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Thread: Simonelli Oscar

  1. #1
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    Simonelli Oscar

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys,

    The more I look at coffee machines the more I change my mind and the more I plan to spend. I had my mind on the silvia/rocky but when I stumbled across the oscar I knew if I didnt buy it I would regret it forever. If I bought the silvia I would probably PID it and it would end up costing a fair bit more than the $800 and would be a far better coffee machine but the fact would remain that it has only a small boiler and is still just a domestic machine.

    The fact that the oscar can brew and steam at the same time and that there is no problem cycling from steam to brew is just a deal maker for me. I reckon at $600 more it is an absolute bargain. If I buy a nemox lux grinder or even a sunbeam lux grinder then that gap drops a small amount so to me it is an easy choice.

    Living in WA it seams there is little choice of places to buy decent coffee equipment. The two places that I know of that show up in google dont sell Simonelli.

    Can anyone tell me who in WA sells these things?

    Regards

    JB

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Not that this is a recommendation but I have seen an online Hospitality shop in Oz selling them for a less than $1300 inc GST.

    Suggest you do a good site search before spending your hard earned as well :)

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Thanks.

    I have read a fair bit about the oscar and from what I have seen it is all good. Would you recommend something different? One of the main criticisms is its plastic shell but I quite like it to be honest. I have seen that hospitality shop and that is who I will buy from when the time comes. It would be nice to check out some local stores though.

    My only concern so far with the machine is getting it serviced. I pretty sure a lot of the places in WA could get parts in if need be.

    JB

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Quote Originally Posted by 427D7B7C6166574A6771646D080 link=1241411382/2#2 date=1241412285
    Thanks. *

    I have read a fair bit about the oscar and from what I have seen it is all good. *Would you recommend something different? *One of the main criticisms is its plastic shell but I quite like it to be honest. *I have seen that hospitality shop and that is who I will buy from when the time comes. *It would be nice to check out some local stores though.

    My only concern so far with the machine is getting it serviced. *I pretty sure a lot of the places in WA could get parts in if need be.

    JB
    Hi Justin ,

    If you want a HX machine and to spend under $1.5k, the Simonelli is pretty much your only choice ;)

    2mcm

  5. #5
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    At less than $1500 for a HX machine, you would think something must be wrong but Ive seen one in operation and tasted the output; I couldnt fault it from that point of view. The steam that was produced was dry and at a good pressure. I was in Singapore earlier this year and brought a couple of samples of beans for the boys at Highlander to try and out of the the machines at their disposal, they chose the Oscar and they spoke highly of it (knowing Im an Aussie and not there to buy one)

    If the only difference is that it has plastic panels instead of bling then it represents outstanding value for money. I would happily buy one if whats in the cup is as good as a machine that costs >$1K more. Gees, Ive almost talked myself into it *:o *;D

    Some sponsors sell it. Di Bartoli at least stocks spares for it. I think you could do worse.

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A252324393E0F123F293C35500 link=1241411382/2#2 date=1241412285
    My only concern so far with the machine is getting it serviced. *I pretty sure a lot of the places in WA could get parts in if need be.
    I cant comment on the machine in question as Ive never used one. *However, reviews elsewhere suggest a purge via the steam wand post start-up is required to prevent false pressure. *In effect, this means no timer usage - something that may really influence your use of the machine (as it would me!)

    Back to the service question though...the middle to high-end HX machines which fall into the Energiser Bunny category. *They just keep going and going. *Amongst my circle of like minded individuals, there are 3 La Scalas, 2 Isomac Teas and 2 Giottos. *Every one of them faultless after not less than two years service. *Thats not to say theyre infallible, just damn reliable with mechanical failure a real rarity. *Additionally, theyre so simple in their construction that if needed, repairs can be done by someone with a modicum of technical competence. *As long as theyre checked before dispatch, you should be right as rain.

