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Date: 30 Nov 2006 09:25:56
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
For some time I have lusted for a Versalab grinder. My "insane
project" fund has nearly enough in it to order one, assuming that
cantankerous old John Bicht will consent to build me one. Do I need
it? Heck no. I just have a case of the common craves.

My question, though, is this: Anyone have any experience with the
Versalab espresso machine? I have not the slightest interest in owning
one; I just wonder if it could possibly be worth ten grand.





 
Date: 10 Dec 2006 08:37:41
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

Ken Fox wrote:
> "Dan Bollinger" <danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com> wrote in message
> > Andy, My take on your reply is that your opinion is superior to mine or
> > others. Is that what you intended to communicate? Dan
>
> I've met Andy and I can assure you he is superior to ME.
>
> ken

I think Andy's comments made a lot of sense. As do Jim's, although it
is time for him to get over his pique and become able to write a little
more objectively.

Dave, meanwhile, blathers as usual, without the slightest evidence that
he knows anything at all about the topic.

And, Dan, I think one merely needs to note that you are in a distinct
minority in objecting to the design aesthetic of the VL. That's not to
say that you are not a talented industrial designer, only that you are
swimming against the current on this one.



  
Date: 10 Dec 2006 18:02:26
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 10 Dec 2006 08:37:41 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>As do Jim's, although it
>is time for him to get over his pique and become able to write a little
>more objectively.

Ironically, Andy is skeptical about the M3 being better for espresso
than the Mini and finds the grinder inconvenient to use. He is
applauding Versalab's willingness to sell innovative equipment

I, on the other hand, find the general design very convenient for my
practice, love the aesthetics, find it ginally better for espresso
and a lot better for brewed coffee. I have therefore come to rely on
it; and given qualified recommendations to others. Finding the grinder
unreliable, and Versalab unable or unwilling to produce a reliable
version (for which I would have gladly paid), I am piqued.

Getting jerked around in the aftermath of this has made me more
vengeful than piqued towards Versalab; and I suppose I'd better get
over that, not for them, but for my own piece of mind.


   
Date: 11 Dec 2006 00:31:53
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
jim schulman wrote:
> Andy is skeptical about the M3 being better for espresso
> than the Mini

It's sort of like hi-fi: the espresso is different, but not necessarily
better. Last weekend Wes and Shannon Nance were here and the M3 shot was very
different, fruitier and more nuanced (better).

> I, on the other hand, find the general design very convenient for my
> practice, love the aesthetics, find it ginally better for espresso
> and a lot better for brewed coffee. I have therefore come to rely on
> it

When yours dies, maybe I should give you mine. :)

Although others have asked me to sell it to them. :0

> I suppose I'd better get
> over that, not for them, but for my own piece of mind.

If you are able to accomplish that, my congrats.

--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


  
Date: 10 Dec 2006 12:55:18
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> And, Dan, I think one merely needs to note that you are in a distinct
> minority in objecting to the design aesthetic of the VL. That's not to
> say that you are not a talented industrial designer, only that you are
> swimming against the current on this one.

To use your metaphor, I think it's more a case of some being slower swimmers
than I am, on this one. What's sad is that for most people in the US, their only
aesthetic training is one hour a week in 'art class' during their elementary
school years.

Dan




 
Date: 10 Dec 2006 08:33:41
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Dave, do you even know what people are talking about here?



 
Date: 10 Dec 2006 07:23:59
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
hmm, it would seem that is the case Dan.

not exactly an uncommon attitude here unfortunately.


dave


Dan Bollinger wrote:
> > But at least they showed us that there are people around that can innovate.
> > Some of the stuff that John invented will eventually trickle down into
> > everyday espresso machinery, and we'll all be richer for it. If you
> > know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves, you might figure that
> > out.
> >
> > Have a nice day.
> > -Andy S.
>
> Andy, My take on your reply is that your opinion is superior to mine or others.
> Is that what you intended to communicate? Dan



 
Date: 09 Dec 2006 23:39:24
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
you
know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves, you might
figure that
out.

Have a nice day.
--

-Andy S.

wow. Andy, now isn't that nice? personal shots. tsk.

Versalab. Home of impractical, UN affordable overdesigned one-off
gadgetry that barely functions -- for long.

The extremely rare espresso machine that for $8,000 does not make
steam. Still waiting for the ($4,000?) steam 'accessory'. -- Will it
require its own computer, or just a network card?


Have a niceday.



 
Date: 07 Dec 2006 20:54:46
From: Sean
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
I agree with the concept, even a cheap laptop has a lot of horsepower,
and all the HMI included.

I just hate the form factor of a laptop for packaging; it's kinda like
having a dongle on your espresso machine.

Coming from someone that has a PC hooked to his machine :-)

Sean

gscace wrote:
> Ya know, Dave, I can think of any number of really good reasons why an
> espresso machine ought to come with a laptop and a copy of Labview
> configured to run the aforementioned machine, prticularly if I were
> building something that was intended to produce the best possible
> espresso period. And it doesn't suprise me that something like that
> costs 8k. And I can see where you could consider steaming irrelevant if
> you were only interested in producing the best possible espresso,
> particularly if the addition of steaming capability was detrimental to
> the performance of the machine or made the price even more
> stratospheric.
>
> My main bitch with them is that I very much dislike sales bullshit and
> condescending attitudes. If something's so good, let's see the data.
>
> -Greg



  
Date: 08 Dec 2006 05:01:48
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 7 Dec 2006 20:54:46 -0800, "Sean" <sean.lennon@sympatico.ca > wrote:

>I just hate the form factor of a laptop for packaging; it's kinda like
>having a dongle on your espresso machine.
>

no reason space for the laptop couldn't be included in the design
(slide-out undershelf, for example).



   
Date: 08 Dec 2006 09:48:41
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> >I just hate the form factor of a laptop for packaging; it's kinda like
> >having a dongle on your espresso machine.
> >
>
> no reason space for the laptop couldn't be included in the design
> (slide-out undershelf, for example).

Spoken like an engineer: solving the wrong problem. Integration is the key to
good design, not adding more parts. Dan



    
Date: 08 Dec 2006 12:07:47
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Dan Bollinger wrote:
>> >I just hate the form factor of a laptop for packaging; it's kinda like
>> >having a dongle on your espresso machine.
>> >
>>
>> no reason space for the laptop couldn't be included in the design
>> (slide-out undershelf, for example).
>
>
> Spoken like an engineer: solving the wrong problem. Integration is the
> key to good design, not adding more parts. Dan

A Palm or a Winduhs CE based hand-held should have enough computing
power for an espresso machine.

R "does your espresso machine have blue teeth?" TF


     
Date: 08 Dec 2006 15:56:49
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> A Palm or a Winduhs CE based hand-held should have enough computing power for
> an espresso machine.

Right. There are any number of machine controllers that would work. After all,
that's what super-automatics use and they are programmable, too.

D



 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 11:29:50
From: daveb
Subject: M3 - any?
Leo, you won't find anyone here who will admit to spending ANY $$$ with
versalab.

and the grinder is only $1250! -- but you can get TWO fantastic real
grinders for that!


Leo95se wrote:
> if you guys have no problem spending 2k for a grinder, or 10k for an
> espresso machine, i can only assume your home is fully automated with
> the latest x10 (or better) system, your stove rivals that of top
> commercial kitchens, and i wont even get into what kind of car you
> would drive :o
>
> i guess im jealous
>
>
>
> Dan Bollinger wrote:
> > > It's pretty obvious this person is more interested in esthetics than function.
> >
> > His aesthetics suck, too. If he was a student of mine he'd get an 'D' for that
> > grinder. The flow-through concept is somewhat novel (almost all hand cranked
> > grinders are flow-through), the rest is below par.
> >
> > Some might call his style modern, minimalist, or constructivist. I say he's
> > just a lazy metal-head that has no sense of design, style, or aesthetics. Lack
> > of design isn't design. Lack of aesthetics isn't aesthetics. Just as lack of
> > engineering isn't engineering.
> >
> > Dan, industrial designer



 
Date: 06 Dec 2006 08:16:49
From: Leo95se
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
if you guys have no problem spending 2k for a grinder, or 10k for an
espresso machine, i can only assume your home is fully automated with
the latest x10 (or better) system, your stove rivals that of top
commercial kitchens, and i wont even get into what kind of car you
would drive :o

i guess im jealous



Dan Bollinger wrote:
> > It's pretty obvious this person is more interested in esthetics than function.
>
> His aesthetics suck, too. If he was a student of mine he'd get an 'D' for that
> grinder. The flow-through concept is somewhat novel (almost all hand cranked
> grinders are flow-through), the rest is below par.
>
> Some might call his style modern, minimalist, or constructivist. I say he's
> just a lazy metal-head that has no sense of design, style, or aesthetics. Lack
> of design isn't design. Lack of aesthetics isn't aesthetics. Just as lack of
> engineering isn't engineering.
>
> Dan, industrial designer



  
Date: 06 Dec 2006 09:23:40
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
"Leo95se" <leo.zick@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1165421809.367968.126210@f1g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> if you guys have no problem spending 2k for a grinder, or 10k for an
> espresso machine, i can only assume your home is fully automated with
> the latest x10 (or better) system, your stove rivals that of top
> commercial kitchens, and i wont even get into what kind of car you
> would drive :o
>
> i guess im jealous
>

especially for THAT grinder and THAT espresso machine, considering that one
could have the new upcoming LM dream machine and a real commercial connical
grinder for half of that figure, not to mention a more normal outstanding
setup for maybe 1/6th of that.






