Zacconi Riviera vs Elektra Microcasa a Leva vs Microcimbali Liberty vs Pedretti Kim

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Mikto
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 19, 2017, 4:19 am

Postby Mikto » Jun 19, 2017, 7:02 am

Hello Everyone,
This is my first post, unfortunately I have no espresso machine but I am looking for one.
I think now I can ask you what to do, after I learnt a lot here.

I am thinking about these machines, which are affordable for me.

Zacconi Riviera full Chrome/Steel 1970 vs Elektra Micro Casa 1980 Copper & Brass vs Microcimbali Liberty vs Pedretti Kim Express v2.1

Which one can make better espresso?
Which one is more durable?
Which is easy to manage, fix and change seals?
Do you have information about the basket size?
Can I add Thermostat to Pedretti Kim Express?
Which one can make oily espresso?


Thanks for you all.

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redbone
Posts: 1460
Joined: Sep 12, 2012, 9:19 am

Postby redbone » Jun 19, 2017, 9:12 am

Mikto wrote:Hello Everyone,
This is my first post, unfortunately I have no espresso machine but I am looking for one.
I think now I can ask you what to do, after I learnt a lot here.

I am thinking about these machines, which are affordable for me.

Zacconi Riviera full Chrome/Steel 1970 vs Elektra Micro Casa 1980 Copper & Brass vs Microcimbali Liberty vs Pedretti Kim Express v2.1

Which one can make better espresso?
Which one is more durable?
Which is easy to manage, fix and change seals?
Do you have information about the basket size?
Can I add Thermostat to Pedretti Kim Express?
Which one can make oily espresso?


Thanks for you all.


I've owned or own Zacconi Riviera and Pedretti Kim.

Zacconi Riviera - Well built machine made of good materials. All brass ++. Small group 45mm. Great for those who like ristretto shots. Difficult to get parts since new Zacconi has new group and new owners.
Mcal (Elektra M.C.) - never had one. Read some issues with pitting \ perforation in boiler and maybe group. Nice in cup once dialed in. Some pre 2005 parts availability issues.
Microcimbali Liberty - Nice looking machine but prone to aluminum boiler pitting.
Pedretti Kim Express - Own one also aluminum boiler. Brass lined group. My 1970 came with aluminum spring and piston which were pitted and replaced with all brass version. Parts hard to come by. Kit available from Francesco. These use a 58mm basket. No sight glass or pressure gauge.

Consider vintage La Pavoni Europiccola machines. I prefer addition of pressure gauge \ manometer. Easy to add on with 12mm adapter. Parts still available from varying third party suppliers. Not spring assisted.

See here for basket sizes. http://www.fareastcomponents.net/basesizechart.htm
ON A QUEST FOR BETTER ESPRESSO


Rob
LMWDP #549

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Mikto
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 19, 2017, 4:19 am

Postby Mikto » Jun 19, 2017, 9:34 am

Hello redbone,
Thanks a lot for your useful reply..
I always read about microcimbali boiler problem in the other hand everyone talk about kim it as one of the best quality.

My problem with La Pavoni is rust that the most machine in ebay have and everyone talk about.

What about Kim' espresso, how you evaluate it.
Is it like La Pavoni or microcimbali

Thanks a lot

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redbone
Posts: 1460
Joined: Sep 12, 2012, 9:19 am

Postby redbone » Jun 19, 2017, 9:46 am

Mikto wrote:Hello redbone,
Thanks a lot for your useful reply..
I always read about microcimbali boiler problem in the other hand everyone talk about kim it as one of the best quality.

My problem with La Pavoni is rust that the most machine in ebay have and everyone talk about.

What about Kim' espresso, how you evaluate it.
Is it like La Pavoni or microcimbali

Thanks a lot


Rust in the LPE boilers are typically some surface greening from the use of chlorinated water but I have yet to see pitting in about a dozen machines I've overhauled. Nice thing is that the greening comes of with a citric acid \ filtered water soak. May need some scrubbing and a few solution changes.
Vintage variant bases can be customized to your liking.
Here are some of mine. Two original and two powder coated (grey and red)
Image
ON A QUEST FOR BETTER ESPRESSO


Rob
LMWDP #549

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bill
Posts: 467
Joined: Nov 24, 2005, 11:32 pm

Postby bill » Jun 19, 2017, 12:35 pm

Hi Mikto, I agree with Redbone's advise. I've owned a Riveria (very nice machine, but parts will be hard to get), an Elektra Mcal(beautiful machine, high quality, and can make excellent espresso, but will be expensive to refurbish), and currently have three Pavoni machines. They are manual levers vs. spring levers on the others, making them harder to master, but once done they can make espresso as good as any espresso machine. The biggest rust issue is with steel base models that have a screw hole in the drip tray. Get one made before 1984 and you'll be fine. In fact, the earliest machines made back in the early seventies have aluminum bases! Whichever machine you buy, be sure and budget for refurbishing. Good luck!
Bill
LMWDP #43

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!

