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Thread: 8 year old Silvia v2 for $300-is it worth it?

  1. #1
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    8 year old Silvia v2 for $300-is it worth it?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Looking for used machine to start on espresso making advanture. I am getting the rocky grinder following the advise to get better grinder first.

    With my budget already stretched, is it worth getting 8 year old silvia or try cheaper sunbeem em4800 series first.

    There are few second hand v2 silvias in 'good condition' according to the owners but the price is still $300.
    How old is too old for these machines, given that i dont have experience with using or maintaining them.

    Thank u!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I'd say so; just give it a full test to begin with.

    If you're looking for something comparable but cheaper, you might be able to grab a Gaggia Classic for 150-250.

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    $300 is absolute top price for a perfect machine with some sort of assurance that if it has issues you can return it ?
    Until recently, you could get them new for $499 !
    Either negotiate it down nearer $200, or wait for a better deal. (do not buy the Sunbeam !)
    And yes, the Gaggia is a good alternative.

  4. #4
    TC
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    The $499 deal was a Melbourne roaster which offloaded a heap of stock at well below wholesale cost and then threw in a heap of rubbish coffee to sweeten the deal. This was unrealistic, unsustainable and set false expectations in the market. Ironically, they no longer sell the Silvia.

    I'd think that $300 is more than fair for a unit in GC. A V3 in good nick should be more like $500 2nd hand and if this allows some to upgrade at no loss on their Silvias, they're winners.
    Last edited by TC; 12th March 2014 at 01:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    watch out for rust spots though by the tray area, and at the back where the pump is if you can...
    picked up my V3 last year at the same price, and all i needed to do was to clean and flush it thoroughly and it was good to go after...

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    Thank u all for responses!

    !Dont buy sunbeam! has stuck in my head and i decided to look further including gaggia classic.

    And just this morning, i have found this little treasure that needs some love and care -

    giggia classic for $50 but needs boiler to be replaced according to the owner, picking it up tomorrow, how about that, heh?

    Now, I have no idea where and how to fix it. Any suggestion where to take it around eastern suburbs, doncaster, or city? Shall i buy the parts online first?
    if you redirect me to the discussion link on gaggia repairs, id much appreciate.

  7. #7
    TC
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    Hmm... You will spend far more on repair of the dead machine than what you pay for it. Waste of time and money.
    Dragunov21 and TOK like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hmm... You will spend far more on repair of the dead machine than what you pay for it. Waste of time and money.
    So buying potantially dead silvia v2 for $300 is less risky than dead giggia c for $50? I guess i will have to find out myself.

  9. #9
    TC
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    If it works, it's alive. If it doesn't work, it's dead.

    $50 on a machine which requires a new boiler is $50 wasted unless you're at Silvia level. Nevertheless, your choice to potentially waste $50.
    Dragunov21 and TOK like this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    If it works, it's alive. If it doesn't work, it's dead.

    $50 on a machine which requires a new boiler is $50 wasted unless you're at Silvia level. Nevertheless, your choice to potentially waste $50.
    I'd argue a Classic *is* at Silvia level.. That said, I agree that unless you can fix it yourself, you'd be making a mistake.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kassa View Post
    So buying potantially dead silvia v2 for $300 is less risky than dead giggia c for $50? I guess i will have to find out myself.
    If you can't inspect and test in person and can't fix yourself, do not buy.
    TOK likes this.

  12. #12
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I'd argue a Classic *is* at Silvia level.. That said, I agree that unless you can fix it yourself, you'd be making a mistake.
    Not for me. The Aluminium boiler would be a deal breaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    If you can't inspect and test in person and can't fix yourself, do not buy.
    Hmm, ive rushed it through and already committed, i wont back off.

    My plan of attack is to descale and clean the group head and see what happens. As i understand the machine in not dead, the owners have switched to easy pod machine.
    So thanks for advise, i am up for the challenge, i just have to navigate through the ample information available online on how to and why tos...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I'd argue a Classic *is* at Silvia level.
    Of course you would

    And... I think you would be hard pressed to find other CSers who might agree.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Not for me. The Aluminium boiler would be a deal breaker.
    Is that on the basis of longevity or thermal mass (oe something entirely different)? I can understand it not being preferred, but they're both 58mm SBDUs running wide-band tstats with practically identical design and build quality (bar the boiler, being smaller and aluminium on the Classic), which would put them in the same class, no?

