Post By TampIt
I am weary with confusion! Is the Sunbeam EM6910 a POS?
G'day CSers! I'm new to website so please excuse my ignorance!
Like many of you, I'm looking to invest a mid-level machine but, after spending days reading wonderful reviews from this site and others, I'm left feeling no clearer than when I set out. It seems for every positive review, there's one equally opposing.
Here's my situation:
1) originally I was looking at the Gaggia Classic. Then ultimately I read it's a POS
2) then I started looking at the EM6910. Then ultimately I read it's a POS. I found it new on ebay for $499 which is $300 cleaper than the RRP on the website. Is this a deal which is too good to miss?
3) Brevilles seem to be hit and miss.
I have a good grinder so really I've just after a machine. I'm interested in a long and fruitful love affair with my espresso machine, not a pash and dash. What is the truth behind all of the conjecture?
you do know that the 6910 has been superceded by the EM7000 ?
Originally Posted by Bgoo
There have been some good reviews of this machine and also some reports of big discounts at times.
Yiu coikd score yourself a second hand hx machine .... would bw on the higher end say #$1500-$1700
Well, one mans POS is another mans shovel.
I would consider all of the machines you've mentioned to be low end, rather than mid range; perhaps that is the source of your dilemma?
If you're expectations of the machine are not consistent with the reality, dissatisfaction is likely inevitable
Heheh yeah I don't think those machines are necessarily POS, I made a lovely shot on my gaggia at work today!
Each machine will have some significant cons until you start hitting HX territory of >$2000
How much are you willing to spend? Also, what grinder have ya got?
Originally Posted by Bgoo
Unfortunately, CSr's vary from realistic / practical to "anything less than a 3 group ep Strada ($21K in Oz the other day) is not worth having".
Given a good grinder*, even a gaggia classic (if that is the cheap "standard 58mm commercial group head one" a friend of mine bought a couple of years back) will make a stunning cuppa as long as you persist in getting it to work at its best. Know your machine (the 4 coffee M's).
I had two GS3's "pre divorce" in the US and returned to OZ flat broke "post legal screwing". I could only afford a 6910: clearly not a GS3, however it can still make a damn good coffee. When it played up (5 place @ Rock stuffed up a simple warranty repair by using a 6900 collar "wrong part" and refused to back their work), I bought a second 6910 as it was still all I could afford. Finally my 2 group La Pav came back into my life and I was stunned to find that the 6910 can match it as long as I take care. Then I found a repairer to repair the messed up 6910, so I now have it as well. Meanwhile the La Pav is forever banned from the house due to noise, size, need for "plumbing in" & a 15amp power socket. I don't miss it.
The medium $$$ machines (say $1500 to $6K) are a lot easier to use, however I personally am not looking to upgrade to any of the more expensive machines until I can move to a bigger kitchen and get another GS3** as none of the other ones provide much more than extra tolerance against snafus (my opinion only). The forced necessity to work on & improve my own technique means I am actually capable of making better coffee than when the earlier machines did all the "heavy lifting".
FWIW, I would suggest you buy whatever you can afford, work on your technique and enjoy the journey and the resulting cuppas. Remember, your tinkering will be rewarded long term as well as you will actually know what you are doing with espresso coffees. Never a bad thing!
* Getting a Mahlkonig Vario and using naked p/f & VST baskets would make a bigger difference than any change later in the chain AFAIAC. YMMV.
**unless some other mob makes a better, smaller GS3 type machine for a sane price! If so, if it can fit in my small kitchen, where do I sign?
Hi Bgoo, I bought my mother the sunbeam and have pulled countless good shots on it. You can happily pull a shot and steam a small jug of milk at the same time.
If you have a decent grinder and this is the machine your budget allows for shop around and ensure you screw them down on price, get a great deal and go home and make great coffee.
I have far more expensive equipment and continue to be surprised by how well the Sunbeam does.
I won't have my Classic called a POS!
But I assume that your budget keeps you out of Silvia territory?
