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(Topic ID: 197082)

Stern Bashing. Justified?


By erak

3 years ago



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  • 806 posts
  • 142 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by CaptainNeo
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    There are 806 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 17.
    #151 3 years ago
    Quoted from TigerLaw:

    Do you think this was what they were testing out when they put the language on the manual about playfields ghosting being normal?

    This was not as much as purely a "test" as it was a need to address present issues to consumers.

    It is quite disappointing to see some enthusiasts continue to actively deny any types of problems even exist as "it has not happened to them" which remains equally typical presently, but the policy change is a direct indication as a "blanket" and is in direct written word, not some sort of speculative conjecture. Another direct example is cabinets, where Stern was forced to address cabinet splitting and "up the ante" for reinforcement. This is also not speculation. See the attached photos. The brackets should look very familiar from pinball history's past.

    Overall the policy change (remember this is NOT a warranty) was more to find a way to get a work around to *potentially* not provide necessary replacements of pinball components such as playfields or cabinets and reduce public outcry, as necessary. It is part of changes of public marketing, just as was done with the introduction of SPIKE as a "better pinball operating system" and make people believe what they want to believe. It is manipulation, and if repeated enough times, it works.
    Pick any collectible industry in the world and it applies, especially areas such as artwork.

    I have discussed technical aspects of what is acceptable and what is not in other parts of the pinball world beyond these forums, and what constitutes correction in both areas of quality assurance and control of pinball components. The biggest problem is the original "safety net" of operators reporting problems has disappeared, and now manufacturer can try and do anything they want potentially hoping nobody will notice.

    Superficial issues aside, sometimes owners simply are uninformed, but other times concerns are completely legitimate, but everyone gets lumped into the same category all the same. That is why it is called a "catch all" policy change.

    In another five years, many might not know what a past industry "standard" was anyway.
    "History becomes legend, legend becomes myth" methodology.
    For the most part, this started back in the late 2000s and shows where we are today, just people we not around to see changes.
    Just like when I hear the repeated statement over the last decade, "Nobody owned pinball machines before 1990."

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    #152 3 years ago
    Quoted from chippe01:

    I have to disagree with you on this one. It's not JUST for people who don't know better. Yes, the price was too high for a machine targeted for home use only, but it's not a toy.
    I never cared for any STERN titles, not because of any quality issues, but because I just don't like modern pinball, and the themes just didn't do anything for me. I grew up in the end of the EM / start of SS era. Early Bally and Gottleib SS are the games I love. Modern was just too complicated and congested for me.
    I've been playing pinball for over 40 years. Spider-Man (Home Edition) seemed like a perfect fit for me. It's not complicated to learn, yet the shots needed to complete the "goals" require some skill to make. I love my Xenon, but I can make that tube shot in my sleep.
    Personally, I would be on board if Stern released more titles like this - less complicated, with complete game code. They just need to lower the price point, and admit that these do exist

    Technology progresses towards complexity when free from the confines of pragmatism.

    Pinball's journey through technology lead to complex rules, toys, layouts, etc. They, overall, are very complex in comparison to older pinball machines. They require more time, more processing of decisions rather than physical interactions, and more indirect gameplay than direct gameplay. The common trope is that new pinball machines are complex, which is treated as a positive aspect; however, being complex is identical to being complicated, which is treated as a negative aspect. The only difference is the choice in personal focus.

    I will reiterate that:
    New pinball machines are complex, which is good.
    New pinball machines are complicated, which is bad.

    I, personally, don't like the direction of pinball virtually at all in the past 10 years or so. The games are complicated, which means I may as well play my playstation or go get a high-maintenance girlfriend, if I want to do complicated. They physically play near identically, which is different than playing differently based upon non-physical rules in coding, which means playing one is identical to playing all others. They stop the ball a lot, which is boring.

    Overall, the mindset is, "look, dude, if I am going to sit inside and not do any work, I'm going to play pinball some, have a bit of fun, and move on, but I don't exactly wake up thinking about how I can spend all day inside on complicated junk."

    Preference in pinball machines translates a lot to a person's personality and what they approach and how in life, in general.

