Decent DE1XL or DE1XXL? Or Synesso Home?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Makanmata

#1: Post by Makanmata »

I've been a coffee enthusiast for the past 30 years and have had various iterations of the Spaziale S1 for the past dozen or so years, and running a plumbed in 20A S1 Vivaldi II for most of the past decade. That machine owes me nothing and still makes great coffee, but I've had my eye on something with more control lately. I had settled on a Slayer over a GS3, when the Decent caught my eye. To be candid, I had foolishly ignored Decent in the past because it didn't really fit my aesthetic sensibilities of what an espresso machine should be, which were built upon outmoded romantic notions of Coffee Bars in Italy which run big metal, and bigger metal was what I have always lusted after. I remodeled my kitchen with extra high cabinets and deep countertops to accommodate commercial single group machines and the Decent was just too small to seem any good or to hold my interest!

In any case, I've now done something of a 180 on the issue. The more I've learned about Decent the more fascinated I've become by it, and I'm now pretty certain that I want to be part of that movement. It seems to give me all the control (and morer) I wanted from the Slayer without giving up much that will impact my own coffee drinking. I love the idea that the profile is almost infinitely adjustable and has a laser focus on quality in the cup, and I'm willing to give up the raw power and sex appeal of the Slayer to get that.

So now my question is how much I would be giving up, and whether I should get the XL or the XXL to make up for the gap. The price difference between the XL and XXL isn't huge and all other things being equal I would go with the XXL. But I only have a single spot in my kitchen that is hooked up for the 20A electrics and water line, and that spot is currently occupied by the S1. Alternatively I have another spot in my kitchen that would easily fit the Decent, but which has only 110v/15A electric and no plumbing line. So I could get the XL and keep the S1 where it is, and have the S1 to fall back on if I don't enjoy the Decent as much as I'm expecting. Or I could sell the S1 and install the XXL in its place. The downside of the XL is that if I wind up loving the Decent and using it as my daily machine, I'll be wasting the plumbing line and space taken up by the S1, and if if I were to ever remove the S1 and install the XL by the plumbed line I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the 20A circuit. If I got the XXL today, I could immediately use the 20A and the water line (which was arranged at no small effort and expense and somehow seems a shame to waste).

So how much of a difference will I notice between the XL and XXL? I'm not too concerned about the warm up time, but I have become used to a dedicated boiler for steam and thinking that the XXL will give me a more similar steaming experience. Will I get a decent enough Decent experience with the XL?

And a curveball question: I know Synesso has something in the works to compete against Decent. Does anybody have any information about the offer or its timing that might make it worth holding off on this purchase? I waited for the GS3 for years of vaporware before giving up - and the way the early machines turned out probably fortunate that I did - so unlikely to wait unless there is something imminent and concrete.

Many thanks in advance!

ShotClock
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by ShotClock »

The decent website has a detailed comparison of their machines, but here is my understanding:

The pro and xl are the same machine, but the xl is slightly larger for the sake of having an extra cosmetic panel on the back. There is also a slightly larger steam wand. I have the xl, and would have bought the pro if it were available at the time I was shopping.

The xxl had the same chassis as the xl, but a more powerful heater. This is only useful for steaming milk faster, and it's targeted at a commercial buyer. The killer is, it requires a 220V outlet, not 20A. Other than a commercial environment, i don't know of many complaints with the steam.

All of the machines can be plumbed with a kit that costs a few hundred dollars or so.

Heat up time is one of the best things about the decent. Not only does it have a built in timer, but full heat up from cold takes less than 5 minutes. Since there is no boiler, there is no mass of water to heat, and also no waiting for steam pressure.

In summary, but the pro unless you want to have the back exposed or you want a white machine - then get the xl. If you want commercial steaming power, them get the xxl.

Hope that helps.

User avatar
MNate
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by MNate »

I have the XL. You can adjust the steam flow rate and many of us have actually turned it down to .6 or .8ml/s, sacrificing about 5 seconds of speed on 100 grams of milk in favor of finer micro foam. (I'm at 25seconds for 100g). So I wouldn't even use more speed.

I once had a machine that could easily brew and steam at the same time (like 8 seconds to steam 100g) and do kind of miss that. But you find enough things to do while the espresso is brewing that it's not too much hardship. If you can't do both at the same time, I don't think "faster" is much use.

