(Topic ID: 143614)

Upgrading Pinball Speakers - Basic Questions


By delt31

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by ovfdfireman
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 years ago

    Never thought about upgrading the speakers and then I received my GnR with upgraded pinball pro sound and it's a big difference. Thinking about upgrading my other pins sound but have a feeling pinballpro might be charging extra since it's called "pinball". For those that have upgraded, any tips here? Suggestions on getting more for your money? Also - how do you install? I'm looking for simple so if pinball pro has that to offer, I'll prob go with them.

    Thanks

    #2 4 years ago

    Simplicity would be the reason to go with Pinball Pro or their competitor, Flipper Fidelity. They've done all the research, provide you with the cables and brackets you need, etc. If you're willing to do the extra work, you can probably save some money. There are threads on Pinside that talk about rolling your own.

    #3 4 years ago

    I was wondering if there was a cost efficient way of replacing pinball speakers as well. I am not talking about subwoofers or Pro sound stuff, just a step up from the factory speakers that are in my machines at the moment. I am sure that the speakers that were originally installed were not of the highest quality. Has anyone replaced their speakers with an off the shelf brand or can recommend where to get some some that will be an improvement in sound? Sorry if I hijacked this thread.

    #4 4 years ago

    Things to remember:

    1. Those old crappy speakers were what the sound was tuned and equalized to when the game was made. People often install car stereo speakers and the sound is then very harsh and bright.

    2. Efficiency is EVERYTHING when it comes to driving speakers with a little 4w amp. When people say their pin is too quiet after installing new speakers, that is often because the new ones are less efficient.

    A speaker that is 3db more efficient, will be TWICE as loud as one that is 3db less efficient.

    Speakers will give their efficiency usually with a rating like " 92db 1w/1m ". That means that the speaker will deliver 92db when driven by 1 watt of power, measured at a distance of 1 meter.

    The higher the db number, the more efficient the speaker is.

    Never buy a speaker that only says "85db" without giving you the wattage and distance. If they can't give you all the needed information, you can be sure it's a super crappy speaker.

    3. The Ohms ( little horseshoe symbol) is important on a speaker because a well designed amp will put out 2x the watts when you cut the Ohms in half. So a good amp that puts out 10 watts into 8Ω, will put out 20 watts into 4Ω.

    When people say their new speakers are too quiet, even though they are very efficient, they often bought 8Ω speakers to replace the original 4Ω; thus loosing half the watts in the process.

    4. Your largest gain volume vs. dollar on a pinball machine is getting an external sub. You can hook up a dozen games to a single subwoofer with a small line mixer.

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Things to remember:
    1. Those old crappy speakers were what the sound was tuned and equalized to when the game was made. People often install car stereo speakers and the sound is then very harsh and bright.
    2. Efficiency is EVERYTHING when it comes to driving speakers with a little 4w amp. When people say their pin is too quiet after installing new speakers, that is often because the new ones are less efficient.
    A speaker that is 3db more efficient, will be TWICE as loud as one that is 3db less efficient.
    Speakers will give their efficiency usually with a rating like " 92db 1w/1m ". That means that the speaker will deliver 92db when driven by 1 watt of power, measured at a distance of 1 meter.
    The higher the db number, the more efficient the speaker is.
    Never buy a speaker that only says "85db" without giving you the wattage and distance. If they can't give you all the needed information, you can be sure it's a super crappy speaker.
    3. The Ohms ( little horseshoe symbol) is important on a speaker because a well designed amp will put out 2x the watts when you cut the Ohms in half. So a good amp that puts out 10 watts into 8Ω, will put out 20 watts into 4Ω.
    When people say their new speakers are too quiet, even though they are very efficient, they often bought 8Ω speakers to replace the original 4Ω; thus loosing half the watts in the process.
    4. Your largest gain volume vs. dollar on a pinball machine is getting an external sub. You can hook up a dozen games to a single subwoofer with a small line mixer.

    Glad that you posted this. You just saved me a lot of money I would have spent on speakers that would not have given me an upgrade.

    #6 4 years ago

    I have a Bally 6803 game and was thinking of adding a new speaker. What kind of speaker would I look for? Would a sub be worthless for this style of game?

    #7 4 years ago

    Here is markmon's thread that help me understand DIY pinball speaker set-ups, lots of great info here:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-add-a-cheap-sub-under-40-that-sounds-awesome-to-your-wpc-game

    #9 4 years ago

    http://www.dziedzic.us/wpc_speaker_replacement.html

    I did my replacement on my DW using Tony's tutorial and it is spot on. I also routed out the bottom of the cab to push more air through.

    #10 4 years ago

    Is this just subwoofer only? Or are there speakers included too?

    #11 4 years ago

    Just the sub.

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from delt31:

    Is this just subwoofer only? Or are there speakers included too?

    Just the sub and its external which a lot of us think is lame.

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    I have a Bally 6803 game and was thinking of adding a new speaker. What kind of speaker would I look for? Would a sub be worthless for this style of game?

    Also what does pinsound or flipper fidelity do? I was under the impression that you use new sound files.

    #14 4 years ago

    External has it's pros and cons:

    Pros:

    WAY more boom! Probably 8x the impact of an internal.
    All your games can hook up to a single sub - saves money.
    No glass or backglass rattle and buzz.
    No clearance issues with Troll mechs like internal sub.
    No need to cut into cab to enlarge speaker hole.

