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Date: 21 Apr 2007 23:42:08
From:
Subject: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
I found a used 2 years old Oscar machine on sale at about third of the
price of a new one.
The price and the machine are perfect for me, but i'm afraid of buying
a used machine.

Maybe your experience can help me here:
Should there be a problem after 2 years in those machines? How many
years do they normally last without replacing anything?
What should I look for while inspecting the machine?

Its really tempting since I can get an HX machine at the price of a
Gaggia Evolution... and i really want your opinion on the subject.

thanks a lot...





 
Date: .com
From:
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
03 May 2007 20:34:40

 
Date: 30 Apr 2007 20:08:30
From: Dave b
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
On Apr 30, 5:41 pm, pspeyrot@gmai

 
Date: .com
From:
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
30 Apr 2007 21:41:58

 
Date: 30 Apr 2007 11:26:07
From:
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?

>
> After annual (or faster) pstat failures on my old Oscar, I made a
> copper tube with a J-bend and fitted between the pstat and the brass T
> on the boiler. I didn't have another pstat failure in the next three
> years. I subsequently replaced the Oscar with a Bricoletta, but I
> suspect it still works fine.
> JR

JR:
That's what all the quick mills and pasquinis are using as well as
others I'm sure.

it does help.

dave





 
Date: 30 Apr 2007 09:38:42
From: JR
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
On Apr 24, 4:40 am, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> My main knock was that it was unreliable with the stock mini-pstat - I was
> getting less than 1 year out of each pstat. Maybe it was just bad luck but
> some of the later Oscars were sold with full size Sirai pstats due to the
> complaints that NS was getting. Chris Coffee also sells a heavier duty
> (hopefully more reliable) mini pstat that is a screw in replacement and
> best of all is a PID retrofit.
>
> Long term a number of other parts have failed (beyond the expected gaskets)
> but I think this would be true of any machine that is kept on 24/7 and used
> daily.
>
> "John B" <j...@mail.gatech.edu> wrote in message
>
> news:1177356282.064609.274470@p77g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > Before I bought my Oscar I followed their prices on e-bay for a while,
> > here are some prices for historical reference:
>
> > 304 (seehttp://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260101266644)
> > 348
> > 385
> > 362
> > 363
> > 378
> > 433
> > 450
> > 468
> > 485
> > 530
> > 530
> > 550
> > 577
> > 661
> > 723
>
> > These prices include shipping. The average is about $470 shipped.
>
> > I have been very pleased with my purchase, the quality of the
> > espresso
> > is outstanding, much better than the single-boiler machines I have
> > tried.
> > Maybe all HX are this good, I don't know.
>
> > I have only heard 3 knocks against this machine: plastic body
> > (some prefer stainless), no hot water tap, and loud (vibe) pump.
>
> > John- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

The P-stat problem seems to be due to a design flaw. The Oscar mounts
the p-stat right on top of the boiler. Most other machines I have
seen that use the little p-stats mount them on copper tubes wtih a J-
bend that keeps the p-stat out of contact with really wet, hot
steam.

After annual (or faster) pstat failures on my old Oscar, I made a
copper tube with a J-bend and fitted between the pstat and the brass T
on the boiler. I didn't have another pstat failure in the next three
years. I subsequently replaced the Oscar with a Bricoletta, but I
suspect it still works fine.

For someone who is not going the PID route, I would argue for making
the J-bend and keeping the small pstat. It has a narrower temp band
than the Sirai and is more responsive. I know Paul Pratt in Hong Kong
actually has replaced the Sirai on a La Marzocco with a Ceme because
of its superior control characteristics (although I think he uses the
pstat only for steam; PID control for the brew boiler).

BTW - I think we discussed all this on alt.coffee about 4 years ago.
Jack Denver may even have been the source of the J-bend idea.

