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Thread: HX vs dual boiler

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    HX vs dual boiler

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have searched past posts on this topic but have not found anything helpful. I am getting the impression that an HX machine is better than a dual boiler for the under $3000 bracket. I am looking at Giotto/Vibiemme vs Expobar. What is the difference? apart from Expobar being cheaper. Does a dual boiler take longer to heat up? We are mainly looking for a machine to produce good microfoam for up to six cups. And hopefully a machine that will last us a long time. Hope you can help me decide.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Quote Originally Posted by MM link=1185186362/0#0 date=1185186362
    I have searched past posts on this topic but have not found anything helpful. I am getting the impression that an HX machine is better than a dual boiler for the under $3000 bracket. *I am looking at Giotto/Vibiemme vs Expobar. What is the difference? apart from Expobar being cheaper. Does a dual boiler take longer to heat up? We are mainly looking for a machine to produce good microfoam for up to six cups. And hopefully a machine that will last us a long time. Hope you can help me decide.
    Hi MM, I sell them all and have great deals on Giotto and VBM post Aroma....For steam grunt, VBM or pimped Giotto, then Giotto in standard form, then Minore...

    All are great, but subtly different...

    Id be delighted to discuss them with you...

    Chris

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    The MinoreII at Aroma was pulling better shots on average than the VBM with the same beans. Probably had to do with being better tuned to suit the blend being used. The big drawcard with the MinoreII is brewing temperature control.

    That being said, under different circumstances, where the VBM was tuned to suit the blend as well, it would have performed much better.

    However, there was no issue with steaming capability. I did take note that the knobs on the VBM seemed a bit small for my liking, and I dont have huge hands. The MinoreII didnt have too much trouble steaming either.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1185186362/0#2 date=1185188674
    The MinoreII at Aroma was pulling better shots on average than the VBM with the same beans. *Probably had to do with being better tuned to suit the blend being used. *The big drawcard with the MinoreII is brewing temperature control.

    That being said, under different circumstances, where the VBM was tuned to suit the blend as well, it would have performed much better.

    However, there was no issue with steaming capability. *I did take note that the knobs on the VBM seemed a bit small for my liking, and I dont have huge hands. *The MinoreII didnt have too much trouble steaming either.
    The Minore is a terrific machine- but complex...The more bits, the more to go wrong....They do work very well though *[smiley=thumbsup.gif]. In the not too distant future there will be a competitor which will take it right up to the Minore and will provide some VERY serious competition... *:-X

    For me though, gimme HX- simple, easy to repair and in good hands the real world results are great....

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Im all for semi-auto HX machines. Would be nice with the added bonus of brew temp and pressure control.

    After having a tinker, Im not really sold on E61. Maybe it grows on you, but I really prefer my traditional group sans pre-infusion.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Maybe I should be posting this in the next section down, the extreme machines.... but my Grimac is an off-the-shelf, no pmping, no electronic temperature control HX machine.

    And the extraction temperature profile is still amazingly flat. Unfortunately my multimeter temperature readout has no decimal places.

    But the temperature throughout the 30" stays either flat on 93 ..or flashes to 94 ever so briefly and then back to 93.

    The point is, when you have very good design and engineering as a starting point, you dont need expensive electronics to compensate for shortcomings.

    --Robusto


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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    I agree Robusto, good design is what its all about...

    Just to pick up on one point, I downsell the pimped Giotto as its a great machine out of the box. Pimping improves it a touch, but its by no means neccessary. All it does is decrease the cooling flush and allow a little higher boiler pressure.

    One of the bonuses is that with more time on the bench (2 hours), it ensures that every aspect of the machine is adjusted to ensure its perfect. Imagine it as somewhat like the process of blueprinting of a car engine.

    Chris

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    As I understand it --if indeed I do? ---2MCM, the Giotto was desgined and made to be top of its class, no compromises. Especially in style.

    Pimping the Giotto can only be the icing on an already considerable cake.

    Whereas the Minore tried to emulate the Giotto, with the added attraction of dual boilers and electronic control.

    But could only offer that package by cutting corners to come out at around the same price.

    I believe some of the Mark I problems have since been corrected in Mark II..

    --Robusto

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1185186362/0#7 date=1185194975
    As I understand it --if indeed I do? ---2MCM, the Giotto was desgined and made to be top of its class, no compromises. *Especially in style.

    Pimping the Giotto can only be the icing on an already considerable cake.

    Whereas the Minore tried to emulate the Giotto, with the added attraction of dual boilers and electronic control. *

    But could *only offer that package by *cutting corners to come out at around the same price.

    I believe some of the Mark I problems have since been corrected in Mark II..

    --Robusto
    Correct you are Robusto. There have been "issues" with a number of Minore II as well. Expobar Australia assure that these are in hand now so there is no reason to hold off on a new Minore. Our 240V varies between 220something and 250+ depending on where you are- as I understand things. Some electronics are not keen on that variation...

    What I like about the HX machines is the KISS principle. In simplicity comes reliability and good desgn ensures that they should do what they should. In my experience there have been very few issues with the Italian machines- all HX....Look under the bonnet, and you see mainly fresh air- 60s Holden style...

