I haven't posted in a while. Im still the proud owner of a LP Stradivarius that I have been using religiously since 2014.
I wanted to upgrade to a Cremina a few years ago but would stop short because of the price and because of the reviews that it won't make a better cup than what I have. Also the La Pavoni is a conversational piece that has beautiful aesthetics however I have a love hate relationship at times with the boiler to base gasket loosening up and a few other quirks like poor steaming performance compared to other machines.
Anyway I decided this year I want to entertain my curiosity and take on a fun project. If I don't like it I would just resell it for what I put into it and get most of my money back. I did a lot of searching here to know what I was getting into so I know what to buy beforehand and I didn't want to overpay, but at the same time I wanted a good example to work with. I bought a 1981 version for $900 with free shiping which looked good from the pictures and was given a reassurance from the seller that everything works. From the pictures it seemed good but I figured if there was something wrong with it I would return it since EBay gives me some assurance that if its not as described I have some recourse.
To my horror item was poorly packed even after I let the seller know to pack it well. Fortunately nothing was damaged as I inspected everything well. Nothing was stuck and I used a borescope to inspect the inside of the boiler and it seems to check out with not much scaling. Another concern was the group head wear from the lever pins and there was very light wear of some surface chrome on the bottom of the slot but only in a small spot and nothing on the top or the rear end that shows any damage or over use. The lever pins seem like they are original as they show rust but no real wear marks on those either. The lubricant seemed black and dried up but sill there. Added water, tested its function and nothing leaks.
On the whole Im very happy so far and plan to test the boiler pressure to make sure the Pstat has plenty of range left incase it needs to be adjusted before I disassemble it for its over haul.
One last thing that I did was pull a shot to compare with the LP. To my surprise it was clearly better so Im very happy about this and I get what people are saying about the build quality between the two as its pretty remarkable.
I have searched this board extensively and learned everything I need thanks to the members here but I have two questions that I cant seem to find the answer for.
1. When I turn the machine on the pilot light is off and once the Pstat kicks the boiler off then the pilot light comes on. I thought this was normal because my LP has the same behavior with its pilot light but when I watched the OE rebuild videos It looks like the pilot light is lit when the boiler is heating up and goes off when the boilers Pstat turns off the boiler when it reaches its set pressure. Is there something wrong with the wiring, possibility someone modified it.
2. The power switch lights up and toggles solid however the illuminated light has a kind of flicker to it. It doesn't exactly flicker on and off but it doesn't look like its solid on with consistent intensity. Is this normal. I hope it is because it looks like something from an 80s movie which is cool.
Thanks in advance.