>
> Dan Bollinger wrote:
>> > It's pretty obvious this person is more interested in esthetics than
>> > function.
>>
>> His aesthetics suck, too. If he was a student of mine he'd get an 'D'
>> for that
>> grinder. The flow-through concept is somewhat novel (almost all hand
>> cranked
>> grinders are flow-through), the rest is below par.
>>
>> Some might call his style modern, minimalist, or constructivist. I say
>> he's
>> just a lazy metal-head that has no sense of design, style, or aesthetics.
>> Lack
>> of design isn't design. Lack of aesthetics isn't aesthetics. Just as lack
>> of
>> engineering isn't engineering.
>>
>> Dan, industrial designer
>




 
Date: 05 Dec 2006 15:51:42
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab TT -- obsolete
" . . . opined but because the ket for high-end TTs very nearly
vanished with the advent of the CD), . . ."


You just defined obsolescence!

BTW, I did NOT say the TT died because of versalab, Will -- re-read
what I wrote.

dave
179



 
Date: 05 Dec 2006 13:46:53
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

Moka Java wrote:

> The following year at SCAA Seattle V-lab showed the M3 and the fabled
> grinder. I was with Jim and Andy when the test drove the thing with
> Jim's beans. Espresso shots were lousy, something about the RO water
> that everyone in the place was using. Jim picked up on it. Go figure
> with all the other "experts" around.

It was picked up on by many - Jim included no doubt. It was a problem
throughout the hall at most "quality driven" booths. IIRC, by Sunday,
it was mainly fixed.

The shots at Versalab's booth however, were still pretty bad. Again,
IIRC, they wouldn't let anyone give them *good* coffee to try in the
machine. Something about how the good coffee wasn't tested and they
didn't have time to spare to dial in the machines all over again.

k



 
Date: 05 Dec 2006 08:48:23
From: gscace
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Ya know, Dave, I can think of any number of really good reasons why an
espresso machine ought to come with a laptop and a copy of Labview
configured to run the aforementioned machine, prticularly if I were
building something that was intended to produce the best possible
espresso period. And it doesn't suprise me that something like that
costs 8k. And I can see where you could consider steaming irrelevant if
you were only interested in producing the best possible espresso,
particularly if the addition of steaming capability was detrimental to
the performance of the machine or made the price even more
stratospheric.

My main bitch with them is that I very much dislike sales bullshit and
condescending attitudes. If something's so good, let's see the data.

-Greg



daveb wrote:
> bicht sould have stuck to film and paper -- NO, WAIT! -- OBSOLETE
>
> or OK, uh vinyl turntables! OH Nooo! OBSOLETE!
>
> ok Shoddy grinders for big bucks! OOOPS! -- [word's out -- they suck!]
>
> let's see, $8K espresso machines run from its own laptop -- included!
> but cannot steam milk! -- wait that is coming later "this summer" --
> [it is now December] -- does not say what YEAR!
>
> will the steamer require its own computer too? AND THE COST?
>
> "Versalab is looking for an industrial/ manufacturing/ keting
> partner. We are a small company and do not have the resources to
> realize the full potential of the technology that we have developed in
> the M3 - M3x system. Please contact us."
>
> from the blather about Nat. Instruments (a good co,) it would seem
> that Bicht got soem freebies there!
>
> all you venture cap. guys grab this!!
>
> Dave
>
>
>
> jim schulman wrote:
> > On 4 Dec 2006 06:57:06 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >My knowledge of Mr. Bicht and his work comes from the Versa Dynamics
> > >record player. I know that JB can be an ornery, cantankerous, arrogant
> > >old man. The VD player had its faults. Air compressors got rattly,
> > >air lines spit water, and there were various other issues from time to
> > >time. JB was pretty quick (still is, I would guess) to blame customers
> > >for doing things incorrectly.
> >
> > Gee, and I thought I was being critical.
> >
> > >All that being said, a correctly set up
> > >VD player beat the hell out of anything in its price range and many
> > >players vastly more expensive
> >
> > I've never been less than enthusiastic about the grind quality (or the
> > girnder's aesthetics). But at $950, and now $1250, there are a half
> > dozen grinders with grind quality as good, and build quality that is
> > way superior. I cup a lot of coffee, and I do not have the patience to
> > deal with a girndier where every power transmitting coupling is either
> > slipping or groaning after one year's "semi-commercial" use. I sent my
> > grinder to several more mechanically adept people for assessment
> > before these problems developed, they all warned of exactly these
> > problems as being inherent in the design. Some of their warnings are
> > on the HB thread
> >
> > To sell anything built this poorly as a lab grinder is farcical. But
> > that is not much of a sin, caveat emptor, after all. However, the more
> > I dealt with them, the more I got the impression I'd get better
> > service if I were more rah-rah in promoting them, and if I kept my
> > mouth shut about the problems. This got to the point were it became
> > stomach turning, and I will have nothing more to do with them.
> >
> > You should consider their unique approach to PR and service carefully
> > when noting how few the complaints are about the grinder.



 
Date: 05 Dec 2006 06:10:34
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Thanks for your response, Jim. I'm sorry that k saw fit to accuse
me of criticizing you and I hope you realize that such was not at all
my intention. Not having direct access to people who are "close to the
action," I have to rely on what I can find in print. Given that one
can hardly read the HB review without getting Abe's drool on one's
fingers....well, you get my point, I'm sure.

Having struggled with JB's turntables (which went out of production not
because they were bad, as Dave so ignorantly opined but because the
ket for high-end TTs very nearly vanished with the advent of the
CD), I know they can be twitchy and demanding. That being said, when
they work, they REALLY work.

I've had a fair bit of experience working with hand built precision
machinery (I don't make it, I just use it). I'm prepared for the
challenges and limitations of one-off manufacturing. However, after
reading your recent commentary, going back over HB posts (which ARE for
the most part complimentary, despite what k claimed), and thinking
the matter over, I have decided to can my plans to buy the grinder. I
will go for a tried-and-true.

So...thanks for the help and please, once again, realize that I was not
demeaning or dismissing you in any way. If I gave you that impression,
I hope you'll accept my apology.




jim schulman wrote:
> On 4 Dec 2006 06:57:06 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >My knowledge of Mr. Bicht and his work comes from the Versa Dynamics
> >record player. I know that JB can be an ornery, cantankerous, arrogant
> >old man. The VD player had its faults. Air compressors got rattly,
> >air lines spit water, and there were various other issues from time to
> >time. JB was pretty quick (still is, I would guess) to blame customers
> >for doing things incorrectly.
>
> Gee, and I thought I was being critical.
>
> >All that being said, a correctly set up
> >VD player beat the hell out of anything in its price range and many
> >players vastly more expensive
>
> I've never been less than enthusiastic about the grind quality (or the
> girnder's aesthetics). But at $950, and now $1250, there are a half
> dozen grinders with grind quality as good, and build quality that is
> way superior. I cup a lot of coffee, and I do not have the patience to
> deal with a girndier where every power transmitting coupling is either
> slipping or groaning after one year's "semi-commercial" use. I sent my
> grinder to several more mechanically adept people for assessment
> before these problems developed, they all warned of exactly these
> problems as being inherent in the design. Some of their warnings are
> on the HB thread
>
> To sell anything built this poorly as a lab grinder is farcical. But
> that is not much of a sin, caveat emptor, after all. However, the more
> I dealt with them, the more I got the impression I'd get better
> service if I were more rah-rah in promoting them, and if I kept my
> mouth shut about the problems. This got to the point were it became
> stomach turning, and I will have nothing more to do with them.
>
> You should consider their unique approach to PR and service carefully
> when noting how few the complaints are about the grinder.



  
Date: 05 Dec 2006 14:42:16
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 5 Dec 2006 06:10:34 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>I've had a fair bit of experience working with hand built precision
>machinery (I don't make it, I just use it). I'm prepared for the
>challenges and limitations of one-off manufacturing. However, after
>reading your recent commentary, going back over HB posts (which ARE for
> the most part complimentary, despite what k claimed), and thinking
>the matter over, I have decided to can my plans to buy the grinder. I
>will go for a tried-and-true.
>
>So...thanks for the help and please, once again, realize that I was not
>demeaning or dismissing you in any way. If I gave you that impression,
>I hope you'll accept my apology.

No need to apologize, I don't feel insulted.