    On the other hand, lift the hood of a dual boiler and its a very different world. If you go for complexity, you need to be prepared that you may have to accept higher cost of ownership....We all know that ;)

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Thank you for your info. This clarifies many of my questions.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1185186362/0#7 date=1185194975
    Whereas the Minore tried to emulate the Giotto, with the added attraction of dual boilers and electronic control. *
    Not really. The Minore is a very workmanlike design without the bling looks of the Giotto but SLIGHTLY better ultimate temp control at a lower price.

    I believe that the Giotto is totally plumbed with copper tubing inside from the pump onwards while the Minore uses some plastic tubing in the pumped plumbing. Whether this makes any difference at all is highly debatable (with arguments favouring both approaches).

    At the end of the day, both are fine machines.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1185186362/0#10 date=1185241136
    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1185186362/0#7 date=1185194975
    Whereas the Minore tried to emulate the Giotto, with the added attraction of dual boilers and electronic control. *
    Not really. The Minore is a very workmanlike design without the bling looks of the Giotto but SLIGHTLY better ultimate temp control at a lower price.

    I believe that the Giotto is totally plumbed with copper tubing inside from the pump onwards while the Minore uses some plastic tubing in the pumped plumbing. Whether this makes any difference at all is highly debatable (with arguments favouring both approaches).

    At the end of the day, both are fine machines.
    To correct you Greg, the Giotto uses teflon tube around the pump as well. This is the norm and is done to decrease noise due to vibration.

    Chris

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Ah OK. That makes sense (I was wondering how they would isolate the vibrations).

    But the Minore uses more teflon tubing from all the pics Ive seen of the 2 (+ my inspection of its sibling the Leva). In any case, the mainly copper tubing used in the Sylvia is often touted as an advantage over the teflon tubing used in most other domestic machines but I think any advantage one way or the other is debatable.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1185186362/0#10 date=1185241136
    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1185186362/0#7 date=1185194975
    Whereas the Minore tried to emulate the Giotto, with the added attraction of dual boilers and electronic control. *
    Not really. The Minore is a very workmanlike design without the bling looks of the Giotto but SLIGHTLY better ultimate temp control at a lower price.

    I believe that the Giotto is totally plumbed with copper tubing inside from the pump onwards while the Minore uses some plastic tubing in the pumped plumbing. Whether this makes any difference at all is highly debatable (with arguments favouring both approaches).

    At the end of the day, both are fine machines.
    ????? *You begin by saying "not really" to my post , and then proceed to agree with what you *have just disagreed? * :-/

    -Robusto


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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Again, not really. I dont think the Minore targets the bling aspect of the Giotto.

    And I dont think the standard Giotto is notably different in performance to other e-61 HX machines - steaming differences between HX machines usually comes down to the steam tip supplied and in shot differences tend to be due to different baskets supplied.

    Ergonomics are a whole other area that can be debated.

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    Re: HX vs dual boiler

    Wow ... so much that could be said about this post, but Ill keep it brief:

    I have worked extensively on commercial dual boiler machines and chose to buy a HX machine for home. The difficult part in getting a multiple boiler machine to work as one expects it to seems to be in getting the right group head. Ill bet dollars to donuts that the group is one of the biggest contributors to the price of the LMs; they are not manufactured in quantities anywhere near all of the e61 style groups. So creating a dual-boiler machine with an e61 style group off the shelf seems like a bit of opportunistic marketing to me. Temperature is probably easier to make large changes in, though.

    If your reason for buying the Minore is to avoid the cooling flush routine I wouldnt bother. Firstly, the whole cooling flush routine is talked about at length on sites predominantly frequented by US posters, who seem to have been the victims of a marketplace full of poorly designed machines. In Australia, Expobar tweaked their machines to reduce the cooling flush a fair while ago, David Makin worked on getting his machines cooling flush basically eliminated early last year and ECM has more recently released hotrodded Giottos modified by their technician, the talented Peter Cairis. Secondly, the group used on the Expobar requires a heating flush of the same volume, if not more, than the HX machines. The difference is that an excessively long flush on the Minore shouldnt make too much of a difference, whereas an excessively long flush on most HX machines will drop the temperature a little bit further. I find this to be fantastic when dialing in a new blend, because I can get lower temperatures without fooling around with machine settings.

    Finally, I guess that I should really juxtapose the two competing factors here. First, there is the fact that there are real differences between most prosumer machines that affect the final cup. Differences in things that the vendor has control over, mainly boiler pressure, will also have an impact. These factors need to be contrasted sharply with the big picture; that once you get some decent equipment of any sort, what is in the cup is predominantly determined by you as a barista and by the coffee that you are using. This is probably why you often hear about people upgrading from sub-$1000 machines to the pointy end, but seldom, if ever, hear about people moving around within the pointy end. So what does all of that mean for you? Well, one possible way to make the decision would be to first find a vendor who will provide you with support. Then get them to demo the machine and taste the espresso that it produces. Make sure that you get to taste the same blend on another machine or two to give you a frame of reference. Get the machine that has the best support and makes the best espresso - thats the hard part. Any machine in this class will be able to do the milk part.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca



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