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Thread: LM Linea mini

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    TC
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    LM Linea mini

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight


    LM have released the Linea mini in the US. Looks as if it might be pitched in price towards the top end of the dual boiler range, but below that of a GS/3. I first saw pics of this one about a year ago.

    Really clunky sounding temp control and loses the saturated group of all other LM stuff. For me, the design just doesn't do it and borders on fugly, but it will no doubt have its fans. I guess it's the "built to a price" variant. I guess the black works ok.

    I'll get excited if/when the GS/3 absorbs the gear pump and tech of the Strada MP.


    • Integrated Group (not saturated)
    • 3.5 L tank
    • Dual boiler
    • Internal Rotary pump
    • barista lights
    • Jog Wheel temp control of PID
    • not plumbable
    • colours
    • EE paddle group
    • Hot water fixed at 100 deg. C
    • Preset (2 sec) preinfusion


    No news on it coming this way yet.

    Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine – La Marzocco Unveils a Mini Model of the Linea Classic for High-End Home Use

    Last edited by TC; 25th March 2015 at 08:18 AM.

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    Junior Member muzz88's Avatar
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    LM Linea mini

    To be honest I quite like the styling of it. It's a shame about not being a saturated group, but I guess they want to keep that exclusively for the Gs3.

    I initially thought the paddle operation would allow for pre infusion control, but unfortunately it doesn't, the paddle only operates a micro switch.

    It will be interesting to see the price for AUS. It might be a hard seller if it's at around $5000 + ??
    Last edited by muzz88; 25th March 2015 at 10:51 AM.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    So, in the US, it's 4.5k, because apparently the gap between the 2.5k and 6k+ machines needs filling.

    What I don't understand is, if I can get a (properly) PID'd Quickmill Vertrano 2B (double boiler, rotary pump, E61 group) machine for sub-2.5k, what am I getting here for my 1500 bucks?

    No paddle preinfusion, no saturated group, ok, so it has work lighting, which I think is cool, but that's hardly make-or-break.

    The comparable PID'd Rocket/Izzo DBs are still sub-3k, too.

    Heck, the Vesuvius is 4.5k. What possible reason would someone have not to buy that instead? (serious question)
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    It's not a saturated group, but it's not exposed like an E61 so expect that the thermal stability is high. It's also got Linea cool (I'm a big fan of the classic Linea) and it's an LM so I think some of the premium goes there. Otherwise, Dragunov21, I agree with you. I don't have any urge to shift from my Profitec 700 to the Linea Mini. If it had a Strada paddle and an actual PID readout so that I was sure of brew temp then things might change for me.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzz88 View Post
    It will be interesting to see the price for AUS. It might be a hard seller if it's at around $5000 + ??
    I doubt it will be made in the 220/240v market unless it's a huge success Stateside.

    I too first heard about it 11.5 months ago (at SCAA) and it was developed/designed in a partnership between LM USA and one of the best aftermarket coffee bits guys in the USA.

    The Linea is huge in the USA, remember every Starbucks had one and in a market that is fairly new to espresso the Linea is the look that Americans think of first when talking espresso machinery.

    I think it looks great, and expect it will make good coffee too. Pity it doesn't tick all the geeky features but if looks and badge are important then this ticks the boxes and I expect it's resale value will be higher than a lot of comparable machines too.

    I'll get to have a play with an American voltage one next month and will let you know what I think when I've seen and tried one in the flesh.
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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    The Linea is huge in the USA, remember every Starbucks had one and in a market that is fairly new to espresso the Linea is the look that Americans think of first when talking espresso machinery.
    Was this before the move to superautos, or what?

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    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    Hate to repeat what others have said but I just can't help myself.. I think it looks hideous.. I'd take the Vesuvius easily if my budget was in this $range.

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    I hope that Andy does get to have a play and it's somehow a massive surprise- but I doubt it.

    Must say that other than the rotary pump, I'm struggling to see what it offers over the Lelit P60T (diana). I was figuring it might come to market in the $3.5k to $4k region and really feel that if it does come to Australia, it will have a very difficult time. Our market is well informed and expects far more from a $5k+ machine. No way would I save a grand and buy this over the GS/3.

    Sorta reminds me of the olden days when Holden thought that a wheezy 4 cylinder Holden Commode would be a good idea. I'm more than happy to chow down on a big slice of humble if it turns out to be the next revelation- but I doubt it.
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    Agree, I don't think it's possible for this to be the next revelation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I doubt it will be made in the 220/240v market unless it's a huge success Stateside..
    why would LM not exploit their largest market zone .....(240v Europe) ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    why would LM not exploit their largest market zone .....(240v Europe) ??
    Putting aside that this is aimed for home use, if you exclude Starbucks then I'd say LM machines are in a far higher proportion of US cafes than they are in Europe, therefore they have a greater market presence in the minds of serious US coffee drinkers than their European equivalents.

