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Date: 14 Nov 2006 18:11:34
From:
Subject: New Silvia buying decision
Hi all. I'm just trying to get some advice on purchasing a new (at
least for me) espresso machine and subtle differences. Specifically,
I'm looking at getting a Rancilio Silvia. I see there is a new version
which has what appears to be mostly cosmetic modifications. I don't
care about using pods, so I was just wondering about the other
differences I've seen discussed such as the steam location on the
boiler, the adjustable OPV, etc. Are these differences a good enough
reason to get the "new" Silvia instead of finding an older model that
is discounted/refurbished?

Also, I have seen discussions about the "thermowell" in the Silvia's
boiler. What the he!l is that, and what would you do with it? ;-)

If I get a Silvia, I'm sure I'll eventually upgrade with a PID based on
what I've read, or maybe even buy a new one with the PID installed. I'd
like to get a new grinder eventually, too, but I think I'll stick with
my Solis Maestro Plus for the short-term. My current machine is a Gran
Gaggia which I feel like I am making the most of, but it certainly has
limitations when compared to nicer machines. My last questions is,
would it be worth it for me to wait and save up for a higher-end
machine rather than Miss Silvia (such as an HX machine)? There is a
used Isomac Millenium available locally, but it's quite a bit more than
a new Silvia. I don't want to be overwhelmed learning how to make
coffee all over again on a new machine. I have my technique down pretty
well on my current machine, but even buying Silvia opens me up to a new
world of temp/time-surfing and I don't know if I even want to consider
trying to master an HX machine where you have to flush it every shot
and try to get the right temps. Thanks for any advice you guys have,
and sorry for the long-winded post!

Justin





 
Date: 16 Nov 2006 12:55:42
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
Thanks for the great advice. I thought I had simplified things recently
after reading replies to my post. I had pretty much decided to go with
Silvia first, Rocky second and PID third (eventually). Now, though,
I've been confused again by everyone saying how important the grinder
is, and how Rocky is fine but a Mazzer or Macap or LaCimbali is better
and a noticeable improvement with Silvia. In addition, you guys keep
bringing up how much better things are with a PID. So, my option #1 is
just buy Silvia for now = $495. Problem is, seems like a better
solution would be Silvia/Rocky ($790) or Silvia/MazzerMini (approx.
$900+) or Silvia/PID/Mazzer/macap/LaCimbali-something ($$$$)!!!!
Sheesh! I'm tempted to throw in the towel on the whole ball game. Okay,
not really, but it is tough when you're trying to budget for these
things. I'll stop whining now.... ;-p
Justin

Randy G. wrote:
> First, thanks for the kid words regarding my website. I am glad it
> assisted you.
>
> As far as time vs. temp surf, one is indirect and the other more
> direct. Use whatever works for you. As I have said here in the past:
>
> -----------------------------------------
> -Just 'using' Silvia is like standing on the tracks, blindfold in
> place, waiting for the train.
>
> -Time surfing (light on, wait 45 seconds, pull shot) is like standing
> on the tracks, running a stopwatch, and stepping off the tracks to see
> if the train is there, and hoping you got the timing correct.
>
> -Temp surfing with the digital readout is like trying to jump on a
> train as it ran through the station at speed.
>
> -PID is a leisurely boarding onto a stopped train with champagne
> served at the door by a very gracious porter..
>
> ---------------------------
>
> Temp surfing is a bit more accurate than time surfing because the
> amount of time it takes to get to a specific temperature (when time
> surfing) is somewhat dictated by how long you allowed the machine to
> come up to temperature and how stable the temperature is from the
> boiler all the way to the portafilter. Still, the differences between
> the two are minimal, and once you do PID you will wonder why you
> didn't do it long ago.
>
> As an example, yesterday the taste of the espresso was just a bit off
> so I adjusted Rocky one click finer. I served the cappa to my wife,
> she sipped, and said that the coffee was much better this morning.
> Without temperature stability I do not know if I would have noticed
> the difference or even would have been able to guess what to do to
> make a small change in the taste. I have also had the same reaction
> when changing the brew set point one degree when things were not quite
> right. Yes, one degree can make a difference.
>
>
> Randy "will work for espresso" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
>
>



  
Date: 16 Nov 2006 13:20:35
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
No one can assess your personal needs or desires better than you, at
least when it comes to coffee, but remember that these are not like a
$14 X-t toaster. These are appliances designed to give a lifetime's
service with minimal upkeep and maintenance. Purchase now with the
idea that these tools can easily serve your daily coffee needs for a
decade.

