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  • La Marzocco GS/3 Reliability

    I am thinking about upgrading my Giotto to a LaMarzocco GS/3.

    When I attended the Melbourne Coffee show last week a couple of vendors told me the La Marzocco GS/3 was a very unreliable machine. One told me that most coffee service companies make most of their income servicing problems related to La Marzocco machines. One other vendor (today at the food and wine show) told me the the internals of the LaMarzocco GS/3 tend to rust.

    With my Giotto I only send it for service every few years when it gives me problems. Does the LaMarzocco GS/3 need more frequent servicing?

    I would like to know if anyone has any experience with the LaMarzocco GS/3. Are these things that I have been told true? I dont want to spend that much money just to find that I will have problems?

    I would appreciate any advice.
    Thanks CnC

  • #2
    Hello CnC,

    My GS/3 paddle is now over 4 years old (as I recall). No rust and has worked tirelessly.

    I find that each year the paddle o-rings need replacement and I also experienced a couple of issues with the viton element seals used on the boilers. We replaced them with teflon and that was the end of that. Routine service will be a little more expensive than an e-61 machine but by no means be a deterrent. e-61 candidates you might also consider are Rocket R58, Izzo Alex Duetto and VBM Domobar 2B. We currently have all but the 2B on demo.

    Love my machine and the only possible candidate for a replacement would be a 2 group Pompeii lever...Maybe one day

    Cheers

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Did these same vendors go on to recommend a machine that was more to their liking? One from their own catalogue perhaps?
      Were they La Marzocco vendors? 8-o

      La Marzocco are the workhorses of the serious coffee trade, sure there are the show ponies but by weight of sheer
      numbers it should be more than obvious that LMs are the machines of choice for many people looking for a solid,
      well built, reliable machine that performs at a high level in any coffee volume situation.
      Observe how many LM's are in high volume outlets and/or in roastery/cafes.

      If LM's had the issues as described, then threads on various forums would have volumes of posts about how bad LM's are;
      this is simply not the case. Although some issues have been reported in the past about GS3 vacuum breaker valves, a full reading will
      show that these problems have been addressed by LM. There is little value in reading old posts of this nature to ascertain current specs
      of any machine, only to see the history of the problem and the fix.

      Service companies would repair a few LM's, all things mechanical require repair and maintenance, it's 'par for the course'.
      The fact that a proportion of the machines needing R&M are LM"s is more a reflection on just how many of them are in
      the market place and the fact that some quite old LM's are still in use, going strong after hundreds of thousands of coffees.
      (e.g. 10 y.o. machine x 200 coffees/ day = 730,00 coffees)
      I get around to a few cafes as part of my work as a roaster. Machines being complained about are not LM's.

      I don't own a GS3 but regularly have coffee from one and I know that Talk Coffee has had one for some time.
      Chris is not the type of person who would tolerate sub standard equipment for his use, let alone be a vendor of such machines.
      Talk Coffee and the other machine's owner are about as good an endorsement of the GS3 that anyone could get.

      I googled 'La Marzocco GS3 rust issues' for nil result. Others may be able to comment on rust, as an issue, in GS3's but
      no-one is saying anything about it on the net..................
      Last edited by chokkidog; 9 June 2013, 11:10 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Did these same vendors go on to recommend a machine that was more to their liking? One from their own catalogue perhaps?


        I suspect you are right on the money there!

        I just checked the serial number of the one here at the Snobbery, #396 so one of the very early ones and with glass sides and all the internals easy to see I certainly can't see any rust.

        Great machine.

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        • #5
          Who knows on the cross sell...

          We deleted the GS/3 from range a couple of years ago due to the frustrations of dealing with the then importer, not due to machine issues. They were impossible to deal with. Now that we have LM in Melbourne, we're back on board.

          I have experienced a couple of issues with mine, but I consider them to be minor. When people enquire on one, I let them know what I have seen- but I do that with everything we sell.

          I do think the chassis of the early ones was soft and needed special care in transit. From what I hear from other vendors, they now travel far better.

          If the GS/3 rocks your boat, go for it! x 2 on Andy's opinion. Great machine.

