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Versalab M3 grinder ordered today... - Page 2

Postby another_jim on Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:01 pm

Socalsteve wrote:... that one person who bought an almost prototype and then was not willing to upgrade it for free ...


That's correct. Five minutes after I got this offer, the grinder was in the trash can. Obviously, I'm a kook, so it's odd that they were so eager for me to retract my criticisms.
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Postby Grasshopper200 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:27 pm

Lockdown Alert.
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Postby HB on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:10 pm

Grasshopper200 wrote:Lockdown Alert.

No joke! For those who are new to the site, Versalab has admirers and detractors that have rehashed the same talking points once or twice a year dating back to Jim's comments in the original review. In case you missed it, Laura Dearborn from Versalab responded in 2006 and again in 2009.

For those who are interested in owner experience reports, the thread Recent Versalab M3 performance revisits the grinder's performance anew:

Peppersass wrote:I'm well aware of the controversies surrounding the manufacturer and early production models, and I don't want to get into any of that here. I simply would like to hear from anyone who has used a Versalab M3 grinder manufactured within the last 1-2 years on the following questions:

1. Does the grinder produce consistent high-quality output over days, weeks, months of use?
2. Does the grind setting slip?
3. Does the drive belt slip?
4. Have you observed burr misalignment?
5. Have you observed runout in excess of spec on the drive shaft?
6. Are there any other design or mechanical flaws of which I should be aware?

At the moment, these are the only questions I'm interested in. I will later post my set of requirements for a grinder and ask some questions about which grinders may or may not meet them. For now, I'd like to know how current M3 owners are faring with recent production models.

I strongly encourage those who wish to contribute to this thread re-read the previous discussions to avoid needless repetition. And it never hurts to review the Guidelines for productive online discussion. Thanks.
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Postby Cafesp on Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:16 pm

In case of fire, running for my life ! :roll: I would only grasp the Versalab M3 with me! :idea:

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Postby coffeecircus on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:09 am

it's so heavy. it will slow you down.
i'd rather get my zass
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Postby Socalsteve on Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:26 pm

Update...Grinder is built and will be shipping to me on Monday (a week earlier than promised). 2 weeks instead of 3.

So far Laura has been nothing but stellar with her customer service.

I cant wait to get the grinder. Looking like next Wednesday or Thursday.

Think I'll buy some Redline to celebrate! Or maybe some Counter Culture, or maybe a bit of both!

Steve
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Postby LATrapp on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:37 am

Another Versalab owner here, and I have to admit it's one of the favorite things I use, period. I'm not just talking about in the coffee universe. It's that awesome of a grinder and as a bonus it's an amazing example of design and engineering.

When I purchased it, I was taking to heart what I've read a thousand times on these boards. Upgrade your grinder first, then worry about the machine. It was excellent advice and I'll shortly be upgrading the Silvia that has served me well (With a Alex II Duetto, Woohoo!).


-I do however feel that the past back and forth between another_jim (as much as I hugely respect his help and contributions) and Versalab does need to be addressed and can't be ignored. I almost did not purchase the grinder due to the exchange and I now see what a mistake that would have been. True, as a mom and pop shop, Versalab might not be up to corporate PR standards but it seems that another_jim's issues are based on an early model that Versalab did try to correct for him. I understand it was declined so the review would appear to be unbiased but in -my- opinion that was a mistake. My experience is that Versalab is that helpful with ordinary ol' customers as myself as well as those with their own review website such as another_jim. Let's remember, that was YEARS ago.

New threads about this grinder will continue to pop up as they do for other grinders on the market. I hope any new posts aren't relegated to old threads. Like it or not, another_jim's 'review' is now part of the V3's permanent record.
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Postby another_jim on Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:35 am

To repeat my views of the company and the grinder for the umpteenth time:

-- My views of Versalab, the company, are based on what they told me when I had problems with the grinder. They said I had voided the warranty by using it for cupping and by grinding too lightly roasted coffee. Then they "graciously" offered to nevertheless refurbish the grinder for free, provided I posted nice things about them. This did not strike me as gracious, but as deeply insulting, and bordering on blackmail and fraud. My audiophile friends tell me incidents of publicly critical owners being blamed for equipment problems and having their warranties voided were also quite common when Versalab was producing a well regarded but controversial tone arm in the 1980s

-- My view of the grinder is based on professional and engineering opinions on its long term viability as a lab and cupping grinder (the major reason I bought it, as I told John Bicht). In their unanimous opinion, for this use, and for overall commercial viability, the unkeyed friction fits between the pulley, the drive wheels, and axle, along with the single bearing suspension of the axle so far from the burr, are flaws. I disregarded their input; but after six months, the belt and drive wheel started slipping, and after a year the bearing was shot. So their prediction about the grinder's weaknesses were borne out. In their opinion, the grinder is an excellent piece of design that cannot be made reliable without being revised by a competent production engineer.

As you can see from this account, I have excellent reasons to both doubt those singing the grinder's praises, and to repeat my experience whenever the events underlying my judgments are distorted.
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Postby ronsil on Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:45 am

- Moderator please! - This looks like its going the same old way

Ron :(
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Postby HB on Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:12 am

ronsil wrote:This looks like its going the same old way

I agree, but Jim has the right to present his viewpoint when others call his comments into question. His first point is about his post-sales experience. Readers can judge for themselves from the ample online comments whether this point carries weight in their buying decision. His second point is one for the engineer types to consider:

another_jim wrote:In their unanimous opinion, for this use, and for overall commercial viability, the unkeyed friction fits between the pulley, the drive wheels, and axle, along with the single bearing suspension of the axle so far from the burr, are flaws.
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