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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Ranchilio Silvia...  
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slim4511
Senior Member
slim4511
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 7:01am
Subject: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

There is a company offering a Ranchilio Silvia V3 with an electronic PID modification.  With all of the expertise on this forum, I am hoping I can get some feedback as to whether this is a significant improvement over the stock unit.  Basically the pluses and minuses of such an addition.  Certainly there would be warranty ramifications.  Thanks for your feedback.
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 8:34am
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

I don't own either - so take my advice with the appropriate grain of salt.

If I happend to already own a Silvia (or found a cheap fixer upper), I might find it worthwhile to add a PID myself.  But if I were going to spend the price of a new Silvia with PID pre-installed, I would much rather buy a higher end machine since you are getting into that price range.

With the smaller boiler SBDU machines like the Silvia, the PID will help you get your starting temp (save you learning a temp surf routine) ... but really won't help (much) any of the other shortcomings like shot recovery time, temp drop during shot, waiting for boiler to settle back to brew temp after steaming etc.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 May 24, 2012, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

Hi.
If you do a search you will find LOTS of info about this but in a nut shell.
Yes a PID makes a very positive improvement in a Sylvia.  

SCG offers the machine (on sale for $629) with a PID (add $250) installed at their shop for a total SALE price of $879 plus tax etc. However, that said, you can buy other machines of equal quality for much less money. Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

Yes if you do it your self, you void the warranty.

Now, is there a reason you picked this machine? When you buy a NEW Sylvia and have it modded with a PID, you are in rock throwing distance of MUCH BETTER machines, such as an Oscar. $1050 on sale at the same vendor. Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

The Oscar is in entirely different league than a SBDU machine and is much easier to operate, much more consistent and offers more features. Used, they start at the $500 mark so I ask again, is there a special reason you are looking for a Sylvia?

 
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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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 225
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 10:08am
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

A PID does improve a single boiler machine because it controls the temperature - without it, those machines can vary in temp by +/- 7, which is a 14 degree spread!  But to add one to a Silvia does add significant cost and put you in the price range of better machines, as it was said.

If you want a brand new machine with a PID, you can consider the Crossland CC1. It's not much more than a regular Silvia, $699, and has a PID built-in.  

(Avoid the open box one for $100 less, because you don't get the cleaners, bottomless portafilter, pound of coffee, or grinder discount.)
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slim4511
Senior Member
slim4511
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 10:26am
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

Great feedback, thanks.  I have not purchased my machine yet.  I thought I had narrowed it down to the Silvia.  I am absolutely new to all this and just happened to stumble across the PID for the Silvia and it seemed like a good way to make my learning curve of creating great espresso shorter and better.  As you point out, it gets me into more cost certainly.  A couple of better options were pointed out, so please offer suggestions on machines in that price range for me to research.  Thanks again.
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yiplong
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Feb 2012
Posts: 80
Location: EU
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 11:48am
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

Cheaper option: Le'lit PL42 + PID, I believe it's about $550

Middle option: CC1, $700, -$100 if count the grinder discount and I agree with Gig103 on avoiding the opened box.  

Higher option: QM Silvano, this is more expensive, but I believe Silvia + PID will put you in the same ballpark as the Silvano

I would definitely pick any one of the above over Silvia + PID.  The Silvia IMO is not worth its hefty price.
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IndianaBrewer
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 15
Location: Indianapolis
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Drip: Cusinart Grind and Brew
Posted Sat Nov 3, 2012, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

My one and only espresso machine has been a PID'd Silvia.  I have enjoyed the consistency of this unit, although I do not have experience with a stock Silvia.  My PID was installed by hightechespresso.com and I have not had any problems.  

FYI: I am posting my setup in the classifieds.
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onthego
Senior Member
onthego
Joined: 3 Jul 2005
Posts: 231
Location: Anchorage, AK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore One Black, Silvia...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rocky DL,...
Drip: Krups
Posted Sun Nov 4, 2012, 3:46pm
Subject: Re: Ranchilio Silvia PID modification
 

I have a Silvia that I purchased 10 years ago.  Four years ago I installed a PID and adjustable OPV and it became a completely different machine.
I use it daily and sink shots are almost non existent and when they happen it isn't the fault of the Silvia.  During the past seven years I have owned
a QM Anita and Salvatore One Black, both fine HX machines but I find myself going back to the Silvia time and again.  If you primarily drink straight shots
of espresso the single boiler Silvia will work very well.  If you make a lot of milk drinks the HX is a better way to go.  In terms of espresso shot quality,
I prefer the PID controlled single boiler to the HX, at least the small boiler HX machines like the Anita and One Black.  I can't speak to the larger boiler HX
machines because I have never used one.
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