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Update on the Silvia?
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bloocanary
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bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Wed Dec 25, 2013, 5:22pm
Subject: Update on the Silvia?
 

I know the Silvia has been discussed to death on Coffeegeek, and at one point almost 10 years ago I was on top of every one of those discussions. Since then though, I've been away from the espresso scene. I had a Silvia that I sold, but am now considering buying a machine at that consumer geek level again, price-wise.

Is the new Silvia still a good one at that price point? Or is there a much better option now?

Along with that, the grinder talk used to be all Mazzer & Rocky... anything better, and in fact anything better that's more affordable now?

Thanks!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,742
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Dec 25, 2013, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

I think the current leading pair in that quality and price point you are referring to is a CC1 machine with a Baratza Preciso grinder. However, since you ask...there are a lot of options now. And pretty much nobody ever recommends either Silvia or Rocky, unless they can be found for a very good price off the used market.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,474
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 Wed Dec 25, 2013, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

Yes, both are outdated in today's market, and overpriced when compared to the competition when talking new.
What IS your price point, that makes a BIG difference in what the prevailing choices of the day are.

 
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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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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,011
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

I agree that the Silvia is overpriced these days. Once they released the V3 the price was raised and never dropped (it's been years).  If they ever started selling the Silvia incl PID for $659 that would be a deal. :p  The CC1 holds 1st place in the single boiler world.  If you can find a Silvia for under $500 and in good shape I would say go for it.  I have turned into a stepless espresso nazi.. If it's stepped I don't recommend it for espresso.  If your budget has the room to spend money on a Mazzer mini I would recommend the M4D for $100 cheaper.  So what can you afford?

Macap M4D
- $100 Cheaper than the Mazzer Mini A
- Blue backlit digital dosing
- True doserless (no funnel)
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bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

Gee ok ... that's a pretty consistent response. I would say my budget is under $1K ... preferably *well* under. And that's for all the equipment I would need ... so the machine, the grinder, and then basic stuff like tamper and milk pitcher.

I think I will not bother with looking for a more affordable Silvia then ... that's sad, there is some nostalgia for me with the Silvia. That said, it was a pain in the butt back then, and sounds like it still is! And at a higher price!

So, what do you think for that price range?
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Tom222
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Joined: 3 Feb 2009
Posts: 42
Location: Phoenix
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Altea3G /CMA AL-1& MCaL s10...
Grinder: Mazzers Rossis Pharos #53 &...
Drip: French press solamente
Roaster: Local
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

I have to interject here, this is a great topic and very timely for me btw.
I just got an old Silvia for fun and had to do some repairs- you can look at my post on Home-barista.."I wanted a challenge...got a Silvia"

I picked the Silvia because it really has been dissected a million different ways and because of the extreme parts availability-which is key for any machine that we take in and plan on keeping for any decent length of time. And yes the budget did play a big part this time in comparison with the 4 rebuilt commercial levers that I have sitting idle currently (2 or for sale*wink*). I got the Silvia for an absolute steal even though I had to get a new element and a few new lines for it. And now that I tore it down and reassembled it I'm fairly satisfied at it's build quality even though it is 10 yrs old. The machine is running now and I'm still fine-tuning the grind until I can get a pressure gauge on it for accuracy and OCD purposes. But the espresso is absolutely drinkable.
Is it THE BEST machine for its intended purpose? Probably not.
Can it be improved upon? Yes.. PID, pressure gauge, spare parts..
How much do you want to spend? That's always the magic question...
But I would at least say skip the Mazzer Mini and go bigger...used Super Jolleys pop up all the time for sale. And for about the $, I'm pretty happy with the Pharos.

I myself need to look into the CC1 a bit more to see what it's all about.

Have fun!
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bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 12:51pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

No question the Silvia had & has its place ... no knock on people who own one, or plan to buy one.

I think in the past, it made sense for me. There wasn't a whole lot on the market that was affordable and could produce pro quality shots ... and I was looking for something to tinker with, maybe even take apart.

