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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rocket R58 V2...  
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SYinSF
Senior Member
SYinSF
Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Millbrae, CA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: R58
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Mar 23, 2013, 8:48pm
Subject: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

Before I start I have to confess ahead that I am still a newbie in the espresso world.  Only owned a Silvia for three months.  (Before that I've been a proud Nespresso user for 20+ years and thought that's how espresso should be until one day I surf into coffeegeek.com......  What an ignorant me, ha).  

I didn't post this one onto the consumer review section because I don't think I'm qualified to rate the machine with such limited espresso knowledge/experience.  Knowing there are people curious about this new machine, I just want to share my experience and POV with R58 V2.  Now, here we go!!  

I love my Silvia (still), but shortly after I realized I need a HX or DB so I can brew and froth at about the same time.  I guess this will make it easier to work on my latte art skill.  After doing my research, I narrowed down to R58 and Duetto III.  (I want multitask-able, quiet, build-in tank with plumb-in option, easy access to water tank, and SS made).  R58 won me over simply because of the look, but then I started to hear a lot of negative feedback on the chassis damage and weird noise from the pump.  Most of the retailers even stopped selling it, so I waited.  When SCG announced the arrival of the V2, I jumped on it right away.

So, how is R58 V2?  Overall, I love it. It's easier to make good shots.  I used a Rancilio naked PF to monitor my tamping and the flow from Silvia.   There are always tiny squirts here and there.  My hit rate (~2 oz in around 28-30 sec with nice crema, cone-shape flow, no visible squirt, tiger stripe, Guinness effect) is generally 1 for 3.  R58 accepts my Rancilio naked PF and it's all good after the second trial!   Even when my grind is a bit off, I can still get a nice cone of crema out of the naked PF.  Apparently it makes up my poor tamping skills.  With that said, a good shot from Silvia still ties with one from R58 in terms of quality (or maybe it's me that can't tell the diff).  So, consistency and easy to operate is the most obvious step-up.  What else do I like?

1st, the look.  A piece of shiny metal cube on the countertop instantly makes the whole kitchen look better.
  1.  Easy to prime.  When I added water to the tank and switched on, it automatically started to pump water to the boilers.  Not like Silvia that I had to press this and that before it runs.  Hey, it's intimidating for a newbie : )
  2.  Stability in temperature and brew pressure. I set the brew broiler temp to 224 (which projects ~200 at the group) and 9 bar.  Every time I brew, they are exactly right there (or at least the pid and manometer show so).  I am not sure how much this translates to the quality of the shot, but at least you feel the machine is precise and trustworthy. (If the read-out is correct).
  3.  External pid.  Most people might want it on the panel for ease of use but I prefer the clean and classic look.  Once I make sure it delivers stable temp in the next few days, I will only use it to change the settings and put it away afterwards.
  4.  Steam power is good but I guess not significantly better than other machines in the same level.  I usually steam 6oz of milk in a 12oz jar, and Silvia can do it around 20 sec.  R58 is faster but it's not a big deal to me.  I believe it'll make a diff if I need to make 5 cappuccinos in a raw because of its bigger steam and separate brew boiler, but I don't hold espresso party.
  5.  Oh, did I mention the LOOK?  To me this is what sets R58 apart from others. Frankly, I will assume other comparable models like izzo Duetto, Brewtus, Vibiemme or QMs can all pull the same good quality shots.  At the end, the look and price becomes the keys for decision making for most of the consumers.

I'm done with the positive now let's move to the areas I don't like:

  1.  This is SO NOT a "Version 2" to me!  There is no substantial upgrade.  The most obvious change is Rocket strengthened the chassis on the drip tray. This is a fix-up, not upgrade.  Without this they can't even sell it as the machine can't make it thru the shipping.  What else?  Oh yes they changed the pid cable into a curly telephone cable (Wow) and extended the function on pid control like choosing tank or plumb-in.  Seems like they tried to think of enough changes to go with the chassis fix-up so they can call it an upgrade instead of admitting the screw-up.  Need more evidence?  Let me describe the label on the box.  It reads Rocket R58 with a small "V2" sticker below it.  Why didn't they at least make a new label???

  2. Drip tray is leaking?  There is still gap between the tray and the main body despite Rocket put some magnets to help them stick together. That results in water escaping from OPV or 3way valve missing the tray, getting under it and seeping out at the bottom outlet. It's not supposed to happen but luckily an easy fix.  Just connect a hose from the bottom outlet to the sink and it's solved.