This is a good grinder design in principle, I love it for cupping. But
the nuts and bolts manufacturing details are simply appalling.
Versalab would have been far better off if they had licensed the
design to someone who can do small scale manufacturing like Synesso
(who would probably love to bring out a high end grinder).

When the grinder came out a few years ago, several companies
apparently bought them for evaluation. There is now at least one
grinder with a straight through grind path in the works. However,
making this design commercially viable seems to be challenging.

When this grinder kicks it, I'll be looking at the Macap MXCR, Kony,
and if they are available, the Compak and LM conicals. I mayl also try
attaching a drill to a Zass Turkish, since there's several pro
baristas who swear this does better than their Roburs.

I've met quite a few hi-fi people. Most just want decent reproduction
of symphonic music or opera with the minimum of fuss, and are willing
to pay for it. But there's a few who will tweak their gear for hours
to get 10 seconds of perfectly pure white noise. Serving this side of
the ket hardly qualifies a company for making coffee gear.


   
Date: 05 Dec 2006 16:11:55
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
jim schulman wrote:
>
> When this grinder kicks it, I'll be looking at the Macap MXCR, Kony,
> and if they are available, the Compak and LM conicals. I mayl also try
> attaching a drill to a Zass Turkish, since there's several pro
> baristas who swear this does better than their Roburs.
>

I've never tried it but it would seem clumsy, from loading the beans to
handling the drill and grinder together. Perhaps you could leave the
cover off and grind directly into the PF basket. A cordless screwdriver
would probably have enough torque and be easier to handle than a heavier
drill. At any rate the higher RPMs of the power drill would probably
stress the well made but crude bearings in the Zass mill. Adjusting and
fine tuning the grind in a Turkish mill is imprecise and a bit of a PITA
too. Has anybody written about this?

R "willing to try if it will save me the price and counter space of a
Robur" TF


    
Date: 07 Dec 2006 01:08:56
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 16:11:55 -0500, Moka Java <rtwatches@yahoo.com >
wrote:

>I've never tried it but it would seem clumsy, from loading the beans to
>handling the drill and grinder together.

one of the first cupping lab grinders i ever saw was a manual
zassenhaus-type mill which had a bevel gear on the vertical shaft,
driven by a bevel gear attached to a big electric motor mounted on a
platform off to the side.



     
Date: 08 Dec 2006 08:37:52
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Barry Jarrett wrote:

> On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 16:11:55 -0500, Moka Java <rtwatches@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
> >I've never tried it but it would seem clumsy, from loading the beans to
> >handling the drill and grinder together.
>
> one of the first cupping lab grinders i ever saw was a manual
> zassenhaus-type mill which had a bevel gear on the vertical shaft,
> driven by a bevel gear attached to a big electric motor mounted on a
> platform off to the side.
>
Dallas Bros. has something like that in their cupping room. Dunno if
it's a Zass but I suspect that they still use it.

R "if I have a picture of it it's on film :-(" TF


    
Date: 05 Dec 2006 22:33:53
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 16:11:55 -0500, Moka Java <rtwatches@yahoo.com >
wrote:

>
>R "willing to try if it will save me the price and counter space of a
>Robur" TF

Check the coffeed board, I saw the posts there, but cannot remember
the name


 
Date: 05 Dec 2006 05:57:45
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Dave, as the ultimate shameless self-promoter, you are ill prepared to
comment on the keting practices of others.

And since you know absolutely NOTHING about the topic under discussion,
you may be sure that I will accord your opinion all the attention it
deserves...




daveb wrote:
> bicht sould have stuck to film and paper -- NO, WAIT! -- OBSOLETE
>
> or OK, uh vinyl turntables! OH Nooo! OBSOLETE!
>
> ok Shoddy grinders for big bucks! OOOPS! -- [word's out -- they suck!]
>
> let's see, $8K espresso machines run from its own laptop -- included!
> but cannot steam milk! -- wait that is coming later "this summer" --
> [it is now December] -- does not say what YEAR!
>
> will the steamer require its own computer too? AND THE COST?
>
> "Versalab is looking for an industrial/ manufacturing/ keting
> partner. We are a small company and do not have the resources to
> realize the full potential of the technology that we have developed in
> the M3 - M3x system. Please contact us."
>
> from the blather about Nat. Instruments (a good co,) it would seem
> that Bicht got soem freebies there!
>
> all you venture cap. guys grab this!!
>
> Dave
>
>
>
> jim schulman wrote:
> > On 4 Dec 2006 06:57:06 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >My knowledge of Mr. Bicht and his work comes from the Versa Dynamics
> > >record player. I know that JB can be an ornery, cantankerous, arrogant
> > >old man. The VD player had its faults. Air compressors got rattly,
> > >air lines spit water, and there were various other issues from time to
> > >time. JB was pretty quick (still is, I would guess) to blame customers
> > >for doing things incorrectly.
> >
> > Gee, and I thought I was being critical.
> >
> > >All that being said, a correctly set up
> > >VD player beat the hell out of anything in its price range and many
> > >players vastly more expensive
> >
> > I've never been less than enthusiastic about the grind quality (or the
> > girnder's aesthetics). But at $950, and now $1250, there are a half
> > dozen grinders with grind quality as good, and build quality that is
> > way superior. I cup a lot of coffee, and I do not have the patience to
> > deal with a girndier where every power transmitting coupling is either
> > slipping or groaning after one year's "semi-commercial" use. I sent my
> > grinder to several more mechanically adept people for assessment
> > before these problems developed, they all warned of exactly these
> > problems as being inherent in the design. Some of their warnings are
> > on the HB thread
> >
> > To sell anything built this poorly as a lab grinder is farcical. But
> > that is not much of a sin, caveat emptor, after all. However, the more
> > I dealt with them, the more I got the impression I'd get better
> > service if I were more rah-rah in promoting them, and if I kept my
> > mouth shut about the problems. This got to the point were it became
> > stomach turning, and I will have nothing more to do with them.
> >
> > You should consider their unique approach to PR and service carefully
> > when noting how few the complaints are about the grinder.



 
Date: 05 Dec 2006 05:54:51
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

I- >Ian wrote:
> I've seen bearings pressed with a hydraulic press, bearings ordered to
> a very tight tolerance to fit the chassis and bearing fit with heat /
> dry ice, but never seen one glued.

In the space industry, many bearings are cemented into place. This
allows for easier replacement and tolerates drastic temperature changes
than pressed-in bearings, and lighter in weight than mechanically fixed
bearings.

Not that Mr. B uses NASA-quality adherents...



 
Date: 04 Dec 2006 18:24:40
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
bicht sould have stuck to film and paper -- NO, WAIT! -- OBSOLETE

or OK, uh vinyl turntables! OH Nooo! OBSOLETE!

ok Shoddy grinders for big bucks! OOOPS! -- [word's out -- they suck!]

let's see, $8K espresso machines run from its own laptop -- included!
but cannot steam milk! -- wait that is coming later "this summer" --
[it is now December] -- does not say what YEAR!

will the steamer require its own computer too? AND THE COST?

"Versalab is looking for an industrial/ manufacturing/ keting
partner. We are a small company and do not have the resources to
realize the full potential of the technology that we have developed in
the M3 - M3x system. Please contact us."

from the blather about Nat. Instruments (a good co,) it would seem
that Bicht got soem freebies there!

all you venture cap. guys grab this!!

Dave



jim schulman wrote:
> On 4 Dec 2006 06:57:06 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >My knowledge of Mr. Bicht and his work comes from the Versa Dynamics
> >record player. I know that JB can be an ornery, cantankerous, arrogant
> >old man. The VD player had its faults. Air compressors got rattly,
> >air lines spit water, and there were various other issues from time to
> >time. JB was pretty quick (still is, I would guess) to blame customers
> >for doing things incorrectly.
>
> Gee, and I thought I was being critical.
>
> >All that being said, a correctly set up
> >VD player beat the hell out of anything in its price range and many
> >players vastly more expensive
>
> I've never been less than enthusiastic about the grind quality (or the
> girnder's aesthetics). But at $950, and now $1250, there are a half
> dozen grinders with grind quality as good, and build quality that is
> way superior. I cup a lot of coffee, and I do not have the patience to
> deal with a girndier where every power transmitting coupling is either
> slipping or groaning after one year's "semi-commercial" use. I sent my
> grinder to several more mechanically adept people for assessment
> before these problems developed, they all warned of exactly these
> problems as being inherent in the design. Some of their warnings are
> on the HB thread
>
> To sell anything built this poorly as a lab grinder is farcical. But
> that is not much of a sin, caveat emptor, after all. However, the more
> I dealt with them, the more I got the impression I'd get better
> service if I were more rah-rah in promoting them, and if I kept my
> mouth shut about the problems. This got to the point were it became
> stomach turning, and I will have nothing more to do with them.
>
> You should consider their unique approach to PR and service carefully
> when noting how few the complaints are about the grinder.



