(Topic ID: 195339)

Should you buy a NEW Stern Pinball Machine?


By RGR

1 year ago



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  • 271 posts
  • 85 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by RGR
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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    There are 271 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
    #2 1 year ago

    I really like Stern, but thats a real good video about Stern and spike.
    Sorry Stern.

    #3 1 year ago

    So in stating your opinions Mark, who is your NEW preferred supplier of Pinball machines and why?

    #4 1 year ago

    I said it since the day it came out ..... SPIKE SUX!!!

    #5 1 year ago

    they have to make one type note board, its more expensive but if you make only one type the manufacturing price is lower.
    So its easy and cheaper to change.
    The backbox lock and lockbar..... well i don't care.
    Cabinet and sticker problems can be solved.
    just like the chipping and ghosting of the playfield, clear them like 10 years ago stern.
    If they still going to listning to the managers instead of the collectors they have a problem in the future i think.

    -49
    #6 1 year ago

    This video is exactly what is wrong with our hobby. Too many whingers and complainers. If you do not like it do not buy it. Please remember that this guy imported Stern machines in to Australia bypassing the Australian Distributer. Plenty of sour grapes there.

    Do not be surprised if he pops up as a distributer for another manufacturer in Australia.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballaddicted:

    This video is exactly what is wrong with our hobby. Too many whingers and complainers. If you do not like it do not buy it. Please remember that this guy imported Stern machines in to Australia bypassing the Australian Distributer. Plenty of sour grapes there.
    Do not be surprised if he pops up as a distributer for another manufacturer in Australia.

    So he knows what he's talking about then

    13
    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballaddicted:

    This video is exactly what is wrong with our hobby. Too many whingers and complainers. If you do not like it do not buy it. Please remember that this guy imported Stern machines in to Australia bypassing the Australian Distributer. Plenty of sour grapes there.
    Do not be surprised if he pops up as a distributer for another manufacturer in Australia.

    Gary Stern is that you?

    45
    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballaddicted:

    This video is exactly what is wrong with our hobby. Too many whingers and complainers. If you do not like it do not buy it. Please remember that this guy imported Stern machines in to Australia bypassing the Australian Distributer. Plenty of sour grapes there.
    Do not be surprised if he pops up as a distributer for another manufacturer in Australia.

    I don't think his video is "whinging" at all. It isn't a simple matter of "if you don't like it, don't buy it" - many buyers are not technically savvy and are buying without having any way of knowing what lurks underneath that might bite them.

    Knowledge is power and buyers should be as fully informed as possible before shelling out AU$10K ++ for a toy!

    He merely points out facts in the video. Things that any wise purchaser could easily find out if they only knew what to ask.

    Stern could very easily fix this issue - here is what I posted on AA:

    ******

    Stern could fix this problem VERY easily.

    The SPIKE system is sound, in principle. I think where it fails is there are far too many variants of the same board. I put this down to teething problems.

    The system should be designed so there there is a main host board and then perhaps two or three node boards that are UNIVERSAL and fit EVERY model.

    They have to stop having different boards in every machine and even different versions of the same board in a single title - that is nonsense plain and simple and totally negates the benefits of having a system like this.

    They also need to get real on the replacement cost of a throw away board.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from hoby1:

    I said it since the day it came out ..... SPIKE SUX!!!

    Great video. It's another black eye as it seems the benefits of Spike could be better than SAM if implemented correctly. However, multiple node boards are stupid and make maintaining and fixing games near impossible.

    For every step forward, it seems Stern goes back two steps.

    19
    #11 1 year ago

    Back in the 'old days' (when Wms was still making machines), changes were made really only to increase reliability and serviceability. I remember the Pin2000 change to flipper pawls so there was only one side for both right and left. And the elimination of GI (something Wms had a hard time getting right after 1977).

    But with Stern, their methodology is all about making things easier/cheaper. This change happened probably, to some degree, because of the change from operators being the #1 buyer of games, to home owner. You don't need to design a game for usage say at the Pinball Hall of Fame if there's only ONE Pinball Hall of Fame in the whole world! (And nearly every other buyer is using their game in a basement with 200 plays a year.) Also remember when $3600 got you a "real premium" pinball from Stern and not a chopped down Pro? Who's to blame for all of this?? Probably us...

