It will do what it is designed for - grinding coffee beans into grounds fine enough for espresso.
Positive Product Points
Excellent grind quality Stepless worm gear for fine adjustment Tre Spade conical burrs Catch cup or doserless spout Nice looking design Very compact
Negative Product Points
Plastic Body Some grind retention in the chute Future durability (based on other comments) Noisier than a Virtuoso while grinding Price - for $300 new, the unit faces stiff competition
Thanks to another CG's recent desire to upgrade, this La Pavoni PBC Conical Burr Espresso Grinder became available. I have been saving for a Preciso but almost picked up a demo La Pavoni like this one that 1st Line Equipment offered at a discounted price on their Facebook page recently. I waited too long though for that one and someone else picked it up instead. I like the step-less adjustment since my other electric grinder - the Baratza Virtuoso - does have small but distinct steps. The other feature I like is the threaded outer burr carrier - the ability to grind finely is created only with precise stability when the moving parts are so very close together - this burr carrier can meet this requirement.
The seller mentioned the adjustment sticks when dialing the grind - I determined after a couple uses this was caused by play in the outer burr carrier - teflon tape to the rescue. Now the adjustment is smooth, the motor isn't working as hard, and the quality of the grind is noticeably improved as well. The machine does not feel as robust as the Virtuoso but does not feel too flimsy for my intended daily use of grinding a couple shots worth of beans. The TreSpade burr set is only a little slower than the Virtuoso but the comparison isn't exact since the La Pavoni is easily grinding finer than my current setting on the Baratza.
The ground retention is a bit better on the Baratza but it isn't too big a problem on the La Pavoni - more important to me is neither machine suffers from static cling with the beans I am using. I was pleasantly surprised by the compactness and the nice overall appearance of this machine. I am not sure I would want to pay the new machine price of $300 for this (or any) grinder, but it will do what it is designed for - grinding coffee beans into grounds fine enough for espresso.
The fellow CG'er was very nice to deal with - he went into great detail about the grinder in a follow up e-mail once I informed him of my interest - complete transparency and honesty. The unit was packaged securely and shipped promptly.