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Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
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cinci_trader
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Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 6:32am
Subject: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

After a long trip to Portland I've seen the light and am ready to dump my 90's Krups combo drip/espresso for a "real" machine and drinks. I've narrowed my search to the Breville DB and Silvia with PID. I can obtain either (refurbished or open box) for around $800. From all the research it looks like the DB is quite a machine for the money, but I'm very concerned about the lack of home descaling and durability. I've contacted various Breville repair facilities with wide ranges of prices for a descale and many won't even service them. With some instructions I could likely descale it myself (I've rebuilt numerous cars, houses, etc), but obviously don't want to blow it up. My friend's wife is from the northwest and a coffee aficionado and said to go with the Silvia (she said it is solid and has the track record) but only had experience with the older Brevilles. A review on here likened it to a GS/3. I usually make 2 drinks at a time (1 for me and my wife) and am concerned about the lag with the Silvia. Any thoughts from someone who has used/had both? Thanks for the insight.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Sep 6, 2013, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

Welcome to the board.

SOME of the features were likened to a GS3, it is NOT a GS3, or in the same neighborhood as a GS3. A Toyota has 4 wheels, a  Ferrari has 4 wheels, a Toyota is not a Ferrari.

I have watched the introduction of the BDB and its history since then. Some are VERY happy with it and have had no problems at all. Some are on their second, third and even fourth machine under warranty.

I share your concerns about the lack of serviceability by the owner and others are not bothered by it.

Two drinks at a time depending on the size of them is a doable thing on Sylvia but there are as good or better machines available in todays market for less money, even with a PID.

There are a LOT of quality machines that show up used in your price range that are a solid step up from Sylvia, if you are not worried about the lack of a warranty, these used but in great shape machines are an EXCELLENT value.
This one just sold for $900 and is head and shoulders above your two choices.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/641185

Still for sale $800 and is high quality. http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/629619

Don't forget that a very good espresso able grinder is mandatory. It isn't a choice, fresh coffee, freshly ground is one of the requirements for great espresso.

 
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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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,954
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

I find the selection of options somewhat odd.  Two very different machines.

For that budget, I would say you should consider a CC1 - which I think should replace the PID'd Silvia in your decision tree.  

Is there some particular reason you're looking at a DB machine? Nothing wrong with DBs...in fact, I own one myself.  However, you've set it up against a SBDU machine. Why no HX machine? Perhaps you should read the buying guide here to help you decide what type of machine is best for you.  In fact, we should probably step back and look at the basics (posted in the thread Coffeenoobie started - which became a sticky post).

How else are we to know which one is right for your situation?  It's quite possible that neither the Breville DB or the Rancilio Silvia will suit your needs.

Budget?
Grinder in your budget or not?  If not, what do you intend to use?
plumbed or reservoir mode operation?
electrical supply available?
# drinks per session? per day? per week?
plans to entertain occasionally?

I am less skeptical than Wayne about the Breville, but only because I don't know their background like he does.  I, too, have sen both positive and negative reviews of it.  I, too, am leery of it merely because you have to send it in for descaling.  I am also leery of it because it is the only DB machine in it's price range!  In fact, I'm pretty sure just about every other DB machine is more than double the cost of the Breville. That fact alone would give me considerable pause.

FYI, for 1k, you can get a brand new La Nuova Era Cuadra from 1st-line.com. Maybe your budget is flexible? Of course, That machine may not be right for you either.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cinci_trader
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Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

Thanks Ron and Wayne.

Wayne - I wasn't comparing the Breville to the GS, but as you stated it has some similar features, which is what the articles have said, and totally understand your car analogy. I want the performance and feel of the Ferrari at a fraction of the cost...so a new Stingray or 911 will work ;)

I actually contacted the guy who sold the Pasquini and he directed me to the La Nuova Era Cuadra as well. It gets me what I want and need without breaking the bank.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,954
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

if you're interested in a grinder, and willing to get a manual...there's an OE Pharos with the Voodoo Daddy mod on the BST board for $250 shipped.  I don't think anyone has jumped on it yet, but it's going to go fast.  I almost went for it, but it would set me back from my path to get a HG one, so I'm showing restraint (though I was just looking at the coffee cabinet in my office, figuring how to make room for it).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Sep 6, 2013, 2:40pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

cinci_trader Said:

Thanks Ron and Wayne.