  3.  Pump noise, yes or no?  There was a lot of discussion about the "opera noise". (you might refer to Italo2275's thread and his video http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/617942 ).  I particularly asked SCG if Rocket fix it in "V2".  They said it's all good and this is what happens on my machine.  When I tamp firmly and up the brew lever, at first I hear a nice quiet whir from the pump.  When it gets around 15sec, the pump seems to kick up to another gear and there comes another kind of (at a different frequency) whir.  The result, a very good shot.  Funny if I don't put coffee and just run water thru the group, the second whir never came up.  To me it's just like driving halfway up a steep hill in a car, and you shift to turbo to complete the climb.  I'm not saying the pump has not enough power.  (It's right where I set it to be, 9 bar)  Just trying to describe the situation with some analogy.  Next I will try to tamp lighter or not tamp at all to see what happens (or even play around with diff brew temp and pressure).  For now I've made peace with it since it really produces good shots easily and constantly, and the whir is not that bad though Duetto III seems to be a bit more quiet from the clips I've seen. (Again I could be wrong as I never made a shot with Duetto)

So, is it a problem?  According to mr Meo, it's normal (so I guess they didn't do anything about it), and I tend to believe him.  I choose to pay more for a rotary pump because I want it to be quiet.  I decided to accept it because it pulls good shots, but it doesn't mean others should as well.   A lot of people go for rotary with the same reason as there's no evidence of rotary better than vib pump in espresso quality. (I might be wrong but that is what I've learned so far).  If they are not happy with the sound, as the seller, you can't just wave off the complaints by saying it's normal.  The other brand, izzo, doesn't have the same "situation". (I didn't use "problem" coz mr Meo doesn't think it a problem).   This is a gesture of arrogance and that's what I dislike.

  1.  Brew temperature conversion chart for pid.  I like the detached idea.  I'm ok with the concept of getting boiler temp then convert to the brew group temp.  Oh, did I mention V2 added the Fahrenheit reading, Bravo! Ha!  Now here's something funny:  the conversion chart from the menu reads boiler temp: 106.0C/222.8F >> group temp: 93.5C/199.4F.  106C is indeed 222.8F but 93.5C is 200.3F, not 199.4F.  How can same boiler temp leads to two diff outcomes?  Which one should I follow? eenie, meenei, miney, mo?  This could be just a careless typo that I believe Rocket will correct in no time.  But it's so avoidable!

  2.  There's an free aluminum tamper come with this SS beast!  Hooray!  A least it's better than the plastic toy coming with Silvia.  Aluminum tamper!  Really?  If I want Al I'd go with Breville DB.  I believe it can deliver as good the shots as R58 does.  I pay $2699 for SS.  If Rocket feels this price couldn't cover the additional cost of a SS tamper, don't put anything in there.  You just lowered your class!

With all being said, is it perfect?  Far from it.  Would I buy it again?  Absolutely YES.  To me, there's no perfect espresso machine for me.  Well, maybe except for the Speedster. (Wait, it has to be plumbed in which is not an option to me for now).  I want a machine which can help me improve my skills, help me pull better shots, make me happy by only looking at it, make me want to make more shots with it.  And Rocket R58 (V2) is that one until I find my next jump.  All the negatives I raised, I can either fix them or am willing to put up with them because there are more GOODs in it.   My best choice doesn't necessarily mean the best for other people.  It doesn't mean my choice is better than all other machines either.  For those still considering R58 even after reading so many negatives from my post (and for that I thank you for your time),  I would suggest getting the refurbished 1st generation.  I would guess most of the fix in V2 will also be done on the refurbished machine, i.e. chassis of the drip tray.  For something like the pump noise, if it bothers you, you will very likely to find it in V2 too.  If you are fine with it, why not save a couple hundreds and get a similar one which has been fully examined by an qualified expert.  

That's it, for now.  This is the first time for me to post on the forum.  I tried to describe as as much details (which were not covered in SCG's clip) as I can. I also added my POV (which might be shallow or wrong).   I hope you find it helpful.  Thanks!  From Shawn



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myallawala
Senior Member
myallawala
Joined: 25 Dec 2012
Posts: 86
Location: San Antonio, TX
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Mazzer Major & Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama Burner
Drip: Hario V60 & Chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013, 1:42pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

SYinSF Said:

Posted March 23, 2013 link

I thought this was pretty humorous. I had seen that video on the other thread previously but when you described it as "opera" sounded I actually burst out laughing. Aside from that, even with that noise it is infinitely quieter than my Crossland. I think its deafening. When I first received it, the vibe pump wasn't properly seated. Probably a shipping issue. I turned it on and filled the boiler. My family was over that day and they just started laughing at how annoying it sounded and how much I'd paid for it. I opened it, dampened it with a piece of rubber, and now it's okay, but I still love the quietness of a rotary.

