La Marzocco GS/3 or Rocket R Nine One

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by bryston »

Hi. Am looking to upgrade my 12 year old rocket Hx machine, I don't want to do any more cooling flushes and the machine getting old, I think I replaced the pump half dozen times over the years.
I read about both machines as much as I can, the LM GS3 MP are reliable the draw back for me is the paddle controller seems very erratic , I can see some videos people using both hands to move it so they don't over shoot ( and they still do) it just feels very touchy and very erratic .The rocket seems to have better control ( I can see in some video the pressure needle moves smoothly.) I know it is smother bc the paddle basically control the pump speed. The draw back is that LCD screen seems problematic some time , am not sure about long term reliability .
I will be still be using my Compak k10 grinder.
Any advice and comment will be highly appreciated


#2: Post by drH »

Also take a look at the Dalla Corte Mina in that category. That machine has incredible functionality.

And I suppose I'll suggest it before someone inevitably does...Decent Espresso.

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Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

What do you want from your machine past "no more flushing"?

What roast levels do you presently use? Do you already or would you want to explore using "drip" roasts for espresso?

bryston (original poster)

#4: Post by bryston (original poster) »

Thanks, I do use drip roast for espresso sometime, I tried different Ethiopian roast I could not extract well, May be 2 bags I was able to dial well.
I try to stick to espresso roast most of the time, my main drinks are usually late.
Dalla Corte is too high tech, I live in a small city and no essepreso machine service available., I did all my services my self (pump change,OPV change, pressure stat replacement, etc.)
Thanks for help


#5: Post by drH » replying to bryston »

That's good information. If you are someone who is comfortable doing your own maintenance then I'll also put in a strong endorsement for a manual lever like a Cremina, La Pavoni, or Elektra Leva. Or, if you want a more commercial machine, something like a Profitec Pro800 or Londinium.

But back to your original comparison, I think the Rocket machine has more electrics than the GS3. La Marzocco is famous for tech support and you can probably get help anywhere or at least get the needed information and parts. Among the two, my vote would be for the GS3. Personally, I think complex flow profiling is a bit overrated unless you are extracting very light roasts or want to try "blooming" profiles, and in that case the GS3 should be repeatable enough with practice.


#6: Post by israguard »

Good morning everyone and Merry Christmas to you all.

Here is an angle that to me is important... just sharing..

What about aesthetics?. Does it matter at all to OP what the machine looks like?. To me "looks" are important as well as how good the machine looks. The R9 to my old eyes looks bulky.."square" and like they pushed a lot of overkill and unnecessary electronics in it.

I liked the look of the LMLM. It was aesthetically pleasing to me and of course quality was taken into consideration when I bought one.

My two humble cents.

bryston (original poster)

#7: Post by bryston (original poster) »

I do think pressure profiling is over rated, I was afraid to say so since I never tried it just from what I read.
The Gs3 AV was my initial choice , I still think about the convenience in the morning. The MP nice to play with make you feel you are doing something.
Am afraid to get av then regret it.
Can someone make my mind for me.

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Team HB

#8: Post by Jeff »

As I pull mainly medium and lighter beans, both variable "PI" (soak) along with extraction profiling are features that I would not want to be without. I suspect that some of your experience with the Ethiopian beans was not having these features at your disposal. Moving from an E61 with which I could reliably and repeatedly control temperature to within a 1°C window to a machine with variable PI and extraction profiling took my success rate with medium and lighter beans from 50/50 to as close to 100% as one can reasonably expect.

Of the two you are asking about, the GS3 MP (not AV) would be my choice, based on experience with early GS3s and a personal feeling that Rocket has neither the design skills nor ability to reliably execute on a $6,800 machine, especially one with electronics involved.

US$6,800 will buy you a DE1+ and several years' worth of excellent beans.

The Compak K10 is a great grinder (I have owned one for nearly a decade now). I have reliably pulled medium and lighter roasts (including those from a Danish roaster) with it and the DE1+. There is always the allure of "modern flat" grinders, but I think they are still evolving. From what I have read (I do not own one yet), they have benefits for light roasts, but many prefer a conical grinder for classic espresso flavors and texture. Maybe put the $3,500 you'd save into a "in a few years" account, if not into some great beans. No matter the grinder, if the beans aren't top notch, the espresso will never be.


#9: Post by rktcyntst »

I asked this exact same question of the sales advisor I've been working with for about a month as I narrowed down a decision for my own upgrade. My advisor is from one of the major retailers here in the US (and supporter of this site), and has a long history working with a variety of machines. They sell and service both La Marzocco and Rocket, and it's clear that they think very highly of both brands. However, they observed specific items with the R Nine One over time, and shared those with me to inform my decision. The major points they shared with me on the discussion on GS3 MP vs. R Nine One [with braced context notes from me]:
  • Rocket has a tremendous (and well justified) reputation for longevity and reliability. Unfortunately the R Nine One is by far the most troublesome machine long-term in their entire lineup [that my retailer observed from their direct experience].
  • [The repair techs with this retailer saw that ]the electronic interface on the R Nine One [had a high frequency of issues/failure], causing other items to go bad (example: screen goes bad, causing damage to pressure profiling, causing pump issues, and so on).
  • Rocket parts are proprietary so they are the only option [and expensive option for low volume parts like the screen]
  • [in my advisor's experience] the only pressure profiling machines that have been rock solid in the long-term is the GS3 MP and the Slayer. Every other pressure profile machine [they have direct experience with] (the R Nine One, the Vesuvius, Duetto Pro, etc) had issues and required unplanned repairs on a higher frequency basis.
  • [pressure profiling] is still a relatively new tech so issues are understandable, but [my advisor's opinion is that] it is safer to go with GS3 MP in terms of service than with the R Nine One.
I thought this was useful information. I think the R Nine One is very interesting, and its functional capabilities are very compelling. I'm sure Rocket will be able to (if not already done) enhance their design to address the issues they are seeing, and I am sure that a future iteration will have these resolved to allow users to enjoy the machine as intended - it's just a matter of time having these machines in the field at volume.

I personally decided to proceed with the GS3 MP given this insight and the overall service infrastructure La Marzocco has in my area (and beyond for that matter). If you do decide to go with the R Nine One, I'd personally want to understand warranty/service support availability based on your location to ensure that you are able to have any issues you may encounter addressed, as well as timelines for repair, potential costs for key items (like the screen) etc. to go in 'eyes wide open' with your decision.

Happy machine hunting, and I hope you find the machine best suited for your needs/wants!

bryston (original poster)

#10: Post by bryston (original poster) »

Thank you all