    #153 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jeremy8419:

    Technology progresses towards complexity when free from the confines of pragmatism.
    Pinball's journey through technology lead to complex rules, toys, layouts, etc. They, overall, are very complex in comparison to older pinball machines.

    Another bit of pinball history.
    If a person wants to be free of pragmatism, there should be additional research.
    "More has been lost than has been gained."

    When Stern reestablished their company for production of pinball machines in 1999, the stated goal and company prerogative was to make games that were LESS COMPLEX and COST EFFECTIVE for the pinball market both for operators and private owners. The primary touting was to make pinball easier to service from the "complexities of pinball past". This mindset was rarely changed until after 2011, mostly regarding MSRP, not necessarily features. Feature reduction started around 2008, very slightly at first. A person could argue that that did this to "keep pinball alive" but there is more involved such as recognition of costs of manufacturing, developing sales and distribution plans, and reaching a point to determine exactly the direction of pinball and how it could compete against other forms of digital entertainment.

    If an individual conducts an actual detailed analysis of pinball game titles made from 1988-1999, the games made by BLY/WMS/GTB/AGC/DE/Sega are MORE COMPLEX in general with features, toys, and layouts comparative nearly every single Stern pinball machine made from 1999-2017. It is like the argument that the present Stern SW has more features than DE SW (AKA Stern) as this is another poor comparison. This is of course, unless a person is comparing exclusive games made prior to 1988 and especially before 1985.

    The only significant beneficial difference with Stern was the ability to expand rulesets with board set memory changes in technology.
    LCD screens are not "more complex" either over DMDs (except integration of coding), and in some cases actually EASIER if a company "cuts and pastes" film clips instead of creating original dot matrix artwork.

    Best of Fortune.

    #154 3 years ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    It is quite disappointing to see some enthusiasts continue to actively deny any types of problems even exists as "it has not happened to them"

    Even more disappointing is the consistent whining and complaining from Pinsiders who aren't experiencing issues firsthand.
    We have ZERO idea at how many real issues are making their way out of the Stern factory. NO CLUE as to the defect rate, whatsoever.
    What we DO have, is yet another defamatory thread, created by someone who doesn't own a Stern machine, is not presently experiencing an issue with Stern, just continuing to stir up useless drama and fan the Pinside flames.

    When multiple Pinsiders start making posts of their non-functioning machines, without support from Stern, I'll be concerned.
    When multiple threads and photos appear from various end-users, with evidence of defective machines. NOT when the rest of you guys shout "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" NOT when a bad batch of playfields or cabinets gets out and is replaced by Stern.
    That sucks, but it is something that I consider acceptable. So long as the defects are corrected and/or replaced, that's good enough for me. Why? Because it means that the machine I purchased will continue to operate as it should.

    Stern has recently upped their game with cabinet reinforcement, bevelled edges at the ball drain area, and a better playfield lift system.
    Those things are important to me because it shows that they recognize previous issues, and have made changes to address them.

    An important consideration in my opinion is the number of issues that remain unresolved. Stern replaced Ghostbuster playfields that were poorly manufactured. Recently on Pinside we saw someone who has received a replacement cabinet. When he replied, saying that he was not comfortable completing the playfield swap on his own, they agreed to provide a tech to do the work for him.
    Those are the things I can confirm. Those are the things that show me that Stern does care about consumers.

    So what determines whether I continue to support Stern is simply this: If my pin(s) work as designed.
    To date, I've purchased over 12 NIB Stern machines, and have been happy with their performance.

    Please: if someone is going to throw stones, can you start by stating how many NIB Sterns you've bought, how many had issues, and if those issues were resolved/unresolved? That information is far more valuable then anyone telling us how pins were built like a tank "when pinball was REALLY pinball".

    Something that WOULD be concerning to me, is how Stern is addressing the ghosting on some of the StarWars Pro machines.
    I believe they have replaced one if I'm not mistaken. Has anyone been told to pound sand?

