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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 1:46pm
Subject: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

OK, Here is a post I'm going to apologize in advance for if I cause a flamewar. I'm sure this is a hotly debated topic, but I just want to get it
out there. I have three big questions to ask in regards to vibration vs rotary pumps.

A local equipment supplier here mentioned to me that a vibration pump machine makes better espresso than that of a machine with a rotary pump.
Is this true? I understand that the pressure profile builds up differently with a vibe pump over a rotary pump. What is the real story behind this?

Reading on other threads, people mentioned how much more expensive rotary pumps are to replace over vibe pumps. How much is the delta here? Are
they considerably less durable/reliable for home use due to less usage?

Another question I have is in regards to plumbing in a machine. The cost of installing a pressure regulator with a vibe pump machine and getting that
machine converted to plumb in as opposed to just getting a rotary pump machine to plumb in seems to be fairly small. (About $250-ish?) What are your
experiences and opinions?

Let's get the record straight here. It seems to me like Vibe pumps are designed to work exclusively with pour over machines and rotary pump machines
are designed to be plumbed in off the get go. The latter being more for commercial use, the former for home use. For someone who makes 2-6 drinks
a day, is the purchase of a rotary pump machine just overkill and a waste of money, even though I want to consider plumbing in?

Opinions? Flames? Accolades?

 
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 2:11pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

qualin Said:

A local equipment supplier here mentioned to me that a vibration pump machine makes better espresso than that of a machine with a rotary pump.
Is this true?

Posted October 6, 2012 link

No.

Reading on other threads, people mentioned how much more expensive rotary pumps are to replace over vibe pumps. ... Are
they considerably less durable/reliable for home use due to less usage?

No.

The cost of installing a pressure regulator with a vibe pump machine and getting that
machine converted to plumb in as opposed to just getting a rotary pump machine to plumb in seems to be fairly small. (About $250-ish?) What are your
experiences and opinions?

I do not think a vibratory pump will allow preiuinfusion even if plumbed unless the machine has some sort of circuit or function specifically for that. I have a plumbed, rotary, E-61 machine and could not conceive of changing. Love that setup. it allows manual preinfusion control. I can preinfuse for days if I want to, or not at all, other than the E-61's preinfusion design.

Let's get the record straight here. It seems to me like Vibe pumps are designed to work exclusively with pour over machines and rotary pump machines
are designed to be plumbed in off the get go.

No. There are a number of rotary machines that come with a reservoir and a lever that allows switching back and forth between plumbed and reservoir. That is also VERY handy for descaling.

 
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

I can not answer your questions with any real world experience since I have only had a vibe pump.

There are a few rotary pump machines that will do both tank and plumbed.

Vibe pumps build pressure as they go, rotary pump at the pressure they are set at.

Vibe pumps are noisy,  Rotary pumps are not.

Seems to me if a salesmen says flat out that a vibe pump makes better espresso then a rotary then that person needs to learn how to use a rotary machine so they could answer better..
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

qualin Said:

A local equipment supplier here mentioned to me that a vibration pump machine makes better espresso than that of a machine with a rotary pump.

Posted October 6, 2012 link

LOL!

qualin Said:

Is this true?

Posted October 6, 2012 link

No.

qualin Said:

I understand that the pressure profile builds up differently with a vibe pump over a rotary pump. What is the real story behind this?

Posted October 6, 2012 link


As Randy has already written, "Vibe pumps build pressure as they go, rotary pump at the pressure they are set at."

qualin Said:

Reading on other threads, people mentioned how much more expensive rotary pumps are to replace over vibe pumps. How much is the delta here?

Posted October 6, 2012 link


Having never had to replace either one, I have no idea what the cost differential is.

qualin Said:

Are they considerably less durable/reliable for home use due to less usage?

Posted October 6, 2012 link

I have had four machines with vibe pumps:  a Gaggia Coffee, which I replaced after 12+ years with a second Coffee Gaggia that I gave away after 13 years; an Ala di Vittoria La Valentina, which I've owned since December 2005; and an Olympia Cafferex that was built in 1989 which I acquired sometime in 2008.  Never had any vibe pump failures.

I have owned one machine with a rotary pump, an Elektra "Sixties" T1, which I purchased in February 2008.  It's plumbed directly into the water supply and it's in daily use in my kitchen.  Never had a problem with its pump, either.

FWIW, the La Val was my primary machine at home for a little more than two years.  I replaced it with the Elektra in no small part due to the noise of its vibe pump.  It remains in daily use, however -- Monday through Friday in my office.

qualin Said:

Another question I have is in regards to plumbing in a machine. The cost of installing a pressure regulator with a vibe pump machine and getting that machine converted to plumb in as opposed to just getting a rotary pump machine to plumb in seems to be fairly small. (About $250-ish?) What are your experiences and opinions?

