Was exciting to see the original emailed pics of this machine. Seemed like the kind of machine we're always on the lookout for. A "barely used, with perfect chrome base," example from an era of Pavoni levers where "rust free" is increasing difficult to find. (Look at the portafilter, and you'll see why we thought it was "perfect!")
After finally unboxing it, it became apparent the base was not "perfect" as hoped. There are a few odd rust "dots" scattered on the deck, as is all too typical of this era. And a rust line in the drip tray. That kind of "mistake" can happen buying online, so it wasn't terribly surprising. But would we buy this one again, knowing what we know now? Yes!
The base may not be perfect, but look at the rest of the chrome! Add the fact that this really IS a low hours machine, with very little wear, and we got a "winner." Certainly it's a more than acceptable example of the middle era ("generation 2") La Pavoni levers, after they'd gone to the stamped steel bases, with the screw holes.
The is the first year of that dubious change (from aluminum base with rubber sub base.) 1984. And there are a couple of quirky "features" about this transition year that are unique.
Pavoni uses a more "modern" style power switch than the previous years, even though the company was still using their old fashioned "dual element" set up on the Europiccolas.
They were also still employing the pressure relief valve (releases steam like grandmas pressure cooker) to control temperature. In a few years they would incorporate the pressurestat they were already using on the Professional models. (The early 90s.)
This is the first machine we've seen with a factory installed white plastic surround on the power switches. (Most were black.) The pilot light in this on/off switch no longer glows when "on," but works fine. Not hard to remember zero is off, "I" is on. Especially if you get your hands near the scalding boiler! We can install a new replica switch if you want. We just like the original. and the relacements from China are not quite as robust, so we've decided to leave the original switch on. Just let us know what you'd prefer.)
The "high/low" set-up means you'll heat up using the "high" setting, wait til steam starts venting from the pressure valve, then froth your milk or whatever white liquid you're using for lattes, before switching to the "low" setting. One the steam venting mellows calms down, you're ready to pull your shot.
We DO like pressurestats, but there are Pavoni purists who profess the "manual" method of temp control is the way to go. It's certainly more "hands on!"
As usual, we've completely rebuilt the group, with new seals and gaskets, descaled, lubed, and adjusted the piston throw. So this machine really operates like new.
Comes with the Italian made 49mm tamper seen in the pics, single and double baskets, and a plastic scoop.
We'll also fit one of our custom single hole steam tips, for easier microfoam production if you want, instead of the original three hole tip. Just note it to us when checking out.
We've had trouble finding Pavoni levers at reasonable prices over the last year (hence the lack of them on VoltAge110.) As with everything else these days it seems, costs just keep going up. And the "secret" on vintage levers seems to have gotten out. Old La Pavonis have been "re-discovered." So this is priced more than we used to ask for these, but welcome to the "new normal." Sigh. The bright side -- You're still getting a freshly rebuilt classic Europiccola, for about what people are paying for wrecked ones on ebay.
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