    On each trip I make to the US it seems LM machines are completely ubiquitous in decent cafes.

    Plus distribution of heavy items like coffee machines is a helluva lot easier (i.e. cheaper) in the US than Europe.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    Putting aside that this is aimed for home use, if you exclude Starbucks then I'd say LM machines are in a far higher proportion of US cafes than they are in Europe, therefore they have a greater market presence in the minds of serious US coffee drinkers than their European equivalents.

    On each trip I make to the US it seems LM machines are completely ubiquitous in decent cafes.

    Plus distribution of heavy items like coffee machines is a helluva lot easier (i.e. cheaper) in the US than Europe.
    This is true, of the half-dozen good spots I've been to (thus far) around SoCal, all but one are using LM and the other one I can't recall.

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    I don't have the precise numbers, but I know from personal experience that it is far easier to find an espresso equipped cafe in any European city, than it is in any American city. Sure, many of them will be "buss stop" or train station outlets but it's also common for most European restaurants (and many bars), to be "espresso equipped" .
    In population, Europe out scales the USA many fold , and in terms of espresso cafe outlets I suspect the ratio is even more !
    It's fair bet that you are never more than a 100 mts or so from an Espresso equipped coffee outlet or restaurant. ,
    Finding an Espresso in anywhere other than big city America, can be a fruitless exercise.
    LM's reputation in Europe is just as respected as any other country, it's just that they have more competitors in the commercial side than they possibly have in the US.

    another review..
    http://sprudge.com/first-look-at-the...ini-73298.html
    interesting that the data plate states "Made in Italy" ?
    Last edited by blend52; 26th March 2015 at 03:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    LM's reputation in Europe is just as respected as any other country, it's just that they have more competitors in the commercial side than they possibly have in the US.
    Yep that's my point, in the US they have the very clear market leader tag amongst cafes, and anybody who's dropping 5 large on one of these would surely be a regular visitor to top drawer cafes - even if it needs a lengthy drive to get to one.

    Another point worth considering is that the GS3 is quite expensive in the US, generally listed for more USD than you can get it here in AUD. So at 5k this is quite a bit cheaper than the GS3, and therefore there's enough of a price gap, whereas here I think they'd struggle to differentiate the price.

    Plus, what price are second hand Lineas here? It doesn't cost that much to get a sparky to run a 20a wire from your board and it'll be plumbed in.

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    TOK
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    Quote post # 13..." ......LM's reputation in Europe is just as respected as any other country, it's just that they have more competitors in the commercial side than they possibly have in the US...."

    Really?...... I dont know about the rest of europe, but in Italy, LM is virtually unknown. The branding phenomenon here, that is LM, is a US driven collaboration, as far as I know.

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    TC
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    Just saw the internals....Hmm

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    In population, Europe out scales the USA many fold...
    The population of the US is approximately 320 million and that of the EU is 499 million... thus presenting a ration of 1.56 : 1 in favour of Europe. Even if you stretch the definition of Europe to its outer limits, including outliers such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey as well as ALL of Russia (including it's Asian half), then the population grows to 742 million, yielding a ratio of 2.31 : 1 in favour of Greater Europe... hardly what I would define as "many fold".

    Just sayin'

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    The brew boiler is very interesting. I think the idea is great but I'd love to see it pumping out shot after shot, but let's be honest it's designed as a 'domestic' machine so I guess shot after shot after shot within seconds of each other shouldn't be a realistic expectation of a 'domestic' machine. Although the price is far beyond that of any reasonable 'domestic'. As long as it can hold a set temperature for sustained periods of time will be the only goal for this machine.

    In all seriousness the suspected pricing is ridiculous for whats on offer.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Quote post # 13..." ......LM's reputation in Europe is just as respected as any other country, it's just that they have more competitors in the commercial side than they possibly have in the US...."

