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Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Trying to Decide...  
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,433
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 1:13am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

BubbaDude Said:

The Breville DB is less expensive because it's an original design made for mass production and not an HX machine retrofitted with a second boiler and an off-the-shelf PID. The boilers are stainless steel instead of brass or copper, and they're appropriately sized for a home machine. In my experience - I've had one for a year - it is highly reliable, a good steamer, quick to warm up, and super convenient to use. The Breville has superior temperature control and stability, and better human factors (AKA "user interface") than the standard Italian machine has. It has PID control of the electronic brew group heater, something the retrofit machines don't feature, as well as an auto start timer, user programmable pre-infusion, a computer controlled cleaning cycle, and precise control of the actual brew temp without guesswork about temperature offsets.

Posted January 21, 2013 link

The Breville does look an interesting and well thought out machine. I'm not sure how "repairable" it is, I'm sure any part can be bought, but there might come a point where maintaining it becomes very expensive. However, your view of DB E61 designs is a little distorted and in some areas plain wrong. Especially your use of the word retrofit.

Just a few things to mull over.

  1. You have had the Breville for a year, many of the E61 DB designs have been going for 5 years or more. It will be interesting to see how your Breville is doing in 5 years time.My Duetto is 5 years old and when I clean her up, it looks as good as new. I cannot imagine not owning it for another 5, 10 or 15 years. certainly nothing on there that is not repairable and all the parts should be available for a very long time because loads of manufacturers use them. Mine was a pre production prototype, so will be less reliable than production machines, but it hasn't given me any trouble.

  2. In reading all the posts, you seem to have a "downer" on off the shelf parts. Generic parts are great, loads of people use them and if something fails, often a similar part will do the job. With the Breville, if they ever stop making parts for it in the future (which these companies do with mass market machines) you might get a listing that starts to say "discontinued" against more and more parts. Normally mass produced machines "bespoke" part availability does not extend much beyond 5 years. This is because they want you to buy a new one....we live increasingly in a disposable world.

  3. Lots of stuff in the Breville will be difficult for the home user to repair (unless it has great onboard diagnostics for the user), or bloody annoying to repair. I don't want to have to disconnect and replace and entire steam or brew boiler just because a heating element has failed (along with all the complexities that entails). The Breville heating elements don't look replaceable on their own to me, it's new steam or brew boiler time when an element goes?

  4. Then we have the low tech, high tech argument. The truth of it is that a sensible balance has to be struck and some simple engineering design rules need to be followed for a machine that a home user can maintain at a reasonable price and a machine that will have good longevity. Faults should be simple to diagnose and easy to fix, the cost of repairs should be kept to a minimum. Reliability should be high, but without sacrificing the principles mentioned earlier. A complex/or not so complex electronic component should be used if it fulfills some basics, cheaper, more reliable and better performing, or adding some "must have" function. If it doesn't, you have to think carefully about adding it.

Certain decisions by manufacturers require some thought around these principles, I am not talking about any particular manufacturer here (because certainly more than one manufacturer uses boilers with non replaceable heating elements), some examples below:

  1. A steel boiler with fixed in heating elements (change the entire boiler) vs a boiler with changeable heating elements (change just the heating elements).
  2. A manual lever controlling a valve to switch for an internal water tank to mains plumbed operation (super reliable, very cheap will never fail)  vs 2 electronic solenoid valves to do the same job (more expensive, reliable, more complex they can buzz, especially if the shading coils fail)
  3. A twin channel PID that shares brew boiler PID algorithms with the steam boiler (mutually exclusive needs), or a simpler PID for the brew boiler (cheaper more reliable) with pressurestat for the steam boiler (very low cost, and easy to replace)
  4. Electronically heated group for stability (cheap, but more complex, not so generic) vs Heavy E61 group for stability (simple, very reliable, but very expensive, very generic)

Overall, I don't mind the appropriate use of electronics, but I don't like it when it's a cheap way of building "on the edge" machines with short lifetimes. Now I'm not saying this applies to the Breville, it may prove to be a great machine over time. However your views of  the more traditional DB designs is a little uninformed and unfair. That amount of bias may lead less experienced people to make purchase decisions not based on real facts.

P.S. I don't have a downer on modern electronics, circuit boards, plastic etc.....the Gene Cafe is about as far away from a traditional roaster as you can imagine, but has proved itself much more reliable (in the UK) than expected. many have been going 4 years or more with no problems.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

cuznvin Said:

I dont intend to plumb and after seeing comments about having to take apart the E61 group and lubricate every so often, I am getting turned off by them. So it will probably be something like a La Spaziale Dream or BDB..

