went to buy more at Pinball Life and no dice. PBL says the machinist got tired of making them; I figure the machinist is holding out for more money. At only $10.00 each retail I can see where the machinist might have felt shortchanged. Anyway, according to who I talked to at PBL, there will not be anymore. I'm majorly bummed about it.

#13 1 year ago

dang! that's terrible news! maybe someone else could pick up the torch? there's definitely a market, although I couldn't say how large.

#14 1 year ago

Things have changed! These are back in production and we should have them back in stock in a few weeks.
Terry.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballlife:

Things have changed! These are back in production and we should have them back in stock in a few weeks.
Terry.

Thanks man. Come back here and tell us when they are ready. I need 4 of them. I also need to trade back the 4 white plastics ones I just bought from you; Unused and brand spanking new.

EDIT: Is the old price returning as well? Or is a bump happening?

#16 1 year ago

I've had them on my T2 for a couple years now. They are a bit sluggish and absolutely zero dead pass. It's funny to see good new players try and watch the ball drain on them. You learn the hard way. I was thinking of going back to regular plastic flips. I have a tough time being accurate with them but I also kinda suck.

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