As for the tamper.. does anyone ship nicer tampers? The Breville ones aren't as nice as you think when you actually pick one up.

The C/F conversion is totally unacceptable. A lot of things you outlined are making my next machine choice (if I can justify it) really difficult. I like the rocket and the Duetto.. but then there's the QM67 and the Brewtus.. and then on and on.

Have you seen many of Meo's videos? I both like and dislike him. Pretentious sometimes but really awesome. Like M3/M5's and their owners haha.
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CSME9
Senior Member
CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 273
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea, Rancilio Silvia,...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Sun Mar 24, 2013, 7:26pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

SYinSF Said:

Before I start I have to confess ahead that I am still a newbie in the espresso world.  Only owned a Silvia for three months.  (Before that I've been a proud Nespresso user for 20+ years and thought that's how espresso should be until one day I surf into coffeegeek.com......  What an ignorant me, ha).  

I didn't post this one onto the consumer review section because I don't think I'm qualified to rate the machine with such limited espresso knowledge/experience.  Knowing there are people curious about this new machine, I just want to share my experience and POV with R58 V2.  Now, here we go!!  

I love my Silvia (still), but shortly after I realized I need a HX or DB so I can brew and froth at about the same time.  I guess this will make it easier to work on my latte art skill.  After doing my research, I narrowed down to R58 and Duetto III.  (I want multitask-able, quiet, build-in tank with plumb-in option, easy access to water tank, and SS made).  R58 won me over simply because of the look, but then I started to hear a lot of negative feedback on the chassis damage and weird noise from the pump.  Most of the retailers even stopped selling it, so I waited.  When SCG announced the arrival of the V2, I jumped on it right away.

So, how is R58 V2?  Overall, I love it. It's easier to make good shots.  I used a Rancilio naked PF to monitor my tamping and the flow from Silvia.   There are always tiny squirts here and there.  My hit rate (~2 oz in around 28-30 sec with nice crema, cone-shape flow, no visible squirt, tiger stripe, Guinness effect) is generally 1 for 3.  R58 accepts my Rancilio naked PF and it's all good after the second trial!   Even when my grind is a bit off, I can still get a nice cone of crema out of the naked PF.  Apparently it makes up my poor tamping skills.  With that said, a good shot from Silvia still ties with one from R58 in terms of quality (or maybe it's me that can't tell the diff).  So, consistency and easy to operate is the most obvious step-up.  What else do I like?

1st, the look.  A piece of shiny metal cube on the countertop instantly makes the whole kitchen look better.
Easy to prime.  When I added water to the tank and switched on, it automatically started to pump water to the boilers.  Not like Silvia that I had to press this and that before it runs.  Hey, it's intimidating for a newbie : )
Stability in temperature and brew pressure. I set the brew broiler temp to 224 (which projects ~200 at the group) and 9 bar.  Every time I brew, they are exactly right there (or at least the pid and manometer show so).  I am not sure how much this translates to the quality of the shot, but at least you feel the machine is precise and trustworthy. (If the read-out is correct).
External pid.  Most people might want it on the panel for ease of use but I prefer the clean and classic look.  Once I make sure it delivers stable temp in the next few days, I will only use it to change the settings and put it away afterwards.
Steam power is good but I guess not significantly better than other machines in the same level.  I usually steam 6oz of milk in a 12oz jar, and Silvia can do it around 20 sec.  R58 is faster but it's not a big deal to me.  I believe it'll make a diff if I need to make 5 cappuccinos in a raw because of its bigger steam and separate brew boiler, but I don't hold espresso party.
Oh, did I mention the LOOK?  To me this is what sets R58 apart from others. Frankly, I will assume other comparable models like izzo Duetto, Brewtus, Vibiemme or QMs can all pull the same good quality shots.  At the end, the look and price becomes the keys for decision making for most of the consumers.