    Thus, I wouldnt hesitate in buying interstate if it meant doing so from guys like Chris and Atillio ( Talk Coffee and Cosmorex respectively). *Essentially, they will bench test and calibrate your machine before it leaves the shop. *Add pre and post sales service to the equation and youre miles ahead of the $19.50 you may or may not "save" elsewhere

    Im sure spend just a wee bit more isnt what you want to hear but Im a huge believer in avoiding false economies.

    Epic76 *


    edit: Re Flynns Post

    Quote Originally Posted by 2E24312626293D3B480 link=1241411382/4#4 date=1241415727
    they chose the Oscar and they spoke highly of it *
    From a "whats in the cup" perspective, if Phil and Cedric are recommending it, Id say its worth looking into *:) (nothwithstanding the afforementioned caveat)


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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    I have seen that hospitality shop and that is who I will buy from when the time comes.
    I had a quick look at a Oscar at Veneziano a while back when Luca was there he commented there is a bit involved in setting them up, I think he has also mentioned the same on this site. I mention it because it may be better to pay a bit more for a properly set up machine rather than buy on price and the Oscar not realising its full potential.
    Oscars seem to be popular in Germany so with the aid of Babelfish there is info on German site www.kaffee-netz.de

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    As I understand, they dont (or didnt) have anti-vac valves, nor hot water wands.

    Im unsure of what Luca was eluding to, but more likely than not, like some other brands, they may run red hot and perhaps the OPV valve is set to nuke?

    2mcm

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    From memory I think it was along the lines of a basket change and the lack of gauge made pressurestat adjustment tricky, unless of course you use a scace. Maybe Luca could elaborate if he reads this.
    As for the OPV valve, it is on the group, pressure is set on the high side so as not to bleed off to much hot water into the drip tray, some suggest it acts as a pressure relief to protect the HX, a good thing in my book.
    I like the Oscar, BTW.

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Hey guys thanks for all the advice. I didnt need a lot of encouragement to make up the mind on this one but the opnions of people on here certainly help. The wife wants me to get it even though it will be going on credit card so thats the easy part taken care of. She like it in red and tells me I have to spend the extra money on that one. The biggest question is when will I get it and from where!!!

    Thanks again

    Justin

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    You could try using the contact all site sponsors email address and see if one of them stocks or can get one for you. Still better if you can find a supplier on your side of the island to make any backup easier.

    Red is worth the money too 8-)

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    veneziano stock em!

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Just got word that the australian distributor of simonelli is no more. I was told that there could be problems with warranty and access to parts. Any comments on this????

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    John,

    Do not worry about spare parts let me know what you need. ;)

    regards

    Renzo
    Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Quote Originally Posted by 263933223F313D3522500 link=1241411382/8#8 date=1241439055
    From memory I think it was along the lines of a basket change and the lack of gauge made pressurestat adjustment tricky, unless of course you use a scace. Maybe Luca could elaborate if he reads this.
    As for the OPV valve, it is on the group, pressure is set on the high side so as not to bleed off to much hot water into the drip tray, some suggest it acts as a pressure relief to protect the HX, a good thing in my book.
    I like the Oscar, BTW.
    OK, so I used to work for Veneziano, in which capacity I sold Oscars. *I pushed for Veneziano to stock them because I felt that they were great value. *The machine was full of nifty bits of engineering; for example, the plastic body is easy to keep clean, compared with a stainless-steel dirt magnet (such as my current machine ;P). *One problem was this: how do you keep your cups hot if they are sitting on plastic? *Solution: put a sheet of metal directly underneath the cup warmer plastic; I thought it was clever. *The group is very simple and preinfusion was taken care of through the kinks in the piping (as it was explained to me). *The drip tray grate was made from plastic and allowed liquid to sluice through without forming a dirty meniscus over the holes. *Cleverly, it was also reversible so that you could accomodate slightly bigger or smaller cups. *The water reservoir cover is a nifty flip-top thing, with a nifty reservoir setup. *I was told that Simonellis thing is boilers, for the manufacture and testing of which they have a dedicated factory. *The 2L boiler is insulated and the body holds in heat, which, I was told, really cuts down on the machines energy consumption.

