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Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Silvano v. PID...  
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

Sigma Said:

I've read HX is not as good for steaming -- is this true?


Oh, and what is an 'auto-fill function on the boiler', and why do I want it?

Posted April 3, 2013 link

UH, where did you hear that? The vast majority of installed equipment in commercial shops are HX, HX allows you to pull your shot AND STEAM AT THE SAME TIME, with a force in steam pressure that makes Sylvia look like a tea kettle. Someone told you something that was not true.

Auto fill on the boiler watches the level of water in the boiler and fills the boiler as need to keep the level of water in just the correct level. A SBDU will NOT do this and a SBDU will drain the boiler of water when steaming so you need to wait to steam after your shot then you need to fill the boiler yourself then you need to wait again for the boiler to reach brew temp. A HX machine can pull shots and steam milk as fast as you can grind, tamp, lock and pull all the while the autofill keeps the boiler at 100% operation, for as long as you wish to make espresso, for hours at a time, non stop if you have the coffee to grind and the people to drink the espresso. A HX machine will leave a SBDU miles behind when it comes to consistency, gone is the temp surfing, gone is the need for a PID and if you put one on a HX machine, it does nothing but looks "NEET" with the digital readout, it does NOTHING to improve the quality of the brew.

You are sooooooo close to getting 5 times the machine for only a few dollars more than a new Sylvia and PID. And to the person who insisted that there is nothing that can touch a Silvia with PID for the price, well, ..... I am glad you like your machine but you are in error of the facts, sorry.

EDIT, I also have a Sylvia I picked up about a year ago for work, it need a full rebuild as the boiler was run low of water and they burned out the heater. I bought it for $50 and by the time I was done with a 100% rebuild and added a PID, I could have bought a used HX machine and been much better off. I still have the machine, it follows me to Yosemite every year for vacation but other than that, it sits in the shop, gathering dust. The link to the whole saga is here. http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/547829

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,866
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

]]

Sigma Said:

I'm starting to seriously think about upgrading to a $1000-range espresso maker and have fallen into the (common?) Silvia v. Silvano analysis paralysis after spending months on home-barista, coffeegeek, and /r/coffee . Currently I have a $200-range Cuisinart with a non-pressurized basket I made fit. While it was a good intro machine (esp. without the pressurized basket), I want something that produces coffee I want to drink (even with the grinder listed below). As my palate has evolved, I'm at the point where the espresso it makes just isn't worth the effort, and it sits unused.
Specifically, I'm looking at the Auber PID (w/pre infuse) + Silvia v. the QuickMill Silvano . Having the PID pre-installed on the Silvia is ideal as the warranty will remain intact. I have considered the Crossland CC1, but reports of a slightly buggy UI as well as a lack of an established track record for reliability has made be hesitant. It seems to be a solid first-gen product, but I'm in no position to replace within the next 5+ years, so a long track record is a must.

I have a Baratza Preciso grinder, so am looking at just a maker.

The price difference between the PID-installed Silvia and Silvano is negligible as this point ($985 v. $1100). As I am in Canada, idrinkcoffee is the only place I can find with pre-installed PID Silvias.
Searching here and elsewhere results in  comparisons between non-PID Silvias v. Silvanos, which is an unfair comparison.
Thus CoffeeGeek , I was wondering if you had any thoughts on which would be a better choice. I must admit, the timed shots and pre-infuse of the Auber PID are very attractive. I care about milk, but only 2nd to the espresso. All things being equal, being able to pull shots and steam back-to-back when people are over would be a deciding factor. Generally I'm looking to pull 1-3 shots back-to-back.

Click Here (www.idrinkcoffee.com)
Click Here (www.idrinkcoffee.com)

Posted April 2, 2013 link

Here is a good comparison and review of these machines found over on Home Barista:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Sigma
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Joined: 2 Apr 2013
Posts: 33
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 2:50pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

Hmm yes, I'm not at all sure where I picked that up. Clearly isn't true from what I've read.
Upon further reading, it sounds like HX machines need substantial flushing to cool them before a shot. Do you agree with this?

You are sooooooo close to getting 5 times the machine for only a few dollars more than a new Sylvia and PID

yea, I too have come to this conclusion. I'm pretty much not sold on the Silvia in any way. Even the Silvano is looking less and less good. Suppose we raise the $1000 bar. Which of these would be best bang for  buck? Is the E61 group worth sacrificing quick-steam for?

