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Are Hx machines with PID worth it?

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  • Are Hx machines with PID worth it?

    Hi all,
    Looking for a new machine, upgrading from the plastic stuff found in department stores...

    So far i've narrowed it down to 4 machines. I originally wanted to stick to a ~2k budget and that allowed me
    1. (Used) ECM Barista
    2. (Used) ECM Mechanika IV no PID
    3. (Used) Profitec Pro 500 no PID

    Wanted to ask your opinions on which machine I should get in terms of longevity and will hold good value for a long number of years (includes serviceability). I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon. But for about another ~1k I could get a brand new:
    4. ECM Technika V PID

    no. 4 feels to me the most as it has everything I want in terms of rotary pump, 12 month warranty, SS boiler (yes I prefer them...)
    For the first 3, whilst I don't really mind choosing between vibe pumps or copper boilers (as they are in the 2k range) - i'm fine with either way.
    It mainly comes down to evaluating whether PID is worth the extra 1k. As I said I want it to last as i'm not considering to upgrade again, so it got me thinking if I would be missing out much in future if I do want to play around with temperatures as I prefer lighter bean roasts and switch between med/dark roasts.

    My question is to the users, how much useful actually is the PID on these newer hx machines? (they are relatively accurate temps) Has it improved the way you made shots in anyway? (time is takes to make back to back coffee, quality of coffee changed, more stable temps, quirks you had to get used to on previous hx machines that you don't have to now, or even new tricks you had to do that made PID hx more frustrating - just anything and everything) Would it be worth the upgrade for an extra 1k?




    ..... Of course I could just go get a dual boiler, but I think that's another debate.

  • #2
    Just my $0.02...

    If you're buying a new machine or a HX machine already fitted with a PID Controller, then go for it. Easier to adjust if the need arises...
    However, if you were talking about installing one on a machine previously controlled with a p/stat, then save your time and money since once set, very unlikely it will ever need adjusting again if adjusted properly initially.

    Loads of discussion can be found re the pro/con of replacing a p/stat with a PID Controller around the forum...

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your response Dimal,
      Not looking to add PID, if I buy the used machines i'll be sticking with them as is. Just wanted to know if PID is as good as it seems. So you think PID on Hx is a useful feature, and not a gimmick? If so i'm just going to go ahead with the Technika

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      • #4
        Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but a PID on a HX machine only allows for a very small adjustment of shot temperature.
        It probably has more effect on steam pressure.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by c0ajz View Post
          So far i've narrowed it down to 4 machines. I originally wanted to stick to a ~2k budget and that allowed me
          1. (Used) ECM Barista
          2. (Used) ECM Mechanika IV no PID
          3. (Used) Profitec Pro 500 no PID

          Wanted to ask your opinions on which machine I should get in terms of longevity and will hold good value for a long number of years (includes serviceability). I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon. But for about another ~1k I could get a brand new:
          4. ECM Technika V PID
          The Profitec 500 non PID model had a good reputation for being a well engineered Hx machine with no need for the flush routines which some other Hx machines require.

          You also have the back-up of Site Sponsor JetBlack Espresso who distribute Profitec and offer great service.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CafeLotta View Post
            The Profitec 500 non PID model had a good reputation for being a well engineered Hx machine with no need for the flush routines which some other Hx machines require.

            You also have the back-up of Site Sponsor JetBlack Espresso who distribute Profitec and offer great service.


            On the Pro 500 (no PID) we specified a Sirai pressurestat and calibrated it with good steam pressure and no cooling flushes required. It will give you many years of enjoyment. The new PID'd version adds the ability to modify the steam boiler temperature/pressure and hence also the brew water temperature indirectly but not many users would change this as part of their normal routine (or ever).

            For a HX, it's more important that the brew water temperature is stable than whether it has a PID or pstat.

            charlie

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            • #7
              Originally posted by c0ajz View Post
              So you think PID on Hx is a useful feature, and not a gimmick? If so i'm just going to go ahead with the Technika
              No, I don't think it is at all to be honest.
              All I was saying, is that if a PID Controller is already fitted then, all well and good. If a machine is fitted with a decent p/stat with a narrow deadband then it'd be a waste of time and money to fit a PID Controller in its place - There would be no practical benefit at all, particularly with a machine that uses the massive E-61 Group...

              Mal.

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              • #8
                I think the best part of a pid in a hx machine is the SSR on the element. But it is a big expense just for that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by c0ajz View Post
                  Hi all,
                  Looking for a new machine, upgrading from the plastic stuff found in department stores...

                  So far i've narrowed it down to 4 machines. I originally wanted to stick to a ~2k budget and that allowed me
                  1. (Used) ECM Barista
                  2. (Used) ECM Mechanika IV no PID
                  3. (Used) Profitec Pro 500 no PID

                  Wanted to ask your opinions on which machine I should get in terms of longevity and will hold good value for a long number of years (includes serviceability). I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon. But for about another ~1k I could get a brand new:
                  4. ECM Technika V PID
                  Hi c0ajz.
                  FWIW, I have a Profitec 500 (non PID) purchased 4.5 years ago.
                  It produces excellent shots and in regard to longevity, IMO, it is in as good a condition now as when I purchased it. Serviced every 18 months, replacement of consumable o rings and seals is all that has been required.
                  This machine has definitely cured my upgraditis .
                  Can't go wrong with ECM or Profitec

                  Cheers
                  Mal

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jackster View Post
                    I think the best part of a pid in a hx machine is the SSR on the element. But it is a big expense just for that.
                    Well, even that may not improve electrical reliability if the Safety Interlock in the Main Control Box is still included in the Heating Element circuit. The Relay that switches the circuit current will still burn out its contacts eventually and start causing problems....

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks all for your replies, ahh i'm beginning to see that the new PID versions are just nice to have, but don't really affect performance kinds of "upgrade". Just more so for the slight bump in steam pressure? And I assume the temperature stability is somewhat more or less the same between new and old Hx anyways?

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                      • #12
                        Hi C0ajz, it being Xmas, and a week since you have posted on this topic, I suspect you will have already made your choice from the above assistance. Just in case you haven't made the leap.....
                        I'm 3 months into having the Technika V, for the reasons you stated. For what it's worth, with the budget you have, my take would be as Charlie states, the best value for money would be the Profitec Pro 500, from your list. This is because the Hx temp surfs seemingly erratically and there is little correlation between the water temp at group head and the PID setting when allowing for flushing etc. The best use I have for the PID, which I wouldn't like to do without, is the shot timer. (I tend to beat the Clean counter to it &, once you choose your temp, you don't tend to alter the PID temp settings, you learn to manage around the setting you have chosen).
                        I think budgeting for having a group head thermometer fitted and a good grinder, such as the Niche Zero or Baratza Sette 270Wi PLUS a set of good scales, such as the Brewista Smart II, would give you better consistency and joy in the longer term. If you do/did go with the Technika Profi Pro V, you will have a great machine but will be needing to find another $K + to have the gear to supplement it. My only other tip is to stick with the same bean until you have mastered the taste before venturing on to others

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