New Member looking to get out and play real machines!

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Lroy

Lroy

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Really looking forward to playing many of these tables again and trying plenty of others for the first time at the upcoming UK PinFest in Daventry.


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Lroy

Lroy

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Was wondering if anyone here was feeling charitable enough to share their wisdom and experience to offer me advice regarding buying my first pin.

I’m literally at the start of what I expect to be a long process, e.g. got the wife onboard and have agreed to start figuring out where we’re going to make room for it in the house and saving our pennies.

So unfortunately no, I don’t have pots of cash to throw about and also have genuine concerns of how to keep the machine in good working order once purchased.

So I guess my first queries are... what would be a realistic table for a total newcomer to buy? Of course I’d like a DMD era machine from perhaps Bally or Williams but appreciate on a limited budget beggars can’t be choosers. How much is a realistic price for a table in working order for a new owner to the hobby? 1k, 2k? Any recommend sellers to buy from?

And, just as important, how much would it cost to have fixed or serviced, generally speaking if the table developed a problem? I’m based in the Midlands, are there any pinball repair services near here which come recommended?

Expect it to be a number of months before I have the cash to pull the trigger but I’d like to begin turning this day dream into more of a reality by beginning to get my head around the logistics.

Thanks in advance for any help and assistance offered.



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JAG555

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My advice (for what it is worth), is to go for a lower end modern Stern.

They should be reliable and if you are not confident fixing older stuff, newer stuff (should!) be more straight forward.

Price wise, £2k ish should get you a nice modern Stern. It is highly unlikely you would get a DMD now for under £1,200, especially one that didn’t need work.

Just my 10 cents!

Good luck and nothing beats having a machine at home!
 
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Lroy

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@JAG555 Thank you for your time and response.

Yes, I had thought perhaps a ‘newer’ machine might be more reliable but I’d assumed the price would be beyond my means. However, I appreciate the point you raise about a 90s era DMD machine likely also needing money put into it, thus raising the time and cost investment.

Hmm, decisions, decisions. Good to get a ballpark figure though. So £1500 / £2000 is probably what I need to get put aside before making this dream a reality, lol!

What machines do you own? Always like to hear what tables people own and admire them jealously


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Wayne J

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Was wondering if anyone here was feeling charitable enough to share their wisdom and experience to offer me advice regarding buying my first pin.

I’m literally at the start of what I expect to be a long process, e.g. got the wife onboard and have agreed to start figuring out where we’re going to make room for it in the house and saving our pennies.

So unfortunately no, I don’t have pots of cash to throw about and also have genuine concerns of how to keep the machine in good working order once purchased.

So I guess my first queries are... what would be a realistic table for a total newcomer to buy? Of course I’d like a DMD era machine from perhaps Bally or Williams but appreciate on a limited budget beggars can’t be choosers. How much is a realistic price for a table in working order for a new owner to the hobby? 1k, 2k? Any recommend sellers to buy from?

And, just as important, how much would it cost to have fixed or serviced, generally speaking if the table developed a problem? I’m based in the Midlands, are there any pinball repair services near here which come recommended?

Expect it to be a number of months before I have the cash to pull the trigger but I’d like to begin turning this day dream into more of a reality by beginning to get my head around the logistics.

Thanks in advance for any help and assistance offered.



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The best thing to do is get along to a league meet.
The next one for the Midlands is Sunday 23rd June in Northampton, PM your email for all the details, and/or look at the website UKpinballLeague.co.uk

There is also Tilt in Birmingham, and Electric Circus/Fife St in Nuneaton which have a large range of machines to play for the public.

There is possibly the most knowledgeable and respected repair person in the UK based in the Midlands - @pinballmania

Take your time before jumping in and buying a machine, no matter how keen and eager you are.

Try and get along to the league meet, and bring your wife - you'll both be made to feel welcome and get to meet a fair few people near you who have their own machines at home. You will almost certainly get an invite to visit someone and discuss in more detail what you can be getting yourself into.
 
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JAG555

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@JAG555 Thank you for your time and response.

Yes, I had thought perhaps a ‘newer’ machine might be more reliable but I’d assumed the price would be beyond my means. However, I appreciate the point you raise about a 90s era DMD machine likely also needing money put into it, thus raising the time and cost investment.

Hmm, decisions, decisions. Good to get a ballpark figure though. So £1500 / £2000 is probably what I need to get put aside before making this dream a reality, lol!

What machines do you own? Always like to hear what tables people own and admire them jealously


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I have a Hobbit BA, Game of Thrones LE and a Big Buck Hunter (which is up for sale).

I started off with a Street Fighter II, which I paid £1,300 for (maybe a touch over priced). It was fine when I got it but then things needed doing on it and before you know it, I was spending more time fixing it than playing it. I compare it to people who own classic cars, some buy to tinker on and some buy to drive. For me, I want to drive.

Each to their own, but I want to play pinball, not work on them (except for the normal maintenance and fun mod jobs). That's when I decided to go modern and I am playing more.

