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New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New La Spaziale...  
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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 8:47pm
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

zedex Said:

This just in. Ballpark $$$ from CCS.  $2500

Posted October 18, 2012 link

OK, if the price differences between Canadian and American machines are any indication, I think that I'm most likely going to see this machine selling for around $2800-$3000 in Canada, which wouldn't really surprise me.
This machine is going to make both the R58 and Duetto look like antiques in comparison. Will it make a better cup? Who knows.

I can understand the reluctance to buy a sophisticated machine with electronics in it, but I'm sure that La Spaziale has done their QA and isolated those electronics from heat (And possibly moisture?) which those double boilers produce.
Their engineering is a bit ahead of that of other espresso machine companies IMHO. (For example, using their own PID control instead of a generic one.) I can understand some of their reasoning behind using a 53 mm portafilter, even
though the industry standard is 58 mm, but it makes me wonder.. I can't tell but I'm going to make an assumption that this new machine uses a 53 mm portafilter as well?

I think that it is amazing that La Spaziale is listening to the Coffee Geek crowd and catering to them, which IMHO is a downright amazing thing. I can't think of any other manufacturer of equipment which does that.

I think it is nice that they've listened and addressed the shortcoming with the external timer. I wonder if this machine will have pre-infusion capabilities and if it is plumbed in only? (It looks like it is.)  

I have to admit, depending on the price and the feature set, even though this machine may be overkill for someone like me, it would keep my upgradeitis cured for a very long time. The only reason why I don't own a Vivaldi right
now is because it won't fit next to my sink, it's two inches too wide. This new machine looks to be the same width as the Vivaldi. Maybe I'll just have to suck it up, bite the bullet and put it on the other side of my sink!

 
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GVDub
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 9:26pm
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

Bud, I wouldn't be so sure that something like "using their own PID" is that good an idea. Do they have the chip designers, foundries and engineers to make a better PID than companies like Omega or Watlow? Doubtful. And a proprietary PID is just one more thing that, 8 or 9 years down the line, when they've changed chip architectures, will be impossible to source.

Think about all the products out there today that were touted as "future-proof" because they could have new EPROMs swapped in for code changes. Now go source a 1-megabit EEPROM. I dare ya! Or devices that used TI fixed point DSP, or any of the thousands of "latest thing" chips that were supposed to be the be-all and end-all of convenience and ensure that you'd always be able to update and improve your existing device.

I've also seen devices die because somebody lost the source code, or the hardware cross-compiler necessary to optimize the p-code to final run state for production went down and the manufacture had gone under so there was no support or parts. I've been at companies where both those things have happened.

For something like a high-end espresso machine that's supposed to last you a decade or more? Open source hardware and software is really the only way to have any hope that it'll be more than just a passing fancy if you're going to insist on these types of glitzy digital bells and whistles.

I look at the completely mechanical Faema and Gaggia machines from the 50s and 60s that are still running today, and I wonder if that Vivaldi will still be working 50 years from now, or be rusting in a landfill. My money's on the latter.
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
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Posted Thu Oct 18, 2012, 10:14pm
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

GVDub Said:

Bud, I wouldn't be so sure that something like "using their own PID" is that good an idea.

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I guess I should have elaborated on that point. I agree with you that going with more generic components is probably better in the long run because it would make the machine more serviceable, but the fact that they have the
capability of engineering their own PID says something about the capabilities of their engineering department, which is pretty much far beyond what I've seen with other makes. Is that a good thing? Maybe. Maybe not. Of course,
that is up for debate.. USB on a machine like that certainly is something really out of the ordinary. It makes me wonder what else they've done which nobody else has.

GVDub Said:

Do they have the chip designers, foundries and engineers to make a better PID than companies like Omega or Watlow?

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I suppose this is up for debate. Perhaps they actually sourced the PID from Omega or Watlow using their own engineering specifications? Automotive companies do this all the time. As an example, there is a company in the USA
which engineers latching systems. That's all they do. GM goes to them and says, "We need you to design a latching system for our Minivans." .. and they do it. Sometimes it isn't the best solution, but it's better when many smaller
companies work together with a larger company to develop a product.