 
Date: 04 Dec 2006 06:57:06
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

CoffeeKid wrote:
> While you may have read Jim's posts, I don't think you read them
> carefully or completely (like his cheeleading, in a subtle way on
> CoffeeGeek's forums prior to the bearing / customer support issues).

Actually, I have read them quite carefully and with due regard for
Jim's knowledge and experience, neither of which I discount in the
slightest. I have great respect for the research that he has done.
Had you read MY posts just in the last month carefully, you would be
aware of this.

Offsetting Jim's negative experience, Abe Carmeli's extended review was
virtually a tantric orgasm, punctuated by complaints about the lack of
a grinder dial. There was a long exchange about whether the grinder
worked well with PFs smaller than 58mm and a few other gripes. But,
k, if there has been a great groundswell of dissatisfaction about
the grinder, it really does not seem to have made it into print. I
read one reply on HB from Laura at VL but it was hardly what I would
call an "online attack." And I have never seen any posts regarding
"poor trade show performance." Perhaps I have missed them. On the
other hand, it may be that, because you are so tightly connected to the
professional and semiprofessional end of the business, you hear
information, scuttlebutt, whatever one might call it, that doesn't make
it into print.

My knowledge of Mr. Bicht and his work comes from the Versa Dynamics
record player. I know that JB can be an ornery, cantankerous, arrogant
old man. The VD player had its faults. Air compressors got rattly,
air lines spit water, and there were various other issues from time to
time. JB was pretty quick (still is, I would guess) to blame customers
for doing things incorrectly. All that being said, a correctly set up
VD player beat the hell out of anything in its price range and many
players vastly more expensive. And, cranky as he might be, I never
heard of JB not trying to help his customers get their equipment
working right.

That's all by way of saying that I am neither naive nor uninformed
concerning Mr. Bicht and his company, as well as the problems and
limitations associated with bench-built equipment. I read Jim's
comments and considered them very carefully before coming to my
(impending) purchase. If I have the same unhappy experience that he
did, I will confess it here and you and Jim may have the satisfaction
of a ringing chorus of "I told you so."

But, k, none of this was the focus of my original post. I didn't
write to ask for information or opinions about the grinder but about
the espresso machine. Has JB ever even sold one? And, if so, what did
the buyer think? I have not one scintilla of interest in owning one,
even if I win the lottery, but would like to know if the bloody thing
makes good coffee.



  
Date: 05 Dec 2006 13:11:40
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:

And I have never seen any posts regarding
> "poor trade show performance." Perhaps I have missed them.

I first saw the M3 at the SCAA show in Atlanta. An unassuming little
booth with a skilled barista pulling incredible shots. He was using a
modified Cimbali conical grinder which was claimed to give much better
results than a flat burr grinder. The let us look under the hood at
some of the electronics -- looked like 2 PIDs -- but wouldn't let us
touch a thing. There was talk of a new grinder. The M3 was merrily
quiet as were the folks in the booth when we asked how it worked.
shall commented that it looked like the Heathkit of the espresso world.

The following year at SCAA Seattle V-lab showed the M3 and the fabled
grinder. I was with Jim and Andy when the test drove the thing with
Jim's beans. Espresso shots were lousy, something about the RO water
that everyone in the place was using. Jim picked up on it. Go figure
with all the other "experts" around. (RO water is too clean to make
good coffee.) So the M3 was not such a splash the second time around.

R "not connected" TF



   
Date: 05 Dec 2006 14:46:52
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 13:11:40 -0500, Moka Java <rtwatches@yahoo.com >
wrote:

> Espresso shots were lousy, something about the RO water
>that everyone in the place was using. Jim picked up on it. Go figure
>with all the other "experts" around. (RO water is too clean to make
>good coffee.)

They picked up on it, and had proper water treatments in by Saturday.
At that point, only Versalabs shots were lousy, due mostly to the
staright out of the deep freeze rime covered dark roast they wee
using, as well as still using their own bottled water.


  
Date: 04 Dec 2006 16:49:07
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 4 Dec 2006 06:57:06 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>My knowledge of Mr. Bicht and his work comes from the Versa Dynamics
>record player. I know that JB can be an ornery, cantankerous, arrogant
>old man. The VD player had its faults. Air compressors got rattly,
>air lines spit water, and there were various other issues from time to
>time. JB was pretty quick (still is, I would guess) to blame customers
>for doing things incorrectly.

Gee, and I thought I was being critical.

>All that being said, a correctly set up
>VD player beat the hell out of anything in its price range and many
>players vastly more expensive

I've never been less than enthusiastic about the grind quality (or the
girnder's aesthetics). But at $950, and now $1250, there are a half
dozen grinders with grind quality as good, and build quality that is
way superior. I cup a lot of coffee, and I do not have the patience to
deal with a girndier where every power transmitting coupling is either
slipping or groaning after one year's "semi-commercial" use. I sent my
grinder to several more mechanically adept people for assessment
before these problems developed, they all warned of exactly these
problems as being inherent in the design. Some of their warnings are
on the HB thread

To sell anything built this poorly as a lab grinder is farcical. But
that is not much of a sin, caveat emptor, after all. However, the more
I dealt with them, the more I got the impression I'd get better
service if I were more rah-rah in promoting them, and if I kept my
mouth shut about the problems. This got to the point were it became
stomach turning, and I will have nothing more to do with them.

You should consider their unique approach to PR and service carefully
when noting how few the complaints are about the grinder.


  
Date: 04 Dec 2006 08:15:45
From: Chris Staley
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 4 Dec 2006 06:57:06 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>

>But, k, none of this was the focus of my original post. I didn't
>write to ask for information or opinions about the grinder but about
>the espresso machine. Has JB ever even sold one? And, if so, what did
>the buyer think? I have not one scintilla of interest in owning one,
>even if I win the lottery, but would like to know if the bloody thing
>makes good coffee.

I don't know if they've ever sold one since they officially went on
the ket, but I do know that the Kaladi Brothers Coffee was using
one in their shop from the very beginning. If I recall correctly, it
was k Overly (from Kaladi) who was at the SCAA convention in 2004
demoing the M3. They already had one in one of their shops at that
time.

As to whether any others were ever sold, I have no idea.

Chris


 
Date: 03 Dec 2006 13:11:52
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> I DID read your posts, not once but several times, Jim. You obviously
> are disgruntled and unhappy and you have not hesitated to make that
> apparent.

While you may have read Jim's posts, I don't think you read them
carefully or completely (like his cheeleading, in a subtle way on
CoffeeGeek's forums prior to the bearing / customer support issues).
Especially based on you saying "you haven not hesitated to make that
apparent"... it took Jim a LONG time to go public with his
disgruntlement. And there was a lot of hesitation in that - you can
read it in his words.

Jim was Versalab's #1 proponent for a long time, when others were long
beyond fed up with their attitude, online attacks, poor trade show
performance, etc. For him to 'turn' on the company really made a
statement... about the company, not Jim.

>
> Others, though, have been a good deal more positive and your
> experience

Proof, please.

k



  
Date: 03 Dec 2006 14:17:20
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
"CoffeeKid" <Coffeekid@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1165180311.984738.76170@n67g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
>
> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
>> I DID read your posts, not once but several times, Jim. You obviously
>> are disgruntled and unhappy and you have not hesitated to make that
>> apparent.
>
> While you may have read Jim's posts, I don't think you read them
> carefully or completely (like his cheeleading, in a subtle way on
> CoffeeGeek's forums prior to the bearing / customer support issues).
> Especially based on you saying "you haven not hesitated to make that
> apparent"... it took Jim a LONG time to go public with his
> disgruntlement. And there was a lot of hesitation in that - you can
> read it in his words.
>
> Jim was Versalab's #1 proponent for a long time, when others were long
> beyond fed up with their attitude, online attacks, poor trade show
> performance, etc. For him to 'turn' on the company really made a
> statement... about the company, not Jim.
>
>>
>> Others, though, have been a good deal more positive and your
>> experience
>
> Proof, please.
>
> k
>

Ditto. Jim's a friend and he'd voiced his concerns about the Versalab
grinder and its issues to me, MONTHS before he went public about them.

ken




 
Date: 03 Dec 2006 08:53:00
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
The fact that bicht managed to piss off Jim S. IS highly statistically
significant!

Just how many of those grinders do you think were sold?? 10? 20? 25?

Then that IS something I'd call significant, from the standpoint of
customer support. especially when you sell quanitities in the single
digits!

Dave



 
Date: 03 Dec 2006 08:49:15
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab (in general) -- thoughts
The fact that bicht managed to piss off Jum S IS highly statistically
significant!

Just how many of those grinders do you think were sold?? 10? 20? 25?

then that IS something I'd call significant, from the standpoint of
customer support.

