Track days......

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
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Reading
Hi All,

I am a complete newbie therefore apologies for any eye rolling comments that I make on my first ever thread in what looks like a great forum filled with very knowledgeable and friendly peeps.

I am in the process of moving house (hopefully within the next few months) and the house I am purchasing has a snooker room that I want to add a pinball machine too.

I have no knowledge of maintaning machines therefore have it in my mind that the sensible option would be to buy a new machine or one sold via an online retailer with a warranty.

I know that the latter will result in over paying as I have read on here that Liberty and Home Leisure over charge and Pinball Heaven's restorations are very pricey although PH seem to be held in very high esteem.

It would be very interesting to hear people's thoughts as to what I should do as I am currently thinking I need to budget £6.5k to £8k on a new machine that would need to be partly financed as I wont have that much free cash........ who does these days!

With regards to machines I am interested in, I have split these into a "New" & "Used" list to give an idea of what I like and used machines would preferably be in near mint condition with minimum maintenance required in the short term (I would want to learn the ropes to care for a machine of course).

New: MB remake, MM remake, EHOH, DI, JP pro

Used: MM , MB , TZ , TAF , CFTBL , R&T,s RS , AFM

Hopefully the above gives an idea of what I like and these are the more commonly popular machines.

Again I would like to apologise for such newb comments but hopefully I get to break the ice with the community.

Thanks for reading and stay safe.
 

Pick Holder

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Jul 18, 2016
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Dont touch HLD.

If you can afford a more modern machine or a CGC remake then that is the way to go.

Spend £2K on an older game you could be plagued with a lot of maintance esepecially from certain sellers.

Go for maybe a Stern Pro made in the last 8 years. Would estimate they for for £5K as an average.

If you do not like the theme - do not buy it.

As an engineer I love the CFC remakes. You will not go wrong with those.

Welcome to the forum. Hope your stay is a good one :)
 

Andy Hancock

Registered
Mar 30, 2015
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Peterborough
Hi there
I’m still very much a newb in fixing machines even though I’ve now got 8 and had about 10 more.
By all means buy NIB if you want (and use Pinball Heaven) but If you want to buy some time in learning how to tweak things and do minor fixes I think I’d buy a newish machine once someone else here has had it NIB and dialed it in .
 
OP
Serial Thriller

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
39
13
8
Reading
Thanks Pick Holder, I appreciate the input and what you've said makes it sound as though I am on the right tracks. I read that Stern machines are built a little on the cheap side hence only EHOH and JP being on my list but good to know they're worth considering.
 

Durzel

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Oct 1, 2017
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I would hesitate to recommend a classic machine if you’re not prepared for a bit of maintenance. Some of them have parts that are either hard to find or pretty much unavailable. TZ in particular has a lot of toys.

Based on your list I’d say you should get a remake MB or MM , since you listed them both first in both new and used lists.

If you genuinely don’t feel like you can do anything then PH’s 2 year warranty would be great peace of mind. That does have a cost, mind.
 
OP
Serial Thriller

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
39
13
8
Reading
Thanks Andy, appreciate your comments and think I would likely go to Pinball Heaven if going for a new machine although dont think they offer finance so would need to see if the bank would be willing to fund yet another hobby ;)
 

Gonzo

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Sep 2, 2019
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Sandhurst
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Kris
Hi mate, I live in Sandhurst.

I have a very reliable repair guy who would obviously cover Reading too. The minor stuff is easy enough to sort anyway and if you buy from here the machine should be in good order.
 
OP
Serial Thriller

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
39
13
8
Reading
I would hesitate to recommend a classic machine if you’re not prepared for a bit of maintenance. Some of them have parts that are either hard to find or pretty much unavailable. TZ in particular has a lot of toys.

Based on your list I’d say you should get a remake MB or MM , since you listed them both first in both new and used lists.

If you genuinely don’t feel like you can do anything then PH’s 2 year warranty would be great peace of mind. That does have a cost, mind.
Thanks Durzel, I am willing to try my hand at maintaining a machine but wanted to be honest and say that I have no knowledge on the technicalities of them (there's youtube for a start I guess).
 
OP
Serial Thriller

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
39
13
8
Reading
Hi mate, I live in Sandhurst.

