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Thread: Upgrade suggestions for Rancillio Silvia V1 and Subneam EM0480 #11ty

  1. #1
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    Upgrade suggestions for Rancillio Silvia V1 and Subneam EM0480 #11ty

    Hi everyone,

    Yes one of these again, I have a done a bit of searching and not quite sure which way to go with this. From a lot of the post's many people are advocating $3000+ machines such as Giottos etc which is not really what I am after.

    I've hat the silvia a long time from a previous upgrade from a lovely mokita combi (which I regretted moving away from tbh)

    I've gotten good results from the Silvia but it's inconsistency really has taken the joy of making a good coffee and now it pretty much gives me the sh*ts to look at now. I know you can great shots out of it, but I can't be bothered with the minutae anymore. on top of that the wife won't use it as she always gets rubbish shots and is not inclined so I'm forever on coffee duty.

    I have tried every coffee from cheap ALDI roasts to boutique roasted (better results but not awesome) so it's technique

    We mostly drink espresso 3-4 during the day, don't do milk drinks but if given the option the wife would prefer to go long blacks.

    What I am looking for in an upgrade is something to help me with my consistency and to be then able to explore some other drinks (maybe lattes and caps etc) so reading the reviews something like the Breville Dual Boiler might be the answer?

    The wife love machines with the integrated grinder, and tbh I do too so would also consider the Breville 870 or another lelit/mokita combi?

    The other issue is the unholy mess caused by the Sunbeam Grinder - this is a source of tension in the household - Smart grinder Pro?

    Apologies for probably the 1000th post of this but upon reading the reviews and comments I am now more confused than ever before.

    Thanks

    Mark

  2. #2
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    The inconsistency can most likely be attributed to the lack of PID on the Silvia. I have a V3 with PID and consistently get great shots with minimal effort.
    Without the PID you would need to temp surf to get the brew temp in the right range and this is where the annoyance starts; some people love navigating quirks like this, others hate it.

    If an 'all-in-one' is looking like the preferred option, I would look at the Lelit Combi with PID:
    https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...mbi-PL042TEMD/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbun View Post
    The inconsistency can most likely be attributed to the lack of PID on the Silvia. I have a V3 with PID and consistently get great shots with minimal effort.
    Without the PID you would need to temp surf to get the brew temp in the right range and this is where the annoyance starts; some people love navigating quirks like this, others hate it.

    If an 'all-in-one' is looking like the preferred option, I would look at the Lelit Combi with PID:
    https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...mbi-PL042TEMD/
    Ok, this makes sense, is there any reason to choose the lelit combi/PID vs the Breville Dual Boiler other than integrated grinder. The key factor here is consistency and a machine that can cover up non perfect technique as there is also the wife factor involved in this..she wants to be able to make good espresso shots without a huge amount of hassle.

    This is why I am considering something like the smart grinder pro and breville dual boiler as often none can be super bothered and we use the nespresso pod machine /ducks flying espresso mug :-)

    It would appear that we are relatively easily pleased and desperate for caffeine in these moment so the bar is not too high but the amount of shots we have thrown a away due to them tasting like a used coffee pod is high.

    I thought about a PID but I figure once I open this machine up from 2006 or so, I'm going to have to put another hundred or so into it for servicing and don't see the benefit of spending $400 on a 11 year old machine.

    My plan at this stage is to put the silvia and grinder into my PT studio for coffee during consultations and irregular use and use the new machine in the home.

  4. #4
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    The only real reason to consider the dual boiler is if you regularly drink milk based drinks and/or have to make several milk based drinks often - the dual boiler is better in this regard as you can pull shots and steam milk at the same time.

    Since you mainly drink espressos there isn't a real need to consider a dual boiler and you could potentially opt for a more compact setup.

    The combi units are neater in that any stray grinds fall directly into the drip tray, so minimal mess - any separate grinder will create some mess around the grinder either from the odd strays that spray out the side to anything that spills over the portafilter as you remove it to distribute and tamp.
    Granted some grinders are better than others with regards to strays spraying off to the side.

    Just saw the note about your wife preferring long blacks if given the option - the Silvia can do long blacks fine - can you explain this more?

    The key factor here is consistency and a machine that can cover up non perfect technique as there is also the wife factor involved in this..she wants to be able to make good espresso shots without a huge amount of hassle.
    No machine will really cover up non-perfect technique. Getting the grind, dose and tamp consistent is key to pulling good shots.

  5. #5
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The Lelit will outlast the Breville by several orders of magnitude. It's a gamble whether the Breville will last 3 or 7 years or somewhere in between. I have one myself (second one, first replaced under warranty) but won't be buying another. The Breville set up sounds like it'd be the better fit for you functionally, but it comes at the cost of longevity and long term reliability. I like to play with settings and adjust things and get them just right. My wife likes that she can walk up and use the presets on the grinder and machine and produce decent coffee. Once it's set up you don't need much effort, just pay attention to your distribution and tamping and you'll be in the ball park. Normally I'd hesitate to recommend this, but you want easy. Have you looked at the Breville Oracle? Same guts as the Dual Boiler but with grinder built in and a bit more automatic.

