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First time machine. Nuova Simonelli Oscar or e61 Grouphead Machine?

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  • First time machine. Nuova Simonelli Oscar or e61 Grouphead Machine?

    Hi there,

    I’m currently in the market to buy a first time machine and after some light research I have found myself with a question and unable to find the answer. Hence my post here .
    My budget is around the $1000 mark, I would like a heat exchanger or a double boiler machine as both myself and my fiancee like milk in our coffee.
    These requirements have guided me towards the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, I’m aware it’s not the prettiest machine on the market but it’s feature set for its price is pretty appealing.
    My only concern is that it is not a e61 grouphead, which seems to be pretty important when looking at more ‘prosumer’ machines.
    Should I be prioritising an e61 grouphead and just get a single boiler to keep in budget or would the 58mm ‘commercial’ grouphead on the Oscar be fine?
    And if anyone has any other suggestions that meet my criteria and budget please don’t hesitate to offer!
    Thanks for your time!

  • #2
    Having previously owned the NS Oscar, and several HX machines, I see no disadvantage in the Oscar not having an E61 head. The Oscar's performance, function and durability is similar to what you could expect from E61. One distinct advantage of the Oscar over similarly priced E61's is its steaming ability. It punches well above its weight in that regard. Overall, I believe the Oscar would give you as much bang for your buck as anything else you could consider. Naturally this is also dependant on using a good quality grinder and fresh beans. (You may also find it frustrating to have to wait for a single boiler to come up to steam if you decide on that path).
    Last edited by trevorez; 13 April 2014, 07:11 PM. Reason: typo

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    • #3
      I looked heavily at the Oscar when looking for my new machine,
      but things that turned me off were the controls.
      Plus I really wanted a dual boiler machine. Enter the Lelit PL60T,
      simple (nothing programmable)
      Solid on/off switches
      Programmable PID temp control.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Robbks View Post
        ...... Enter the Lelit PL60T, .
        Maybe you didnt see the OP's budget.. ???

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        • #5
          Around $1000.
          Exactly what I paid for mine

          RRP does not equal Sale Price

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          • #6
            Having owned an Oscar, 2 e61 HXs and an e61 DB, I would recommend avoiding the Oscar - if you can.
            Reasons:
            - The plastic is tacky, less durable and prone to crack and fade. Not as long lasting as stainless.
            - The e61 group head is far superior in my experience. It is more temperature stable, easier to clean, more forgiving, easier to service.
            - e61 is easier to mod to reduce group temperature. I have bought all (expect the DB) second hand. None had thermosyphon restrictors, so I installed them one each. On the oscar, it involved sourcing the Muscia restrictors, then tapping a thread into the in and out holes on the group. Even having done this, the machine still coughed more steam than when I did it on the e61s. The e61s were far easier to do this mod.
            - Also on brew temp, the HX doesn't seem to be designed as well as others. I think this is why it still wasn't as temp stable once the restrictors were put in.
            (No I don't have a scace, so no I didn't measure, but i did observe a lot and taste a lot, and the Isomac Millenium i upgraded to after the Oscar was way easier to work with once restrictors were installed. Which was a much easier job too)
            - The steam tip is difficult to work with. Yes it has more powerful steam than lots of e61 HXs, but that's cause the tip holes are big. This means the steam runs out quicker than on other HX machines. This means changing the tip or plugging the holes. This gives it the same steaming ability as other HXs, but most of the others come with more appropriately sized holes in the steam tip.
            - No OPV on the oscar. This means your brew pressure is running at ~13 bar, with no way to change it, unless you install an OPV which is a big job. I know because I did it.
            - Electronic 3 way valve. If it fails, you're up for a new one at over $100. e61s have a mechanical 3way valve, if it fails, replace some rubber seals.
            - No steam pressure gauge. Not a biggy, but you have no idea what pressure you're boiler is running at, what top and bottom of the cycle is, and how you're pressurestat is performing. I installed a gauge on mine, but only because I found an old ECM Giotto one, otherwise prepare to pay $100 for one designed to work on a coffee machine, and change plumbing to install it. Another hassle.

            Bottom line. If it were my $1000, I would but a second hand Tea, Domobar Junoir, etc for around $1000 (keep your eye out, they do come up) than an Oscar. If you must buy new, then you don't really have much choice, except for the Breville DB. I haven't owned one, but think I would swing that way over the Oscar too.
            I think.

            Good luck

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            • #7
              Or the Lelit PL60T, although I hate the way they name their gear.

              PL60T sounds like it should be on the Periodic Table

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              • #8
                Forgot. Another reason to avoid the Oscar:
                - No Anti-Vac Valve. This means leave the steam tap open when you turn it on, then when you hear steam 5 or so minutes later, run back to the machine and close the steam arm. Or turn it on and leave it, then come open the steam arm and wait another 10 mins for it to come to pressure. Again you can modify and add one, but it's a hassle.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robbks View Post
                  Around $1000.
                  Exactly what I paid for mine

                  RRP does not equal Sale Price
                  You were a lucky man then !
                  I assume that was not recently, and probably a "close out" sale as the machine is now listed at $1999 .....JB sale price !

                  PS.. I would agree with Bames. look for a "pre loved" E61 HX. They are much better value and more solid/satisfying to use.

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                  • #10
                    under 12 months ago from JB
                    Actually the new PL60T V2.
                    Although it was pre-loved, but hardly. all the internals were sparkling clean.

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                    • #11
                      Wow !... less than half price for a latest spec m/c ( pre loved) from a reputable retailer. ! ..Deal of the year i would say .
                      That is exactly the sort of opportunity the OP should be looking for.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bames View Post
                        Or the Lelit PL60T, although I hate the way they name their gear.

                        PL60T sounds like it should be on the Periodic Table
                        Couldn't agree more But now you can call it the Lelit Diana. Not sure if that's better ...?

                        charlie

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
                          Couldn't agree more But now you can call it the Lelit Diana. Not sure if that's better ...?

                          charlie
                          Eh - it's a bit better charlie, doesn't quite have the same flair as "Giotto" or "Silvia" though.

                          At least it's better than "Alex" Such a lame name for such a brilliant machine. Might as well have called it "John".

                          (Sorry to anyone named Alex )

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                          • #14
                            Just saw they named one of their grinders "Fred"

                            Nice...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bames View Post
                              Eh - it's a bit better charlie, doesn't quite have the same flair as "Giotto" or "Silvia" though.

                              At least it's better than "Alex" Such a lame name for such a brilliant machine. Might as well have called it "John".

                              (Sorry to anyone named Alex )
                              Might be good for you to attend a trade show and direct your comments in person to Mr Alex Izzo. How do you feel about Ferdinand Porsche??

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