No actually, bloody hell. There's a Classic available somewhere for under $100 at the moment. Take a punt, don't let anyone sell you a double wall basket, descale often & enjoy.
I've had a very pleasant 15 months with an EM6910 that I got 2nd hand and recently upgraded to an EM7000 - I have to say the only coffee I have had that is clearly better than what I make at home is from a 3 group Slayer run by a guy who knows his stuff using personally chosen SO and blends. (depends on whether you want espresso or milk...)
That says something about the technique (lousy in many cafés) as well as how much you have to pay to get good coffee.
My choice was made because until you get above $2000 for the machine, you are stuck with trying to juggle water for coffee and steam for milk. With the SB's Twin Pump, Twin Thermoblock you can have both for as long as there is water in the tank - there might be a temp issue there somewhere but I have made 7 coffees with two handles/baskets as fast as I could grind them and the last was as good as the first.
The only possible competitor for anywhere near the price is the Breville range - and at mor than double the price, from all reports the twin boilers are too small - you run out of grunt after a couple of coffees. I may be wrong on that but it is still circa $700 versus circa $1400.
IMO stay away from single boiler jobs - a while back I listed out what the normal single boiler user has to do to get a coffee first thing in the morning - something like 13 steps taking your valuable time - and then you need to make milk... The Sunbeam machines are ready to make lattés about 5 minutes after you turn them on.
If price is no object, go HX but if you just want great coffee at a reasonable price, look seriously at the SB machines. Harvey Norman recently had the EM7000 on clearance for $400...
My 6910 was originally my sons.
It was not going so he bought a new 6910, he had done about 5-6000 cup in his original one beofre I got it.
The fault was a blocked steam thermobloc, a new thermobloc, I fitted it, and it was all going great.
Next thing was it needed the new low water sensor, got one from appliances r us.
I have had this machine for 3 years, and apart from the above small issues not bad for a 8 year old machine with that many cups through it, and with no maintenance before I got it.
It had never even been back flushed.
So I do not think it is a POS.
Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.
You have to find the machine that will do what you want from it while being within your budget.
To make great coffee it is split three ways, the quality of the coffee beans, the ability of the machine and the skill of the operator.
By the way, what do you mean by a POS?
You say that “Brevilles seem to be hit and miss.” My Breville Dual Boiler, BES900, has been a great hit for the last three years.
Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan
This is confusing me too.
What is POS an abbreviation for? I've looked on the net and all I can find is point of sale.
I like your clean mind. First two words are "piece of"
Originally Posted by Brevillista
Sorry, completely wrong. The temp stability of Breville dual boiler range is quite sophisticated. My BES900 will happily churn out 15 to 20 shots back to back while steaming milk - albeit the steaming is a bit slow but its very consistent and easy to use. Will it do this for 10 plus years...nope, but when i bought it i was aiming for 3 to 4, hence its price. Its all about expectations and it delvers in spades for its price.
Originally Posted by Journeyman
If you want great espresso based coffee, you need good quality green beans that have been roasted appropriately for the type of espresso you enjoy, most importantly you need a high quality grinder. These two things and a Gaggia classic or Silvia or 6910 ect ect and some attention to detail will make better coffee than you can find in most places. Spend more on the grinder than you would the machine and upgrade MC later if you desire / can.
Which brings me to my next point, go out to known quality / consistent cafes, try their espresso and milk drinks, see if they offer the same beans they use for sale to take home, then go straight home and try and replicate what you just enjoyed, or if not make it more to your liking.
My experience with the sunbeam machines has been good overall but no machine last faultlessly forever.
my em6910 was great until the steamer thermoblock(boiler) blocked up . I replaced it with an em7000 which is also great and has run without a hitch for 6 months so far.
if you can purchase an em6910 new for less than$500 then I suggest go for it. If your budget can stretch to around $740 then get the latest model, the em7000.
