Comparing the Faema President, Urania, and Lambro - Page 3

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Brick88 (original poster)
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#21: Post by Brick88 (original poster) »

IamOiman wrote:Holy Sh*t that was too long, what's the TLDR Ryan??[/b]
For a first time vintage machine project I recommend an E61, Faema Lambro, or Faema President. A Faema Ariete and Zodiaco, the 70's version of the prior machines, are also valid responses and are often cheaper. You can purchase almost an entire machine worth of parts if anything is missing. You will likely purchase the machine in Europe and have it shipped. Costs will likely range anywhere from $2500-4000 including shipping at market rates. Parts and labor can add anywhere from 500-1500 depending on issues and condition of the machine, maybe more.

I know and wrote this word vomit because it is what I experienced when I began buying old machines.
Thank you for taking the time to put together so much information about this topic. I have been lurking and researching for awhile now but it is definitely a bit daunting to figure out how to find one the first time around so all this information is great! It's helpful to hear from someone who has so much experience buying machines and reaffirming to hear that some of your recommendations align with thing some of the forums and places I have been looking into. I have definitely been searching for awhile across many different avenues so it is super helpful to hear how the options for buying differ from one another as they all have their own pros and cons. It definitely seems like buying a vintage machine is not for the faint of heart but it is an endeavor I am excited to undertake. I am definitely going to supplement my hunt with many of the recommendations you have made and with new clarity.

Also, I am in Ohio so not too terribly far from you!
IamOiman wrote:There are networks of collectors and resellers that exist. Starting out from nothing, it is a little difficult to break into the collection space with a good mindset and expectations of what will happen during the restoration process just due to lack of experience.

It will take time to build up these relationships, but eventually it pays off.
Do you have any recommendations on forming these relationships with people and not just being another random person reaching out to them?
IamOiman wrote:there seems to be a slight bias against Spanish made machines (even if they're Faema, Gaggia, etc) that result in lower prices than what I'd see in Italy.
Is there a reason for the bias against Spanish made machines such as quality issues?

I really can't thank you enough for all the great insight you have been so helpful and generous with your time!

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IamOiman
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#22: Post by IamOiman »

No worries, it's a niche hobby so I like to see new growth and interest.
Brick88 wrote:Is there a reason for the bias against Spanish made machines such as quality issues?
I don't have a good reason besides people thinking the Italian made machines are better. :?
Brick88 wrote:Do you have any recommendations on forming these relationships with people and not just being another random person reaching out to them?
Getting a machine and starting a forum topic as a project is the first and most important step, whether it's done here on HB, Facebook groups, Instagram, etc. Unless you happen to have a close friend who is also in the hobby, relying on resellers and or public sales is the reality for most people, but you must have something to show and engage other people with. People generally like to discuss things that interest them... :D

I started poking known people with small questions originally here, where I first started looking into old machines. I think starting out really does seem slow at first because you're not a known quantity to the community. The more your post/more machines you acquire, the more you will be recognized by other collectors. Organically, you will reach out and talk with many people in the hobby and it does take time. I think I was posting on HB for 3-4 years before I started to consider myself at least a little known (and started receiving DM's for advice). I made my first post in fall 2017, so circa 2020/21.

My Gaggia Tell/LL thread and Faema President thread were how I got questions asked and received answers (RIP Old Nuc) from other people with these machines/similar models. Those were good machines to grow my knowledge and also advertising myself to people that I exist and want to collect machines.
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
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Bluecold
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#23: Post by Bluecold »

The French 'craigslist' type website, leboncoin is also a great source for old levers, and substantially cheaper than the rest of the world it seems. I just looked and there a now at least 3 Faema Lambros on there, all below 1500 euros. I got mine for 1250euros some 4 years ago.
A few lessons French can pay for themselves!
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drgary
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#24: Post by drgary »

jedovaty wrote: - if you like ristretto style and/or choke the machine, you have to wait for the lever to complete the pull and pressure to dissipate before you can pull your next shot - there's no way to "cancel" mid shot, unless you get a modern lever that has the bypass valve in the group; you can somewhat mitigate this by having a second/third portafilter, and really is only an issue when you are trying to dial in a shot and want to move quickly.. you can't have to wait!
You can slightly cock the lever to temporarily eliminate brew chamber pressure and remove the portafilter.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Spad_VII
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#25: Post by Spad_VII »

Brick88 wrote: Is there a reason for the bias against Spanish made machines such as quality issues?
Well, let me give the perspective from here in Italy. Spain was under Franco up to 1975, right in time to savor some democracy during the oil crisis :|

Before joining NATO in 1982 and EU in 1986, there was a diffuse downplay of the country as a whole from outside. It is sad to see that this perception of the era still endures today. This was of course subjective, and has more to do with politics than coffee machines, so let me stop right here.
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borntodie
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#26: Post by borntodie »

This perception also affects FIAT/SEAT & Lambretta values, never seen any evidence Spain built things to a lower standard. Compared to an engine the Lambro is a pretty uncomplicated affair, can't imagine it would matter much who manufactured it.

Spad_VII
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#27: Post by Spad_VII replying to borntodie »

Exactly! unless is a VBM, it is not... Rocket science :mrgreen:

As I mentioned, it was more about perception than real matter. I should know well because of my other passion, where I buy drivers for my loudspeakers, and they are all coaxials, all Beyma, all made in Spain. We build excellent units in Italy too, but I do not want to pay the premium.

So back to vintage coffee machines, Old Italian made are of course the most sought after. But from what I understand we are looking more for a daily driver rather than a display item. So why not a Spanish unit?
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leozava
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#28: Post by leozava »

I will say that out of the 3, lambro is the smallest by quite some margin so if size matters you should consider that. Also, off the top of my head I think the only chrome on the lambro is on the group so that might make restoration a bit easier

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Bluecold
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#29: Post by Bluecold »

Drip tray, front plate, skirt plate, handle and portafilter are also chromed if I'm not mistaken. On mine the front plate was replaced by a stainless plate by the previous owner.
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