    Cons:

    Wife will lose storage space under your pin.
    If you take game to an expo, you have to unhook sub wire.
    Your wife will see it and know you bought yet another piece of junk for your pins.

    #15 4 years ago

    How do you hook up multiple games to one sub using a small line mixer?

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from mcclad:

    How do you hook up multiple games to one sub using a small line mixer?

    A line mixer might be best thought of a combiner.

    It will take lets say 10 inputs and mix them down to a single output.

    So 10 pins could be plugged into inputs 1-10, then all of these will be combined into the single output of the mixer.

    Each input has a volume control, so you can make sure they are all balanced.

    Then just control the overall sub volume at the sub.

    #17 4 years ago

    OK Vid. Thanks for that answer.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    Just the sub and its external which a lot of us think is lame.

    I have only do the hole speaker up grade on my DE STER WARS . From Pinball Pro . The back box speaker they sent me sounded Thin . The 20+ factory ones sounded better. Used old factory speakers . The Internal was not bad . I only since have used External subs 100 watt or more from pawn shops . make sure you do not disconnect the cabinet speaker if you add a sub . You will lose midrange sound if you do. Wondering why Markmon you think external subs are lame ? I know you have had a lot of pins in your home . I may try a speaker up grade again . It was years ago that I tried pinball Pro maybe they have gotten better.

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    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from mcclad:

    How do you hook up multiple games to one sub using a small line mixer?

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/adding-a-powered-sub-the-right-way

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    They've done all the research

    That is pretty funny. They are just selling better drivers but not really addressing poor sound issues at all. Namely speakers are drivers in a specifically engineered enclosure. Be it it totally sealed or tuned port. Running any driver in open air in a JOKE really. To call it pro or Hi Fi all BS.

    Go to the library and grab a couple books on building speakers. Just making enclosures properly sized for the specific driver can make a huge difference. And may cost you next to nothing if you have the right materials.

    You notice these awesome subs! Enclosed.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    That is pretty funny. They are just selling better drivers but not really addressing poor sound issues at all. Namely speakers are drivers in a specifically engineered enclosure. Be it it totally sealed or tuned port. Running any driver in open air in a JOKE really. To call it pro or Hi Fi all BS.
    Go to the library and grab a couple books on building speakers. Just making enclosures properly sized for the specific driver can make a huge difference. And may cost you next to nothing if you have the right materials.
    You notice these awesome subs! Enclosed.

    Actually, running subs in an infinite baffle can produce some really nice sound. Typically, this causes the bass to resonate at a much lower frequency at the trade off of power and dbs. In this case, the amps are not that powerful (18 watts) and the speakers are able to handle it. Being that these speakers don't resonate that low anyway, they do quite well in a baffle and produce sounds they otherwise would not be able to.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    That is pretty funny. They are just selling better drivers but not really addressing poor sound issues at all. Namely speakers are drivers in a specifically engineered enclosure. Be it it totally sealed or tuned port. Running any driver in open air in a JOKE really. To call it pro or Hi Fi all BS.
    Go to the library and grab a couple books on building speakers. Just making enclosures properly sized for the specific driver can make a huge difference. And may cost you next to nothing if you have the right materials.
    You notice these awesome subs! Enclosed.

    What you are comparing to is a much higher wattage application. In this case of pinball the wattage is very low. The speakers function perfectly fine, especially because they are designed specifically for this application, efficiency and flexibility are all considerations when designing our speakers. This "open air" application is common in many industries, especially in marine subwoofers. "Open air" does not mean you can just lay the speaker on the table and play it. It still requires separation of the front and rear of the speaker. In this case the enclosed backbox, and the cabinet function as the enclosure.

    Your opening statement is correct, these are "just better drivers" designed to enhance the performance of the existing sound system by adding control, balance, and crossovers to filter sound. No a speaker replacement does not address increasing the quality of the soundboard. However yes we address poor sound quality, our friends at PINSOUND have created just this and they have been using Pinball Pro speakers since inception. So by all means if you want to increase the sound quality to the max, you will need both!

    In closing, as many have said, you can absolutely make your own. You will not find a speaker like ours because we have made them specifically for this application, using trial and error in design we are very happy with our speakers. I would add if you build your own kit with quality speakers and include everything you receive in a kit you are not likely to save much, especially if you count time. Or if you misjudge the correct speaker to buy and have to start over. But sometimes it just fun to experiment and do your own thing. Markmon is a good resource here, as well as Korn.

    There are many mods out there and you can build on your own, many prefer to eliminate the guess work and purchase a finished product. Either way is good, it's just pinball, as long as you have fun!

    For the record I am always trying/testing new things, and many times the results are less than desirable. I built an Ironman with new back box speakers and a new sub, put a high powered amp in. I was convinced it would be awesome.......I managed to work out most of the rattles, but bulbs were popping out, and shit was shaking loose. Was like a 72 Monte Carlo with subs in the trunk, it was just too much. It was tearing the game up, it was loud as hell, neighbors could hear the game, ultimately decided it was not worth it, but it sure was fun!

    Greg
    www.pinballpro.com

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