Brass boiler, very nice. Purist wand, if that's what you want. But just because this thing is made in Italy, don't be fooled, esp. if you're a consumer.
Positive Product Points
The brass boiler and the very positive reviews of this machine were what got me very excited about it to the point of waiting extraordinarily long for the machine to be put on an evidently very slow boat from Italy. It's a good looking machine with solid rocker buttons.
Negative Product Points
Cheap metal edges in places, arrived with a scratch on top, very cheap reservoir jug with horrible chemical odor and made of PET, frothing thick foam from fattier milks with dense bubbles never able to make that happen.
The edges of the metal were very sharp, giving it an amateur garage-shop feel in places. The hose/water reservoir is clunky as all get out, forcing you to pull out the reservoir and carefully refill. The very small hole for refilling is still left exposed, but tiny enough to make filling with filtered water a mess. The reservoir is cheap PET plastic and had a really awful chemical odor to it, although I'm sure with more cleaning (I did about fifteen soaks of this), it might be less (note, it did not affect the espresso). The first pull on this machine was the best one, the ones that followed were terrible (I use redbird espresso beans, known around these parts as some of the best, and have a Gaggia grinder).
Now here's why I sold this clunker: The frother is AWFUL. I'm sorry, perhaps I'm just an amateur even tho I've been pulling shots for 10 years on my own, I really tried here-I spoke with Jim at 1st Line and the response was blunt: The milk you're using is too fatty (2% and whole). I am used to cappuccinos, and my current consumer machine makes a foam you could rest a quarter on top of with dense dense bubbles, be it whole milk, soy, or even half and half (yeah we had to). Getting a good foam with this frother may make some of the more experimental purists happy, but this was a pain, and we had zero zero luck after following directions, watching videos, and what not. It's okay to be a purist and deny that wands may be better if they have the panarello attachment, but telling me I'm using the wrong milk or that I shouldn't want my foam that thick? No thanks.
I had a pro barista neighbor come over who owns a fancy Rancilio, and he was also unable to get the machine to foam other than a dribbly foam enough for a latte but not for a capp. So I sold this on ebay after a month of trying, went back to my old KitchenAid and put up with the leaking for superior shots and easy foaming compared to this machine.
Ok experience from 1st Line. This review will probably get dinged because I know 1stLine is a very active player in this forum. I found the responses to be fast and efficient if not a little blunt and dismissive, but overall a good shop.