Besides cleaning chores, maintenance includes changing the brewhead
gasket once a year or so, changing the O rings in the steam wand and
valve every two or three years, along with the steam valve seal
washer. Add a set of Burrs for Rocky about every three years or so and
as I stated, ten years is well in the range of reasonable for such
tools. beyond those things, the only failure I had was a brew
thermostat which was replaced by the PID. Some even think of the brew
thermostat as a maintenance item.

beyond all that, if you are comfortable with hand tools and a volt/ohm
meter, Silvia is also quite easy to diagnose and repair if something
does happen.


Randy "fixdit" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com



"jgriff" <justin.griffeth@gmail.com > wrote:
>
>Thanks for the great advice. I thought I had simplified things recently
>after reading replies to my post. I had pretty much decided to go with
>Silvia first, Rocky second and PID third (eventually). Now, though,
>I've been confused again by everyone saying how important the grinder
>is, and how Rocky is fine but a Mazzer or Macap or LaCimbali is better
>and a noticeable improvement with Silvia. In addition, you guys keep
>bringing up how much better things are with a PID. So, my option #1 is
>just buy Silvia for now = $495. Problem is, seems like a better
>solution would be Silvia/Rocky ($790) or Silvia/MazzerMini (approx.
>$900+) or Silvia/PID/Mazzer/macap/LaCimbali-something ($$$$)!!!!
>Sheesh! I'm tempted to throw in the towel on the whole ball game. Okay,
>not really, but it is tough when you're trying to budget for these
>things. I'll stop whining now.... ;-p
>Justin
>


   
Date: 16 Nov 2006 16:22:00
From: notbob
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision

> service with minimal upkeep and maintenance.

> Besides cleaning chores, maintenance includes changing the brewhead
> gasket once a year or so, changing the O rings in the steam wand and
> valve every two or three years, along with the steam valve seal
> washer. Add a set of Burrs for Rocky about every three years or so and

> beyond all that, if you are comfortable with hand tools and a volt/ohm
> meter....

You forgot to mention the back flushing and descaling and grinder
cleaning most of the more anal alties obsess over. Minimal upkeep and
maintenance to most people is contstant use with no maintenance at all
for 5-6 years till the appliance drops dead and they toss it and buy a
new one. Anything requiring even the thought of a hand tool or
multi-meter puts it beyond the pale.

nb


 
Date: 16 Nov 2006 09:42:16
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
I plan on PID-ing eventually, but I think I'll probably take it one
step at a time. You know, learn from my own mistakes, etc. You said,
"The general rule is if the shot is sour, you need a higher temperature
(longer wait)." That is something I am struggling with on my current
setup. I know something is off, but I honestly can't tell if it's sour
or bitter. Maybe there's just something wrong with my machine or beans.
How do you know the difference between sour and bitter in your shots?
Justin

Karl wrote:
> Temp surfing based on time is easy and works very well, assuming your
> room temperature doesn't vary a whole lot. I found 30 seconds from when
> the brew boiler light went on was just about right; testing different
> time intervals to see what you prefer is no more difficult than trying
> different temperature readings, assuming you had a thermocouple rigged
> up. If you are going to open up the machine and rig up a thermocouple,
> you probably should just go ahead and install a PID. There are very
> reasonably priced kits available, or you can follow Murph's step by
> step instructions, as I, and lots of others, have.
>
> I'd recommend trying time based temp surfing first - which should
> demonstrate how important temperature is. It's more trouble than using
> a PID, but should be accurate to within the tolerance you can taste.
> The general rule is if the shot is sour, you need a higher temperature
> (longer wait). If the shot is bitter, you need a lower temperature
> (shorter wait). Then you can decide whether to PID or not.
>
> Good luck.
>
> Karl
>



  
Date: 16 Nov 2006 10:56:14
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
First, thanks for the kid words regarding my website. I am glad it
assisted you.

