Why Do Nearly All Current Levers Use 54mm Group Heads vs 58.5?

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JB90068
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#1: Post by JB90068 »

I'm thinking of trading out my e61 machine and getting a lever. I'm most interested in the Nurri with the Vostok a close second. Other than the Flair 58, it appears that the group heads are all 54mm. I'm curious as to why?
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Primacog
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#2: Post by Primacog replying to JB90068 »

There are quite many single group levers who are at 58mm - LM, bosco, profitec pro 800, astoria, Victoria arduino, Londinium...

It's just for hybrid levers that they are currently all at 54mm because of the LSM grouphead that they are all based on.
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JB90068 (original poster)
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#3: Post by JB90068 (original poster) »

True, but most of these are 2 or more groups which would be overkill for my needs. The Pro 800 isn't something I'm interested in either.
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JohnB.
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#4: Post by JohnB. replying to JB90068 »

Lm, Bosco, Londinium & others offer 1 group lever machines with the 58mm group head.
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macaber8
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#5: Post by macaber8 »

Minor detail in the 54mm.

The LSM dispensary block is around 53.6mm diameter. A 54mm basket can fit in but not going to be easy. The realistic minimum size of basket measured at the top of the basket is 54.39mm. You do not want to be any smaller than than that. I good size of basket should be around 54.9mm.

So when say group size, I'd really use 54.5mm to describe LSM rather than 54mm.

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#6: Post by daveyb »

You ask an interesting question, and the answer is opinion of course. The 58mm group produces a flatter, wider puck. The 54mm group produces a narrower but deeper puck. This seems to have a marked effect on taste. So the answer to your question, is that companies that use the 54mm system think it is better than the 58mm. Think about Betamax versus VHS. They both did the same thing fundamentally.
If you are thinking about a lever, then try to visit the two set ups and see if you can taste the difference. If you cannot, then it matters not what you buy. I always become annoyed when I read of people who make minute tweaks to a shot but can then taste the difference! I think I was at the back of the line when god gave out tastebuds!

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mrgnomer
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#7: Post by mrgnomer »

Bezzera Strega is a 58mm. Portafilter lock in tabs are different. Stock e61 58mm portafilters won't lock in with the standard orientation angle. All other e61 58mm grouphead parts work although the firm 8mm grouphead gaskets keep the portafilter from fully locking in when they are new.
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bgn
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#8: Post by bgn »

Is the cup from the smaller group head often called a Napolitano? refering to regional preferences in taste? The Argo is a small lever that will ship (hopefully!) with a 58mm group.

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JB90068 (original poster)
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#9: Post by JB90068 (original poster) »

daveyb wrote:You ask an interesting question, and the answer is opinion of course. The 58mm group produces a flatter, wider puck. The 54mm group produces a narrower but deeper puck. This seems to have a marked effect on taste.
Based on this, then can a person assume that this is a contributing element for the richer and smoother pulls that levers typically offer?

I asked my first question because I have some e61 accessories that I really like that aren't made in a 54mm version.

I have two main reasons for wanting to move on from my Synchronika - function and form. The first is the ability to pull shots that are richer and more syrupy. I'm not unhappy with what I'm doing now, but I wouldn't mind going further. I'll add a shot of boredom to this train of thought as well. The second is that for the past seven months I've been redoing my current home. In the process I've come to dislike the aesthetics of most espresso machines on the market. In my other house the Synch worked as it was a touch of innocuous modernity in an old Hollywood house. But in my present house it just looks like a box on stubby legs in comparison to everything else in the room. I want something more interesting and sculptural in appearance without having go with a 2 group. Where it used to be that I was happy having my EG-1 be the visual focal point, the new machine needs to take over that role. For what it's worth the Slim Jim Idrocompresso would look perfect in my space. It's just not practical...

Any ideas?
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JB90068 (original poster)
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#10: Post by JB90068 (original poster) »

Here is the current setup...
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