Wayne - I wasn't comparing the Breville to the GS, but as you stated it has some similar features, which is what the articles have said, and totally understand your car analogy. I want the performance and feel of the Ferrari at a fraction of the cost...so a new Stingray or 911 will work ;)

I actually contacted the guy who sold the Pasquini and he directed me to the La Nuova Era Cuadra as well. It gets me what I want and need without breaking the bank.

Posted September 6, 2013 link


Well that bites, my pretty long post vanished after I pushed the post button!
The short version... I feel a better $ value to quality can be found elsware. Thosewho have them like them a lot YMMV!

 
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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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 8:23pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

Matt, when you say real machine are you partly thinking of the romance of espresso making?  Or, are you focused on shot quality, and would value getting out the door for less money?

If the Breville's overall style appeals to you, and money is a consideration I think you should consider the 840XL also.  (And in addition the Crossland CC1 which I think was mentioned already).  I have an 840, it's a good performer, very easy to use, but not at the level of the 900 and that's not even counting all the nice features that machine has.

You've done your homework on Breville service.  What's the story on those refurb 900's, do you know if you're getting a Breville warranty with that?

If you are into the romance of an Italian machine, the Cuadra seems like it could be good.  I bet you could get a used N.S. Oscar for less than $500 and functionally it's just as good.  (Ergonomically and style-wise, not so much...)

The 900 is a better, smoother performer than any of those other machines.  The drink quality, machine feel, and ergonomics are first rate.  Getting it serviced out of warranty is the issue as you know.

Grinders: Macap M-80, or Baratza Vario are the cheapest, excellent grinders.  Pharos as mentioned is an outstanding, hand grinder.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Sun Sep 8, 2013, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

Just keep in mind that Breville is a consumer mass market machine, not a machine with quality espresso as a first consideration. If that isn't an issue for you then it isn't an issue. YMMV:-)

 
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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cinci_trader
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Wed Sep 11, 2013, 8:43am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

Thanks for everyone's insights and raising my standards/cost for a new machine ;)

I want the best performance for the $. Back to the car analogy, I'll take the new vette over a more expensive Ferrari (lower cost, less depreciation, less repairs at lower cost, etc). Asthetics is also important as it has to sit on my kitchen counter.

Functionally I need to do 2 excellent cappuccino drinks for each session unless we have company and don't want to be in front of the machine all night. My friends are fine with convenience and live with pod machines...I go for quality but also selfishly want the speed. The CC1 seems like a nice machine functionally but better suited for my office breakroom than my kitchen due to the industrial looks IMO. My list is now down to the Cuadra or Rocket. The Oscar is nice but will likely go new and I'm leaning to those machines.

Thanks again everyone! I also have a good grinder so I'm set on that front. Looking forward to enjoying some good shots and latte art very soon.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,354
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Sep 11, 2013, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia with PID?
 

cinci_trader Said:

Thanks for everyone's insights and raising my standards/cost for a new machine ;)

I want the best performance for the $. Back to the car analogy, I'll take the new vette over a more expensive Ferrari (lower cost, less depreciation, less repairs at lower cost, etc). Asthetics is also important as it has to sit on my kitchen counter.

Functionally I need to do 2 excellent cappuccino drinks for each session unless we have company and don't want to be in front of the machine all night. My friends are fine with convenience and live with pod machines...I go for quality but also selfishly want the speed. The CC1 seems like a nice machine functionally but better suited for my office breakroom than my kitchen due to the industrial looks IMO. My list is now down to the Cuadra or Rocket. The Oscar is nice but will likely go new and I'm leaning to those machines.

Thanks again everyone! I also have a good grinder so I'm set on that front. Looking forward to enjoying some good shots and latte art very soon.

Posted September 11, 2013 link

What kinda of grinder do you have? All your profile says is burr and blade. Espresso requires an espresso capable grinder, we have a lot of people that come on here and buy a machine and say they have a good grinder... only to find out their using a blade or some $50 crap burr (more like a bean masher) and wonder why their coffee is poor.

Electric Espresso Grinders at a minimum would be in the $300-500 range and way up from there new. If you didn't spend that, reconsider, or post what you have and we can help you.
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