    #155 3 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    Even more disappointing is the consistent whining and complaining from Pinsiders who aren't experiencing issues firsthand.
    We have ZERO idea at how many real issues are making their way out of the Stern factory. NO CLUE as to the defect rate, whatsoever.
    What we DO have, is yet another defamatory thread, created by someone who doesn't own a Stern machine, is not presently experiencing an issue with Stern, just continuing to stir up useless drama and fan the Pinside flames.
    When multiple Pinsiders start making posts of their non-functioning machines, without support from Stern, I'll be concerned.
    When multiple threads and photos appear from various end-users, with evidence of defective machines. NOT when the rest of you guys shout "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" NOT when a bad batch of playfields or cabinets gets out and is replaced by Stern.
    That sucks, but it is something that I consider acceptable. So long as the defects are corrected and/or replaced, that's good enough for me. Why? Because it means that the machine I purchased will continue to operate as it should.
    Stern has recently upped their game with cabinet reinforcement, bevelled edges at the ball drain area, and a better playfield lift system.
    Those things are important to me because it shows that they recognize previous issues, and have made changes to address them.
    An important consideration in my opinion is the number of issues that remain unresolved. Stern replaced Ghostbuster playfields that were poorly manufactured. Recently on Pinside we saw someone who has received a replacement cabinet. When he replied, saying that he was not comfortable completing the playfield swap on his own, they agreed to provide a tech to do the work for him.
    Those are the things I can confirm. Those are the things that show me that Stern does care about consumers.
    So what determines whether I continue to support Stern is simply this: If my pin(s) work as designed.
    To date, I've purchased over 12 NIB Stern machines, and have been happy with their performance.
    Please: if someone is going to throw stones, can you start by stating how many NIB Sterns you've bought, how many had issues, and if those issues were resolved/unresolved? That information is far more valuable then anyone telling us how pins were built like a tank "when pinball was REALLY pinball".
    Something that WOULD be concerning to me, is how Stern is addressing the ghosting on some of the StarWars Pro machines.
    I believe they have replaced one if I'm not mistaken. Has anyone been told to pound sand?

    You don't need to buy NIB Sterns to have an opinion. Any prospective buyer has that right. Not a tough concept to grasp. There IS an issue. Bury your head in the sand all you want.

    And before you start with YOUR nonsense and non-objective views. Yes, I have bought a NIB Stern. I hope I qualify enough to have an opinion.

    I had a terrible experience when my $8000 METLE shooter lane started cracking and the wood splintering. After 500 plays. The wood was literally splitting in the shooter lane. They refused to replace the playfield and instead took 6 months to send me a stupid little bottle of clear. They said they'd send me a pro translite signed by the team to make it right. They never did. I have the emails with Patrick to backup everything I'm saying. But, you're right, there's no issue.

    #156 3 years ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    Another bit of pinball history.
    If a person wants to be free of pragmatism, there should be additional research.
    "More has been lost than has been gained."
    When Stern reestablished their company for production of pinball machines in 1999, the stated goal and company prerogative was to make games that were LESS COMPLEX and COST EFFECTIVE for the pinball market both for operators and private owners. The primary touting was to make pinball easier to service from the "complexities of pinball past". This mindset was rarely changed until after 2011, mostly regarding MSRP, not necessarily features. Feature reduction started around 2008, very slightly at first. A person could argue that that did this to "keep pinball alive" but there is more involved such as recognition of costs of manufacturing, developing sales and distribution plans, and reaching a point to determine exactly the direction of pinball and how it could compete against other forms of digital entertainment.
    If an individual conducts an actual detailed analysis of pinball game titles made from 1988-1999, the games made by BLY/WMS/GTB/AGC/DE/Sega are MORE COMPLEX in general with features, toys, and layouts comparative nearly every single Stern pinball machine made from 1999-2017. It is like the argument that the present Stern SW has more features than DE SW (AKA Stern) as this is another poor comparison. This is of course, unless a person is comparing exclusive games made prior to 1988 and especially before 1985.
    The only significant beneficial difference with Stern was the ability to expand rulesets with board set memory changes in technology.
    LCD screens are not "more complex" either over DMDs (except integration of coding), and in some cases actually EASIER if a company "cuts and pastes" film clips instead of creating original dot matrix artwork.
    Best of Fortune.

