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Thread: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

  1. #1
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    Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

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

    Was wondering if anyone has any experience with the Wega Mininova? and how does a demo used one compare to a brand new Silvia?

    Any help/opinions will be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Zach

  2. #2
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    I imagine an ex demo hx machine should be pretty well identical to a new boxed one in almost every aspect and as such would be a big jump up from the silvia.

    If you are asking about the value of a demo wega vs new silvia then there is no real comparison, the silvia is a $700 machine and a new wega would be around $2k+ I guess, less maybe 10-20% max given its history.

    If you were fortunate enough to find any as new hx machine for the price of a sivia I would jump at it. Just make sure you will get support from the vendor as a an ex demo unit should still have most if not all of its warranty left.

  3. #3
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Hey there, Zach. I havent used a mininova, but have used some of the larger Wegas and own a Silvia. The two machines are of entirely different types; the silvia is a single boiler, the Wega has whats known as a heat-exchanger. For an overview of the difference, click here. The main difference is that there is no wait time between brew and steam with the Wega. The Wega also has a form of preinfusion that should make it easier to work with. Both machines will require a little bit of finesse to make sure that you are getting the right brew temperature, and on both it will involve purging some water. The difference is that with the silvia you will then have to wait a few minutes for it to come to the right temperature, whereas the Wega will be ready to go right after the cooling flush. Like I said, the two machines are so different that its not a fair fight at all. Id pick the Wega over the Silvia any day of the week. But, of course, you will need to check out what sort of support will be available to you after you purchase it.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Thanks Mauricem and Luca for your insights!
    Looks like the Wega is the obvious choice depending on the condition and aftersales support available.
    I guess the only issue now is whether I choose to plumb it (not a fan of putting a hole in the kitchen bench! plus more money spent on plumber!) or convert it back to a standalone refill unit - any thoughts?
    Will hopefully get to view the Wega sometime this week.
    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Zach

  5. #5
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    What Luca and Maurice said. No contest. Wegas have a pretty good rep. If you have a plumbed unit with a rotary pump (nice and quiet) you can just use an external water tank (that may depend on the pump). For example Procon pumps are self-priming and can draw water up to 2 metres. I have a Procon rotary pump drawing water from an external tank on my machine. It works fine. I use a 5l cereal container that has a lid with flip top for easy filling. I cut a hole near the base and used a washer a brass 3/8 male to 1/2 male adaptor and a plastic 1/2 female part to put it together (obtained from a hardware plumbing section). It has worked fine with no leaking and has the benefit of a large capacity and visible water level. Otherwise Barazi sell a kit for using an external tank with a rotary pump. It has an added water level sensor that attaches to the auto fill curcuit of a BZ40, so you cant run the reservoir dry. The BZ40 uses a standard Gicar control box that may be compatible with that in the Wega, but youd have to check. Otherwise its no drama to just drop a line into an external tank.

    One caveat: Not all rotary pumps are made by Procon, and so their specs may vary. However, the current pump used in a Bezzera is amde by Fluid-o-tech and is also capable of drawing from a tank unaided.

    The other solution is to use a flo-jet pump to pressurize the water fed into the rotary pump. These pumps are available from places that sell water tanks. Ive seen them in my wanderings, but its not a solution I needed given the simple solution works.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  6. #6
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    A "used" or "second hand" machine, and a "demo" machine to my mind, are not the same.

    A demo machine sold by the trader should carry a full warranty except if it is quite old or not a current model, in which case it isnt really a demo machine but a used machine and may well carry a reduced warranty because effectively, its second hand.... In any case availability of "service" should not be an issue...demo, used, or not.

    Ask the trader if the machine can be converted BACK TO tank operation. It may be, that it was never a *tank model to start with but a straight mains connection model. If you dont want a mains connection, & it is not a straightforward conversion to self contained "tank" model, dont buy! If it doesnt concern you one way or another, by all means buy it!

    Brand / type of pump is immaterial as long as is for coffee machine use. They are all speced to do the same thing irrespective... Whether they pick up water from an external reservoir or not is governed by the printed circuit and whether it actually activates the pump or not on the "fill". Most vending machines pick up water from a tank sitting at floor level in the body *under the machine....thats with a vibrating solenoid pump, and a rotary pump will do the same thing.

    I personally wouldnt buy a mains only connection machine and then waste time and energy rigging up all sorts of contraptions to feed it with water from an outboard *water tank...too much trouble, take up more room ( reservoir under the bench or behind / next to the machine), and may still have to drill holes to get a pipe up from underneath the bench...not interested for a home environment.

    But by the same token, maybe you dont mind....

