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Thread: Should I be upgrading from my Sylvia?

  1. #1
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    Should I be upgrading from my Sylvia?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive had a Sylvia and rocky combo for a few years and really love it . . . but . . . circumstances have changed. Im now a mother of 3 children which means I turn my machine on in the morning thinking Im going to make a coffee, then half an hour later I think . . . right, that coffee, lunch time hits GAAAAA I havent made a coffee yet. I think you get my point. As such I have busted the boiler which Im really upset about I always make sure its got plenty of water and was informed that although leaving it on wasnt good for the machine it wasnt going to do a lot of damage. Well, now I know

    So before I fork out a stupid amount of money on repairs do I need to think about upgrading to a different machine? I was thinking that I might be better off using my aeropress for my morning coffee as my kettle is much cheaper to replace if I over work it :P And saving my Sylvia for later in the evening when the kids are asleep and I know Im going to make a coffee without interruption.

    I drink latte's and also make steamed milk for baby cino's and hot chocolate for my husband. I use my machine 2-3 times a day.

    Thanks in advance :-)

  2. #2
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    For me the answer was a dual boiler that has automatic refill.
    you could keep the rocky till you have more money or sell the combo to finance the new machines.
    I t is possible to repair the sylvia yourself

  3. #3
    TC
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    Hi Pobie,

    Must say that single boiler machines are not what I'd recommend in your circumstances as what you have experienced happens all too easily. I know for a fact that it has cost me many, many sales when I have advised people that they were looking at the wrong class of machines for their needs.

    Your machine can be repaired easily and I'd recommend Rick Bond- site sponsor The Coffee Machinist as your man.

    Whilst you don't necessarily need a dual boiler machine, if you have the funds and the inclination, an upgrade to a heat exchanger (HX) machine will make life a whole lot easier for you as you can't cook these in the scenario you have outlined.

    We're happy to assist if you do decide you'd like to upgrade and we're conveniently just a couple of doors from Rick.

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    Thank you :-) I have somebody looking at it for me at the moment who will give me a quote. Just need to check that it is in fact the boiler. I was considering asking my husband to replace the boiler for me but couldnt find one reasonably priced.

    My rocky isnt actually working at the moment either Its at the same place getting a once over. I think there may be a bean or something stuck in the blades.

    So, if I were to upgrade (to a double boiler (is that the same as a heat exchange??)) what would your suggestions be? And what suggestions would you have for the grinder? I am quite happy with the combo I have, well apart from the fact that its broken :P Just want to avoid it happening again which is why I was looking at an upgrade. And if I did upgrade should I fix it before I sell it or sell as it? its a V2 with a V3 steam arm.

  5. #5
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    Hi Pobie,

    Any suggestions I'd make will come from a discussion with you. To get started, best bet is to choose some machines you like and then I can tell you what I don't like about them.

    Bottom line is that it's about pointing out some pros and cons and then you choosing the best match for you- not me!

    As this could involve many thousands of words and much time, this is something we do over the phone or better still, in person when you visit.

    Cheers

    Chris

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    The problem with that idea Chris is that my limiting factor is funds - I fear Im risking my marriage as it is even beginning this conversation :P So, if I came in and chatting about all these wonderful things I might like to have in a coffee machine I fear I may walk away very disappointed at the price tag associated with my desires ;-) I posted this thread in the mid range machines as I think thats about all that I can afford. More than happy to buy a second hand machine - perhaps stalk for a few months to see if my dream machine comes along in the market place here. Perhaps I can arrange a time to come and drool anyway Chris, Im a sucker for punishment :-)

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    Is it that the single boiler with no automatic refills is whats risky? I had a silvia for years which i left on hours at a time, but i had always made sure there was water inside.

    When I upgraded to a hx, i went to the store to only 'just to have a look'. Its a lot easier to ask for forgiveness
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    Quote Originally Posted by locosam View Post
    When I upgraded to a hx, i went to the store to only 'just to have a look'. Its a lot easier to ask for forgiveness
    Nevertheless, a fairly risky proposition in some quarters " locosam"...

    Mal.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by locosam View Post
    Is it that the single boiler with no automatic refills is whats risky? I had a silvia for years which i left on hours at a time, but i had always made sure there was water inside.

    When I upgraded to a hx, i went to the store to only 'just to have a look'. Its a lot easier to ask for forgiveness
    Yes apparently so. I always make sure that the reservoir is full but it seems as the boiler doesnt automatically refill my boiler overheated.

    And yes again, it is very risky to go to a store and have a 'look' :P The up side is that I actually dont have any money to buy at the moment anyway :-)

    I will have to make a trip out to Talk Coffee soon and have a 'look'. Dangerous words :P Does anybody have any suggestions on a HX that is under $1500?

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    Dangerous budget! High enough to have your choice in the pre loved market, and close enough to the prices of many new hx.
    Often times the vendors may have refurbished ones for sale after they have given it a once over.
    The smaller hx models from Diadema, Vibiemme or ECM would probably be your best bet. If hx or e61 is not a requirement, then theres others like oscar, lelit.

  11. #11
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pobie View Post
    Yes apparently so. I always make sure that the reservoir is full but it seems as the boiler doesnt automatically refill my boiler overheated.

    And yes again, it is very risky to go to a store and have a 'look' :P The up side is that I actually dont have any money to buy at the moment anyway :-)

    I will have to make a trip out to Talk Coffee soon and have a 'look'. Dangerous words :P Does anybody have any suggestions on a HX that is under $1500?
    Hi Pobie,

    We have just done up an original ECM Giotto classic which would be well within your budget. Our work included a full service and we also fabricated a new tank cradle and modified the machine to suit the current design coupling style tank. This one is in beautiful condition and will be for sale as the owner upgraded to a current model Alex Duetto.

    You're welcome to make contact and I can put you in touch with the owner for negotiations. The machine is still with us, but should be going home soon.

    Chris
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