    Oh, sorry. I was posting that as a side-bar discussion with that poster, not in regards to the current QC discussion, so it was actually off-topic.

    I was speaking in favor of pragmatism, but from the more basic level of "play pinball or don't play pinball." From a pragmatic approach, you play pinball to pass idle time when idle time exists outside of your direct control. An example is that as a child, I played video games when I had to be indoors and didn't have another activity to do. What is not pragmatic is to play pinball when there are other more beneficial tasks to complete. In another example, I bought a pinball machine for very much the same reasons as I played video games as a kid, which is that the pinball machine is there for when my housework, handywork, etc. is completed indoors and its not feasible to spend time outdoors, or when I simply need a short recreational break to clear my head; however, the machine is not there to waste my days away when I could be living life.

    From this mindset, complex games (not the QC/build aspect, but the gameplay aspects) are not "complex" and more fun, but rather they are "complicated" and not fun. Stern games also (not the OLD ones, those are fun) also all feel like playing virtually the same exact game, so there's no sense of variety of having more than one, because I am focused on the direct physical gameplay and not the rule sets which are often the only indication other than art of there being a different game at all. There is also the stop-and-go prevalence on the games that really just feels like a constant interruption of me having fun.

    Like I said at the beginning, though, this is completed a side-bar not related directly to the topic at hand, which is quality.

    #157 3 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    ok, i have not read all 3 pages
    playfields, this is not a new invention, they have been made for decades
    the printing should be perfect, the clearcoat should be perfect
    that these are issues today means that cost cutting has gone too far
    Stern needs to get this basic and vital part right

    I agree, since they have been producing pins for 25 years I'm sure they are capable of getting it right and figuring it out.

    This is where I insert the bigger picture argument again, yes JJP is having PF CC issues, the king of quality. Every thread seems to be about how to protect their games

    How much impact does the distro have? I'd be upset too if I got a Met Le like Minus

    We all know shooter lane perfection is big on the secondary market

    #158 3 years ago

    It is asinine for anyone, operator or not, to suggest Stern isn't making arcade or commercial quality pins.

    Hell, Stern still thinks thinks that's the majority of their business.

    #159 3 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    What we DO have, is yet another defamatory thread, created by someone who doesn't own a Stern machine, is not presently experiencing an issue with Stern, just continuing to stir up useless drama and fan the Pinside flames.

    You are right, I am not currently experiencing problems with stern. As I got rid of all my stern pins for the main reason they were all bad. But I want to possibly get one for myself or route some with friends. However...
    XMen LE, ST pro,IMVE, Met pro and GB. Potc I owned.
    And I had cosmetic and failure issues with all of them. But I am wondering why?. I haven't had an issue with any of the other pins I have owned cosmetically.
    Just NIB Stern's. And all the other pins I have owned have been on route sometime in their life. With the exception of my MMR.
    And I'm not trying to stir up drama. I want to know exactly why by a design / engineering standpoint these pins playfields and cabinets are cosmetically inferior.
    But so far no one has really been able to give a definitive answer.
    Other than just being made cheaper. But with all the other cost cutting and price increase couldn't/ shouldn't the playfield and cabinet be done the same quality?

    #160 3 years ago

    If you are going to pinch a penny you are going to pinch ALL the pennies.

    #161 3 years ago
    Quoted from Travish:

    If you are going to pinch a penny you are going to pinch ALL the pennies.

    Basically; if someone can even anecdotally give me an example of Stern making a change that actually save's its customers money, that would be shocking.

    The changes I can think of are to save them cash, or to put in fixes where their new cost saving method was causing enough costly defects that a course correction was needed.

    Arguably some of the recent changes have been to "improve the pinball experience", but the recent boardset changes again seem to primarily be motivated by cost savings, rather than the end user experience.

    #162 3 years ago

    I took some playfield pics at 800 plays and 2 weeks. Looks fine to me so far.

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    #163 3 years ago

    Your Death Star has a crack in it.

