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MAME Arcade Cabinet Suggestions?


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I've never paid much attention to the modern arcade MAME cabinet scene, but a co-worker asked me for some suggestions as a gift for her husband.  Do any of you guys have recommendations for who the good vendors for off-the-shelf full-sized MAME cabinets are?

Edited by VGCollectaholic
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I honestly don't know that there are any off-the-shelf solutions, although there are folks here and there that will custom build them for you.  If you don't mind cannibalizing something, your best bet money-wise would be to keep your eyes peeled on Craigslist and snatch up any low priced broken/non-working arcade game that comes up to gut and repurpose the cabinet.  Years ago I ended up with a free cabinet from my local arcade (knew the manager due to working in the same mall) when they'd gutted out a broken game and repurposed the other components, so that might not be a bad avenue either, if you've still got a local arcade or game repair place nearby.

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I have one from Monster Arcades from around 2012 and it's OK at best. The art I designed is slightly miscut, the out of the box controls weren't bad, but weren't the best considering the exorbitant price and I replaced them all, the TV is cheap, the computer is old for the price (but I mean it's MAME, it works). It included real MAME with all the preview videos and everything, just had to drop in ROMs, so that part is nice at least. It's not the worst thing ever, but I was trying to get a "professional" type thing and it's basically the same as what I'd get if I DIY'd it.

My office has a Dream Arcades thing (which was phenomenally expensive and I tried to recommend against). I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually run MAME, it runs "legal" versions of all the games. For example, it includes physical discs of like Midway Arcade Collections on PS2 that are ripped to the HDD. When you start a game, I think it starts a PS2 emulator directly into the emulated arcade game. Some weird games are in the menus like Sudoku that just crash the thing if you try to launch them. All the games are blurry AF because it's a PS2 emulator running an arcade emulator. It runs on a little Raspberry Pi type computer and we've had one break already. Don't buy this.

Kraylix Kit and DIY man. Do it right!

Edited by DefaultGen
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MicroCenter sells DIY bartop and full-size MAME kits. IIRC, they still a full-size kit with everything but the ROMs and assembly for ~$800.

Like @MuNKeY said, an Arcade1Up cab might be the best bet if the woman would balk at prices approach a grand. Which cab to get would depend on what the husband likes.

I've heard surprisingly good things about the AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade cab. 350 games (150 arcade roms, the rest are various consoles roms), inputs to plug in your own controller or use the LCD screen to display an external source, wifi to connect to AtGames online services no one will probably use. From anecdotal buyer reviews I've read, the physical parts are a step-up in quality over the A1U and AtGames gave the option to side-load more arcade roms onto the thing.

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Thanks everyone!   I agree - if I was doing this for me, I'd just DIY it.  She was contemplating getting her husband a refurbished vintage unit of one of his old favorites and I mentioned the upkeep on them and thought there might be a better modern option.  I mentioned the 1Ups to her already and she was familiar with those.  I'll check into the AtGames one, thanks @Teh_Lurv!  

And for myself, I'm definitely checking out those Kraylix Kits, @DefaultGen.  That thing looks slick.

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I can't vouch for them personally but we have a local place that people seem happy with.  Northcoast Custom Arcades https://www.mameroom.com/webstore_home.asp has a ton of options from diy kits to completely finished machines.  Tons of options as well, upright, cocktail, pedestal, custom graphics etc...  It ain't cheap but if they're looking for a more hands off experience it might be worth checking out.

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10 hours ago, hyrulevyse said:

I can't vouch for them personally but we have a local place that people seem happy with.  Northcoast Custom Arcades https://www.mameroom.com/webstore_home.asp has a ton of options from diy kits to completely finished machines.  Tons of options as well, upright, cocktail, pedestal, custom graphics etc...  It ain't cheap but if they're looking for a more hands off experience it might be worth checking out.

Do any of these companies make anything less than the gaudiest, most overladen with controls, nonsense control panels??

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5 joysticks?? 7 buttons per player for players 3 and 4???

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7 hours ago, DefaultGen said:

Do any of these companies make anything less than the gaudiest, most overladen with controls, nonsense control panels??

spacer.png

5 joysticks?? 7 buttons per player for players 3 and 4???

You call that Gaudy?  Hold my beer.....

mamalien.png.1ba7d7c31828ae4ae229979e70babe45.png

But to be fair that 5th joystick up top is for play with the spinner next to it, and all the joysticks have 7 buttons.

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