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La Cimbali M29 DT or M39 Dosetron

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  • La Cimbali M29 DT or M39 Dosetron

    G'day folks.

    Fist time caller Mantle here with a Cimbali question for the experts.

    I have been told by the guys at Espresso Works in Perth (nice guys by the way) that our much beloved La Cimbali M20 1980 Mokbel Olympic Games model 2 group machine has pulled its last shot. Further repairs will be expensive and possibly not curative.

    My ex-barista wife and I are now desperately seeking a replacement. The guys at Espresso Works have told me that due to the harsh water here in Perth we should definitely
    get a machine with a copper boiler rather than one with a SS boiler. We are fans of the Cimbalis and I have located a couple of good looking used units for what seams fairly decent dough. A M29 DT 2Group that looks like new inside and out for 2K and a M39 Dosetron 2Group that shows some age but still runs like a clock for the same money.

    I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping you good folks might be able to answer:
    Does the M29 run a copper boiler?
    Is the M39 a far superior machine to the M29, it sure is a bigger beastie?

    This is for home use but it gets a heap of work on the weekends with friends, neighbors and family.

    Looking forward to your opinions.


  • #2
    Hi there.

    While some brand/models have been produced using stainless steel boilers, they are not common. The norm is copper.

    I feel it is a risk to purchase any all electronic ex commercial machines for home use. If they are for sale, its because they've reached the end of their useful commercial life, and often this means there are repairs that need doing. If anything electronic crops up it will add significantly to the cost of the machine.

    Additionally if the 3 in the M39 designation = 3 groups, for me that is a definite no no as there is no way a 3 group machine would be allowed to enter my humble abode even if it were brand new. Its a size thing....far too big, not to mention (unnecessary) requirement for 25 - 30 amp circuit. So for me, trying to run a 3 group machine in a home is definitely an inferior or retrograde step. The bigger they are, the more retrograde it is.

    For entertaining at home, I feel there is no necessity to have anything larger than a 1 group semi commercial machine. Certainly, one with a water and drain connection would be a help if it is used a lot. You will pay a few hundred more than the figure mentioned above, but you will have a new machine with guarantee, that will handle the pace in a home use situation. That is the type of machine I have in my kitchen. It has a rotary pump (quieter than vibrating type), plugs straight into a 10 amp power point, and can be used with the water connection and drain or not (has an inboard tank and sizeable drip tray). Performs superbly in my in house scenario.

    Hope that helps.


    • #3
      Pretty sure the M39 designation does refer to it being a 3 group machine rather than a 2 group.

      And yes, stainless boilers are less common than copper, and they do in our experience have issues with hard water - we have had problems with trying to get the right filtration on various Marzoccos installed in Geeelong and Ballarat, with some having scale issues within 6 months of installation. About the only stainless boiler equipped commercial machines I can think of at the moment other than Marzocco that use stainless boilers are Klub, and the build quality on those makes a Great Wall ute look like a Mercedes.


      • #4
        IT certainly helps. The M39 I looked at yesterday was a 2 Group but it was large. After checking with another outfit who services La Cimbali I have decided to go with the M29DT, seems like it's a screaming bargain, compact and if I drop a leg it will only pull 12AMPS. With the M39 I would be drawing 16+ even after dropping a leg.

        I do have a sweet old 1980 M20 available if you know anyone chasing one for a resto.


        • #5
          The really big problem with s/s boilers though, is that the presence of chlorine compounds in the water supply (under elevated temperature and pressure conditions), will eventually corrode through the boiler causing pinhole leaks, or worse. Any filtration system used must remove 100% of these compounds to ensure that this type of corrosion does not occur...