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What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > What setup would...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 4:49pm
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

We tweaked the thermosyphon and that is why my flush is that short. It used to be 2 or 3 times more.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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dyno
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore The Club
Grinder: HG One/K6 Pro/Super Mini E
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 5:09pm
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

Here's how the majority of my setup breaks down:

- NS Oscar - Craigslist used but minty- $500
- Mazzer MiniE B - Craigslist used, 2 years old - $600
- Baratza Preciso - Refurb - $250
- Mazzer Mini Manual - Ebay used - $180 (it came with a Silvia that I sold to net that price for the grinder)
- Reg Barber 58mm - free with above
- Reg Barber 58.3mm Euro Curve base - $70
- Pitchers, brushes, shot glasses - $100
- Bottomless PF - $60
- Marzocco filters - $18
- OE IPANEMA Tall Aluminum Portafilter Dosing Cylinder - $45
- Super Jolly burrs - $35

Frankly I'm kinda bummed as I'm running out of stuff to buy.  I feel the above balances value and performance very well.
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sn_85
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Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 4:12am
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a prosumer HX machine, much more solidly built and dependable than the Breville, with a proven design and a large base of satisfied consumers.  

Breviile has a track-record of making "disposable" machines which break down relatively early, and a horrible reputation for customer service.  With the (relatively) recent introduction of their BDB, that appeared to have changed, and a small number of very excitable people have been singing the praises of this new model.  To be fair, Breville seems to have "stepped it up a notch," and this machine fills a niche and price point among consumer machines.  But:  a) you're still left with a consumer (not a "prosumer") machine, b) you're still left with a machine that you have to return to the manufacturer for service, and c) durability, along with customer service, remain suspect*.

I'd go with the Oscar . . .

Cheers,
Jason

* Recently, the #1 advocate on CG for the BDB suffered a catastrophic meltdown when his machine suffered a failure.  Fortunately for him, key people at Breville are on this forum and heard his cry -- they are replacing his machine, and once again he sings their praises to the heavens.  I, however, cannot help but wonder what would happen to the "average" owner if his/her machine suffered similar problems and didn't have this forum to throw a tantrum on . . .

Posted March 2, 2013 link

You also have to keep in mind that the small number of people who sing the BDB praises includes the owner of this website, Mark Prince.  He might know a little something about good coffee.  As much as Breville has stepped up their top of the line offering I still think there are a lot of individuals who won't be pleased with whatever they produce, no matter if it's a good product or not.  Some of it is deserved with their reputations of producing low quality machines in the past, however, I do think you need to take the BDB for what it is.  For the average person and I'm willing to bet that includes a vast majority on here, the BDB would suit them just fine.  I'm guessing a normal person might pull 2-4 shots a day?  The BDB can more than handle that.  No it doesn't have the NSF rating or prosumer grade equipment in it but most people aren't using it for that purpose.  You look at a product like the Baratza Vario which is almost ubiquitously recommended over an old guard like the Mazzer Mini and yet it doesn't have prosumer level components nor be rated for coffee shop use.  I haven't seen as many people argue against the Baratza Vario for using non-commercial grade components as compared to those who like to downgrade the BDB for the same reason.  The Vario itself also has issues of it's own mind you.  

The whole having to take the machine into a service center is also blown out of proportion.  Breville says what, take the machine in for a descale once every 4-5 years?  From what I've heard that's a $50-$80 service.  I mean that's really not the end of the world in having to spend that amount to do so.  I understand, money is money but that's not an unreasonable amount of money to spend for a service and if it lasts you 2 services (10 years) then I'd say the machine did it's job.  

And I'm assuming your post about BubbaDude implies that had he not *itched about it on the forum they wouldn't have helped.  I don't know the guy, his avatar is a little creepy, and it's probably a good thing he stays primarily in the BDB owners thread but I don't think your insinuation is accurate.  Remember, the first run of units had the OPV issue and there were plenty of people who ran into that problem.  From what I read on here and on HB, Breville sent out replacement units to those who had issues and it sounded like they handled the situation in a standup manner.  And who knows, maybe the #1 BDB fan still had a unit within the warranty period so it's not like Breville went above & beyond only because he complained on a forum or because he's their cheerleader.  That's just your opinion, not really a fact.  

