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  • Can you identify this machine for me?

    My son has offered to swap (an indefinite loan-swap) his San Marino CK Compact heat exchanger for my lovely little La Pavoni Professional .. it will take up less bench space and he only uses his machine on weekends while we make at least three coffees every day and more on weekends with friends. I have a Breville BES900 which I've been happy with, but the chance of gaining an Italian HX indefinitely seems too good to pass up!
    I've attached the pic of the unit and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about this model ... I've seen threads here offering a San Marino CK for sale, but they look very different especially since they seen to have only one large rotary knob, not two as shows here.
    It would be a wrench parting with my La Pavoni .. but I guess the HX is the way to go. Any info welcome .. and also any help sourcing an online manual!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I know this machine has a few different names and comes from the Astoria stable. I haven't seen one exactly like that, I'm guessing it's not the 'compact'. You'll need someone a lot more knowledgeable to chime in sorry.

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    • #3
      Yes, a San Marino (or Astoria) Compact. Quite old...somewhere between 10 to 15 years, the model before CK and CKX.

      Its performance is not representative of modern semi commercial HX machines however it will be a step "in the right direction" from the La Pavoni in terms of its modus operandi.

      Very "weak" in the control box (ie control box failures were very / very common back in the day, to the point where the importer of the time offered some kind of mod to another model control box, but I don't think it helped much.

      If it works and continues working, all good. If the control box fails, you have to consider that owing to the relative value of the machine in its entirety, it may not be worth paying someone to replace the control box. The most cost effective way to repair would be if you are prepared to source and replace sundry internal (to the control box) components yourself. Individual components are cheap and its only your time to extract and refit if you are of a mind to do that type of thing.

      And as stated, as long as the machine keeps functioning that is not a worry.

      It had facility to change over to mains water connection but suggest you don't do that.

      Suggest you use it for a short period (ie become atleast slightly familiar with it) before deciding to swap ad infinitum with your son.....what if you don't like it?

      You may be able to find an owner booklet (physical or online) but it wont tell you anything that you wouldn't already know (fill tank with water, switch on, wait to heat up, fill group handle with grounds, tamp, affix to group, push button to make coffee; if water level in tank drops to minimum the machine will cut out and will cut back in when the water level is replenished yarteh yarteh yarteh...). The one thing that would be of use in the owner booklet would be the instructions to change from tank feed to mains water connect, but as stated above I suggest you don't do that.

      Hope that helps.

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      • #4
        There you go, the expert word. So it's the age that has it looking different. Most of the ones I've seen look like this (which is obviously the newer CK/CKX models)-

        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
          There you go, the expert word. So it's the age that has it looking different. Most of the ones I've seen look like this (which is obviously the newer CK/CKX models)-

          [ATTACH]9282[/ATTACH]
          That's also a Wega mini nova. The knobs on the OP's machine also look like Wega knobs.
          Either companies copy Wega or the other way around. I'm inclined to think the latter seeing as Wega copy Compak grinders. Unless Compak copy Wega and we've all been deceived. ......

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          • #6
            Originally posted by noidle22 View Post
            I'm inclined to think the latter seeing as Wega copy Compak grinders. Unless Compak copy Wega and we've all been deceived. ......
            Neither- Wega have Compak produce grinders under their own brand name. This practice is routine for grinders.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by noidle22 View Post
              That's also a Wega mini nova. The knobs on the OP's machine also look like Wega knobs.
              . ......
              True. The one pictured is actually an Astoria, a CK model I think. It's all one big company I believe that also owns some other well known brands.

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              • #8
                You blokes are a riot. Please check the OP's very first line:

                Originally posted by ajhclarke View Post
                My son has offered to swap (an indefinite loan-swap) his San Marino CK Compact heat exchanger...!
                Nobody I know of in those days referred to them as a "CK"....they were the SM (or Astoria) COMPACT....or in even less numbers here in OZ at the time, a Wega Mini Nova...and if someone says "compact" rather than CK to me, I know which body type and age group of model the person is likely referring to.

                Aside from whatever it does or does not indicate on the compliance plate, there is a LARGE NAME PLATE that you cannot see (in the photo above), because it is on the front face of the body ie facing the other way from the operator side depicted in the photo supplied by the OP. If the OP says it is a San Marino, it is likely that is the name on the front of the body and it was originally sold as such.

                There is no association between compak grinders and the SM COMPACT (in case anyone reading all this stuff gets the wrong idea from tangential stuff written above).

                San Marino, Astoria and Wega were all brand names that belonged to the CMA espresso machine company. The flagship brand IN ITALY but not here, was WEGA and all Wega machines (except for the Mini Nova of this model) employed E61 groups, while the San Marino and Astoria brands employed the smaller non e61 groups that many will be familiar with. In terms of sheer number sold here, the flagship name for CMA in Australia was San Marino.

                CMA went down the gurgler a couple or maybe even 4 years ago, but was in the end "rescued" / taken over / sold off to / whatever, to an unrelated company that is apparently keeping some or all of the brand names going.... Time will tell, as they have all (espresso machine companies) been falling over like flies in a mortein storm of late....

                Hope that helps.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can you identify this machine for me?

                  Yeah I wasn't disagreeing, just pointing out that San Marino, Wega and Astoria all came under the one umbrella, which by the sound of it is somewhat unknown these days. I know very little and was just hopin someone with more info would jump in and fill the blanks as TOK has so fully. Bit sad really that a lot of decent machine makers have gone under, but not surprising I guess.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TOK View Post
                    CMA went down the gurgler a couple or maybe even 4 years ago, but was in the end "rescued" / taken over / sold off to / whatever, to an unrelated company that is apparently keeping some or all of the brand names going.... Time will tell, as they have all (espresso machine companies) been falling over like flies in a mortein storm of late....
                    CMA still exists, while it may or may not be the same company as in the past it is definitely still making machines under the CMA umbrella and badging them as Wega/Astoria/San Marino/CMA. We received a containerload of machines from the CMA factory only 3 months ago.

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