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Help - How to choose??

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rewt

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also do you want to spend more time playing or fixing? Older games tend to have niggling issues - one of the reasons at home most of my games are relatively new.
where are the best places to buy newer/new games?
 

Rob zombie

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where are the best places to buy newer/new games?
Pinball Heaven is the only place you should buy a new one. If you have 'no budget' and unlimited funds it's a no brainer, just buy a new machine. If you want to go retro there are remakes of stuff like Monster Bash, Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness etc
 

Neil McRae

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get an Stranger things, avengers infinity quest or Jurassic Park from pinball heaven and you'll be happy forever!
 

Rob zombie

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The idea has crossed my mind to hire a pin whilst I save up to buy one; are there any other places which hire for home use? Also, does anyone have any idea re; a good going rate to hire a pin?
It's unlikely that anyone will rent a machine to you without knowing you personally or being vouched for by an established long term member. I think the going rate during lockdown was £200 per month plus VAT and courier costs with a minimum 3 month period.
 

Jib

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I got a quote from https://www.jukebox45s.com/pinball-hire.html a while ago. They have a limited selection, nothing new I don’t think. Just had a look back on my emails, they quoted me £595 +vat for 2 months including delivery, collection and any repairs they were responsible for. I am fairly close to them and it was during a more strict part of lockdown so both those things probably made it cheaper as they had less events to hire to.

I didn’t end up renting from them so it’s not a recommendation, just something you could look at.
 

Slimetime

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You asked about noise levels and I don't believe none of us responded. They do have volume controls but even on the lowest setting they're still quite loud. Not an issue, I suspect, if you live in a detached house but I did wonder whether our neighbours could here us from our terraced house. They never complained though.
 

Jay Walker

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They do have volume controls but even on the lowest setting they're still quite loud.

And there's no masking the mechanical sounds, the worst offender being a 'shaker' motor, which also sets up vibration.

I was mindful of the time of day when playing my F-14 at home, a solidly built ground floor flat. Even so, upstairs and one along could hear it, even though I didn't have the volume set particularly loud.
 

Wayne J

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The mechanical noises are the main thing to consider if you're concerned about upsetting neighbours. According to my neighbour, they can be heard, but not loud enough to seriously irritate them. Or it may just be I have understanding neighbours.

Definitely don't place them against an adjoining wall.
 

Sgt GrizZ

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Shake a box of hammers by the adjoining wall for an hour - if the neighbours come round politely asking WTF is going on then maybe reconsider having a pinball machine. :D
I'm only slightly exaggerating .... my friend put a machine in his first floor flat. Lasted about 3 days before the guy downstairs said he would kill him if he didn't stop playing it :D He sold it to me rather than worrying about every day maybe being his last.
 
OP
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rewt

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Hull
You asked about noise levels and I don't believe none of us responded. They do have volume controls but even on the lowest setting they're still quite loud. Not an issue, I suspect, if you live in a detached house but I did wonder whether our neighbours could here us from our terraced house. They never complained though.
Thanks. I was more thinking ... if you hear 'pinball wizard', 'exterminate', ' da da da da, click click' (AF) etc repeatedly how annoying is it, but when I watched some on youtube I was disappointed to hear it's nowhere near as repetitive as I imagined. I worked in an arcade as a teen, and it was incredibly noisy - but obviously that was a large building full of many many machines plus all the coin drop/bandits/etc
 

VeeMonroe

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I don’t know if you’re still looking (this is an old thread), but I have in the last couple of months bought a ‘new’ pinball machine - having never played full-sized pinball machines growing up.

We didn’t have a fixed budget, but we were worried about being sold a turkey if we bought second hand from a private buyer, due to our inexperience. We didn’t know, at the time, whether it was going to get played enough to justify the cost either.

We eventually picked a Fish Tales as:

1. We’d played it (a lot) on the Williams app;
2. The Fish Tales we bought was cheap for 90s-era Williams pinball machines and cheap for retail (it was missing its fish topper, for starters), and thus felt ‘lower risk’ than something costing £5k plus (e.g. a new Stern or a TAF!);
3. It was regarded as a simple-to-maintain machine with very few moving parts;
4. We figured we could use our combined A-level electronics experience to fix the machine;
5. It has a family-friendly theme.

Fish Tales is from 1992 and about 60-80 on the Pinside Top 100. It’s well regarded, but not exceptionally covetable or exceptionally highly rated.

We absolutely LOVE this machine. It is seeing 10 plays a day at the moment, more on weekends, and has made my four-year-old son absolutely obsessed with pinball. The machine arrived with a few problems, e.g. the wrong-sized rubbers on the left slingshot, but we managed to fix this problem with some help from the FT owner’s club on Pinside. We’ve subsequently upgraded the machine with LEDs throughout and a ColorDMD screen, and I have a ‘monster fish’ mod still to fit.

I would try the Williams or Stern apps on Steam/iOS if you can’t get to a physical location to play pinball (try the Pinside Map for sites). Get a feel for the sort of tables and layouts that you enjoy. I, personally, enjoy tables with difficult shots where accuracy and timing are essential. FT is a notorious tournament machine where even world-class players can’t get the very high scores. This type of machine is NOT the recommendation to n00bs and it isn’t automatically served by newer, or more popular, machines (Twilight Zone and Deadpool are complete dogs, IMO).

DO NOT assume that older machines are worse, either in physical build quality or in playability - this simply isn’t the case. I have played several currently-in-production Sterns since getting Fish Tales (DeadPool, A:IQ, Stranger Things), and the only one that holds a candle to 90s-era machines, such as Medieval Madness, is Stranger Things (because it’s basically a copy of AFM/MM, but with lower production values and a child-unsuitable theme).

DO NOT assume that kids will like the newer Sterns either. My four-year-old son’s favourite machines are Medieval Madness, Cirqus Voltaire and Black Hole, in that order. Young kids do not understand the complex rulesets of the modern Sterns and the playfields aren’t visually attractive enough to make up for that. Having seen both older ’blinged out’ machines and Sterns, on location, it is possible to retrofit an older machine to look as good as a newer one and the high-definition LCD screens don’t add much to gameplay.

The newest Stern machines have components that are apparently not user-fixable. I am now considering a second machine and liked the idea of JP2 (I haven’t managed to play it on location), but am REALLY dissuaded by the idea of having to call someone out to fix it. So, you have any inclinations to be a ‘tinkerer’ (i.e. someone who fixes things) then older machines are better value-for-money IMO - both on purchase and in the longer term.

One final thing - I wouldn’t buy retail if I were you. I’d post in the Wanted section, with a couple of ideas for things you’d like, and see if anyone bites.

Hope that helps!
 
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