Not reaching at all. In double boilers, a used Brewtus or older La Spaziale can be had for your price range, or you could get a new Breville Double Boiler for less and with a warranty (lifetime if you buy at Bed Bath and Beyond).
The bold part I highlighted makes me think you really don't know what a PID does or brings to the table for machines. On a HX it'll just hold the temp in the boiler at a tighter tolerance than a pressurestat, but you'll still need to perform a cooling flush. Here is a must read article to explain how a HX works.
A PID on a HX is kind of like lipstick on a pig. While it may look more appealing, it won't do anything to change the taste of the bacon. It does have its perceived advantages - quieter operation and longevity of the heating element, but time will tell if that holds true. Quieter operation...sure, against a Sirai, but Ma-ter's and Ceme's are also quiet. As for longevity, my Cremina's pressurestat is 29 years old and still going strong.
aaronschroeder Senior Member Joined: 22 Feb 2012 Posts: 28 Location: Batavia, Il Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Posted Fri Jan 24, 2014, 10:45am Subject: Re: WTB: Dual-boiler under $1250
I had a vague impression of how HX worked (water circulates from pressurized boiler through grouphead to reduce temp), but the link you posted clarified that impression a lot. Thanks for posting it. I didn't realize that the PID on the HX would work differently than the PID on most double-boilers - that on the HX, you wouldn't just set the PID to the desired brew-temp and forget it. That probably explains why *everyone* doesn't just PID their HX, or why almost no HXs come with PIDs built-in.
So, I'm looking for any $1250 dual-boilers out there, but if anyone has a higher-end HX to sell, feel free to email me.
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