Posted January 28, 2013 link

I dont like the spazials 53mm PF or pseudo-PID. I dont think the PID is going to give you the same control, and I just dont like 53mm PF's (harder to find bottomless, baskets, etc.)

There isn't an excessive need to take apart and oild your e61. Anyone who told you this is either having issues with their machine, or issues with their OCD. If you notice a lever sticking, a good backflush with detergent and water should do the trick, if it doesnt, just pull of the top bolt, rinse under cool water, reassemble. I have never had to do this, I dont know anyone who has had to, but I do know plenty who have out of curiosity... one in preparing a café to open with a used e61 machine. then, the only parts I would buy a tube of NSF grease for are the articulating steam and water arm. They fit into ball joints on the machine, and you may find that after some weeks the heat makes them stick.... I havent had this issue, with my steam arm, only my hot water, so I imagine it's not just the heat but lack of use. Wiggling the hot water arm brought it back to life, no grease applied, the valves never stopped working.


Also, If you want to avoid any e-61 woes, but don't want to jump on the BDB bandwagon. You can buy.... A Nuova Siminolli. I didin't like the machines interface, I prefer the e-61 but I did consider it for a while, programable pre-infuse, push button operation... No PID though, and for an extra few hundred bucks it comes with disco lights!

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,271
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:43am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

Hi Bubbadude. Hey after five years of these types of shots from my Gaggia Classic its hard for me to feel the compulsion to upgrade. I
have been looking at the Quickmill Silvano as a possible move for more control of water temp and pressure yet still just love this Gaggia Classic.
Its become a friend...even if I upgraded Ide have to keep it.

Click Here (www.youtube.com)

Iluvdabean Said:

Fair question...I have been using my Gaggia Classic everyday for five years and its just been fine. But frankly thats not the question here.Its from a person wanting to know why he should pick one of  these three.
When you examine the facts you see E61 the industry standard.You have to ask yourself why? Why would all these great manufactures choose it ? Secondly you have to ask yourself
about Chinese build quality? I mean long haul...10,15,20 years later are these Breviles going to be around?  Does anyone seriously believe the build quality in the Chinese machine is equal to the Italians?

Posted January 28, 2013 link

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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:52am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

acasabia Said:

I dont like the spazials 53mm PF or pseudo-PID. I dont think the PID is going to give you the same control, and I just dont like 53mm PF's (harder to find bottomless, baskets, etc.)

There isn't an excessive need to take apart and oild your e61. Anyone who told you this is either having issues with their machine, or issues with their OCD. If you notice a lever sticking, a good backflush with detergent and water should do the trick, if it doesnt, just pull of the top bolt, rinse under cool water, reassemble. I have never had to do this, I dont know anyone who has had to, but I do know plenty who have out of curiosity... one in preparing a café to open with a used e61 machine. then, the only parts I would buy a tube of NSF grease for are the articulating steam and water arm. They fit into ball joints on the machine, and you may find that after some weeks the heat makes them stick.... I havent had this issue, with my steam arm, only my hot water, so I imagine it's not just the heat but lack of use. Wiggling the hot water arm brought it back to life, no grease applied, the valves never stopped working.


Also, If you want to avoid any e-61 woes, but don't want to jump on the BDB bandwagon. You can buy.... A Nuova Siminolli. I didin't like the machines interface, I prefer the e-61 but I did consider it for a while, programable pre-infuse, push button operation... No PID though, and for an extra few hundred bucks it comes with disco lights!

Posted January 29, 2013 link

As long as I dont have to take the whole grouphead apart every 2 months as this guy said he does I'm ok with an E61
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,271
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

This is a very good answer. It supplies lots of great information actually.

Thanks.

DavecUK Said:

The Breville does look an interesting and well thought out machine. I'm not sure how "repairable" it is, I'm sure any part can be bought, but there might come a point where maintaining it becomes very expensive. However, your view of DB E61 designs is a little distorted and in some areas plain wrong. Especially your use of the word retrofit.

Just a few things to mull over.

You have had the Breville for a year, many of the E61 DB designs have been going for 5 years or more. It will be interesting to see how your Breville is doing in 5 years time.My Duetto is 5 years old and when I clean her up, it looks as good as new. I cannot imagine not owning it for another 5, 10 or 15 years. certainly nothing on there that is not repairable and all the parts should be available for a very long time because loads of manufacturers use them. Mine was a pre production prototype, so will be less reliable than production machines, but it hasn't given me any trouble.