    Really?...... I dont know about the rest of europe, but in Italy, LM is virtually unknown. The branding phenomenon here, that is LM, is a US driven collaboration, as far as I know.
    As with the statement regarding population, why let facts get in the way of one's post of the day? ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    I dont know about the rest of europe, but in Italy, LM is virtually unknown. The branding phenomenon here, that is LM, is a US driven collaboration, as far as I know.
    La Marzocco only makes about 6000 machines a year, but judging by the number sold here and in the US, you would think they made vastly more. The USA and Australia are by far Marzocco's biggest markets, Australian consumption of Marzocco machines is I think not far behind the US despite our smaller population, and I think Melbourne just beats Sydney in terms of new Marzocco installations. We've got to the point where we are probably installing 2-3 new Marzoccos in an average week, sometimes 7 or 8.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    Plus, what price are second hand Lineas here? It doesn't cost that much to get a sparky to run a 20a wire from your board and it'll be plumbed in.
    Unless you can find a 1 group Linea you'll need 25 amp, not 20 amp for even just a 2 group Linea. General rule of thumb for commercial machines is 20 amp for a 2 group HX machine and 25 for a 3 group HX machine, when you go to a multiboiler machine like a Linea it will be 25 or 32 amp instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    The Linea is huge in the USA, remember every Starbucks had one
    .....and a lot of those ex-Starbucks machines made it over here afterwards - one local roaster shipped out a whole containerload of secondhand machines, modded them as necessary and put them out in cafes. Most were eventually retired over the last few years, but I think there are still a few out there to this day. If you see a well-worn 4 group Linea with the old shot timer style touchpads, chances are it is an ex-Starbucks machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    Unless you can find a 1 group Linea you'll need 25 amp, not 20 amp for even just a 2 group Linea. General rule of thumb for commercial machines is 20 amp for a 2 group HX machine and 25 for a 3 group HX machine, when you go to a multiboiler machine like a Linea it will be 25 or 32 amp instead.
    Wow that's interesting, that's a lot of power, getting into Tesla territory.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Hold on; I'm coming across a bunch of comments on HB that the brew boiler isn't actually PID-controlled, but that it's HX-fed from the steam boiler into a thermoblock, which provides dumb heat based on the level of the temp-selector knob (which is just a potentiometer)?

    I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad way to go, but I wouldn't mind seeing the Scace results...

    Nevermind, incorrect, as per kwantfm below.
    Last edited by Dragunov21; 28th March 2015 at 12:44 AM.

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    Junior Member muzz88's Avatar
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    LM Linea mini

    I read this on another website, I'm not sure if it is true or not?

    "The brew boiler design is something new for La Marzocco too; it's a small volume box that sits right on top of the machine's grouphead. PID controlled of course. La Marzocco told me that it was incredibly efficient and one of the reasons the machine had such a quick heat up time. The water volume is quite small inside, but since the water being fed into it comes through the steam boiler heat exchanger, this is not an issue at all."

    I have to say the build quality on the internals looks impressive! Here's a couple of pics floating around

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1427404489.310324.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1427404624.501909.jpg

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    As a home machine , this would very definitely flunk the 'wife test' for me. She would hate it on sight.
    If lego built a coffee machine...

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    Originally Posted by TOK
    I dont know about the rest of europe, but in Italy, LM is virtually unknown. ......
    ?? Surprising, considering how many industry awards they have won in Italy.


    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    La Marzocco only makes about 6000 machines a year, but judging by the number sold here and in the US, you would think they made vastly more. The USA and Australia are by far Marzocco's biggest markets, Australian consumption of Marzocco machines is I think not far behind the US despite our smaller population, and I think Melbourne just beats Sydney in terms of new Marzocco installations. We've got to the point where we are probably installing 2-3 new Marzoccos in an average week, sometimes 7 or 8.
    so , maybe max 15 -20 machine's per week installed in Au....... 1000 per year ?
    ..And then if we are not far behind the USA in term a of volume,... Another 2000 PA over there ?
    So where do the other 3000 machine's go to ?
    i suspect a fair proportion are in Europe

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    This from HB:

    "Dan got a clarification from Scott Guglielmino at LM USA that the Linea Mini uses a Gicar PID, with the knob (potentiometer) being an input into the temperature setting. That potentiometer is calibrated at the factory, and will be marked with the position for 200F. There will be no possible end-user calibration, it seems.

    So the Linea Mini definitely has a PID, it just doesn't have a display. This means that you get all the consistency of a PID, but no (potentially inaccurate) number to fixate on."
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    so , maybe max 15 -20 machine's per week installed in Au....... 1000 per year ?
    ..And then if we are not far behind the USA in term a of volume,... Another 2000 PA over there ?
    So where do the other 3000 machine's go to ?
    i suspect a fair proportion are in Europe
    We're just one of 6 authorised Marzocco distributors in Australia, we're the newest and probably not one of the biggest, so I'd suspect the total number of new Marzoccos installed per week in Australia would be well over 1000 units.