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    We normally drink macchiatos or shots so it's the primary thing, She likes long blacks but good shots are the priority.

    Dual boiler is because dual boiler vs thermoblock/coil and the ability t make milk based drinks without waiting forever which is why we don't bother.

    Having had a lelit combi already without PID, I know it's a goodie but reluctant to pay the 2017 price for something that is probably equivalent to what I'll already have - but I'll keep checking this out.

    I also live in QLD out of any Metropolitan centre so specialist anything is a bit of a PIA to chase up and a nightmare if anything goes wrong - thus something that we can purchase from jb/good guys/bing lee etc is preferable.

    Basically want somethign that works, is not stupidly fiddly and messy like my existing kit and is easy enough to purchase and service/return if something goes wrong.

  7. #7
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Why not just upgrade the grinder? l'm sure that will help with consistency (and domestic harmony)
    Dimal and stephen28 like this.

  8. #8
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    The installation of a suitable PID Controller to the Silvia you already own will definitely improve its performance for both consistency in shot quality and steam performance. You would still have the need to prime the boiler after every steam session of course.

    As an alternative, have you considered one of the Lelit Single-Boiler Autofill models?
    Takes the worry out of accidentally running the boiler dry and burning out the element.

    Mal.

  9. #9
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    Whilst I can only agree with Dbun & Mal as a Pid on a Silvia is well known to improve its capability.
    I can't get around that Mr Ryder does state that he is not wanting to be at the bleeding edge of espresso shots.
    But seeks consistent good shots.
    Flynnaus is pointing you in the right direction that the let down your experiencing revolves around -
    1/ Grinder EMO480 ... if you search thru past posts the 480 is consistently found wanting at this level.
    2/ Beans - stick with known good quality roasts that are fresh. Such as this site offers.
    3/ Without putting some form of effort into your beans/grind/dose/setup consistency is likely to sidestep you often.
    4/ Relying on any machine to overcome the above is likely to result in forlorn hope. Well in the middle lower range of machines anyway.

    As you are based outside the city metro area there is another CS here (at least 2 I can recall ) who went the other way seeking a more robust prosumer machine as they identified they believed the stronger build qulaity was likely to present less long term issues with repairs.
    Has Ms Silvia been well cared for ? Cleaning ? Servicing ? Filtered Water ?

    Hope this can help clarify your thoughts.
    G L
    Last edited by EspressoAdventurer; 19th October 2017 at 08:32 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Sorry guys, I should clarify a few things.

    I am happy to work on my shots timing, grinds, tamps etc but with the current setup, I have to keep modifying things like grind time etc and so it's a moving target. If I get the temp range, grind amount etc bang on by luck - the shots are great.
    But if I don't get it then they are either so-so to just plain terrible thin water similar to a weak coffee pod.

    I'd ideally like to enable the wife to make a coffee instead of the often rank tasting nespresso pods she needs as she is on early shift up at 5:00 Am to go to work.

    It sounds like I should upgrade the ginder - I like the idea of the smart grinder pro and being able to have everything dialed and managed that way seems great but I've used the old smart grinder with a siliva and it was nowhere near fine enough on the max setting. I will check the ginder reviews.

    Fitting a PID to the silvia seems like a fine idea - but also seems like a a potential nightmare from my viewing of the PID thread and also expensive.

    At this stage the Breville is out for reliability.

    So if people don't mind, let me know what might be a good grinder.

    The wife has indicated she is happy with shiny E61 stuff such as proffitec, giotto etc..so may skip the midrange and get into the next price bracket but they seem super expensive.

    Cheers


    Machine has been regularly cleaned and backflushed, screen cleaned but is well overdue a new group head gasket.

  11. #11
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    The wife love machines with the integrated grinder, and tbh I do too so would also consider the Breville 870 or another lelit/mokita combi?

    I understand the issue. Back in April on the death of my Breville Bes870 I looked long and hard at a Lelit Combi as a solution to the durability issue with the Bes870. I am in the country and the idea of paying $50 freight each way for it to be serviced or repaired put me off. The replacement BES870 has five years extended warranty accessed locally. So six months later I am still happy with my decision. The other thing that does not get a mention is that the Bes870 is both a manual and semi-automatic machine and I think the latter aids consistency. The convenience to turn on as I am getting the cups down three times a day is unchallenged. So if someone can bring out a durable convenient machine they will clean up. Happy shopping.