JR





  
Date: 01 May 2007 12:29:06
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
I got the J-tube idea not from another machine but from the techincal
drawings that CEME puts out in its catalog. They show their minipstat
mounted with a J-tube off to the side of the boiler as a typical
installation. I think that the J-tube acts like a plumbing trap and a little
cushion of liquid water forms at the bottom of the J and insulate the pstat
from direct contact with hot steam. That the pstat is a liltle off to the
side and not directly above the rising heat of the boiler must help also. I
assume the other manufacturers listened to CEME but NS (which I think
started out with Ma-ters) didn't and then when things went wrong they
switched to a Sirai instead of simply adding the J-tube that they should
have used in the first place, because this way the NS engineers could point
the finger of blame at the lousy quality of the mini-stats instead of at
themselves for not following the recommended install method and saving 50
cents on a few inches of copper tubing plus a couple of fittings.

I switched to PID and really like it. I would have been too lazy/cheap to
replace my pstat if it kept on working, so in a way I am thankful to NS for
their faulty design work.

"JR" <realdoctor@my-deja.com > wrote in message
news:1177951122.171125.151700@n76g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
> The P-stat problem seems to be due to a design flaw. The Oscar mounts
> the p-stat right on top of the boiler. Most other machines I have
> seen that use the little p-stats mount them on copper tubes wtih a J-
> bend that keeps the p-stat out of contact with really wet, hot
> steam.
>
> After annual (or faster) pstat failures on my old Oscar, I made a
> copper tube with a J-bend and fitted between the pstat and the brass T
> on the boiler. I didn't have another pstat failure in the next three
> years. I subsequently replaced the Oscar with a Bricoletta, but I
> suspect it still works fine.
>
> For someone who is not going the PID route, I would argue for making
> the J-bend and keeping the small pstat. It has a narrower temp band
> than the Sirai and is more responsive. I know Paul Pratt in Hong Kong
> actually has replaced the Sirai on a La Marzocco with a Ceme because
> of its superior control characteristics (although I think he uses the
> pstat only for steam; PID control for the brew boiler).
>
> BTW - I think we discussed all this on alt.coffee about 4 years ago.
> Jack Denver may even have been the source of the J-bend idea.
>
> JR
>
>
>




 
Date: 23 Apr 2007 12:24:42
From: John B
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
Before I bought my Oscar I followed their prices on e-bay for a while,
here are some prices for historical reference:

304 (see http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260101266644)
348
385
362
363
378
433
450
468
485
530
530
550
577
661
723

These prices include shipping. The average is about $470 shipped.

I have been very pleased with my purchase, the quality of the
espresso
is outstanding, much better than the single-boiler machines I have
tried.
Maybe all HX are this good, I don't know.

I have only heard 3 knocks against this machine: plastic body
(some prefer stainless), no hot water tap, and loud (vibe) pump.

John




  
Date: 23 Apr 2007 16:40:41
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
My main knock was that it was unreliable with the stock mini-pstat - I was
getting less than 1 year out of each pstat. Maybe it was just bad luck but
some of the later Oscars were sold with full size Sirai pstats due to the
complaints that NS was getting. Chris Coffee also sells a heavier duty
(hopefully more reliable) mini pstat that is a screw in replacement and
best of all is a PID retrofit.

Long term a number of other parts have failed (beyond the expected gaskets)
but I think this would be true of any machine that is kept on 24/7 and used
daily.


"John B" <jb130@mail.gatech.edu > wrote in message
news:1177356282.064609.274470@p77g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
> Before I bought my Oscar I followed their prices on e-bay for a while,
> here are some prices for historical reference:
>
> 304 (see http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260101266644)
> 348
> 385
> 362
> 363
> 378
> 433
> 450
> 468
> 485
> 530
> 530
> 550
> 577
> 661
> 723
>
> These prices include shipping. The average is about $470 shipped.
>
> I have been very pleased with my purchase, the quality of the
> espresso
> is outstanding, much better than the single-boiler machines I have
> tried.
> Maybe all HX are this good, I don't know.
>
> I have only heard 3 knocks against this machine: plastic body
> (some prefer stainless), no hot water tap, and loud (vibe) pump.
>
> John
>
>




 
Date: 23 Apr 2007 09:56:34
From: Dave b
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
On Apr 23, 9:11 am, "Jack IZZY Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> It really depends on how handy you are .

Or on how "handy" you WANT to be........

IMO, a machine that predictably breaks every year is UN-acceptable.