I have a very reliable repair guy who would obviously cover Reading too. The minor stuff is easy enough to sort anyway and if you buy from here the machine should be in good order.
Thanks Gonzo but I am moving to ST Helen's which is up in Cheshire so should probably edit my profile :thumbs:
 
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replicas

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Jul 21, 2011
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Nipper Pinball
welcome.gifto Pinball Info @Serial Thriller .
There's some great people with fantastic pinball collections in the North West and plenty of knowledgeable pinhead ready to help you out if you get any problems.
Personally I'd go for a 90's machine , they are great fun and you can pick then up for a lot less than a newer machine. Also most of the fun in pinball is fixing and solving problems.
There a great bunch of people on here that are always helping newbies out with problems they are having with there machines.
Start at the bottom and work your way up, it's way more fun that way.
D.
 

scottydoesntknow

Site Supporter
Feb 13, 2014
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Hi Welcome, im in Woodley just outside Reading if u want to pop over when things ease up a bit more, i have a Monster Bash, Spiderman blk, both awesome, will prob move on my Flash Gordon & Demolition Man at some point soon as space is tight as have Indy, Rick & Morty & about to go Tmnt Pro incoming, so a few to try here
 

scottydoesntknow

Site Supporter
Feb 13, 2014
755
346
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Woodley Berkshire
Hi Welcome, im in Woodley just outside Reading if u want to pop over when things ease up a bit more, i have a Monster Bash, Spiderman blk, both awesome, will prob move on my Flash Gordon & Demolition Man at some point soon as space is tight as have Indy, Rick & Morty & about to go Tmnt Pro incoming, so a few to try here
Sorry im an idiot just read your moving!
 

Sako-TRG

Site Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
1,003
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DG126TW
Hi there,
Welcome along 👍
Based on what you have said.....TBH I would stick with your top line selection of new and forget your used selection.
Some of those classics will need more care and attention.
For your first, hassle free purchase, go with what you want, not what someone wants to sell you.
If your getting a bank loan etc to fund, well .... the difference in price probably won’t be that much from an in stock pin in UK vs a modern title someone wants to sell you. So get it backed up with a warranty for piece of mind.
Most of the time though, your going to get rubbers snapping etc... on a NIB modern Stern purchase, no biggy!
Hope this helps 👍
 
OP
Serial Thriller

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
39
13
8
Reading
View attachment 109277to Pinball Info @Serial Thriller .
There's some great people with fantastic pinball collections in the North West and plenty of knowledgeable pinhead ready to help you out if you get any problems.
Personally I'd go for a 90's machine , they are great fun and you can pick then up for a lot less than a newer machine. Also most of the fun in pinball is fixing and solving problems.
There a great bunch of people on here that are always helping newbies out with problems they are having with there machines.
Start at the bottom and work your way up, it's way more fun that way.
D.
Thanks for the warm welcome, I'll definitely consider a 90's pin as they're what I am most familiar with. I am sure I could deal with the basics when it comes to maintenance but preference is to play rather than fix.
 
OP
Serial Thriller

Serial Thriller

Registered
May 26, 2020
39
13
8
Reading
Hi there,
Welcome along 👍
Based on what you have said.....TBH I would stick with your top line selection of new and forget your used selection.
Some of those classics will need more care and attention.
For your first, hassle free purchase, go with what you want, not what someone wants to sell you.
If your getting a bank loan etc to fund, well .... the difference in price probably won’t be that much from an in stock pin in UK vs a modern title someone wants to sell you. So get it backed up with a warranty for piece of mind.
Most of the time though, your going to get rubbers snapping etc... on a NIB modern Stern purchase, no biggy!
Hope this helps 👍
Very helpful thanks, I am swaying towards a new machine. Only reservation I have is the cost as I am sure some of the well cared for williams/bally classics will be just as reliable as the modern stern machines for almost half the price. I clearly have more research to do! 🧐
 

daveyp

Site Supporter
Dec 27, 2018
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Scarborough N.Yorks
Very helpful thanks, I am swaying towards a new machine. Only reservation I have is the cost as I am sure some of the well cared for williams/bally classics will be just as reliable as the modern stern machines for almost half the price. I clearly have more research to do! 🧐
The old machines probably are of a better build quality and have had 20+ years of sorting out. Wish I had found this group before buying off eBay. This is the only place I purchase machines now. Good luck with your search.
 