    #12 1 year ago

    I enjoyed the video. Most makes sense. "Swappable" node boards that aren't swappable is not a good solution. It's equivalent to writing excess code (i.e. poor) code in programming world.

    #13 1 year ago

    Pretty good video

    I kind of like to new lockdown bar mech but hate the change of power location, backbox bolts, and Spike lighting and node boards.

    I went from buying almost every new Stern to buying used games and a couple JJP's instead.

    Pro = The Pin
    Premium = Pro

    And The Pin isn't worth $5200

    #14 1 year ago

    Interesting video. Definitely makes you rethink a nib stern right now.

    -37
    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from Rum-Z:

    Gary Stern is that you?

    No its not.

    I am a supporter of everything pinball. Like most of the other complainers on this site, the guy on the video could not get what he wanted so he has thrown all his toys out of his cot and is having a tantrum.

    20
    #16 1 year ago

    Am I in the minority?

    I don't have a problem w/many of Sterns changes.

    They're finding ways to be more efficient & that's good. The raising of prices for games & components I do have a problem with but it's our fault for paying it right?

    I can't blame Stern. I commend them for finding better, faster, cheaper ways to do things & I sure as shit can't fault them for raising prices to levels that folks are willing to pay either.

    QC issues are not excusable however. Piss poor service is not acceptable either. Raising prices will eventually slow down the line & maybe turn folks away for a few years.

    I think the Avenegers video from back in the day with the GI falling out was a more damaging video. I think the clearcoat & cabinet issues documented here are SUPER damaging to Stern. Code IMO could reeeeally sink the ship too.

    IDGAF about the lock down bar latch or the switch location, sorry. Chipping clear, split cabinets, missing modes & bugs however are a stupid problem to have. That is some shit for a video IMO

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    Am I in the minority?
    I don't have a problem w/many of Sterns changes.
    They're finding ways to be more efficient & that's good. The raising of prices for games & components I do have a problem with but it's our fault for paying it right?
    I can't blame Stern. I commend them for finding better, faster, cheaper ways to do things & I sure as shit can't fault them for raising prices to levels that folks are willing to pay either.
    I work in the sales & service of electrical components in a niche industry (security, fire automation & surveillance) I charge more money every year & the circuit boards keep getting smaller.
    QC issues are not excusable however. Piss poor service is not acceptable either. Raising prices will eventually slow down the line & maybe turn folks away for a few years.
    I think the Avenegers video from back in the day with the GI falling out was a more damaging video. I think the clearcoat & cabinet issues documented here are SUPER damaging to Stern. Code IMO could reeeeally sink the ship too.
    IDGAF about the lock down bar latch or the switch location, sorry. Chipping clear, split cabinets, missing modes & bugs however are a stupid problem to have.

    Well said. That's all I would have to say. Thanks for doing it for me.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    I don't think his video is "whinging" at all. It isn't a simple matter of "if you don't like it, don't buy it" - many buyers are not technically savvy and are buying without having any way of knowing what lurks underneath that might bite them.
    Knowledge is power and buyers should be as fully informed as possible before shelling out AU$10K ++ for a toy!
    He merely points out facts in the video. Things that any wise purchaser could easily find out if they only knew what to ask.
    Stern could very easily fix this issue - here is what I posted on AA:
    ******
    Stern could fix this problem VERY easily.
    The SPIKE system is sound, in principle. I think where it fails is there are far too many variants of the same board. I put this down to teething problems.
    The system should be designed so there there is a main host board and then perhaps two or three node boards that are UNIVERSAL and fit EVERY model.
    They have to stop having different boards in every machine and even different versions of the same board in a single title - that is nonsense plain and simple and totally negates the benefits of having a system like this.
    They also need to get real on the replacement cost of a throw away board.

