Weasel Senior Member Joined: 29 May 2007 Posts: 118 Location: San Jose, CA Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011, 11:51am Subject: Re: Officina Rancilio Museum Visit, Road Reports
Thanks for posting, very interesting. I am curious about the lever machine you compare to Gaggia Crema machines. It looks like it could be the base of a ,40's era jukebox. Do you have a more complete shot of the machine? Nice to see all those vintage designs. The 1950's Horizontal reminded me of my great grandmother's car.
My entire visit, everyone from Rancilio was thanking me for all the early "rah rah" stuff that I did for the Silvia. It was non-stop. I even met Silvia Rancilio (who the machine is named after) and she was gracious and thankful.
I also got asked why I thought the Silvia was so popular. I told them three things.
It was really the first "serious looking" and serious built home machine of the current era - when the Silvia came out, you had the choice of aluminum boiler Gaggias, plastic Saecos, or what have you - the Silvia kicked things up a knotch.
Andy Schecter and Greg Scace. Very simple - they put PIDs in a Silvia and change espresso. For a time there, Rancilio Silvias were the most stable temperature machines on the planet. So much came out of that - that rep (stable), hackable, and a kind of subtle nod of approval from the manufacturer / suppliers that, yes, go ahead and hack the Silvia
Resale value. The Silvia's resale value is quite good. People who bought $395 Silvias often sell them these days for $500 used and get it.
I really hammered home the point that the Silvia needs a successor, and the Silvia needs some new tricks.
Silvia with new tricks I really tried to drive home the point that the Silvia should have a factory PID option. I think the message was heard.
Silvia's upgrade Again, I hammered home the point about brand loyalty, love for the Silvia, and a sadness that Rancilio doesn't offer any kind of step up machine from the Silvia. The point was heard - and heard, and heard again. They even started discussing with me some possible configurations for a "Super Silvia"
And, I hammered home the point (as did all the attendees) about grinders and how they universally suck. Their engineers were listening.
Lastly. Guess how many Silvias Rancilio sold in 2010? I was freaked out by the number: 22,000 units worldwide. Their biggest year ever. Previous year was 17,000.
The Ducale is quite awesome, esp. in person. We talked to Rancilio about possibly doing their new Class 7 machine (debuting at SCAA Houston) - the dual lever model (they are still doing levers) with a Ducale Special Edition body style. They liked the idea.
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