kutsyy Senior Member Joined: 23 Sep 2008 Posts: 8 Location: San Francisco Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 4:11pm Subject: Silvano vs Vivaldi II
I am trying to decide between Silvano by Quick Mill and S1 Vivaldi II by La Spaziale. They would be used in combination with Mazzer Mini grinder.
I know they are completely different price range and essentially I am trying to figure out if Vivaldi worth twice more for me.
Direct plumbing in Vivaldi is nice as well as endless steam from the steam boiler (assuming 20amp hookup) but neither is main issue. My wife likes macchiato and Silvano should have more than enough steam readily available for macchiato.
I don't like to keep my coffee maker on all the time (so no E61 to be considered :) ) and Silvano should have slightly better heat up time, but Vivaldi is not far behind (for main boiler only).
My main concern is no pre-infusion on Silvano and quality of Silvano vs Vivaldi. I know that Quick Mill is very good company, but Silvano is different then the rest of the machine they are making, so I don't know how tested it is. How much should I worry about pre-infusion?
Jmanespresso Senior Member Joined: 18 Jan 2009 Posts: 2,109 Location: Westchester NY Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5 Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 5:40pm Subject: Re: Silvano vs Vivaldi II
Really, comparing the two machines is so hard to do, because they are totally different machines. You're trying to compare a high end entry level home machine, to a commercial 1group dual boiler.
In my opinion, if you have the money to spend, go for the Vivaldi. Also, I owned a Vivaldi II for close to a year and a half. It was my second machine, I upgraded from a Quickmill Anita, which I owned for 7 months before I decided I wanted more. So, with that in mind...
Without typing out what would be a seriously drawn out explanation why I think the Vivaldi is the better machine, Ill just say this.
The Silvano is a solid machine. No doubt. Makes good coffee, and can steam right after brewing due to its thermoblock. Its not the fastest steamer in the world, but its adequate. Its probably the best home espresso machine on the market.
The Vivaldi II was Chris Coffee's number one machine for a very long time. Thier most popular. And even though a different dual boiler currently holds the "Most Popular" machine title, the Vivaldi II remains a very popular choice. Dual boiler means you can steam and brew at the same time. Easy temp adjustment, and the steam power on the Vivaldi is where it truly shows its commercial 1group ability. The dryer the steam, the more powerful the steam, the sweeter you can make the milk. In this regard the Vivaldi not only blows the Silvano out of the water by a huge margin, it also beats most of the E61 dual boilers as well. Its a beastly steamer, and the milk is just fantastic.
The thing for me between the two of them is not which one will make better coffee. They both will make good coffee. You've got a Mazzer Mini which has lost popularity recently because of its price, and the venerable Baratza Vario, but the MAzzer Mini is still a VERY GOOD grinder, and it will pair nicely with either machine. Both machines allow you to set the temp and go. and steam ability has been covered.
No, what it comes down to for me, if I was making the choice, is this. One is a compact, low capacity, stricly consumer machine. The other is a commercial 1 group machine. It feels solid and planted when you use it. Its a rotary pump, so it doesn't vibrate and shake everything when its making a shot, just a nice humm. Should anything need replacing, its easy to find parts and get inside and work on it without feeling cramped.. Though, it has been one of the most trouble free machine Chris Coffee sells.
Its just the overall quality of the machine, how it feels when you use it. Does it feel like your using a very nice kitchen appliance, or does it feel like your using a well built espresso machine.
Between the two, if you ask me, its Vivaldi all the way.
You mention to E61s because you don't like to leave the machine on all the time.. Ive been reading more often on threads about people not wanting an E61 machine, and sometimes giving a reason like yours, or often just saying, "I wont have an E61.."
What is with this aversion to the E61 grouphead? Did I miss something? The E61 is incredibly temperature stable, it provides a built in progressive pre-infusion every time by design, if you're plumbed in, you can also manually use line-pressure pre-infusion, it is forgiving of slight missteps in shot prep, it is incredibly easy to service and completely rebuild, AND it looks great. Ok, so that last one is personal taste, but everything else is 100% fact. There is a reason why the E61 grouphead is used on many machines, and copied or slightly modified by manufacturers, even though it was designed in 1961 and is anything but brand new technology. Fact is, the two features of it being easily rebuilt and forgiving of shot prep mistakes, make it a grouphead that by design, will outlast your desire to own the machine, and make it easy to pull great shots. If I compare it to the Vivaldi grouphead, the E61 is easier. Its not that pulling great shots from the Vivaldi is hard, its just that on an E61 its easier. Diligence in shot prep is rewarded, but slight missteps are not harshly punished.
Anyway, that aside, you cited the reason for not considering an E61 machine was because you dont want to keep the machine on all the time... -These machines wont be hurt in any way from being left on 24/7. They were designed with that in mind. Im not saying turning them off is the wrong way to use them, Im saying if you're worried about breaking something, dont be.
-If you compare heat up time on the Vivaldi and an E61 dual boiler, you're going to be pretty close on both of them. They will both get the brew boiler heated up in a matter of minutes, and then will need time to heat up the entire machine. Ideal warm up time for an E61 is an hour, ideal warm up time for the Vivaldi is 45. You can push it to 30 on the Vivaldi by flushing the grouphead a bunch, or putting a heavy towel over the machine while it heats up, but you can do the exact same thing on an E61 machine. Furthermore, on every single E61 machine, you can use an appliance timer to turn the machine on whenever you want. In fact, many people do this. The Vivaldi can't use a regular appliance timer. If you want a timer for the Vivaldi, its $250 for thier timer. It has to do with the software and electronics.
If the only reason you don't want an E61 is because you think they take longer to heat up, then think again.
Follow Your Bliss
Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
zedex Senior Member Joined: 31 Jan 2010 Posts: 129 Location: B.C Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Spaz v2 Grinder: vario
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 6:59pm Subject: Re: Silvano vs Vivaldi II
With the S1 V2 you dont need 20 amp service. 15 amp will toggle between the 2 boilers. When and if you buy, just mention that you plan on running it under 15 amp service. You will not notice any difference between the two amperage settings.
also.. as already mentioned, the S1 V2 needs a special timer which is $200. When i bought my S1 V2 from CCS , Chris threw in a timer at no cost. Food for thought
I cant comment on the Silvano since i have never used one but the S1 V2 is very nice indeed. If you got the cash, you probably will not regret the purchase.
kutsyy Senior Member Joined: 23 Sep 2008 Posts: 8 Location: San Francisco Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 8:42am Subject: Re: Silvano vs Vivaldi II
Thanks everyone for comments. I do know that Vivaldi is better machine (but say La Marzocco is better :) ). Based on the comments I see so far, I still think that Vivaldi doesn't woth 2x for me comparing to Silvano.
Is there anyone who could talk me out of Silvano?
PS: home barista review is very interesting, but I was looking for more of the real life-home use comments about Silvano.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,278 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 8:55am Subject: Re: Silvano vs Vivaldi II
Silvano v. Vivaldi II? I don't have a horse in this race, nor -- more to the point -- I have not owned either machine. That said, I'd still get the Vivaldi for the following reasons: proven design and track-record of both quality AND longevity of use; large number of fellow users out there to help with any problems you might encounter; the ability to produce large(r) volumes of espresso and steam, for when you have friends over.
But don't think you need to have an E61 on 24/7. You don't need to at all! Some people do; others do not. I have an Elektra T1 (non-E61 group) that I have on 24/7 at home, and a La Valentina (E61) in my office that's on a programmable timer from 8am-6pm, 5 days a week.
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