As far as time vs. temp surf, one is indirect and the other more
direct. Use whatever works for you. As I have said here in the past:

-----------------------------------------
-Just 'using' Silvia is like standing on the tracks, blindfold in
place, waiting for the train.

-Time surfing (light on, wait 45 seconds, pull shot) is like standing
on the tracks, running a stopwatch, and stepping off the tracks to see
if the train is there, and hoping you got the timing correct.

-Temp surfing with the digital readout is like trying to jump on a
train as it ran through the station at speed.

-PID is a leisurely boarding onto a stopped train with champagne
served at the door by a very gracious porter..

---------------------------

Temp surfing is a bit more accurate than time surfing because the
amount of time it takes to get to a specific temperature (when time
surfing) is somewhat dictated by how long you allowed the machine to
come up to temperature and how stable the temperature is from the
boiler all the way to the portafilter. Still, the differences between
the two are minimal, and once you do PID you will wonder why you
didn't do it long ago.

As an example, yesterday the taste of the espresso was just a bit off
so I adjusted Rocky one click finer. I served the cappa to my wife,
she sipped, and said that the coffee was much better this morning.
Without temperature stability I do not know if I would have noticed
the difference or even would have been able to guess what to do to
make a small change in the taste. I have also had the same reaction
when changing the brew set point one degree when things were not quite
right. Yes, one degree can make a difference.


Randy "will work for espresso" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com






"jgriff" <justin.griffeth@gmail.com > wrote:
>
>I plan on PID-ing eventually, but I think I'll probably take it one
>step at a time. You know, learn from my own mistakes, etc. You said,
>"The general rule is if the shot is sour, you need a higher temperature
>(longer wait)." That is something I am struggling with on my current
>setup. I know something is off, but I honestly can't tell if it's sour
>or bitter. Maybe there's just something wrong with my machine or beans.
>How do you know the difference between sour and bitter in your shots?
>Justin
>
>Karl wrote:
>> Temp surfing based on time is easy and works very well, assuming your
>> room temperature doesn't vary a whole lot. I found 30 seconds from when
>> the brew boiler light went on was just about right; testing different
>> time intervals to see what you prefer is no more difficult than trying
>> different temperature readings, assuming you had a thermocouple rigged
>> up. If you are going to open up the machine and rig up a thermocouple,
>> you probably should just go ahead and install a PID. There are very
>> reasonably priced kits available, or you can follow Murph's step by
>> step instructions, as I, and lots of others, have.
>>
>> I'd recommend trying time based temp surfing first - which should
>> demonstrate how important temperature is. It's more trouble than using
>> a PID, but should be accurate to within the tolerance you can taste.
>> The general rule is if the shot is sour, you need a higher temperature
>> (longer wait). If the shot is bitter, you need a lower temperature
>> (shorter wait). Then you can decide whether to PID or not.
>>
>> Good luck.
>>
>> Karl
>>


 
Date: 16 Nov 2006 09:20:02
From: Karl
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
Temp surfing based on time is easy and works very well, assuming your
room temperature doesn't vary a whole lot. I found 30 seconds from when
the brew boiler light went on was just about right; testing different
time intervals to see what you prefer is no more difficult than trying
different temperature readings, assuming you had a thermocouple rigged
up. If you are going to open up the machine and rig up a thermocouple,
you probably should just go ahead and install a PID. There are very
reasonably priced kits available, or you can follow Murph's step by
step instructions, as I, and lots of others, have.

I'd recommend trying time based temp surfing first - which should
demonstrate how important temperature is. It's more trouble than using
a PID, but should be accurate to within the tolerance you can taste.
The general rule is if the shot is sour, you need a higher temperature
(longer wait). If the shot is bitter, you need a lower temperature
(shorter wait). Then you can decide whether to PID or not.

