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Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
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osteenjames
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Aug 2013
Posts: 49
Location: St Paul Minnesota
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 11, 2014, 5:38pm
Subject: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

Hello I currently use a Oscar and it makes delicious espresso. I have an opportunity to buy a Pasquini Livia 90 Auto espresso machine for 700.00 (used for few Parties and thats it)
Would the Pasquini be a better machine. I've been wanting to get a second machine in case my primary ever has to go into shop.
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 87
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2
Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Wed Jun 11, 2014, 9:51pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

It will look better, it won't do anything better. I think doing mods on the oscar will make the oscar better in every functional way based on everything I've read about the livia. That does seem like a decent, but not amazing deal though.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Thu Jun 12, 2014, 5:37am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

It depends on what you want. The 90 has a water/steam tap that Oscar does not have and it is  a valve not a button. It has a gauge and the vacuum breaker is installed. I think it is a much nicer looking machine in MHO and I am not sure if the automatic means that it is volumetric dosing. If it is then that is a very nice feature.  (yes I did own an Oscar and was happy with it.... until I moved on) but otherwise, it is pretty much a side step than a step up. YMMV.

If it were me, I would see what kind of deal I could get on it. I tend to like La Cimbali machines and their brew group but then I like the E61 too, Oscar has neither of those though N.S. has a perfectly acceptable group. I tend to play with a lot of gear so that is where I am coming from. At the moment I have a 2 group commercial and 3 commercial single group machines, all volumetric. OH, btw, there is a Sylvia with PID sitting in the shop, pretty much for use only as a travel machine when on vacation but otherwise unused.

Then there are the grinders but I digress..... :D

 
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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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,258
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Jun 12, 2014, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

If your Oscar is stock the Livia 90 Auto is better in just about every respect.  It's easier to temp, has an OPV, has better thermal stability (although still a "dragon"), can be put on a timer, is all metal, has a boiler pressure gauge, a water tap, better ergonomics, volumetric controls, etc., etc.

Bottom line though, it's essentially a re-branded Bezzera BZ99 with a few upgrades and extra features; a quarter century-old design which has been superseded by a more modern machine from Bezzera/Pasquini (Livia G4); and I have some question about whether or not it's worth $700 used -- even "nearly new" -- but I don't follow the used market.  

If I were looking for a used HX, the Livia 90 -- largely because it's a "dragon" and needs frequent re-temping -- would be way down my list; but not as far down as a stock Oscar.

FWIW, I've owned and used two Livia 90s and an Oscar.  

Rich
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osteenjames
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Aug 2013
Posts: 49
Location: St Paul Minnesota
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 12, 2014, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

Thanks everyone for the info, I have deceided not to buy the levia 90.
Question: What would be an excellent upgrade from a stock Oscar? I like the idea of a timer so machine comes on before I get home from work, but I dont have to have that.
Question: Is Breville BES920 DB worth the money?

Question: What mods could I do to Oscar to make him magnificent?
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 373
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Thu Jun 12, 2014, 4:59pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

To be a much better machine the Oscar can really use 2 things:
Vacuum Release Valve = makes the machine more timer compatible.  
Over Pressure Valve = controls the max pressure at the group.


I ran mine without vacuum release on a timer just fine.  Open up the steam wand 1 full turn and when it's hot the valve is still closed.  When cool there is enough opening that it serves as a vacuum release valve.  I used that for a full year.

The OPV that is installed at the group doesn't work very well.  I was never a fan of that thing.

There are several Oscar mod threads on this site that should help answer more questions, along with Youtube videos of installing these mods.  (Sorry, I don't have the links handy.)
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,258
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Jun 12, 2014, 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

osteenjames Said:

Question: What would be an excellent upgrade from a stock Oscar?

Posted June 12, 2014 link

Lots of machines.  The best choices for you depend on which set of features suit you best and how much money you're willing to throw at the problem.  At some point though, you get a bigger dollar for dollar pay off by investing in your grinder than your machine.

So... money, money, money and GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

I like the idea of a timer so machine comes on before I get home from work, but I dont have to have that.

Almost any machine with a vacuum breaker can be set up to start and stop on an inexpensive, in-line timer.

For instance, I run my entire coffee bar -- including a La Cimbali M21 -- on a $20 GE Timer Power Strip.    

Question: Is Breville BES920 DB worth the money?

Yes.  It's a very capable, user-friendly and feature-rich machine, providing more bang for the buck than just about anything else on the market.  It's lightly built though.

Question: What mods could I do to Oscar to make him magnificent?

Magnificence isn't in the cards.  With apologies to Dano, there are three mods which go a long way to civilizing it.  In order of their relative importance:
  1. Adding gicleurs (aka "flow restrictors") from the NS Musica help stabilize group head temps and alleviate the worst of the Oscar's "dragon" propensities;  
  2. An OPV valve tames the pump's propensity to over-pressurize the brew circuit; and
  3. Adding a vacuum breaker valve allows you to put an Oscar on a timer.

Considering that total parts cost for all three mods is relatively minor compared to the pain in the behind involved in making them, it makes more sense to do all three mods at once rather than stringing them out one by one.  As Dano said, there are a lot of threads on CG relating to the wheres hows and whys of these mods; as well as a few YouTube videos.  As you search through them, pay special attention to a poster named "plindy," he knows more about the subject than anyone.    

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

Rich
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marosmith
Senior Member
marosmith
Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 87
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2
Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Thu Jun 12, 2014, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar or Pasquini Livia 90 Automatic Espresso Machine
 

Ya I think you should try the mods. The mod not mentioned is the Aurelia steam lever mod. That ones pretty awesome. With these mods I don't think the livia functionally can compete with the oscar honestly. More steam, better temping, bigger boiler.
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