(Topic ID: 237052)

Stern Design Quality

By jwilson

7 months ago

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  • 94 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Gumby510
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


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#8 7 months ago

Because Stern. They need to stay in business (who can blame them for that right?) But they just keep lowering the bar... it's the LEs I don't get. Big $$ and you Get The same Crap parts.

The frustrating thing is the games are Quite good, but the build quality sucks so bad I can't wait to get them out of my house. The games They Were building in the early 2000s were the pinnacle

#14 7 months ago
Quoted from snaroff:

It really is a shame.
Still have my 2004 LOTR and it's been flawless after many thousands of games (only replaced the Gimli switch after the first month of ownership). Considering the demise of pinball back in the late 90's, you'd think Stern would have learned cost of ownership/maintenance is critical to their longevity. Sure, public pinball is back in many cities, however nothing lasts forever. Lowering the cost of ownership is goodness for everyone. The Spike games are just so cheaply built...cheap node boards that fail often, cheap power supplies, cheap/noisy fans. I respect that Stern is in the biz to make money, but given they are the only volume producer, I believe it's possible to build higher quality games and still make a healthy profit.
I've been a loyal customer since 2004, but I have to admit, I'm close to throwing in the towel.

I’m wondering if there’s just something we are missing as far as their business plan. They are cranking out TONS of games, and it seems to me maybe even more per year recently (that may be me just paying more attention). Maybe they’re betting on volume and NIB buyers trading the games out after a short window, then on to the next one. That would seem kinda risky to me - but who knows, maybe the numbers add up.

#39 7 months ago
Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

Buy a cheap flux core wire feed welder(MIG) and practice. You will run into parts where putting holes in them isnt feasable or makes the mech even weaker. Its the best and fastest way to fix these small parts

Does this work for wireforms? I have one broken weld on a return form that is obscured from player view, so it's not worth sending out to be spot welded, but I wouldn't mind trying out a MIG weld. Right now I've got it tied off with a low profile hard wire wrap - which is working perfectly, but I'd rather have it done right

#49 7 months ago

As an occasional Stern owner, the thing I am most concerned with it the availability of parts. There are tons of B/W parts on 10 different sites, with Major inventories - all because there are TONS of games out there still running, all using roughly the same parts. Stern has much lower production runs, and it would seem to me (I have no info on this one way or the other) that there would be less parts available as a result.

Add to that the dramatic changes in design from Whitestar to SAM to Spike and Spike 2, and the quantities are even lower for
Those specific boards. B/W had different sets of boards too, but fewer major changes between runs, and again the higher inventory.

This isn’t really Stern’s fault - they are running what the market demands, and their changes have reasonable business sense behind them, but as an owner, this is what always comes to mind first.

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