Posted October 6, 2012 link

In all seriousness, I think a part of you is over-thinking this.  If you're going to plumb your machine in, I'd get a rotary pump.  Indeed, I cannot imagine a situation where I would ever NOT get a plumbed machine with a rotary pump.  I'll never go pour-over/vibe again!  I never thought the noise of a vibe pump would bother me, but I switched after two years.  There is a world of difference!  (Compare a Harley to a BMW motorcycle, and you'll get the idea.)  

qualin Said:

Let's get the record straight here. It seems to me like Vibe pumps are designed to work exclusively with pour over machines and rotary pump machines are designed to be plumbed in off the get go. The latter being more for commercial use, the former for home use. For someone who makes 2-6 drinks a day, is the purchase of a rotary pump machine just overkill and a waste of money, even though I want to consider plumbing in?

Posted October 6, 2012 link

While your instincts are correct -- vibrating pumps are primarily for home machines, and are primarily reservoir-based; rotary pumps are primarily for commercial use, and they are exclusively (?) plumbed in.  That said, there are (obviously) some machines that can switch from reservoir to plumbed, and some utilize rotary pumps.  I would highly recommend a rotary pump.

Cheers,
Jason

 
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Bgosselin
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012
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Location: Canada,quebec
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

Check this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjdaqUso6wI&sns=em

Vib pump look so cheap after seeing the difference between the two!


I have both and i don't think it make a difference on the espresso shot.  Plumbing option is a very important for me. Not filling the reservoir is a big plus.

I feel like rotary will last for ever.  Vibration is cheap to replace but so noisy.
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russel
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russel
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 8:11pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

qualin Said:

Reading on other threads, people mentioned how much more expensive rotary pumps are to replace over vibe pumps. How much is the delta here? Are
they considerably less durable/reliable for home use due to less usage?

Posted October 6, 2012 link

A good vibe pump is maybe $60 or $70 new.  A good rotary pump is about $80 to $100 for just the pump.  Full size rotary pumps require a motor, which adds at least $100 and it about 4 times the size of the pump.  I have no idea if there are compact rotaries that use integrated motors.  Anyway, you're looking at about 3x the cost or $150 difference.  I have yet to have any pump die on me, new or old.  I have replaced a few cheap vibe pumps with better ones because they just don't cost that much.  I have yet to encounter a cheap rotary pump (just FOT and Procon).  I haven't seen any real difference in shot quality that I could ascribe to pump type, but then, I haven't used one machine with both a vibe and then a rotary to do a meaningful comparison.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 9:26pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

OK, I've been schooled. Heh.

The video was very educational. Thank you.

It seems to me like a Rotary pump is just heavier duty. I heard of one forum member on Home Barista who did a 40 minute backflush to prove a point,
a vibe pump machine would have burned out a long time ago. Even with Rotary pumps costing 3x more than a vibe pump, it's still no brainer.

I think that it is very clear that if I want to plumb in, going rotary is the only option. The key point was in the video they mention how vibe pumps don't
work as well when subjected to pressure, while rotaries work on differential pressure.

I have to admit that it is very annoying when an experienced professional gives me incorrect advice. Thank you all for the input.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2012, 10:49pm
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

qualin Said:

I have to admit that it is very annoying when an experienced professional gives me incorrect advice..

Posted October 6, 2012 link

For your own mental health, you need to get over that. It will drive you crazy
Google "Rogov" in the usenet group "alt.coffee" A study in ignorance it was.
Read my Chapter 130 entitled "False Authority - Teaching How To Make Bad Espresso." As I had foreseen in my writing, the original video has been pulled from YouTube. A shame as it was comical in its inaccuracies, but I did capture a number of scenes to illustrate.
And for downright criminal activity, there is always the Kona Kai coffee scandal. There have been others.

For many, many reasons, there is a lot of false information out here. I have spread a good amount of it myself. I learned from those who came before me, I did as they taught, and shared what I did with others. Tapping the side of the portafilter is a great example of that. But when a "Master Barista" tells you that you need to tap the side of the "portico filter" and tells you, "This is the kremmer. That's the flavor," you know something is wrong!

There was a participant of an online forum (none of the currently popular ones) who made money repairing espresso machines was telling people not to backflush their machine with 3-way valves. A specific brand and model was the topic. I had a real problem with that, not for the advice itself, but for the fact that he would financially benefit from repairing machines which had a problem because he advised not to do basic maintenance.

These sorts of things will never end. But we have forums populated with knowledgeable and experienced people who are here to help, to expose, and to educate.

 
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alanfrew
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alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 643
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 2:17am
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

There is absolutely zero difference in the cup. I've tested two otherwise identical machines (the laScala Butterfly and Eroica) side by side in a blind taste test and pump type has no effect on the end result. You can get a zillion other reasons to buy one pump or the other, but as far as the quality of the output is concerned, it doesn't matter.

Alan
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andys
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andys
Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 858
Location: NY
Expertise: Just starting

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Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Vibe vs Rotary pump machines
 

alanfrew Said:

There is absolutely zero difference in the cup.

Posted October 7, 2012 link

Hi Alan:

I agree with you IF the rotary machine is equipped with a gicleur (flow restrictor) so that its initial rampup to pressure is comparable to the vibe pump. Most rotary machines nowadays incorporate such a gicleur.

About 10 years ago, however, many rotary pump machines were sold with minimal flow restriction and ramped up to full pressure almost instantaneously. This pressure-slamming behavior screwed up the puck dynamics and forced baristas to grinder more coarsely in order to maintain normal flow rates. The result was a significant difference in the cup.

 
-AndyS
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