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  • Upgrade from Silvia, help please

    Hi All CSers
    I have been a long time reader of the forums but not posted before, a forum virgin,  you might say.
    I am looking to upgrade from a PIDed Sylvia to an Expobar Minore III or Giotto Rocket. Sylvia is 5 years old, and usually makes great  coffees for myself and wife, but it is a pain to make multiples when friends and family come over.  A couple of questions to consider please :
    1. How significant is the PID control of the Expobar over the Giotto?  Would I need to pimp the Giotto?

    2. Should I be considering any other machines in this range?

    3. I have two sons wanting to buy Sylvia from me. I would like your opinion on what would be a fair price for Sylvia. Then I have to decide who gets the nod, have to toss a coin I suppose!

    Regards
    Brian

  • #2
    Re: Upgrade from Sylvia, help please

    Hi Brian,
    I went from an unPIDed Silvia to a Izzo Alex duetto (dual PIDS). I love the reproducibility of shots with no need to temp surf or run cooling flushes. In the end it was the build quality that sold me on the Alex.

    The Silvia, now ten years old, and having produced about four coffees every day is now in retirement at our weekender and still producing great coffee. Only failure in all that time was a failed brew thermostat.

    I did find some great reviews of machines at Bella Barista in the UK

    Hope this helps

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

      Its a Silvia Brian- dont jinx the next owner ;D

      You have chosen 2 good machines to short-list, but I wonder why just these two? There are plenty of other very well built machines which will work with you to provide excellent results.

      As previous posters have mentioned, the Alex Duetto takes dual boiler PID to the next level (albeit at a different price point). The Giotto is one of the best sellers in this class (our best seller) and has a legion of happy owners as well.

      My advice is choose a top three and then if you like, give me a buzz and Ill tell you what I dislike about each of them

      Good luck.

      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

        Hi PP. If your only gripe with the Silvia is that its too slow when entertaining, then you are certainly taking the right path by upgrading to a HX or double boiler machine.

        I have a VBM Domobar Junior which is at the smaller end of the HX scale and I have never found myself wanting for more juice when entertaining. The only limiting factor is not the machine but the knucklehead holding the group handle.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

          Hi Brian,

          Gift the Silvia to 1 son, the grinder to the other as birthday presents. Problem solved.
          You can then start with clean slate.  Upgrade to a HX/double boiler plus matching grinder  

          Am loving my new VBM Jr

          cheers,
          chewy

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

            Thanks for the replys so far folks.

            Chriss idea of a top 3 is a good one, difficult for me to narrow down the field, but the VBM Jnr would be a good contender.
            I wonder if other CSers might provide their top 3 machines, in this range, as a guide?

            Also apologies to Silvia, and her siblings, for misspelling her name  :-[

            Brian


            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

              Along with Brians query and taking into account his initial 2 machines,

              could anyone shed light on dual boiler vs HX in the same price category, pros and cons of each?

              I have always wondered about that aspect as well.

              Chris

              ...pretty much in the market as well if I would only admit it to myself... :

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

                Originally posted by 2E263E34294D0 link=1295345410/6#6 date=1295418219
                Along with Brians query and taking into account his initial 2 machines,

                could anyone shed light on dual boiler vs HX in the same price category, pros and cons of each?

                I have always wondered about that aspect as well.

                Chris

                ...pretty much in the market as well if I would only admit it to myself... :
                Doable Chris, but to do it justice would probably require more like 5000 words

                In a nutshell, good HX machines are set for espresso and will work really well with good fresh beans.

                Occasionally, you get a funky coffee (too light, too dark) or just the some of the typical sour, tea-like acidic underroasted stuff that some of the popular names seem to produce these days. This stuff while great for pourover etc, is often horrible through an espresso machine- or it is to my palate anyway :

                The ability to tweak temperature a degree or two can sometimes produce a better result with less than wonderful beans. It may just turn that decidedly average coffee into something drinkable (assuming all the other planets of dose, grind etc. align). If you want to play with temperature, dual boiler is usually the way to go.

                That said, I reckon perhaps 80% who buy a dual boiler machine rarely touch temperature.

                Chris

                Chris

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                • #9
                  Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

                  Thanks mate

                  Appreciate your excellent response and really helps with the myriad of possibilities.

                  ...most of which are doing my head in... :-/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

                    Originally posted by 63565B5C68745851515252370 link=1295345410/7#7 date=1295418885
                    The ability to tweak temperature a degree or two can sometimes produce a better result with less than wonderful beans. It may just turn that decidedly average coffee into something drinkable (assuming all the other planets of dose, grind etc. align). If you want to play with temperature, dual boiler is usually the way to go.

                    That said, I reckon perhaps 80% who buy a dual boiler machine rarely touch temperature.

                    Chris

                    Chris  
                    I agree with chris as per twin boiler if you dont like changing things your better off with HX me personally I use my PID up and down for difference types of beans a few degrease ether way can make a big difference in the cup and helps with consistence..  

                    Cheers  Gra..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

                      I dug up this old thread which sheds some light on the HX v Double boiler discussion

                      http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1185186362

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

                        Nice one CJ, thanks.

                        All in all that just ratifies what Chris said earlier about temp adjustment.

                        It also confirmed my thoughts on too many parts and the KISS principle.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Upgrade from Silvia, help please

                          Hi Brian
                          I have a Silvia with PID. Upgraded to a La Scala Butterfly (2nd hand). Currently the La Scala is on the bench with a faulty relay, so the Silvia has been called up for duty (I didnt sell it to either of my sons!)

                          In using the Sylvia again I was surprised at how big the difference is. I am sure that you will be happy with any of the good HX machines.

                          The Silvia has only two features I miss - the small footprint and quick warm up time. But I cant wait to get the Big Un back into service.

                          Good luck - there is no cure for upgraditis.

                          Spencer.

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