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HX machine and grinder package circa $2K - advice?

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  • HX machine and grinder package circa $2K - advice?

    Hi folks

    Finally the time is right for an upgrade from my faithful Silvia/Rocky combo to a HX machine, hopefully with new grinder as well. As with all upgrade projects it starts small and grows, and I'm at a point where I'd love some input.
    Initially the option came up when I saw an entry-level Diadema/BFC for $1500 new, which was very tempting. It's the "Junior semi-auto" I believe, with the big red buttons. My wife quickly vetoed it on style grounds, and I've been told it would be worth stretching to a lever machine in the same range. A few weeks ago a local supplier had the "Junior Levetta" and a basic grinder for the magic price of $2000. Unfortunately, I only realised how good that deal was this week when tax returns finally came back and made it all look possible - but now the package is sold out and new stock prices have suffered due to the exchange rate. A similar setup now seems to be at least 30% more expensive.

    To be honest, the budget is pretty stretched at $2K or just over, and there's not much chance of it going up anytime soon. I'd love some input on a few key questions:
    - what are the real negatives of the cheaper, "electronic" Diadema vs the lever models? (I've heard the steam/water valves are the non-crush type, but also that the lever setup is more reliable?)
    - are there any other options to consider around this price-point? Either package deals going atm or just good value machines worth considering around $2K?

    I'm steering away from the bigger, bulkier and often more expensive machines that do seem very popular (many in the $2500 -$3500 range), like the Profitecs, Rockets, ECMs etc. I understand that you get what you pay for in these machines, but can't justify the extra $700-1000 that you often pay for these, and we are looking for a more compact unit.

    The Diadema/BFC range seems great, especially at old prices, but things sadly seem to be slipping away in terms of my budget. I'm struggling with the idea of paying over $2K for a machine on its own when the package I saw was less than that.

    Grateful for any advice/input.

  • #2
    Where are you located?

    The Levetta is not a lever machine (i.e. it uses a pump to push the water through the brew head). There's not too much wrong with the Diadema range (nor similar level HX producers). If set up with care, will go like a train for many years. I've had my Reale (aka Regal) for about 5 years now and it hasn't missed a beat, and makes superb coffee. I'd seriously consider going for an 'entry level' HX like some you are considering, and use whatever you save on a grinder (Macap M4D if you can, but Compak K3/Macap M2M otherwise).


    • #3
      Thanks Barry - I appreciate the clarification. Didn't mean to incorrectly reference the different type of "lever" machines.
      Just interested in the difference between an electronic switch activated machine and the Levetta style which is far more common on the E61 HX machines. I've had a few people say the Levetta would be better in the long run - something to do with control boards or switches. It can be pretty hard to tell what the improvements are when going from a basic machine at a good price ($1500) through to mid-range ($2-2500) and then up to the premium ones closer to $3000 or more. I understand there are things like better pressurestats and more solid build etc but it can be very hard to quantify.
      I'd love to get a K3touch (the M2M was what was offered with the Levetta for $2K).


      • #4
        Sorry, forgot to add that I'm in the ACT.


        • #5
          G'day mate...

          Why not head into CosmoreX Coffee in your neck of the woods? They have a range of machines and grinders that you will be able to demo on the bench...
          By far the best way to make the right decision for you...



          • #6
            Originally posted by therev View Post
            I'd love to get a K3touch (the M2M was what was offered with the Levetta for $2K).
            I have both a K3 and an M2M. You lose nothing 'in the cup' with the M2M. Both great grinders, and the M2M has a smaller footprint.


            • #7
              If you are willing to consider a second hand purchase, then something like this would be brilliant!

              FYI I don't think the K3 touch is worth the extra money. I would go for the K3 push, or preferably the M2M - considering the reviews on here.


              • #8
                Thanks Dimal - I noticed you were a happy Cosmorex customer! I have popped in and they have been very helpful. It's just the price rise that has thrown me so I'm trying to see what other options I should consider. It's a big jump from Silvia to HX territory, and the $1500 deal got us thinking seriously about it. We've since been pretty much talked out of that machine, but am left a bit stranded now as there seems to be daylight between that machine and the next step up in most ranges at well over $2000. Just trying to reorient and figure out whether to wait 6mths and try to save or hope for a better deal!
                On a side note, they even had your DB PID for about $2500, but it is $1000 more now as well! If only I'd realised what I was looking at!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by therev View Post
                  It's just the price rise that has thrown me...
                  G'day therev,

                  Mal's actually a happy Talk Coffee customer

                  Sadly, I think we're all going to have to be prepared for the inevitability of price rises on everything purchased in Euro and $USD.

                  We're just about to land the next batch of Alex Duetto and the landed price hit to us over our last import was over 15%. The margins just don't exist in espresso gear to absorb these price increases and my advice to those contemplating waiting for lower prices is that the wait may be a really long one.

                  Now is the time to move on stock which was landed in happier (read less expensive) times.



                  • #10
                    It sure does seem that way Chris - it was a shock to see things go up that much so quickly, but I understand the very real price pressures.

                    What are your thoughts on the cheaper HX machines - are there particular things to focus on in choosing, or things that play a big part in longievity/total cost of ownership?
                    Of course style is a big deal for people, and some machines are certainly more popular, but I'm probably faced with a $1500-2000 option or else waiting quite a long time, as for us it's less a matter of saving a few bucks extra and more about having some cash available at the moment.


                    • #11
                      Hi therev.

                      I really like the VBM Domobar Junior in the circa $2k bracket: Vibiemme Domobar Junior | Talk Coffee



                      • #12
                        Thanks Barry and Dave for the input re grinders. I was under the impression the M2M was on par with my Rocky and that the K3 was the next step up. Any other input folks re grinders?
                        Starting to think maybe to stretch the budget to just a machine and soldier on with Rocky until I can find more $$ down the line for a bigger jump in grinder quality.

                        I did look at that package for sale - looks nice, but I'm a little hesitant about 2nd hand, with the potential need to get things dialed-in properly (vs a new machine set up well by a technician) and costs associated with this and likely need for servicing sooner. Thoughts?


                        • #13
                          Hi therev,

                          You may want to check out the 2nd hand options from one of the site sponsor


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oliviaarlianto View Post
                            Hi therev,

                            You may want to check out the 2nd hand options from one of the site sponsor Second Hand Coffee Machines
                            Agreed, scroll all the way to the bottom and those 2 machines fit OP perfectly, keep the change from your 2K, persevere with the rocky for a while and save up for different grinder.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by therev View Post
                              I was under the impression the M2M was on par with my Rocky and that the K3 was the next step up.
                              No way is the K3P a step up over the M2M. It's on par and I'd rate both as superior to an unmodified Rocky. Both are faster.

                              I agree that you should try your Rocky with whatever you choose next.