GVDub Said:

And a proprietary PID is just one more thing that, 8 or 9 years down the line, when they've changed chip architectures, will be impossible to source.

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I agree with this. Absolutely. I'll admit that it is a downside.. but I'm sure that parts for these machines would be available for a few years past that.. and if I got 10-15 years out of a $3000 machine,
I'd say I would have gotten my moneys worth. Considering that people buy a $40,000 car and rarely keep them for more than 10 years..... Maybe that's not a fair comparison....

GVDub Said:

For something like a high-end espresso machine that's supposed to last you a decade or more?

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I guess it makes me wonder... what kinds of people would buy this machine and would they really keep it for a decade or more anyway? Consider how many people have "upgraded" from a perfectly decent
HX machine to a DB machine... then eventually ditched that to get one of those legendary LM GS/3's on their kitchen counter... :)

GVDub Said:

Open source hardware and software.....

Posted October 18, 2012 link

One of the things which has caused the longevity of the PC platform was the fact that PC's always used "Off the shelf" parts which could be sourced from multiple suppliers. As a result of this, you could
quite literally build an IBM PC/XT/AT from scratch because the full schematics were available to the public. Will La Spaziale do the same thing? I kind of doubt it, at least IMHO. Perhaps they will keep this design on the
market for a very long time. In which case, I'm sure there will be plenty of "Parts" machines on the market for a very long time afterwards.

This is how a friend of mine keeps driving his beat up rusty 1986 Dodge Aries.. There's thousands of these things in junkyards still. :-)

GVDub Said:

is really the only way to have any hope that it'll be more than just a passing fancy

Posted October 18, 2012 link

One thing that kind of shocked me about the audiophile world was that I was told that the average audiophile keeps their equipment for no more than three years. Can you imagine blowing $10k on an
amplifier, only to sell it and buy something else just three years later? I've seen it happen all the time. There are lots of audiophiles who get hand-me-down equipment all the time for fire sale prices.

I think that the Coffee Geek world suffers from this as well, but not to the degree that they do in the audiophile world. I'll use the Rancilio Silvia as an example. Some people buy them, keep them for six months
and then quickly move on to something else. Other people buy them and keep them in daily operation for 20 years. It's a strange mix of people. :-)

So, I keep wondering what kind of "upgradeitis" would strike the coffee geek who buys one of these machines. I find it strange sometimes how someone will have an LM GS/3, yet they have this beat up
old Cremina from the early 70's sitting next to it. I understand the rationale behind it, but I guess it's kind of like seeing someone with a Hyundai parked next to a Ferrari.. both have very different driving experiences.
(I'm going to apologize if I offended anyone who owns a Cremina, I'm just using that as a rather ignorant example.)

GVDub Said:

I look at the completely mechanical Faema and Gaggia machines from the 50s and 60s that are still running today, and I wonder if that Vivaldi will still be working 50 years from now, or be rusting in a landfill.

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I can't say that I disagree with that. Then again, somehow I think it would be highly unlikely that I'd keep a machine for 60 years.. Just IMHO.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Endo
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 5:17am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

qualin Said:

Their engineering is a bit ahead of that of other espresso machine companies IMHO. (For example, using their own PID control instead of a generic one.)

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I've read the new Vivaldi uses a PID accurate to 1F.

qualin Said:

USB on a machine like that certainly is something really out of the ordinary. It makes me wonder what else they've done which nobody else has.

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I've read the USB is for uploading the firmware (not for temp datalogging download as I had stupidly guessed earlier). A nice feature to have none-the-less since the old Vivaldi required you to strip out the old control board and mail it back to CCS for a upgade. This avoids all that. Also, this allows them to realease the machine with the software still in semi-Beta and fix the inevitable bugs later.

qualin Said:

I think it is nice that they've listened and addressed the shortcoming with the external timer. I wonder if this machine will have pre-infusion capabilities and if it is plumbed in only? (It looks like it is.)

