Need help embracing a Vivaldi II (or Lucca A53)

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turfster26
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Need help embracing a Vivaldi II (or Lucca A53)

Post by turfster26 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:20 pm

Hello All....I am a newbie to this forum, so thank you for the opportunity to participate. I do participate on other forums and I try my best not to lurk, but to actually help others with posting when I have solid information to provide.

To that end, I currently own a DB E61 machine for the past 4-yrs and I am looking to upgrade. The Vivaldi II direct plumb (or Clive's version the Lucca A53) is VERY high on the list. Actually it is coming down to the VII or the Cimbali Jr Casa. I know, I know, one is a DB and one is an HX. But both machine have their pluses and minuses and that is why I am reaching out to all of you on this forum for some help.

I really like the Jr Casa for its solid build quality, but I have heard so many good things about the VII and obviously its many years in service that I must give it a serious look.

I did post these questions on another forum, however I received little feedback and it was suggested that I post them here. So I hope it is ok?

A couple of things that I would like to address and/or have answered:

Would you buy again?
Do you feel it is still at the top compared against peer machines in the DB PID market?
Overall build quality?
Do you still enjoy using it or do you suffer from upgraditis?
Are you plagued by the whole 53mm PF?
Do you feel the "in the cup experience" is the same or equal to the E61 DB machines?
Do you ever wish for more room within the user area (PF and steam wand area) as compared to the more open architecture of an E61?

It seems, from all the reading I've done, that there's a cult like following with the LaSpaz machines. And I mean that in a positive way. I'm looking to get user experiences so I can get pushed over the edges:-). Most LaSpaz threads/posts seem to compare one machine against another. And I'm looking specifically at end users that can share both positive and maybe not so positive feedback so I can better education myself before making the final decision.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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chas
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Re: Need help embracing a Vivaldi II (or Lucca A53)

Post by chas » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:25 am

I have owned an S1V1, S1V2, and a Dream. I actually still have the Dream though it's a loaner. My main machine is the GS/3 and I would never go back to the S1 after owning it even though the Dream actually has a number of improved features.

1) I Like the open front feeling of the GS/3. Having the group, steam and hot water up under the machine instead of out front as the GS/3 and E61s are makes a big difference in usability to me.
2) I do prefer the 58mm group. It seems more forgiving to PF loading technique plus it is much easier to find a variety of PF, baskets, etc for 58mm. Lots more competition on price, too.

That said, the LaSpaz machines are much easier to work on and replacement parts are cheaper than those for the GS/3, though I can blame LaMarzocco on that. Of course, even though the LaSpaz is easier to work on, getting the covers back on right will drive you up the wall.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

turfster26
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Re: Need help embracing a Vivaldi II (or Lucca A53)

Post by turfster26 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:01 am

Thanks os much Chas for your candid feedback. That's exactly what I am looking for....candid user feedback. Like do you still love your VII, would you still buy again if you had the option and is there "better out there" nowadays.

And as you mentioned, the "user area" is one of my biggest concerns. Coming from an open architecture, such as the E61's, I am really concerned about what appears to be a crowded PF & steaming area. I am supposed to visit a local cafe that sells the VII's and pull some shots this week. I will see how it goes.

Thanks so much and keep the advice coming!

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chas
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Re: Need help embracing a Vivaldi II (or Lucca A53)

Post by chas » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:32 am

The caveat I should have added is that the GS/3 damn well better be a significant improvement over the GS/3 given the price. With care and feeding it could be my last espresso machine. Since I am now retired, the price range of the S1 might be the max I could spend if I ever do need another machine.

If I was in the market in this price range now, I'd look seriously at the Vesuvius - if I could talk the price down some and/or sell my current equipment for enough to ease the pain. I am not crazy about the ones that are directly in the LaSpaz price range with dual boilers. I like a little more style than just a plain square SMB with analog gauges.

I also must admit that - after the fact - I've rarely been disappointed by spending more money than I initially wanted to but I've often been disappointed by underspending.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

turfster26
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Re: Need help embracing a Vivaldi II (or Lucca A53)

Post by turfster26 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:19 pm

Yes, these are very tough decisions when upgrading. I was lucky enough (call it dumb luck) to have purchased a very well made E61 DB for my first espresso purchase. I skip over the typical Gaggia Classic and Silvia, etc. The E61 has served me well, but I would like to upgrade for a change of pace and try my barista skills on another machine.

I thought the VII would be a nice change of pace, that's why I am seriously looking at it. As mentioned previously, The Cimabli Jr Casa (an HX machine) is in the mix too.

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