    There are a lot of Marzocco distributors throughout Asia too. There are even African distributors, including one in Ethiopia. I suspect once you subtract US and Australian sales numbers plus a quantity for Asian sales and the rest of the world, the proportion of Marzoccos sold in Europe is probably below a third of total production or even less.

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    It's also worthwhile remembering that La Marzocco are an American-based company, not an Italian one (albeit most of their machines are still made there), so the US is their home market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon View Post
    It's also worthwhile remembering that La Marzocco are an American-based company, not an Italian one (albeit most of their machines are still made there), so the US is their home market.
    ??
    Their Corporate head office is in Florence,
    Manufacturing facilities are based in Florence,
    Sales and Marketing in Milan.
    they do have regional offices in several international locations.
    LaMarzocco USA is a subsidiary of laMarzocco International.

    from ..http://www.lamarzocco.com/en/headlin...561705ba9.html
    Europe is the primary target market for professional espresso machines, accounting for 54 per cent of the total annual production capacity for conventional Espresso machines (all manufacturers) which is 185,000
    So, yes LM are only a small player, but the Eu market is at least 100,000 per year !
    ....bigger than the rest of the world combined !
    Last edited by blend52; 28th March 2015 at 02:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    ?........so I'd suspect the total number of new Marzoccos installed per week in Australia would be well over 1000 units.....
    well , I guess you meant 100 per week, not 1000...... But even so, you are still suggesting Australia is installing 5000+ per year ......or 80% of all LM's being manufactured ??
    ?.Hard to believe..

    This would tend to suggest more like 1200 per year......
    .....The Australian market is the second largest for La Marzocco after the US, with 18 per cent of our total global sales here. It’s a fantastic market with very high-quality Italian-based espresso coffee beverages,” says La Marzocco’s CEO Kent Bakke.
    Last edited by blend52; 28th March 2015 at 03:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    ??
    Their Corporate head office is in Florence,
    Manufacturing facilities are based in Florence,
    Sales and Marketing in Milan.
    they do have regional offices in several international locations.
    LaMarzocco USA is a subsidiary of laMarzocco International.
    Unless I've got my research wrong (entirely possible), LM International LLC is the ultimate holding company of the LM empire. LM International LLC is based in Seattle and run by Kent Bakke, who owns 90% of the company along with some of his associates. The original Bambi family only have a 10% stake in the Italian company.

    Kent bought the Italian LM company as part of the Starbucks deal in 1994 - without his equity they couldn't have funded the manufacture of all those lineas.

    So La Marzocco is essentially owned and run by an American, based in Seattle - they're just very good at marketing themselves as a purely Italian company. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's clearly working for them)

    Also, LM make roughly 4,000 machines a year, with 18% coming here to Australia their second biggest market, so about 700 machines a year. Most of their output goes to the US, which would suggest they sell perhaps less than 500 machines a year in Italy, hence previous comments that they're largely unheard of in Italy.
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    Thanks Chokki, I wasn't completely sure on the 90% ownership number, so good to see that confirmed on what looks like a LM document.

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    I went to the LM factory last year and all the above is true. They had to get capital from somewhere as they brothers were pretty broke after the war...

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    well , I guess you meant 100 per week, not 1000...... But even so, you are still suggesting Australia is installing 5000+ per year ......or 80% of all LM's being manufactured ??
    ?.Hard to believe..

    This would tend to suggest more like 1200 per year......
    Yes, I meant 100, not 1000. Revising things on the basis of better information from this thread - 4000 total production per year, 18% of that coming here, or about 700. That works out to about 13 and a half machines installed per week across Australia, so at the current rate we are going, it looks like we are putting out close to a quarter of all new Marzoccos in Australia - no wonder they've just appointed us as a distributor!

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, it doesn't say that Kent Bakke owns 90%. The document says "Kent and partners (Emphasis mine.) acquire 90% of La Marzocco Srl (Italy). Form La Marzocco International (LMI) as parent company."

    From the Wiki entry for La Marzocco: "1994, La Marzocco International, LLC., a formal partnership between the Bambi family and a team of American coffee enthusiasts and Italian partners, lead by Kent Bakke, is established."

    There was an article in a 2013 issue of Bean Scene that may contain further info on the subject if someone has a copy of it handy.


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    Junior Member muzz88's Avatar
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    Well this went off topic quickly.

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    You guys crack me up. "I know more about La Marzocco." " No! I know more about La Marzocco!" " My speculative calculations are better than yours." "I says so on Wikipedia, I must be right." :-)
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    Interesting read while my machine warms up. Funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muzz88 View Post
    Well this went off topic quickly.
    yep !...and all from the question why LM would ignor the European 240volt market for the Mini.!
    ..but as it now appears they will be shipping 230/240 volt versions in May, it's a mute point .