    #164 3 years ago

    Looks like soft wood and clearcoat with orange peel finish to me.

    Cuz my TOTAN has 13,000+ plays and not one dimple in the playfield.

    And my MMR has 2000+ and 0 as well. And is smooth as glass.

    I want to know what Stern is doing differently. I got rid of my stern pins for this very reason.
    That and peeling cabinet decals. Lack of code and a few failing boards. It has never been normal until Stern convinced owners it was. Unless the 40 other pins I have owned that were routed were the lucky ones.
    The only thing I do know is the old sega/ stern south park I owned never had this issue.

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    #165 3 years ago
    Quoted from gunstarhero:

    Your Death Star has a crack in it.

    I noticed that and can't get it to close up

    -1
    #166 3 years ago

    Erek, no offense, man, but it seems like the majority of this thread is you and a few others engaging in a debate with others who don't actually comprehend the concept of quality.

    #167 3 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    Cuz my TOTAN has 13,000+ plays and not one dimple in the playfield.

    But it has ghosting.

    Not one dimple after 13k plays It has so many its flattened out. You can't be serious.

    #168 3 years ago

    I went with a friend to pick up a f14 and the guy had a met. It was the first time I had ever seen dimpling like that. Older sterns don't look like that. Something HAS changed.

    #169 3 years ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    I took some playfield pics at 800 plays and 2 weeks. Looks fine to me so far.

    Looks fine, keep having fun with your pin and don't freak out, life is too short. 800 plays in 2 weeks is a good way to break it in.

    #170 3 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    But it has ghosting.

    Really? Actually it is the plastic under the inserts is warped a tiny bit from the heat of the original incandescent bulbs. But not chipped / lifting clearcoat on the edges of them.

    So I would not consider that ghosting.

    #171 3 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    Really? Actually it is the plastic under the inserts is warped a tiny bit from the heat of the original incandescent bulbs. But not chipped / lifting clearcoat on the edges of them.
    So I would not consider that ghosting.

    I haven't seen your Totan so I'm kidding, you do know Totan and CV are famous for ghosting issues right?

    #172 3 years ago
    Quoted from Travish:

    I went with a friend to pick up a f14 and the guy had a met. It was the first time I had ever seen dimpling like that. Older sterns don't look like that. Something HAS changed.

    It is weird. My BM66LE and ASLE look like my LOTRLE pf, gorgeous, on the other hand my GBLE pf is dimpled big time, yet i had a blast playing it last night!

    It's certainly inconsistent right now.

    #173 3 years ago
    Quoted from MinusWorlds:

    I would never buy a BMSLE. Anyone who didn't see that cash grab has worse eyesight than Mr. Magoo. That's the prime example of Sterns new philosophy. Clip art, LCD screen, reused toys, incomplete code, $15k price tag.

    and the buyer had to send a video explaining why they should be sold an sle,
    how fkng embarassing.
    on top of that they have to beg for code updates after spending 15000 dollars!!

    #174 3 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    But it has ghosting.
    Not one dimple after 13k plays It has so many its flattened out. You can't be serious.

    You can't be serious with this mode of thinking. Well if that was the case wouldn't you be able to see the difference when the playfield was stripped while shopping it out?

    Because it looks like one solid sheet even when removing the slingshots. With no deviation in the playfield. And wouldn't the spots where the ball drops from the wireforms be dimpled? Or worse?

    The only spots that have a bit of wear are where the spikes shoot up. And the kick out hole and the magnets.
    But they are still in far better condition than my IMVE, GB and Met magnets and playfield that had roughly 700 plays on them. When I got rid of them.

    And how can infront of sparky on met. Look like the moon. But the trolls on MMR with more than twice as many plays on it not have a dent?

    #175 3 years ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    and the buyer had to send a video explaining why they should be sold an sle,
    how fkng embarassing.
    on top of that they have to beg for code updates after spending 15000 dollars!!

    The code update issue really is pitiful for the 25th anniversary pin, any pin for that matter, very frustrating, however, it will be great when done.

    #176 3 years ago

    A picture says a thousand words...?

