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Why is the Silvia so popular?

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  • Why is the Silvia so popular?

    I was searching for posts on other single boiler machines. In the $500-$1500 section, and in all sections.

    Interesting stats:

    (Machine: Results in $500-$1500 Section /Results in all Sections)
    Venus: 4/9
    Boticelli: 2/2 (misspelt)
    Botticelli: 3/12
    Zaffiro: 1/1

    The Silvia has hordes of topics. No real stats on Silvia posts since the return result limit is 15. I dont believe the other machines to be less reliable. I own a Venus myself. Which I think is a slightly nicer machine and totally looks better.

    Is it the price? Is the Silvia easier to mod? What is it? :-?

  • #2
    Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

    Well, I think that there are a few reasons. First, it has a relatively well established distribution network. Second, it has a MASSIVE fan base all over the internet, with heaps of literature available. Third, the hordes of silvias out there seem to be relatively reliable, and when something goes wrong its usually a pretty easy fix. Fourth, it has the pedigree of a commercial machine manufacturer producing it and a commercial group head (although it is interesting that the commercial rancilio machines with the silvia group arent well-regarded). Fifth, it is one of the cheapest machines which can take commercial baskets.

    I think that there are HEAPS of machines and grinders out there that are really much more reputation than substance. The silvia is probably one of the more deserving, IMHO. But there are definitely other worthy considerations out there.

    Personally, I agree that the Venus looks nicer and I presume that the boiler-on-group design would make it a much more sensible machine to PID than the Silvia (although I defer to sparkman on how well suited the plumbing inside the boiler is).

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    • #3
      Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

      Availability would be a good start. it seems that everyone who sells domestic/prosumer coffee equipment stock them. Also they have been around virtually unchanged for a very long time, so the collective buildup of information is pretty big.

      They are the cheapest true espresso machine on the market that is built to last. Ie lots of brass, and simple electronics.
      I think the fact that they can pull a comparable quality shot of espresso to the HX machines sitting next to them for 1/3 the price. means that many people looking to buy a coffee machine find it hard to justify spending more.

      They are by no means a perfect machine. To be honest you really have to wonder why Rancillio still dont put a more accurate themostat in, and ship them with the OPV at 9 bars. simple but would improve the machine out of the box at almost no extra cost. a better cup warming tray would be nice but im guessing would bump up the price.

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      • #4
        Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

        luca beat me too it

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        • #5
          Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

          Originally posted by muppet_man67 link=1182002803/0#2 date=1182004374
          ..... To be honest you really have to wonder why Rancillio still dont put a more accurate themostat in, and ship them with the OPV at 9 bars. simple but would improve the machine out of the box at almost no extra cost. a better cup warming tray would be nice but im guessing would bump up the price.
          They do ship them at 9 bar and have for quite some time...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

            Originally posted by luca link=1182002803/0#1 date=1182004279
            Personally, I agree that the Venus looks nicer
            I think this makes the Silvia fanbase especially strange. In many other "geek" communities, there typically isnt a fanbase around the "low end" gear and looks are important.

            I guess modding possibilities have won?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

              Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1182002803/0#4 date=1182018840
              Originally posted by muppet_man67 link=1182002803/0#2 date=1182004374
              ..... To be honest you really have to wonder why Rancillio still dont put a more accurate themostat in, and ship them with the OPV at 9 bars. simple but would improve the machine out of the box at almost no extra cost. a better cup warming tray would be nice but im guessing would bump up the price.
              They do ship them at 9 bar and have for quite some time...
              my badf :-[ any way of identifying them?

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              • #8
                Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

                Too bad you dont have a cool retro pressure gauge at the front of your machine :P

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

                  Yo muppet_man. Your work has a portafilter pressure guage. Not sure if it will fit the Silvia though?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?


                    I believe the Silvia was made iconic by the a.c community, especially after Greg Scace did the first real temperature measurements and then came the PID mod. The improvement to the operation of the machine was dramatic. Basically a few tinkerers got their mits into the Silvia and with the aid of the internet, its developed a huge fan base.

                    Its a solid well built and reliable machine.

                    IMO the Isomac Venus is a very nice looking machine and very worthy of a PID mod as well. Isomac isnt as well supported here in Australia, so youll not find too many reviews. Also when people go to buy a machine in this category, all the web info quite plainly points them to the Silvia. Very few rivals have made a significant dent into this market. So its not really a case that Silvia is the best, its more marketing momentum.

                    Cheers,

                    Mark.

                    BTW, there are a few reviews on the VBM Domobar, which is equivalent to the Isomac Zaffiro. These are available here in Australia and probably represent the top end of the single (dual purpose) boiler machines (retailing for about $1000 for the nero model).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why is the Silvia so popular?

                      Im a plumber by trade & Knowing that the boiler is quality brass with copper pipes,& the sheer weight of the machine,simple solid switches,
                      Having experience with these materials & see the way Silvia is put together
                      virtually sold me on the machine.
                      When the nearest competitor (in price)Sunbeam 6910 looks solid but under the hood is a bit messy for my liking (sorry dont want to offend anyone as its a great machine) But aluminium thermoblocks even lined with s/steel don,t feel sturdy enough for me ,In this age of plastic pipes & casings I guess I like the old style, like comparing a Torana With a modern holden
                      The Silvia is built to last.
                      Cheers,
                      Brett

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