Good luck.

Karl

> Another thing I was just thinking about.... If you don't go with a PID,
> is it sufficient to temp-surf Silvia using only time as your measure,
> or worth it to hook up some sort of temperature sensor? If so, how is
> it done? I assume it's similar to a PID where you take the doo-hickey
> and mount it to the top of the whatchamacallit with some goop from the
> store, then hook the wire from your doo-hickey to a Large Cool
> Doo-hickey (LCD for short) to show your temp. Correct? Sorry for all
> the technical terminology in there! ;-)



 
Date: 16 Nov 2006 03:47:23
From: Sweet
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision

A thermometer is certainly a good thing to have on Silvia. Whether your
looking to find the best place to start steaming or the optimal place
to start your brew. I would recommend a PID, however a thermometer
properly placed, if you are fast enough, will do just as well. Steaming
is a great thing to know your temp.
"P'IDDED & lovin it"



 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 22:58:36
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
Thanks, I did read through quite a bit of your story. Inspiring and a
bit off the deep end, but look how well it turned out! ;-) Seriously,
I hadn't ever considered roasting my own until I read part of your
story. I never knew it could be so much fun. Something to look forward
to in the future, but for now I feel okay about sticking with the local
roaster. Other people seem to think they're all right, too...
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.coffee/browse_thread/thread/a76c479f9afbd300

Another thing I was just thinking about.... If you don't go with a PID,
is it sufficient to temp-surf Silvia using only time as your measure,
or worth it to hook up some sort of temperature sensor? If so, how is
it done? I assume it's similar to a PID where you take the doo-hickey
and mount it to the top of the whatchamacallit with some goop from the
store, then hook the wire from your doo-hickey to a Large Cool
Doo-hickey (LCD for short) to show your temp. Correct? Sorry for all
the technical terminology in there! ;-)

Justin

Randy G. wrote:
> "jgriff" <justin.griffeth@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >Well, I think I'll probably stick with saving for a Rocky right now.
> >The Mazzer/Macaps of the world are sweet-looking and I'm sure they
> >excel for the home user, but I don't feel like I need that much
> >grinder, and the cost is steep enough to scare anyone. Also, I'm
> >convinced that I should go with a doserless model to keep from having
> >stale coffee sitting in the doser. I'm sure I'll be back for more info
> >once I do upgrade to Silvia or Rocky. Thanks!
> >
>
>
> A few years back there was a guy who was in the exact same position as
> you. Here is the thread, edited, from the Google Archives:
> >http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.coffee/browse_thread/thread/f73cdc4b4a1653d6/0f3147426a5764e6#0f3147426a5764e6
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> From: Randy G.
> Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 02:38:27 GMT
> Subject: Well. I did it!
>
> Yup.. I jumped in with both feet today- or at least a foot-and-a-half.
> I placed my order today for...:
>
> *Rancilio Silvia (we will call her "Auntie" after my long-gone but not
> forgotten Aunt Sylvia)
> *The Saeco MC2002 grinder (was thinking about the Rocky but decided to
> save a bit of money for the moment and use my savings to get the...)
> *Hearthware Precision roaster
>
> We decided to roast our own for the obvious benefits of being able to
> enjoy fresh roasted coffee as well as the financial savings of getting
> coffee beans for less than half the cost of pre-roasted beans.
>
> Tomorrow I call and order a few pounds of green coffee beans.. I can't
> believe it. Three weeks ago I didn't even know that green coffee beans
> were available and in a few weeks when all arrives (I delayed shipment
> due to my schedule) I will be sipping my own home roasted, home
> ground, home brewed espressos and cappuccinos.
>
> Thanks to all the great folks on the group who take their time to post
> all the wonderful information we share here and to all of the folks
> that maintain all the dozens and dozens of great websites dedicated to
> coffee, I think I will have a wonderful home brewing system that
> doesn't necessitate the sale of a vehicle nor the renting out of my
> wife to make the payments.
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>
> From: (D. Ross)
> Date: 2000/10/24
>
> This was probably a mistake. The Saeco is not a bad grinder, but is
> not a
> good match to the Silvia. You would have done better to buy a cheaper
> espresso maker and a better grinder.
>
> - David R.
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>
> From: (Randy G.)
> Date: 2000/10/24
>
> Well, I gave them a call and we all agreed that you were right and I
> changed my order and am now expecting the delivery of a 15lb. grinder.
>
> .... Thanks a lot. I will be expecting your check for the difference
> in the mail! ;-)
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>
> From: (D. Ross)
> Date: 2000/10/24
>
> Think of it as a consulting fee, and we will call it even!
>
> - David R.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I do not regret, for one moment, that decision.. and Thanks, again, to
> David! If you read through the first section of my website it
> documents what I went through in my purchasing decisions and it may
> help you.
>
>
> Randy "yes, it really makes a difference" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com



