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Thread: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

  1. #1
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    Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I’ve had the above machine for approx. 5 years & I thought it had served me well – except for the fact that I could never texture milk.

    After a couple of days reading here I realise that it’s the Panarrello (which is currently cracked) that is causing my milk woes & unfortunately removing it isn’t an option as the wand is far too short.

    Does anyone know if a Wand Mod is possible to make steaming an option?

    Do the machines limited grind options mean that this machine will never produce a ‘reasonable’ shot?

    I do buy fresh beans from a local coffee-roasting shop but always drink lattes, so would investing in a better machine benefit my obviously uneducated taste-buds?

    I’m not adverse to learning how to make a better coffee & buying the equipment to do so, but all the talk of single, double boilers, HX, Thermoblock, Tampers, Dosers etc. has me a bit baffled.

    If I’m willing to spend up to $1000 to embark on a new tasting adventure – where do I start? I have to admit that the FS section here has only made me more undecided! *:-/

    Any advice gratefully received (even if its just directions to re-read certain parts of the site!)

  2. #2
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    Lots of things are possible, but may not be desirable. With a budget of $1000 you should be able to get an effective wand mod ;)

    I think these gaggia models are basically saecos. There may will be a replacement wand that well work for you.

    As for upgrading, your uneducated taste buds will notice the difference but beware, in a few months you will then need to upgrade again as it is very hard to quit once youve started.

    How many cups a day? One at a time, or several at once? How much time and effort are you willing to put in to making a coffee and maintaining your machine? Is space an issue? Are you willing to consider used, or do you want the peace of mind of full warranty?

    There are options under $1000, but it helps to know a bit more. Im happy with my gaggia, but as you drink lattes, it would probably not be your best option.


  3. #3
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    Thanks for the reply

    I should point out that I do enjoy Macchiatos & Espresso but not made at home - even using the quality beans, the Gaggia produces a fairly bitter shot so I need the milk. Would adjusting the grind to be finer help this or is it a shortcoming with the equipment?

    Unless there are visitors, its usually one coffee at a time and 2-3 per day.

    Space isnt a problem - I have the house to myself. Initially I wouldnt want to have something that required plumbing as I have a short-term plan of shifting house.

    Im happy to spend the time learning to make a good coffee and then the time to prepare it - I assume that any decent piece of equipment would require at least weekly cleaning.

    Id be happy to purchase used equipment from a reputable source i.e. Id happily buy demo or serviced trade-ins from a dealer but would be reluctant to spend good money buying something from eBay ... I dont know enough to be able to spot a lemon. e.g. Theres a Rancilio Silvia currently listed at $350+ but I dont know what could need replacing or if this likely to be a good buy?

    I guess I predominately want to make a cafe quality coffee at home ... The Gaggia currently isnt cutting it!


  4. #4
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    It seems like you are ready to move from a fully auto machine to something that needs a little more interaction to get a cup of coffee.
    Seeing as you are in Ballarat, that could limit your options to actually get hands on experience with a range of machines. Plenty of places in melbourne you could go to if you made a trip down here (see sponsors to the left).
    A few options, with my thoughts on them, Im sure others will contribute their suggestions.

    Gaggia Classic
    simple, reliable, quick to heat up due to small boiler, steaming capability limited and standard steam arm is short, so an upgraded stream arm is useful. Wide temperature variation with standard thermostat so you really need to temp surf, or add better temp control. Im mostly happy with mine, but my daughter is now drinking flat whites and I find steaming milk, then repriming the boiler and cooling the machine down again is a real pain. Any small single boiler machine will have similar issues with steaming.

    Rancilio Silvia, similar to gaggia in basic operation, but bigger boiler, so better temp stability and longer warm up time. If you let it run without *ensuring boiler is full, you can burn out the heating elements. Excellent resale value when you next upgrade.

    Lelit combi
    Grinder and machine in one, lots of people seem to like them, *but if you want to upgrade either grinder or machine, you really need to do both at once. Portafilter is non standard size, so filter baskets and tamper have to match and need replaced when you upgrade.

    Gee
    Relatively new, but it ticks lots of boxes - pid temp control, 500ml boiler, separate steam thermoblock, programmable preinfusion, right at top end of your budget. I think it is fugly. Long term reliability unknown, which would affect resale if nothing else.

    Grinders:
    Sunbeam 480, breville 800, or rocky

    For used equipment look at the coffee hardware for sale section of coffeesnobs, I see there is a used rancilio S27 up for grabs that would stave off upgraditis for a long time, or a lelit combi at a good price that seeyms to have been recently serviced.

  5. #5
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    That would be an auto.

    a) If you want to buy another machine you need to decide whether you are happy with the type of coffee your auto makes, or if you want something different.

    b) the pannarello you have is the newer type that cant do anything when you remove the outer sheath leaving it with only an injector stub for the steam.

    BUT it can be directly replaced with the older type pannarello which is not useless at all. It has a full length internal pipe so that if you remove the outer, the inner can be used as a regular one hole steam pipe.

    c) Except for replacing a pannarello where the machine is otherwise fully operable, its only my opinion but I wouldnt spend any money to repair or service a 5 year old Saeco or Gaggia auto machine because there have been loads of updates in that time so when one thing goes wrong it often necessitates changing other parts as well, which gets you on the merrygoround of spending good money after bad on obsolete machines.

    My opinion then, if all that is worrying you at the moment is the pannarello and all else is fine, see if you can get an oolder type panarello and use the machine until it actualluy breaks down. When that happens, its for the bin.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

  6. #6
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    Since replacing the panarello is likely to be cheap and easy, that should be your first step, then if you want to upgrade, you can sell it as a working machine on an online auction site, putting the money towards a decent upgrade.

  7. #7
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    Again thanks for the advice.

    I had a new boiler installed last year so Im not ready to trash the Gaggia but I am thinking that it might make a nice loaner for my daughter. I do like the idea of upgrading to a functional steam wand as she has some barista skills.

    For myself, Ill pay a visit to Chris at Talk Coffee tomorrow & expect to come home with something to get me started!

  8. #8
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    The result of my trip ... Im now the proud owner of a Diadema Junior Plus Semi-Auto. Its probably above my experience level, but I decided to buy something that I can grow into rather than wanting to upgrade within months. Having said that, I had to opt for the Breville Grinder as my budget was more than stretched!

    The Diadema looks magnificent and has pride of place in the kitchen - thanks to Chris at Talk Coffee for making this an enjoyable experience.

    Ill fix the Gaggia for my daughter - Im having a little trouble finding out if a Saeco wand will be a simple swap ... Ill get out the Vernier calliper over the weekend

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Worth persevering with a Gaggia Syncrony Compact??

    Congrats Sticky... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Wonderful machines those Diademas. Once you get you technique sorted, the quality of the coffee from the Diadema will blow you away, year after year after year..... 8-)

    Mal.



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