Great starter machine for 2 people household. Not the fastest or the prettiest, but she can be the most consistent and faithful espresso machine you can have :)
Positive Product Points
Build quality good temperature stability Easy to clean Simplistic... so in theory should be easy to use. Suppose to be able to last for a long time if looked after Great Steaming power Lots of user support because of its history and popularity... Easy to service and find parts
Negative Product Points
Steep learning curve, with the simplicity of it, you will need to know how to "read" what is going on... temp surfing is something you have to learn Not very forgiving... NEEDS GOOD GRINDER... can't cheat here takes a while to heat up (but most machines would need time to fully warm up) its a Single boiler, so have to wait between brew and steaming ... but then, all Single boiler machines are the same. Not suitable for large number of coffee quickly... specially if they are milk base
Bought my Ms Silvia used from the newspaper... previous owner received it as a birthday present, but stop using it after awhile, and moved out of his parents home and left the machines. She has been sitting in storage for 4 years before I came and rescued her... she was in good cosmetic condition, but her inside needed some cleaning up... After spending a day cleaning her group head, drained the 4yo water inside her, flushed, and descaled, I fired her up and pulled my first ever shot.... and my god... it was awful... it was so sour I didnt know if it was because it was the coffee or if I havent cleaned her up properly after the chemical clean...
After doing more research, I found out that because I didnt have the right grinder to grind fine enough, it will always be sour... managed to find a Rocky, then a Macap (both used) I have noted the shot qualities were much better after I have dialed in my grinder....
Temperature surfing is a fun skill to learn, but takes time and lots of water :D So after 2 months of it, I decided to invest in an auber PID... it made Ms Silvia so much easier and quicker to use.
Ms Silvia's can be steaming hot... with her single tip wand, I can froth my milk easily to a creamy texture that even a newbie like me can do latte art :)
REMEMBER... Always make sure you turn on the water pump after you have finished steaming to refill the boiler... otherwise, you can cause it to dry up and overheat, then burn off the boiler's heating element.
Overall, I've been happy with Ms Silvia so far... she has been treating me well, but once in awhile, if I messed up my grinding, dosing or tamping, she can be a bitch at me and give me crap shots :D
Bought it from local classified... cheaper than new and had lots of extras to go with it...