Posted October 18, 2012 link

Are you kidding? The old timer was $200 and couldn't even keep time accurately! What a joke. They had better fix it.

Yes, the machine has programmable pre-infusion. The old S1V2 had it as well after the last software upgrade so this is nothing new. I assume the difference here is it will be more easily accessible from the LCD panel now.

Keep in mind, beyond the cosmetic and "brain" changes, I expect the internals are the same (i.e same 53mm grouphead and boiler, same steam boiler, etc). So the I expect it will perform exactly the same as before where it really matters....in the cup.

qualin Said:

I find it strange sometimes how someone will have an LM GS/3, yet they have this beat up
old Cremina from the early 70's sitting next to it. I understand the rationale behind it, but I guess it's kind of like seeing someone with a Hyundai parked next to a Ferrari.. both have very different driving experiences.
(I'm going to apologize if I offended anyone who owns a Cremina, I'm just using that as a rather ignorant example.)

Posted October 18, 2012 link

I have both Vivaldi and Cremina. But I think of it in the opposite way. I drive a Hyundai Genesis GT every day but have a beatup vintage Ferrari 250 GTO next to it for weekend enjoyment. In my opinion, the owning both a Vivaldi and Cremina is the best of both worlds (old and new). A perfect compliment to one another if you wish to own 2 machines.
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zedex
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 7:30am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

Endo Said:

Are you kidding? The old timer was $200 and couldn't even keep time accurately! What a joke. They had better fix it.

Posted October 19, 2012 link


What??? My external timer is accurate to within 1 minute per day.:) True story.
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GVDub
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 7:55am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

Endo Said:

I've read the new Vivaldi uses a PID accurate to 1F.

Posted October 19, 2012 link

Nothing special there. That's pretty much standard accuracy for most PIDs on the market (.5C or .9F), though most of the time it's a little more accurate. They allow for a fudge factor for standard deviations in tolerances.

I've read the USB is for uploading the firmware (not for temp datalogging download as I had stupidly guessed earlier). A nice feature to have none-the-less since the old Vivaldi required you to strip out the old control board and mail it back to CCS for a upgade. This avoids all that. Also, this allows them to realease the machine with the software still in semi-Beta and fix the inevitable bugs later.

"Shipping beta" is a wonderful way to lose customers and destroy your reputation. I can think of several products in the musical instrument world that did just that for the companies that made them. I even know of a couple products that had major bugs in them for their entire life because the engineering attitude was always, "we can fix that with a "dot" release" and then they weren't allowed to issue that release because some bean counter in the front office decided there wasn't sufficient ROI involved to allocate the engineering resources.

Lest anybody get the wrong idea, I'm not anti-"Dream Machine". As a matter of fact, had I the room, a Vivaldi would be on the short list of machines I'd really like to have. But if the added complexity doesn't bring anything to the cup, it's pretty much for show, and to drag a few extra dollars out of the "Ooooh, shiny!" crowd. I don't see the ROI for me in this machine. IMHO, YMMV, IANAL, CYA, and all that.
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calblacksmith
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 8:21am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

I understand and agree with your post but IANAL is new on me??? Perhaps I am a bit "out of the loop"

 
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CraigA
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 8:23am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

I was just thinkin' the same thing! {;-)

 
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germantownrob
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 8:29am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

calblacksmith Said:

I understand and agree with your post but IANAL is new on me??? Perhaps I am a bit "out of the loop"

Posted October 19, 2012 link

IANAL= I am not a lawyer.
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GVDub
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Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 8:29am
Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
 

calblacksmith Said:

I understand and agree with your post but IANAL is new on me??? Perhaps I am a bit "out of the loop"

Posted October 19, 2012 link

IANAL = I am not a lawyer

I'm just sticking as many disclaimers on there as I can.
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