Vibe pump vs Rotary

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MCM

#1: Post by MCM »

Good morning - just discovered this website. Wow - you guys know your stuff.

Have narrowed down new espresso maker to the Vibiemme Double Domobar (with vibratory motor) vs the Izzy Alex Duetto II - which has a rotary motor.

Both seem similar in other aspects. Read with interest the other post which compared these along with another model...

I would be sold on the Vibiemme (if it came with a rotary motor) - thus am leaning that way - but want to know if there is a difference is
1) durability
2) espresso quality

Any quality differences between the two that is noticeable?

Though I dig the idea of a quieter machine - it isnt paramount. Unfortunately - the only Vibiemme they have with rotary and double boilers is a direct connect, and that isnt in the cards right now. (wish they had the dual option, because down the road we might direct connect with a kitchen redo...)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts/opinions.

Beezer

#2: Post by Beezer »

I haven't used either of those machines, so I can't give you an opinion about how they compare to each other. From what I've heard, either one would be an excellent choice.

Also, with regard to the question of vibe pumps versus rotaries, I don't think anyone's ever been able to show that one is clearly better than the other in terms of their ability to make good espresso. Rotaries are generally quieter than vibe pumps, though some people have modded their vibe machines to make them very quiet. Other than that, I don't think there's any real reason to pick a rotary over a vibe pump machine, everything else being equal.

That said, I will say that some vibe pump machines can be annoyingly loud. My Anita is very noisy, especially when auto-filling the boiler first thing in the morning. I have it on a timer, and when it comes on at 6:30 in the morning it's loud enough to wake me up if I leave the bedroom door open. If there's one thing I'd change on my machine, it would be have a quiet rotary pump instead of a noisy vibe pump.

Hope this helps. Good luck on your search, and let us know which machine you end up getting.
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JonR10

#3: Post by JonR10 »

Welcome to H-B!
MCM wrote:Have narrowed down new espresso maker to the Vibiemme Double Domobar (with vibratory motor) vs the Izzy Alex Duetto II - which has a rotary motor.
Sounds like you have done your homework, those are excellent choices!
My first question is "What grinder will you be using with that?"

Beezer wrote:Also, with regard to the question of vibe pumps versus rotaries, I don't think anyone's ever been able to show that one is clearly better than the other in terms of their ability to make good espresso.
Actually, I believe it has been demonstrated that rotary vs. vibe makes no difference in taste.


Beezer wrote:Rotaries are generally quieter than vibe pumps, though some people have modded their vibe machines to make them very quiet.
Indeed, vibe pumps can be very quiet if mounted properly to a heavy frame with sturdy rubber mounts (as is the case with the Olympia Maximatic - it's easily as quiet as my rotary Wega)


Beezer wrote:Other than that, I don't think there's any real reason to pick a rotary over a vibe pump machine, everything else being equal.
I strongly disagree, and I would even assert that anyone who has used both rotary and vibe pump machines would most likely never make such a statement. Rotary pumps generally have a much more robust build than vibe pumps and operate smoother (spinning shaft vs. vibrating piston), and so they tend to last longer. Also, I think the rotary pump setup with integrated pressure limiter is much easier to adjust accurately than the vibe pump with separate OPV


MCM wrote:Though I dig the idea of a quieter machine - it isnt paramount. Unfortunately - the only Vibiemme they have with rotary and double boilers is a direct connect, and that isnt in the cards right now.
I run my direct connect machine from 5-gallon water bottles using a flojet feed pump. The arrangement has been very convenient and virtually worry free for years now.
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, Texas

MCM

#4: Post by MCM »

Thanks for the responses! Per your questions:
JonR10 wrote:Sounds like you have done your homework, those are excellent choices!
My first question is "What grinder will you be using with that?"
I think I am going to go with the Mazzer Mini....good choice?

Have looked into the flojet - just a difficult placement with regards to our cabinet/kitchen set up - though not impossible.

Hooking up to water supply....is this a similar supply that would be furnishing my fridge with water? I could possibly do it ...but man - lots of rerouting...and I need coffee sooner rather than later! (old machine finally broke and was pronounced dead)

Beezer

#5: Post by Beezer »

JonR10 wrote:I strongly disagree, and I would even assert that anyone who has used both rotary and vibe pump machines would most likely never make such a statement. Rotary pumps generally have a much more robust build than vibe pumps and operate smoother (spinning shaft vs. vibrating piston), and so they tend to last longer. Also, I think the rotary pump setup with integrated pressure limiter is much easier to adjust accurately than the vibe pump with separate OPV
You're right Jon, I haven't used a rotary machine. Maybe if I had, I would see the advantages more clearly. I'm sure you're right about the build quality of a rotary pump, and I do admire a well built machine.