Dave




Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> I DID read your posts, not once but several times, Jim. You obviously
> are disgruntled and unhappy and you have not hesitated to make that
> apparent. Rightly so, perhaps.
>
> Others, though, have been a good deal more positive and your
> experience, however you cut it, seems to be a minority of one. That's
> not to say you didn't get sucky service, only that such service seems
> not to be the norm.
>
> I know of Mr. Bicht's work from his turntables. Because every item he
> makes is virtually hand built, there are, no doubt, the odd flukes and
> flakes. However, I never heard of anyone who purchased one of his
> tables who was not thoroughly happy with post-sale service.
>
> BUT GUYS, I WAS ASKING ABOUT THE ESPRESSO MACHINE, NOT THE GRINDER.
>
>
>
> jim schulman wrote:
> > On 2 Dec 2006 06:48:09 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >CoffeeKid wrote:
> > >> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> > >> > Apart from Jim's
> > >> > ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-
> > >>
> > >> oh... it's not an isolated case.
> > >>
> > >> k
> > >
> > >
> > >Can you elaborate on that, k?
> >
> > You need to closely read mine and a few others' posts on getting
> > service from them. I kept feeling I had violated the rah-rah clause;
> > but it may be that others **actually and really believe ** superglue
> > is the stroke of genius way to fix a shot bearing.



 
Date: 03 Dec 2006 08:32:46
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
I DID read your posts, not once but several times, Jim. You obviously
are disgruntled and unhappy and you have not hesitated to make that
apparent. Rightly so, perhaps.

Others, though, have been a good deal more positive and your
experience, however you cut it, seems to be a minority of one. That's
not to say you didn't get sucky service, only that such service seems
not to be the norm.

I know of Mr. Bicht's work from his turntables. Because every item he
makes is virtually hand built, there are, no doubt, the odd flukes and
flakes. However, I never heard of anyone who purchased one of his
tables who was not thoroughly happy with post-sale service.

BUT GUYS, I WAS ASKING ABOUT THE ESPRESSO MACHINE, NOT THE GRINDER.



jim schulman wrote:
> On 2 Dec 2006 06:48:09 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >
> >CoffeeKid wrote:
> >> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> >> > Apart from Jim's
> >> > ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-
> >>
> >> oh... it's not an isolated case.
> >>
> >> k
> >
> >
> >Can you elaborate on that, k?
>
> You need to closely read mine and a few others' posts on getting
> service from them. I kept feeling I had violated the rah-rah clause;
> but it may be that others **actually and really believe ** superglue
> is the stroke of genius way to fix a shot bearing.



  
Date: 05 Dec 2006 13:13:31
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-03, Omniryx@gmail.com <Omniryx@gmail.com > wrote:

> I know of Mr. Bicht's work from his turntables.

Well, that certainly explains the ridiculous belt arrangement for a
coffee grinder. It's pretty obvious this person is more interested in
esthetics than function. I suspect he lusted after Bang-Olufsen as a
child.

> BUT GUYS, I WAS ASKING ABOUT THE ESPRESSO MACHINE, NOT THE GRINDER.

Are there any regulars here who actually have one? I hope not. I'd
like to think the folks I pay attention to and respect in this group
have better sense.

nb


   
Date: 06 Dec 2006 09:02:26
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> It's pretty obvious this person is more interested in esthetics than function.

His aesthetics suck, too. If he was a student of mine he'd get an 'D' for that
grinder. The flow-through concept is somewhat novel (almost all hand cranked
grinders are flow-through), the rest is below par.

Some might call his style modern, minimalist, or constructivist. I say he's
just a lazy metal-head that has no sense of design, style, or aesthetics. Lack
of design isn't design. Lack of aesthetics isn't aesthetics. Just as lack of
engineering isn't engineering.

Dan, industrial designer








    
Date: 10 Dec 2006 05:51:58
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Dan Bollinger wrote:
> His aesthetics suck, too. If he was a student of mine he'd get an 'D' for
> that grinder. The flow-through concept is somewhat novel (almost all hand
> cranked grinders are flow-through), the rest is below par.
>
> Some might call his style modern, minimalist, or constructivist. I say
> he's just a lazy metal-head that has no sense of design, style, or
> aesthetics. Lack of design isn't design. Lack of aesthetics isn't
> aesthetics. Just as lack of engineering isn't engineering.


Dan, I guess you and notbob are really enjoying yourselves, taking cheap shots
at Versalab. But you miss the point: there's probably more innovation in
Versa's espresso machine and grinder than the rest of the espresso industry
has come up with in the last twenty years.

Obviously, I'm not counting superautos, which seem to be all the Italians give
a crap about nowadays.

Maybe Versalab has a bad attitude; maybe they can't figure out how to key a
drive shaft. And maybe they've got a bunch of early adopters doing their beta
testing. That truly sucks.

But at least they showed us that there are people around that can innovate.
Some of the stuff that John invented will eventually trickle down into
everyday espresso machinery, and we'll all be richer for it. If you
know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves, you might figure that
out.

Have a nice day.
--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


     
Date: 11 Dec 2006 20:05:35
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Andy Schecter wrote:
>
> Have a nice day.

Aw c'mon Andy! We all know you're hankerin'' for a Europicolo and a
Zassenhaus hand grinder!

R "consistency and stability r us" TF


     
Date: 10 Dec 2006 13:29:24
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-10, Andy Schecter <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote:

> Dan, I guess you and notbob are really enjoying yourselves, taking cheap shots
> at Versalab.

I was asked for my thoughts on the subject, so I gave them. I'll try
an remember to submit them for your prior approval, next time.

> But you miss the point:

Did I? Dang! I could have sworn I lauded his idea of a pneumatic
tamper. I've toyed with the idea myself. But, he actually went and
did it. Seemingly, I'm remiss in not being more adulatory of his
accomplishment.

> there's probably more innovation in
> Versa's espresso machine and grinder than the rest of the espresso industry
> has come up with in the last twenty years.

I couldn't say, not being entirely knowledgeable of how his system works and
all the design details which I've been unable to find. Perhaps those
of you in the industry are privy to such information. I'm not. And,
not having $10+K to spend on espresso equipment to tear apart and
inspect, I can only go by what I see and learn through third hand
accounts. Some of what I see is not encouraging. Some is. I've
commented on both.

> Maybe Versalab has a bad attitude; maybe they can't figure out how to key a
> drive shaft. And maybe they've got a bunch of early adopters doing their beta
> testing. That truly sucks.

But, apparently, only you are worthy enough to comment on it. I'll
try and keep that in mind.

> know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves.....

Sound suspiciously like a cheap shot, to me.

nb


      
Date: 10 Dec 2006 22:15:50
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
notbob wrote:
> I could have sworn I lauded his idea of a pneumatic
> tamper. I've toyed with the idea myself. But, he actually went and
> did it.

Of the Versa toys, this one has always puzzled me. Some people think tamping
with reproducible pressure each time is important, but I've never found it
makes a significant difference. Others have commented that it doesn't make a
difference for them, either. YMMV.

> I couldn't say, not being entirely knowledgeable of how his system works and
> all the design details which I've been unable to find.

The grinder:
1. unusually clean product path, free from most buildup of stale grounds
2. near-perfect radial distribution of grounds into the portafilter
3. no lumps
4. dual conical/flat burrset

The espresso machine:
1. boiler heating element embedded in a fully-wetted highly heat-conductive
fixture that conducts heat evenly throughout the boiler
2. pumps water at brewing temperature out of boiler to group instead of
pumping cold water into boiler
3. pump head embedded in the boiler to maintain even temperature
4. pump discharge piping runs through the boiler to prevent drop in temp
5. heated brew head with separate control to maintain even temp
6. electronic feedback loop for pump pressure to provide active control of
preinfusion and brew pressure
7. 3-way valve replaced by a setup that exhausts excess water at the end of
the shot through a separate conduit, eliminating contamination of incoming
piping with coffee residue
8. trick millisecond pump timing that briefly continues to pump water into the
portafilter after the exhaust opens, in order to keep the incoming lines clean
9. careful selection of product path materials to avoid residue accumulation
and taste contamination
10. probably a bunch of other stuff I don't know about

None of this easily explains the uncanny, astounding chiffon texture of the
espresso that the Versa machine delivered at the Atlanta SCAA show. Myself,
Richard, Jim, Barry, Chris, and many others can attest to this (but not
shall <g >).

You can read Versa's espresso machine patent here: http://tinyurl.com/y7rjx2
Or search on this number on the US patent site: 20060037481


--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


       
Date: 11 Dec 2006 18:48:11
From: Jeffrey Pawlan
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Andy Schecter wrote:

> You can read Versa's espresso machine patent here:
> http://tinyurl.com/y7rjx2
> Or search on this number on the US patent site: 20060037481

Dear Andy and group,

I am usually a lurker but that does not mean that I don't read all
of your posts. I do learn a great deal from them. So I thank you for all
the different discussions and points of view.

I designed and built prototypes of a computer controlled roaster so I
have experience with losing money by offering a highly technically
advanced product in this ket.

I will someday try to build a grinder and an espresso machine for
myself that has many of the features of the VL products but made robust
with good mechanical design. Maybe by then I will be able to discern the
taste differences between them and my current equipment:
grinder: stock Mazzer mini
espresso: a highly modified Cimbali M27 "Start" with PID of the
boiler, separate PID of the heated group head, and preheating of the
water going into the thermal transfer tube.