  12. #12
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    There is a very tempting buy for a good grinder, located in SEQ atm in the for sale thread

  13. #13
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    Some have talked about the dual boiler Breville, I know this thread is aimed more up market than the EM6910/78000 models, but, can you comment on the comparision between the Breville and the Sunbeam EM 6910/7000. I have both machines!, or will do when the 7000 arrives! But would like more comment from those who know on here, about the Breville by comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Some have talked about the dual boiler Breville, I know this thread is aimed more up market than the EM6910/78000 models, but, can you comment on the comparision between the Breville and the Sunbeam EM 6910/7000. I have both machines!, or will do when the 7000 arrives! But would like more comment from those who know on here, about the Breville by comparison.
    You know I don't think it is, these days my silvia V2 (I think) is worth about $200-$300 and EM 0480 prob $50 or so..

    The 870 or the sunbeam models are probably much more useful and consistent than my current setup.

    If someone told me the breville or sunbeam or aldi machine is the best option for consisent coffee then I'm there - I'm not a brand snob.

    However the thing the european machines seem to have in their favour is reliability as the mokita combi and silvia I have owned have never missed a beat really - not true, now I remember the mokita had an element stuff up.
    I'd be happy with a new machine to mess with and don't really care tbh who makes it.

    So happy for someone to chime in about the 7000 as well.

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    "So if people don't mind, let me know what might be a good grinder."

    I don't have much experience with grinders having owned a Sunbeam 0480 before I bought a
    Baratza Sette 270W about 3 months ago. It has been a vast improvement allowing me to pull consistently good shots(with good fresh beans of course). It has 3 buttons that are easily programmed for different weights. One thing I have found is I have to grind in 2 stages otherwise coffee spills all over the place. I have programmed buttons to 4,8,10 grams so I can experiment fairly easily with different doses.
    My machine is a Sunbeam 6910(second) and the improvement has been massive. Usually I dose 18gm or 20gm and get great results after adjusting grind for different beans. As far as steaming milk is concerned I have developed a good consistent stretched milk so Cappuccinos and Lattes are better than most coffee shops, but I do want to update to something more reliable and robust in the future. What holds me back is the very quick heat up time on the Sunbeam.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordons View Post
    I do want to update to something more reliable and robust in the future. What holds me back is the very quick heat up time on the Sunbeam.
    sorry bit off topic but to your point no need to hold back on new machine due to the Sunbeams fast heat up time, just put the new machine on a timer so it's ready in the morning and if your worried about 'I'll be home in half hour and want a coffee) get a wifi timer (Belkin wemo or similar) that can be used on your mobile to turn on from anywhere. Also some machines have cartridge heaters in the group head (bezzera BZ10 comes to mind) so heat up quicker then say an E61 group.
    A good tip I was told, to save the noise of when the boiler fills when turns on, turn the machine on the night before to let it fill it self then turn off when finished filling and nice and quite in the morning.
    gordons likes this.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordons View Post
    "So if people don't mind, let me know what might be a good grinder."

    I don't have much experience with grinders having owned a Sunbeam 0480 before I bought a
    Baratza Sette 270W about 3 months ago. It has been a vast improvement allowing me to pull consistently good shots(with good fresh beans of course). It has 3 buttons that are easily programmed for different weights. One thing I have found is I have to grind in 2 stages otherwise coffee spills all over the place. I have programmed buttons to 4,8,10 grams so I can experiment fairly easily with different doses.
    My machine is a Sunbeam 6910(second) and the improvement has been massive. Usually I dose 18gm or 20gm and get great results after adjusting grind for different beans. As far as steaming milk is concerned I have developed a good consistent stretched milk so Cappuccinos and Lattes are better than most coffee shops, but I do want to update to something more reliable and robust in the future. What holds me back is the very quick heat up time on the Sunbeam.
    I have been playing around with the Silvia and think that replacing the grinder is the go as well as ditching sharing the shots when I do 2 cups. I am not really wanting to allocate $600 for a grinder currently - may just take the interim step of moving to a smart grinder pro and seeing how this improves things - which it should.
    Dimal and gordons like this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    It won't be a great leap but should be a step in the right direction..

  19. #19
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    I would look at something like the Macap M2M

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    Quote Originally Posted by mryder View Post
    I have been playing around with the Silvia and think that replacing the grinder is the go as well as ditching sharing the shots when I do 2 cups. I am not really wanting to allocate $600 for a grinder currently - may just take the interim step of moving to a smart grinder pro and seeing how this improves things - which it should.
    Reading all the above it would seem that upgrading your grinder is going to give you the best return.

    Upgrading the grinder is quite often seen as a secondary option when upgraditis hits when it should most often be the first option.

    A Macap M2M will serve you well with this machine or future machines when/if you do upgrade
    https://www.casaespresso.com.au/macap-m2m.html

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    Dimal likes this.

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