Andydn

Site Supporter
Oct 14, 2019
416
427
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Kent
Very helpful thanks, I am swaying towards a new machine. Only reservation I have is the cost as I am sure some of the well cared for williams/bally classics will be just as reliable as the modern stern machines for almost half the price. I clearly have more research to do!
Very true! You could spend 8K and have things go wrong, or 2k and no issues - some of it is pot luck. One thing I can vouch for is the support on this forum, if you did get any issues, I’m almost certain it would get fixed by sharing it on here. When things do go wrong the learning curve can be just as enjoyable. My #1 piece of advice would be don’t buy a game you haven’t played - you could fall in love with a theme but then hate the way it plays.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Sako-TRG

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Aug 3, 2018
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DG126TW
Out of curiosity guys.... why no classics deployed by operators?
I’m assuming they go wrong more?
 
Last edited:

Rob zombie

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Nov 30, 2018
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Two things. Firstly, you don’t need a flipping warranty. A warranty is completely worthless especially since they’ll just mail you the parts for you to fix and solder in yourself. So you’d better prepare yourself for hands on maintenance. Secondly, if you’re buying a pinball machine on finance then you need to have a long and serious think about why that’s a really bad way to manage your finances. It’s crazy. Buy something you can afford (as if that should even need to be said?!). When I started out I had a pool table and bought a Cue Ball Wizard as it matched the theme of the room. I’ve always regretted selling that machine (to HLD funnily enough). Price does not equal enjoyment. I’ve had £6k machines and £800 machines and to be honest, I get more enjoyment from the lower priced ones.
 

Sako-TRG

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Aug 3, 2018
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DG126TW
Firstly, you don’t need a flipping warranty. A warranty is completely worthless especially since they’ll just mail you the parts for you to fix and solder in yourself. So you’d better prepare yourself for hands on maintenance.
Sheesh kebab - I’ve never had to cash in on this. I’m happy doing Field replaceable modules, rubbers tweaks, and anything I’m comfortable.... within reason without need of a call out but are you saying that anything ‘one step beyond’ is fcuk u ? Please elaborate?
 

Rob zombie

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Nov 30, 2018
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Sheesh kebab - I’ve never had to cash in on this. I’m happy doing Field replaceable modules, rubbers tweaks, and anything I’m comfortable.... within reason without need of a call out but are you saying that anything ‘one step beyond’ is fcuk u ? Please elaborate?
I’d elaborate but I dont even understand your question. Which suggests that you’ve misinterpreted me. Or vice versa.
 

Sako-TRG

Site Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
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DG126TW
Sorry , what I mean is ref warranty.
Im assuming from what you inferred, that if anything goes wrong.... even to the extent of needing a solder fix - the consumer will be expected to crack on and employ the fix - not the vendor?
 

Rob zombie

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Nov 30, 2018
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But to be clear, what I’m saying is that over paying for a warranty does not absolve you of hands on work. Check the small print. They will simply mail you parts and it will be up to you to install them or pay someone else to. They won’t send someone over to your house to fix it.
Pinball machines are designed for commercial high volume use. They rarely go wrong. They do go wrong though. But it’s not a massive worry. Just learn how to google solutions.
 

Rob zombie

Site Supporter
Nov 30, 2018
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Sorry , what I mean is ref warranty.
Im assuming from what you inferred, that if anything goes wrong.... even to the extent of needing a solder fix - the consumer will be expected to crack on and employ the fix - not the vendor?
from what I’ve read on the HLD warranty, yes.
 

Sako-TRG

Site Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
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DG126TW
But to be clear, what I’m saying is that over paying for a warranty does not absolve you of hands on work. Check the small print. They will simply mail you parts and it will be up to you to install them or pay someone else to. They won’t send someone over to your house to fix it.
Pinball machines are designed for commercial high volume use. They rarely go wrong. They do go wrong though. But it’s not a massive worry. Just learn how to google solutions.
Yes, that’s for sure, fair comment 👍