          Comment


          • #6
            due to the frustrations of dealing with the then importer, not due to machine issues. They were impossible to deal with. Now that we have LM in Melbourne


            Same mob, rebranded... things might get better if they keep a little more stock on the ground though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Andy View Post
              Same mob, rebranded... things might get better if they keep a little more stock on the ground though.[/COLOR]
              Agreed Andy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by chokkidog View Post
                Did these same vendors go on to recommend a machine that was more to their liking? One from their own catalogue perhaps?
                Were they La Marzocco vendors? 8-o

                .....
                One of the biggest critics was selling lower end machines ( I wont mention the brand). However she was pushing a product that wasnt hers. She was recommending that i go to another stand and check out the speedster. She said that the head of the LM was poortly designed and had temperature problems.

                I took a look at the speedster and it was very pretty but the size, price etc did not suite me. I am only wanting it for home use. Getting a $10k plumbed in machine for 5-6 shots per day (perhaps a little more on weekends) seems silly.

                What sort of maintanace would i reasonably expect with a LM given my expected use?
                cNc

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by coffeeNcake View Post
                  One of the biggest critics was selling lower end machines ( I wont mention the brand). However she was pushing a product that wasnt hers. She was recommending that i go to another stand and check out the speedster. She said that the head of the LM was poortly designed and had temperature problems.

                  I took a look at the speedster and it was very pretty but the size, price etc did not suite me. I am only wanting it for home use. Getting a $10k plumbed in machine for 5-6 shots per day (perhaps a little more on weekends) seems silly.

                  What sort of maintanace would i reasonably expect with a LM given my expected use?
                  cNc
                  Sounds like she was on a better margin on the other one cNc....Much/all of what she was saying: bollocks.

                  Re non plumbed GS/3- seriously, I wouldn't bother. It's waaaaaay too fiddly to fill. If you're not plumbing, you may wish to consider something else...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    She said that the head of the LM was poorly designed and had temperature problems.


                    Sheeze! If by temperature problems she meant it's insanely accurate regardless of how you use it which then makes most other machines look bad then sure, it has "that" problem.

                    Maintenance is not much different to any espresso machine. routine cleaning, occasional back-flush and if you have a flappy-paddle then as per Talk coffee's post (#2 above) some seals each year. All things you can do yourself (if you have the tinkerer gene) with some basic tools and a little knowledge else you can pay a tech to visit once a year.

                    For only a few coffees a day though you might want to consider saving a few dollars on the machine and getting a better grinder to go with it? Kitchen bench space, under cupboard height, aesthetics etc all come into play.

                    Pick a budget for machine and grinder, post a query to all the site sponsors via the "Quote Form" (top and bottom of every page here) and then have a look at the machines in the replies. If you are sniffing around the GS3 then I can only guess that something like a $6000 budget will give you some great choices in nearly every pointy end machine and grinder combination.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Was 'she' wearing a red mini dress? ;-)

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                      • #12
                        I had a gs3 for about three years. In that time i had 5 service calls. Im not going to say it was bad but nor would i buy another one. Ive had a Faema S98 for 12 years and its never had a problem and never been serviced?

                        cheers paul

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pwegener View Post
                          I had a gs3 for about three years. In that time i had 5 service calls. Im not going to say it was bad but nor would i buy another one. Ive had a Faema S98 for 12 years and its never had a problem and never been serviced?

                          cheers paul

                          hey paul, perhaps you should clarify how long ago it was you owned the gs3... it potentially looks like it was a fair while ago?

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                          • #14
                            got it in June 2009.

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                            • #15
                              I purchased a second hand GS3 about 2 months ago (one of the very early ones #117). Maybe around 6 years old. I had two issues initally (stuck NR valve on hot water line and leaking Vacuum breaker valve), both related to scale build up. I found the only maintenance the previous owner had done was to change the group head seal. I gave it a little birthday with a big descale, new group seals and the LM-recommended vacuum breaker modification (as installed on later models) and it has not skipped a beat since. There is absolutely no rust on the machine either.

                              Very happy and will be keeping it for a long time.

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