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    #177 3 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    You can't be serious with this mode of thinking. Well if that was the case wouldn't you be able to see the difference when the playfield was stripped while shopping it out?

    So you are saying you have a perfect pf after 13k plays, not a dimple on it? That's a miracle!

    #178 3 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I agree, since they have been producing pins for 25 years I'm sure they are capable of getting it right and figuring it out.
    This is where I insert the bigger picture argument again, yes JJP is having PF CC issues, the king of quality. Every thread seems to be about how to protect their games
    How much impact does the distro have? I'd be upset too if I got a Met Le like Minus
    We all know shooter lane perfection is big on the secondary market

    Jjp playfields are fine imo and very nice i must add.... there is one hole on di that can chip which is no different than my afm, mb, mm, tz, wcs, met, ss or any other pin ive owned. They all will chip at a sharp edge eventually without protection ....some sooner than others depending on the hole design and the beating it takes.

    #179 3 years ago
    Quoted from bigd1979:

    They all will chip at a sharp edge eventually without protection ....some sooner than others depending on the hole design and the beating it takes.

    Exactly, they all chip and have issues BigD. Stern is tapering the edges now which lessens the impact/damage.

    #180 3 years ago

    Finally got some time on Star Wars. Holy shiiiit. I absolutely love that loop. But my wife buried me on a 105m to 30m game...can somebody help me change this band aid?

    #181 3 years ago

    I believe this is the finest SW that has been birthed. Shots seemed like they were designed with a total noob in mind and hitting that loop is some FT freckin fun.

    #182 3 years ago

    I bougt 2 Sterns NIB, ACDC and Met. Both are very fun but both had problems straight out of the box:
    MET:
    - snake needed extensive repairs to get mechanism to work correctly
    - left lane was so narrow that the ball actully got stuck in it.
    ACDC:
    - cannon was way too low so that ball got stuck under it.

    Got a Dialed-In NIB, zero issues.

    To each its own, but I am done with Stern. CG and JJP put out better quality for the money.

    #183 3 years ago

    2 NIB Sterns. One bad node 8 board on GOT. That's it. Everything else has been perfect.

    On the other hand, 2 years of bad light boards on WOZ, which was finally fixed.

    JJP cleaned up their problems. I have no doubt Stern will as well (like the corner brackets they've added to their cabinets, for instance).

    EDIT: I would still gladly buy from both companies, btw...I'm just not happy with Stern's pricing versus what you actually get...

    #184 3 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    You can't be serious with this mode of thinking. Well if that was the case wouldn't you be able to see the difference when the playfield was stripped while shopping it out?
    Because it looks like one solid sheet even when removing the slingshots. With no deviation in the playfield. And wouldn't the spots where the ball drops from the wireforms be dimpled? Or worse?
    The only spots that have a bit of wear are where the spikes shoot up. And the kick out hole and the magnets.
    But they are still in far better condition than my IMVE, GB and Met magnets and playfield that had roughly 700 plays on them. When I got rid of them.
    And how can infront of sparky on met. Look like the moon. But the trolls on MMR with more than twice as many plays on it not have a dent?

    Metal is harder than wood. We’ve been over this many times over the years.

    #185 3 years ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    Metal is harder than wood. We’ve been over this many times over the years.

    True. But why it it so much more evident on Stern pins built in the last few years?

    #186 3 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    You are right, I am not currently experiencing problems with stern. As I got rid of all my stern pins for the main reason they were all bad. But I want to possibly get one for myself or route some with friends. However...
    XMen LE, ST pro,IMVE, Met pro and GB. Potc I owned.
    And I had cosmetic and failure issues with all of them. But I am wondering why?. I haven't had an issue with any of the other pins I have owned cosmetically.
    Just NIB Stern's. And all the other pins I have owned have been on route sometime in their life. With the exception of my MMR.
    And I'm not trying to stir up drama. I want to know exactly why by a design / engineering standpoint these pins playfields and cabinets are cosmetically inferior.
    But so far no one has really been able to give a definitive answer.
    Other than just being made cheaper. But with all the other cost cutting and price increase couldn't/ shouldn't the playfield and cabinet be done the same quality?

