Vibiemme Domobar Junior HX VS Dual Boiler

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Tiekone
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#1: Post by Tiekone »

Hello to everyone,
I came across offers on Domobar Junior HX and Dual Boiler here in London for around £850/880£. I think this Domobar line of product is very interesting because basically we can compare to very similar machines in everything (size , look, E61 Group) but the only main difference is the Heath Exchange vs the Dual Boiler system.
Which one would be recommended for a relatively new joiner to the espresso game who uses the machine nearly every day for steaming and also 4 days a week for 3 or 4 espresso with decent quality manual grinder?
Thank you

Capuchin Monk
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Joined: 15 years ago

#2: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Dual boiler for better temperature control & stability.

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Jeff
Team HB
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Joined: 19 years ago

#3: Post by Jeff »

Maybe they've changed something, but the Junior 2B used a thermostat in the past. If so, you've got a boiler that is swinging several degrees and no way to really manage it. Having to temperature surf a dual boiler isn't my idea of fun.

https://www.baritaliaclub.com/vibiemme- ... or-2b.html
https://www.coffeeitalia.co.uk/vibiemme ... ess-steel/

(I don't see the Junior 2B mentioned at all on the VBM website)

Stefano's shows the part at https://espressocare.com/products/vibie ... thermostat

Tiekone (original poster)
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#4: Post by Tiekone (original poster) »

Thanks Jeff. I also don't see the Domobar Junior 2B anymore on the VBM website but one distributor replied me that the model is still in production. Looks like the producer wants to draw all the attention only to the new models.
https://www.coffeeitalia.co.uk/vibiemme ... ess-steel/

They still sell it here in uk yes.
So you are telling me that between the Domobar JR HX and the 2B maybe the HX is more manageable?

Thanks

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Jeff
Team HB
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Joined: 19 years ago

#5: Post by Jeff »

£830 doesn't seem like an overly high price for an HX machine. I would definitely budget for a group-head thermometer, such as the EricS. I don't know who might carry that in the UK, or what quality alternatives might be. I'd skip inexpensive Asian imports as response time and repeatability are important.

VBMs use a slightly different group head than the ECM-like ones present on on many other manufacturers. Some love the VBM group, others are prefer the ECM-like ones. Mainly you need to be aware that you'll need to stick with VBM-style parts when working on the group.

It looks like they've dropped the 2B variant when they revised the Junior models. I think that was around 2019, based on one video I watched. The newer models apparently have a no-burn steam wand and a steam valve that is easier to use.

Also be careful between the Domobar and Domobar Junior (and the Super, for that matter). It looks like one only has a 0.5 L boiler and the other is only 1 L, which may cause problems with steaming and possibly temperature management. I think many of the HX machines were running 1.5-2 L boilers. Here's a current VBM Domobar brochure.

You might want to confirm that your retailer is actually an authorized VBM dealer. https://www.vbmespresso.com/en/home-espresso-machines/ lists two, but not Coffee Italia.

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I still would buy the Lelit Mara X over these.

Tiekone (original poster)
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#6: Post by Tiekone (original poster) »

Thank you guys.
So the message so far from this forum is the following :
1) Between Vibiemme Domobar Junior HX and Dual Boiler is better to go for the HX because the temperature should be simpler to manage and the fact that there is only one boiler is going to help maintenance & longevity.
2) Vibiemme grouphead is slightly different compared to other brands and some parts are not shared with the other E61 Groups.
3) Vibiemme Domobar Junior HX 1.1L Boiler could be a limitation for performance and temperature management. As a Comparison the Mara X has 1.8L Boiler.
4) The Mara X is still the best choice even if it's £250 more expensive here in UK.

My only 2 worries on the Mara X are the fact that pre-infusion is set and cannot be controlled and the fact that there is a decent amount of electronics which could lead to issues and more costs if any failures.
Otherwise the size is very similar to the VBM Domobar Juniors and they are all good looking for my point of view.

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RistrettoCapp
Posts: 75
Joined: 5 years ago

#7: Post by RistrettoCapp »

There are several well designed HX machines that provide temperature stability, but I would say those are the exception, not the rule. Typically with HX machines they will gradually increase temp over time, requiring cooling flushes and the stereotypical 'temp surfing'.

Double boiler machines are theoretically more temp stable, but that assumes that the brew boiler has a calibrated PID - note, calibration is important. You can throw a PID on nearly any heating element, but having it calibrated to the system is key to performance.

In the end, I prefer DB machines with the exception of a couple HX machines (The Unic Classic is one I've seen run circles around DBs with back to back drinks for coffee catering, very impressive machine).