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alekk
Senior Member
alekk
Joined: 7 Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Location: Paris
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 3:02pm
Subject: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

Hi all,

does anybody know what Rancilio machine is displayed on the attached photo?
I have seen an advertisement for this second hand machine and have
no idea how good this machine is.

Many thanks!
Alex.

alekk: Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 22.54.15.png
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:52pm
Subject: Re: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

I don't know the model name but it looks to me like a high-end consumer or prosumer HX (heat exchanger) type machine, likely with an E61 brew group.  If in good condition, it should generally be very capable for home or small cafe use.  Some consider an HX a pretty good step up from a single boiler dual use (SBDU) machine or most consumer units.
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:01am
Subject: Re: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

Searching a bit, it looks like a Rancilio L7 though with different buttons from the one here which I believe is considered an automatic.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/314208

Your pictured machine would be the semi-auto version, I think.

How much are they asking?
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alekk
Senior Member
alekk
Joined: 7 Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Location: Paris
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 7:46am
Subject: Re: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

They are asking 250 USD for it. Any idea how this machine compares to a Silvia?
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 9:37am
Subject: Re: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

The two machines are in different classes.  The Silvia is a SBDU consumer type that has a tremendous following.  You can find mountains of info for it on this site and all over the Internet.  Lots of reviews are under the Consumer Espresso section here.  Many people own the Silvia for home use and they are always trading on eBay.  Being so popular, parts and info are easily available.  Some say that it's overpriced at over $600 (US) new and usually $300-$450 used (depending on version and condition).  

I may be wrong, but am guessing that your pictured unit is an L6 or L4 (which I read preceded the Rancilio S series machines) but don't take that to the bank.  If you search the Prosumer Espresso reviews here under Rancilio Other, you'll see at least one review of an L7.  Here is a link that should answer your original question:

Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)

If the machine is a pour over unit, meaning you pour water into a reservoir, it should be an L4.  If it must be plumbed for water supply and drain, it should be the L6.

To your recent question, again the two machines are quite different and your preference will depend on how and where you plan to use it.  The Silvia will fit physically and visually more easily in a residential kitchen.  It’s smaller and may be “prettier” though your taste will dictate which looks better.  It also has smaller internals and will be more limited in production of brew water and steam.  

The L model is more of a commercial-style machine that may look odd in a stylized home kitchen.  Then again, you may love the industrial heavy-duty look.  It will be larger; expect a footprint of 16 inches square (400 mm) or more and it may be tall enough to not fit under upper cabinets on a counter.  As an HX machine, it should pull shots easily over and over again and produce clouds of steam with considerable power.  People sometimes describe HX units as beasts or powerhouses in terms of their power and production capacity.  Consider that the L will have a boiler capacity of two or more liters while the Silvia boiler is 0.33 liter.  

A café could use this L machine for lighter duty.  It may be overkill in a home kitchen, but if you love espresso and espresso milk drinks, it could become a very satisfying partner.

Some other considerations:  The L can likely be left on all day long and even all night (like a coffee shop would do) and may take a long time (30-60 minutes?) to warm up completely.  The Silvia must not be left on continually and will take about 30 minutes to warm up for good use.

With practice and patience, you will be able to make excellent coffee drinks with either machine.  However, each will require different techniques to get the best results and you’ll need to go through the learning curve.  Techniques on one may not translate to the other very well.  

I see you are in Paris where good espresso is available on every corner.  Here in the US, this machine would get snapped up immediately at this price, but then finding a good café here can be harder than finding a bargain on espresso equipment.  

For good espresso, you must have a grinder capable of grinding to espresso fineness and consistency.  The little kitchen grinders that cost less than ~$150-$250 will not do it.  You’ll be able to make something resembling espresso but it will not be the best and may actually be quite bad.  In Paris, you should be able to find commercial grinders second hand; again they will be large and may need burrs replaced.  Don’t ignore or discount the grinder's importance.  Many say that the grinder actually makes espresso and the machine simply pushes water through it.

Condition is everything.  It would be frustrating to buy the L thinking it is a bargain just to find out that it doesn’t work properly and will need work, parts, time, and more money to get into working shape.  Items like gaskets do wear out and you should expect that some maintenance, dismantling, and cleaning will be needed with any used machine.    

I own a Silvia and used it for a couple weeks until it broke.  I’ll be able to fix it but I’m in that “why did I buy this” stage.  In the mean time, I bought a used HX, Nuova Simonelli Oscar, at a great price and am very much enjoying learning how to get the best from it.  Getting used to the power of an HX, I suspect I’ll find the Silvia wanting and resell it once it’s working.  We’ll see.
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alekk
Senior Member
alekk
Joined: 7 Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Location: Paris
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:54am
Subject: Re: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

great answer. Many thanks!
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: What Rancilio machine is this?
 

Let us know what you learn and decide to do.  Good luck!
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