I ve not been in the ownership hobby that long (maybe 2 years), but loved pinball for ages!

My advice is take your time, but also remember that you can sell it on fairly easily here, so freshness is easier than you first might think.

Good luck and as others have said, get out and play some more.
 
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Lroy

Lroy

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@Wayne J Thanks for the advice. My wife and I have been out to TILT in Birmingham and have actually got another visit planned in the next fortnight. We are also both attending PinFest at Daventry in August. Exciting!

Do intend to get up to Nuneaton and visit the new Electric Circus, but I have to wait for the opportunity to arise. The League Meets sound like a fantastic opportunity to meet others in the hobby and I’m sure their knowledge would be incredibly useful to me. But again, that isn’t something I can see me being able to commit to at present. So wouldn’t want to make plans and then let anyone down. Certainly, something I’ll keep in mind for the long-term though.

Also, very reassuring to hear there is a highly recommend pinball repair man in my neck of the woods. Peace of mind, once the big day comes for buying my first machine.


Cheers for your comments.




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Lroy

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@JAG555 Like the analogy with car owners. Agreed, I want to play rather then tinker - that’s for sure. Will put a more modern machine back on the table of possibilities.

Stern the way to go for that route then? Assume likes of Spooky Pinball and Jersey Jacks are too limited in supply and/or expensive?

Nice machines you own(ed). I’ve played the GoT table they have at TILT. Can’t recall now but think that might be a LE version too?


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JAG555

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@JAG555 Like the analogy with car owners. Agreed, I want to play rather then tinker - that’s for sure. Will put a more modern machine back on the table of possibilities.

Stern the way to go for that route then? Assume likes of Spooky Pinball and Jersey Jacks are too limited in supply and/or expensive?

Nice machines you own(ed). I’ve played the GoT table they have at TILT. Can’t recall now but think that might be a LE version too?


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Yeah, I think JJP and Spooky (when they come up) will be around 4.5k - £6k mark. I think Stern is the way to go.

Yeah, looking at your pictures it’s LE. Great machine!
 
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cloudburst

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My strong recommendation would be to play as many machines as you can and then buy the one you fall in love with - which can be for a multitude of reasons: gameplay, depth of rules, you identify with the theme, great artwork etc etc.

I'd also recommend some of the pinball museums which can have 50 or so tables. I've been to those in Krakow and Budapest and tend to go now every time I'me over there.

Initially I booked to go to the Krakow Pinball Museum because my partner owned a Kiss pinball machine many years ago and I was looking for something she'd like to do whilst we were on holiday. I expected to content myself with Galaxian and Asteroids. However, I played a few pinball tables before falling in love with Creature From The Black Lagoon.

When I got home I continued playing CFTBL on Pinball Arcade on my iPad and within weeks I had bought my own "Creech" from @Cryptkeeper. Best thing I ever did. It gets played every day in life. Maintenance isn't a burden - it's fun and started me on another hobby of building electronic circuit boards which led me to building my own bat detector, which led me to joining out local bat group here in Northern Ireland etc.....

I also bought a Virtual Pinball machine in a standard sized Bally Williams cabinet from @Pick Holder and it's great for learning the rules of many tables. Also great for working out which real tables you'd like to own. Another great buy.

I think most pinball players have a certain set of "favourite tables" based on their own tastes. I certainly do. My advice would be for you to develop that little short-list for yourself and then look to buy one of them. I wouldn't worry too much about buying, for example, an older Bally Williams table vs a new Stern as most parts are readily available. Just check that there are no unobtainable table-specific parts which are broken.

Good luck!

CB
 

Wayne J

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ve played the GoT table they have at TILT. Can’t recall now but think that might be a LE version too?
Definitely an LE as it used to be my machine.
No commitment needed for league meets, turn up if you can, if you can't no problems, it's not putting anybody out
 
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Lroy

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@Wayne J Oh it was your machine in past, sweet. Did you sell it to Pinball Heaven (think that’s the company who supply the games to TILT for rental) or does the manager/owner of TILT actually own some of the tables available there as well? I had assumed all the tables were rented but vaguely recall seeing JUNKYARD! Listed for sale on this site and it mentioned it was the one at TILT, presumably the one I played and photographed above?

Cool to hear the League Meets are casual drop-in, drop-out affairs. I’ll make it a little personal goal to attend one, one day.


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BigIan

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@Wayne J

Cool to hear the League Meets are casual drop-in, drop-out affairs. I’ll make it a little personal goal to attend one, one day.


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Just to add to the advice of attending a few league meets. League meets are a great way to get into pinball without spending much money, each meet has a different selection of tables for you to play and you get to chat to the owners of the machines and get advice on machines coming up for sale, common problems etc etc.

Don’t let your skill level (or lack off) put you off attending, nobody is really going to notice your skill level unless you are unbelievably good 🤠

What I always tell people is play a game and then the next time try and beat your score not someone else’s. You have no idea how many t8mes someone else has played that machine but you know how many times you have and hopefully you will get better the more you play it. While practising before the league games you will find people will happily give you advise and explain the rules of each table which helps you improve your skill.