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    I don't know about points being silent... but that might be a moot point ;-)
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  44. #44
    TC
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    I think I'm going to rename this one machinebo: Might look good to some, but when you look inside, you find pretty much nothing of substance.

    With a multitude of $3k+ competitors which offer far superior spec, I really can't see how this could possibly be attractive as a potential purchase unless brand is the only factor.

    In my opinion, this one underdelivers dramatically (on spec.) and I can't find a single reason at to why I'd range it.

    I just can't understand what LM must have been thinking. I see a $3k machine with a >$5k price tag.
    Last edited by TC; 5th April 2015 at 10:26 AM. Reason: tpyo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I think I'm going to rename this one machinebo: Might look good to some, but when you look inside, you find pretty much nothing of substance.

    With a multitude of $3k+ competitors which offer far superior spec, I really can't see how this could possibly be attractive as a potential purchase unless brand is the only factor.

    In my opinion, this one underdelivers dramatically (on spec.) and I can't find a single reason at to why I'd range it.
    I can see a market for it.

    Yes, some buyers are "spec chasers" putting specs of machines into spreadsheets before making a purchase decision. Others have gone down the highly digital tinkerer's route with machines like the Vesuvius.

    This LM machine is taking a very different tack, basically the polar opposite of the Vesuvius approach and and it's not a bad idea. There's room for both. I ran an Elektra Semiauto for many years, and this machine would almost certainly fail any assessment based on "specs". But we know there's more to it than numbers, and the Elektra is a wonderful machine to use and the results in the cup speak for themselves. (The most important spec of all?)

    Similarly, my impression is that LM isn't going after the spec nerds with this machine. They have very deliberately made it a simple design and have instead gone for fit, finish and build quality. And simple operation with high consistency and no digital interfaces. In other words, a high quality "back to basics" machine, where you manage your shots by more traditional eyeball and feel.

    The small brew boiler is a deliberate design - apparently can get to brew temps very quickly, and as it is fed through an HX it's very temp stable.

    I can't see myself flogging off the Profitec to get one, but if I was in the market, I'd certainly take a look.
    Last edited by herzog; 6th April 2015 at 02:21 PM.
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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Similarly, my impression is that LM isn't going after the spec nerds with this machine. They have very deliberately made it a simple design and have instead gone for fit, finish and build quality.
    Are any of these lacking in the feature-rich 5k market or the feature-sparse 3k market though?

    Admittedly my Quickmill Alexia has fit/finish that I'd put at "between a Classic/Silvia and a LM", but what about the more expensive machines? Has anyone accused the Vesuvius of having less-than-stellar build quality?

    With the Linea Mini, you get the bare minimum performance (for the most part), and excellent fit/finish, for very big money.

    You can still get the same for less money, or with more features for the same money, no? If you wanted the "Ducati" experience you'd just go for a lever, I'd have thought.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Similarly, my impression is that LM isn't going after the spec nerds with this machine. They have very deliberately made it a simple design and have instead gone for fit, finish and build quality
    When I have a look at the internals, I struggle to see the quality. The first thing I noticed was the cheap and nasty Mater p/stat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    When I have a look at the internals, I struggle to see the quality. The first thing I noticed was the cheap and nasty Mater p/stat.
    Ahuh. My guess the accounting department told the engineers they have to get through the 5,000 they're sitting on before they can spec something better. Classic example, the Strada uses a 3-way ODE solenoid to fill the steam boiler, with the third port blanked off (not very well, leading to water damage to the coil). No reason for it except LM must have thousands of them stockpiled. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
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    Interesting to see LM's design approach in general with the Mini though, it makes alot of sense going to a small volume, discretely controlled, integrated group head/boiler.

    I notice they are using cartridge heaters, not an immersion element. Actually more similar to the Nuova Simonelli T3 system (heat exchanger > small volume boiler > temperature controlled group), which ironically was probably developed to get around LM's patent on saturated groups. Turns out it's way more efficient, just as stable and can keep up in high demand just fine.

    I've been retrofitting cartridge heaters to groups for a few years now and am convinced of their merits. Only takes a few hundred watts to bring an E61 group up to temperature in a few minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coffee_machinist View Post
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    I notice they are using cartridge heaters, not an immersion element. Actually more similar to the Nuova Simonelli T3 system (heat exchanger > small volume boiler > temperature controlled group), .
    sounds similar to the Bezzera BZ10, BZ07, etc.
    Except they never had the foresight to put a decent temp control on the group elements ,...they put a PID on the steam boiler instead ?



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