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(Topic ID: 134418)

Williams 1970s Knocker Question

By SilverBallKid

5 years ago

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  • 10 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by BrandyMB
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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#1 5 years ago

Hey EM types!

I have a question about my Williams Space Odyssey. Maybe this is nit picking, but...

I am a huge fan of the sound of a pinball machine knocker. I grew up, like many of you, chasing that sound around in arcades across metro Detroit. Last year I got my Space Odyssey and I have pretty much fixed it up with one exception - the knocker. It just sounds, well, bad. Not loud. No real THUMP when a match happens. I replaced the coil sleeve, plunger and grommet with parts from Steve at Pinball Resource. Still no real THUMP.

I want that THUMP.

I guess at this point I have two questions:

1. Is it just that the old Williams EMs had inferior knocker units and what I'm getting is the best it will get. If so, I suppose I can live with that.

2. If that is not the case, what would you guys recommend? Should I just swap out the entire knocker and if so, with what from where?

Again, I know this might sound waaaaay too nit picky to some, but I love that sound and I want to hear it in my home.

Thanks as always.


#2 5 years ago

The knocker is activated by a switch on the back side of the credit unit. Clean and adjust that switch.

#3 5 years ago

Thanks, I will be sure to check on that!

Just to be clear: when I get a match, the knocker always fires and makes a sound. It just doesn't make a sound anything like I expect it to. Would a poorly adjusted switch affect that?

#4 5 years ago

Yes it's possible that a dirty or improperly gapped switch can cause a weak knocker. So can a dirty plunger/sleeve, wrong coil, mounted too close or too far from the cabinet, wrong plunger, missing strike plate, etc.

#5 5 years ago

I put a Gottlieb knocker from Steve Young in my Williams Ding Dong, it was missing when I got the game. It's the loudest knocker I've ever heard. Sounds like a .45 automatic going off.

#6 5 years ago

I have a friend with a Bally Supersonic. I cringe when I know the knocker is coming. It scares the hell out of me every time. It probably doesn't help the game is in a cinder block room with no carpeting.

#7 5 years ago

Williams had a flat out wimpy knocker. The "doink" of plunger against bracket just doesn't cut it.

They did make a dandy captive ball kicker that sounds like KC's .45 when you point it at a plate on the cabinet side.


WMS used the same sort of kicker in lots of games to the end of production. You might need to clip a diode or just swap in your old coil.

#8 5 years ago

OK guys this is the kind of information I crave. Thanks for the comments and PLEASE keep 'em coming if you have anything to add. Personally, I put the sound of a good knocker up there with the sound of a hockey puck hitting the goalpost after a hard shot. Like this:

Once I had rebuilt my knocker, I was worried that Williams just had a wimpy knocker. Thanks BOS for the comment on Williams having inferior knockers. I am going to clean my switch now and see what I get.

Now, to what degree is it totally sacrilege if I take the Williams knocker out and replace it with a louder one? Thoughts?

#9 5 years ago

Do what makes you happy! Just hang on to the original knocker and sell with the game if you ever decide to go that route, then new owner can make it original or keep it knockin'!

#10 5 years ago

I have two Williams games, a Casanova from 1966 and a Liberty Bell from 1977. Both have great knockers. I haven't repaired either of them..

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