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Thread: Newbie - advice on machine upgrade for home

  1. #1
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    Smile Newbie - advice on machine upgrade for home

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All.

    I would appreciate some advice please. I am looking at upgrading my home machine and am either looking at a new or reconditioned secondhand one (preferably only 12 months old)
    The machine I would like is a La Marzocco Gs3, as I am sure lots of us would like (just can't justify the price)

    so here is my list.
    Expobar megacrem
    ECM Technica
    Wega Polaris / Atlas

    any advice would be appreciated
    Phil

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    Hi Phil,

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs! I think people would be able to help you better if you gave a budget for what you are willing to spend. It would also be good more specifically what your requirements are(i.e. plumbed in, power etc.) and to know if you are willing to have other machines suggested to you.

    Cheers,

    Dave

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    thanks Dave good point.

    wish list:

    rotary pump but not essential
    15 amp power
    dual boiler
    single or 2 group heads
    would prefer volumetric
    initially not plumbed but maybe later on (after kitchen reno)
    looking at budget of $3000 can be second hand (obviously at this price range) but not too old would prefer max of 3 years old.

    cheers
    Phil

  4. #4
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    I'm assuming you've seen the Rocket R58 in the classifieds section at the moment?

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...ocket-r58.html

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    chokkidog and TC like this.

  6. #6
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    La Spaziale mini Vivaldi II | Talk Coffee

    Doesn't tick all the boxes, but definitely worth looking at.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Here's another one for you to check out
    Alex Duetto ll - For Sale
    It would also help to let everyone know where you are located for postage reasons.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the links so far. Also looking at the Dalla Corte Mini - looks like a very solid machine albeit not the most attractive :-(
    Located in Tassie as far as postage goes.

  9. #9
    dmo
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    My advice, as someone who recently upgraded, would be to seriously consider getting something plumbable. It's not hard to plumb a machine in, and especially so if you are planning a kitchen reno anyway. It is really great to not have to worry about refilling the tank and emptying the drip tray. It is almost my favourite feature of my new machine (behind improved espresso quality).

    David

  10. #10
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilWebb View Post
    Thanks for all the links so far. Also looking at the Dalla Corte Mini - looks like a very solid machine albeit not the most attractive :-(
    Located in Tassie as far as postage goes.
    Don't get too hung up on portafilter size, but you do realize the DC Mini is only fitted with a 53mm PF.

  11. #11
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    Yes I was aware of that thanks LeroyC

    Yep that is a nice feature David, the Super Mini DC is the plumbed in model
    And it also has the rotary pump. Will have to check but I would think you could use it without hard plumbing it in (until the renos are done that is) it's a bit larger and a bigger price tag as well. So many choices.

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    PhilWeb,
    Mains pressure is not necessary for plumbed in machines ,as long as the water supply is available and one way valve inline and operational.
    My commercial machine (LaCimbali) has been banished out the back door,I reckon it's the perfect position, have the sink with water supply however,the water connection is to my rain water tank,not the usual mains connection, saves with calcium free and exceptionally clean/fresh water ,also through a first flush prefilter system.
    Have you considered similar arrangement ?
    cheers,
    mick.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    G'day again Phil,
    I was just wondering if there any reason that you only want a double boiler machine as opposed to a heat exchange (HX) type?
    Good luck in your search.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mulquemi View Post
    PhilWeb,
    Mains pressure is not necessary for plumbed in machines ,as long as the water supply is available and one way valve inline and operational.
    My commercial machine (LaCimbali) has been banished out the back door,I reckon it's the perfect position, have the sink with water supply however,the water connection is to my rain water tank,not the usual mains connection, saves with calcium free and exceptionally clean/fresh water ,also through a first flush prefilter system.
    Have you considered similar arrangement ?
    cheers,
    mick.
    Hi Mick.

    We are on tank water anyway, good point about the one way valve. I did not think of that. Where my current machine is, it's nowhere near a water supply so I was thinking about just getting a larger tank and using it that way ( easier to fill and when you need to do lots you will have a larger supply of water) same with the drip tray.

    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey View Post
    G'day again Phil,
    I was just wondering if there any reason that you only want a double boiler machine as opposed to a heat exchange (HX) type?
    Good luck in your search.
    I currently have a single boiler machine so going double boiler this time.
    As far as HX machines go, I just prefer boilers as they are not made of Alluminium as HX blocks seem to be. Also I think the heating of the boilers is simpler. Not that I have pulled any machines apart to confirm this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilWebb View Post
    As far as HX machines go, I just prefer boilers as they are not made of Alluminium as HX blocks seem to be. Also I think the heating of the boilers is simpler. Not that I have pulled any machines apart to confirm this.
    Are you perhaps confusing HX machines and thermoblock machines? I'm not aware of any HX machines off hand using Aluminium HX/Boiler setups, I'm sure they exist but IME most of them are brass/copper or stainless steel.