    Hey Mike,

    I agree with you and I appreciate your input. Welcome back to pinside! There has been lots of shit stirring on this site of late and it is not good for our much loved hobby of pinball so I have started being vocal.

    I wish you every success with Thunderbirds. My wife and I spent quite a bit of time with you last year at Pinfest, unfortunately we cannot attend this year to see you showcase some finished Thunderbird pinball machines.

    Good luck!

    Con & Sue.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    The raising of prices for games & components I do have a problem with but it's our fault for paying it right?

    Not when other manufacturers are not upto speed. Clearly they are taking advantage of customers who dont have much other choice. By your logic Stern should make all LEs the price of BM66 SLE... If your willing to get ripped off, whats the problem?

    #20 1 year ago

    Just watched the video. Two thoughts come to mind.

    First he seems to be complaining that Stern is doing what most every other company on this planet and the next is doing, trying to reduce their costs and maximize their profit. I'm not quite sure why he doesn't expect Stern or any company in existence to always strive for that, it's what companies do.

    Second, he seems to be upset that repair jobs with spike are basically being shifted from guys like him, a tech guy with decades of experience repairing old hardware, to guys like me who don't know how to repair this old stuff and can now simply fix issues by swapping a board. Currently if I have an issue I have to call a repair guy, wait until he is finally free and pay him by the hour to fix these machines since they often exceed my ability to repair them on my own, I'm simply not that skilled at repairing pinball machines, I just play them. Seems like with spike repairs will be much easier for me since it amounts to just swapping a board. It's hard for me not to see this as a positive as it will save me time and money.

    I dunno, both seem like positives to me. Once helps keep Stern alive and hence make more games while the other now makes it possible for me to quickly fix my own games.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from Reality_Studio:

    Just watched the video. Two thoughts come to mind.
    First he seems to be complaining that Stern is doing what most every other company on this planet and the next is doing, trying to reduce their costs and maximize their profit. I'm not quite sure why he doesn't expect Stern or any company in existence to always strive for that, it's what companies do.

    Clearly you dont know Homepin.

    #22 1 year ago

    Great video, excellent information and eye opening. It really drives home the point that Sterns "improvements" are just designed to improve their bottom lines which is sad considering the regular price increases.

    Should you buy a new Stern pinball? I would personally wait 6 months to a year after initial release before buying any new Stern game at this point. Don't be a Stern beta tester and deal with board revisions, waiting months for code updates that may never come and potential early quality issues.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballaddicted:

    No its not.
    I am a supporter of everything pinball. Like most of the other complainers on this site, the guy on the video could not get what he wanted so he has thrown all his toys out of his cot and is having a tantrum.

    I don't think you could be more wrong. The guy is a seasoned veteran plnballer/vendor/hobbyist and he is comparing the two systems SAM & Spike and he sheds some light on both systems and their pros and cons to both.

    Stern created Spike to create a better bottom line...and he explains what they've done to cut costs but improve on quality. The the Spike system does have drawbacks...such as the playfield lights, etc.

    I really think the video is informative and well done. I certainly think Stern should take some of the feedback they get from their vendors and the consumers so they can improve on future projects. At least give the illusion that they care. I understand it's all about the bottom line for them but they need to remember it's consumers that drive this business for them....they need to pay more attention to how it's effecting them because without them their business wouldn't be as robust and profitable for Stern. With all the other smaller pinball companies out there it wouldn't take much for another company to take the lead so to speak when it comes to pinball manufacturing.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Reality_Studio:

    Just watched the video. Two thoughts come to mind.
    First he seems to be complaining that Stern is doing what most every other company on this planet and the next is doing, trying to reduce their costs and maximize their profit. I'm not quite sure why he doesn't expect Stern or any company in existence to always strive for that, it's what companies do.
    Second, he seems to be upset that repair jobs with spike are basically being shifted from guys like him, a tech guy with decades of experience repairing old hardware, to guys like me who don't know how to repair this old stuff and can now simply fix issues by swapping a board. Currently if I have an issue I have to call a repair guy, wait until he is finally free and pay him by the hour to fix these machines since they often exceed my ability to repair them on my own, I'm simply not that skilled at repairing pinball machines, I just play them. Seems like with spike repairs will be much easier for me since it amounts to just swapping a board. It's hard for me not to see this as a positive as it will save me time and money.
    I dunno, both seem like positives to me. Once helps keep Stern alive and hence make more games while the other now makes it possible for me to quickly fix my own games.