Jeffrey Pawlan


       
Date: 10 Dec 2006 18:20:54
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-10, Andy Schecter <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote:

> makes a significant difference. Others have commented that it doesn't make a
> difference for them, either. YMMV.

What makes it notable is not tamp repeatability, but simple ease of
operation. Baristas with RSI are not going to be tamping anything,
consistently or otherwise.

> The grinder:
> 1. unusually clean product path, free from most buildup of stale grounds

....and allowing of most anything from a cockroach to broken glass to
enter said path

> 2. near-perfect radial distribution of grounds into the portafilter
> 3. no lumps
> 4. dual conical/flat burrset

I'm still not convinced this is a positive feature rather than a way
of avoiding the expense of designing one good burrset.

Unfortunately, in the end, all these positive features are useless if it
doesn't turn.

> The espresso machine:
> 1. boiler heating element embedded in a fully-wetted highly heat-conductive
> fixture that conducts heat evenly throughout the boiler
> 2. pumps water at brewing temperature out of boiler to group instead of
> pumping cold water into boiler

As Del said in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, "That don't make no
sense!" Maybe after I study the patent docs.

> You can read Versa's espresso machine patent here: http://tinyurl.com/y7rjx2
> Or search on this number on the US patent site: 20060037481

Thank you for this. Maybe I was too harsh on the things I can see
relative to the overall significance of things I've yet to see. But,
I call 'em as I see 'em and so far I've seen some pretty poor design
concepts.

Now, for the second handed "cheap shots" issue. I appreciate your
responding as I thought I was gonna hafta come after ya', so to speak.
I don't recall any "cheap shots" toward Mr. B. About that "artiste"
thing, am I wrong? Is it untrue he makes a lot design choices based
on esthetics, perhaps too many? It certainly looks that way. His
belt drive looks cool as Hell, but the concept is absurd on the face
of it. Maybe you didn't like my "lust" comment. No offense there. I
lusted like a virgin 13-yr old after Bang-Olufsen stuff. What's not to
admire? What about you? Did my "better sense" rek hit too close
to home? That's unfortunate, as you're one of those in this group
who's opinion I respect. But, oh darn. Not my shoes.

Now, you reiterate that you would have no problem repeating the
"preening" crack to my face. Does that still include the
"know-it-alls" part? Interesting. I don't recall claiming to know it
all. I will say I've spent most of my life in mechanical, R&D, and
manufacturing engineering fields, so I'm more than confident I know
enough. As for preening, I think I've miles to go before I even close
to what qualifies as preening in this group. And the M3 and Mr. B? No
problem. I'll be glad to tell him to his face his machine is hideous
and poorly designed on the outside. I'll send off an email tonight
listing my opinions. I'm sure he couldn't care less. Maybe it's the
design miracle of the century on the inside. I'll hafta reserve
comment on that until after I know more about it, ok?

Anyway, I hope we're all back to equilibrium, here, and everything is
cool again. I think some people were getting a little too riled up,
myself included. I think I'll have an Irish coffee. ;)

nb


       
Date: 10 Dec 2006 22:25:55
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Andy Schecter wrote:
> 8. trick millisecond pump timing that briefly continues to pump water
> into the portafilter after the exhaust opens, in order to keep the
> incoming lines clean

This feature results in a puck that is a little wetter than usual. After one
of the shows, some ignoramuses on coffeegeek.com seized upon this wet puck
tendency to impugn the competence of the Versa design.

Their criticisms were way off the k....

BTW, it still puzzles me why I'm supposed to give a damn about how dry the
puck is. I've had REALLY SHITTY espresso at shops that had pucks so firm you
could build a pretty nice outhouse from them.
--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


        
Date: 10 Dec 2006 18:28:01
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-10, Andy Schecter <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote:

>
> This feature results in a puck that is a little wetter than usual. After one
> of the shows, some ignoramuses on coffeegeek.com seized upon this wet puck
> tendency to impugn the competence of the Versa design.

I don't see this as an issue. My buddy's PID Silvie leaves a
positively swampish puck despite delivering awsome double or triple
shots. In contrast, my SL90 provides almost equally outstanding shots
while leaving a puck dry enough to play hockey with.

nb


         
Date: 10 Dec 2006 19:33:27
From: Craig Andrews
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

"notbob" <notbob@nothome.com > wrote in message
news:idCdnR1xk5qMO-HYnZ2dnUVZ_uednZ2d@comcast.com...
> On 2006-12-10, Andy Schecter <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> This feature results in a puck that is a little wetter than usual.
>> After one
>> of the shows, some ignoramuses on coffeegeek.com seized upon this wet
>> puck
>> tendency to impugn the competence of the Versa design.
>
> I don't see this as an issue. My buddy's PID Silvie leaves a
> positively swampish puck despite delivering awsome double or triple
> shots. In contrast, my SL90 provides almost equally outstanding shots
> while leaving a puck dry enough to play hockey with.
>
> nb


The only thing that matters is what's in the cup, the taste in the cup,
not getting hung up on the look of the puck..
Craig.



          
Date: 11 Dec 2006 16:49:32
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> The only thing that matters is what's in the cup, the taste in the cup,
> not getting hung up on the look of the puck..
> Craig.
>

except if you want to actually hang the puck up :)




        
Date: 10 Dec 2006 16:09:38
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
"Andy Schecter" <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote in message
news:TP%eh.2197$nq5.1556@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
> >
> BTW, it still puzzles me why I'm supposed to give a damn about how dry the
> puck is. I've had REALLY SHITTY espresso at shops that had pucks so firm
> you could build a pretty nice outhouse from them.
> --
>
>
> -Andy S.
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/

My gestalt impression is that in addition to age of beans, grind, and
packing distribution, there are other factors that contribute to the
appearance of the expelled PF puck. In particular, I think the particular
kind of beans used and their roast levels are very important.

None of this contradicts Andy's point that "puckology" is of only very
limited utility in ascertaining the quality of the barista skills that made
it or the cup quality of the shot that went through it.

ken




      
Date: 10 Dec 2006 13:34:50
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
"notbob" <notbob@nothome.com > wrote in message
news:54OdnX3eNreJ_eHYnZ2dnUVZ_sOdnZ2d@comcast.com...
> >

(quoting Andy)

>> know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves.....


>
> Sound suspiciously like a cheap shot, to me.
>
> nb

Andy is not a cheap shot kind of guy. He's one of the few people who has
bothered to look critically at what Versalab is doing and the rationale
behind it. This does not excuse their poor customer relations and customer
service, which are excellent reasons not to deal with Versalab (and I've
never been tempted to deal with them). Yet, the guy has had some
interesting ideas that are worthy of consideration, if not successfully by
versalab, than by another party.

ken




     
Date: 10 Dec 2006 09:20:34
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> But at least they showed us that there are people around that can innovate.
> Some of the stuff that John invented will eventually trickle down into
> everyday espresso machinery, and we'll all be richer for it. If you
> know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves, you might figure that
> out.
>
> Have a nice day.
> -Andy S.

Andy, My take on your reply is that your opinion is superior to mine or others.
Is that what you intended to communicate? Dan



      
Date: 10 Dec 2006 21:01:19
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Dan Bollinger wrote:
> Andy, My take on your reply is that your opinion is superior to mine or
> others. Is that what you intended to communicate?

No.

From your posts it's clear that you have far more training and experience in
matters of engineering and design than I do. In fact, I have often admired
the clarity you bring to alt.coffee when discussing engineering practices. I
have learned quite a few things from your posts, and I thank you for that.

Consequently, I would say that your opinions on many (but not all) aspects of
engineering and materials science ARE superior to mine. And I would say that
your opinions on aesthetics are probably more sophisticated than mine. That
may or may not be the same thing as "superior," I just don't know.

What rankles me is the sneering, condescending attitude that you assume when
Versalab enters the conversation. It's just my personal opinion, but I believe
you've crossed the line of personal courtesy in these threads.

FWIW, I have talked with John a bunch of times on the phone and had a long
conversation with him at the Seattle show. I found him very interesting and
engaging. Although his keting and customer service style (which includes a
healthy portion of what Greg describes as "sales bullshit") appears to be
absolutely wrong for the coffee community, John and Laura are human beings
with human feelings who have invested a significant portion of their savings
developing these coffee machines.

NONE OF WHICH excuses them for the rotten experience that Jim has had with his
grinder.

Even though Jim is a dear friend of mine, however, I learned long ago that
there are two sides to every story, and I don't know what Versa's story is.

But boy, it had better be a DOOZIE!

Be that as it may, Dan, if you were standing in front of John, having a
conversation, would you really come out and tell him "his aesthetics SUCK?"
Would you really tell him, in person, that "he's just a lazy metal-head that
has no sense of design, style, or aesthetics?" You made these statements in
this thread and you've made similar cutting reks in the past.