 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 20:53:33
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision

Ed T wrote:
> "jgriff" <justin.griffeth@gmail.com> wrote in message

> > Randy G. wrote:
> >>
> >> Get the PID later (it is easy to install if you are not
> >> tool-challenged) and instead, spend the money now for a better
> >> grinder. The Solis is OK, but not the best choice for feeding Silvia
> >> with what she likes.
> >
> > Okay, I'll think about that. Is Rocky good enough, or do you guys
> > recommend a Mazzer or something similar?
> >

> I upgraded from a Solis Maestro to a Rocky DL several years ago and was
> surprised at the noticeable improvement in the espressos I was getting out
> of Silvia. Four months ago I upgraded to the Macap M4 stepless to
> compliment an Anita I purchased several months earlier. The Macap is very
> similar to the Mazzer. There was an improvement in the shots but it wasn't
> as dramatic as when I made the upgrade to the Rocky. The Rocky/Silvia combo
> is a good choice and will allow you to make very good shots. However,
> purchasing a Mazzer class grinder should eliminate the urge to upgrade at
> somepoint in the future.
>
> Ed

Well, I think I'll probably stick with saving for a Rocky right now.
The Mazzer/Macaps of the world are sweet-looking and I'm sure they
excel for the home user, but I don't feel like I need that much
grinder, and the cost is steep enough to scare anyone. Also, I'm
convinced that I should go with a doserless model to keep from having
stale coffee sitting in the doser. I'm sure I'll be back for more info
once I do upgrade to Silvia or Rocky. Thanks!

Justin



  
Date: 15 Nov 2006 21:59:06
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
"jgriff" <justin.griffeth@gmail.com > wrote:
>
>Well, I think I'll probably stick with saving for a Rocky right now.
>The Mazzer/Macaps of the world are sweet-looking and I'm sure they
>excel for the home user, but I don't feel like I need that much
>grinder, and the cost is steep enough to scare anyone. Also, I'm
>convinced that I should go with a doserless model to keep from having
>stale coffee sitting in the doser. I'm sure I'll be back for more info
>once I do upgrade to Silvia or Rocky. Thanks!
>


A few years back there was a guy who was in the exact same position as
you. Here is the thread, edited, from the Google Archives:
>http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.coffee/browse_thread/thread/f73cdc4b4a1653d6/0f3147426a5764e6#0f3147426a5764e6
----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Randy G.
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 02:38:27 GMT
Subject: Well. I did it!

Yup.. I jumped in with both feet today- or at least a foot-and-a-half.
I placed my order today for...:

*Rancilio Silvia (we will call her "Auntie" after my long-gone but not
forgotten Aunt Sylvia)
*The Saeco MC2002 grinder (was thinking about the Rocky but decided to
save a bit of money for the moment and use my savings to get the...)
*Hearthware Precision roaster

We decided to roast our own for the obvious benefits of being able to
enjoy fresh roasted coffee as well as the financial savings of getting
coffee beans for less than half the cost of pre-roasted beans.

Tomorrow I call and order a few pounds of green coffee beans.. I can't
believe it. Three weeks ago I didn't even know that green coffee beans
were available and in a few weeks when all arrives (I delayed shipment
due to my schedule) I will be sipping my own home roasted, home
ground, home brewed espressos and cappuccinos.

