Quality & size changes in 1st gen La Pavoni Europiccolas?

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Snowbeard
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#1: Post by Snowbeard »

Moderator note: This topic is split off from the LMWDP Rollcall to allow a focused discussion of this topic.

Hi drgary. I just finished the "restorations" (both were in pretty good initial condition) on Friday and this morning I'm about to fire up the v.1.5 for its initial run. Wish me luck! In any event, no matter how it goes, I know from earlier comments of yours, Francesco and others that any problem will lay on the handle side of the espresso process and may just need to be worked on! Anyway, to answer your question, the v.1.5 (1968 to 1970) Europiccola that I have is a bit larger than the v.1.6 (1970 to 1973) Europiccola as far as several individual parts are concerned by just a slight amount, just enough to notice. I had the machines side by side and came to this conclusion. Or is it just my imagination? Could it really be that there's more than just the removable/non removable shower screen as a difference between these models? Could it be that the 1st Generation models were sized slightly larger than the 2nd Generation models? And, that the v1.5 model is sized like a 1st Generation while the v1.6 is sized like a 2nd Generation? Any further input is welcomed as I haven't seen this mentioned previously, don't own a 2nd Generation model, and my comments were subjective of course.

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drgary
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#2: Post by drgary »

I think the only things that changed in most V1 versions was the addition of features. For instance, after the base got a drip tray, it wouldn't pay to create a new casting. What else has changed? If you have measurements that show such changes with photos, it would be good to start another thread on that topic and link it to this one so people will find it. I don't think there were such changes, though. Francesco Ceccarelli has catalogued La Pavoni changes in other models, like the early Professional, where boiler size and shape did change. I would have to look over his site again, but I don't remember such an observation with the Europiccola. To stay on topic, this thread is a good place to sign up for LMWDP and show what brought you here.
Gary
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Snowbeard (original poster)
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#3: Post by Snowbeard (original poster) »

Just a quick reply, drgary. I don't want to mess up a perfectly good thread!

I thought that the v1.5 Europiccola "felt" a bit sturdier in the hand, perhaps just the slightest bit firmer (less "give") than the v1.6.
Anecdotal evidence I admit. Just a feeling. I don't have photos with proper measurements. However, I did get out my trusty ruler.

It appears to me that my v1.5 and v1.6 are different in 4 ways:

a) the obvious difference with regard to the shower screen being removable or not,
b) the drip tray on my v1.5 is .5cm deeper than the drip tray on my v1.6. Therefore I'm assuming different castings for the base. Or is the drip tray just a separate piece plunked into the same old base casting?
c) the drip grate is different. Aluminum and square holes versus steel with round holes,
d) at least a couple of parts are slightly bigger on my v1.5. The top of the yoke is about 2mm wider. Also, the outside diameter of the group head also appears to be about 2mm wider. Maybe these differences are inconsequential. Just differences well within production tolerances. Or, maybe I just managed to get a really nice example with extra chrome?

I don't believe that I've seen any comments regarding any reduction in quality during the life of the 1st Generation Europiccola. I thought it might be an interesting point to hear more on as these were my observations. Feel free to move this comment somewhere else if it doesn't fit here, or even start a new thread if you see any value. In any event, I'm glad to join the club! Thanks for all you do!

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drgary
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#4: Post by drgary »

Ken,

If you look carefully at Francesco Ceccarelli's site, you'll see all of these changes documented.

http://www.francescoceccarelli.eu/lapavoni_ep.htm

Drip trays never came with the 1st gen Europiccolas, so you'll see a lot of paint degradation in the bases. The change from the aluminum to steel drip grate was a change but not necessarily a downgrade. I have a 1964 and a 1972 with different versions of that grate (including the aluminum one). The removable shower screen is a quality improvement. A cast aluminum base is solid, and none of my three early Europiccolas yields at the base when I pull a shot, including my historic 1961 hybrid version that has the earlier base without a drip grate. It's identical to a Caferina but with the first known La Pavoni badge.
Gary
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Snowbeard (original poster)
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#5: Post by Snowbeard (original poster) »

drgary,

Looking at Francesco's site, some 1st Generation models did come with drip trays, from v1.4 to v1.8. Perhaps you meant that drip trays never came with the earliest 1st Generation models?

I agree that the change from aluminum drip grate to steel is not a downgrade. Although some prefer one look over the other it seems.

The removable shower screen does make things easier, no question.

Any thoughts on the size differences I mentioned? Or the change in the casting of the drip tray from one version to the next? Could these slight changes change the feel of the pull? And are they "changes", or just random quality differences within the same version?

I wouldn't say that my v1.6 yields at the base, but I would say that my v1.5 feels more solid, more substantial.

It would be nice to hear from others who also have later 1st Generation versions, v1.5 to v1.8. Any differences they notice?

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drgary
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#6: Post by drgary »

The drip tray is built into the base as an indentation. There is no separate drip tray until at least version 2.0 although Francesco's photos are unclear. I believe they were introduced with the stamped metal base of version 2.3.
Gary
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Snowbeard (original poster)
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#7: Post by Snowbeard (original poster) »

drgary,

Thanks for the separate thread and for that base information update. I think from what you've just said I can make a bit more sense of this. If the drip tray is built into the base as an indentation at this stage of Europiccola development, then I think that means that my two machines have different bases, different aluminum castings. This conclusion would be backed up by the fact that the machines also have different drip grates. One base is clearly .5cm deeper than the other in the indentation. That's not a small amount really. The base depth does to me seem to be an obvious difference between the versions. Perhaps the reason for my thinking that they had different feels.

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drgary
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#8: Post by drgary »

I pulled the aluminum drip grate out of my v 1.4 Europiccola and dropped it into the well in my v 1.6 machine. The recess size is the same.
Gary
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JJ420
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#9: Post by JJ420 »

the site voltage110 is a great resource for old Pavonis.

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drgary
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#10: Post by drgary »

I just looked it over. It still shows up front the "pre-Millennium" and "Millennium" groups, a category that's obsolete. Francesco's site is far more complete and shows three generations of groups, with photos of all the changes made to the machines and with them broken down for restoration. It's truly comprehensive. And your browser will squawk at you that the site isn't secure because it isn't https.

http://www.francescoceccarelli.eu/lapavoni.htm
Gary
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