La Marzocco GS3 MP or Rocket R Nine One

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
lsegeorge

#1: Post by lsegeorge » Sep 17, 2018, 3:49 am

From these two wonderful machines, which one would you buy if prices were as follows:
La Marzocco GS3mp - 5.350
Rocket R Nine One - 4.400

I am currently on a Cimbali Junior (had it for 15 years) and a Mythos One grinder, drinking single origin espresso drinks (Espressos, Americanos and Iced drinks). Frothing milk very rarely. I brew around 6 espresso shots a day on weekdays and 10 espresso shots on weekends.

I feel that the GS3mp carries more pride of ownership and commercial pedigree whilst the Rocket R Nine One carries more technology which could prove useful if the manual pressure profiling excitement starts wearing out at some point. Also the difference in price of 1k is not negligible.
At the same time, this is going to be my only machine upgrade for a long time, so if La Marzocco will fulfill my needs better (including pride of ownership) I am willing to spend the extra 1k.

You can assume that the quality of the technical support is identical.

(btw I have tried to ask for experiences on the forum for the Rocket R Nine One here but there was very little feedback probably because the machine is so new)

lsegeorge

#2: Post by lsegeorge » Sep 21, 2018, 4:43 pm

Any opinions?

kenyabob

#3: Post by kenyabob » Sep 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

I'm just trying to not be angry that these are choices you get to make.

User avatar
jammin

#4: Post by jammin » Sep 21, 2018, 5:21 pm

The Rocket sounds like it does a stepped pressure profile similar to a Synesso. It's that true - I'd go that way.
I don't find any difference in using my Syncronika from my old Gs3 MP. The shots I've had on Synesso's though... wow

User avatar
sweaner
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by sweaner » Sep 22, 2018, 9:02 am

How about a Decent AND a Helor Stance Motor or a Monolith?!
Scott
LMWDP #248

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#6: Post by another_jim » Sep 22, 2018, 7:48 pm

You may want to check out this video of what James Hoffman has to say about automatic profiling based on pressure rather than flow (it comes towards the end of the video). My sense is that this represents the quiet consensus among the people who regularly use these machines. If he's right, then manual pressure control may be more useful than automation based only on pressure.
Jim Schulman

Tonefish

#7: Post by Tonefish » replying to another_jim » Sep 22, 2018, 9:03 pm

I subscribe to this philosophy based upon what I've studied with my levers. Manual pressure manipulation facilitates flow profiling if you put an Acaia Lunar under your cup and have your smartphone in view. I believe both of these machines give you the manual pressure manipulation.
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

User avatar
luca
Team HB

#8: Post by luca » Sep 23, 2018, 5:01 am

My understanding is that the R9 uses a gear pump and paddle to give you on-the-fly control, which you can use to record a pressure profile to play back. In this sense, it ought to really be more like a single group Strada than a single group GS3.

The GS3 uses a conical paddle that reduces pressure by diverting some water into the drip tray. If you don't like wasting water or if you don't have your machine plumbed in or out, that is a pretty big practical disadvantage for the GS3, I would have thought. I'm also not sure how easy the pressure on the GS3 is to adjust.

I was irritated enough that LM hadn't delivered a full, sensible and practical solution for pressure profiling on the GS3 that I bought a Vesuvius 2 instead of a GS3, despite having coveted a GS3 for over a decade.

People are talking about "flow profiling" rather than "pressure profiling" as though it is some sort of revelation. It is obvious and has been available on any machine with manual pressure control. You don't even need an acacia scale to do it. You can do it by eye. I remember using one of the Strada prototypes in an FB80 body maybe 10 years ago and you could intuitively compensate for the flow rate being too fast by slowing down the flow rate on the paddle.

The Vesuvius has programmed brew pressure profiles. This is significantly worse for my usage than being able to adjust it manually, since I change coffees a lot. If I could change brew pressure on the fly more easily, I'm pretty sure I would reduce the percentage of sink shots that I have by having the grind setting off on the first few shots.

I haven't used the pressure profiling GS3 paddle, nor the R9. I think here in Australia the R9 is probably going to be more expensive than the GS3. I really hate synesso style steam levers, since they simply aren't positioned in a location that is sensible and easy to use, but people seem to love them. If you need to position the steam wand to the left of the drip tray, then the R9 steam lever is going to be almost unusable. The Strada and GS3 positioning is much better. From reading the German forum post, it looks as though neither is really put together that well inside. Also, worth remembering that Rocket have probably one of the worst drip tray covers in the business - water pools on top, so you will need to keep a dedicated cloth on top of the drip tray and wipe it down constantly. The drip tray also looks like the standard Rocket domestic ultra-shallow drip tray (drop tray, maybe?), so you probably would really want it to be plumbed out. Frankly, if you are spending big on a Rocket domestic machine, I think that the drip tray covers are so bad that it's probably worth spending a few hundred dollars more to somehow get a better custom drip tray. The GS3 has a gicleur in the group that is very, very difficult to access and change ... if you are going to do it yourself for the first time, I would think you would need to set aside four hours to be safe. I have no idea whether the R9 contains a similar part and, if so, what diameter the gicleur is and what pressure ramp up characteristics it has.

I'm very interested in trying out the R9 when someone gets it in Australia. I sort of expect both to be capable of very good coffee and put together well enough that they will last a long time, but I expect that both will have problems. To some extent, even though these machines are thought of by many as incredibly good, I think that understanding the quirks and being able to work on them and with them to get them to perform well is actually part of the fun of owning them.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

lsegeorge

#9: Post by lsegeorge » Sep 23, 2018, 7:55 am

Thank you all for sharing your insights!

One of the needs that gets fulfilled through my home barista and coffee hobby in general, is my need to operate heavy duty high quality commercial equipment! Its something that my office job fails to fulfil. I suspect that this could be the case for a few of the members here! In that respect I feel that Decent cannot match the R9 and GS3.

Thats probably the reason why the gs3 is still on my list. The R9 implementation in terms of user interface wit the touch-screen and the electronic paddle seems more gimmicky compared tp the gs3 mechanical paddle and the analogue dial.

Yes our German friends were less than impressed with the internals of the R9.

Tonefish

#10: Post by Tonefish » Sep 23, 2018, 10:12 am

luca wrote:People are talking about "flow profiling" rather than "pressure profiling" as though it is some sort of revelation. It is obvious and has been available on any machine with manual pressure control. You don't even need an acacia scale to do it. You can do it by eye. I remember using one of the Strada prototypes in an FB80 body maybe 10 years ago and you could intuitively compensate for the flow rate being too fast by slowing down the flow rate on the paddle.
True that volume changes can be observed for pseudo-flow changes, but what fools you is the amount and density of the crema. As crema changes from coffee-to-coffee, coffee aging, grind, etc., the crema density changes too, and only weight based measurements can account for this ... not observation.
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!