First of all, a little information about our environment. We are located in an Inorganic Chemistry department, which means that quite a lot of our structures have traditionally included transition metals. In the last 10 years, however, the chemistry in our institute has gradually shifted to include mainly compounds with lighter elements only (often boron-based).
All four of our older machines had Mo-sources, which for smaller detectors with long read times offered the advantage of a quick gain in completeness of the data. The new generation of detectors, which enable shutter-less collection, opened up new possibilities. Also the shift in the chemistry in our institute called for the acquisition of a Cu-source. Two years ago we bought a dual Cu/Mo-XtLAB Synergy-S with a HyPix-6000HE detector, and our experience (especially with the Cu sources) was indeed very good.
The main impulse to search for a new diffractometer was the "out-of-life” info for our RAG-system that we installed in 2005. We tested available Cu-RAG-systems and based on the quality of data we decided to purchase a XtLAB Synergy-R with a HyPix-Arc 150° detector.
Even comparing to the XtLAB Synergy-S, this new machine with a rotating anode generator has been a game changer for our institute. Data from good-diffracting crystals can be collected within minutes! For the first time since I can remember, our queue is reduced to less than a week. I can ironically say "this machine broke our booking system”. Also, our users are very fond of the automatic goniometer head, which allows a user to center the crystal just with a few clicks.
Other points that need to be addressed are the very good customer service and the responsiveness of the software team. Some other companies could take classes from Rigaku in this respect.