Most user friendly single quad GC-MS on the market?

Discussions about GC-MS, LC-MS, LC-FTIR, and other "coupled" analytical techniques.

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I am advising a small substance checking organization in Canada on analytical instruments for their work. They have asked me to recommend a GC-MS system for routine screening of samples.

There are two main features which the system should have:

Due to relatively restrictive funding of the organization, they are looking for the most cost effective option for sample screening of small molecules. So the mass range does not have to be very large. They are also not looking at trace contaminants so the sensitivity can also be compromised on.

The most important consideration I have to take into account however is the fact that most of their staff does not have extensive training in analytical chemistry and has no prior experience with GC-MS analyses. This means that, above all else, they are looking for the most user friendly system possible, that would require only minimal training so that even non-chemists can operate it once it has been properly installed.

In your opinion, what is the most user friendly and cost effective single quad GC-MS system on the market at the moment? And what can they expect to pay for such a system (they would also be open to obtaining a used or refurbished system to mitigate the cost).

Thank you in advance for any advice anyone can offer. I am grateful for any input.

Thank you!
Hmmm - thought I'd replied yesterday....

Got started with HP/Agilent 5971 system, their first system to us Microsoft Windows 286 or 386 (can't remember), which we'd never used. Didn't know what a mouse was. We learned from included tutorial. So used upgraded software and systems since then all from Agilent.

My recommendation is to place importance on local service, even though our systems were reliable.
Really hard to beat a HP single quad for ease of use, dependability, reliability and economy. Personally, I'd go with the newest version you can afford (the HP5973 is a really common one these days and reasonably affordable) and make sure to get the latest greatest Data System OS/Software available.
There are tons of places selling refurbed systems, I'd find one local to you so that support for it won't be an airplane flight away.

Good luck!
Nice cheap Agilent system. The good thing about the Agilent GC systems is that they've been around (evolving slowly) for ages, there are huge numbers of videos available on how to do every aspect of their operation, there are lots of companies that can maintain them, spares are easy to get, and they're robust. Tell your client not to skimp on the training. Proper training will probably cost about 4% of the purchase cost of the instrument, but will double the effectiveness with which they use it. Look at it this way: you can pay 96% and have a pretty paperweight that no one dares use, or you can pay 100% and have an instrument producing reliable results.
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