Rotary or vibratory pump?

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

#1: Post by sungvary »

If you aren't planning to plumb your machine in, do you think it is worth shelling out extra money for a machine with a rotary pump vs a vibratory pump e.g., would you go for a Profitec Pro 700 over a 600?

I currently have a rotary pump with my Synchronika and I love how quiet it is compared to my old Gaggia Classic and it will allow me to plumb it in down the line without upgrading, but I am curious to know what the community thinks about the difference.

User avatar

#2: Post by AssafL »

If I had to wing an answer it would be for vibratory. Not due to noise or longevity. But due to reduced water debit.

I think that lower water debit (within reason, not drip irrigation) is better, makes for a more forgiving machine. Obviously gear pumps are also good. Rotary vane pumps just have too much debit.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

La Marzocco · Home: customized for espresso aficionados
Sponsored by La Marzocco · Home

#3: Post by Pressino »

The main differences are: Rotary pumps are: 1) larger and heavier (made w/more metal); last longer but are more expensive to replace if they go bad; 3) have a quieter and more steady sound in operation; 4) bring the brew head up to pressure more quicky and maintain a more constant brew pressure during extraction, whereas vibe pumps ramp up pressure more slowly and pressure fluctuates more during extraction. Rotary pumps, when plumbed in, also allow you to do pre-infusion with E61 groups. You can plumb in vibe pump machines, but they tend not to stand up to line pressure even with good inlet pressure reduction and pump pressure will not be stable enough for good preinfusion.

All this being said, vibe pumps work just fine to make good espresso. The Pro600 costs about $600 less than the Pro700. What do you get for this extra $600? The main differences between the two are the 700 has a rotary pump and is configured to work either plumbed in or with reservoir and the 700 has a larger (2 liter versus 1 liter) steam boiler and the brew boiler heater is slightly more powerful (1200W versus 1000W). You have to decide whether these differences are worth it. You also may change your mind down the road and decide you do want to plumb your machine in. :?

And regarding water debit, this can be adjusted with a flow control device like the ones WLL includes on their ECM machines.


#4: Post by SandraF »

Years ago I had a single boiler dual use machine with a vibratory pump & I hated it just for the noise. I didn't mind anything else but the noise. That's one of the reasons I chose a Synchronika.

User avatar

#5: Post by AssafL »

Pressino wrote:And regarding water debit, this can be adjusted with a flow control device like the ones WLL includes on their ECM machines.
Yes - Flow control devices are nice. Expensive ones like the DLC Mina or GS/3 MP, to the adjustable E61, to the self made ones like the Jake Valve or replacing the pump with a gear pump all work well.

However, I was referring to fixed flow machines. They are typically less expensive, and for those a rotary vane pump would typically have a high water debit, usually set by the size of the orifice of the giggler. Yes - one can use a smaller giggler but they can clog.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

Supporter ♡

#6: Post by tinman143 »

I will say that my Profitec 600 is significantly quieter than my old but well maintained QuickMill Andreja Premium (both vibe pump).


#7: Post by BaristaMcBob »

IMHO, rotary pumps are far superior to vibration pumps. The latter only exist to reduce the size and cost of espresso machines. Other than being quiet, rotary pumps have a better pressure to flow-rate profile, which allow brewing at a lower pressure and thus less risk of channeling.

I'm not an expert, so take what I just said with a grain of salt. However, you can watch some Bezzera videos, where Luca Bezzera explains that.

Aida Battle: Indigo Reserve from world renowned Finca Kilimanjaro in El Salvador
Sponsored by Aida Battle
Supporter ❤

#8: Post by Auctor »

BaristaMcBob wrote:rotary pumps have a better pressure to flow-rate profile, which allow brewing at a lower pressure and thus less risk of channeling.
I'm not following this...can you please explain a bit, or point to the videos that you've referenced? My experience is that the rotary pump is incredibly difficult to control in flow-profiling scenarios because rotary pumps are so powerful and the technology controlling the flow (in my case the needle) is not particularly sensitive enough to provide a suitable range of flow rates.

Edit - and to more directly respond to the OP, I prefer my rotary for longevity and sound. That said, I'm becoming convinced that a vibe or (possibly) gear pump is a better choice for an E61 flow control. It's incredibly difficult to pull off a super slow preinfusion with the rotary E61. Some argue that you don't want that, since super slow preinfusion extracts the top and bottom of the puck differently. *shrugs*


#9: Post by BaristaMcBob »

Sure - I'm not referring to adjusting the flow during a shot. I'm referring to the specs of the pump itself.

User avatar
Supporter ★

#10: Post by cafeIKE »

Re Noise:
On last rebuild,I replaced an EX5 Ulka with EFX5. Reduction in noise is substantial.

Re Pressure:
One thing that is annoying with vibe pumps is pressure fluctuation due heating element power, especially with a PID.
Solved: Pressure Perfect w Vibe Pump

Both contribute to a significant improvement in shot quality, mouthfeel and reduction in shots going sideways.