First time potential owner on the hunt here. I haven't played pinball since the early 80s, so I went to some local pinhead locations excited to play newer Sterns, 90s DMDs, etc. After reading the top 100 and spending hours in various threads, I had already picked out my wish list of top System11, DMD, and Stern titles that I was ready to play, search out, and buy. Much to my dismay, I quickly realized I don't like toys, crowded playfields, or deep rules - wasn't expecting that to be honest.
Apparently, my 11-year-old pinball "inner self" never grew up beyond 1981. Apparently, I still like fast, multiplayer pins with drop targets and spinners that were quarter munchers from my youth. I am a product of the late 70s early 80s arcades spending countless quarters from picking up bottles, cutting lawns, etc as a kid. My parents owned a Bally Wizard! growing up but I always wanted a newer pin with the cool synthesizer voices and digital scoreboards. I really tried to like the late 80s titles forward but it's not the pinball that I remember. Its official - I became my grandfather liking old stuff. Geez, I didn't see that one coming
I have narrowed my choices down to Bally and Williams early 80s SS titles like Gorgar, Firepower, Eight Ball Deluxe, and Flash Gordon. Who was making the better pin at the time - Bally or Williams? The Bally's seem like a very polished culmination of classic pinball whereas the Williams was bridging the classic pinball with that cool 80s tech. I have a Defender/Stargate and those sounds never get old. I honestly can go either way but the Bally seems to feel more solid but that is completely subjective. From an original design/engineering (boards, target assemblies, flippers, etc.), reliability, original parts in the wild, 3rd party support, etc who is the king of the early 80s SS? Obviously, things break in pinball, but which vendor tends to have a higher uptime once restored?