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Need advise on best $3-4k machine.

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  • Need advise on best $3-4k machine.

    Hello fellow coffee enthusiasts... I am on the path to finding myself a replacement for my beloved Silvia. I can honestly say that I have mastered Miss Silvia and can consistently pull outstanding shots albeit with a little temp surfing to keep the boiler at a more tolerable temp. Miss Silvia is starting to get a bit tired and after replacing the boiler 3 times, 2 pumps and many other small components, the chassis it's self is starting to break down! Rust is the culprit! It's a v2 that has had allot of use over the years and I have certainly got my monies worth from her... At times we are going through 1kg of beans a week! Yes we drink allot of coffee and so do our visitors ;-)

    I am now ready to upgrade to a DBPID Espresso machine preferably with a rotary pump. So after some research and reading through CS members input on this forum, I have short listed some models;
    • Izzo Alex Duetto III
    • Diadema Junior Extra DB PID
    • Rocket R58 DB
    • Vibiemme Domobar Super DB
    • And for my wish list the ECM Controvento! (maybe one day ;-))

    Am I excluding HX machines unnecessarily and with the listed machines how tight are the differences? Are there any other DBPID machines I should also consider? I am after consistent super smooth espresso but also need to be able to
    crank out multiple milk based coffees with perfectly textured milk for latte art. Also is my Rancilio Rocky going to cut it or should it take the bench along with Miss Silvia?

    I would really appreciate this forums advise and feedback on what is really the best value for money in this price range keeping aesthetics aside. At the end of the day all of these machines are quite sexy in their own way :-P

    Many thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Hi Brett, welcome to CS!

    If I was doing a similar upgrade, the grinder would be included. I'd be looking at least a Macap M4D or Mazzer Mini. Maybe a Kompak K3 Push.

    But back to advice about machines..................... A PID Double Boiler or HX isn't really the big question, so long as the kit has the ability for temp recovery to cope with your required output then either is good. The better HX machines are very temp stable these days. I used to run an Isomac Mondiale at the vineyard and play barista at smoko for up to a dozen people.

    Performance was faultless.

    If you can I would advise you to get to a couple of resellers, where you can view and use a range of machines on your list and one or two that aren't. You might find that the various performance bandwidths are so small that it will come down to the secondary criteria and design elements, to sway your decision.

    I currently have an Alex Duetto II and am very happy with it.

    It performed brilliantly over a three day wedding celebration last year. (I have not experienced any trouble with steam/milk texture as some report. I'm convinced , as Chris @ Talk Coffee asserts, that it is a technique issue.... but I digress). I also am afflicted with permanent upgraditis so it's also not the last machine I will own ;-D.

    If you have the budget to encompass a wide range of candidate machines then it will most likely come down to a personal choice based on your 'hands on' interaction with the various options you have.


    • #3
      Welcome BrettN,

      You have a great shopping list there loaded with outstanding candidates.

      All will work brilliantly and the selection of machine will ultimately not be about espresso nor milk texture, rather nuances such as:
      • Aesthetics
      • Chassis in stainless or powdercoat?
      • Drip tray capacity
      • Cool touch wand or not?
      • Steam wand porting?
      • Ease of fill (if not plumbing in)
      • Whether you prefer on-machine or remotely operated PID interface?

      A think about these characteristics will deliver you a "winner".

      HX? Quite possibly. While many think they need all of the bells and whistles, a discussion of how you drink your coffee and what roasters you like (or how you roast) will provide the answer. If most of the output will be milk based, the DB machines are far less relevant and you are paying for complexity you may never require. Nevertheless some purchase Ferraris and then spend most of their time crawling in traffic...Ultimately, you need only justify your spend to yourself.

      Like chokki, I'd be recommending that you allow for at least a Compak K3P grinder so as not to compromise espresso quality but there are plenty of more expensive options- doser, doserless, analogue or electronic timers etc. Budget and personal preference will help choose the right grinder for you.