Thanks to all the great folks on the group who take their time to post
all the wonderful information we share here and to all of the folks
that maintain all the dozens and dozens of great websites dedicated to
coffee, I think I will have a wonderful home brewing system that
doesn't necessitate the sale of a vehicle nor the renting out of my
wife to make the payments.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: (D. Ross)
Date: 2000/10/24

This was probably a mistake. The Saeco is not a bad grinder, but is
not a
good match to the Silvia. You would have done better to buy a cheaper
espresso maker and a better grinder.

- David R.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: (Randy G.)
Date: 2000/10/24

Well, I gave them a call and we all agreed that you were right and I
changed my order and am now expecting the delivery of a 15lb. grinder.

.... Thanks a lot. I will be expecting your check for the difference
in the mail! ;-)

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: (D. Ross)
Date: 2000/10/24

Think of it as a consulting fee, and we will call it even!

- David R.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I do not regret, for one moment, that decision.. and Thanks, again, to
David! If you read through the first section of my website it
documents what I went through in my purchasing decisions and it may
help you.


Randy "yes, it really makes a difference" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com





 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 11:11:42
From: jggall01
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision

jgriff wrote:

> Okay, I'll think about that. Is Rocky good enough, or do you guys
> recommend a Mazzer or something similar?

Rocky is "good enough." But when I upgraded recently to Mazzer Mini E,
my shots improved dramatically. If I had known that the espresso habit
was going to be this addictive, I would have gone straight to the
Mazzer and skipped the Rocky altogether. FWIW.

Jim



 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 10:38:18
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision

Randy G. wrote:
>
> Get the PID later (it is easy to install if you are not
> tool-challenged) and instead, spend the money now for a better
> grinder. The Solis is OK, but not the best choice for feeding Silvia
> with what she likes.

Okay, I'll think about that. Is Rocky good enough, or do you guys
recommend a Mazzer or something similar?

> > My last questions is,
> >would it be worth it for me to wait and save up for a higher-end
> >machine rather than Miss Silvia (such as an HX machine)? There is a
> >used Isomac Millenium available locally, but it's quite a bit more than
> >a new Silvia.
> >
> HX machines excel at making lots of drinks in a shorter period of
> time, particularly when making milk based drinks. Silvia, in the hands
> of an experienced barrista, and particularly with PID, is capable of a
> good showing up against just about any machine under $1200 or so...

Do you think it's worth getting Silvia stock, or would it be better to
wait a little while longer until I can get the PID, too? I've looked at
getting one through Hitechespresso or just buying the kit through MLG.
I know you liked the MLG kit, Randy, and I feel reasonably confident
that I can do the work myself.

> >
> Every machine has its idiosyncrasies and will need some level of
> adjusting and modification of technique to get the most out of it.
> Your past experience will help shorten the time it takes to get there.
>
> Randy "idiosyncratic inconsistencies" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com

Luckily, there's tons of info on the web about Silvia and
temp/time-surfing. Thanks to you guys for the advice and for putting
all the info out there for us noobs!

Justin



  
Date: 19 Nov 2006 17:47:17
From: daveb
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
Well I guess IF it is 5 years old, it has already survived:

some of the things I've seen in Isomacs = UNcrimped connectors -- loose
(4 in one sample)
OR
Solid state relays not mounted -- just sitting on heatsink compound --
OR worse yet mounted with double stick foam tape.!!

Chris's does not carry them -- any more, but then, he has 25 years in
the biz.

call it poo-poohing it you want, OK.

My position on STOCK HX machines is well known. --- but even Ken Fox
will agree with me.