    The machine also has its share of negative features. *As others have pointed out, there is no vacuum breaker, so when you switch it on, you have to open the steam wand, allow it to heat, purge some steam and then close it again. *This means that you cant really put the machine on a timer. *The OPV is not adjustable; it is fixed at 10 or 12 bar, from memory. *The theory is that at an espresso flow rate, it doesnt matter - the pressure wont go up too high. *The steam tip lets out a lot of steam, so it isnt as easy to handle for a newbie to the machine as some other machines. *Finally, like a few other (and much pricier) prosumer machines, you run the risk of your espresso pour speeding up towards the end of the shot.

    From the perspective of someone setting up, supporting and selling the machine, though, they were, frankly, irritating. *As Vicroamer stated, the first thing to do was to replace the baskets. *The baskets that came with the machine seemed to have more holes or bigger holes than other baskets, so even when you swapped those baskets into another machine, I would tend to get shots that flowed too quickly or started gushing towards the end. *Replacing the baskets was a small expense that I felt made a big difference. *The next thing was to dial in the presurestat, which never seemed to come adjusted to any particular pressure and the machine has no boiler presure gauge. *Again, this might now be a lot easier with a Scace device, except that you would have to chop a NS portafilter to accomodate it. *Another approach might be to come up with a pressure gauge that could be mounted on the steam wand. *I had to dial it in by using the machine and tasting against a machine that was set up correctly. *Of course, I had to pull several shots over the course of a few hours to make sure that it continued to perform that way, so, all up, it took a lot more work to set up and bench test this machine than it took to set up and bench test a Maver or similar. *By the time that all that was said and done, a training session, coffee and a few accessories were thrown in, I can tell you that the machine started to look a lot less of a bargain from the vendors perspective ;P *If you are shopping for an Oscar today, I think that its pretty important to buy from someone who will actually take care of the setup for you. *If you have had experience tasting a lot of different espresso, you can do this to some extent by simply having a demo of the machine.

    Ultimately, though, you can look at technical specifications until you are blue in the face. *The former distributors left a machine at Veneziano, we played with it and got it making great coffee at a great price, so it got stocked.

    Im not sure how the machine has or has not changed since I last saw/used one a few years ago, so if you are shopping for one you should make your own enquiries. *I also heard that NS distribution in Australia has changed, so Im not sure how that has affected the Oscar.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    I bought an Oscar secondhand off a fellow coffee snob here. Must say that I absolutely love the little machine.

    Sure it has no hot water spout, i work around that by having a kettle. So when someone wants a long black i boil the kettle. No worries there.

    Also, it does not play nice with a timer because theres no vacuum breaker, so with a timer you need to leave extra time to bleed the steam wand or do what I do, which is leave it on most of the time.

    For the price, it makes a pretty awesome coffee. A massive step up from the gaggia classic i was using (though i do still quite like the classic).

    The one litre boiler makes for a great machine when entertaining. Id like to see a Silvia cater for 8 people wanting a coffee without a massive wait time.

    The good sized drip tray means very little mess.

    Best of all, it fits my favourite mug in it.

    Also, the black plastic fits my kitchen area perfectly as it matches the black glass splashback.

    best of luck with it!

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Thanks for posting Luca your contribution has been most informative.

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C636978656B676F780A0 link=1241411382/16#16 date=1242127492
    Thanks for posting Luca your contribution has been most informative.
    x2

    Thanks for the tips.

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Hi!. *I have had a Simonelli Oscar for 3 years, and have been delighted with it. *And to my surprise, I found that there is an agent for them in Perth. I had the machine serviced by them about 6 months ago, when the water level probe needed adjusting and cleaning.

    I bought my machine in mid 2006 from Adelaide after a lot of investigation *(I see my search for assistance around that time is still on CoffeeSnobs), because I didnt know that there was an agent in Perth. As well as the Oscar they sell the Simonelli commercial machines, along with other brands.

    The Oscar makes excellent coffee, and being an HX machine, steams milk fantastically well (for those who need it). I use a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder (which seems to need an awful lot of regular cleaning to keep its grind consistent --- must upgrade one day when the super fund recovers --- and buy the marvellous coffee provided by the lovely and helpful people at Fiori in Douglas St Perth.