    Why would you consider buying another Stern pin then? Just buy an older game & route it instead.

    #187 3 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    Exactly, they all chip and have issues BigD. Stern is tapering the edges now which lessens the impact/damage.

    Agreed ...take that protector off the afmr sol hole and watch the fun begin lol

    #188 3 years ago
    Quoted from Sinestro:

    It is asinine for anyone, operator or not, to suggest Stern isn't making arcade or commercial quality pins.
    Hell, Stern still thinks thinks that's the majority of their business.

    More education.

    The Stern advisory council redirected the company to shift priorities to the home buyers in 2008.
    The balance severely tipped away from operators to home owners in 2012-2013.
    This is not conjecture as otherwise the market of "boutique" manufacturers would never have been born or any measure of the creation of things like "super amazing collector limited editions".

    Much of propaganda was generated at various trade shows by the public marketing department to provide the direct illusion of a continued equality to operators. This still is an attempt to preclude and promote, "perception is reality" concept. This is not a conspiracy theory.

    Nobody at Stern believes operators are the primary present audience anymore or they are making the games for an operator market.
    Operators even know this for themselves.

    This has nothing to do with customer service aspects of the company themselves, but simply the targeted audience for sales.

    Many times now pricing of even their pro models is superseding any viability for use for profit for commercial use regardless of the quality. Stern priced operators out of the market by their own choice in order to maximize profits. It is has become untenable again for many operators to consider pinball as a viable coin operated device for routes other than large volume play regions such as Chicago, New York, Seattle, Portland, Austin, Las Vegas, and certain specific regions of California such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    If people want to make continued defenses in Stern's favor, please do more research.
    There is so much misinformation.
    People will continue believe whatever they wish until they experience issues themselves, then opinions will change.

    Good fortune.

    #189 3 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    True. But why it it so much more evident on Stern pins built in the last few years?

    It’s not. My MMR dimples. My TOTAN doesn’t dimple much now because it was played a ton and flattened out and then clearcoated over an already compressed PF. My AFMr is dumpling. My Stern Star Trek dimpled and now looks level since it has been played so much.

    Metal is harder than wood.

    #190 3 years ago
    Quoted from Yoski:

    I bougt 2 Sterns NIB, ACDC and Met. Both are very fun but both had problems straight out of the box:
    MET:
    - snake needed extensive repairs to get mechanism to work correctly
    - left lane was so narrow that the ball actully got stuck in it.
    ACDC:
    - cannon was way too low so that ball got stuck under it.
    Got a Dialed-In NIB, zero issues.
    To each its own, but I am done with Stern. CG and JJP put out better quality for the money.

    What's CG? I don't know the acronym. Thanks.

    #191 3 years ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    It’s not. My MMR dimples. My TOTAN doesn’t dimple much now because it was played a ton and flattened out and then clearcoated over an already compressed PF. My AFMr is dumpling. My Stern Star Trek dimpled and now looks level since it has been played so much.
    Metal is harder than wood.

    Don't believe that hype...the wood is softer now.

    #192 3 years ago

    All of the counter-arguments on this thread are people denying the existence of "quality" as something existent. It's really weird.

    #193 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jeremy8419:

    What's CG? I don't know the acronym. Thanks.

    Chicago gaming.

    #194 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jeremy8419:

    What's CG? I don't know the acronym. Thanks.

    Normally stated, CGC, Chicago Gaming Company, not always truncuated to CG.

    #195 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jeremy8419:

    All of the counter-arguments on this thread are people denying the existence of "quality" as something existent. It's really weird.

    No. They're saying that the machines that they own/have owned, have worked as intended, without issues.

    #196 3 years ago
    Quoted from kvan99:

    Don't believe that hype...the wood is softer now.

    Evidence to backup that claim? Not trying to be contentious, but I’d love to know what sources of truth exist out there now.

    Marc

    #197 3 years ago
    Quoted from kvan99:

    Don't believe that hype...the wood is softer now.

    Although this may be a jest.

