Not to be blasphemous, but does anyone have experience with a Virtuapin cab? Seems to be a high quality custom cab with great support but very expensive. The cab is about $1K, and the whole package is around $6K. The quality and support seem great, and it seems like the most cost-effective way to play every pin available. Maybe an augmentation to a collection?
Besides the fact that nothing can duplicate a true pinball machine, any thoughts or personal experience with this machine?
You are right about nothing able to duplicate a real pinball machine and if you think this is a substitute for it then it is not going to be for you. However if you have the space and money to invest in it I think you will find lots of enjoyment with one in your existing pin line up.
I stumbled across virtual pinball because I was very much into emulation since my days in university back in '97-98. I was researching into emulator front ends and came across a very slick looking one called Hyperspin. After doing research over on the forums I came across a neat PinMAME cab build by H4CKER and started reading into the Hyperpin section. Now when I first started reading and trying to set things up it was very frustrating and lots of people were posting pics of their final results but leaving out all the little details they had to do in order to setup the front end and Visual Pinball and PinMAME. That is why when I did my first build the first two pages I devoted to have a step by step with lots of pictures of how I got everything working properly.
I apologize in advance if the images no longer work as back in 2009 I was just using whatever free image hosting available and now I have a flickr account so makes posting images easier and ad free too! I created a more recent tutorial on getting pinmame up and running in a few minutes so people who were interested in buying a particular pin could try it out on their computer to get an idea of table flow, rules, sounds, animations etc.
I've been following Visual Pinball and Hyperpin scene for the past 4 years and built a few cabs for myself and friends. My most recent project was this portable pinmame I built for a friend of mine who set it up at his tattoo shop because he spends most of his day there. Then we exchanged a few messages about having another pinmame cab at home and then even joked saying he wish he could have one where ever he went. I told him if he was willing to budget up to $1200-1300 and trust my ideas and vision I could make a portable unit he would love, here it is:
Total cost for this was around $1300 and the process and hardware for building it isn't that different then building a full sized one. In the end I also made it double as a MAME unit as well with extra controls on the side since he does have a small bartop MAME cab he lugs around to parties or friend's homes so now he can get the best of both worlds. The only thing this portable unit is really lacking is force feedback (eg. solenoids, gear motors, shaker motor) and flashers for light shows that interact with the actual game rom.
There are tons of existing pinmame build threads over on the Hyperpin forums and 3-4 new ones pop up every week and the bar gets raised each time. I've been dragging my feet since last October and been working on my replacement pinmame cab using a P2K a donor cab here:
One of the main guys over on the Hyperpin forums that has really pushed the envelope is chriz and here is his second cab after he sold off his first. I'll warn you lots of information and kudos from other members for his contributions and efforts.
If you don't have time or patience to do research then paying Noah Fentz who runs virtupin and vpforums.org might be the turn key solution for you but there is a price for that. However I think in the long run it is to your benefit to learn the ins and out of your cab because new tables and technologies are being evolved in the virtual pinball world all the time.
Absolutely horrible. Couldn't wait to get rid of it. The technology isn't there yet.
Would love to see pics of your cab and what you had in it? What was so horrible about it if you don't mind me asking? The technology is there, you just need to be following up on it. The most recent development is actual integration of a real DMD in cabs.
Here is a video H4CKER post up of his Bride2k cab.