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  • Back on the upgrade bandwagon

    So about a year ago I posted a thread about upgrading from my V3 Silvia to either a BDB or NS Oscar. After thinking it through I kind of felt that it was silly to buy something just to feel like upgrading again relatively soon down the track....so I waited.

    Now I'm looking at E61, HX machines around $2,000 preferably with a small footprint as I don't have a massive kitchen.

    My short list looks like:

    VBM Domobar Junior
    Expobar Office Leva
    Rocket Giotto Premium V1 or V2 (pre-loved)

    Now I know the Rocket is a far bigger machine than either the VBM or Expobar but is it significantly better? Pre-loved the price is similar to these two when new.

    How does the VBM compare to the Expobar? If I was to be honest I'm probably leaning toward the VBM as it has the smallest footprint, quite similar to the Silvia.

    I know there are a number of other options like the Isomac Tea Duo but the three options above seem like very popular choices with great support and feedback.

  • #2
    Why not get a new ECM Barista?

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    • #3
      To be honest I hadn't really looked at the ECM gear until after posting this because I wasn't very familiar with the brand.....the ECM Barista and Mechnika seem like great value!

      Mind you it is nearly the same size as a Giotto.

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      • #4
        Hi Nabsie, owned a Junior, now own a Evo. Coffee result is basically the same such as a Hyundai & and a Merc will both get you to the supermarket. If foot print is the main consideration go with the Junior. If that is only part of the criteria then the Rocket wins on build quality and attention to detail. Either machine will be excellent. Enjoy

        STeve

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        • #5
          One small point that might be worth making for the VBM Domobar Junior...

          At one point I was looking for a HX machine with the smallest footprint I could get because of my kitchen layout. The junior is definitely up there in that regard (height width depth).
          However, keep in mind that although the machine body may be narrower than most, the steam and hot water wands overhang the sides of the machine.
          When I looked at it I figured I'd have to allow some room for the wands anyway, and hence became less concerned with the footprint requirement and more with functionality / aesthetics.

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          • #6
            Thanks chonski, not something I had thought about. with the Domobar wands mounted on a 45degree angle it would be interesting to see how this is in terms of mess etc and not being able to get the hot water in to the drip tray.

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            • #7
              Yes very good point. My main issue back then was going from a Sunbeam to "a monstrous stainless box". The junior has a smaller/est foot print but does require extra usable space............as all machines do but as far as "apperance" it has a higher level of WAF. I actually find my evo to be more messy due to the fact of the short drip tray.

              Steve

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              • #8
                No one mentioned a Diadema Junior or a Unico Splendor? Well please allow me to be the first!

                Plenty of people in here have them at home including me (I have a Splendor).

                Great machines, Splendor has a small footprint for the type of machine.

                Talk Coffee was doing specials on them last I knew, and we are not adverse to selling them ourselves.

                Standard of finish is on par with Giotto, better than the others you mentioned. Standard of design and build internally is better than all and before anyone jumps in to defend their fave brand, please remove the body from all and compare one on one and see what you think.

                I am working on a deal right now to resell in brisbane, so will be able to refer you to someone local where these can be viewed in the flesh.

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                • #9
                  so?

                  where is the happy ending?

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                  • #10
                    hahaha, it's coming.

                    I went and looked at a few machines on the weekend so it was good to see some of these machines with my own eyes. There isn't a huge amount of options local to me in Brisbane so the range was limited.

                    I looked at:

                    VBM Domobar Junior
                    Bezzera BZ10
                    ECM Barista
                    La Nuova Cudra
                    Rocket Giotto Premium Plus V1

                    I dont know if it was just this Rocket that I looked at but I wasn't impressed by the quality. The steam and water valves felt terrible. It was like they were really loose and would have leaked. This machine wasn't on though.

                    Out of these I probably liked the VBM most, followed by the ECM. The Bezzera was also nice but the lever for steam was just a strange sensation coming from using knobs.

                    I would like to see the Expobar with my own eyes before deciding but this requires some travel and it has to be during the week.

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                    • #11
                      Im sure you are aware, but the BZ10 does not use an E61 group.
                      Its a proprietary Bezzera heated group, with electronic ( push button) brew valve operation.
                      ... But still a very nice, compact , HX, m/c

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                      • #12
                        well you narrowed it down from 5 to 3

                        getting somewhere anyway, smart to take your time a really check them all out.

                        My friend has the big Quick mill Lever,

                        I see Quick mill have E61 HX too, are they any good?

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                        • #13
                          Yep, aware BZ10 isn't E61, it was just there so i had a look at it.

                          Still solid on my previous list of VBM and Expobar.

                          The Diadema Unico interests me that fresh_coffee was talking about....kinda like that retro look it has going on and they have a great reputation. So if there is a Brisbane rep I would totally check it out too.

                          The only thing that does turn me off the Diadema is the portafilter handle...it looks a little plasticky but this might not be the case in the flesh.
                          Last edited by nabsie; 11 March 2013, 06:20 PM. Reason: Spelling

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                          • #14
                            Back on the upgrade bandwagon

                            I have the BZ07 PID which has the same footprint as the BZ10.

                            It's ideal in small kitchens and is one heck of a performer - the heated group is so effective that the one time I had a problem that caused the boiler to not heat up I barely noticed anything wrong until I went to texture the milk.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nabsie View Post
                              Yep, aware BZ10 isn't E61, it was just there so i had a look at it.

                              Still solid on my previous list of VBM and Expobar.

                              The Diadema Unico interests me that fresh_coffee was talking about....kinda like that retro look it has going on and they have a great reputation. So if there is a Brisbane rep I would totally check it out too.

                              The only thing that does turn me off the Diadema is the portafilter handle...it looks a little plasticky but this might not be the case in the flesh.
                              I have the Diadema Reale (same guts as splendor - but a bit wider in the body - but looks sooo sweet :-) and it is a superb machine. Awesome build quality (I was looking at a VBM too originally). Almost 4 years old now, used 2-3 times a day and not a hiccup (touch wood). Well worth looking seriously at :-)
                              Happy hunting!
                              Matt

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