On the other hand, the fact that vibe pumps are so much cheaper to replace is an advantage too. You can ruin an expensive rotary pump if you run your machine dry, and it will cost hundreds of dollars to replace it. Whereas with a vibe pump, you're less likely to destroy the pump in the first place, and even if you do, it's only $50 or so to replace.

Still, if I had it to do over again, I'd be tempted to get a rotary machine for the quieter operation, not to mention the fact that rotary pumps are just cooler and more professional grade than vibe pumps. 8)
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Yeti

#6: Post by Yeti »

MCM wrote: I think I am going to go with the Mazzer Mini....good choice?
I'd say that would be a good match to either of those machines
MCM wrote: Hooking up to water supply....is this a similar supply that would be furnishing my fridge with water?
Yes, you can "Tee" off that line to feed the direct plumb VBM. Do you know the diameter of the water line feeding the fridge?

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JonR10

#7: Post by JonR10 »

Beezer wrote:Whereas with a vibe pump, you're less likely to destroy the pump in the first place, and even if you do, it's only $50 or so to replace.
Respectfully I say "bullcookies"

Again - from what documentation or experience do you draw the conclusion that "you're less likely to destroy" a vibe pump as opposed to a rotary pump? I don't know why you think a vibe pump is less likely to fail, to me it seems like errant logic with no basis in reality. Generally, a rotary pump will run for many years all day every day in most commercial machines operating in cafes and coffee shops.

Why would you suppose that not a single commercial espresso machine manufacturer uses vibe pumps in their commercial products? Not one! Plus, a new rotary pump for an espresso machine is generally under $150, so I don't know where this "hundreds or dollars" for a replacement comes from.

A rotary pump can certainly run dry for a limited time with no damage...of course plumbing in generally reduces the chances of that happening, and many tank models have low water shutoff features. On the other hand, running a vibe pump for a whole minute (wet) or more than a few seconds (dry) will almost certainly cause damage.

Vibe pumps are inherently less reliable due to the violent piston action. The vibe pump operates by violently slamming a piston against endstops at a very fast rate. I burned out 3 vibe pumps on my former machine in just over one year but my rotary Wega has been going strong for almost 4 years now.
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, Texas

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Bluecold
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#8: Post by Bluecold »

Commercial machines don't use vibe pumps because they can't take the duty cycle. Vibe pumps are max 40s on, 50s off (or something in the neighborhood of those numbers).
Anyway, you burning out 3 vibe pumps in a year doesn't really stroke with the fact that there are very little stories to be found of people burning up vibe pumps. Maybe you've just got bad luck.
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

Phaelon56

#9: Post by Phaelon56 »

Does sound like a run of bad luck for J0on with the vibe pump burnout rate.

My Isomac has been plugging away with the same vibe pump for about seven years but my buddy's Anita needed a new pump in less than three years. That said... his Anita has always been way noisier than my Isomac but when he replaced the pump it got much quieter than it had ever been - even when it was brand new.

I have an ECM with internal rotary pump in the basement and look forward to getting it up and running when time permits but the noise level of the vibe doesn't bother me.

Can't speak to the experience of other brands but the Procon pump/motor assemblies are nearly bullet proof. I've seen only one Procon wear out after many years of daily commercial service and that was fixable with a rebuild kit. I have yet to ever see the motor part burned out although I'm sure it must happen.

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JonR10

#10: Post by JonR10 »

Bluecold wrote:Commercial machines don't use vibe pumps because they can't take the duty cycle. Vibe pumps are max 40s on, 50s off (or something in the neighborhood of those numbers).
Um....and you don't think this fact is indicative of overall reliability?

Bluecold wrote:Anyway, you burning out 3 vibe pumps in a year doesn't really stroke with the fact that there are very little stories to be found of people burning up vibe pumps. Maybe you've just got bad luck.
While it's almost certainly true that I had bad luck with vibe pumps on that one machine, I also own (and have owned) several other vibe pump machines. Sometimes the pumps last a long time and sometimes they do not. OTOH, my experience with rotary pumps is that they tend to be more "bulletproof" by a wide margin.

Seriously though, if you think there is a shortage of stories about vibe pump failures then I'd guess you don't peruse as many coffee-related forum posts as I do. In several years of active participation I would conservatively estimate that online forum reports of vibe pump failures outnumber similar reports of rotary pump failures 10 to 1 (and it's quite possible that comparison should be more like 20 or even 100 to 1)

As an unscientific test, you can try a simple comparative google search ("vibratory pump failure") vs. ("rotary pump failure") and see how many results pop up - top line says "Results 1 - 10 of about xxxxx"
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, Texas