Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:
I recently played a machine on location with a playfield protector. It was my first time playing a game with one of these installed. The experience was quite positive - the game was probably faster than it would have been otherwise, but the playfield looked great and clear. To be fair I have no idea how recently they installed the protector.
I’m making this post because prior to playing this game I’ve read a lot of negativity on Pinside regarding playfield protectors. People say stuff like “stop babying the game, just play it.” But if all protectors look and play like the one I saw I’m struggling to see the downsides other than the cost and installation. Now I’m considering getting a couple of these myself.
Am I missing something with the downsides of playfield protectors? Or is it more of the fact that pinball purists / old school players hate the idea of being OCD about playfield wear because that’s “just part of pinball?”
The negativity on Pinside is something you can do nothing about. Look for genuine Pinsiders and there are plenty. We have been fitting playfield protectors on every game since early 2016.
You have to pull your game apart to fit the protector. Old game you have to clean as much coil dust out of the game as you can, takes a fair bit of time. Take plenty of photos and make sure you put the game back together correctly, most people do not. Use a little bit of Naptha to clean the playfield (old game or new game) and the bottom of the playfield protector. This helps with any residual wax or polish on the playfield.
You have to re adjust some of the mechs (drop targets mostly) and switches to make sure they sit where they are supposed to, otherwise the ball could hop or not operate the mech or switch properly.
Sometimes the protector sticks to the playfield giving you the impression there is moisture under the protector. The is no moisture, this mainly happens on new playfields as they are so smooth and so is the protector. It is just a vacuum holding the protector down. Sometimes this causes the protector to look like it is not installed properly, it may lift in other areas. Easy fix, just lift the protector with your fingers and let it lay back down. Some machines do this more than others.
The protector does not protect against pooling and chipping of the pooling.
If you do not like doing regular maintenance, do not put one in. I would not put a protector on a sited game.
While you are at it, put some shooter lane Cliffys in.
There are plenty of opinions on Pinside. The only one that counts for you is yours.