I have no horse in this race, I myself probably wouldn't get the BDB because I would like to support a company like Chris', Clive's, or SGC rather than a big box store like W-S that sells the BDB.  But some of the knocks and criticisms of the BDB are pretty unjust and overblown.  Take the machine for what it is, a home espresso machine and for people using it for that purpose it should fit the bill quite nicely.
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Deus
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 7:49am
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

The Cuadra does not have PID it looks like. Is there a similar machine with? I'm a newbie still reading but feel free to lay down the hammer if I missed something fundamental. I can handle it.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 8:21am
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

In deference to our moderator . . .

IMAWriter Said:

I'd prefer we suspend the Breville/anti Breville discussion at this point.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

. . . I'll refrain from commenting.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 8:22am
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

Deus Said:

The Cuadra does not have PID it looks like. Is there a similar machine with? I'm a newbie still reading but feel free to lay down the hammer if I missed something fundamental. I can handle it.

Posted March 3, 2013 link

A PID on an HX is rather useless . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Deus
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

A PID on an HX is rather useless . . .

Posted March 3, 2013 link

Can you explain why. I knew I was missing something. I thought this was for controlling the temperature more accurately. I read about the PID and what I read was like reading a medical journal. I am thinking maybe because the HX black controls it but what about for the group head?
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 9:08am
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

Deus Said:

Can you explain why.

Posted March 3, 2013 link

Simply (and mostly accurately) stated

In a HX design, fresh water is pulled through the boiler and 'flash' heated on the way to the group as it passes through the boiler. A PID would only control the boiler temp in this design and not the temp of the water on the way to the group. So it is pointless. The temp of the water is further controlled by cooling flush and various designs of the group (ie: E-61 design). There are more details involved here, but this is a simple way of thinking about it.
A PID is useful in a single or double boiler, because brew water is pulled directly from the boiler on its way to the group. So the temp of the water is very accurately achieved by a PID in this design.
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 533
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Recently, the #1 advocate on CG for the BDB suffered a catastrophic meltdown when his machine suffered a failure.  Fortunately for him, key people at Breville are on this forum and heard his cry -- they are replacing his machine, and once again he sings their praises to the heavens.  I, however, cannot help but wonder what would happen to the "average" owner if his/her machine suffered similar problems and didn't have this forum to throw a tantrum on . . .

Posted March 2, 2013 link

This is not an accurate account of the situation at all.

I bought a used BDB from a non-authorized Breville dealer, Amazon Warehouse Deals, Inc. When my machine developed a leak after 13 months of daily use, Breville support was willing to replace the machine with a new one until they saw I had bought the machine used from Warehouse Deals. My complaining convinced Breville to be generous and send me a new machine anyway. The moral of the story is to buy a new machine from an authorized dealer if you want full warranty protection..

The allegation that I praise all things Breville to the high heavens is total nonsense. I've always criticized poor design choices where I see them, most recently the shape of the Breville basket and before that the difficulty of upgrading Breville firmware and the design of the power save function on the BDB.

As to the actual substance of the post, I've read comments on CG to the effect that Oscar needs a lot of maintenance. One Oscar owner finally gave up on it and bought a PID'ed big and shiny machine, for example.

I also don't know that the distinction between "home machine" and "prosumer" is all that meaningful. Do you want a machine you can easily repair yourself, or one that's more technical and has better temperature stability? That's the question I'd pose between the typical HX and a more electronic machine like the BDB, the La Spaz Dream, or any of the other PID'ed machines.

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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Deus
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 2:28pm
Subject: Re: What setup would you choose for $1500-$1600 budget
 

"Do you want a machine you can easily repair yourself, or one that's more technical and has better temperature stability?"


This is a good question. Thank you
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