    I've not pulled shots on a Silvia, but I understand the limitations of the Classic and can't see much in the Silvia that would change anything (besides maybe the ability to steam a 600ml jug properly).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Of course you would

    And... I think you would be hard pressed to find other CSers who might agree.
    I think if you could show why they weren't, you wouldn't be relying on passive-aggressive non-sentences to make your point.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I think if you could show why they weren't, you wouldn't be relying on passive-aggressive non-sentences to make your point.
    Since you ask... it really comes down to the boiler. The Silvia's boiler is brass and big enough for the task at hand. The boiler in the Classic is aluminium which means it is subject to corrosion, leakage and... depending on what you read and who you choose to believe... may also be toxic. The size of the boiler also happens to be ridiculously small and, as such, can only ever brew two shots back to back and then forces you to wait for the pressure to build up again before being able to steam your milk. Temperature drop off during the shot is extreme and temp stability is even worse that the Silvia's.

    If the Classic happened to have a larger boiler made from stainless or brass, then I would agree that there ain't much in it when discussing the differences between these two machines. However, its tiny alu boiler drops it from the realm of the semi-serious home coffee machine into nothing more than a coffee toy that might be suitable for a single person who does not drink milk-based coffees. For those with partners, family and/or friends... the Silvia is a far more serious machine.
    Last edited by Vinitasse; 12th March 2014 at 11:09 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    -snip-
    Interesting, I wasn't aware the difference was that marked; everything online suggested that the difference was steaming capacity and not much else.

    I will say that I couldn't deal with the temperature instability of the Classic in stock form (hence the PID stuff, which ended up turning the weakness into a strength). Now I want to try a Silvia to see the difference, as I was having massive trouble with surfing the Classic, but I thought it was just me.

    As for the corrosion, I'd say that for each of the busted photos there are online there are likely hundreds of examples that never had issues. Not gonna say I wouldn't like to see a brass boiler on there myself, though (and a PID as stock, for that matter).

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    As a matter of interest, what is the volume difference between the Silvia and the Classic?

    Mal.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Apparently 12oz (350ml, minus volume of heating element) to the Classic's 3.5oz (105ml). I never realised there was such a difference.

    From memory, stock, I was seeing a 7C drop over the course of a double and unless I waited ages (5min+) between shots the second was sour no matter what. With a PID running the boiler as a pseudo-HX I managed to cut that down to <2C, back to back, ad nauseum, but that involved a lot of faffing around tuning it.
    Dimal likes this.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kassa View Post
    Thank u all for responses!

    !Dont buy sunbeam! has stuck in my head...
    Please don't go repeating that - there are a lot of happy Sunbeam owners around. (The temptation to say, "happy little sunbeams" was almost too strong ) There's no other machines around that can make good (sometimes great) coffee, back-to-back, for as many as you want and that cost under $700 brand new.

    If people were to only go by complaints about machines we'd all be buying Slayers or something else worth $10,000.

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    Oh what a nightmare i've got myself into!

    it looks old, loud, leaks, the water even splashes out of the tank! and most disturbing to me is the sweet smell that comes with water. Do the descalers have a sweet floral smell? I have flushed dozens of tanks and i cant get rid of it, water has whitish cloud as it drips out as well.

    We have put through the first shot and water flows too fast, steamer seem to be fine but i couldn't texture the milk which might be not necessarily be machine's fault.

    I need to sleep on it and decide what i am going to do, even if is running perfectly unless that smell is gone , i wont be able to drink anything out of it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I'm gonna go with the owner sucking milk back into the tank and trying to flush it with detergent.

    Walk away and chalk it up to biting off more than you can chew (or try and grab that gaggia boiler that's in the for-sale forum for a song).

    Also, water splashing out of the boiler?

    But seriously, from your first post about the Gaggia I'd say just learn from the mistake and buy a known working machine (didn't you test the Gaggia before you took it?)

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=Dragunov21;525712]I'm gonna go with the owner sucking milk back into the tank and trying to flush it with detergent.

    Walk away and chalk it up to biting off more than you can chew (or try and grab that gaggia boiler that's in the for-sale forum for a song).

    Also, water splashing out of the boiler?

    But seriously, from your first post about the Gaggia I'd say just learn from the mistake and buy a known working machine (didn't you test the Gaggia before you took it?)[/QUOTE

    No i haven't tested it ... I know!

    I have to suck it up and just write it off, maybe i could sell it in parts.
    i cant see using this machine even if repaired, that smell, literally follows me all day.

    Now i have this pretty rocky grinder with no use

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kassa View Post
    Now i have this pretty rocky grinder with no use
    Get a french/aeropress to tide you over :P



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