Dave
163.5


jgriff wrote:
> After reading more in this group as well as CG and HB, I'm now
> reconsidering my goals. It seems that Silvia/Rocky is a great
> combination, but I'm starting to think I'll be better off with a HX and
> Mazzer or Macap. I'm not asking for advice on whether to go the upgrade
> route or not. I just want to know what everyone thinks of the Isomac
> Millennium. Further up in this thread, Dave B. poo-poohed it quite a
> bit and Isomacs in general, but it seems like they used to be
> considered the cream of the crop. So, what happened? More importantly,
> what does everyone think of this specific machine, and it would it be
> worth buying one that is five years old and appears to be
> well-maintained? Thanks.
>
> PS I've already read up on flushing issues, etc. with HX machines, so I
> am only looking for advice on this particular machine. Thanks!
> Justin



  
Date: 19 Nov 2006 14:43:45
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
After reading more in this group as well as CG and HB, I'm now
reconsidering my goals. It seems that Silvia/Rocky is a great
combination, but I'm starting to think I'll be better off with a HX and
Mazzer or Macap. I'm not asking for advice on whether to go the upgrade
route or not. I just want to know what everyone thinks of the Isomac
Millennium. Further up in this thread, Dave B. poo-poohed it quite a
bit and Isomacs in general, but it seems like they used to be
considered the cream of the crop. So, what happened? More importantly,
what does everyone think of this specific machine, and it would it be
worth buying one that is five years old and appears to be
well-maintained? Thanks.

PS I've already read up on flushing issues, etc. with HX machines, so I
am only looking for advice on this particular machine. Thanks!
Justin



  
Date: 15 Nov 2006 17:59:18
From: Ed T
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision

"jgriff" <justin.griffeth@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1163615898.899644.253430@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
> Randy G. wrote:
>>
>> Get the PID later (it is easy to install if you are not
>> tool-challenged) and instead, spend the money now for a better
>> grinder. The Solis is OK, but not the best choice for feeding Silvia
>> with what she likes.
>
> Okay, I'll think about that. Is Rocky good enough, or do you guys
> recommend a Mazzer or something similar?
>
>> > My last questions is,
>> >would it be worth it for me to wait and save up for a higher-end
>> >machine rather than Miss Silvia (such as an HX machine)? There is a
>> >used Isomac Millenium available locally, but it's quite a bit more than
>> >a new Silvia.
>> >
>> HX machines excel at making lots of drinks in a shorter period of
>> time, particularly when making milk based drinks. Silvia, in the hands
>> of an experienced barrista, and particularly with PID, is capable of a
>> good showing up against just about any machine under $1200 or so...
>
> Do you think it's worth getting Silvia stock, or would it be better to
> wait a little while longer until I can get the PID, too? I've looked at
> getting one through Hitechespresso or just buying the kit through MLG.
> I know you liked the MLG kit, Randy, and I feel reasonably confident
> that I can do the work myself.
>
>> >
>> Every machine has its idiosyncrasies and will need some level of
>> adjusting and modification of technique to get the most out of it.
>> Your past experience will help shorten the time it takes to get there.
>>
>> Randy "idiosyncratic inconsistencies" G.
>> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
>
> Luckily, there's tons of info on the web about Silvia and
> temp/time-surfing. Thanks to you guys for the advice and for putting
> all the info out there for us noobs!
>
> Justin
>

I upgraded from a Solis Maestro to a Rocky DL several years ago and was
surprised at the noticeable improvement in the espressos I was getting out
of Silvia. Four months ago I upgraded to the Macap M4 stepless to
compliment an Anita I purchased several months earlier. The Macap is very
similar to the Mazzer. There was an improvement in the shots but it wasn't
as dramatic as when I made the upgrade to the Rocky. The Rocky/Silvia combo
is a good choice and will allow you to make very good shots. However,
purchasing a Mazzer class grinder should eliminate the urge to upgrade at
somepoint in the future.

Ed




 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 10:32:31
From: jgriff
Subject: Re: New Silvia ?
> would it be worth it for me to wait and save up for a higher-end
> machine rather than Miss Silvia (such as an HX machine)?
IMHO More difficult to produce great shots -- as a stock HX
>There is a
> used Isomac . . .
Isomac is a second tier choice, let alone used. The things I've seen
inside Isomacs!
>Millenium available locally, but it's quite a bit more than
> a new Silvia. I don't want to be overwhelmed learning how to make
> coffee all over again on a new machine.
You will be.