    So all in all.....Up to you.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  7. #7
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    The Wega is a nice machine. We have one in the office and I use it often. Its the
    machine that planted the desire to have a "real" machine at home at the first
    possible opportunity. :)

    So when selection time came, the Wega was one of the first we looked at.
    However, a non-plumbed Wega is (in our opinion) not as nice to use. The
    drip tray is small, and cumbersome to remove. It is inelegantly modified in
    the non-plumbed version. The drip tray will fill pretty quickly with a few flushes.

    You may not be bothered by this, but think about it when you decide how
    to install it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    The drip tray point is valid.....

    Most semi commercials that start out as a tank inside model with facility to convert to mains connection, DO NOT have facility to drain out of the drip tray. So if you convert to mains connection, you still do not get a drain out of the drip tray unless you are into butchering the thing and doing something that was never intended and probably wont work properly anyway....

    Some models have good deep drip trays and others dont, and some machines leak a lot of water into the drip tray when connected to the mains, which cant drain out because there is no facility to drain as already mentioned. So they continually fill the drip tray when left on, even despite that they are not being used to brew coffee ( just "on", waiting).

    Which is another reason why we dont really recommend people take up the option to convert semi commercials to the mains even though it is offered as an "option".

    Regardz,
    FC.

  9. #9
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1157961149/0#5 date=1158049352
    Brand / type of pump is immaterial as long as is for coffee machine use. They are all speced to do the same thing irrespective... Whether they pick up water from an external reservoir or not is governed by the printed circuit and whether it actually activates the pump or not on the "fill". Most vending machines pick up water from a tank sitting at floor level in the body *under the machine....thats with a vibrating solenoid pump, and a rotary pump will do the same thing.
    Right, so no extra pump is required unless the water tank is more than 2 m below the machine. The addition of the level sensor is a nice touch if youre using a tank, as it will cut out the pump when the tank level drops too low to avoid running it dry. The Bezzera unit has this facility and plugs in to the auto fill control box. They have instructions of how to do this that includes photographs. Its a pretty nice fail safe, but not necessary, especially if the external tank is visible. Call Barazi (a site sponsor) if interested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1157961149/0#5 date=1158049352
    I personally wouldnt buy a mains only connection machine and then waste time and energy rigging up all sorts of contraptions to feed it with water from an outboard *water tank...too much trouble, take up more room ( reservoir under the bench or behind / next to the machine), and may still have to drill holes to get a pipe up from underneath the bench...not interested for a home environment.
    Only two fittings, a rubber washer and a plastic tank (cereal container). Not too hard and an external tank has its advantages. It may not be for everyone though.

    Cheers,

    Mark.


  10. #10
    Ken
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Hey Zach

    If you are considering the Mininova, you might also want to consider the San Marino SCX, also made by the same company (CMA - Italian company that also manufactures Wegas and rebadges them as Astoria in the States). The SCX is very similar to the Mininovas, and is probably just rebadged. I think its a vibe pump machine that has the option of plumbing to mains. Have a look at this link to a vendor that stocks them http://www.espressoitalia.com.au/listProduct/MACHINES/34+Commercial//10.

    If youre based in Perth? and are looking at Mininovas, Landucci in Freo should have a model on display. EspressoItalia (aka Not Just Espresso) in North Perth should have a San Marino SCX on display. Mininovas seem to be more common than its San Marino brethren.

    It may also be worth searching the forums of CG and reading the consumer reviews. It appears to be a fairly well built unit from a company that utilises production line techniques and tighter tolerances than hand built (but then again, Marzoccos are hand built by a small team in Florence). The stock steam wand appears to be rather short. Its possible to replace this with a Cimbali steam wand though.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Ken

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Thanks everyone.

    According to the seller the Wega is about 18 months old, he says its only made about 40 cuppas in its life, but there is no warranty. Its a vibration pump model not rotary pump.
    Currently it is a plumbed version but he says can be converted back to self-contained unit.

    I would love to have it connected to the mains, just have to see if its feasible with the layout of the kitchen! the external tank water sounds good but not sure how the wifey will react to less bench space :)

    Looks like it will have to be a self contained unit but dont like idea of the drip tray being small and cumbersome.

    Heya Ken yes Im from Perth. And yes the steam wand does seem a little short - may have to change that when the time comes.

    Does anyone have the Wega not plumbed to the mains and is happy with it?

    Cheers,
    Zach

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by _zach_ link=1157961149/0#10 date=1158214916
    Thanks everyone.

    According to the seller the Wega is about 18 months old, he says its only made about 40 cuppas in its life, but there is no warranty. Its a vibration pump model not rotary pump.
    Currently it is a plumbed version but he says can be converted back to self-contained unit.