Plenty of second hand machines around for similar money. In fact, there is one sitting on my bench that cost me less than the new price of a sunbeam (and will happily steam whilst pulling a shot).
Originally Posted by Journeyman
It seems to me that the OP has seen the discussion around these machines, and determined that it doesn't meet some aspect of what they were expecting for a "mid-range machine".
Perception on quality is entirely dependent on the criteria against which it is judged.
A machine that produces Godshots for a week and then dies is useless if you're looking for a machine which will last 15yrs; it won't meet your expectations and it may well be judged a POS by that criteria.
Originally Posted by Bgoo
If you're in it for the long term go for machines built out of stainless steel and brass rather than plastic/Aluminium/Zinc. A couple of machines/brands we would recommend as "keepers" are the Silvia and Lelit range - there are owners into their second decade of use with these machines!
Last edited by JetBlack_Espresso; 9th July 2014 at 12:22 PM.
From having owned the cheapest baby Breville, then a 6910 and now a DB Lelit, my advice is to buy the best you can afford.
Originally Posted by Bgoo
-My first tiny Breville with pressurised baskets and pre-ground coffee didn't last long until I outgrew it all.
-The 6910 I got was cheap and needed a little TLC. But we spent a couple of years together and I learned a LOT, Bundled with the EM0480 grinder initially.
She pushed out 6+ latte's a day every day and ran better when I sold it than when I bought it, but I knew that the coffee could be better.
I upgraded to a Rancilio Rocky grinder (with doser) and saw an improvement, but i wanted more powerful steam and more consistent brew temperatures.
-I bought my Current Lelit PL60 and it's pretty much perfect for my needs,
6 latte's a day usually, and it'll do back to back doubles till I run out of beans when we're entertaining.
Although the new Lelit Mara is a very nice looking and specced HX unit with smaller footprint... hmmmmmm
haha Rob, sure
Many thanks for solving that little mystery. I had a laugh.
Originally Posted by saoye
I find it odd that the thread author hasn't been back.
A machine that I've never really seen get mentioned in the dual thermoblock/boiler debates is the Ascaso Duo. It is pretty expensive (RRP $1800 or so) but could be had second hand for cheaper I would assume. They seem to be pretty rare though so finding one second hand might be a problem.
It is different from the norm as it has a boiler to handle coffee and a thermoblock to handle steam. I had one in for repair a week or so ago with a broken switch and I got to have a good look at it. It's a really well built machine and performs excellently. It has 2 Ulka EP5 pumps for each system and simple push button switches. Fast heat up time, faster than an EM6910 I think, fairly quiet to operate and fairly good temperature stability once you get used to it.
What do other people think of this machine? Does anyone actually own one? I would put it forward as a contender to fit between the Sunbeam/Breville machines and the higher end HX's.
I almost bought the Ascaso Duo Pro when I bought my Lelit PL60 (now called the Diana....)
The thing that sold me on the Lelit was the dealer backup/ warranty from JB^^ and PID.
The Ascaso Uno Pro has a PID (exact same unit as used in Lelit and Rocket), unsure if the Duo has one at all in the range..?
Uno Pro demo
A buddy of mine had a Ascso Duo..2 group. Neat compact machine with individual (300ml ?) boilers directly attached to each group + a steam thermoblock (brass).
Originally Posted by noidle22
Biggest issue was the temp control of the boilers was just simple thermostats, so there was the old temp variation issue and the need to temp surf to get consistent shots.
A PID version would be a big improvement.
Also small ( 2ltr ?) tanks for each group
Build was all stainless /brass etc, but it was all a bit crude compared to the other HX type Prosumer m/cs.
They sometimes crop up used on Ebay quite cheap.
Wow! Thank you all, the response has been overwhelming!
I apologise for my tardy reply but please know I've real all of your postings and appreciate the time you've taken. Just this morning I secured a Rancilio Silvia second hand for a nice price. I'll let you know how it goes!
Plenty of great shots have come from the Silvia in the past, and they hold their value if you outgrow it and need to move on