      If you're in Melbourne, the R58 and Izzo are both on demo and we also supply the VBM and Diadema machines on your short-list as well. All are brilliant espresso machines. We would of course be delighted to assist should you choose us. Lastly, it's a good time to buy. Rocket and Vibiemme will be increasing in price on 01 March. Current Izzo and Diadema stock has landed at at current Euro exchange rates and have already increased a little. Much of this Italian gear will ultimately have to move upwards by up to 20% dependent on how much of the increase can be absorbed by the importers.

      We also ship Australia wide as required.

      Happy shopping



      • #4
        Highly recommend Alex Duetto III from Chris @ talk_coffee!


        • #5
          I think Chris makes a very good point- it is the little things that will help you decide what will work best for you. For me, I needed a low total height to fit under a shelf above the kitchen bench, and was also keen to fit latte cups under the spouts without too much dicking around- the R58 fit the bill perfectly, and I have been very happy with it.

          And never discount aesthetics...

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          • #6
            Why deny the obvious child? Quickmill QM67 Double Boiler. Be sure to check it out before making your decision. I too have a ms Silvia (v3 with retrofit auber pid blue led! 1yr) and have already plotted out my next machine in a parallel dream world.. Looks great too- the machine.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Delish007 View Post
              Why deny the obvious child?
              Erm- because there is no obvious child. By comparing and contrasting the OP will then find the right child which may not necessarily be obvious.


              • #8
                Thank you all for your feedback so far. And Chris, thank you.. You have made some good points to consider. I paid a visit today to the guys at Cosmorex who were extremely helpful and full of sound advice. One of the important things I didn't consider was post sales support and service. If I do have an issue with my next machine I don't really want to ship it off interstate for any warranty repairs or servicing. 1 day with without being able to make coffee is 1 day too long.... Waiting for a machine to travel interstate is just unfathomable! Also being able to walk into the store and receive direct face to face support with the machine always on demo is a real bonus. Having dealt with the the guys at Cosmorex over the past few years I know they are mad keen and passionate about what they do...

                That being said... My short list immediately dropped off a couple of contenders which left two top machines in the running.... The Alex and the Diadema. So we got into the nitty gritty of both machines and what one had over the other. To be honest there wasn't much in it and aesthetically were both very appealing.... Then I read a sign, I took a double take!!! With ALL Diadema machines you get; 12 months of free coffee (12kg) from Cosmorex, Free Barista training and wait for it... Free K3 grinder

                Sounded too good to be true. The Diadema is already fitted with a rotary pump too as a factory fit requested by Cosmorex.

                Has my decision been ultimately made for me??...Already!?!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BrettN View Post
                  Has my decision been ultimately made for me??...Already!?!
                  Easy one Brett. Sounds like Attilio's crew have offered you a terrific deal.

                  Most sponsors have reciprocal arrangements in place for service in other major cities and Cosmorex acts as our Izzo agent in Canberra.

                  Both machines will work brilliantly so it comes down to the one you like. You live with a machine every day for a long time and look at it every day so it may as well be pleasing to the eye.

                  Enjoy- whichever way you go!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BrettN View Post

                    Has my decision been ultimately made for me??...Already!?!
                    Sounds like it! But for anyone else considering a DBPID machine, and because you mentioned the ECM Controvento, note that there is a new entry into the DBPID category which is basically the ECM Controvento with a more conventional body - the Profitec Pro 700.



                    • #11
                      Had a look, meh. Just expensive BES920's really :P

                      Come to think of it, you could line up 4 of them on a bench for that price and have awesome recovery time!

                      Seriously though, that Controvento is one sexy machine.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tanethomas View Post
                        Had a look, meh. Just expensive BES920's really :P

                        Come to think of it, you could line up 4 of them on a bench for that price and have awesome recovery time!
                        Yeah- then they'd just be a cheap Strada.

                        Sorta like a Tata is a cheap Ferrari...