Dave
www.hitechespresso.com







 
Date: 22 Apr 2007 16:57:05
From: Dave b
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
On Apr 22, 5:16 pm, y.avra...@gmail.com wrote:
> thanks again for your quick and straight answers...
>
> I'm really in a dillema here. I've just talked with the seller on the
> phone and he told me that indeed the pressure stat is broken. The
> importer said it will cost about 60$ including parts and labor.
>
> I'm afraid to waste 360$ on a machine without any warranty, but i want
> the best espresso i can get for that money.
> At the same price in my country i can get a new Gaggia Tebe, Nemox
> Junior, Saeco Super Idea Deluxe and Saeco Gran Crema Deluxe.
> Those machines are low-end single boiler, while the Oscar is on the
> high-end of consumers machines.
>
> What would you do in my position? I'm really looking forward for your
> advice...
>
> thanks again,
> Yaron

Yes I have new Ceme pstats for $10.00 plus whatever postage.

get 2 have a spare! take about 5 minutes (at most) to change out.

Dave
www.hitechespresso.com

P.S.
the oscar is superior to any of the other machines you named. -- If
you want an HX




 
Date: 22 Apr 2007 14:16:53
From:
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
thanks again for your quick and straight answers...

I'm really in a dillema here. I've just talked with the seller on the
phone and he told me that indeed the pressure stat is broken. The
importer said it will cost about 60$ including parts and labor.

I'm afraid to waste 360$ on a machine without any warranty, but i want
the best espresso i can get for that money.
At the same price in my country i can get a new Gaggia Tebe, Nemox
Junior, Saeco Super Idea Deluxe and Saeco Gran Crema Deluxe.
Those machines are low-end single boiler, while the Oscar is on the
high-end of consumers machines.

What would you do in my position? I'm really looking forward for your
advice...

thanks again,
Yaron




  
Date: 23 Apr 2007 09:11:08
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
It really depends on how handy you are . Heat exchanger machines are
somewhat more complex than single boilers and will require periodic repairs,
just like a car. I've had something break on my Oscar (especially before I
switched to PID) at least once annually. If I had to ship the machine off
to a repair facility each time I (or my wallet) would have given up by now.
$60 including installation is a reasonable quote for a pressurestat but it
may need to be replaced in as little as 1 yr (the labor involved, BTW, is
minimal - remove 2 wires and unscrew). Single boilers break less because
there is less to break.


<y.avramov@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1177276613.042624.141400@n76g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
> thanks again for your quick and straight answers...
>
> I'm really in a dillema here. I've just talked with the seller on the
> phone and he told me that indeed the pressure stat is broken. The
> importer said it will cost about 60$ including parts and labor.
>
> I'm afraid to waste 360$ on a machine without any warranty, but i want
> the best espresso i can get for that money.
> At the same price in my country i can get a new Gaggia Tebe, Nemox
> Junior, Saeco Super Idea Deluxe and Saeco Gran Crema Deluxe.
> Those machines are low-end single boiler, while the Oscar is on the
> high-end of consumers machines.
>
> What would you do in my position? I'm really looking forward for your
> advice...
>
> thanks again,
> Yaron
>
>




  
Date: 22 Apr 2007 22:15:43
From: CSME9
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?

<y.avramov@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1177276613.042624.141400@n76g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
> thanks again for your quick and straight answers...
>
> I'm really in a dillema here. I've just talked with the seller on the
> phone and he told me that indeed the pressure stat is broken. The
> importer said it will cost about 60$ including parts and labor.
>
> I'm afraid to waste 360$ on a machine without any warranty, but i want
> the best espresso i can get for that money.
> At the same price in my country i can get a new Gaggia Tebe, Nemox
> Junior, Saeco Super Idea Deluxe and Saeco Gran Crema Deluxe.
> Those machines are low-end single boiler, while the Oscar is on the
> high-end of consumers machines.
>
> What would you do in my position? I'm really looking forward for your
> advice...
>
> thanks again,
> Yaron
>
Pressure stat replacement is pretty common in Oscars or E61 HX
machines. Oscars when functioning properly produce top notch espresso and
plenty of steam. Im not familiar with the other machines you mention however
i did own a gaggia classic which is the same internally as the tebe and has
a nice heavy 58mm group handle/filter with a 3 way valve for backflushing
the group. The tebe seems capable of very good espresso with the right
coffee and grinder but will not steam as long as an Oscar due to a smaller
boiler. The steam wand sleeve on a gaggia produces larger bubbles and is
more difficult to produce micro-froth vs. the Oscar.