The shiny boxes are cool. But the decent is very home-friendly and, like you say, can be made to do whatever you like!

GDK

#4: Post by GDK »

MNate wrote:I have the XL. You can adjust the steam flow rate and many of us have actually turned it down to .6 or .8ml/s, sacrificing about 5 seconds of speed on 100 grams of milk in favor of finer micro foam. (I'm at 25seconds for 100g). So I wouldn't even use more speed.

I once had a machine that could easily brew and steam at the same time (like 8 seconds to steam 100g) and do kind of miss that. But you find enough things to do while the espresso is brewing that it's not too much hardship. If you can't do both at the same time, I don't think "faster" is much use.

Well said. The La Spaz is much faster with steaming milk than the non XXL Decent! At the same time, you have to be careful while steaming smaller quantities but once you get the skill, your steaming is fast. That time difference is something you get used to I guess, especially if you do not steam for two lattes at a time. The XLL brings you at par with many higher end machines, and that is plenty fast. The ability to adjust the streaming power for smaller quantities of milk on Decent is nice for sure. With the XXL, you have the full choice plus instant steam!

As for the new models coming from Synesso, Prima and the likes, these are not just shiny boxes, they are an art piece in your kitchen and I like that a lot. Having said that, I am frustrated by the small amount of innovation they bring wrt profiling/pre-infusion flexibility. Why are we losing the group head pressure gauge on many new models, shouldn't volumetric dosing be a standard by now at these price points, etc...? All that makes me still sit on the fence :|

Makanmata (original poster)

#5: Post by Makanmata (original poster) »

Thanks. These are all helpful perspectives. I'm leaning now towards getting the XL and keeping the S1 as a backup machine and for steaming when I need the power. If I fall in love with Decent, I imagine that there is a strong resale market and I can then move up to the XXL without horrible transaction costs. It is too bad though that the XXL doesn't have a 15Amp mode like my S1 does (which limits you to one boiler at a time), as that would make the decision easy.

By the way, I suspect that the Synesso will be more than a shiny box, and have a lot of "Decent-like" adjustability. I see that San Remo has the "You" coming out 1st half if 2022 that looks like it borrows many software ideas from the Decent. This is definitely the future, so I doubt these will be all of them. The Decent system though has had lots of time to be refined, and I don't want to wait to wind up on the bleeding edge of anybody's new system . . . I think early GS3 and Slayer purchasers felt the pointy end of that.

Thanks again.

michael

#6: Post by michael »

So when's the synessco home coming 8)

Makanmata (original poster)

#7: Post by Makanmata (original poster) »

I asked Decent if the XXL could be run in a 15A mode (much as my S1 can with a single boiler at a time) and according to the response I received by no less an expert than the illustrious Shin, the 20A XXL can be run in a standard 15A outlet with an adapter so long as it has its own circuit.

So this ends my dilemma. I'll buy the DE1XXL and use it in a standard outlet, and if I enjoy using it as much as I expect I'll eventually move it to the S1's current spot with it's 20A outlet and plumbing. Dilemma solved.

ira
Team HB

#8: Post by ira »

The XXL is perfectly happy with 15 amps, but it does need 220V!!

Ira

ShotClock
Supporter ♡

#9: Post by ShotClock »

That was my understanding too. You can see their comparison at:

https://decentespresso.com/compare

I think their argument is that most north American kitchens have a 220V circuit for an electric oven, so adding a second outlet is a fairly minor job.

I've never used a machine with commercial steam, but the standard model is fine for me, and i make a lot of milk drinks. My morning cappuccino took 20s to steam 5oz of milk today. If you're steaming 12oz of milk, this will be around 50s, but if you're doing this a lot, you might do better with a commercial machine.

Makanmata (original poster)

#10: Post by Makanmata (original poster) »

ira wrote:The XXL is perfectly happy with 15 amps, but it does need 220V!!

Ira
Of course, this is correct. We had a bit of a misunderstanding and this posting led to further discussions which cleared things up. This won't work so I put the order on hold while I decide whether to either replace my S1 with the XXL and take. over its electric connection, or instead order the XL and plug it into standard 110v and run two machines. The problem with the later plan is that if I wind up loving the Decent and getting rid of the S1, I won't be able to take advantage of my 20A/220v outlet where the S1 now lives. Maybe the extra power of the XXL isn't as much of a big deal as to make it worth all of this paralysis by analysis?

Thanks for the advice!