I'm done with the positive now let's move to the areas I don't like:

This is SO NOT a "Version 2" to me!  There is no substantial upgrade.  The most obvious change is Rocket strengthened the chassis on the drip tray. This is a fix-up, not upgrade.  Without this they can't even sell it as the machine can't make it thru the shipping.  What else?  Oh yes they changed the pid cable into a curly telephone cable (Wow) and extended the function on pid control like choosing tank or plumb-in.  Seems like they tried to think of enough changes to go with the chassis fix-up so they can call it an upgrade instead of admitting the screw-up.  Need more evidence?  Let me describe the label on the box.  It reads Rocket R58 with a small "V2" sticker below it.  Why didn't they at least make a new label???

Drip tray is leaking?  There is still gap between the tray and the main body despite Rocket put some magnets to help them stick together. That results in water escaping from OPV or 3way valve missing the tray, getting under it and seeping out at the bottom outlet. It's not supposed to happen but luckily an easy fix.  Just connect a hose from the bottom outlet to the sink and it's solved.

Pump noise, yes or no?  There was a lot of discussion about the "opera noise". (you might refer to Italo2275's thread and his video http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/617942 ).  I particularly asked SCG if Rocket fix it in "V2".  They said it's all good and this is what happens on my machine.  When I tamp firmly and up the brew lever, at first I hear a nice quiet whir from the pump.  When it gets around 15sec, the pump seems to kick up to another gear and there comes another kind of (at a different frequency) whir.  The result, a very good shot.  Funny if I don't put coffee and just run water thru the group, the second whir never came up.  To me it's just like driving halfway up a steep hill in a car, and you shift to turbo to complete the climb.  I'm not saying the pump has not enough power.  (It's right where I set it to be, 9 bar)  Just trying to describe the situation with some analogy.  Next I will try to tamp lighter or not tamp at all to see what happens (or even play around with diff brew temp and pressure).  For now I've made peace with it since it really produces good shots easily and constantly, and the whir is not that bad though Duetto III seems to be a bit more quiet from the clips I've seen. (Again I could be wrong as I never made a shot with Duetto)

So, is it a problem?  According to mr Meo, it's normal (so I guess they didn't do anything about it), and I tend to believe him.  I choose to pay more for a rotary pump because I want it to be quiet.  I decided to accept it because it pulls good shots, but it doesn't mean others should as well.   A lot of people go for rotary with the same reason as there's no evidence of rotary better than vib pump in espresso quality. (I might be wrong but that is what I've learned so far).  If they are not happy with the sound, as the seller, you can't just wave off the complaints by saying it's normal.  The other brand, izzo, doesn't have the same "situation". (I didn't use "problem" coz mr Meo doesn't think it a problem).   This is a gesture of arrogance and that's what I dislike.

Brew temperature conversion chart for pid.  I like the detached idea.  I'm ok with the concept of getting boiler temp then convert to the brew group temp.  Oh, did I mention V2 added the Fahrenheit reading, Bravo! Ha!  Now here's something funny:  the conversion chart from the menu reads boiler temp: 106.0C/222.8F >> group temp: 93.5C/199.4F.  106C is indeed 222.8F but 93.5C is 200.3F, not 199.4F.  How can same boiler temp leads to two diff outcomes?  Which one should I follow? eenie, meenei, miney, mo?  This could be just a careless typo that I believe Rocket will correct in no time.  But it's so avoidable!

There's an free aluminum tamper come with this SS beast!  Hooray!  A least it's better than the plastic toy coming with Silvia.  Aluminum tamper!  Really?  If I want Al I'd go with Breville DB.  I believe it can deliver as good the shots as R58 does.  I pay $2699 for SS.  If Rocket feels this price couldn't cover the additional cost of a SS tamper, don't put anything in there.  You just lowered your class!

With all being said, is it perfect?  Far from it.  Would I buy it again?  Absolutely YES.  To me, there's no perfect espresso machine for me.  Well, maybe except for the Speedster. (Wait, it has to be plumbed in which is not an option to me for now).  I want a machine which can help me improve my skills, help me pull better shots, make me happy by only looking at it, make me want to make more shots with it.  And Rocket R58 (V2) is that one until I find my next jump.  All the negatives I raised, I can either fix them or am willing to put up with them because there are more GOODs in it.   My best choice doesn't necessarily mean the best for other people.  It doesn't mean my choice is better than all other machines either.  For those still considering R58 even after reading so many negatives from my post (and for that I thank you for your time),  I would suggest getting the refurbished 1st generation.  I would guess most of the fix in V2 will also be done on the refurbished machine, i.e. chassis of the drip tray.  For something like the pump noise, if it bothers you, you will very likely to find it in V2 too.  If you are fine with it, why not save a couple hundreds and get a similar one which has been fully examined by an qualified expert.  

