Attractive retro design offers exclusivity and conversation. Equal performance can be had for less $.
Positive Product Points
Design, Design, Design (Or should I say Looks, Looks, Looks), acceptable performance
Negative Product Points
Price, unmarked switches
I heard through a source close to the factory that the first batch of machines sent to the USA had not been internally converted for 110volt electrical supply. As most of you know, this machine is of European origin and thus the vast majority sold are of the 220volt variety, which is standard in European households. In our infinite wisdom in the USA, we dictate 110volt for most home use. The first batch of machines had a 110 cord, but the pump and heater were the 220 type. As a result, the pump and heating element were only getting half of their design power supply and this produced weak shots and poor heating performance. I tested a machine wired correctly and it had excellent pressure and crema as well as volumous steam capacity. In fact I can steam enough milk for two 16 lattes to 155 degrees in about 30 seconds, with a nice thick creamy foam layer on top. The switches have no markings, and they all look and operate the same, so this can be a bit confusing...why they can‘t mark their switches for $500 is weird to me. But this machine is for the weird and quirky at heart anyway, I guess, judging by the looks, which most people classify as "30‘s retro" like something you might see in an old Bogart movie. It is the looks, not performance, that allows the $500 price to be swallowed by some buyers, but the same be said of many expensive autos and their owners.
A nice conversation piece that you are not likely to see at your neighbor‘s house. Be certain to get a newer model with the correct 110volt pump and heating element. To be certain, open the body of the machine and check the label on the pump - it should say 110volt/50-60Hz on it. If it says 220 volt, the machine will require 220 (such as supplied to most ovens and dryers) to operate correctly.