Oscar produces slightly better espresso and frothing than the gaggia. But
the gaggia is certainly not a toy. Not sure if your price of $360 includes
shipping and stat replacement but if it doesn't that is another factor to
consider. The gaggia is a good machine, and new one with a warranty is
always nice. Either way you go you will need fresh roasted beans and a good
grinder at least a gaggia MDF or better. Good Luck......

Will






 
Date: 22 Apr 2007 10:48:54
From:
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
Thank you very much

Jack, could you tell me approx. how much a new regular pressurestat
should cost?



  
Date: 22 Apr 2007 18:20:26
From: CSME9
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?

<y.avramov@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1177264134.652015.95790@d57g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
> Thank you very much
>
> Jack, could you tell me approx. how much a new regular pressurestat
> should cost?

I'm not Jack, not sure if the oscar can use these but a mater pressure
stat at chris coffee is $36.95 and a ceme at 1st Line is $59.95. I think
Dave B in previous post had some avail not sure his pricing.

Will





   
Date: 22 Apr 2007 17:07:23
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
What he said.
"CSME9" <wsotomay@earthlink.net > wrote in message
news:KHNWh.7419$3P3.2040@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>
> <y.avramov@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1177264134.652015.95790@d57g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>> Thank you very much
>>
>> Jack, could you tell me approx. how much a new regular pressurestat
>> should cost?
>
> I'm not Jack, not sure if the oscar can use these but a mater pressure
> stat at chris coffee is $36.95 and a ceme at 1st Line is $59.95. I think
> Dave B in previous post had some avail not sure his pricing.
>
> Will
>
>
>




 
Date: 22 Apr 2007 10:52:33
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
These machines are pretty durable . If it can be plugged in and heated up
to full temperature and pumps and steams normally then I would not worry too
much. If you have to buy it "cold" I'd be concerned because you don't know
what could be wrong.


The boiler is copper and should last indefinitely with only descaling. There
are parts that go bad but each one is replaceable. Most common is the
pressurestat - I'd replace that with a PID system. Other failure item -
parts of the steam valve, some of the hose seals on the rail manifold, the
heating element. The pump and control box are under the machine in a
separate compartment away from the heat and tend to be durable but they are
potential failures also.

It helps to be handy - just like owning a used car if you can do your own
repairs and pay only for parts the economic feasibility is better than if
you are paying for parts and labor.

<y.avramov@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1177224128.247564.183730@p77g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
>I found a used 2 years old Oscar machine on sale at about third of the
> price of a new one.
> The price and the machine are perfect for me, but i'm afraid of buying
> a used machine.
>
> Maybe your experience can help me here:
> Should there be a problem after 2 years in those machines? How many
> years do they normally last without replacing anything?
> What should I look for while inspecting the machine?
>
> Its really tempting since I can get an HX machine at the price of a
> Gaggia Evolution... and i really want your opinion on the subject.
>
> thanks a lot...
>




 
Date: 22 Apr 2007 01:34:59
From: Dave b
Subject: Re: 2 Yr. old Oscar - should I buy?
On Apr 22, 2:42 am, y.avra...@gmail.com wrote:
> I found a used 2 years old Oscar machine on sale at about third of the
> price of a new one.
> The price and the machine are perfect for me, but i'm afraid of buying
> a used machine.
>
> Maybe your experience can help me here:
> Should there be a problem after 2 years in those machines? How many
> years do they normally last without replacing anything?
> What should I look for while inspecting the machine?
>
> Its really tempting since I can get an HX machine at the price of a
> Gaggia Evolution... and i really want your opinion on the subject.
>
> thanks a lot...

If it is actually working now, why not?

at this point it may need a portafilter gasket (or not)

make sure it does not leak, and heats up!

Remember with this type of machine you must become skilled at
discarding the correct amount of overheated brew water -- to approach
an approximately correct temperature to make a shot.

Dave
www.hitechespresso.com

dave