That's it, for now.  This is the first time for me to post on the forum.  I tried to describe as as much details (which were not covered in SCG's clip) as I can. I also added my POV (which might be shallow or wrong).   I hope you find it helpful.  Thanks!  From Shawn



Moved by Moderator to Espresso Machines Forum

Posted March 23, 2013 link

SYinSF thanks for the review: The  water behind the drip tray shouldnt happen, drip tray mesh holes needs to be redisigned to a wire type to allow for water to fall into tray easier without splashing or Rocket should close the gap at the rear of the tray/front panel.

What preassure is the steaming set to, does it hold steam preassure when steaming, and how long to steam 6-8 ounces ?

Thanks, WS
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SYinSF
Senior Member
SYinSF
Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Millbrae, CA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: R58
Grinder: Vario
Posted Mon Mar 25, 2013, 11:15pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

The steam pressure was set at 1.1 bar according to the manual, but it is 1.05 when ready and around 0.8 after finish.
As for the steam time, it's about 15-20 sec.  It should be shorter since I didn't open it fully.  I'm still tryin to get used to its power.
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Se7en
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Sweden
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

SYinSF Said:

This is SO NOT a "Version 2" to me!  There is no substantial upgrade.

Posted March 23, 2013 link

I read the following about V1 on the coffeesnobs.com.au forum:

"...as the PID logic is hugely flawed. When the user requests brew and/or steam, the PID simply sits there and does nothing.... ..... .... .... for over 10 seconds. In this time steam falls away to nothing at all. Ultimately, it's way less temp stable in this configuration than a HX."

He then goes on to say that this has been fixed in a new Australian version arriving March. I wonder if the same change has been fixed in the V2 you have, and if so that sounds like an important fix. Link to the forum thread below:

Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)
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Italo2275
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 96
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

Thanks for the detailed review, I am the guy who posted the Opera Noise. If I can add to this to let everyone know, I did have the V2 model with the mentioned upgrades, so i think the guys here got the v2 model first.
I have to aggree with you though that good shots are easier to do with the R58, not much work needed, it just works.Coming from a newbie I was able to get great shots from r58 and so so shots from Alex. Again that maybe becuase I am still learning.
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SYinSF
Senior Member
SYinSF
Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Millbrae, CA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: R58
Grinder: Vario
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

Thanks for your post that kept me from jumping on V1.  I thought you switched to Duetto III!!  Switched back again?

One more interesting finding.  I make better espresso with the Rancilio naked PF than Rocket two spouts PF (on Rocket R58).  Taste wise I can't tell much diff but the crema color from Rancilio is so much better.  Is it simply that the naked PF pulls better shots?  I think I need to get the Rocket naked PF to find out.
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Italo2275
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 96
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 4:37pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

No I did not go back,I still have the duetto 3. I will stick with it and try to make it work.
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CSME9
Senior Member
CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 273
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea, Rancilio Silvia,...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 5:26pm
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

Se7en Said:

I read the following about V1 on the coffeesnobs.com.au forum:

"...as the PID logic is hugely flawed. When the user requests brew and/or steam, the PID simply sits there and does nothing.... ..... .... .... for over 10 seconds. In this time steam falls away to nothing at all. Ultimately, it's way less temp stable in this configuration than a HX."

He then goes on to say that this has been fixed in a new Australian version arriving March. I wonder if the same change has been fixed in the V2 you have, and if so that sounds like an important fix. Link to the forum thread below:

Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)

Posted March 26, 2013 link

They mave have fixed the steam issue on the V2 with the upgraded control board: Features of the new V2 model include a stronger chassis complete with nylon rails for a seamless drip tray fit, an upgraded magnetic drip tray closure, and an updated control board for optimized steaming and brewing.
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lagoon79
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Hungary
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: Re: Rocket R58 V2 experience sharing
 

Hi! I have R-58 but I don't have any temp measuring equipment. How do you use your r-58? After 45 minutes need any warming flush before the pull to reach the adjusted temp? Please share your experience with me and sorry for my english. Before this machine I had am e-61 HX but the rutine of that is very different. Thanks in advance!
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