It's so easy to criticize, it's so hard to bring a novel product successfully
to ket (as you and I both know from experience).

When I said that you and notbob should stop preening yourselves and instead
investigate the contribution that Versalab has actually made to espresso
technology, I was being a mite forceful. But I don't think it was uncalled for
or inappropriate, and I would hesitate only for a second to tell it to you the
same thing in person should we ever meet.

Meanwhile, aside from this interpersonal stuff, I still believe the Versa
innovations are valuable. When the history of espresso coffee is written fifty
years from now, a careful researcher will have them in there somewhere.
--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


       
Date: 11 Dec 2006 20:56:44
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> Meanwhile, aside from this interpersonal stuff, I still believe the Versa
> innovations are valuable. When the history of espresso coffee is written fifty
> years from now, a careful researcher will have them in there somewhere.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see! Dan



      
Date: 10 Dec 2006 08:16:51
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
"Dan Bollinger" <danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote in message
news:br-dnZfhwrYuiuHYnZ2dnUVZ_tOmnZ2d@insightbb.com...
>> But at least they showed us that there are people around that can
>> innovate. Some of the stuff that John invented will eventually trickle
>> down into everyday espresso machinery, and we'll all be richer for it. If
>> you know-it-alls ever took a break from preening yourselves, you might
>> figure that out.
>>
>> Have a nice day.
>> -Andy S.
>
> Andy, My take on your reply is that your opinion is superior to mine or
> others. Is that what you intended to communicate? Dan

I've met Andy and I can assure you he is superior to ME.

ken




       
Date: 14 Dec 2006 21:40:33
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 08:16:51 -0700, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>
>I've met Andy and I can assure you he is superior to ME.


...and he can talk to birds.


Posted Via Usenet.com Premium Usenet Newsgroup Services
----------------------------------------------------------
** SPEED ** RETENTION ** COMPLETION ** ANONYMITY **
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Date: 15 Dec 2006 02:20:21
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
I was there. He talks 'bird'.
--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

"Barry Jarrett" <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote in message
news:k864o2pgnhvtcsdpngq1kgarr0p5fv82mg@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 08:16:51 -0700, "Ken Fox"
> <morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >I've met Andy and I can assure you he is superior to ME.
>
>
> ...and he can talk to birds.




       
Date: 10 Dec 2006 21:28:09
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Ken Fox wrote:
> I've met Andy and I can assure you he is superior to ME.

Ken, I've met you in person, read your posts, and talked with you on the phone.

I may understand a little more physics and engineering than you do, but I
assure you that you have a lot more sts and common sense than ME.

--


-Andy S. "glad we got that settled"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


     
Date: 10 Dec 2006 03:34:04
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 05:51:58 GMT, Andy Schecter
<schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote:

>Maybe Versalab has a bad attitude; maybe they can't figure out how to key a
>drive shaft. And maybe they've got a bunch of early adopters doing their beta
>testing. That truly sucks.
>
>But at least they showed us that there are people around that can innovate.
>Some of the stuff that John invented will eventually trickle down into
>everyday espresso machinery

This partly, but only partly, true.

A beta tester can expect that his or her problems get fixed in a
redesign of the offending part, not just temporarily patched. This is
precisely what is not forthcoming from Versalab. Instead it's always
"the design is perfect, you're the problem."

In part, their inability to fix things is because they are
undercapitalized and can't afford to fix their glityches, just patch
them in annoyingly temporary ways. But all small companies are
underfunded. Versalab's does not deal with this limit forthrightly or
rationally; instead they blame their customers.

Coffee people as a whole are a good natured lot, and quite aware of
the needs of small businesses. So the degree of social ineptitude
required to piss almost all of them off, is quite high.

For my part, I'm angry, and have stopped dealing with them, not becuse
they can't fix the grinder, but because they, as a corporate group,
strike me as either delusional or dishonest. I may be wrong, but this
is how I feel.


      
Date: 10 Dec 2006 21:08:37
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
jim schulman wrote:
> A beta tester can expect that his or her problems get fixed in a
> redesign of the offending part, not just temporarily patched. This is
> precisely what is not forthcoming from Versalab. Instead it's always
> "the design is perfect, you're the problem."

Inexcusable behavior, as well as being a suicidal keting practice in this
community.

> For my part, I'm angry, and have stopped dealing with them, not becuse
> they can't fix the grinder, but because they, as a corporate group,
> strike me as either delusional or dishonest. I may be wrong, but this
> is how I feel.

The way you feel is completely understandable, Jim.

But of course Versa's unique "keting style" doesn't mean they haven't
presented innovative coffee machines.
--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


      
Date: 10 Dec 2006 11:25:42
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
>I may be wrong,

Yeah, and global warming is a fantasy dreamed up by hairy arsed green
fanatics to unsettle decent conservatives. (It was 42C here today.)
Innovation is all very well, but support and backup are essential for the
innovations to gain mainstream acceptance. Edison knew this well.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au





       
Date: 10 Dec 2006 21:32:54
From: Newsgroup User
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
>> I may be wrong,
>
> Yeah, and global warming is a fantasy dreamed up by hairy arsed green
> fanatics to unsettle decent conservatives. (It was 42C here today.)

And where I am we are having one of the coldest Decembers in a long
time. What I think is the GW folks are trying to blame us for something
that is naturally occurring. We had an ICE AGE and the earth has been
warming up ever since. Maybe we are speeding it along or maybe it would
have happened anyway....


       
Date: 11 Dec 2006 11:56:22
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> (It was 42C here today.) --
> Alan
>

Isn't that partly because you have a heater on near you?





       
Date: 10 Dec 2006 21:11:27
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
> global warming is a fantasy dreamed up by hairy arsed green
> fanatics

Alan, I think you're on to something here. I'm pretty sure there's a
correlation between mean climatic temperature and hairy "arses." :)

--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


       
Date: 10 Dec 2006 08:16:04
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
"Coffee for Connoisseurs" <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au > wrote in message
news:W8Seh.5811$HU.5600@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> >I may be wrong,
>
> Yeah, and global warming is a fantasy dreamed up by hairy arsed green
> fanatics to unsettle decent conservatives. (It was 42C here today.)
> Innovation is all very well, but support and backup are essential for the
> innovations to gain mainstream acceptance. Edison knew this well.
>
>
> --
> Alan
>
> alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
> www.coffeeco.com.au
>
>
>

not to throw cold water in something that makes sense, at least to you, but:
not even strong proponents of global-warming-as-caused-by-human-activity
gurus would apply their beliefs to what you observe in a day or a week.
They are talking about what has caused mean temps to go up about a degree in
a CENTURY.

ken




    
Date: 06 Dec 2006 10:37:03
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-06, Dan Bollinger <danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote:


> Some might call his style modern, minimalist, or constructivist. I say he's
> just a lazy metal-head that has no sense of design, style, or aesthetics.

Yes. I finally got around to exploring his older website, finding
pics of the original M3. It's downright hideous, what with all those
socket head cap screws poking half way out of their counter sunk holes
and what appears to be raw and black colored blanchard ground alum
plate. Apparently, this fellow sees himself as an artiste.

I can't say with any certainty whether or not his tamper is a good
design, but it's without a doubt a good idea. I'm surprised it hasn't
been pursued further by others as a viable product for the industry.
The price he's asking is a pitance when compared to the possible long
term injury baristas might suffer over their career. An adjustable
pnuematic tamper with a foot pedal actuator is a simple but effective
solution to potential RSI problems.

nb


     
Date: 06 Dec 2006 12:30:04
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> An adjustable
> pnuematic tamper with a foot pedal actuator is a simple but effective
> solution to potential RSI problems.

Definitely! The odd thing is, what is acceptable workplace safety in
restaurants would never be acceptable in industry.




      
Date: 06 Dec 2006 14:25:26
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-06, Dan Bollinger <danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote:

> Definitely! The odd thing is, what is acceptable workplace safety in
> restaurants would never be acceptable in industry.

I got to thinking about that after I posted. Finger guards, pressure
resistance overrides, laser fences, lockouts, yada yada. It could get
real silly real quick. Unfortunately, it's this possibility that could
keep hand tampers around for a long time. You bring up an interesting
point. If OSHA ever got a foothold in the kitchen, restaurants would
go the way of the dodo. Hot surfaces, sharp cutting tools.... oh my!

nb


   
Date: 05 Dec 2006 14:47:42
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 13:13:31 -0600, notbob <notbob@nothome.com > wrote:

>Are there any regulars here who actually have one? I hope not. I'd
>like to think the folks I pay attention to and respect in this group
>have better sense.

The rumor is nobody has a payed-for one


    
Date: 05 Dec 2006 15:20:01
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-05, jim schulman <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

> The rumor is nobody has a payed-for one

I hope not. The more I hear about this grinder and its design ...at
least on the drive end... the scarier it sounds. That the pully and
shaft are not splined or keyed is even more ludicrous than the smooth
belt concept. I'd love to see this so-called "bearing" arrangement.
Got any pics?

nb


 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 15:41:04
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Felix provided a bad link:
> http://www.loctite.com/int_henkel/loctite_uk/index.cfm?&pageid=241&layout=3

Sorry, I guess my verification technique needs work. The product is
Loctite 641 Medium Strength Retainer.