Basically a league meet is just a really cheap day out playing someone’s collection and chatting with like minded nutters, they even usually feed you while you are there 😄
 
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@Biglan @Wayne J Okay, okay, fellas. You’ve convinced me. I’ll do my utmost to attend a league meet before the end of the year.


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Benleigh250

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Just to add to the advice of attending a few league meets. League meets are a great way to get into pinball without spending much money, each meet has a different selection of tables for you to play and you get to chat to the owners of the machines and get advice on machines coming up for sale, common problems etc etc.

Don’t let your skill level (or lack off) put you off attending, nobody is really going to notice your skill level unless you are unbelievably good

What I always tell people is play a game and then the next time try and beat your score not someone else’s. You have no idea how many t8mes someone else has played that machine but you know how many times you have and hopefully you will get better the more you play it. While practising before the league games you will find people will happily give you advise and explain the rules of each table which helps you improve your skill.

Basically a league meet is just a really cheap day out playing someone’s collection and chatting with like minded nutters, they even usually feed you while you are there
Really useful thanks! I play regularly at www.flipoutlondon.com which is a great place! For midlands based try fife street in Nuneaton.

When i play in the weekly league I all too often get hung up on doing better than others rather than my own scores!

Incidentally I scored over 600.000.000 on golden eye when I last played it on open play! Next target 1 billion which is easily obtainable on AFM .




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Lroy

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I certainly won’t be concerned with comparing my scores to others. I’m totally new to real pinball machines and as such, just enjoy the rare opportunity to play them for fun. In time, I can see the motivation to continue to track and try to beat your own score but don’t expect to have the skill to compete with others at all


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Lroy

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Managed to play a few more ‘new to me’ tables this evening.

All at TILT in Birmingham.

Stern’s DEADPOOL. Forgot to take a pic, doh!

And then two Williams tables.




I was impressed that Zen’s recent release of WHITE WATER at least gave me half a clue as to what to expect with WHITE WATER.


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Lroy

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Neither of these were there on my last visit. Must get back!
From my last visit JUNKYARD! THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and GAME OF THRONES are the three tables that have been swapped out for DEADPOOL, WHIRLWIND and WHITE WATER.


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Lroy

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Is this an advert for Tilt clubs?
Ha! Ha! It just happens to be the only place (so far) I’ve managed to get to, to play real machines. Excuse the photos if that’s overkill. Just simply a reflection of my enthusiasm. Had intended to start the habit of photographing every table I play in the wild but already failed as I forgot to snap a pic of DEADPOOL, lol!

Anyway, if and when I make it to other venues, I’ll endeavour to post pics of those machines as well.


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Lroy

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@steve brum Alas, my free pass to get out to play only allowed for this evening. Back to work, family and child supervision duties tomorrow.

Hope the event at Walsall goes well and that all your machines make their way back home to Nuneaton, Electric Circus in fine form.

Will definitely be up to visit, just never know when, lol!


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DanLewell

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@Lroy if you are about next weekend there is a league meet at mine in northampton. It's a great way to meet other pinheads and play some pinball (badly in my case!)
Kids are more than welcome too, mine will be here and quite a few other pinheads in the Midlands league bring the kids along too.
 
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@Lroy if you are about next weekend there is a league meet at mine in northampton. It's a great way to meet other pinheads and play some pinball (badly in my case!)
Kids are more than welcome too, mine will be here and quite a few other pinheads in the Midlands league bring the kids along too.
That is unbelievably kind of you mate. Sounds amazing. Let me have a think about it and see if there’s the possibility of disentangling myself from usual family duties to attend. Thanks again for your kindness, and to others here who have extended an invitation to league meets.

Never even knew a such a scenario, whereby people invite and welcome random strangers to their houses to play their expensive machines even existed. Still quite stunned by the generosity of this section of the community. Major kudos to all of you.


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Benleigh250

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That is unbelievably kind of you mate. Sounds amazing. Let me have a think about it and see if there’s the possibility of disentangling myself from usual family duties to attend. Thanks again for your kindness, and to others here who have extended an invitation to league meets.

Never even knew a such a scenario, whereby people invite and welcome random strangers to their houses to play their expensive machines even existed. Still quite stunned by the generosity of this section of the community. Major kudos to all of you.


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I can vouch for thus as have been to a few meets in my region this season london and south east with the next one on Sunday in Woking. These are great fun!

Everyone knows everyone else! It’s a great crowd of people to be involved in! Hope you have a great time!

Dan see you in London next month!

Ben


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Lroy

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@DanLewell Alas, not managed to get the planets to align for me to attend the meet this weekend. Do really appreciate the offer though and hope you and all attending have a lovely time. Hopefully, clink glasses with you at UK PinFest in August


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DanLewell

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no worries. Yeah, looking forward to pinfest.

Quite a few of us will be at Swavesy next weekend if your about for that.
Very family friendly again as its in a family friendly pub. I'll be taking my kids on the Sunday.