In reading all the posts, you seem to have a "downer" on off the shelf parts. Generic parts are great, loads of people use them and if something fails, often a similar part will do the job. With the Breville, if they ever stop making parts for it in the future (which these companies do with mass market machines) you might get a listing that starts to say "discontinued" against more and more parts. Normally mass produced machines "bespoke" part availability does not extend much beyond 5 years. This is because they want you to buy a new one....we live increasingly in a disposable world.

Lots of stuff in the Breville will be difficult for the home user to repair (unless it has great onboard diagnostics for the user), or bloody annoying to repair. I don't want to have to disconnect and replace and entire steam or brew boiler just because a heating element has failed (along with all the complexities that entails). The Breville heating elements don't look replaceable on their own to me, it's new steam or brew boiler time when an element goes?

Then we have the low tech, high tech argument. The truth of it is that a sensible balance has to be struck and some simple engineering design rules need to be followed for a machine that a home user can maintain at a reasonable price and a machine that will have good longevity. Faults should be simple to diagnose and easy to fix, the cost of repairs should be kept to a minimum. Reliability should be high, but without sacrificing the principles mentioned earlier. A complex/or not so complex electronic component should be used if it fulfills some basics, cheaper, more reliable and better performing, or adding some "must have" function. If it doesn't, you have to think carefully about adding it.

Certain decisions by manufacturers require some thought around these principles, I am not talking about any particular manufacturer here (because certainly more than one manufacturer uses boilers with non replaceable heating elements), some examples below:

A steel boiler with fixed in heating elements (change the entire boiler) vs a boiler with changeable heating elements (change just the heating elements).
A manual lever controlling a valve to switch for an internal water tank to mains plumbed operation (super reliable, very cheap will never fail)  vs 2 electronic solenoid valves to do the same job (more expensive, reliable, more complex they can buzz, especially if the shading coils fail)
A twin channel PID that shares brew boiler PID algorithms with the steam boiler (mutually exclusive needs), or a simpler PID for the brew boiler (cheaper more reliable) with pressurestat for the steam boiler (very low cost, and easy to replace)
Electronically heated group for stability (cheap, but more complex, not so generic) vs Heavy E61 group for stability (simple, very reliable, but very expensive, very generic)

Overall, I don't mind the appropriate use of electronics, but I don't like it when it's a cheap way of building "on the edge" machines with short lifetimes. Now I'm not saying this applies to the Breville, it may prove to be a great machine over time. However your views of  the more traditional DB designs is a little uninformed and unfair. That amount of bias may lead less experienced people to make purchase decisions not based on real facts.

P.S. I don't have a downer on modern electronics, circuit boards, plastic etc.....the Gene Cafe is about as far away from a traditional roaster as you can imagine, but has proved itself much more reliable (in the UK) than expected. many have been going 4 years or more with no problems.

Posted January 29, 2013 link

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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

cuznvin Said:

As long as I dont have to take the whole grouphead apart every 2 months as this guy said he does I'm ok with an E61

Posted January 29, 2013 link


I've had my E61 since July 2011, and I lubed the little pegs in the group once just to see if it was a hassle (it was a 15 minute job).  In the time I've had it there has been no need to lube, and the one time I did wasn't required.  It still operates smoothly and quietly.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

cuznvin Said:

So much for helping us decide on one of these machines. This is going on FOREVER!!

Posted January 28, 2013 link

Ok, I'll help make it simple: Buy a Harley Davidson or a Yamaha?  Now, just think about all the considerations you follow down that path - same here :)
</giggles a bit madly... *but then: goes back to drinking very acceptable espresso without a second thought*
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

MerleApAmber Said:

Ok, I'll help make it simple: Buy a Harley Davidson or a Yamaha?  Now, just think about all the considerations you follow down that path - same here :)
</giggles a bit madly... *but then: goes back to drinking very acceptable espresso without a second thought*

Posted January 29, 2013 link

That was helpful!
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

seriously Vinnie!
doesn't it seem this is what we're down to?  Big IRON or aluminum?  Awesome name recognition vs guys that go out and win moto gp - irregardless of how long you'll be able to keep the chrome shining on that big iron in your garage?  Big investment and bragging rights vs nearly acceptable right of passage costs?

I guess those who will continue to argue you get what you pay for will be able to say "I tol'yaso" when or if my BDB crashes and burns... but I have computers which hail from the Pentium era WITH WATER COOLING and old hard disks which are still very much functional on the software of their times.

Also, if you'd care to know, when I saw the Rocket R58 demo the girls at SCG made on you tube I admit to a bit of envy... but, for me, perhaps it's more a question of serious disposable income vs 2k this, 5 k that - do you see what I mean?
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,271
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

I say be happy with what you have.
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