Felix



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 15:23:17
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
jim schulman writes:
> it may be that others **actually and really believe **
> superglue is the stroke of genius way to fix a shot bearing.

Bicht doesn't reinvent the wheel everyday. My favorite search engine
reveals that other people use cyanoacrylate to install bearings, though
it might be inferior to similar products keted specifically for this
purpose, e.g.
http://www.loctite.com/int_henkel/loctite_uk/index.cfm?&pageid=241&layout=3


Felix



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 06:48:09
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

CoffeeKid wrote:
> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> > Apart from Jim's
> > ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-
>
> oh... it's not an isolated case.
>
> k


Can you elaborate on that, k?



  
Date: 02 Dec 2006 15:25:47
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2 Dec 2006 06:48:09 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>
>CoffeeKid wrote:
>> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
>> > Apart from Jim's
>> > ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-
>>
>> oh... it's not an isolated case.
>>
>> k
>
>
>Can you elaborate on that, k?

You need to closely read mine and a few others' posts on getting
service from them. I kept feeling I had violated the rah-rah clause;
but it may be that others **actually and really believe ** superglue
is the stroke of genius way to fix a shot bearing.


   
Date: 03 Dec 2006 01:57:26
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Sat, 02 Dec 2006 15:25:47 -0600, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>On 2 Dec 2006 06:48:09 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>>
>>CoffeeKid wrote:
>>> Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
>>> > Apart from Jim's
>>> > ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-
>>>
>>> oh... it's not an isolated case.
>>>
>>> k
>>
>>
>>Can you elaborate on that, k?
>
>You need to closely read mine and a few others' posts on getting
>service from them. I kept feeling I had violated the rah-rah clause;
>but it may be that others **actually and really believe ** superglue
>is the stroke of genius way to fix a shot bearing.

Presumably, Super Glue would be used to fasten the bearing housing
into a chassis that was oversize. How long this would last is
debatable. [High performance bearings are usually pressed into the
chassis for a very high friction fit.]

If the bearing is 'shot' 90w gear oil would be the 'genius' fix


    
Date: 03 Dec 2006 11:53:24
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> Presumably, Super Glue would be used to fasten the bearing housing
> into a chassis that was oversize. How long this would last is
> debatable. [High performance bearings are usually pressed into the
> chassis for a very high friction fit.]

Bearings are fixed with a light interference fit. If the fit is loose, then
bearing sieze is used. This is an anaerobic adhesive, much like a thread locking
adhesive, and not a cyanoacrylate.

Dan



     
Date: 05 Dec 2006 06:53:55
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Sun, 3 Dec 2006 11:53:24 -0500, "Dan Bollinger"
<danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote:

>> Presumably, Super Glue would be used to fasten the bearing housing
>> into a chassis that was oversize. How long this would last is
>> debatable. [High performance bearings are usually pressed into the
>> chassis for a very high friction fit.]
>
>Bearings are fixed with a light interference fit. If the fit is loose, then
>bearing sieze is used. This is an anaerobic adhesive, much like a thread locking
>adhesive, and not a cyanoacrylate.
>
>Dan

Ya learn something new every day...

I've seen bearings pressed with a hydraulic press, bearings ordered to
a very tight tolerance to fit the chassis and bearing fit with heat /
dry ice, but never seen one glued.

Just out of curiousity, how large a bearing could be glued?

Any limitiations on heat / vacuum / moisture / contaminants on the
adhesives?


      
Date: 06 Dec 2006 08:55:10
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
> I've seen bearings pressed with a hydraulic press, bearings ordered to
> a very tight tolerance to fit the chassis and bearing fit with heat /
> dry ice, but never seen one glued.

Tight bearing fits are rare and the exception. Most are slip fit or light-fit
and you insert them with a hand powered arbor press.

> Just out of curiousity, how large a bearing could be glued?

None. Because they use an adhesive, not a glue! There is no upper limit for
size that I know of.

> Any limitiations on heat / vacuum / moisture / contaminants on the
> adhesives?

Yes. Heat can degrade the adhesive, but then heat degrades the lubricant and
bearing, too. Ditto with contaminants such as solvent or chemicals.

Dan



      
Date: 05 Dec 2006 14:21:30
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 06:53:55 GMT, "I- >Ian" <someone@nowhere.com>
wrote:

>I've seen bearings pressed with a hydraulic press, bearings ordered to
>a very tight tolerance to fit the chassis and bearing fit with heat /
>dry ice, but never seen one glued.

In the grinder, I don't how the sleeve bearing is attached. The glue
is for the thread that attaches the axle held by this bearing to the
drive wheel (the one the belt drives). The suface mating the drive
wheel and axle is flat metal, so the only way to transfer the torque
is by friction of the two parts pressing together, which is controlled
by how tight the screw is.

If the screw is in too tight, the axle expands and deforms the
bearings. If it is in too loose, the axle doesn't turn since the drive
wheel slips. The set up is such that slippage will tighten this screw
until it damages the bearing. The genius fix is a drop of loktite on
the thread. This is obviously a whole lot more genius than machining a
few cogs in the surfaces of the wheel and axle so the torque can be
transferred without depending on how tight the screw is.

An alternative, suggested by a Taiwanese altie who has one of these
turkeys is to keep the belt so loose that it does all the slipping,
thereby saving the bearing and the loktited screw. He's also delighted
by the grinder.


     
Date: 03 Dec 2006 12:37:57
From: notbob
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 2006-12-03, Dan Bollinger <danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote:

> bearing sieze is used. This is an anaerobic adhesive, much like a thread locking
> adhesive, and not a cyanoacrylate.

Quite right, Dan, quite right!

http://www.loctite.com/int_henkel/loctite_us/index.cfm?&pageid=19&layout=3

Assembly products > Cylindrical Assemblies (Retaining)

Choose your weapon. They make one for every possible need. You can
even give them a call and ask for a recommendation. See Contact.

nb



nb


 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 04:36:04
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> Apart from Jim's
> ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-

oh... it's not an isolated case.

k



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 04:35:49
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts

Omniryx@gmail.com wrote:
> Apart from Jim's
> ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case-

oh... it's not an isolated case.

ark



 
Date: 02 Dec 2006 01:38:05
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Versalab. All of it.

IMHO -- laughable.

Dave



 
Date: 30 Nov 2006 10:35:45
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
Thanks, shall, but I obviously wasn't clear. I have read, I think,
just about everything out there on the grinder. Apart from Jim's
ongoing dissatisfaction--which seems to be an isolated case--the
overwhelming consensus is that, subject to pretty clear design
limitations, the grinder does an excellent job.

I was asking about the espresso machine.




shall wrote:
> On 30 Nov 2006 09:25:56 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >For some time I have lusted for a Versalab grinder. My "insane
> >project" fund has nearly enough in it to order one, assuming that
> >cantankerous old John Bicht will consent to build me one. Do I need
> >it? Heck no. I just have a case of the common craves.
> >
> >My question, though, is this: Anyone have any experience with the
> >Versalab espresso machine? I have not the slightest interest in owning
> >one; I just wonder if it could possibly be worth ten grand.
>
> Have fun: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=408
>
> shall



  
Date: 30 Nov 2006 19:00:55
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 30 Nov 2006 10:35:45 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>I was asking about the espresso machine.

Skip the grinder, let your "insane project fund" build up and you can
buy serial no 00001 and tell us all about it.;-)


 
Date: 30 Nov 2006 18:02:41
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
On 30 Nov 2006 09:25:56 -0800, "Omniryx@gmail.com" <Omniryx@gmail.com >
wrote:

>For some time I have lusted for a Versalab grinder. My "insane
>project" fund has nearly enough in it to order one, assuming that
>cantankerous old John Bicht will consent to build me one. Do I need
>it? Heck no. I just have a case of the common craves.
>
>My question, though, is this: Anyone have any experience with the
>Versalab espresso machine? I have not the slightest interest in owning
>one; I just wonder if it could possibly be worth ten grand.

Have fun: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=408

shall


  
Date: 10 Dec 2006 11:30:36
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Versalab M3 - any thoughts
jim schulman writes:
> For my part, I'm angry, and have stopped dealing with them,
> [...] because they, as a corporate group, strike me as either
> delusional or dishonest.

When you first started down this path, I thought you were foolish
because of what I know about the audiophile equipment ket.
Reliability doesn't seem to have much value there, and high-end
turntables often demanded even more patience. I quickly changed my
mind: I thought your purchase was a bold move worthy of applause.
Someone had to try it; I'm glad you had the courage to do so.

If I spent that much money for that grinder, I'd be very upset about
having misjudged the situation. But if they're delusional, i.e. if they
truly believe that their customers are at fault, is anger appropriate?


Felix