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  • Domobar jnr or Simonelli Musica

    Hi all, first post here. I'm finally upgrading from my 10yr old saeco auto machine. No barista experience but keen to learn the basics, what a great site to start with!. Anyway i'm trying to choose between the domobar junior and the simonelli musica, and for a grinder i suppose a compak k3 push looks good by all reviews. So all up budget is about 2.5k, seems to be the cheapest price for a quality hx. I drink flat whites and the wife too from 1 to 3 a day, might be open to shots eventually as i'm sure they will taste better than those from the saeco (not nice thats for sure).
    Am i missing other options in this price range? The more i look the more i increase the budget! Since making the decision to upgrade to manual machine i've changed my mind from a sunbeam 7000 to a breville 900 to a silvia and now i'm here with these two.
    look forward to your opinions, thanks in advance


  • #2
    The sky is the limit and opinions (for good reason) will be infinite but maybe a good place to start is to use the quote form which asks the site sponsors to quote appropriate machines for your use and budget. Second hand equipment may be a good option also to increase your bang for buck as people here generally look after their equipment which if commercial/semi-commercial is built like a tank (generally) and has been hardly used in the home market in comparison to its design throughput. Good luck and post some pictures of your new setup when you reach a decision!

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    • #3
      What are the reasons you like any of these machines?

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      • #4
        It depends on what you're after. In my opinion the VBM is the winner.

        I owned a NS Oscar which is identical inside, (boiler, HX, group, piping, layout etc) except the Musica has a vacuum breaker, OPV, hot water outlet and restrictors in the group (all of which i put in m oscar - except hot water). Outside the Musica looks nicer and has volumetric controls - eg press button and auto start stop of shot. I see the musica as tarting up and average machine.
        The VBM though has a (modified) e61 group (better than the NS group), better and more stable HX, less electronics (good thing - less things to break and cost you money down the track) more bench appeal (looks better in my opinion), more standard (eg cheaper) parts.

        So, I'll break my advice into categories:
        Quality of coffee: VBM
        Quality of milk steaming: VBM
        Looks: VBM (in my opinion)
        Steam power: Musica
        Ease of use: Musica (volumetric)
        Gadgets: Musica

        At the end of the day you wont go wrong with either, so just weight up what's most important, what you want the machine to do, how you like using it, which looks better to you - then go for it.

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        • #5
          I'm interested to know how is the e61 brew head better than the Musica's brew head.

          Also, in what way the hx better than the Musica?

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          • #6
            Am i missing other options in this price range?

            Hi JK71,
            I must admit have no hands on experience with HX machines (as much as I'd love one!), but from reading these forums over a number of years the Diadema's are very well regarded for build quality and reliability. The range seems to start out with the Diadema Junior Semi Auto PUL, which you should be able to find a bit cheaper than your options, but is most likely as good (if not better).

            All the best for your research!

            Paul

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lukeap69 View Post
              I'm interested to know how is the e61 brew head better than the Musica's brew head.

              Also, in what way the hx better than the Musica?
              The Musica will need a cooling flush if it's been on for a while (at least the last one we saw did).

              charlie

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              • #8
                My opinion is that there are few (any?) machines close to the VBM on bang for buck in the low $2k price bracket. The compact size makes it my choice as a road trip traveller. Diadema machines offer exceptional finish and build quality. Entry level also a few hundred buck less. Gorgeous machines!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
                  The Musica will need a cooling flush if it's been on for a while (at least the last one we saw did).

                  charlie
                  Aren't most HX machines need cooling flush?

                  Does that make the HX of VBM better than Musica's?

                  Does that make E61 better that NS Musica brew head?

                  Cheers

                  Arnold

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys. Looks like the list is now the domobar and the diadema. My gut feeling was the musica price was including extra for bling, and to me it's the best looking but the other 2 are probably better machines. I'll contact a couple if sponsors for quotes now.

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                    • #11
                      G'day JK, you can't go wrong with either VBM or Diadema. Owned a Junior, great machine but haveing seen the Diademas in the metal, they are better finished IMO.

                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lukeap69 View Post
                        Aren't most HX machines need cooling flush?

                        Does that make the HX of VBM better than Musica's?

                        Does that make E61 better that NS Musica brew head?

                        Cheers

                        Arnold
                        No Arnold,

                        That's simply regurgitated old internet stuff- and it keeps on keeping on....

                        A well configured e61 HX machine will not require a cooling flush.

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                        • #13
                          Good to hear. It appears that is not a common understanding in Europe and the US which forums I frequent also.

                          Cheers

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                          • #14
                            Between my mate's VBM Junior and my Diadema Junior Semi-auto, I'd have to say that I much prefer mine. In terms of coffee being produced, there's not really any difference to comment on. In terms of fit and finish, the Diadema seems to me to be a bit better. In terms of looks, I love how my DJSA has a nice hunkered down look as it tapers from bottom to top. You can check out my thread on the DJSA if you'd like. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...nt-future.html (scroll down to see the pics of my machine!)

                            Just to reaffirm what Talk Coffee keeps saying over and over... HX machines from most (all?) of our site sponsors require no cooling flush. I've never done it. Never needed to.

                            My DJSA is a year old and I love it. Hasn't missed a beat. Did 14 coffees in a row once and the machine just 'looked' at me and said 'is that all you got?' haha.

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                            • #15
                              As a VBM Junior HX owner I couldn't be happier, no need for a cooling flush as it's been setup correctly by the site sponsor. The compact size was a real winner for me as we have a smallish kitchen and gets great wife approval.

                              I also considered the Diadema Junior Semi-auto and Diadema Unico Splendor. I crossed the Semi-auto off my list due to the added complexity of electrics, just something else to go wrong and personally the look isn't my thing but each to their own.

                              The retro look of the Unico Splendor is really cool (my opinion) but speaking to a site sponsor their experience with the Splendor saw more returned under warranty than VBM Junior's and they sell many more VBM Junior's than Splendor's

                              I'm not saying the Diadema's are bad, there are plenty of happy owners out there but the months of research I did at the time was more favourable to the VBM. Like Talk_Coffee said, great bang for buck.

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