Wow.... That's terrific!! Nice work mate! Even better that you got a discount!!!
What are the build quality differences between these newer versions and the older ones?
Is there any signs of issues with the Thermosyphon loop stalling or inconsistency between shots as reported on Home Barista?
That's an extraordinary delivery time. What hoops did you need to jump through for customs?
The original version had a different frame and the panels were screwed on - fairly standard for domestic machines. There was an interim frame design that was sent out to four customers during a time when there was a big backlog and a lot of pressure to get machines out the door. That one *could* flex a little, but you had to really try to make it happen - it generally wouldn't under normal use.
The new one has these double-layered panels with massive pop-on-pop-off bolts that mean that you can take off every panel except the front one with nothing more than a bread knife. And the frame is never going to flex.
The TS stall issue was a pretty crazy thing, with dozens of people bending over backwards to find a solution.
It turned out to be pretty simple. Without getting into the physics of the group, this will happen on any machine with this group in TS configuration, but it's usually prevented by something most people do naturally: a quick rinse of the PF under the group after the shot.
I'm not massively inclined to go sticking probes all over it, but I may at some point just to get a sense of what my routine should be.
As to customs: DHL gave me a number to call and the total of GST and customs fees due. Didn't even need to talk to a human, just put the waybill number into the keypad and my credit card details and it was done and cleared within an hour. Zero hassle.
I didn't go back too far, but far enough to pick up the ongoing and steady program of improvement to many of the niggles early adopters had expressed. The 'new' steam wand sounds very nice, I spose you've got that steaming milk nicely, eh? Then there's comments about various fit and finish improvements, drip trays, weld splatter, panel fit and finish, etc, etc. Timber handles.... All good stuff, IMO.
The biggest news of all is the Londinium II which is the two group version of the machine- with a couple being installed in a cafe chain in the USA. And a Dual Fuel version.
Yeah, you know it's funny, I've read the blog daily for a long time. So when we switched over to my design it was massively weird to suddenly be reading that blog in the framework that I'd been working on for so long.
But you're right - lots of nice incremental improvements, many of them available to early adopters.
You really can't fault the current fit and finish. It's a thing of beauty, even the drip tray looks the goods.
And yes - the steam power is enormous and the four-hole tip is a delight to use, although I'm still coming to grips with it.
The two-group does look sensational.
Home barista is full of people that analyse the data to the nth degree. There is a PV lusso thread on HB about changing the seals on the group which went way off topic with engineers posting with graphs when all someone was trying to do was show a few other users how they did theirs. I would just ignore them personally and go about your business. In the end it's about the coffee in the cup, and the journey. Not about the numbers! If your worried about the thermosyphon stalling, just pull a flush after a shot.
::Edited to clarify a couple of points::