    I would love to have it connected to the mains, just have to see if its feasible with the layout of the kitchen! the external tank water sounds good but not sure how the wifey will react to less bench space :)

    Looks like it will have to be a self contained unit but dont like idea of the drip tray being small and cumbersome.

    Heya Ken yes Im from Perth. And yes the steam wand does seem a little short - may have to change that when the time comes.

    Does anyone have the Wega not plumbed to the mains and is happy with it?

    Cheers,
    Zach
    Hi Zach, I plumbed my 2 group Bezzera in myself- a hole saw was used to cut a tidy hole in the window sill above the kitchen undersink plumbing as we have granite benchtops. I figured out where the tubes would go and cut a hole in the back of the cupboard. From where the water feeds up to the mixer tap I put in a t piece which then connected it to a water softener/filter then to the braided inlet tube of the machine- pretty tidy.
    More of an issue for me but not for you I think, was that I needed to upgrade the power- I put in 20 amp supply (only 15 was recommended but when the heater and pump are all operating there can be nearly 4000w).
    All worth it.
    Brett
    ps dont you love the way sellers say 18 months old and only 40 cuppas? Yeah right, half a cup a week! How do you get a figure like that? Ignore my shaky maths- just making a point.

  13. #13
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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by telemaster link=1157961149/0#11 date=1158291787
    ps dont you love the way sellers say 18 months old and only 40 cuppas? Yeah right, half a cup a week! How do you get a figure like that? Ignore my shaky maths- just making a point.
    Ah yes,

    But was his Granny the only one to use it and then only on Sundays for one Ristretto :P? My suspicions would be piqued if this statement was in there somewhere ;),

    Mal.

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Yeah Im also skeptical when they say only 40 cuppas, but he says it was a machine used for demos in the showroom, so ok whatever.

    Is it a constant hassle to do a cooling flush? or do you just get used to it because its something that all HX machines need to do to get the right temp?

    Cheers,
    Zach

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Almost all esp machines be they commercial / semi-commercial type machines or domestic machines ( thermoblock OR domestic boiler) require purging before you apply the group handle loaded with grinds to make coffee.

    The look / sound of the flow of water during the purge tells you whether it is overheated or not and therefore whether you need to keep purging a little longer, when it can technically be defined as a "cooling flush"....

    So, I would say everything needs to be purged even if only for a short time, to see if a cooling flush is indeed required or not. So, even if you bought a smaller domestic, you will require a cooling flush.

    With regard to your questions re the "demo" machine.

    If the price is basically down to a similar level to a new silvia, and it looks good and works well on demo, realistically you would be mad to buy a silvia.

    But regarding the word "demo"...let there be no mistake, from what you have said so far you would be buying a USED or SECONDHAND mahcine. If it were a genuine demo machine, you would be paying not much less than new price, it would be say not much older than say a couple of months or more, it should look brand new, and you would get the FULL importer guarantee.

    That said I will repeat, if this second hand machine looks good and works properly without fuss, and the price is almost down to new silvia level, and its all legit, you would be mad to buy the silvia. You need only worry about asking the vendor to convert it back to tank operation of that is what you want.

    There is one more thing...... if it is the older version that did NOT employ the E61 group, I think I would rather take the silvia as the early san marino/astoria/wega "compact" clones had well known "service difficulties".

    Please note, advice given only on the basis of the informaion you have supplied here.

    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    OK Im going to fire up this thread again rather than starting a new one because my question is similar yet slightly different.

    Some weeks ago I was deciding between a San Marino Compact CK and a Silvia and ended up going with the Silvia. During the discussions it was mentioned the Mini Nova was pretty similar to the SMCK but having seen photos there appear to be a number of differences.

    My Silvias still on its way to me which is WAY too early for upgraditis to set in, but I know of a Wega Mini Nova Inox (the new full S/S model) for sale thats apparently hardly been used and has E-61 group, rotary pump and 2l boiler. So Im wondering if the concerns about the San Marino machines apply equally to the Wega Mini Novas? And for those who have them, how have you found them reliability-wise and the availability / necessity of parts?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Yo Greg,

    A member on Coffeegeek had a Wega, you should contact him about his ownership experience. Check your pms.

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    Re: Used Wega mininova vs New Silvia

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    The group on the mininova is an e61. If the san marino group was just that piece of metal bolted onto the boiler, I would expect them to perform differently. The Wega would perform more like the popular prosumer machines. I found the wega polaris steam tip to be great, but some people have not liked the mininova steam tip. Whether they are the same is not something that I know!

    Cheers,

    Luca



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