Now ... there appear to be a few great options in this price range for machines that require less tinkering, but allow the adjustability to dial in great shots. I'm not as interested in taking things apart, or hunting for a deal on a Silvia ... less time to do so, and kind of just want to drink some great espresso!

Lastly, re the look of both the machine and the grinder ... with a house now, I am much more interested in getting something with slightly more aesthetic appeal ... still can be stainless steel and industrial, but the Silvia is definitely on the extreme end of the spectrum!

How are the Baratza grinders? And how about the Gaggia machines ...? Or, some have argued, the CC1s ...?
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takeshi
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takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

bloocanary Said:

Is the new Silvia still a good one at that price point?

Posted December 25, 2013 link

Nope.  Take a look at any recent thread and you'll find many comments that the Silvia is overpriced.  For someone considering the Silvia I'd suggest the CC1 instead.

bloocanary Said:

Along with that, the grinder talk used to be all Mazzer & Rocky...

Posted December 25, 2013 link

...same applies to the Rocky.  Mazzer makes a number of grinders that vary in performance and price.  I'm guessing you're referring to the Mini?  It's also considered substandard by many these days whereas the Super Jolly is quite often used as a basis for comparison.  SCG has a package that includes the CC1 and the Vario (performance often considered comparable to the Super Jolly) which is a pretty good entry level combo but it's just under $1K.

bloocanary Said:

anything better, and in fact anything better that's more affordable now?

Posted December 25, 2013 link

Is better or more affordable the priority?  While not always the case they're generally in opposition to each other.  The curve does get steeper as you go so paying more doesn't always mean you get the same proportional increase in the quality of what's in the cup.

bloocanary Said:

How are the Baratza grinders? And how about the Gaggia machines ...? Or, some have argued, the CC1s ...?

Posted December 26, 2013 link

They're all good options and suited to differing people with differing budgets and needs/wants.  It really comes down to what you're looking for and what your budget is.  A Classic and a Preciso is a decent entry set and probably the bare minimum that would be generally recommended here without going used and/or forgoing an espresso machine (maybe going with a moka pot) and/or opting for a hand grinder.  The CC1 with its PID and thermoblock will offer you better temp consistency, faster transition time to steaming and probably better steaming performance if my memory of the CC1 and what I've read in recent posts on the Classic are both correct.  At the time I tried out a CC1 on its roadtrip I had a Silvia and found the CC1 much easier to use than the Silvia FWIW.  If you can swing it to spend more on a better grinder that's always recommended but it's your call to make on where you're willing to make compromises.

bloocanary Said:

I am much more interested in getting something with slightly more aesthetic appeal ...

Posted December 26, 2013 link

That's a highly subjective matter and you'll have to clarify what you like and what you don't like.  For any machine there are people that prefer its aesthetics and those that don't care for its aesthetics.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,217
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 2:12pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

I think SCG has the CC1/Vario combo for under a grand, $900 or so with the 10% coupon if you sign up (someone else just posted that other day). Even at normal price the CC1/Vario is the best starter setup for the money, getting a kickass machine and kickass grinder. This deal is a f'n steal lol. I love my CC1. Silvia is far out of date, for $40 more the CC1 gives you a much bigger 17oz boiler, PID built in with full control of everything from temp/pre-infusion/dwell/shot timer etc, separate thermoblock which is way faster for steaming, I remember when SCG did a test of 4 drinks the CC1 was only like a minute off the pace of an Oscar and the Silvia was another 8 or 9 minutes after that... not a big deal if your making two drinks but any more and you'll get frustrated lol. If Rancillio priced it just above the Gaggia Classic (since it does have a few advantages over the Classic) then it's be a good deal, at it's current price, their on crack lol. And they haven't touched the Rocky when they easily could of at least made it stepless all these years... but shows they don't care about the consumer market, their money is made on their commercial offerings.

here: + another 10% off CC1 Vario Combo
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bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:29pm
Subject: Re: Update on the Silvia?
 

Thanks for the tip ... wow, that is a great deal. $900 shipped for the CC1 + Vario ... went ahead and ordered it ...

Can't wait to try it out!
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