Bezzera Unica, QuickMill Alexia, QuickMill Alexia + PID, QuickMill Silvano,Bezzera BZ07P

It's unclear to me what the difference between the Unica & PID'd Alexia are.

The QuickMill QM67 looks fantastic, but not sure I can make that price point happen.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

Sigma Said:

Upon further reading, it sounds like HX machines need substantial flushing to cool them before a shot. Do you agree with this?

Posted April 3, 2013 link

No. It depends on how long the machine has been on and not in use, it's design, boiler pressure setting, etc., but a three to five second flush after walking up to the machine, and from there on out, just keep pulling shots. You are either doing too much reading, not enough espresso making, or both.  ;-)

Is the E61 group worth sacrificing quick-steam for?

????
The group has nothing to do with steam power.

In terms of your price point, how long will you keep the machine?
MY BROTHER: at least 6 or seven motorcycles (one at a time), third wife plus another shackup, seven or 8 places he has lived in (twice with me after divorces), etc.
ME: One wife since '71, one motorcycle since '81, lived here for 24 years (previous place or ten), etc.
So, are you like me or my brother?  If you tend to keep things for a while, the investment now will be worth it. An extra $200 now over ten years is $1.67 a month.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 4:32pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

The ones who make a huge fuss about the cooling flush, for. The most part have never used one. And are only repeating what they heard. I flush 3 oz of water if it has been sitting for a while then as said above, after that I just keep pulling shots.

Most DB machines need a WARMING flush and ALL machines need a CLEANING flush between shots.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 4:47pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

Mabey this will help you.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/606467#606467

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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rytrom
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 6:43pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

I'm in the same challenge. Budget is 1000 but also need a grinder. CC1 was my frontrunner (especially with 10% discount at SCG) though the machine will stand in the office and the esthetic factor is important (CC1 is just not looking good).

Considering used Oscar or Silvano instead of CC1...
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Sigma
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Joined: 2 Apr 2013
Posts: 33
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

frcn Said:

????
The group has nothing to do with steam power.

Posted April 3, 2013 link

Arrg, sorry. What I was trying to get at, is many machines that I can afford have either the thermoblock but no E61 (Silvano) or have the E61 not no thermoblock/DB/HX. Sorry I wasn't clear.

In terms of your price point, how long will you keep the machine?

Forever.

The ones who make a huge fuss about the cooling flush, for. The most part have never used one. And are only repeating what they heard. I flush 3 oz of water if it has been sitting for a while then as said above, after that I just keep pulling shots.

it's posts like http://www.home-barista.com/hx-love.html and Click Here (www.home-barista.com) that make me worried.

Mabey this will help you.

yes, thanks!

\\edit
Forgot to ask: At $1600 for the Bezzera Magica, is it 'worth' the $400 to jump up to a DB QM?
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 10:02pm
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

Sigma Said:

Forgot to ask: At $1600 for the Bezzera Magica, is it 'worth' the $400 to jump up to a DB QM?

Posted April 3, 2013 link

Have you ever read my website? I started thinking $125 should be plenty for an espresso machine. My first order for gear was about $850 (12 years ago).

You didn't state where you live. it could be that there might be a place to go see these machines nearby? In any case:

I went from:
Silvia and Rocky  
 to  
Vibiemme Domobar Super (HX/E-61) and Rocky
 to
Vibiemme Domobar Super (HX/E-61) and Mazzer Kony
 to
Vibiemme Domobar Double (PID E-61) and Kony

I got improvement at each step. Better espresso and more control. BUT, the biggest improvement overall was in consistency. With this last setup, I can make small changes to grind, dose, brew temperature, and preinfusion time and I can taste it in the cup. Tastes a bit bitter? Drop the temp one degree. Over extracted? Grind a little more coarse. At the upper end of the range you get more control and that leads to consistency from the equipment that gives you the opportunity to consistently make better espresso.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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Sigma
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Apr 2013
Posts: 33
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 10:46am
Subject: Re: Silvano v. PID Silvia -- lacking good comparison
 

Have you ever read my website?
I have not but I'll take a look.

could be that there might be a place to go see these machines nearby?

Unfortunately not.

That was a good explanation, thanks.
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