    I can never see what the problem is in bleeding off the false pressure each day before you start, I guess you should bleed the wand anyway if you are going to froth anything. And the lack of a hot water outlet is neither here nor there. I just use water from a kettle if any one wants an Americano, or even put water *in the cup straight out of the head after an initial flush. However if you do this, you simply have to fill the water tank more often.

    My only real grouch about it is the noise the pump makes --- dont know why it has to be so loud, but its the nature of the beast. And now its time for my next espresso........

    Allen :)

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Thankyou Allen,

    I have ordered one already from brisbane. I would have loved to shop local but hey if I cant find them on google or yellow pages without ringing every number well thats too bad for them. It will be handy though to know that they are there as Im sure some time in the future this thing might need a service. Hopefully the machine will be here mid next week.

    JB

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    I am going around in circles selecting a machine. This machine gets good feedback from a number of people but what I havent seen is a comparison to the quality (of shots) to other machines. I was also considering the Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo , Diadema Perfetta or if I could save a few extra dollars a Bezerra BZ07. I must say though for the difference in dollars I am leaning to the Oscar. Luca mentions "setting it up" which I cant do. Is anyone able to compare the shots from my options against a Oscar without the setting up that Luca mentions?

    Where in Brisbane did you order it from Justin?

    Thanks for your feedback

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A72717172130 link=1241411382/20#20 date=1242394704
    I am going around in circles selecting a machine. This machine gets good feedback from a number of people but what I havent seen is a comparison to the quality (of shots) to other machines. I was also considering the Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo , Diadema Perfetta or if I could save a few extra dollars a Bezerra BZ07. I must say though for the difference in dollars I am leaning to the Oscar. Luca mentions "setting it up" which I cant do. Is anyone able to compare the shots from my options against a Oscar without the setting up that Luca mentions?

    Where in Brisbane did you order it from Justin?

    Thanks for your feedback
    If your in Brisbane ... Contact the guys at Barazi Bezzera Coffee Machines... They are a sponsor and I saw a couple of great pre loved *BZ07s there today..

  23. #23
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Hi short-shot,

    As you mentioned the Piccolo, I have one for sale in the equipment for sale section. ;)

    Greg

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    It has arrived. Still learning it. Bought a different brand of milk than I usually do yesterday. Lets just say I will never buy it again. Didnt sweeten up at all and the coffee tasted feral but I that is another issue. It just means that I will be buying some better milk after work before I keep experimenting. I guess I could use it to practice steaming and latte art though!!!




    Justin

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Wow!

    Striking colour scheme there Justin, looks terrific. Im sure youll be very happy with the combo once youve learned their intricacies and fine-tuned your technique to match them. excellent mate.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Quote Originally Posted by 664B4F434E220 link=1241411382/24#24 date=1243239117
    Striking colour scheme there

    Thats how it passed approval with the missus. Will be getting a new double basket and a decent tamper for it. From there I can eliminate some of the variables in search of the God shot. Mind you I need to find a good cafe where I can educate myself so that I have a bench mark.

    Justin

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Ive not found a good cafe in Perth yet Justin... Mind you I still havent given Boucla a go, I have heard rave reviews or maybe its the place to be seen drinking coffee? :D

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    By the way....

    I checked out supreme coffee machines in Rivervale today(im sure you suggested them) Boom Town prices! Even after I told them how much I could pick up a Silvia thru CS....

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar

    Yeah I understand you about the prices. I didnt find anyone in perth that wanted to play ball with prices without trying to push them so I threw caution to the wind and bought from the net. I got quite a nice shot today from some the braziliano espresso blend. I dont know if these beans make their way over to the eastern states but talk about value for money. They are roasted in the CBD so by the time they hit the supermarket shelf they are still nice and fresh. Maybe my taste buds are uneducated but the beans make a pretty mean coffee. The crazy thing is that 500g only cost me $11

    Justin



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