    This is not accurate other than changes in some of the drying process of the wood prior to CNC cutting and screening due to more rapid playfield time production.
    The age of the wood is roughly the same.
    The thickness and composition is the same.
    Moisture content does change over time on pinball playfields, and clear coats do continue to harden over time, to a point, but it does not make them invulnerable to dimpling.
    In fact, if playfields dry too much that begins the degradation of surface with microcracks in the subdermal layer below the clear (or lacquer) resulting in "planking". Too much moisture causes swelling and can result in the same phenomena. If a clear is applied too thickly this will also chip and crack as well due to the same circumstances.
    However, a game that is well maintained and protected is more likely to chip as a result of ball wear and game usage through its lifetime.

    The primary reason dimples are more noticeable presently is not due entirely due to fact they are "new" games, but the clear coat formula and higher thicknesses being used. Most games in the 1990s were remarkably thin.
    "Thicker clear coats" was at the request of private owners, not operators after 2010.
    As a result, this is what owners received.
    Most of these aspects have been discussed repeatedly in other forums and threads.

    All playfields dimple as they are made of wood, just some game playfields dimple more in specific areas based on design layout and ball drop zones. Those that state that playfields do not dimple remain in a separate state of denial and lack of education.

    This is a much more detailed explanation of why than "metal is harder than wood", which really does not tell an owner much at all.

    #198 3 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    No. They're saying that the machines that they own/have owned, have worked as intended, without issues.

    That's not quality. It's actually a dismissal of the existence of the concept of quality. Which is super weird.

    #199 3 years ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    Although this may be a jest.
    This is not accurate other than changes in some of the drying process of the wood prior to CNC cutting and screening due to more rapid playfield time production.
    The age of the wood is roughly the same.
    The thickness and composition is the same.
    Moisture content does change over time on pinball playfields, and clear coats do continue to harden over time, to a point, but it does not make them invulnerable to dimpling.
    In fact, if playfields dry too much that begins the degradation of surface with microcracks in the subdermal layer below the clear (or lacquer) resulting in "planking". Too much moisture causes swelling and can result in the same phenomena. If a clear is applied too thickly this will also chip and crack as well due to the same circumstances.
    However, a game that is well maintained and protected is more likely to chip as a result of ball wear and game usage through its lifetime.
    The primary reason dimples are more noticeable presently is not due entirely due to fact they are "new" games, but the clear coat formula and higher thicknesses being used. Most games in the 1990s were remarkably thin.
    Most of these aspects have been discussed repeatedly in other forums and threads.
    All playfields dimple as they are made of wood, just some game playfields dimple more in specific areas based on design layout and ball drop zones. Those that state that playfields do not dimple remain in a separate state of denial and lack of education.
    This is a much more detailed explanation of why than "metal is harder than wood", which really does not tell an owner much at all.

    Yes, but it comes down to the quality of the plywood. Specially the top layer, where was the wood sourced from, density, moisture level, curing period etc. etc. I've read JJP uses 10 layers and Stern 7 but I don't think it makes much difference in the dimpling. The dimpling will obviously be more noticeable in softer wood. I guess we can keep on guessing till we're blue in the face but I trust my eyes more than anything. I have old Williams and newer Stern, the Stern games are more prone to dimpling.
    Quote about plywood curing and drying:
    Moisture content (MC) is one of the most important factors that can affect many physical and mechanical properties of wood and veneers. MC strongly affects the final strength and durability of joints, development of surface checks in the wood and dimensional stability of the bonded assembly

    #200 3 years ago
    Quoted from kvan99:

    Yes, but it comes down to the quality of the plywood. Specially the top layer, where was the wood sourced from, density, moisture level, curing period etc. etc. I've read JJP uses 10 layers and Stern 7 but I don't think it makes much difference in the dimpling. The dimpling will obviously be more noticeable in softer wood. I guess we can keep on guessing till we're blue in the face but I trust my eyes more than anything. I have old Williams and newer Stern, the Stern games are more prone to dimpling.

    That's because they are factually lower quality. The remaining arguments are simply individuals arguing in favor of gambling over the factual existence of probability, despite the fact that quality is a precursor to probability.

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