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    Newbie - advice on machine upgrade for home

    Oops yes I think I maybe embarrassed look
    But a double boiler will allow me to turn off the steam boiler if required.

  18. #18
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Not all double boiler machines will allow you to switch off the steam boiler. My Expobar Minore II is a double-boiler but does not have a dedicated switch for this purpose, so be aware of the model you are looking into.

    Brett.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    What machine are you running at the moment? Is the ability to turn off the steam boiler the main reason that you would prefer a DB over a HX? Do you often have times where you only need the brew boiler and not the steam boiler? What is the type of drink you mainly prepare, espresso shots or milk drinks? If you're doing mainly shots, a DB or HX may not be necessary and you can get away with a temperature stable single boiler machine. If you do prepare a lot of milk based coffees, then you're not going to want or need the steam boiler off for long periods of time.
    Sorry for the Spanish inquisition but the more info you can give us, the easier it will be for the correct advice to be given.
    All the best,
    Steve.

  20. #20
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    Newbie - advice on machine upgrade for home

    Hi Brett, yep aware of this. Currently looking at Rocket R58, Izzo duetto 3 and vmb super double boiler 2

  21. #21
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    Hi Steve
    No problem with the questions.
    My current machine is a Silvia single boiler. She has been a great machine over the years but time to upgrade. We generally do a combination of both milk and non milk drinks.
    This is not necessarily a must have feature but can't hurt if it's there. I know there is a lot of debate over HX (not to get confused with TB embarrassed look again) and DB heating systems as to consistency etc. but I like the idea of having 2 separate boilers with separate heating elements it seems to make sense to me. Obviously they must have any issues well sorted otherwise no one would buy them.
    I have shortlisted 3 machines that appeal to me.
    R58
    Izzo duetto 3
    Vmd super double boiler

  22. #22
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    All good Phil,
    I've copied and slightly modified another post of mine which I think fits well here as well.

    I'll preface my post by saying that I have no experience with any of these machines, but they're all very capable, high quality machines.
    If you have definitely settled on one of these, I would highly recommend that you have a play with them, even better if you can do it side by side.
    At this upper end of the spendy spectrum, you'll find the differences in certain functions, ergonomics and functionality to be minor at best. Having said that, a minor difference can be the difference between 'loving' and 'putting up with' a machine.
    You might find that a switch action on one machine really irks you, or the way the lever operates may be different on each machine. These tiny things can be deal breakers and unless you've tried each one, you'll never really know how irksome a certain function of a machine is until after you've spent your hard earned and it's sitting on your bench.
    Sorry I couldn't offer you any advice on the machines you've mentioned, but hopefully this can help in some small way.

    Good luck with your decision Phil, I know you'll enjoy the outcome either way.
    Steve.

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    Many thanks Steve,
    Unfortunately being on Tassie I am restricted to hands on with a lot of machines.

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    Newbie - advice on machine upgrade for home

    I would like to thank everyone who has given advice, I have just ordered my New Rocket R58. Now can't wait for it to arrive.
    A very special thanks to Chris from Talk Coffee for all his help and advice.
    Dimal, Lovey, TC and 1 others like this.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Congratulations Phil,
    you couldn't go wrong with any of those machines you had on your short list, all top notch units.
    I take it from your post that you ordered your machine from Chris at Talk Coffee? If so, you can't go wrong there either, Chris gives great advice and his service is top notch too.
    All the best,
    Steve.
    Dimal and TC like this.

  26. #26
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    Newbie - advice on machine upgrade for home

    Thanks Steve, it almost came down to a coin toss. Problem now days is there is so much information available when trying to select a product, the choice is not always easy.

    It's almost a matter of near enough is good enough. Otherwise it will just end up doing everyone's head in.

    The choice was a no brainer as to where to purchase from, very helpful and a very well respected member of this forum community.
    Next time I am on the Big Island it will be good to call in and have a face to face.

    Thanks again
    Phil
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  27. #27
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilWebb View Post
    Next time I am on the Big Island it will be good to call in and have a face to face.

    Thanks again
    Phil
    Face to face is the best!

    Thanks for your support Phil. We don't take it for granted.

    I hope your new machine gives you much pleasure. I'm looking at it all wrapped up on its skid awaiting the courier on Monday. Won't be long now.

    Chris
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