    And 5 years down the track you buy a second hand Stern Spike game out of production and the game specific node board takes a dump and none are available.. what then?

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    Clearly you dont know Homepin.

    He's using Chinese labor to cut costs? What don't we understand?

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    By your logic Stern should make all LEs the price of BM66 SLE... If your willing to get ripped off, whats the problem?

    BM66SLE was hilarious

    I can't beleive people fell for it. Stern didnt sell many BM66's tho so I don't anticipate that being the norm.

    Good try tho. I'm not here to argue. I'm just saying optimization is key to survival. So is service, code & QC tho.

    I'm not exactly Sterns best supporter. I dont offer them unconditional love. I just try to keep it real.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    He's using Chinese labor to cut costs? What don't we understand?

    errr what are Stern employees earning again?

    14
    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    The system should be designed so there there is a main host board and then perhaps two or three node boards that are UNIVERSAL and fit EVERY model

    Mikes hit the nail on the head here.

    There should be generic node boards, and every game should use those same boards.

    This would benefit Stern greatly ... they could order 1000s of these boards, and get the cost right down. The time and labour costs to make different boards for each machine would be $1000s.

    A perfect example ... my buddies GB Pro had a failing power supply. The distributor sent him one out of their GB LE to fit in. It looked a little different, but fitted ok. When the distributor got the replacement shipped from Stern, he needed to get the LE one back again, as it is a higher amp output than the pro one. SURELY the clever move would be just use ONE power supply, and buy 1000s of them at a time and screw the price right down ... rather than having 200 of this and 200 of that, and trying to keep up with it all.

    Makes no sense!

    rd

    -3
    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    Clearly you dont know Homepin.

    1) The theme of Thunderbirds is awful

    2) He's alienated me from ever considering a NIB pin from him.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    errr what are Stern employees earning again?

    errrr...a whole lot more than this guy trying to make a pinball machine over several years and still can't seem to get it done. You can't be serious.

    Service? No way would I ever buy anything from this venture until its proven over MANY years.

    #31 1 year ago

    This is really scary. I can see it now. In 5 years having to pay $1000 for a board with a blown led just so you can sell it for $1500 because everyone is scared to buy it.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    BM66SLE was hilarious
    I can't beleive people fell for it. Stern didnt sell many BM66's tho so I don't anticipate that being the norm.
    Good try tho. I'm not here to argue. I'm just saying optimization is key to survival. So is service, code & QC tho.

    ...and to think they made people create a video for why they should be the chosen ones to buy a $15k pinball machine that after 8+ months is still on pre 1.0 code. At least with Lyman on the game the code should get completed and be unique.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    ...and to think they made people create a video for why they should be the chosen ones to buy a $15k pinball machine.

    yeah seriously
    i bet they never even watched those videos. so embarassing !

    IMG_2383 (resized).JPG

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    ...and to think they made people create a video for why they should be the chosen ones to buy a $15k pinball machine that after 8+ months is still on pre 1.0 code. At least with Lyman on the game the code should get completed and be unique.

    Yeah but Panzer... look at all the TOYS on that game

    18
    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    1) The theme of Thunderbirds is awful
    2) He's alienated me from ever considering a NIB pin from him.

    3) He aint ripping you off!
    4) he knows his shit
    5) hes innovative
    6) he dont bullshit

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    errrr...a whole lot more than this guy trying to make a pinball machine over several years and still can't seem to get it done. You can't be serious.
    Service? No way would I ever buy anything from this venture until its proven over MANY years.

    There were good reasons why he didnt get it done. Hes proven his work in many other areas. Unreal how you think that Stern are doing things better... Might wanna watch that video again?