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doubleOsoul
Posts: 1435
Joined: Aug 25, 2008, 1:09 pm

Postby doubleOsoul » Jun 19, 2017, 1:13 pm

Hi Mikto,
Something to keep in mind with the Riviera is the heating element can't be removed (to the best of my knowledge). I had the Riviera and moved on because of parts and heating element issues. I've owned 4 or 5 MCALS (down to 2 now) and many here in leverland know how much I love them. It particularly shone when I hosted the lever event last weekend and had to run back to back shots.
SF Bay Area Lever Extravaganza, June 10!
I installed a new pstat on my slightly 'newer' Chrome MCAL the other day (again, ease of repair) and now have it running like Isaac Hayes' gold top caddy from Shaft. I'm pulling some amazing layered shots. Stefano's Espresso Care is a stellar resource for parts and questions. He gets back to you quick, he's honest, helpful and his prices for MCAL (and other) parts are very reasonable. I've owned my share of Pavoni's too. They can pull a decent shot once mastered as Bill mentioned but I guess I've been spoiled by the MCAL's ease of use and beauty on the counter top. I've had plenty of chances to buy Microcimbalis but I don't like aluminum and I don't like pitting. So that is one lever that's not in my collection. With the MCAL, gaskets and seals: I was always intimidated (no logical reason why) but got a lesson from Cuppajoe a few weeks back and was shocked at how easy it was to swap them out. Basket size is 49.5 mm. I own a Kim but I'm as red as my Kim to say that I haven't spent the time I should with it ... yet.
Ways to win my heart:buy me coffee, make coffee, be coffee LMWDP #354

Mikto
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 19, 2017, 4:19 am

Postby Mikto » Jun 19, 2017, 4:56 pm

Thank you all for the reply sharing experience

I understand:

1- From redbone and bill: I can buy a La Pavoni before 1984 and it will come with good steel and the parts will be available and not expensive.
2- From you all: Zacconi Riviera is strong but hard to do the maintenance and hard to find the parts, and Microcimbali is not good because of the aluminum quality.
3- From doubleOsoul: Elektra Micro Casa one of the best machine easy to do the maintenance and the parts are available but relative expensive.



Hello Redbone and Bill,
Did the old La Pavoni have Thermostat, or I must wait to hear the steam noise?



Hello Redbone,
What is your experience with KIM and can I add a Thermostat


Hello doubleOsoul,
My neighbor have the Elektra Micro Casa 1980 Copper & Brass with wooden hands.
He want to sell it with 270 Euro, but it need a lot of parts:
1- Full polish
2- Heat element
3- Thermostat
4- Sight glass
5- new gaskets/Seals
6- maybe more
Do you think 270 Euro a good deal?, and how much will cost to make it work with this situation?
Could you please test your KIM and give us some results!!



Many thanks

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redbone
Posts: 1460
Joined: Sep 12, 2012, 9:19 am

Postby redbone » Jun 19, 2017, 5:35 pm

The pressurestat was introduced in 1974 on the Professional and in 1990 on Europiccola.
Francesco did and can add a P.S. to an early LPE.

I don't believe a P.S. is required once you mount a gauge, since pressure and temp relate.
From cold, I place machine on high to achieve quick heating, switch to low once hissing starts and purch air in boiler and group.
Pull shot from .7-.8 bar.
Could not be easier once dose and grind are dialed in.
ON A QUEST FOR BETTER ESPRESSO


Rob
LMWDP #549

Mikto
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 19, 2017, 4:19 am

Postby Mikto » Jun 19, 2017, 5:48 pm

Hello Redbone,
Thanks for your reply, I think I must wait til an old la Pavoni come to ebay.
I have found this old thread the you have posted about KIM
Pedretti Kim Express - Espresso machine
could you please tell me more about KIM

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redbone
Posts: 1460
Joined: Sep 12, 2012, 9:19 am

Postby redbone » Jun 19, 2017, 6:36 pm

That thread is not that old.
The Kim is waiting for a 120v element which I should have by the end of the week.
Currently disassembled in my basement after a complete tear down and cleaning.
Planning to rewire for North America standard household electrical supply.

Really strong spring. Solidly built. Downside is that it has no sight glass or pressure gauge as standard. I've yet to see one placed on. A temp strip would be an easier option.

Can't offer usage feedback as of yet. Currently dialing in newly received Faema Faemina.

Plan to experiment with Kim once assembled.
ON A QUEST FOR BETTER ESPRESSO


Rob
LMWDP #549

 
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