Q: How much improvement in sound is there?
A: The improvement in Bass response is about 5X (5times). The actual sound depends on the program material in the game. Music will be improved and explosions will become dramatic. We have not seen a pinball machine on our list (See theCompatibility List) that has not benefitted for the addition of a Sub-Woofer.
Q: Will these Sub-Woofer kits hurt my game?
A: No. They generally install without modifying the game at all, and therefore can be easily removed. They are designed to be compatible with the amplifier in the pinball machine and do not over-load it. The Sub-Woofer and network is designed specifically for the pinball machine application and get the most out of the game geometry. See “Why These Systems Sound so Good” for more information.
Q: What do these kits consist of?
A: The Sub-Woofer kit consists of an 8 inch super heavy duty Sub-Woofer unit matched to the cabinet volume, an attached tuned network, and an adapter plate and spacer as required to fit the Sub-Woofer to the mounting location in the pinball machine. See each kit for details. Also a method of reducing the back box speaker volume is supplied either as an adjustment on the Sub-Woofer, or a clip on volume control for the sound card. The method is determined by the specific game design and allows using more power in the Sub-Woofer to improve the bass response.
Q: Do I need new back box speakers too?
A: Not necessarily. The new back box speakers make the greatest improvement in the older Williams games. Games that have a 5-inch speaker on the left and a 3-inch tweeter on the right suffer from lack of balance. The Twin-Range kits have a dual 5-inch speaker for the left and a dual 4-inch speaker for the right and improve the balance, dynamic response, and speech quality in these games. You will hear sounds that were missing before. The real old games usually need speakers because they are just worn out. The Data East and Sega games have fairly good (limited range) speakers so the improvement is less. The Gottleib/Premier speakers should only be replaced if they are bad.
Q: Do I have to open up the back box every time I want to change the volume?
A: No. The volume control supplied with the Sub-Woofer kit is used to set the ratio of sound between the back box speakers and the Sub woofer. Once that is adjusted for your taste, the master volume control at the front of the pinball machine is used to set the over-all volume. It can be set low or high as desired for the occasion.
Q: Are these kits easy to install? I can’t solder.
A: Yes. Installation in most games can be done with a Phillips screwdriver and a nut driver or needle nose pliers. See the “Tech Notes” for the difficult games. The concept of these kits is not having to solder connections or modify the machine. We provide plug-on wiring for the back box kits. The Sub-Woofers have spade connections to accept the machine wiring. Some Data East speakers are soldered in and will either need soldered connections, or crimp slip-on lugs on the wires so they can plug onto the speakers. We also sell individual speakers for applications that do not warrant a kit.
Q: Why can I not use a Radio Shack speaker and crossover in my pinball game?
A: We have tested the components available at Radio Shack and other mail order suppliers of Hi-Fi speakers and the result is about one-third the performance of our systems. The Radio Shack speakers and others are designed for Hi-Fi applications and you have a pinball machine with totally different aspects. The manufacturer designed the Sub-Woofers we use specifically for us. The networks are tuned for this Sub-Woofer and are not general-purpose items either. See “Why These Systems Sound So Good” for more background information. A lot of Engineering has gone into these systems and clones will just be clones…never as good as the original!
Q: I did not see a kit for my machine and my back box speakers are different than those shown. Can you help me?
A: Yes. We are always working on new kits and speaker designs to fit other applications. You can contact us by e-mail or phone with your need and we will try to help.
Q: Why do you recommend Easy Gloss Polish over the Novus or Wildcat products on the market.
A: Easy Gloss is a much more robust polish. It is Acrylic based and replaces the surface on pinball plastics. It has UV inhibitors to protect paint finishes. It is self-cleaning and works great on chrome to clean off surface rust (ramp rails and legs) and leave a protective coating. It cleans and re-surfaces targets in one step. Novus is a good product. Easy Gloss should be used after any Novus use. The best choice for play field care is to clean and pre-wax with Easy Gloss. Then coat several times with Johnson’s Paste wax for floors or Bowling Alleys. It is very important to the life of the play field. Replace balls when they become dull looking because that means they are getting rough and will start wearing the play field. New balls and wax are real cheap compared to the loss in value of a pinball machine due to play field wear.
Q: Why can’t I use backing (fender) washers to protect my plastics from being broken?
A: You can, but you will be very unhappy with the results. Fender washers slide around when the ball hits them from different directions because the hole in the center of the washer is larger than the post that holds it. Balls hit with very hard forces and from all directions. When a ball hits a fender washer it slides a little and leaves a little impression in the ball (ding). The sliding wears the image side of the plastic and the ding in the ball starts to wear the play field surface. All these things are bad. The proper protection for your plastics is the use of a plastic like material with a hole that keeps it form sliding when hit. We have selected Armor Guard to make the Bullet Proof Plastics Protectors. They will not break, or slide, or rust, or ding the ball. All these things are good. And they are nearly invisible in the game. $9.95 will protect the sling shot plastics in three games. That is $120.00 or more worth of plastics at today’s prices. (IF you can find them)