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    3) He aint ripping you off!
    4) he knows his shit
    5) hes innovative
    6) he dont bullshit

    I hope he succeeds but I'm NOT buying a thunderbirds pin. I'm sure it will be successful overseas from where I'm at.

    He needs to PROVE it and up to now, I have no clue how he has survived.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    There were good reasons why he didnt get it done. Hes proven his work in many other areas. Unreal how you think that Stern are doing things better... Might wanna watch that video again?

    Show me the game and prove it.

    I LOVE my Stern pins.

    Here is the other thing he has to overcome. I will always recall the honest rant against the US buyers years ago.

    My first roll is to go USA made and Stern delivers on that front.

    Where is a Thunderbirds pin? When in doubt, I'll buy USA first, but that's just me.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I hope he succeeds but I'm NOT buying a thunderbirds pin. I'm sure it will be successful overseas from where I'm at.
    He needs to PROVE it and up to now, I have no clue how he has survived.

    What interests me is how you appear to still be accepting of a company that is clearly screwing its customers...

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    What interests me is how you appear to still be accepting of a company that is clearly screwing its customers...

    Not in the fun factor.

    They have the talent and the themes.

    If they really are screwing us, the chickens will come home to roost and SW might be the beginning.

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chicoman:

    I don't think you could be more wrong. The guy is a seasoned veteran plnballer/vendor/hobbyist and he is comparing the two systems SAM & Spike and he sheds some light on both systems and their pros and cons to both.
    Stern created Spike to create a better bottom line...and he explains what they've done to cut costs but improve on quality. The the Spike system does have drawbacks...such as the playfield lights, etc.
    I really think the video is informative and well done. I certainly think Stern should take some of the feedback they get from their vendors and the consumers so they can improve on future projects. At least give the illusion that they care. I understand it's all about the bottom line for them but they need to remember it's consumers that drive this business for them....they need to pay more attention to how it's effecting them because without them their business wouldn't be as robust and profitable for Stern. With all the other smaller pinball companies out there it wouldn't take much for another company to take the lead so to speak when it comes to pinball manufacturing.

    So what happens to the people (his customers) that bought Stern Spike games from him? Your Stern warranty is meant to be through your Stern Distro. We are in Australia.

    #42 1 year ago

    So what about the OTHER manufacturers products like JJP, Spooky and Heighway to name a few? Every time HOMEPIN is mentioned it turns to shit! Why is it so?

    -5
    #43 1 year ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I hope he succeeds but I'm NOT buying a thunderbirds pin. I'm sure it will be successful overseas from where I'm at.
    He needs to PROVE it and up to now, I have no clue how he has survived.

    What interests me is how you appear to still be accepting of a company that is clearly screwing its customers...

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    What interests me is how you appear to still be accepting of a company that is clearly screwing its customers...

    I'm a customer and I don't feel screwed. I like what I've purchased. I backed out of SWLE however.

    Jpop? Yep, screwed big time. Grabbed my ankles on that one.

    Are we at a tipping point? Maybe.

    #45 1 year ago

    Mike has an opinion, thats why and he aint afraid to let people know. People dont seem to like hearing other people publicly share their views. Mike has come out and said that Spike is rubbish and this is from a guy that makes his own boards...

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    Mike has an opinion, thats why and he aint afraid to let people know. People dont seem to like hearing other people publicly share their views. Mike has come out and said that Spike is rubbish and this is from a guy that makes his own boards...

    I've had a few boards fail.

    As a consumer, I feel like because Stern has been around for over 25 years I can get new boards if they crash.

    When Mike proves what he can do, and do it better I'll be paying attention.

    #47 1 year ago

    But getting back to the issue, the entire point regarding boards is that they cost more to replace than just fix...

    #48 1 year ago

    Totally disagree regarding the lockdown bar. The new latches are very easy and more stable - no more wobbling.

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from kermit24:

    Totally disagree regarding the lockdown bar. The new latches are very easy and more stable - no more wobbling.

    Thats true but it was also a cost cutting measure... I heard it from the horses mouth.

    #50 1 year ago

    The lock down bar was the only thing they did right. As far as buying a NIB Stern, NOT!!!

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