Thanks for advice, everyone. I didn't realize anyone had such a low
opinion of Isomacs! I'm glad I didn't make an offer on the used one
here.



 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 10:24:31
From: daveb
Subject: New Silvia /w 'pid' decision
BTW, MY new silvias with'pid' controller ALL come with a 1 (one) year
parts and labor warranty -- on the entire unit.

and IMHO, your Solis will do fine for now.

Ciao,

Dave
www.hitechespresso.com
159.5



 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 08:34:46
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
justin.griffeth@gmail.com wrote:

>If I get a Silvia, I'm sure I'll eventually upgrade with a PID based on
>what I've read, or maybe even buy a new one with the PID installed. I'd
>like to get a new grinder eventually, too, but I think I'll stick with
>my Solis Maestro Plus for the short-term.
>
Get the PID later (it is easy to install if you are not
tool-challenged) and instead, spend the money now for a better
grinder. The Solis is OK, but not the best choice for feeding Silvia
with what she likes.

> My last questions is,
>would it be worth it for me to wait and save up for a higher-end
>machine rather than Miss Silvia (such as an HX machine)? There is a
>used Isomac Millenium available locally, but it's quite a bit more than
>a new Silvia.
>
HX machines excel at making lots of drinks in a shorter period of
time, particularly when making milk based drinks. Silvia, in the hands
of an experienced barrista, and particularly with PID, is capable of a
good showing up against just about any machine under $1200 or so...

>I don't want to be overwhelmed learning how to make
>coffee all over again on a new machine. I have my technique down pretty
>well on my current machine, but even buying Silvia opens me up to a new
>world of temp/time-surfing and I don't know if I even want to consider
>trying to master an HX machine where you have to flush it every shot
>and try to get the right temps.
>
Every machine has its idiosyncrasies and will need some level of
adjusting and modification of technique to get the most out of it.
Your past experience will help shorten the time it takes to get there.

Randy "idiosyncratic inconsistencies" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 01:25:38
From: daveb
Subject: Re: New Silvia ?

justin.griffeth@gmail.com wrote:
Are these differences a good enough
> reason to get the "new" Silvia instead of finding an older model that
> is discounted/refurbished?

No.

The adjustable OPV was in place before the cosmetic changes and usually
shipped with the CORRECT setting.


>
> Also, I have seen discussions about the "thermowell" in the Silvia's
> boiler. What the he!l is that, and what would you do with it? ;-)

It is not a thermowell. It is a hole in the side of the boiler less
than 1 inch deep. It would do very little to improve sensing accuracy
of any potential thermostatic device, rumored or future, as it is NOT
probing the water directly. I have 5 new ones here, getting the 'pid'
mod. for true accuracy, a thermocouple probe should be sunk in a
carefully chosen area of the boiler water and be in DIRECT physical
contact with the water.

>
s. My last questions is,
> would it be worth it for me to wait and save up for a higher-end
> machine rather than Miss Silvia (such as an HX machine)?

IMHO More difficult to produce great shots -- as a stock HX

>There is a
> used Isomac . . .

Isomac is a second tier choice, let alone used. The things I've seen
inside Isomacs!

>Millenium available locally, but it's quite a bit more than
> a new Silvia. I don't want to be overwhelmed learning how to make
> coffee all over again on a new machine.

You will be.

I have my technique down pretty
> well on my current machine, but even buying Silvia opens me up to a new
> world of temp/time-surfing and I don't know if I even want to consider
> trying to master an HX machine where you have to flush it every shot
> and try to get the right temps.

you nailed it there.

Thanks for any advice you guys have,
> and sorry for the long-winded post!
>

Nah. Great questions!
Dave
159.5
www.hitechespresso.com



 
Date: 15 Nov 2006 05:53:52
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: New Silvia buying decision
New Silvia performs about the same as the old Silvia. Thermowell is there
for whenever Rancilio get around to installing their own PID setup. It's a
hole to stick a thermocouple in.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au